This month marks the 75th anniversary of the turning point of the Second World War – the Battle of Stalingrad. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada salutes this historic victory over Hitler fascism by the Soviet Red Army, a victory which was won at such great cost to the people of the Soviet Union. Their heroic sacrifices blocked the threat of fascism in Europe and on a global scale.
Throughout November, celebrations around the world will mark the centenary of the outstanding political event of the 20th century: the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. By overthrowing the Russian capitalists, landowners and aristocrats, the workers, peasants and soldiers of the Tsarist empire opened the door to a new society in which humanity’s dreams of peace, equality and democracy began to become reality. The storming of the Winter Palace, signaled by the guns of the Aurora cruiser, began the historical epoch of the transition towards a socialist society, based on cooperation and social justice, not the exploitation and oppression inherent in the profit-driven capitalist system.
The October Revolution was far more than a change in government. It was a fundamental social upheaval, a sharp break with thousands of years of class-divided societies. For the first time, the working class took lasting political power, shattering the myth that only the owners of wealth can rule.
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the savage violence of the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy exercised against the Catalan population, in order to prevent voting in a referendum on October 1, 2017 to decide on their future as a nation.
According to the Catalan authorities, more than 800 people were wounded by police forces, including nearly 100 more severely.
While Rajoy rejoiced that the Spanish state had succeeded in preventing the referendum “with all its strength”, the Catalan regional government announced that more than 90% of the 2.2 million ballots that could be counted supported the independence option. The police did manage to close 319 polling stations and seize the ballot boxes, so that approximately 770,000 ballots could not be counted. In total about 56% of the 5.3 million registered voters cast a ballot, or were prevented from voting by the repression.
Our 38th Central Convention meets at a moment of escalating danger, from increasing war, environmental crisis and economic decay. As the systemic crisis of capitalism continues to deepen, and the effects of the 2008 economic meltdown continue to be felt, imperialist states and organizations are becoming increasingly aggressive. The standoff between nuclear armed states in Ukraine and the expanding war in Syria are powderkegs that threaten disaster. Millions upon millions of people in all parts of the world are being forced into poverty, hunger, homelessness and displacement.
But this is also a moment of rising working class and popular resistance. In all countries, albeit unevenly and with different characteristics, we see increased unity and mobilization. From online campaigns to mass demonstrations, general strikes, and political actions, people are using many different vehicles to advance these struggles. This is also expressed by the rising popularity of so-called democratic socialism, with all its contradictions, which is examined in detail in this report.
In Canada, the electoral defeat of the Conservatives in October 2015 represents a significant victory for the working class, Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, women, LGBTiQ communities, youth and students. While the victory of the Liberal party does not represent a break from the reactionary policies that are characteristic of the Canadian state, through a united, conscious political and organizational struggle we can open new space and possibilities in the fight for peace and disarmament, for immediate action to combat climate change, and for social equity and social justice. These advances can be realized – and can become concrete steps toward more fundamental change.
As the economic crisis continues, more progressive people are drawing partisan conclusions and deciding they need to take action, get organized and involve themselves in resistance. Some are becoming active in their unions and mass organizations. The most advanced are being won to the struggle for socialism, and some are joining our ranks.
The urgent question today is to forge a plan of united class action linking the struggle for reforms with the revolutionary struggle for socialism.
Neither social reformism nor ultra-leftism can forge such a way forward. Socialist theory and practice will not arise spontaneously. Only the work of the Communist Party, as our programme says, Afuses scientific socialism with the class struggle and by so doing spreads political and socialist consciousness among the workers B an awareness of their historic mission as a class,@ to lead the peoples of Canada from capitalism to socialism and ultimately communism.