Friday, July 8, 2011

Quebec Solidaire's Communist Manifesto

There's an interesting news piece making the rounds of the French media which unfortunately hasn't crossed over to the English side of the media.

A Quebec City reporter for the Journal de Quebec got around to reading a Quebec Solidaire document written a while back, that outlined its vision of a 'new' Quebec.

Since then, the story has been picked up by various media outlets and Mario Dumont did a piece on it on his daily news and interview show. If you understand French, you can watch the seven-minute piece here, on YouTube

The French language document (not available in English,) entitled "Cahier de perspectives- Pour une société solidaire et écologique" can be downloaded  HERE

Now every time I describe Quebec Solidaire and it's chief cook and bottle washer, Amir Khadir as 'communist,' I get a slew of comments from the indignant, accusing me of slander and yellow journalism. (it should be libel, not slander. Perhaps Todd our resident language expert, can set them straight!)

Because Khadir and his family are long time communists and the Communist Party of Quebec is an integral part of Quebec solidaire, I find it difficult to understand why all the objections to the label. After all if the shoe fits....

By the way, just last week, Jafar, Amir's father, was out campaigning for Fidel Castro and mugged for a television news camera framed by an inspiring portrait of Che Guevara. 

It may pain the Quebec Solidarniks (wow, I've coined a new phrase!) to be outed, but the Cahier de perspectives is the smoking gun that will convince even the most ardent skeptic that the QS is exactly what I, other bloggers and journalists have been calling them - a communist inspired party.

The aforementioned document, is nothing less than a modern re-hash of the Communist Manifesto and I'm a bit surprised that no commentator has yet made the connection, since the document borrows quite heavily from Comrades Marx and Engels.

Marx & Engels-  Inspiration for Quebec Solidarniks
Now to the Solidarniks who complain that there's nothing wrong with being a communist, I can only say that there's nothing wrong with being a member of the Flat-Earth Society, or just a plain idiot for that matter, but at least idiots bear no personal responsibility over their reduced mental acuity and as such, their propensity to be gullible.
A modern-day Communist however, is a willing stooge, one who fully ignores the historical reality of a failed ideology and continues to support a discredited, destructive and fatally-flawed model, that country after country around the world has abandoned.
There is no excuse for being a communist other than mindless self-deception, which unlike idiocy is a conscientious choice.

Now before I offer highlights of the 'Cahier de perspectives,' it is useful to review the ten principles of the Communist Manifesto, written over 150 years ago. I shall grant readers leave to draw their own conclusions as to how much of influence that treatise had on the Solidarniks who drafted the 'Cahier de perspectives' 

The 10 principles of the Communist Manifesto 
  1. The expropriation of landed property and the use of rent from land to cover state expenditure;
  2. A high and progressively graded income-tax;
  3. An abolition of the right of inheritance;
  4. The confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels;
  5. The centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by the establishment of a state bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly;
  6. The centralization of transport in the hands of the state;
  7. An increase in the state ownership of factories and instruments of production, and the redistribution and amelioration of agricultural land on a general plan;
  8. Universal obligation to work and creation of labour armies especially for agriculture;
  9. The unification of agricultural with industrial labour, and the gradual abolition of the differences between town and country;
  10. The public education of all children. Abolition of factory labour for children in its present form. Unification of education with economic production.

(Note; the yellow highlighted parts below are in my estimation, directly lifted from the Communist Manifesto.)

Gentle reader, all I can say to prepare you for what comes, is to be prepared to laugh out loud..

 *******************

And so let's begin with the preamble of the document, which pretty much says it all.

STATEMENT ON THE ECONOMY (page 2)
"...The capitalist economic system is based on infinite growth which is a source of social inequality, in addition to being non-sustainable in the long term. This is an expropriation of the future by short-sighted interests. Based on competition and laissez-faire, rather than solidarity, capitalism excludes not only the collective control and democratic process, but also the more equitable distribution of the  collectively-produced wealth..."
See where we're headed?

The rest of the document contains a mixture of propositions and philosophical dissertations. Here is a selection of my favourites.

