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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
1218. February 8, 2016 James Jordan Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Say
It has been two months since the UN climate summit in Paris, aka COP 21. One might expect the kind of ebb and flow we often see in popular movements. Interest in climate issues, the cause of the day during the summit, might be expected to wane and move to the back burner of public discourse until another development pushes it forward again.
1217. February 5, 2016 Ontario Health Coalition Against Privatization: Health Coalition Demands Funding for Hospitals
The 1960s were about much more than protesting the war in Vietnam. It was also a time of cultural upheaval as a new generation challenged capitalist values, including its shallow democracy, and environmental issues emerged both in the workplace and in the community. One response by the state in the core capitalist countries was to give increased prominence to the welfare state.
1216. February 2, 2016 Real Peoples Media Eagle and Condor Meet in Oneida
On Sunday, October 25, a 10 person delegation headed by Irene Leon, advisor to the Ecuadorian foreign minister, was welcomed at the Kayanere’ko:wa longhouse within the K^onthyokwanhasta on Elijah Rd, on Oneida Nation territory. This gathering was the latest step in the development of an ongoing relationship between three traditional Oneida Nation clan families who follow the Kayanere’ko:wa (the Great Peace), and the movement known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).
1215. January 29, 2016 Ashley Smith Quebec Unions Debate a Settlement
Quebec public-sector unions organized in the Common Front reached a tentative agreement with the government of Premier Philippe Couillard right before the holidays on December 17. The agreement followed an explosive fall filled with rotating regional public-sector strikes and anti-austerity protests that culminated in the largest general strike in Quebec's history, when more than 400,000 workers stayed off the job and shut down most government services on December 9.
1214. January 28, 2016 Jannis Milios Austerity Unbroken
Much coverage of the Greek debt crisis has focused on the ‘troika’ of international creditors and German chancellor Angela Merkel – a striking image of parasitic foreign powers scapegoating the country for personal gain. In some corners of the Left, this narrative has fueled the demand for ‘Grexit’ (a Greek exit from the eurozone) under the impression that such a move would create a more favorable environment for a break with austerity.
1213. January 27, 2016 Michalis Spourdalakis Rekindling Hope: SYRIZA's Challenges and Prospects
Before turning to the main theme of this article it would be very useful to come to terms with at least the following preliminary observations: The left in government and especially the radical left in government has never been the subject of easy discussion among leftists. As the project of social transformation was never a peaceful stroll in the park, the debates on the question of in and/or out of government, let alone those about political power, have been very heated.
1212. January 26, 2016 John McMurtry The Davos Blind Eye: How the Rich Eat the Poor and the World
The just-released Oxfam Davos report An Economy For the 1% which the mass media have ignored arrestingly shows that 62 individuals (388 in 2010) now own more wealth than 50 per cent of the world's population. More shockingly, it reports from its uncontested public sources that this share of wealth by half of the world's people has collapsed by over 40 per cent in just the last five years. Yet the big lies persist even here that “the progress has been made in tackling world poverty” and “extreme poverty has been halved since 1990.”
1211. January 25, 2016 Richard Fidler Can People's Power Save the Bolivarian Revolution?
Seventeen years after Hugo Chávez was elected Venezuela's President for the first time, the supporters of his Bolivarian Revolution, now led by President Nicolás Maduro, suffered their first major defeat in a national election in the December 6 elections to the country's parliament, the National Assembly.
1210. January 22, 2016 Herbert Docena To Change the Heart and Soul
On the final day of the UN summit (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015, thousands of people defied a ban on public gatherings by converging at a boulevard leading to the business district in La Défense to denounce the new climate agreement that government negotiators were about to sign and celebrate at the conference venue in Le Bourget, 20 kilometres away. Hoping to counter governments’ attempts to control the narrative regarding the summit, they gathered behind giant inflatable ‘cobblestones’ and a red banner proclaiming “System change not climate change!”
1209. January 20, 2016 John Clarke The Austerity Agenda in Sheep's Clothing
As we go into the New Year with Justin Trudeau's Liberal Government in place, it's worth noting that the struggle against poverty in Toronto now unfolds with a complete set of federal, provincial and municipal regimes all seeking to position themselves politically as moderate if not progressive. This has particular implications and poses particular challenges in terms of effectively resisting austerity, poverty and social abandonment.
1208. January 19, 2016 Ellen Meiksins Wood The Uses and Abuses of 'Civil Society'
The death of Ellen Wood on January 14, 2016 represents an immense loss for socialists everywhere. As a frequent contributor to the Socialist Register since her first essay in 1980, special co-editor of the 1995 volume on Why Not Capitalism, and a member of the Register’s editorial collective from 1996 to 2009, her depth of socialist commitment, theoretical originality and profound insight may best be gauged from this excerpt from her essay on “The uses and abuses of ‘civil society’” in the Socialist Register 1990: The Retreat of the Intellectuals.
