We are honoured to bring greetings to this historic gathering on the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
Great October is the historic marker between all class divided, exploitative and oppressive societies heretofore; and the end of the exploitation of one human being by another achieved with the victory of Soviet power in Russia. The epoch of the transition from capitalism to socialism was irrevocably opened for the working class to pass through, according to the objective and subjective conditions in each country.
As Lenin said, the road to socialism is not straight like the Nevsky Prospect. The loss of the USSR showed that the transition period is intense – a life and death struggle with imperialism, in which socialist states can be overthrown and great setbacks sustained. But the political struggle of the working class and its allies for socialism cannot be stopped and will prevail, because the working class is the grave-digger of capitalism, as Marx proved. This is the irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism that foretells its inevitable passing.
Imperialism has seized the moment to drive the world to the brink of world war and environmental devastation, and to unleash the forces of reaction and fascism aimed to destroy socialism, to overthrow socialist and progressive governments, to eliminate the Communist and Workers’ parties.
US imperialism’s threat to “totally destroy” DPRK, to overthrow governments in Venezuela and Syria, and to effect regime change in Cuba, is an invitation to world war and nuclear catastrophe. US imperialism is sliding towards fascism. The growth of fascist movements and parties globally, of austerity, xenophobia, racism and misogyny, is imperialism’s response to the changed balance of forces after 1991.
We live in a very dangerous time, facing the stark choice of socialism or barbarism. We must soberly assess how to roll-back the threat of fascism, reaction and war, and how to advance the struggle for fundamental social transformation which working people increasingly seek, despite growing anti-communist campaigns.
In Canada, nascent fascist movements are also blooming, given new life by developments in the US and Europe. These include Soldiers of Odin, PEGIDA, and La Meute. They prey on the insecurity and fear of working people who are victims of the capitalist crises and who are aware that there is no recovery for them, while the biggest corporations rake in super-profits, lay-off workers, drive down wages and pensions, and demand social spending cuts. Social democratic governments and parties, including in Canada, continue to offer prescriptions to better manage capitalism.
In Canada, the Trudeau government was elected on a platform promising peace, jobs, democracy, equality, and redress for Indigenous Peoples, most of which they have abandoned. Trudeau has bowed to US demands to increase support for NATO and NORAD, and will increase military spending by 70%. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (grand-daughter of a Ukrainian fascist collaborator) has stick-handled the government’s pro-US positions, including threats to Venezuela, and permanent stationing of Canadian troops in Latvia and Ukraine. We vigorously oppose these policies, and campaign for peace and disarmament, withdrawal from NATO and NORAD, and cutting current military spending by 75%. We are working hard to build the peace movement, and in particular the Canadian Peace Congress, affiliate of the World Peace Council.
The climate change crisis, causing major disasters this year, has forced itself onto the global agenda. The struggle for climate justice must be a priority for our movement. Socialism will prevail, provided the globe has not been destroyed by war and environmental devastation.
The NAFTA negotiations are collapsing, killed by US protectionism. A revived Trans Pacific Trade and Investment Partnership is on the horizon. We have campaigned hard against these deals and capitalist globalization generally, designed to cement corporate control of the world’s resources and markets, eliminating national sovereignty.
We fight for mutually beneficial, multi-lateral trade that includes long-term credits for developing countries.
We have closely followed developments in Catalonia and Kurdistan. Like other parties, we condemn the use of force by the Spanish government against the Catalan people and their struggle for national self-determination, a right that Lenin invoked as inviolable for Marxist Leninists.
Canada is a multi-national state, created at the point of a gun, after British colonialism defeated France in North America in 1763 and then subdued the French speaking populations in what is now Quebec. During capitalism’s rise, colonial governments aimed to exterminate or forcibly assimilate Indigenous Peoples. This unequal and involuntary union of oppressed and oppressor has been maintained by force and violence of the Canadian state ever since.
While the CPC does not support the option of Quebec secession, because it will weaken the struggle of the working class as a whole against capitalism and for socialism, we unequivocally support the right of Quebec and other nations in Canada to self-determination and to secession if they so choose. This puts the onus on the English speaking nation to offer a new, equal and voluntary partnership as the basis for unity in Canada, one which recognizes the national rights of all, including the right of each to leave, in a new democratic Constitution. This is the option we favour and campaign for.
In conclusion comrades, we thank the CPRF for hosting this historic meeting in Leningrad, the cradle of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
We express our confidence in the unity and coordinated action of the Communist and Workers’ parties, in our historic struggle for socialism, peace, and a sustainable global environment.
Long live Marxism-Leninism!
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Delivered by CPC leader Elizabeth Rowley on behalf of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada to the 19th Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Leningrad, November 2-3rd, 2017.