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 What’s New 

Bullet #1471: British Columbia NDP’s Crawl to $15

by David Bush | August 21, 2017

Last Tuesday the new British Columbia NDP government announced it was raising the province’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. The new government had already announced it would raise the minimum wage by 50 cents on September 15, bringing it to $11.35 an hour. In fact, this 50 cent raise had been planned by the previous Liberal government. The announcement makes BC the third province to bring in a $15 minimum wage. This is undoubtedly a win for the larger Fight for $15 movement in Canada and the United States.



What's New: The Birthmark of Damnation: Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Black Body

by R.L. Stephens | August 20, 2017

Liza Bramlett was a slave. She lived on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, during the 19th century. White men raped her repeatedly throughout her life. They traded her body amongst themselves in exchange for calves and piglets. In the end, Liza gave birth to 23 children, 20 of whom were conceived by rape. One of Liza’s daughters, Ella Townsend, was born after emancipation, but remained in the bondage of sharecropping in rural Mississippi. As an adult, she carried a pistol with her in the fields, determined to protect herself and the surrounding children.



What's New: How does Race relate to Class?

| August 20, 2017

Professor Adolph Reed Jr debates three other professors, Steven Gregory, Maurice Zeitlin and Ellen Meiksins Wood, about how race and class relate to each other. This debate represents a historical problem in the American Marxist movement. Many different progressive and revolutionary movements in American history were never able to overcome racial differences to create class unity in key historic class struggles.



What's New: Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn Discuss How to Get The World We Want

| August 19, 2017

Naomi Klein, reporting for The Intercept, in London at the Houses of Parliament with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, three weeks after the Labour Party in an historic election won many, many more seats than anybody predicted - except for some of the people in this room, who saw it coming. And it’s just an enormous pleasure to be here with Jeremy and to talk about the importance of a forward-looking, bold agenda to do battle with the right.



What's New: The 1917 July Days uprising: Soviet leadership clashes with ranks

| August 19, 2017

The July Uprising or July Days came about due to the failure of the Russian military offensive in June, a worsening of the crisis in Petrograd’s food and fuel supply, and a crisis of confidence in the government after two Liberal (Kadet) ministers resigned over their opposition to Ukrainian autonomy. In the wake of the offensive’s collapse, massive unrest arose in the Russian army, which could no longer fight effectively. The uprising began among soldiers in the Petrograd garrison who feared transfer to the front, but it also involved workers who were already on strike over low wages.



Bullet #1470: How New York Subways Got Broke, On Purpose

by Vincent DeCesare | August 18, 2017

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for a tax on the rich to fund desperately needed improvements to the crumbling subway system run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). De Blasio's plan would raise city income taxes on individuals making over $500,000 a year and couples making over $1-million by about half of a per cent, which would raise over $700-million for subway and bus upgrades as well as half-price Metro Cards for the almost 800,000 city residents who are at or below the federal poverty level.



What's New: U.S. Workers in the Late Neoliberal Era: The Pressures, the Changes, the Potential

by Kim Moody | August 17, 2017

Capitalism in the United States and across the world has gone through a series of mind-bending crises, spatial 'fixes,' and continuous restructurings that have disoriented organized labor in most of the developed economies since the beginning of the neoliberal era in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since then, however, continued problems of profitability and competition have altered the structure of U.S. capitalism and the working class in ways that could lay the basis for renewed class struggle.



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twinkle starForum: The France of Macron, the ‘New’ Neoliberal Reforms and the Left

The France of Macron, the ‘New’ Neoliberal Reforms and the Left
Analyses and Reportbacks from the 2017 Election with Stefan Kipfer and Nathan Rao

The 2017 Presidential and Parliamentary elections produced a paradoxical result: the victory of a youngish Emmanuel Macron who is a pure product of the discredited social democratic François Hollande presidency (as well as the typical institutions of the French ruling class) and a leader of a brand-new political formation (La République en Marche) that managed to marginalize the parties (the Républicains and the Parti Socialiste) that have, under different names, governed France since 1958. Macron's victory blocked the advances of the neo-fascist Front National, the President of which, Marine Le Pen, garnered a record 10.5 million votes in the Presidential election. In turn, Macron threatens to deepen the very conditions that have led to the recurrent surge of neo-fascist politics in France. He wants to radicalize the policies of the Hollande government by making the state of emergency a permanent feature of French law, implementing a new set of neoliberal labour reforms, entrenching austerity to shrink public sector employment and deconstructing the French welfare state all the while defending a central and aggressive role for the French military sector Euro-American imperialism. A force of ‘continuity-in-discontinuity’, Macron's En Marche thus expresses the ongoing crisis of rule in France as well as the wider systemic uncertainties about French capitalism and the future of the European Union. What are the political implications of the French elections for the future of left and popular forces in France?

* Stefan Kipfer just returned from a sabbatical year in France doing research on fascism and anti-fascism. He teaches politics and urban questions at York University.

* Nathan Rao is a writer and political activist living in France.

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