In 2008, it was acknowledged that the world was in the midst of a global recession. The burden of this economic crisis fell heavily on the working class. Nowhere is this more evident than in Belleville, a small city located in Eastern Ontario.
With a population of 42,000, Belleville was the industrial hub of Eastern Ontario. People from all over the region worked in the city’s many factories. Nortel, Magna, Sears, Proctor & Gamble and several other companies employed around 14,000 laborers. Looking to attain prosperity for their families, workers became dependant on the industrial sector.
Following the acknowledgement of the global recession, companies reassured their employees that their jobs were not at risk. However, in the coming weeks and months, workers began to be laid off en masse. Many were given permanent lay-offs, which meant that any hope of returning to their jobs was lost. Within months, families who were at one time financially secure were forced into bankruptcy. Instead of weekly paychecks, they were left with the unemployment line, collecting the meager funds issued by the government once a month. Instead of the grocery store, they had the food bank.
Now, two years later, the situation in Eastern Ontario has become dire. Most factories have either closed down or relocated south of the border to New York and Ohio. The companies that remain are a shell of their former selves, a skeleton crew lacking the true muscle of the labor force. The amount of workers employed in the industrial sector now numbers roughly 4,500. Close to 10,000 workers have lost their jobs in the industrial sector alone. There has also been tremendous loss in other industries, such as call centres and in retail.
What was once a prosperous city is now rotting under the sun. The downtown area is virtually deserted, save for a handful of struggling store owners. Crime levels are rising rapidly and have been brought to light by the actions of Russell Williams, the former colonel of the Bourgeois Air Force. Poverty, which was almost unheard of before 2007, has now become the prime issue of the area. Those who were able to leave when times got tough are long gone. For the lower class laborers and unemployed that remain, leaving is nothing more than a dream.
The Tyendinaga Mohawk Reserve which lays 15 minutes east of Belleville has experienced the same issues, but on a much higher scale. Their infrastructure has suffered; roads, houses, sewer and power lines existing in a state of disrepair have been completely ignored and perhaps forgotten. Honestly, the only businesses that remain on the reserve are tobacco sales and gas stations, most of which are owned by a handful of Natives. The First Nations are also dealing with disputes over both the newly appointed HST and land claims, which could lead to heated clashes sooner rather than later. It is imperative that proletarians everywhere lend their support to their struggle. The First Nations are still being mistreated and disrespected by the government.
The only ones who have prospered during this economic crisis have been those involved in big business, the upper echelons of the Bourgeoisie. These are the ones who “prophesied” the recession, who receive billions of dollars from governments around the world. The Bourgeoisie have been making excuses since Day One of this recession and have refused to take responsibility for their actions. They claim that the economic crisis was the result of poor business practices and unfortunate circumstances, but this crisis is the result of neither: it is the consequence of the Bourgeois system itself.
The underlying motive is capitalist greed driven by the need to have control over the working class and, in effect, the state. For years, capitalist governments have been encouraging large companies to put profits before people, the privatization of most industries in America is a good example. In recent years, the U.S. Government has been encouraging financial institutes to adopt reckless lending policies, an effort to destroy the willpower of the working class, in preparation for what was to come. The economic crisis was used to further enslave the working class, to take back what the workers of the world have gained in a time of stable economic growth.
Fearful of losing their grip on the working class, the Bourgeoisie turned “crisis” into “strategy.” Their goal was to cow the working class and turn it into a controllable entity, making the working class worship the Bourgeoisie for having created so many “new” jobs. Millions of workers worldwide have had their lives destroyed by greed and the whims of capitalism. The Bourgeoisie wants the Proletariat to suffer, to become dogs who beg for scrapes. While workers are forced into poverty, the Bourgeoisie line their pockets with hundred dollar bills.
While the Proletariat may have been the ones to suffer the most during this so-called “recession,” it is the Bourgeoisie who will suffer in the future. This is not a recession, it is a Genocide!
According to bourgeois scholars, the so-called recession officially ended. Unofficially, the genocide of the working class continues. Belleville is just an example of the damage this genocide has caused. The working classes of Eastern Ontario, like workers everywhere, are on their last legs. The only way out of this night, to the light of a new dawn, is through Revolution, and the only organization with the integrity, passion and strength to lead us to that path is the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada. The RCP is the voice of the voiceless and the hope of a nation. We must follow in the footsteps of the brave Chinese and take back our life and our future. If we don’t, we will be slaves to the machine for the rest of time.
“Communism is not love, Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy!”