1207. January 18, 2016 Kansu Yildirim The "New Turkey's" Test With Freedom of Thought and Expression: Resurgent Fascism?
The petition by the Academicians for Peace in Turkey has resulted in an assault against the academic community of the country, which resembles the practices of the military junta of the September 12 1980, coup d'état. The petition itself and the reactions for/against it have gained a different momentum following the increasing pressure by the AKP (the governing political power) via various channels such as university administrations, legal bodies and partisan media organizations.
1206. January 13, 2016 Lesley J. Wood Interviewed by Greg Albo The Militarization of Policing
After the killing of Michael Brown in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in the late summer of 2014, protests erupted, and the Black Lives Matter spread across North America to protest police violence, too often systematically directed at poor and racialized communities. The massive police presence at these protests, with weapons and armoured vehicles that looked and felt like major military deployments, made it clear to all that something fundamental had taken place in policing practices and strategies.
1205. January 5, 2016 Interview with Claudio Katz A New Political Situation in Latin America: What Lies Ahead?
In my opinion, the so-called progressive cycle of the last decade in South America has been a process resulting from partially successful popular rebellions (Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador) that altered the relationship of forces in the region. They allowed us to take advantage of higher prices for raw materials and dollar income in a way that differed considerably from what prevailed in other periods.
1204. January 1, 2016 Asbjørn Wahl After Paris: Unify Fights Against Austerity and Climate Change
The Climate Summit in Paris has once again reminded us of how vulnerable we are on planet earth. However, humanity is faced with a number of deep and challenging crises: economic, social, political, over food – and, of course, over climate change, which is threatening the very existence of millions of people. These crises have many of the same root causes, going to the core of our economic system.
1203. December 30, 2015 Interview with Jeremy Corbyn "What We've Achieved So Far"
Hilary Wainwright and Leo Panitch in conversation with Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the UK Labour Party. They talk about the meaning of ‘new politics’, Tony Benn's legacy, and opening up Labour's policymaking to the people.
1202. December 29, 2015 Dan Freeman-Maloy Why is the Canadian Media Ignoring Evidence of 1948 Massacres?
The better part of a decade ago, I described the Toronto Star's Mitch Potter as "a canary in the mineshaft of liberal Canadian racism." A piece on 1948 Palestine published in a recent edition of the Toronto Star shows the canary very close to asphyxiating. Since Potter insists he was within his rights to describe Palestinian fighters in Gaza as "lemming-like," he'll surely forgive the metaphor.
1201. December 24, 2015 Alfredo Saad Filho Brazilian Democracy in Distress: Unpacking Dilma Rousseff's Impeachment
Brazil's Chamber of Deputies has opened impeachment procedures against President Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers’ Party (PT). This political manoeuvre is led by an unholy coalition including the Speaker of the Chamber, Eduardo Cunha, a right-wing evangelical from the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), who is being prosecuted in Brazil and in Switzerland for his money-dealing sins; Vice-President Michel Temer (PMDB), who is busily negotiating posts in his non-existent administration.
1200. December 22, 2015 Michal Rozworski Questions for the Canadian Left
Harper is gone, but (as a friend only quarter-jokingly said) we got the second worst outcome sold as the best, so now what? That's the 10 second version of this post. I want to throw out a few questions or, better yet, problems that I think the Canadian Left will have to face together over the next few years. There are no easy answers here.
1199. December 21, 2015 Community Resistance to the War on the Poor: The Online Course
Justin Podur interviews John Clarke and A.J. Withers about the online course they will be teaching in January 2016. The course will present an overview of a decades long history of organizing resistance in poor communities in Ontario to the mounting agenda of austerity. It will deal with the history of the organization and look at some of its key struggles and campaigns.
1198. December 17, 2015 Michal Rozworski; David Bush Two Essays on the Uber-Taxi Wars
The fight against the sharing economy, and Uber in particular, can be disorienting. Opposition is often painted as techno-phobia. The good guys in this story are Uber and progress; on the other side are opponents afraid of flexibility and smartphones, kicking and screaming against a future already here. In many ways, this is like the fight of the Luddites 200 years ago at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
1197. December 16, 2015 Steffen Böhm How Emissions Trading at Paris Climate Talks Has Set Us Up For Failure
The Paris Agreement has mostly been greeted with enthusiasm, though it contains at least one obvious flaw. Few seem to have noticed that the main tool mooted for keeping us within the 2-degrees global warming target is a massive expansion of carbon trading, including offsetting, which allows the market exchange of credits between companies and nations to achieve an overall emissions reduction. That's despite plenty of evidence that markets haven't worked well enough, or quickly enough, to actually keep the planet safe.
