12 emerging thesis on Québec

I The particular situation of North America in its relation to England

a) North America posed an historical problem to England, who had at first under-estimated the importance of the modernisations required to maintain its colonial and imperial domination on qualitatively more advanced economies than, for example, India’s. England’s failure led to the thirteen colonies’ independence and the formation of the United States. 61 years later, democratic-patriot rebellions almost costed England a second independence, on its Canadian territory this time.

b) England could relatively maintain its historical domination on Canada with an historical compromise due to the particular configuration of the property right, literally cutting the country in half. Canada didn’t exist in a unified way during the colonization process and the historical conditions of the part colonized by France were backward in comparison to England’s part. Thus, it is an unequal development that will shape Canada.

II The particular situation of French Canada

a) The french part of Canada, colonised under the aegis of the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France (also named Compagnie des Cent-Associés) has known the establishment of a feudal type regime. The lords had immediately put in place their parasite type domination, sitting down their monopolistic-bureaucratic position, with the help of the profits extracted from fur trade which the king of France gave them the monopoly of.

b) Serfdom and the seigniorial system were abolished in 1854, in words only because peasants had to buy back their liberty at a high price, which the majority couldn’t afford to, instead they started paying a regular rent. This situation lasted until 1935 and the Syndicat National du Rachat des Rentes Seigneuriales (National Syndicat for the Buying Back of Seignorial Rents).

III The dual development of English Canada

a) The English part of Canada has seen a large settlement colonization, on the basis of a qualified immigrated peasantry establishing farms. English capitalism, already strongly running, made Upper Canada its trade hub. What will become Ontario formed the starting point for the general development of the capitalist mode of production in Canada, formed by the reunion of Upper and Lower Canada with the other British colonies in North America, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

b) Capitalism which developed itself in the English part under English imperialism contained an essential contradiction: a contradiction between a free peasantry by definition producing a free capitalism and a bureaucratically formed bourgeoisie with the role of intermediate for English imperialism exporting its capital.

IV The establishment of Canada under the aegis of English Canada itself integrated in the device of English imperialism

a) Upper Canada’s preponderance rests uppon the fact that it forms the English stronghold, as opposed to a french Lower Canada, France having lost this zone after the seven years war (1756-1763). After that, there’s the fact that it forms the fallback base of the British loyalists fleeing the United-States who conquered its independence. Finally, its the material base of the victory over the American invasion of 1812.

b) The Canadian regime developed itself in multiple constitutions. The Act of Union (1840) served as a basis for the development of the Canadian ideology, because it seeks to “unite” “both” Canada in a Province of Canada, both having to equally share an unequal debt and a parliamentarian representation. It’s in 1867 that the Dominion of Canada came into existence as a confederation, with the British North America Act, which will little by little result in today’s Canada, with its actual sharing of provincial-federal powers, new provinces coming into existence overtime. It’s only in 1982, with the repatriation of the constitution, that the judicial sovereignty of Canada is fully recognized in its relation to the England and that its English-Canada national bourgeoisie has sort of “acquired” its political independence to the United Kingdom, however accompanying an ever increasing capital influx from the United-States.

V French Canada’s dialectical relation to English Canada

a) The national English Canadian bourgeoisie didn’t revolt against England’s comprador bourgeoisie. There has been a double development, principal aspect being the domination of the comprador bourgeoisie, in alliance with the national bourgeoisie placed in a subordinated role.

b) Canada isn’t born out of a bourgeois democratic regime. It is born out of the domination of an oligarchy itslef born out of the top-bottom capitalist contributions from English imperialism. However, this aspect is somewhat balanced by a strong bottom-up capitalism produced by the historically free English peasantry. This historical compromise was only possible due to the looting of Québec.

VI French Canada’s own contradictions

a) The feudal class in Lower Canada (Québec) was integrated, not toppled. Therefore there was no immediate democratic outcome in its countryside, only a gradual transfer of land monopoly from feudal lords to the big bureaucratic-capitalist land owners.

b) Lower Canada’s feudal class became totally useless because capitalism was impulse by the Anglo-Saxons and could detach from it. Therefore, the feudal class diluted itself inside Québec’s bourgeois factions, mainly real estate developers, a new monopolistic layer.

