On the Mouvement Etudiant Révolutionnaire (MER)
«Revolutionary Student Movement»: Reformist Petty bourgeois Movement
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 9; Winter 2012-2013)
The Maoists of the Revolutionary Student Movement (MER) like to present themselves as the vanguard of the revolutionary student movement, after the mobilization in recent months they’ve published five “hypotheses” supposed to draw the lessons and perspectivesopen to “future class struggles in Quebec” (1).
As if necessary, this text gives a new proof of the politically petty bourgeois nature of our Maoists. Indeed, the class struggle mentioned in the question disappears in these hypotheses, where they never speak about the working class or the proletariat; in their place we have only the “people”, the “popular masses”.
Mistaking their ignorance for a searching analysis, the MER says that the recent months have constituted “an inestimable acquisition for the popular masses in terms of experience in struggle. The political practice of the masses has just experienced a prodigious leap and accelerated. The social and political structures have notmoved – not yet – but the people, they, on the other hand, have been profoundly marked and transformed.”.
The mobilization and student struggles against the repressive measures of the government were undoubtedly on an unprecedented scale, and this is explained by the extent of social unrest, the maturation of class tensions.
But for Marxists, what emerges from an analysis of the current situation,is not that the “political practice of the masses”– a concept dear to Maoist interclassism – has experienced a “prodigious leap” with these majorpeaceful and democratic demonstrations; it is the enormous difficulty of the working class to mobilize against the class enemy, its persistent weakness to solidarize with its class brothers in struggle against the bosses: in short it is the absence (also recognized casually in passing by the MER) today of the proletarian class struggle.
And this absence gives huge latitude to political confusionists like the MER to mislead the workers, who mobilize spontaneously and individually, into the deadly impasses of interclassism and reformist democratism. The MER suggests that “the social and political structures” could “be stirred” in the wake of the protests in progress: They write that there is a “significant weakening of institutions of the power and the figures of authority of the bourgeoisie: Government, Parliament, the courts, the police, the mainstream media”. Dream on: the police weakened? Parliament and the entire electoral system, ideology and bourgeois democratic praxis have lost their influence? The bourgeois state in the least bit shaken? Obviously, not at all!
If the MER spouts such nonsense, it is because it wants to make the declining popularity of the Charest government pass as a weakening of the class rule of the bourgeoisie. The conclusion is logical: if the government is defeated in the next election, it is the bourgeoisie who will be beaten! The MER has written beautiful words saying that elections are a “pseudo-democratic masquerade”, it goes on to say, however, that “these elections (...) will be an ideal opportunity to deliver a supplementary blow (!) to bourgeois institutions and order.”
Elections are not and never will be anything of the sort. Not because they would not be sufficient, or not really democratic, but because that the democratic lie serves precisely to strengthen the bourgeois order; it is the antidote to the class struggle; according to this democratic lie the vote is an easy alternative to the difficult struggle against the capitalist system: With the vote you can oust the politicians in power, with the result that there would no longer be a “bias of the Government towards the bourgeoisie”, so that the institutions would begin to “move” in favor of the oppressed.
In reality, you cannot “move” or “deliver blows to” – much less overthrow – the “institutions of power” (i.e. the bourgeois State) by peaceful protests no matter how impressive, or through the ballot box as all democrats wish us to believe, but only by the revolutionary struggle, the armed insurrection! The bourgeois state is the instrument of the class rule of the bourgeoisie, which cannot change its nature by gradual reforms, but must be overthrown and smashed by the revolution to give way to the apparatus of domination of proletariat essential to uproot capitalism.
But this fable is useful to the MER because it allows it to present its reformist utopia as a “real people power project” for the upcoming elections.
Against this hazy perspective, for as long as it has existed, Marxism has opposed the only revolutionary perspective: the constitution of the proletariat into a class and therefore into a party, its constitution into the ruling class through the seizure of power and the extension of the revolution to all countries!
(1) All quotations are taken from: “Les fruits du printemps 2012: 5 hypothèses sur la crise sociale au Québec”http://www.mer-pcr.com/2012/06/les-fruits-du-printemps-2012-5.html
International Communist Party