The following editorial appeared in the latest issue of La Riposte socialiste, and can be read in French here.
It’s impossible to doubt it any longer. We have entered an epoch of economic crisis, political earthquakes, and, above all, revolutions.
The wave of uprisings which started a year ago and has touched at least 20 countries from Chile to Lebanon to Hong Kong has finally reached the heart of global capitalism: the United States.
As usual, the voices of “reason” are being raised with the aim of compartmentalizing the problems. “We need to resist the Americanization of our society,” says Mathieu Bock-Côté of the Journal de Montréal. You see, this is an American movement!
But it would be wrong to think that such a movement would be impossible here. Does anyone need reminding that the 2012 student strike was only eight years ago? Sooner or later the revolutionary wave will reach our shores.
A pent-up anger is already being expressed through the Black Lives Matter demonstrations which have been organized in Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver and even Calgary, Halifax and Saskatoon!
Let there be no mistake. Canada and Quebec are no different.
The triggering event differs from country to country—public transit fare hikes, a WhatsApp tax, a racist killing by the police—but the root cause remains the same everywhere: the capitalist economic system and its institutions are going through a historic crisis.
Everywhere a deafening anger is rumbling below the surface due to astounding inequalities between the handful of kings like Jeff Bezos, and the billions in poverty. The inferno merely awaits its spark.
And with the pandemic, this crisis of capitalism has reached gigantic proportions. The wheezing economy has been thrown to the ground. Unemployment has skyrocketed. GDP has plummeted virtually everywhere. The economists are predicting a depression as bad or worse than that of the 1930s. Millions of workers are now seeing their world crumble before their eyes.
For the moment, the effects of the crisis have not made themselves fully felt in Quebec and Canada. Federal aid programs for workers and businesses are artificially keeping the economy afloat. But when the federal government stops paying 75 per cent of the salaries for companies, they will be in for a rude awakening. It would be naive to believe that having 40 million unemployed workers in the USA has nothing to do with the insurrectional mood currently on display there.
This is without taking into account the colossal sums spent by the state which are simply being added to the already massive levels of debt. One day this will have to be repaid. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already recommended governments make cuts now, under pain of having to impose “brutal” austerity later. The capitalists will inevitably make us pay for their crisis.
We can expect wage attacks, cuts to social benefits, mass layoffs, privatizations and general attacks on our living and working conditions.
In a time of economic crisis and austerity, during a pandemic and now with a mass movement among our neighbours to the south, the idea of revolution could rapidly gain in popularity.
Just as it is impossible to believe that the movement will be confined to the USA, we also cannot expect that we won’t experience the same sort of repression that Americans are living through. The experience of the 2012 strike is sufficient proof of this.
A conservative commentator recently wrote a letter stressing that “an immense ideological conflict will shortly commence,” between the “conservatives” and the “socialists.” Recognizing that socialist ideas will inevitably gain popularity with the crisis, he called on conservatives to prepare for a “titanic political struggle.”
It could not be stated better. Fierce battles await us, and as the capitalists are already prepping their weapons, we have no other choice but to prepare ourselves now as well.
It is no longer possible to remain on the sidelines. The question is no longer if, but when the confrontation will occur. It is necessary to immediately build the revolutionary organization capable of ending the capitalist nightmare. Socialist Fightback/La Riposte Socialiste invites all the workers and youth who desire to fight for this cause to join us.