1196. December 9, 2015 Justin Podur Elections Theater
For the past eleven years, since the coup and overthrow of the elected government in 2004, Haiti has been deemed so dysfunctional, so failed, a state, that the international community has decided to run it directly. UN troops patrol its streets. Nongovernmental organizations oversee most aspects of social provision. Donors provide the finances. The resources and reach of the government is limited.
1195. December 5, 2015 Gregory Wilpert The Roots of the Current Situation in Venezuela
The current economic, political, and social situation in Venezuela is very complicated, which makes it somewhat difficult for outsiders to make sense of. On the one hand there are many people who defend the Bolivarian revolution, pointing to the successes it has had in reducing poverty and inequality and in increasing citizen participation and self-governance. On the other hand, there is a chorus of critics.
1194. December 4, 2015 Patrick Bond China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa
On November 30, the Chinese currency – the yuan – will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen as the world's official reserve currencies, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Are we reaching the fabled new era of multipolarity, and will it bring stability to a chaotic world economy – “a win-win result for China and the world,” as the People's Bank of China claims? Or instead, will this herald the amplification of extreme uneven development, worsening financial crises, and the abuse of Chinese economic surpluses?
1193. December 2, 2015 Andreas Malm Our Fight for Survival
The climate negotiations entered their final day, and we geared up for our most audacious action. Several buses brought four hundred activists to different locations near the conference hall. Adrenaline running, we walked fast toward the gates and the guards. After a week of discussing sea level rise, eating vegan food, blocking car traffic, and marching in the streets dressed as polar bears and turtles, we were out to make a real difference.
1192. December 1, 2015 Brad Hornick COP21 Fossil Fuel Addiction
Fossil Fuel Addiction is killing the planet. The Climate Justice Movement must ready for an intervention before this addiction kills us all. The following is a practical guide to recognize addictive behaviour as well as how to effectively intervene to assist in the Addict's recovery. On the middle of global climate marches and actions worldwide, climate justice activists would do well to study these tips for an informed intervention.
1191. November 29, 2015 Tim Heffernan Socialist Wins in Seattle -- Toronto Next?
The headline in mic.com ran: “Meet the Most Important Socialist in America Not Named Bernie Sanders.” It was about the impact of open Socialist, Kshama Sawant, who had just been reelected in a Seattle Council election. The article went on to say, “Sanders isn't the only socialist in the United States making a splash. Kshama Sawant, a member of Seattle's city council since her election in 2013, has a tiny fraction of the name recognition of Sanders.”
1190. November 27, 2015 Michael A. Lebowitz The Tragedy of the Commons, the Pope, and the System
There's an old argument that common property inevitably leads to exhaustion of resources. In the parable of “the tragedy of the commons,” the story is told that, given the absence of private property, everyone had an incentive to graze his own animals on the common fields without limit with the result that overgrazing destroyed the land. No matter that, historically, individual communities have always found ways to manage their common property; nevertheless, the story continues to be told.
1189. November 25, 2015 Jeffrey Henderson China, the Remembrancer and the Continued Wasting of the British Economy
At first glance it seems an almost inexplicable paradox: probably the most right wing British government since 1945 inviting, against the advice of the security services, the military and the U.S. Government, companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party -- and in one case the Chinese military -- into the heart of our strategically vital energy infrastructure.
1188. November 23, 2015 Panagiotis Sotiris The Realism of Audacity
In a certain way, I feel a certain unease since the entire Greek Left has some form of responsibility for the fact that Greece is not currently a laboratory of hope; rather it is a reason for despair. What I am going to say should be taken as a form of self-criticism rather than a declaration. I consider myself part of the problem... The problem is that in the country where the most aggressive experiment in neoliberal social engineering was met with the most massive, almost insurrectionary sequence of struggles.
1187. November 19, 2015 Jeff Noonan After Paris: Understanding not Revenge
At the basis of all concrete identities: “Muslim,” “Sunni,” “French citizen,” etc., lies a core human being, a capacity for self-making within the objective contexts of natural and social life. Selves are made, identities forged, reproduced, modified, and developed through processes of work and affective-symbolic interaction with other people within and across societies.
1186. November 18, 2015 Gerardo Otero and Efe Can Gürcan Arab Spring and Syrian Refugee Crisis: Ten Theses for Discussion
Our goal is to formulate ten theses on what we believe constitutes the historical background of the Syrian refugee crisis within the context of the Arab Spring. One central argument is that Western meddling in this process was turned into a violent contest for state power that has resulted in grave human tragedy. The recent Paris attacks with over 100 fatalities - resulting in a state-of-emergency declaration and arson of refugee camps in retaliation - indicate that the Syrian refugee crisis has already taken on a greater importance for global politics.