STATEMENT ON PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF BUSINESS (page 3) 

"...These proposals seek to determine how we want to maintain private element in our economy, and under what conditions. It also asks us to consider the integration of new types of economies. Finally, if we opt for the elimination of the private sector, we must determine how we see to the gradual implementation, management and socialization of the economy..."
PROPOSITION 1.1.1.c (page 3)
Excessive or unwanted  economic growth should be limited by;
  1. Regulation (or)
  2. Reversing  economic growth (or)
It is proposed to replace the Gross Nationa Product (GNP) with Gross Naional Happiness Index which includes unpaid work...
PROPOSITION 1.1.1.A (page 3)
  1. Allow private ownership of business under strict limits  (or)
  2. Center the economy around small and medium business and either nationalize or turn  large business into cooperatives  (or)
  3. Convert all business' to cooperatives.(or)
  4. Socialize the economy by converting business to cooperatives and by the nationalization of strategic sectors
STATEMENT ON PRIVATE CAPITAL (page 5)  
"The financial sector has become the dominant pillar of the contemporary capitalist economy. The proposals in this section are intended to limit, regulate or even eliminate the influence of private financial capital in Quebec..."
PROPOSITION 1.1.2.A (page 3)
  1. Regulate interest rates and financial charges
  2. Create a government owned bank
  3. Convert all business' to cooperatives.
  4. Nationalize all the banks
PROPOSITION 1.2.1.A (page 7)
It's proposed that we nationalize the following;
  1. Natural resources (forests and mines)
  2. Green energy
  3. Hydrocarbons (Oil and Gas)
  4. Public Transport
  5. Large industries like aluminum, pulp and paper manufacturing
  6. Telecommunications (Internet and telephone)
  7. Recycling industries 
STATEMENT ON PERSONAL WEALTH (page 9)  
"..In addition, a tax reform on the transmission financial assets by inheritance would limit the ability of the wealthiest to transfer their wealth from one generation to another and thus continually reproduce their privileges.

PROPOSITION 1.2.2.A (page 9)
  1. Increase the number of tax brackets from 3 to 10.
  2. Enforce strong anti-tax evasion measures,
  3. Limit the right to inherit money except for the home, furniture and personal items.
  4. Nationalize all the banks

STATEMENT ON OVER-CONSUMPTION (page 10)  
"....To discourage the unnecessary consumption of pollutants and / or  of sexist stereotype products, it is proposed to introduce forms of taxation aimed at promoting behaviour corresponding to the values ​​of Quebec Solidaire.

PROPOSITION 1.2.2.c (page 10)
  1. Abolish the provincial sales tax
  2. Impose taxes on luxury items
  3. Impose taxes on products that are a nuisance to the environment
  4. Impose taxes on sexist products (topless bars, cosmetics)
ECOSOCIALISM (page 11)
"...In its logic of infinite production of goods and the promotion of consumerism, the capitalist system is intrinsically environmentally harmful and destructive..."
PROPOSITION 2.1.3.B (page 15)
  1. Limit the use of cars, particularly in urban areas.
  2. Encourage people to adopt eco-friendly driving habits.
  3. Introduce a transportation tax on food and goods  to encourage local shopping
  4. Increase gas taxes and introduce road tolls
OR:
  1. Over a period of ten years, ban personal car ownership by way of a series of measures including restricting car access downtown and increasing the cost of vehicles.
  2. Over a period of ten years ban the transport of goods by any truck that is not a hybrid or totally electric.
  3. Ban the building of anymore freeways

STATEMENT ON OVER-CONSUMPTION (page 20)  
"One consequence of over-consumption that characterizes our society is the increasing production of  residual material  too often considered and treated as waste. We should organize ourselves collectively and gradually to move towards a society that does not produce garbage."
 PROPOSITION 2.3.4 A (page 20)
  1. Establish production quotas to prevent overproduction. 
  2. Phase out the big shopping centres and return to local shopping.
  3. Require manufacturers to take back their containers for reuse or recycling.   
  4. Establish standards to minimize packaging and replace them with more   environmentally friendly packaging. 
  5. Require manufacturers to guarantee the durability to their products, to extend the guarantee and to design products that are more easily repaired. 
  6. Encourage the installation of thrift stores, eco-centers and other local depots for the exchange and reuse of materials and consumer goods of all kinds
STATEMENT ON FULL  EMPLOYMENT  (page 23)  
"Many  proposals supporting a policy of full employment is related to the policy of the reduction of part time employment and the profound transformation of the economy with a view to overcoming capitalism and suppression of wage labour.
PROPOSITION 3.1.1 A (page 23)
  1. Expansion of public service employment in the areas of social services, construction and maintenance of the infrastructure, clean environment and key sectors of the industry.
  2. Creating an active and effective employment policy that includes retraining and continuing education programs, voluntary, free and funded by business and government, with financial support including relocation allowances for workers who want employment in another region.
  3. Reduction of working time.
  4. Require the Central Bank to give priority to employment and not to fighting inflation
PROPOSITION 3.1.1 5 (page 25)
  1. Increase minimum wage to $10.66 an hour (for 40 hours work-week)  (OR)
  2. Base minimum wage on 60% of the median Quebec salary ($12.05)          (OR)
  3.  Make minimum wage 50% higher than the poverty line ($15.99)

