Our friend and comrade François Moreau (known to many as Hébert) passed away on September 3, at the age of 37, after a short struggle with Kaposi's sarcoma, one of the worst AIDS-related illnesses.
François was active in the Quebec Trotskyist movement, in the Fourth International, from 1975 onwards. From 1977, he played a key role in the writing, editing and production of our various publications, Lutte ouvrière, Combat socialiste, Gauche socialiste and La Gauche.
From 1979 he was a member of the central leadership of the section of the Fourth International in the Canadian State, and participated in the leadership and decision-making bodies of the International. He was a member of the International Executive Committee of the Fourth International.
A trained economist and professor at the University of Ottawa, François was a rare being: a professional intellectual devoted body and soul to the building of a revolutionary Marxist workers organization. Aside from his writings for the party, François was the author of three books on the Quebec economy and many contributions to specialized journals and collective works.
At the time of his death, he was working on an even more ambitious project: a concrete analysis, with figures, of unequal exchange in the era of imperialist decay.
Even in his most theoretical writings, François was in no way an impartial university intellectual floating above the fray. His goal was always, as Marx said, "to wither away the flowers that hide humankind's chains, not to deprive humankind of flowers but to make it see that it is in chains."
François played an invaluable role in the formulation of the line and political intervention of the section of the Fourth International in the Canadian State, Gauche socialiste/Socialist Challenge. Those that were active with him know just how untiring he was in the concrete struggle.
But he took greatest pleasure in his unflagging work of political and economic study with his comrades. François took all the time in the world to work with his union comrades on the concrete analysis of their local, of the employer's policies and of the approach of the union leadership.
For his youth comrades, François not only did presentations on the history and traditions of the revolutionary workers' movement, he also worked out a complete understanding of the exclusion of contemporary youth from both the labour market and the educational system.
He also calculated child care needs precisely and criticized government, employer and union policies in the area of equality—doing everything he could to make sure that women comrades could take their rightful place in the revolutionary Marxist organization.
This past summer, François didn't want people talking about his illness, not because he was ashamed, far from it, but because he feared that it would demoralize his comrades. He was very aware of the fact that the working class and social movements are going through a very difficult period of defensive struggles and defeats. But François was wrong to worry about his comrades. He has left us the wealth of his writings; but above all he has left us the example of his life—an inspiring alternative to the careerist individualism that has claimed so many of his generation.
Copyright South Branch Publishing. All