1185. November 17, 2015 Art Young Terror Attacks, G20 Hypocrisy
I join with many others who stand for a world of peace and justice in completely repudiating the terrorist attacks in Paris and the similar atrocity in Beirut. We express our full solidarity with the hundreds of innocent victims, dead and injured, many of whom remain in critical condition at this time.
1184. November 10, 2015 Gregory Shupak Will Justin Trudeau Change Canadian Policy in the Middle East?
The election of Canada's Liberal Party is likely to mean a shift away from the hyper-belligerent tone Stephen Harper's Conservative Party used on issues pertaining to Middle East policy, but few concrete changes can be expected to take place. All signs point to the incoming government continuing to play a key supporting role in U.S.-led imperialism in the Middle East.
1183. November 6, 2015 The Socialist Register The Politics of the Right and the Dilemmas of the Left
The Preface to the 2016 Socialist Register, The Politics of the Right, includes the following paragraphs: "There is a great strategic importance in a sober analysis of the strength of new right today, and the impasse of the left emerges here as a central concern."
1182. November 4, 2015 Richard Fidler Canada's Election: Voters Defeat Harper, but Elect Another Trudeau
Canada's federal election October 19 was effectively a plebiscite of voter opinion on the decade-long rule by the ultra-neoliberal Conservatives (Tories) led by Stephen Harper. With some 70 per cent of the electorate declaring for “change” in successive polling, the overriding issue was which of the main opposition parties, the New Democratic Party (NDP) or the Liberals, would emerge as the party best situated to replace the Tories.
1181. November 2, 2015 Patrick Bond South African Student Protesters Win First Big Victory
The university students have been furious, as their cry 'Fees must fall!' rang out on campuses and sites of political power across this society. An historic victory over South African neoliberalism was just won through the most intense three-week burst of activist mobilization since liberation from apartheid in 1994.
1180. October 29, 2015 Andrew Murray Corbyn's Labour
Lenin's excitement at his rediscovery of Hegel as he grappled for meaning at the great turning point in international socialist politics of autumn 1914 finds its echo on the left of the British labour movement in the extraordinary summer 101 years later. The election of Jeremy Corbyn, the most left-wing socialist and consistent anti-imperialist in the House of Commons, as leader of the Labour Party and therefore of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, is a break in gradualness on a grand scale.
1179. October 27, 2015 Dick Nichols Surge in Portuguese Left Bloc Support Puts Socialist Party on the Spot
Will Portugal finally see the end of austerity as administered for four years by the right-wing coalition (known as Portugal Ahead) composed of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP)? In the country's legislative October 4 elections this governing alliance, running for the first time as a single ticket called Portugal Ahead (except on the Azores), won the elections, but with only 38.4 per cent of the vote.
1178. October 26, 2015 Good Riddance and Old Quandaries
The recent Canadian federal election results have taken most commentators and social activists by surprise. If the anti-Harper sentiment amongst two-thirds of the population had been clear enough for more than a year, very few had on their radar a Liberal majority outcome (even given the notoriety of the electoral distortions of the single-member plurality electoral system in Canada).
1177. October 22, 2015 Shannon Ikebe Beyond Parliamentarism: Historical Bases and Prospects for Corbynism
Who would have thought? Britain, of all places - that island so often lamented to be devoid of revolutionary history and thought, the land of Fabianism without Marxism, the home of Thatcher and Blair and the City - now has one of the most radical leaderships of a major social democratic party in the advanced capitalist world. The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the British Labour Party is an expression of enormous discontent and anger at ever-worsening conditions since the crisis of 2008.
1176. October 21, 2015 Cynthia Peters Fighting Class War While 'Walking on Two Legs'
There's an apartment building in Dorchester that used to be a safe and affordable place to live for working-class families in Boston. But after a corporate landlord bought it in 2013, it has become a case study in how displacement happens. First, he allowed it to fall into extreme disrepair. As the building deteriorated, leaks developed, mold started growing, and people started moving out. After they left, the landlord cleaned up their units and rented them at significantly higher rates.
1175. October 19, 2015 Sungur Savran The Syrianization of Turkey
The immense catastrophe that struck Turkey in the streets of Ankara, the capital city, on 10 October, when two bombs exploded in the midst of a thronging crowd of what would possibly turn out to be hundreds of thousands of people, leading to the death of an indefinite number of people, in any case exceeding one hundred, and the wounding of hundreds, some still under the risk of death, is a sharp reminder, if any were needed, that this is a country undergoing a severe political crisis.
