"It's hard to be a communist in North America," Étienne said. "But with the current economic crisis, with everyone questioning capitalism, we have a open window."I have not heard anyone question capitalism as a result of this predictable cyclical economic recession--an amount of people several orders of magnitude less than the "everyone" Comrade Étienne suggests.
So, he exaggerates a bit. But maybe there is something to this. After all his fellow traveller Eric is reported to be a PhD student. However, Comrade Dr. Eric reveals a childlike world view.
"Workers would make the company's decisions, and there would be no boss." (emphasis mine)
Do you get the sense that Eric once worked at a local dépanneur and his boss was an a-hole who made him work a few night shifts and maybe even asked him to re-stock the beer case from time to time? I used to sort mounds of returned sticky beer bottles and in all those hours I never once thought that we should overthrow our capitalist system. (Upon reflection, however, that might be because the store played Cité Rock Détente on its public address system and one can't really muster the will to overthrow the system while listening to cooing sounds of Julie Masse.) My only epiphany was non communist in nature and was when I reflected on whether there were more alcoholics in Quebec than previously thought. We got a lot of beer returns.
While Eric is dreaming of how wonderful the world would be with "no boss" perhaps he could add to his agenda putting Coke in drinking fountains, no school on Fridays and free videogames for everyone. I imagine he could easily be elected grade 8 class president in any school in Montreal.