Quebec Independence

Ryan Daum rdaum at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca
Sun Oct 22 11:55:00 MDT 1995


On Sun, 22 Oct 1995, CHRISTOPHER SCOGGINS wrote:

> I totally agree with Leo Casey's historical analysis of Quebec, and
> may I add that those on the ultra left who trivialize the Canadian
> welfare state "as a pawn of capitalism", have no right to claim any
> relationship to the working class and are therefore irrelevant.
>

You show your ignorance of everything I said by making this claim.  a) It
is _you_ who is ultraleft in your absolute ignorance of the desires and
aspirations and _realities_ of the Quebecois.  It is not ultraleft to
be involved in the actual real mass movements of the Quebecois -- which
just so happen to be 90% of the time associated with independence.  I.e.
my comrades helped in organizing the women's march this fall, and
the majority of the women who marched were in favour of independence, as
they see in it a break from the neo-liberal policies of Martin.  To be
part of real mass movements, in touch with the actual aspirations of the
working class, in favour of democracy: THAT is Ultra left?

b) Nobody here ever ever trivialized the welfare state in Canada
as being a pawn of American imperialism.  It shows your absolute
ignorance.  I'm sure most of us "ultralefts" are up to our KNEES in
DEFENDING those welfare programs from the neo-liberal assault.

In fact, I just decided to take offense at what you just said.  You're
telling _me_ that I'm trivializing social programmes after I've been
slogging through various dysfunctional coalitions, doing shit work for
rallies, etc. for 3 years to fight the new right agenda of Klein here in
Alberta?  A large part of my mental energy has been dedicated to this
stuff for years -- and you dare to call me ultraleft.

You reveal nothing but your bizarre faith in the Canadian state, in
Canadian nationalism.  These social programmes were won by people, by
their mass movements against American imperialism, but also against the
Canadian state itself!  They were won both by Quebecois and English
Canadians.  What is now occuring is a universal
attack by both the right and center (Reform, Conservative, Liberal,
sometimes even NDP) on those social programmes and rights.  In this
context, the independence of the Quebecois is a direct attack on this
government and its economic structures.

What I mean by this is this: the North American continent is dominated
by two imperialist capitals, that of the United States and that of
Canada.  There is also a role played by an upper crust of the rising
Mexican bourgeoisie.  NAFTA is one material manifestation of this.
American capital has explicitly stated its opposition to Quebec
independence -- why?  Because the PQ/BQ leadership for them is just an
unecessary reorganization of the situation.  In the worst case, should
the PQ/BQ leadership fuck up (hopefully) and the mass movements, trade
unions, etc. in Quebec form their own new party capable of leading,
independence represents a threat against capital itself.

Quebec independence represents a rupture of the structure North American
capital has built for itself.  The federal government threatens Quebec
with non-admission to NAFTA.  That's supposed to be a _threat_ -- for the
sake of the workers of Quebec, I hope its a _promise_

You have yet to explain to me why the Quebec labour movement and its
popular movements support independence.  And I'm not talking about the
labour bureaucracy -- I'm talking about its _membership_ --

The working class of Quebec wants independence -- those who are willing
to work with that working class and act as real leaders (i.e. not ivory
tower English Canadian nationalists) are the _relevant ones_.  I don't
have to prove myself relevant -- I've already worked my ass off to fight
cutbacks _and_ oppose English Canadian national chauvinism.  It's you who
I wonder about.

______________________________________________________________________________
== Ryan Daum -- rdaum at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca -- http://www.ualberta.ca/~rdaum ===
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--                 Defend Quebec's right to self-determination!             --
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