1174. October 16, 2015 Palestinian BDS National Committee Solidarity with the Palestinian Popular Resistance!
Whether the current phase of Israel's intensified repression and Palestinian popular resistance will evolve into a full-fledged intifada or not, one thing is already evident – a new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up en masse against Israel's brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid. World governments, especially in the west, are calling this a “cycle of violence” where both sides are to blame, ignoring the root cause of the colonial conflict and their own complicity in enabling Israel to maintain it and to violate international law with impunity.
1173. October 14, 2015 Jerome Klassen Naked Neoliberalism: Canadian Foreign Policy under Harper
Since the Conservative government of Stephen Harper came to power in 2006, shifts in Canadian foreign policy have been a flashpoint of debate in Parliament, the media, and civil society. There is general agreement that a “revolution in Canadian foreign policy” has occurred, to quote Canadian academic Alexander Moens.
1172. October 13, 2015 Lars Henriksson Can Autoworkers Save the Climate?
At the UN Climate Change Conference COP 19, the even-more-depressing-than-usual climate summit that took place in Warsaw in 2013, one small ray of light made it through the dark corporate clouds that were otherwise suffocating even the slightest effort to address the ongoing environmental disaster. On the last day of the conference, an unusual alliance was formed as environmental organizations and trade unions together walked out of the venue under the banner of 'Enough Is Enough'.
1171. October 12, 2015 Chris Gilbert The Search for a Political Practice: Venezuela 2000-2015
It is common to understand the diverse 'processes' in Latin America - in the period marked initially by Zapatismo in the mid-1990s and later by the emergence of left or popular governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador along with center-left governments in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina - within the theoretical framework of a return or recuperation of the left following the fall of the East Bloc. This kind of formulation has a number of problems.
1170. October 6, 2015 Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Land Claims: An Indigenous People's History of the United States
With a large part of Indigenous nations’ territories and resources in what is now the United States taken through aggressive war, outright theft, and legislative appropriations, Native peoples have vast claims to reparations and restitution. Indigenous nations negotiated numerous treaties with the United States that included land transfers and monetary compensation, but the remaining Indigenous territories have steadily shrunk due to direct federal appropriation by various means as well as through government failure to meet its obligation to protect Indigenous landholdings as required under treaties.
1169. October 1, 2015 Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz From Wounded Knee to the United Nations
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States presents a much needed history of the United States as a settler colonial-state from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples. In it she argues: The form of colonialism that the Indigenous peoples of North America have experienced was modern from the beginning: the expansion of European corporations, backed by government armies, into foreign areas, with subsequent expropriation of lands and resources. Settler colonialism is a genocidal policy.
1168. September 29, 2015 John S. Saul The Struggle for South Africa's Liberation: Success and Failure
It is true that I'm from Canada and only arrived in Africa, in Tanzania to be specific, in 1965 at the age of 27; nonetheless, it was in Africa that I grew up, at least politically; not, initially, in South Africa but in Tanzania where I taught for many years and in working with Mozambique's FRELIMO in exile in DSM; in visiting the liberated areas of a new Mozambique in Tete Province in 1972; and, later, in teaching in a liberated Mozambique at the Universidade de Eduardo Mondlane.
1167. September 27, 2015 Richard Fidler SYRIZA's Pyrrhic Victory, and the Future of the Left in Greece
In the wake of the September 20 Greek election SYRIZA has once again formed a coalition government with a small right-wing party, ANEL. SYRIZA's 35.46% and ANEL's 3.69%, combined, were sufficient to give them a majority of 155 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
1166. September 24, 2015 Herman Rosenfeld The NDP and the Election
At this moment, it seems that Harper's Conservatives are losing ground, headed for possible defeat or minority status, if recent polls are to be believed. If these trends continue, it might represent a long-awaited respite from years of unrelenting and hard-edge neoliberal offensive in all walks of Canadian life.
1165. September 22, 2015 Oskar Lafontaine Let's Develop a Plan B for Europe!
Many in Europe had put great hopes in the election of Alexis Tsipras as Greek Prime Minister. When, after long and exhausting negotiations, the Syriza leader signed the European diktat, the disappointment was great. It would be unjust and presumptuous to want to give moral lessons to Alexis Tsipras and Syriza.
1164. September 18, 2015 Michalis Spourdalakis Syriza Before and After the Elections: To Fight Another Day
The historical victory of the Left in January marked a change in the system of political representation which outlines a new dynamic for the political forces. However, the way in which this victory was achieved and the difficulties that the first government of the left faced, led after the referendum of the 5 of July, to a big fallback, a big defeat. This defeat needs to be understood as a turning point in a long and large war for the victory of the left in the struggle for the control of state power.