STATEMENT ON FULL  EMPLOYMENT  (page 25)   
Capitalism is characterized by a profound power imbalance between employees and employers. This situation is intolerable in a democratic society...
PROPOSITION 3.2.2D (page 27)
  1. Strengthen penalties for anti-union practices.
  2. Ensure that workers have access to information on the economic health of the company by opening the books. 
  3. Grant all workers an annual day off  for training in trade unionism, labour standards and union organization Introduce into the high school curriculum, courses on the history of the labour movement and trade unionism.
PROPOSITION 3.3.1D (page 29)
  1. Immediately reduce the work week to 35 hours and gradually reduce it to 32 hours without loss of pay, without increasing the workload or forced overtime, to be offset by increased hiring. 
    OR 
  2. Reduce the workweek to 32 hours without loss of pay.
    OR
  3. Reduce the work week to 32 hours without loss of pay with the alternative possibility of extending holidays. In the business that are cooperatives this should be a voluntary measure, but still with minimum requirements to avoid voluntary overwork.
And of course this wouldn't be a real communist manifesto without a demand that May Day become a national holiday!

The entire document is a childlike description of a Utopian society that cannot exist in the real world.
I have much to critique but will turn it over to the Commentors to have their say. Go to it!

As for the Solidarniks who continue to hide the truth from the public about the political leanings of the QS, I would ask them to consider the advice that Karl Marx offered in the face of critics who had the audacity to call out communists;

"It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself.

To everyone, have a great weekend!

      20 comments:

      1. Very impressive post. You are very good "à la dissertation". I don't like Amir Khadir very much. He immigrates to Canada a long time ago, but it doesn't seem like he's very grateful to our country. Now, he wants to impose his own party, his own law and on top of that, he had treated the monarchy of "parasite", doesn't show any respect to the federal government. As an immigrate, Amir Khadir has to respect the actual government and how it goes here in this country. You are very right when you say that Communist party is an extension of Quebec Solidaire. You are stunning, absolutely brilliant. Bravo!

        ReplyDelete
      2. "Democracy is the worst form of politics...except for all the rest".
        - Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson (R) Tennessee

        Actually, Thompson stated this in his former acting role of D.A. Arthur Branch in Law & Order.

        The former Soviet Union considered anyone who criticized communism as either emotionally disturbed or as treasonous. So...where is the Soviet Union now? Where are the Bolsheviks?

        I met a fellow who emigrated from Cuba to Quebec. Since he came over, he developed a love for Chunky soup, real food and he's gained a fair bit of weight...unfortunately. Nevertheless, when you come from a country where the average disposable income is about $20 per month (his words), it doesn't go very far.

        One Russian immigrant from many, many years ago when communism was still in fashion there, described communism is everybody sharing a little bit of nothing...I'd say that's about $20 per month of disposable income!!!

        I understand Amir Khadir is an M.D. Well, so is the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In his case, M.D. should stand for Mad Dictator. I wouldn't let either touch me with a stethoscope as long as a football field let alone ten feet.

        Incredible how these two retarded animals became doctors. While there is an old cliché that it is better to be a quiet moron than to open your mouth and prove it, our democracy allows Khadir, father and son, to spew their retardation all they like, whenever they like. Then again, our democracy showed its downside by having a political party called da Bloc Québécois in federal parliament for two decades. THEY were about as functional as the manifesto above!

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      3. I don't know if I should laugh, or cry. This is Quebec. The same nutty place that voted in the NDP in the last federal election. With thinking like that, Quebec Solidarniks might get more seats in the provincial assembly come next election.

        Hopefully there are people like yourself, Mario Dumont, and others who will not allow these guys to get away with it. And expose them for what they really are.

        ReplyDelete
      4. Presque dans le sujet (Fr):

        Dumont et Duhaime se font remettre a leur place.

        http://tinyurl.com/6x92kdv

        ReplyDelete
      5. "So...where is the Soviet Union now? Where are the Bolsheviks?"

        Vers ou s'en va le capitalisme maintenant?

        ReplyDelete
      6. Editor: "The entire document is a childlike description of a Utopian society that cannot exist in the real world."

        That's the biggest problem with communism - it just cannot work in real life. It's a pipe dream. Its theoretical precepts cannot be applied in practice because the human race is individualistic, materialistic, and greedy by nature. Humans have not evolved to share, they evolved to posses. It's sad, but it's the reality which a political system or a set of rules will never be able to get around.