VII The origins of French Canada’s own contradictions

a) English Canada’s capitalism didn’t systematize itself because it came by the top for a large part, hence some monopolistic aspects. Has it not happened, if capitalism really developed itself freely in Canada, then Québec, having backward productive forces and being held back by its feudal forms, would have been completely integrated, loosing all its characteristics.

b) The preservation of a feudal French Canadian infrastructure finds itself in the monopolistic character of English-Canadian capitalism. The consequence is the incapacity to get to a republican form and the preservation of the dominant classes by the means of four provincial framing, allowing an alliance between the English elite directly linked to English capitalism as well as the local capitalists and the French elite forming an aristocracy edifying top-bottom capitalism.

VIII Québec as a nation in formation

a) Québec’s existence despite English Canadian capitalism’s development only reflects its weaknesses. It inevitably leads, because of capitalist penetration into the feudal countryside, to the emergence of the national sentiment. Forming Québec national identity, there is its language, an established market, a particular economic life and a psychic situation born out of the French origins and Catholicism.

b) Because of the external capitalist penetration, Québec’s national affirmation only could emerge as deformed by religion and the peasantry, producing an idealistic romanticism. The feudal class was able to make profit out of it by using demagoguery, thus maintaining its position while accompanying capitalist development.

IX Positions in front of Québec as a nation in formation

a) English Canada tried to solve the French Canadian question from above, with the help of measures such as the interdiction for French people to buy land in the west of the country, the massive immigration used to recolonize Québec as an English-speaking territory, the integration of French-speaking « house negroes », an extreme provincialization, etc.

b) Because of the historically stuck up situation of French Canada, an uncommunist view of things could only lead to two things:

– a romantic dreaming of the past, wanting to go back or;

– a liberal dream of a cosmopolitan-stateless escape in the Canadian ideology and even American.

X The modernist crisis of Canada at the beginning second half of the 20th

a) The elevation of the productive forces broke the feudal domination. Quebec’s society was cut in half during the administrative period of Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis (1944-1959), an epoch known as “The Great Darkness”. The liberal-democratic faction rose to power and lead Québec to a “Quiet Revolution” (1960-1966). National sentiment rose, although romantic it nonetheless abandoned its feudal clothing. As a consequence there was massive excitation in the years 1960-1970, primarily worn by the petite-

b)  The total reconsideration of the balance of power between the United States and England since 1918 brought the generalisation of American imperialism in Canada. The pro-American faction of the Canadian oligarchy defeated the one aligned on England, as the nation bourgeoisie was weakened.

XI Québec in front of the historical challenge

a) French Canada is probably the most developed example of a bureaucratic capitalism, allowing exceptionally good standards of living and a powerful petite-bourgeoisie and labour aristocracy. Because of the high level of its productive forces, Québec also knows the same typical problems of advanced capitalist countries (24/7 capitalist corruption, strong petite-bourgeoisie in the cultural realm, labour aristocracy linked to trade-unions, etc.). It also suffers from a situation that puts it on a secondary and provincial level in the Canadian system.

b) The historical problem of Québec is that it’s always been lagging behind Canada’s modifications because of its historically backward situation. This situation is now however only there as a background to an advanced capitalism. Québec appears as the weak link not only in the Canadian device but also practically for the United States.

XII Québec’s national-democratic tasks: a historical significance

a) The only basis allowing equality between peoples of North America is socialism, itself coming from the popular-democratic effort. Because it is marginalised from Canada, itself being an annex of American imperialism, Québec represents the detonator for a Canadian and even American Popular Republican Union.

b) In Québec’s specific framework, the historical contradiction arises from the national-democratic affirmation, then generalises itself to the rest of Canada (even possibly the rest of North America and its other specific frameworks). Thus, the first task of democrats and revolutionaries from Québec is to display and pass on the national-democratic legacy, to keep it alive, study and defend its historical, social and cultural actors and to begging a historical-materialist study of the North-American situation, as to give birth to the popular and democratic movement able to strike a blow to North American imperialism. This leads either to a Democratic Union or to Québec’s independence.