1163. September 17, 2015 Richard Fidler Quebec Left Debates Perspectives in Canada's Federal Election
Canada's current federal election campaign is now at the half-way point in the lead-up to October 19. The three major parties are polling almost equally, with the ruling Conservative vote dropping steadily while the opposition New Democrats (NDP) and Liberals are virtually tied overall at just over 30 per cent. This means the NDP has not significantly increased its support from the previous election in 2011, while the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have staged a remarkable recovery from their 19 per cent in 2011.
1162. September 15, 2015 Sungur Savran Turkey and its Kurds at War
The Kurdish town of Cizre, a settlement with a population of approximately 150 thousand souls in Southeastern Turkey, is now under siege by the Turkish armed forces and the so-called 'special operation force' of the police for a second time, after a previous one-week long siege was lifted for an interlude of two days.
1161. September 12, 2015 Leo Panitch Can Jeremy Corbyn Redeem the Labour Party?
"Of political parties claiming socialism to be their aim, the Labour Party has always been one of the most dogmatic -- not about socialism, but about the parliamentary system." That's how Ralph Miliband opened his classic 1961 text Parliamentary Socialism, a critical analysis of the party that most of the British left wanted to capture.
1160. September 10, 2015 Andrea Germanos Nations' Climate Pledges Set Course for Disastrous Warming
Greenhouse gas reduction pledges countries have submitted to the United Nations in advance of global climate talks set the planet on a path that keeps critical climate goals out of reach. That's according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a project of four research organizations that assesses nations' climate pledges and actions.
1159. September 8, 2015 Network for the Elimination of Police Violence Police Carding Regulations Amount to Putting Lipstick on a Pig
The Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV) rejects the call from the Government of Ontario to retain carding by regulating the practice. Carding is a street harassment practice by cops across Canada that involves the stopping and questioning of civilians in non-criminal interactions and documenting their personal information. Carding must be abolished now!
1158. September 6, 2015 Michael Hurley and Sam Gindin Work Overload: Time for a Union Strategy
Talk to workers in any sector, in any workplace and sooner or later they'll get to their frustrations with their ever-increasing workloads: ‘I'm struggling’, they'll lament to fellow workers or anyone ready to listen, ‘to just do the job, never mind do it well’. And yet even though few work-related issues seem to generate more passion, the relentless intensification of every-day work life rarely surfaces as a union priority.
1157. August 30, 2015 Dan Freeman-Maloy Signs of Regression: The NDP and Palestine
A friend recently expressed his confusion about the outrage over the death of Ali Dawabsheh, the 18-month-old Palestinian toddler who was killed last month when Jewish settlers firebombed his home in the occupied West Bank. (The child's father was also badly burned in the attack, and eight days later died from his injuries.) An attack that kills a sleeping toddler is surely horrific.
1156. August 25, 2015 Amir Khadir Federal Leaders Must Come Up With a Substitute for Oil
The longest election campaign in recent Canadian history is an opportunity to point to the contradictions of the major parties on the question of ecology. If there is one issue that touches simultaneously on economic development, the protection of ecosystems, public health, climate warming, transportation and the legitimacy of public institutions, it is the exploitation of the tar sands and the many pipeline projects for exporting the most polluting oil in the world.
1155. August 21, 2015 John Lister interviewed by Robin Chang Public Healthcare Against Privatization
The new book NHS For Sale: Myths, Lies and Deception argues that the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 is a government policy whose component parts are together a significant step toward the privatization of Great Britain's National Health Service (NHS). John Lister and six co-authors demonstrate that the British reform debate about healthcare is polluted with myths about the performance of the NHS, how capitalist economies work, the proper economic and social role of government in them, and what conditions are required to maximize political freedom.
1154. August 18, 2015 Paul Le Blanc and Jonah McAllister-Erickson A Win for Pittsburgh Public Transit
Since port Authority of Allegheny County cut 15 per cent of its service, residents of Baldwin, Mooncrest and Groveton -- working-class suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- had to walk two miles, over roads with no sidewalks, just to catch the bus. But on September 8, Baldwin residents active in the struggle of “Buses for Baldwin” and Groveton residents who pushed for service in their county housing authority will be riding the first restored buses, celebrating the sweetness of the victory.
1153. August 14, 2015 Michael Yates A New Union Movement and Anti-Racism
In terms of the willingness of labour leaders -- AFL-CIO officials and those at the top of individual unions -- to engage in class-struggle unionism, the answer is no, the situation today is similar to that in 2009. These people often talk a good game, but their actions belie their words. Strikes are extremely rare, and concession bargaining is still common.
1152. August 9, 2015 Stathis Gourgouris The Syriza Problem: Radical Democracy and Left Governmentality in Greece
Although the history of the Left has produced an extraordinary theoretical legacy, which continues to be the nucleus of almost all radical thinking, it has nonetheless left a trail of extraordinary failures in practice.
