The Need to Make Way for Renewal

Renewal of the Democratic Process Is Essential

– Anna Di Carlo –

Today, as ruling elites become increasingly autocratic, the renewal of the democratic process is essential. For this to be achieved, at a time the antipathy to political parties is running very high, the working class must set the example of what it means to pay attention to the need to be political by appreciating a political party of the working class such as ours. The opportunist phrase "more than a movement, less than a party" has become the resort of many a scoundrel that thinks that rights can be provided with a guarantee without the leading role of the working class as an organized force with an aim, as enshrined by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Nowadays it is common to have major cartel parties without members. Parties without members cannot be political. They act like contingents of a mafia fighting turf wars. Cartel parties without members are a dangerous development because citizens and residents cannot afford to drop out of the political discourse and striving for political empowerment. It creates a very dangerous situation and it is important for Canadians to make sure it cannot happen.

Various obstacles lie in the path of making sure Canadians participate in political affairs. It is known, for instance, that today many non-government organizations (NGOs), along with many associations said to be apolitical or humanitarian, ensure that the role of the citizenry is denigrated. It is commonplace to see people from all walks of life, backgrounds, beliefs, abilities, genders and ages lumped into a category or many descriptive categories. On the basis of these categories, every stereotype imaginable is promoted and people are labelled and criminalized accordingly. The state is the prime promoter of such things at the instigation of powerful supranational interests which have seized control of the state's decision-making power.

The fight between competing factions amongst the ruling class and the need for the working class and people to speak in their own names so as to provide the problems they face with solutions cannot be sorted out by engaging in providing better descriptions of such categories, or joining a category and demanding it be recognized and given its due. What are called the democratic institutions are now devoted to such things. Elections, the democratic process, media and educational institutions are all put at the disposal of such attempts to disinform the polity in this way.

On a day to day basis, more often than not the situation looks very bleak, the problems overwhelming, insurmountable and that we are all alone. It appears as if the situation is hopeless, there is nothing we can do. But far from it, the space we call Canada, the space we call home, or where we live and work, where we procreate and rear the coming generation, where we honour our elders, our children and siblings and where we welcome newcomers belongs to all of us. It is our space. We must take our place in it by using our own voices and speech to change things in favour of those who live, work, procreate, rear the coming generations, honour our elders and welcome newcomers. In this regard, we must base ourselves on a process which helps us determine what is pertinent and what is not. We must base ourselves on our experience that speech refers to our deeds, not words. We must remember that the word politics encompasses all of us together, the affairs of concern to the body politic.

Canadians and Quebeckers, as well as all those who live and work in this country from coast to coast to coast, including our Indigenous Peoples whose birthright and hereditary rights are not negotiable, cannot afford to leave politics to rotten, corrupt cartel parties and a system of party rule taken over by narrow private interests. It is through speaking in their own name and developing their own independent politics that the crisis can be resolved in a manner that favours the working class and people, not the rich.

The current period of vicious neo-liberal anti-social offensive began in the 1980s during the rule of the recently deceased Brian Mulroney. At that time, CPC(M-L), on the basis of its analysis of the conditions which were being ushered in, boldly declared that henceforth no force could act in the old way because the conditions had changed. It pinpointed that the working class must constitute itself the nation and lead the striving of the peoples of this country for change by leading them to speak in their own name and vest sovereignty in themselves.

It was an ambitious program in a country imbued with the juridical outlook of a Eurocentric nation-state and its hypocritical standards whereby it tolerates everything except what it does not tolerate, which is usually most of us, our right to conscience, our social, cultural and political being.

Today, it is clear as clear can be that the colonial nation-building project is finished. It was and continues to be based on the precept -- the general rule intended to regulate behaviour or thought – that the land was for the taking because it belonged to no one. This project, led by first the British empire-builders who established an Anglo-Canadian state to serve their interests and then by the U.S. imperialists to serve their Cold War anti-communist aims, has led to Canada's systematic integration into the U.S. state, war economy and war machine. Today, this state, despite hanging around stinking like a rotten fish, no longer recognizes national sovereignty because the decision-making power has been usurped by supranational oligopolies which maraud with impunity.

Today, this anachronistic Canadian state thinks it can continue to deprive the Indigenous Peoples of their hereditary rights, denigrate the working class by turning workers into disposable objects to be discarded, and so too newcomers as well as migrant workers and refugees. It is asking itself whether a new immigration act should discard its racist term "visible minorities" for another name to refer to those it has considered second-class citizens since its founding. Meanwhile "whites" are called Canadians! It is trying to find definitions of hate and extremism which suit its purposes of targeting those whose opinions and values do not jibe with those of the racist state. But this does not erase the image of Canada as an appeaser of genocide as it is doing not only to the Indigenous Peoples of this country whose hereditary decision-making rights on their own territories it does not recognize, but to the Palestinians and others whose right to be it also does not recognize. Today this state is a toady of the United States to carry out the most heinous wars, sanctions and coups d'état, as it is doing in Haiti this very day, also seen in its support for NATO and NORAD and integration of Canada into the U.S. war economy and factional fights which are leading the U.S. into civil war at home and imperialist wars abroad.

Canada's working people have shown since the pandemic that they are a force to be reckoned with. We congratulate all the teachers and education workers, health care workers, university professors, and all industrial, transportation, energy and communications workers who defended us during the pandemic and continue to do so every day.

It has become amply evident that Canada's democratic process is designed to authorize others to speak in our name and that through the system of electing a party government we have no say in any of the decisions which affect our lives. The irony is that it is at the point we cast a ballot to authorize someone else to represent us, i.e. speak in our name, we are disempowered, not empowered as we are led to believe.

In this country, more and more youth are taking up the battle to end their political marginalization by affirming their individual interests, the interests of their own collectives and the general interests of society, on the basis of programs they themselves set and carry out. This is the struggle that opens the path for the progress of society. With this struggle, the youth themselves are on the front lines of the struggle of the working class, women, most vulnerable sections of society and all others for progress.

Renewal of the democratic process is the order of the day and renewal is not a class question. The renewal of the political process favours that class which spearheads it and comes out on top. By leading the work for the renewal of the political process, the working class opens a path for the further development of the society and gives itself a greater role in the advancement of society. It is the struggle not only for democracy, against the erosion of civil rights on all fronts by those who define their so-called reasonable limits, but it is the struggle of this particular turning point of history, to create mass democratic transitional forms which put human beings at the centre of all endeavours to humanize the natural and social environment.

We call on everyone to Make Way for Renewal. Let us together take our place in this historic combat by leaving the Old behind!

Anna Di Carlo is the National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.

This article was published in
Volume 54 Number 4 - May 2024

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