Down through the ages, working people have dreamed of a world of freedom and equality, an end to exploitation and misery. Throughout the twentieth century, millions of people around the world rallied to the cause of socialism. Today, big business and its boosters maintain that socialism is finished, that human development has ended, and that capitalism will endure forever.
In reality, it is the capitalist system, based on private ownership of the means of production, which has no future. Having outlived its usefulness, it is incapable of meeting the needs and aspirations of the world’s peoples.
By its very nature, capitalism generates and intensifies mass unemployment and poverty, national chauvinism and exclusivism, racism, gender inequality and oppression, environmental collapse, war and reaction.
Under capitalism, democratic practices and institutions are stripped of most of their real content. Capitalist “democracy” guarantees the right of the capitalist class to dominate the economy and society and to exploit the people.
Capitalist globalization, led by US imperialism with the full support of the imperialist ruling class of Canada, is threatening the remaining threads of Canadian sovereignty and independence – that is, the right and capacity of the people of Canada to determine their own destiny. Multilateral investment and trade pacts are undermining the democratic right of the Canadian people to establish policies and determine our own course of development.
Capitalism in Canada and the world today is a crisis-ridden and decaying system. But, it is pregnant with its opposite – socialism.
The first heroic wave of the working class movement against capitalism, the Paris Commune of 1871, was crushed by brute force. The next major wave began with the Russian Revolution of October 1917, when the vast majority, the workers and their allies, took and held state power for the first time in human history. The victories of socialism, particularly in the USSR, China, and Cuba, inspired workers and peoples around the world in their struggles for liberation. Much of this wave however was rolled back by the combined economic and military might of imperialism and the socialist countries’ own serious defects.
Socialism remains the necessary next step in our country’s historical development. Only socialism makes the needs and aspirations of the people its highest priority. Only socialism can put people before profit. And only socialism can use the benefits of the scientific and technological revolution for the well-being of all Canadians, not for the enrichment of a few and for waging war. There is no alternative to socialism, no “third road.”
The achievement of socialism, based on working class power in Canada and internationally, will mark a real advance towards true democracy – the rule of the people, by the people and for the people.
In a socialist Canada, the principal means of producing and distributing wealth will be the common property of society as a whole. The exploitation of labour will be abolished. Ecological degradation will be reversed, and a planned approach to the relationship of human life with the natural environment will be implemented. Want, poverty, insecurity and discrimination, rooted in capitalist exploitation, will be ended. Socialism will finally realize a new society based on solidarity, equality and emancipation.
As it develops, socialism will provide the real basis for communism, a classless society in which, for the first time in history, the free all-round development of each individual can be the condition for the development of all.
The aim of the Communist Party of Canada is to establish a socialist and, ultimately, a communist society in Canada. The party stands for the victory of socialism throughout the world.
Next Chapter: Capitalism in Canada