The following greetings were presented by Elizabeth Byce, SA/LAS Canada to the annual convention of Socialist Action USA, which took place January 30, 31, 2021.
Dear comrades of Socialist Action – USA,
I bring you warmest revolutionary greetings from Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste in the Canadian state.
Given the bitterly cold winter weather, and the devastating pandemic, we could use some more warmth. But not the heat of the wild fires that have scorched our continent and the planet. The world is on fire, the economy is in the dumpster, and fear stalks the land. The culprit is corporate capitalism. And the race is on to implement socialist solutions that alone can save nature and civilization.
It is no small irony that the rising opportunity to build a better future stems from a stunning health crisis. As evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace explains, it springs from the bowels of the capitalist mode of production. Toxic, intense agribusiness practices put profit before public safety. Nearly 100 million cases and 2.1 million corpses have piled up worldwide.
A capitalist market, weighed down by gigantic debt, plunged the world into a Great Recession last winter. That was long before COVID-19 took hold. Capitalist politicians claim to care about people — even as they hold down the wages of front-line workers, trample the rights of Indigenous people, and sell weapons of mass destruction to tyrants. Inequality surges. Vile demagogues stoke fears. Racism, sexism and homophobia intensify. Authoritarian rule spreads. (Trump is not the only example). The billionaires wage wars of imperialist plunder. Human civilization is at the brink of disaster. The choice is Socialism or Extinction. If we are to survive, revolutionary change is urgent. But it won’t happen spontaneously; it won’t happen without firm revolutionary leadership. Socialist Action Canada doesn’t have a magic blueprint for change. But we do stand proudly on 170 years of global proletarian political experience and principles. The first principle is workers’ self-organization and mass mobilization, independent of the capitalist parties and their state. Another is unity in action, via the workers’ united front tactic. Over many years, SA Canada has demonstrated in practice its commitment to these ideas. We led the way in demanding proper PPE in all work places, paid sick leave, full-time employment with a big pay raise for personal care workers, and the nationalization of the for-profit, private Long Term Care centers.
We are Eco socialists. We advocate a Green New Deal based on a planned economy under workers’ and community control, starting with restitution for Indigenous people who continue to suffer corporate plunder of their ancestral lands. We are the first, and perhaps the only body to call on environmentalists in the Green Party and in the labour-based New Democratic Party to unite and form a Revolutionary Eco-socialist party. SA uniquely advances the cause of socialism and democracy by building the Workers’ Action Movement in unions, and the Socialist Caucus in the labour-based New Democratic Party.
Against the backdrop of deepening neo-liberalism and rising authoritarianism, a new and powerful radicalization of young workers is underway. Opportunities to build a revolutionary party worldwide are the best we’ve seen in over 45 years.
In Canada, our application of the united front tactic, not only in defense of Cuba, Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, Indigenous Land Defenders and opponents of police brutality, but through our work inside the major working class organizations, has enabled us to grow three-fold in the past two years. With over 110 members and supporters, SA Canada is now able to draw on a larger pool of comrades who are working to increase our presence both on social media and on the street.
There is another huge factor in our favour that has enabled us to survive a 30-year decline of the radical left, and that enables us to grow today. And that is Socialist Action USA.
We greatly value our partnership with you in Socialist Action newspaper, the finest monthly publication of its kind in North America. In its pages, and on our respective websites, you will find joint statements by our parties in the interest of the working class on both sides of the border.
We value highly our participation, with you, in the United National Anti-War Coalition. Together, we are doing all we can to counter protectionism, trade wars and hot wars for power and plunder that our imperialist rulers pursue everywhere they can.
Like you, we are fighting oil and gas pipelines, and standing up for the rights of Indigenous people and immigrant workers. The environmental movement won a victory recently with the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The bosses’ governments, in Ottawa, Washington, and beyond, are forced to provide some economic relief to workers, though it is grossly inadequate and may end at a moment’s notice.
Comrades, we congratulate you on the Jeff Mackler for President campaign that attracted new members to your banner. Together, we can build on the growing interest in socialist ideas. We know there is no electoral solution. There is no market solution to the evils of capitalism, which generates massive crises. Only a social revolution can solve them. Only by taking control of the major means of production, like the Cubans did 60 years ago, only by instituting
democratic planning, in harmony with nature, does humanity have a hope of survival. That’s what Socialist Action-Canada is all about. It is very active on many fronts — unlike the official Fourth International section, based in Quebec, which is invisible and inert. SA/LAS is one of several small parties that were unjustly excluded from the Fourth International. Meanwhile, the F.I. is directionless. It is embracing populism and centrism. Together, we must do our best to win F.I. members back to a Marxist, Leninist, Trotskyist strategy. With our comrades in the Tendency for a Revolutionary International, both those inside and those, like us, outside the F.I., we will build a new Revolutionary Workers’ International.
To you in SA-USA, who have endured a difficult 15 months due to the action of the splitters, we say this: “You always had our back. And now, we have yours. You can count on SA Canada.” Our solidarity with you is unbreakable. And together, our time is coming.
Long live the international working class. Solidarity with the momentous struggle of the farmers of India. Celebrate the victory of the women’s movement for choice on abortion in Argentina. De-fund, disarm and disband the capitalist cops. Down with the parties of corporate America. For fighting, democratic unions and a fighting labour party. Long live the struggle for socialism and feminism. For a Red North America. Workers to power!