        However, I wouldn't dismiss Marx's and Engels' critique of the society they lived in, observed, and studied. In many instances, there were right. At the time of industrialization, the worker's plight and corporate greed were especially appalling.

        ReplyDelete
      7. They criticised yes, they concluded wrong. Others have done better at protecting individual rights, not like marx and engels concluded that society has all the rights, same conclusion as the facist BTW.

        ReplyDelete
      8. Communism: the political system of insects.
        The post-WW II creation of East and West Germany created a real-life test of communism vs. capitalism. 20 years, and billions of marks/euros in transfers after that debacle ended, the former East Germany is still the poor cousin of the West. Anybody who thinks that communism can be sucessfuly applied to humans is too stupid to hold public office.

        ReplyDelete
      9. Adski brought up an interesting point. When communism was embraced, at least in theory, the distribution of wealth was in the hands of the few, mostly conquerers of the feudal system. Those were the Dark Ages.

        Organized crime (Mafia, etc.), represent the current day feudal system insofar the current kingpin is always in sight of the next aspiring kingpin. Kill or be killed. One gang muscles in on the other gang's territory, etc.

        On the other hand, after decades of there being a middle class, that has been eroding over the last three decades and the gap between rich and poor is widening. In the 70s, it started with salmon swallowing minnoes and sardines. In the 80s, it was tuna swallowing salmon, sharks swallowing tuna, and now we're up to whales swallowing sharks.

        Too, since the 80s, the CEOs of these bigger companies saw it in vogue to lay off thousands of workers, then tens of thousands in the 90s. It was a virtual show of maucho who could lay off the most. Of course the ratio of the earnings of these CEOs compared to ordinary workers is getting ridiculous.

        Now you have thieves in the stock exchanges with insider information, and somehow certain people trading investment instruments making fortunes while others are losing their jobs, homes and more. The ball started rolling with economic riots and strife in Greece, and Portugal, Spain and other countries are next, depending how their soon they hit the debt wall. America is in line, and while we in Canada are more fiscally prudent (finally, except, of course, for Quebec), we'll fall if the Americans do because we won't have whom to buy 70% of our goods and services.

        The way I see it, some kind of ecopolitical revolution will take place with too much wealth again falling into too few hands. How it will manifest itself, I don't know, but this is an information age so people cannot be duped as easily as in the past, at least not where they are well educated. You can fool all of the people some of the time, but not all of the time, and surely not for as long as in the past when few were as well educated.

        ReplyDelete
      10. Remember this adage:

        "Le capitalisme, c'est l'exploitation de l'homme par l'homme. Le syndicalisme, c'est le contraire !"

        ReplyDelete
      11. @ Mr. Sauga

        Nice post.

        "we'll fall if the Americans do because we won't have whom to buy 70% of our goods and services"

        The other reason would be the only thing
        backing the Canadian dollar is the American
        dollar. Current Bank of Canada reserves -

        $28.62 billion US dollars
        $18.85 billion Euro
        $9.34 billion SDR (special drawing rights)
        $157 million gold

        The Canadian dollar is screwed.

        DD

        ReplyDelete
      12. ...to Anon @ 6:42AM:

        I was not aware what our reserves are in the US dollar, but what currency is really secure? America took the world off the gold standard circa 1971, but was/is gold really that great a commodity? Gold has hit record highs because most currencies are weak. Surprisingly the Canadian dollar is only trading a few pennies above the USD.

        When it's all said and done, gold has little industrial use (jewellery and some dentistry). It glitters real pretty, but is there value in glitter. Even diamonds are a questionable commodity because most diamonds are sitting somewhere in De Beers' vaults so they can play with the value all they like.

        No doubt oil is hot hence our petrodollar, but no doubt we are vulnerable because a sustained weak American economy will eventually spill over onto us, unless we suddenly do more trade with China and India, the biggest emerging economies. Even Europe is weak and Greece has started the fall of the dominoes with Portugal on the cusp.

        Anyway, the simple fact of the matter is there is too much wealth in too few hands. In the last decade, the "super rich" is a new category of social status.

        The best-off generations in the 20th century were those born from about 1935-1955. The ones born in the mid-30s were too young to remember the worst of the depression, too young to worry about, or be draftees in WWII. most were still too young for the Korean War and then too old for the Vietnam War. Then they entered the workforce during the Baby Boom when there was a plenitude of high consumption, low national debt, low taxes and low inflation.

