From MIM Notes 107, December, 1995
QUEBECOIS NATIONALISM AGAINST FIRST NATIONS
by a comrade
In past issues of MIM Notes we have reported that Quebec nationalism is reactionary in it's opposition to First Nation sovereignty, but the referendum in Quebec on whether it should separate from Canada forced us to take a stand on the separation question.
The starting point of our position is the political economy of Quebec. We believe it is imperialist in its own right. Anyone seeking to change our position would have to persuade us otherwise with concrete evidence. Second, as in the case of small imperialist countries in Europe, there are times when Lenin said it was necessary to support their nationalism against occupiers. We do not believe a World War II situation exists there.
In addition to banks with international operations, Quebec has its own capacity to manufacture military planes.
Third, breaking apart Canada may seem to have potential for causing unrest in capital markets and so on, but imperialism has weathered such crises before. In addition, we do not support the hope that Quebec would be more social-democratic if it were separate. The demands of the labor aristocracy for more economic security are secondary. On the other hand, we do support organizing Quebec's unemployed to link up with oppressed nations, youth and prisoners.
Finally, we believe the Mohawks and Cree will be important constituents in the eventual dictatorship of the proletariat of the oppressed nations over the Euro-descended people of North America. They believe their struggle for self-determination would be set back by the separation of Quebec and we believe their analysis is correct; hence, we oppose the separation. If, on the other hand, the First Nations found that they could use a Quebec separation to their advantage, we would follow their lead. In conclusion, MIM sees limited rights of self-determination for imperialist countries. When the overall context would be progressive, we support imperialist self-determination of imperialist nations against other imperialist nations. What is principal here though is the self- determination of the First Nations and other oppressed nations of North America. Hence, we oppose Quebec's nationalism.
The following interview on the question of Quebec's political economy shows our process of thought.
MIM: The Fortune World 500 magazine shows BCE and Royal Bank of Canada based in Montreal in the world's top 500 multinational corporations. They rank ahead of George Weston, whatever that is, which is also listed in the world's top 500 imperialist companies.
Canadian: Montreal used to be the financial and corporate capital of Canada, as well as the largest city until quite recently. I was living there when it finally and inevitably lost the demographic edge to Greater Toronto... It's more quickly fallen on hard times -- which is part of the reason for francophone unrest.
All the Big Old companies used to be based there, but with the demographic swing to the West, one by one they pulled up stakes and moved to Toronto or points further west. There was actually a big stampede out of Quebec the last time the nationalists tried to separate -- a lot of hate, stupidity and racism -- the usual -- but they were merely making excuses for what they'd already been planning for a while. Weston is one of those Toronto area capitalists -- there are a few, like Galen Weston (Weston Breads, etc.) that got rich there and not in Montreal (which grew rich on the fur trade, and then the railroad, if you remember your ancient history...)
One real asshole you have to watch out for is Conrad Black and his anglophile gangsters -- he's easily the most dangerous man in Canada (at least the most openly dangerous one). He's one of those queen-loving jerks that tries his ugliest to make sure the sun never sets on his 'British' empire (I guess that means Canada). He owns Hollinger, and is a second-rate Murdoch -- but still a dangerous man.
Also, the Bronfmans -- the Jewish gangsters out of Montreal -- they're the power behind the Liberal throne, along with the francophone elite at Power Corp. and those few Big Corporations which think they own Quebec.
MIM: If Quebec becomes its own country, would it have finance- capital and large multinational corporations? Just from reading Fortune and Forbes, I'd have to say Quebec would be a full-fledged imperialist country by Lenin's definition.
Canadian: Quebec has everything it needs to be a successful country -- except leadership. I expect nothing but grief, as I've stated in my earlier posts, if they do split from the Canadian bourgeoisie.
MIM: What I'm afraid of is that I may not understand the real basis of these giants. Do you think Quebec as a country would retain some finance- capital and multinational giants exporting capital?
Canada: Definitely -- but Quebec is so intertwined with the rest of Canada that any separation would be like separating Siamese Twins -- nearly always fatal, or debilitating at best. They expect a Switzerland or Sweden. Why do I see only a Mexico or Brazil in my mind's eye? I guess I'm a pessimist...
MIM postscript: If MIM thought separation could cause true disaster, we might support it, but we don't think the Siamese-twins scenario is realistic. Also, creating another Brazil for U.S. imperialism to exploit would not advance anything, so even a disaster may not have much revolutionary potential. We believe the pieces of Canada would be accepted into the U.S. government's jurisdiction long before such a disaster was allowed to occur.