Make 2017 a Year of Great Advance for the Working Class Movement
– Workers’ Centre of CPC(M-L), January 1, 2017 –
As workers across the country reflect on the situation they and their families face on the occasion of the New Year, no doubt remains in the minds of many that the way forward for the country rests in their own hands. We are our own saviours! has become a rallying cry for actions with analysis in the defence of rights and for democratic renewal, a new direction for the economy and against the danger of war.
The challenges appear daunting but for the workers there is no life without work to deal with the problems we face in production and class struggle. Once workers realize they must rely on themselves, the obvious next step is to build their own institutions, leadership and thinking.
Steelworkers, energy workers and miners, municipal and other public service workers, postal workers, construction and manufacturing workers, teachers and others throughout the country have no doubt of their own capacity to lead their respective sectors and contribute to guiding the economy in a new direction within a modern nation-building project. They see that those who own and control the social wealth and state, the dominating oligarchs and their political representatives, no matter whether they identify with the imperialist right or the imperialist left, are a block to advancing Canada in a new direction and contributing to the same abroad.
The oligarchs put their narrow private interests ahead of any social responsibility to the well-being of the people and society. The institutions created by government of laws no longer function and instead of renewing them so as to complete the battle of democracy, they are installing a government of police powers and view the people’s striving for their well-being and rights of all as things to crush, as impediments to enriching themselves from the value workers produce. The oligarchs see the renewal of democracy to empower the people as a threat to their rule and power. They use the social wealth and property they control and the power of their state to deprive the working class of its right to solve the problems confronting the country on all fronts. This is particularly evident in their refusal to modernize relations at the place of work, to bring them into conformity with the socialized interrelated nature of mass production of goods and services and the necessity to work together in cooperation for the greater good.
The example of Stelco jumps out as an example of the obstructionism of the oligarchs and their denial of the reality that the economy needs a new direction. The sole reason the oligarchs put the Stelco steelworks into state-organized bankruptcy protection was to attack the rights of the steelworkers, salaried employees and steel communities. The only issue within the state-organized bankruptcy process is to deprive steelworkers of what belongs to them by right — their wages, benefits and pensions — and to deny any responsibility towards society and the social and natural environment.
The bankruptcy process does not even discuss the necessity for a new direction for the steel sector but merely changes one set of oligarchs for another, redistributes social wealth amongst the most powerful and steals from the working class. The process tramples on the rights of Canadian workers, their economy, communities and society. The Stelco steelworks are not bankrupt; the oligarchs, their power, state and rule are bankrupt. The time is now for a new direction.
Canadian workers are coming to the conclusion that to put things right, they must deprive the ruling oligarchs of their power to deprive Canadians of their right to decide and control their affairs at work and broadly in society. This includes most importantly the right to bring relations of production into conformity with the socialized economy. Those who produce the goods and services must control their sectors and have the power to decide.
Such a change in the organization of relations of production involves a renewal of democracy which empowers the people. A modern constitution and forms of governance will be required to ensure the working people are in control of their economy and society, to ensure they are not deprived of the value they produce and the power to use that value to build a self-reliant all-sided economy with a modern aim to guarantee the well-being of the people and their rights, and to humanize the social and natural environment.
How the Working Class Defends its Rights and
Brings a New Direction Into Being Is Key
The question posed is how to unblock the situation. How does the workers’ front deprive the oligarchs, and their feuding political representatives of the left and right, of their power to block progress for the working class and society? The answer is staring us in the face: build our own institutions and defend our rights with organized actions with analysis. To lead ourselves we need our own headquarters that is dedicated to the emancipation of the working class and whose word is revealed in deeds not in the fanciful tales of policy objectives.
Building a headquarters, a political party of the working class with basic organizations in all workplaces, educational institutions and wherever people are defending their rights is inextricably linked with organized actions with analysis to defend the rights of all and for democratic renewal and an anti-war government. One cannot exist without the other.
The founder of CPC(M-L), Hardial Bains, taught the working class in his thesis on the four levels of work that internal consolidation develops in lockstep with external strength. From acts of conscious participation to build the headquarters and institutions of the working class and to defend the rights of all with actions with analysis arise the understanding, the great leaps of thinking and theory necessary to lead any profound movement for change, and to defend its purity against the attacks of the oligarchs and their political representatives from the fascist right and imperialist liberal left.
The realization is strongly apparent: workers cannot ignore their duty to themselves, their class and society. They must build their Party headquarters and basic organizations wherever they are active in defence of their rights and for democratic renewal. Neglecting their duty to build their headquarters, their groups of writers and disseminators and basic organizations of the Party within their ranks, will sooner than later doom their struggle in defence of rights and for democratic renewal. Likewise, building their headquarters in isolation from actions with analysis necessary in the battle to defend the rights of all and advance the movement for democratic renewal will sooner than later lead to the collapse of the headquarters. The struggle to move society forward is a unified whole of internal consolidation and external strength just as Hardial Bains taught us.
With the seizure of the political institutions by the oligopolies, predatory wars for regime change against weaker countries to steal their resources, exploit their working class and control their regions, along with the preparations for larger wars with competing big powers are a grave danger to humanity. The working class has the social responsibility to make Canada a zone for peace with an anti-war government. Only the working class can bring this cherished goal into being.
Within the struggle to defend the rights of all, for democratic renewal and an anti-war government and nation-to-nation relations with Indigenous peoples, the working class must have its own independent institutions, journalism and media. Canadians need a working class media to combat the disinformation the mass media of the oligarchs dish out. The technological tools must be put at the service of the working class to be able to reach everyone on a daily basis. It can be done!
The working class worldview and voice presenting its own activities in defence of rights and for democratic renewal and analysis of events are necessary to combat government of police powers and its attempt to disinform the polity, make sure no political movement exists which serves its own aim. The independent outlook of the workers’ opposition is capable of giving Canadians the peace of mind and stability from which they can find their bearings under all situations. With their own independent positions in opposition to the ruling oligarchs, workers can advance their struggle and practical politics in defence of their rights and for democratic renewal in the face of the provocations and criminalization of conscience by government of police powers.
Workers are great at producing value. Let’s be equally good at building the new for ourselves, society and the future of humanity. Make 2017 a year of great developments in building working class institutions and media, and mass movements in defence of the rights of all and for democratic renewal!
All Out to Turn Historic Success into Historic Victory in 2017!
For a Modern Canada that Upholds the Rights of All!
All Out to Build the New!