Source: Communist Revolution

This article is the editorial for issue #2 of Communist Revolution. Subscribe here!

Every day under the grey capitalist sun brings new horrors and hardships for working people. Genocide in Gaza and war about to explode in the Middle East, inflation and rising interest rates making housing unaffordable, wages stagnating, the planet literally burning, schools and hospitals crumbling… the list goes on and on.

It’s no coincidence that all sectors of society appear to be in crisis. Capitalism itself is in crisis.

Anger at the horrors of capitalism is constantly finding expression in different movements. Whether we look at the movement for the liberation of Palestine, the gigantic demonstrations of the climate movement, or the wave of strikes last year, notably those in the federal and Quebec public sectors, we see that this anger is taking shape in organized movements. And if we take a step back and look internationally, we see mass movements of revolutionary proportions in one country after another (Argentina, Sudan, France, Myanmar, etc.).

The masses are constantly showing that they can’t stand the status quo any longer, that they’re ready to fight to radically change society, and they’re organizing to do so. Yet these movements do not lead anywhere.

“The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat.” These lines, which date back to 1938 with Trotsky’s Transitional Program, could have been written yesterday. The present epoch is marked by a glaring contradiction: the immense revolutionary energy, yet the total absence of a political leadership capable or even willing to channel it into the struggle against the capitalists and their bankrupt system.

The leadership of trade unions and social movements has largely abandoned the perspective of fighting capitalism and turned to reformism. But to reform capitalism is to accept its limits. And in a capitalism in crisis, as it has been for decades, there is no room for reform, for the slightest improvement in the living conditions of workers and the poor. The only solutions capable of tackling these problems require breaking out of the confines of capitalism. Consequently, reformist leaders look like firemen running around in a burning house with nothing but glasses of water, because the arsonist told them not to use a hose.

This is particularly clear in the trade union movement, where union leaders consistently refuse to take the fight to the finish line and accept tentative agreements that keep workers impoverished, because they know that the bosses and capitalist governments will concede nothing without a massive struggle—which they are not prepared to wage.

Unions are a massive source of working-class power, uniting millions of workers across Canada. Mobilized, nothing could stop them. But Canadian and Quebecois union members are like lions led by donkeys.

That’s why the working class in Canada and Quebec needs its own party. Not just any party, but a revolutionary communist party.

Everywhere, in workplaces, in unions, in student associations, in tenants’ groups, in social movements, there are young and not-so-young people who can’t take any more defeats, setbacks, and rotten compromises. They’re fed up with being told they have to settle for eating crumbs in mouldy housing on a polluted, burning planet. They’re gnawing at the bit, eager to rise up against capitalism.

These conscious or unconscious communists represent the vanguard of the working class. We need to unite this vanguard, these most resolute, combative and conscious elements, in a party.

This isn’t about creating another one of those old-fashioned parliamentary parties of suits, who earn their living by making empty speeches in Parliament, and whose main concern is their careers and future generous MP pensions.

We’re talking about a new type of party, for and by the workers; fighting with the methods of the class struggle, and with a mass of activists who know how to think for themselves, who have mastered the ideas of Marxism and are familiar with the history of past struggles. The only time such a party would set foot in a bourgeois parliament would be to use it as a pulpit for loudly denouncing the farce that parliament represents.

The movement’s old tactics have had their day. The bourgeoisie is waging a one-sided class war against the workers. We need to unite the minority of communists in a party capable of winning the majority of the population to its program, to prepare the counter-offensive. Revolutionary communist ideas must be spread in every workplace, on every campus, in every neighborhood, to win communists to the party by the thousands, all over the country.

Getting rid of the capitalists won’t happen without organization. They know their interests, have their own parties, and will do anything to stay in power, maintain capitalism and crush the workers. Just as it would be madness to go to war without generals and officers to organize, mobilize, guide, and direct the troops, a revolution without revolutionary leadership would be doomed to defeat.

The question of the party comes down to a very simple one: do we think workers can afford to leave power in the hands of our exploiters? If, like us, you think not, then join us in building a communist party. The capitalist class has demonstrated its historic bankruptcy long enough. It’s high time we threw it off the stage of history.