Conservative Majorities, NDP Surges & Revolutionary Struggle

On the eve of the most recent bourgeois election hundreds of radical settler protesters marched during this year’s May Day rally in Hochelaga (Montréal)

So, the sacred liberal democratic election ritual that began 37 days ago was concluded yesterday. The neoconservative representatives of imperialist white power, settler colonialism and parasitic capitalism were re-elected, this time with their first majority government. The liberals, the traditional opponents of the conservatives in Canada in the bourgeois electoral game were handed a crushing blow, while we may have seen the death knell of parliamentary Québécois nationalism. For the first time in Canadian history social democracy has taken the place as official opposition, knocking out the dying liberals.

But bourgeois elections are bourgeois elections, and Canada is Canada. I never had any illusions about this election. As I outlined in the article I wrote several weeks back when campaigning began (Why I Don’t Endorse Voting in the May 2nd Election):

At its core North America (the states popularly known as the United States, Canada and Quebéc) is a settler-colonial society. This means that the principal contradiction – the one that defines all class struggle in the society between the working class and the bourgeoisie – is between the colonizer and the colonized. Some leftists, especially those who advocate voting for parties like the NDP and even most that don’t, will not fully interrogate this, but it is the reality of the situation here.

So what does this translate into in terms of electoral politics?

It means this: all political parties that run in elections, even the most left-wing of the social democratic formations, are parties of a settler-colonial government, vying on behalf of this or that element within the settler nation (or nations, in the case of Canada) labour aristocracy to be chief exploiter of the colonized peoples. These parties, again we include the most supposedly left-wing factions, will NEVER be interested in any kind of meaningful national self-determination for the colonized nations. This is not because they’re not smart, and don’t realize the nature of things, it is because of the very opposite in fact. They know the game. They know the score. They know that their very existence is rooted in the existence of the colonial state, and as such they have a vested national and class interest in the maintaining of the current colonial state of affairs.

This has been the case with every government Canada has ever had, provincial and federal, and ever will have, so long as it remains the entity currently known as Canada and remains the product of ongoing settler colonialism and displacement and genocide (because assimilation is still genocide) of indigenous peoples.

This morning I know that many of my good friends, from Cape Breton to Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo, woke up feeling like shit because Jack Layton and the NDP orange tide last night was not quite powerful enough to prevent a Tory majority. These people are people whose political opinions and pursuits I respect, and that is why I understand (I actually really do) the hopes that they had dashed against the rocks last night, and their feelings right now. I used to be a dues paying member of the NDP myself!

However, I think this election confirms, as every bourgeois election always does, Emma Goldman’s old maxim of “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” Liberal democracy will never bring real change. So to my friends I say, pick yourselves up, wash the tears off your face (or finish throwing up in the toilet) and remember that only real, revolutionary struggle can destroy imperialist white power, settler colonialism and parasitic capitalism, whether in Canada or the rest of the world.

Social democracy, and certainly not liberalism, is never going to save the oppressed people of the world and Canada from the forces that bleed them dry everyday. Not last night. Not at the next election. Not at the one after that. Not ever. Stephen Harper and his Born Again Evangelical Christian cabal that is the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada may truly be awful, but that’s because imperialist white power, settler colonialism and parasitic capitalism are truly awful. Harper and the CPoC is just the more social conservative face of that awful, decaying world system. But it also has a nicer face. For the longest time that face was seen in the Liberal Party. However, as of last night the New Democrats have displaced the LP as the leading nice face of imperialist white power.

Social democracy is never anything more than a temporary patch that acts like an analgesic on the suffering of the oppressed people of Canada and the world. In the long run it will need to either be pushed aside or defeated just as much as neoconservativism and neoliberalism. In other words, Jack Layton and his labour aristocracy base are going to come and grant us, the oppressed, our freedom. We must take it from.

Luckily though forces are organizing to fight against the machinations of imperialist white power, settler colonialism and parasitic capitalism. While revolutionary struggle is being waged in the Philippines, in India, in Nepal, in Turkey, in Palestine and in Latin America, forces are organizing right here, in the backyard of this wretched system. In the indigenous and African communities in Amerikkka and Canada people are rising up, to shake off their chains. Even white people, those whose way of life is built on a pedestal of the oppression of African and indigenous people, are seeing that this system of exploitation cannot last, and they are aligning themselves with the oppressed in this life or death struggle and helping to build up their revolutions.

I invite you to join us!

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Posted on May 3, 2011, in National Liberation, Socialism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Excellent and thoughtful post. Clearly, as you say, the social dems are just another and perhaps nicer face of colonial-capitalism, but traditionally the argument has been: well at least their policies, even if we cannot accept them as an end goal, are good for the people. It’s hard to even see the NDP as a social democratic party anymore: it has reinvented itself as a Trudeau-era Liberal party (Layton even admitted as much in his speech last night about the values his party shares with the Liberal party), and so has simply displaced the previous Liberal party. Oh, and Layton also talked about being “respectful” to the Conservative majority: so just what sort of social democratic party is the NDP?

    It is quite interesting that the NDP has taken more seats than ever in its history as a party: this in some ways could be seen as a “victory” for everyone who wasted their time campaigning for the Laytonites – and yet despite this “victory” still the feared Conservative majority has won. And still around 40% of registered (and I emphasize registered) voters did not vote. And in response to your Goldman quote, but in utterly agreeable response, here’s another great quotation: “To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to misrepresent the people in parliament is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarianism.” [Lenin, State & Revolution]

  2. Hey JMP

    In response to your point about the NDP as the new Trudeau-Liberal Party, I think you made a really good point about the NDP several times in your series of posts about the election boycott, and that is that by even the standards of the right-wing of the Second International the NDP are right-wing.

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