What is Socialism with Canadian Characteristics?


Nov 16, 2022
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Jianhao Zhu


HOL 190
805 TRU Way, Kamloops, BC

Event Type

TRUSU Chinese Students & Scholars Association is pleased to have Donald Wilson, a teacher-activist currently residing and teaching in the unceded territory of the Secwépemc people to be our guest speaker for this year’s CSSA lecture event. 

Our topic for this year is “what is Socialism with Canadian Characteristics?”

As a Canadian, Wilson recognizes the responsibility to promote the development of a  just society, while challenging the state’s tendencies towards empire and neo-colonialism. As a teacher, Wilson has been deeply influenced by the Marxist Brazilian educator, Paolo Freire, who views teaching and learning as a dialectical process. The teacher-student relationship changes as teachers become students and learn from their students who become, in turn, teachers.

Wilson is active in the labour movement and is co-chair of the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers’ Association Social Justice Committee. As a young student, Wilson lived and studied in Hong Kong during the colonial era. He observed firsthand the anti-democratic and anti-communist ethos that permeated the colonial society imposed upon the Chinese people there. However, the experience awakened in him a lifelong admiration for China’s culture and revolutionary history. The question for Canadians, “What is Socialism with Canadian Characteristics?” has been inspired by the Chinese political journey.

What is Socialism with Canadian Characteristics? Marx writes, “We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.”

Comrade Xi says, “What doctrine a country may choose is based on whether it can resolve the historical problems that confront that country.” What are the premises in existence now, and what are the historical problems now?

In Canada, or more specifically, here in Secwepemcúl’ecw, that confront us? What does it mean to seek truth from facts (实事求是) here, in Kamloops today? How can a socially just shift from an exploitative society to a socialist society occur while colonizers occupy land stolen from the people of the land? Where is the place in Secwepemcúl’ecw for settler society if justice for the Indigenous people means the return of their territory? Is there the potential for revolutionary class consciousness for Kamloops workers and ranchers? Since “Reform and Opening Up” started, what can we and Canadian society learn from it?

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