1151. August 6, 2015 Richard Fidler; Judith Marshall The Pope's Message in Bolivia and to the World
In retrospect, it must be said that the College of Cardinals made an astute decision in 2013 when they chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the Vicar of Christ. Pope Francis, as he is now called, has emerged as a world leader in speaking out on the major social and humanitarian issues ranging from climate crisis to poverty and social exclusion.
1150. August 4, 2015 Syriza Youth Greek Youth Against Austerity
The agreement reached in the months of negotiation of the SYRIZA-ANEL Government on 13 July is, beyond doubt, a huge defeat for the forces of the radical left in Greece. The unprecedented coup that lenders caused, was only the latest episode of a series of extreme coercion that led the government in a stifling political impasse.
1149. August 2, 2015 Michael A. Lebowitz Social Democracy or Revolutionary Democracy: Syriza and Us
All eyes on the Left are upon Greece. Not because of a general interest in the contradictions of capitalism in the midst of this particular crisis but because of Syriza. Unfortunately, what we are observing is not unique to Syriza. The story has been told before, and the story inevitably will occur again if we do not learn from it.
1148. July 22, 2015 David Bush Canada's Bloody Political Consensus on Israel and Palestine
A year ago this month, Israel commenced Operation Protective Edge, their third major assault on the Gaza strip since 2008. The response from Canada's political parties was a swift and unflinching support for Israel. The 51-day war, or rather display of modern mechanical butchery by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), killed 2,251 Palestinians, over two thirds of whom were civilians, including 500 children.
1124. July 21, 2015 John Milios The Class Logic Behind Austerity Policies In the Euro-Area
After the outbreak of the 2008 global economic crisis, extreme austerity policies prevailed in many parts of the developed capitalist world, especially in the European Union (EU) and the Euro-area (EA). Austerity has been criticized as an irrational policy, which further deteriorates the economic crisis by creating a vicious cycle of falling effective demand, recession and over-indebtedness. However, these criticisms can hardly explain why this ‘irrational’ or ‘wrong’ policy persists, despite its ‘failures’.
1147. July 20, 2015 Barry Finger What Next in the Greek Crisis?
If the ongoing standoff between the Syriza government and the Troika could be boiled down to its essentials, it would be this: The 'institutions' will only equip the Greek economy with enough operating funds to manage a bare-bones operation. And they will begrudgingly accede to this only if Syriza maintains a primary surplus and the neoliberal labour market reforms that the Troika judges necessary to keep the Greek economy, and other eurozone economies, competitive in the global market.
1146. July 19, 2015 Eric Toussaint Greece: Alternatives and Exiting the Eurozone
On 5 July 2015, by a referendum initiated by the government of Alexis Tsipras and the Hellenic Parliament, the Greek people overwhelmingly rejected the austerity measures imposed by the institutions that were known as the Troika. It was a splendid victory for democracy.
1145. July 17, 2015 Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch The Real Plan B: The New Greek Marathon
In the face of being excluded from desperately needed funds and the threat of being kicked out of the European Union, the Greek parliament has now voted to accept the Troika memorandum. The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras acknowledged -- unlike social democrats choosing to implement neoliberalism as part of their ‘modernization‘ -- that this was ‘a bad deal’ forced on the Greeks.
1144. July 16, 2015 Blockupy Goes Athens Understanding the Defeat Means Preparing a Victory
Nine provisional considerations after both the popular Oxi and Syriza's Yes to the Memorandum. This is being written after the vote in the Greek parliament and before the final decision of the Eurogroup (12 July). At the moment, everything is open, and we are certain of only a couple of things. Almost everything can change, but some things will remain true.
1143. July 15, 2015 Leo Panitch The Denouement
For many decades, the view was widespread on the left that there was a distinct European variety of capitalism which could be positively contrasted with the Anglo-American more 'free market' variety. The labour movements of northern Europe were usually seen as being the decisive force behind greater state economic involvement, more capitalist cooperation with unions, and more egalitarian social welfare and labour market regimes.
1142. July 14, 2015 Martin Hart-Landsberg Lessons From A Defeat In Europe
The Troika are celebrating the end of negotiations with Greece, proclaiming that thanks to their tireless efforts the Eurozone remains whole. And why wouldn't they celebrate. They have demonstrated their power to crush, at least for now, the Greek effort to end austerity and its associated devastating social consequences. Tragically, Syriza has not only surrendered, the nature of its defeat is likely to leave the country worse off, at least both economically and very likely politically as well.
1141. July 14, 2015 Martijn Konings Progressives, Neoliberalism, and Austerity: Beyond the Polanyian Impasse
It is now sometimes hard to remember -- and for the generation that is now in college and wasn't necessarily reading the opinion pages at the time, it may seem nothing short of perverse -- but there was a period following the onset of the crisis when progressive commentary on economic and financial life was pervaded by intense optimism about the future.
