6) VICTORY OVER FASCISM - YESTERDAY AND TODAY

 

People's Voice Editorial

 

            May 9 marks the 73rd anniversary of one of the most significant dates in the 20th century - the surrender by the genocidal Nazi regime to the Soviet Red Army, which had rolled back fascism all the way from Stalingrad to Berlin. The defeat of Hitler fascism was accomplished by a military alliance in which the USSR played the leading role, and included the USA, Britain, Canada and others. A few months later, the USSR entered the Asian-Pacific war, the event (more than the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) which triggered the surrender of Japan's militarist regime.

 

            These events proved that a country where the working class held political power could rise from poverty and feudal backwardness to a leading place in the global geo-political system. The early achievements of the Soviet Union during less than three decades remain astonishing to this day: the elimination of illiteracy and unemployment, the liberation of peoples from Tsarist oppression, huge strides toward full legal and social equality for women, public ownership and socialist economic planning to meet the needs of the people, and then the triumph over Hitler fascism, won at the terrible price of over 25 million Soviet lives.

 

            The victory over fascism sparked a mighty upsurge of struggles by the working class in the capitalist world, and by the peoples of Asia and Africa who broke the chains of white supremacy and colonial domination over the next three decades.

 

            These lessons must be remembered today, when the menaces of fascism, racism, xenophobia, misogyny and other ideologies of hatred and violence are emerging again, just as they did during the Great Depression, the capitalist crisis which ended in a devastating world war. Once again, unity of the working class is the only way to block the fascist threat, defeat the transnational corporate agenda, and save the planet from imperialist war and environmental catastrophe.

 

 You can count on us to struggle against corporate power and to promote a platform that puts people’s needs before corporate greed.

 

We are at a turning point.

 

Vote Communist – Ignite the Movement for Socialism!

 

Our Party needs to campaign for the day after the election. Regardless of the outcome on June 7, there will be a tough fight ahead. The working class needs to be more united, more militant and more active.

 

We have an important role to play in this. While we will need to analyze the concrete situation after the election, we can project now some key tasks that the Provincial Executive will need to focus on.

 

First is work in the trade union movement. As we noted in December, coming out of the OFL convention, labour was united in a formal and empty way that cast aside class struggle positions. Currently, the house of labour is divided, with Unifor leaving the CLC and provincial federations and initiating raids against hotel workers represented by UNITE HERE. This new crisis also casts aside class struggle policies, and focuses the debate around narrow nationalism or simplistic, hollowed out versions of internationalism.

 

Our task is to connect more deeply with activists at the local level, including labour councils, and forge structured left caucuses that can rebuild unity in action. The PEC will need to work with the TUC to develop a concrete plan, based on the priorities outlined at our December meeting. We can start with the housing crisis, using the resolution from the OFL convention that committed to labour council mobilization.

 

A second key area is the women’s movement. The recent IWD events, combined with the women’s marches in January and the organizing around #metoo, show that there is a lot of progressive activity for women’s equality and gender equity. However, the continued lack of a structured umbrella organization is a serious challenge.

 

The PEC should work with the Gender Equity Commission and with clubs to develop a plan for building united women’s actions at the local level. Part of this effort includes focussing on the labour movement, to bring it more forcefully into the effort to rebuild a structured women’s movement.

 

A third area for work following the provincial election is municipal political work. This is important for two reasons: (1) municipalities are the main battle ground for issues that flow from the provincial level, including housing, education, social assistance, and services; and (2) municipal elections will be held on October 22, so there will be more attention and activity on these issues.

 

We need to approach municipal work with two main objectives. First, we should identify how to build progressive civic reform movements in each municipality. Second, we should work to identify progressive candidates for the municipal elections, around whom we can build strong civic reform campaigns. The PEC will need to work with clubs across the province, to develop local plans to achieve these objectives.

 

Our work in municipal politics relates to our work in the labour and women’s movements, both of which will be initially focused at the local level. There are many points of intersection, and we should make sure we are engaging these intersections so that our work is more effective.

 

These three key tasks are in addition to our ongoing work in areas like the peace movement, and in the anti-racist/anti-fascist movement. When we next meet, in the fall, we will have an opportunity to more deeply analyze the conditions of the labour and progressive movements, and evaluate our work within them.

 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. As we head into this important provincial election and the struggles that follow, we can bear in mind Marx’s advice:

 

“Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement.”