        The early Boomers, born up to 1955 had the benefit of a robust economy, a relatively cheap university education compared to other times and dozens to hundereds of jobs to choose from when they graduated. Younger boomers didn't have that luxury because the older cohorts took the best jobs first.

        Those born from 1967 until the late 70s had it pretty good as well because there weren't as many making up their cohorts as trailing Boomers and the Echo generation born in the 80s, but still not as good as those born 1935-55.

        Later Boomers and 90s kids are Generation X and Generation Screwed. There aren't enough jobs going around although the worst recessions in Canada were 1982 and 1991. Now the 90s kids can't find jobs despite high college/university debt, high national debt and high taxes--i.e., they're screwed. With their mounting frustration, we now have violence everywhere and every time there is a G8/G20 summit.

        Wages in the West will drop as better educated Asians increase their wealth and fortunes in the West decrease. Our standard of living will just continue to drop, so what will happen as the accumulation of wealth is reserved for the lucky few? The way I see it, some kind of totalitarian ecopolitical revolution will manifest hence the Amir Khadirs of the world.

        I'm not suggesting Amir Khadir and those of his ilk have the solution, but there will come a point where the gap between rich and poor will become too much to bear. The poor figure if they die, so what? What do they have to look forward to? What do they have to lose?

        Maybe those lucky enough to get out into the world in the post-war period of 1945-65 were just that lucky.

        ReplyDelete
      13. So you eventually came across documents several months old which have been public... propositions put forward by members for a policy congress.

        It is a mistake to focus only on Amir Khadir as if he ran QS. He is the parliamentary spokesperson. There are thousands of members active in various parts of the province.

        ReplyDelete
      14. Mr. Sauga said.

        "what currency is really secure"

        None, all are fiat!

        "is gold really that great a commodity"

        Gold (silver) IS money (for millennia).

        http://www.businessinsider.com/25-reasons-to-buy-gold-and-dump-dollars-2011-7

        DD

        ReplyDelete
      15. Hm, you highlighted the nationalisation of telecommunications as being lifted from the communist manifesto. You sure Marx was into the internet, telephones and the like in 1848?

        ReplyDelete
      16. To Anon July 25 @ 6:09.

        The sixth tenet of the Communist Manifesto is;

        6.Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

        http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html

        ReplyDelete
      17. Excellent, thank you! May I share with you:

        [1] I just finished an English translation yesterday of "THE PLAN FOR QUEBEC: COMMUNIST STATE?" by Otto Kretzmer:
        http://jack-and-gilles-went-up-the-hill.blogspot.com/2011/09/plan-for-quebec-communist-state.html

        [2] "RED" HARPER? CANADA'S FED FINANCING QUEBEC RADICAL COMMUNISTS, from "PARTI COMMUNISTE" by Éric Duhaime
        http://jack-and-gilles-went-up-the-hill.blogspot.com/2011/09/red-harper-canadas-fed-financing-local.html

        [3] "COMMUNIST LINKS OF THE NDP AND THE BLOC QUEBECOIS" ("HAS THE FAR-LEFT HIJACKED THE QUEBEC SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT?") from « L'Extrême gauche responsable de la déroute du mouvement souverainiste ? » by Anonymous Quebec French author(s).
        http://jack-and-gilles-went-up-the-hill.blogspot.com/2011/06/has-far-left-hijacked-quebec.html

        [4] "THE FOUR STAGES OF IDEOLOGICAL SUBVERSION: WITH FORMER KBG OFFICER, YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV INTERVIEWED BY G. EDWARD GRIFFIN"
        http://jack-and-gilles-went-up-the-hill.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

        My I share my other two bloggers:

        [1] http://habeascorpuscanadacomments.blogspot.com

        [2] http://canadian-state-of-the-union.blogspot.com/2011/06/taking-america-down-for-globalism-in.html

        MAY I RECOMMEND ANOTHER CANADIAN BLOG THAT MONITORS COMMUNIST MOVEMENTS:
        "Once Upon A Time in the West"
        http://onceuponatimeinthewest1.wordpress.com/

        Sincerely,
        Kathleen Moore
        HABEAS CORPUS CANADA
        The Official Legal Challenge
        To North American Union
        www.habeascorpuscanada.com
        Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyforcanada

        ReplyDelete
      18. how very true.i live in queebec.they will get their due in time.

        ReplyDelete
      19. CANADA - How The Communists Took Control: http://nosnowinmoscow.x11s.org/wp/

        ReplyDelete
      20. There's a chance you qualify for a new government sponsored solar energy rebate program.
        Find out if you qualify now!

        ReplyDelete