1140. July 13, 2015 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin Treating Syriza Responsibly
As against those on the international left so keen to put the boot in against the Syriza government with the charge that they had abjectly capitulated already with the plan passed in the Greek parliament, it is instructive to read this document from the German finance ministry.
1139. July 12, 2015 Leo Panitch Requiem at an Empty Grave? Syriza's Momentous Day
Did those who are already raising Lenin from his tomb to render quick judgement on Syriza's abject “world-historic defeat” (without saying much about what victory would look like or require) actually bother to read the rather similar plans that Syriza put forward before the referendum and that were consistently rejected by the EU and IMF “Institutions”?
1138. July 9, 2015 Donatella della Porta The European Union's Crisis of Legitimacy and The Greek Referendum
For some time now social movements have expressed their support for another Europe. Their almost unanimous support for a NO vote in the Greek referendum on the proposals of the Troika, says much about the repeatedly frustrated hopes of constructing a social Europe from below. Indeed, the protests against austerity have established, ever more clearly and explicitly, that the evolution of Europe is going in the opposite direction.
1137. July 7, 2015 The Women Combatants of Rojava
Interviews with two commanders of the YPJ given to the Italian leftwing daily Il Manifesto, explaining the role and goals of the YPJ. Nesrin Abdullah was interviewed while on a visit to Italy where she met parliamentarians. Commander Rangin was interviewed by telephone in Kobane while combat with Isis was taking place.
1136. July 5, 2015 Jordy Cummings This Is Not an Obituary: Listening to Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman died in June of a cardiac arrest on the same day as an infamous bad guy actor, Christopher Lee and legendary professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes. One can't help but chuckle at the Colemanesque improvisation of the Grim Reaper. Coleman was perhaps the jazz musician with the most theoretical depth, even if his own cultural production never hit the highs of his early performances for Atlantic Records.
1135. July 1, 2015 Mario Candeias Democratic Rebellion: Some Lessons From the Municipal and Regional Elections in Spain
Barcelona and Madrid are won. With Ada Colau and Manuela Carmena, two women will now occupy the mayoralties of both metropolises. Barcelona en Comú and Ahora Madrid were the names of the municipal connective platforms. Barcelona en Comú won the most seats in the city and can form a left-wing majority with both leftist parties for Catalonian independence, the Republican Left of Catalonia.
1134. June 29, 2015 Dick Nichols Spain: 'Popular Unity' Councils Sworn In Amid Huge Enthusiasm
The squares in front of scores of town halls across the Spanish state were jam-packed with enthusiastic crowds on June 13. Tens of thousands had gathered to celebrate the inauguration of progressive administrations elected in a leftward swing in the May 24 local government elections for Spain's 8144 councils.
1133. June 24, 2015 Elif Genc Meet the Women of the HDP: Gender, Resistance and Radical Democracy
Following a period of increased political violence in the Kurdish regions of Turkey leading up to the federal elections of 2015, the worst being a recent bombing of the HDP rally in Diyarbakir (Amed) which left at least three people dead and hundreds wounded, there has been a watershed of party politics in Turkey. For the first time since 2002, there is evidence of the demise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's despotic rule over the country since he was not able to form a majority government. More importantly, the radical left-wing, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), passed the threshold of 10 per cent, thereby becoming the first pro-Kurdish party to enter the Turkish parliament.
1132. June 22, 2015 Tadzio Müller Beyond the Criticism of Religion
Over the last few years, religion has gained in socio-political importance. For example, although the Tea Party in the U.S. had seemed to be in decline due to a determined counterattack by the Wall Street-affiliated Republican establishment, the Tea Party clearly demonstrated its influence with the surprising defeat of Eric Cantor, the Republican former majority leader in the House of Representatives.
1131. June 21, 2015 François Sabado France: Changes in the Political Landscape
The French situation has often been approached as an 'exception' in Europe. We speak of the French exception, referring to a history still marked by the French Revolution of 1789. This term covered, in fact: a certain type of social gains, a strong public service, a strong state, a strong and dynamic workers’ movement, a high level of class struggle, social rights and democratic and secular freedoms won through historic popular mobilizations.
1130. June 18, 2015 Vassilis K. Fouskas What Greece's Creditors Should Know
Greece managed to make a recent payment of €750-million to the IMF by way of drawing down a special account Greece held at the fund. But early in June, a further payment of €300-million to the IMF is required, although the fund said that this can be met at the end of the month, allowing negotiators to strike a deal. It is almost impossible for Greece to meet further obligations to her creditors.
1129. June 17, 2015 Erdem Yoruk Kurds, Labour, and the Left in Turkey
After Turkey's parliamentary elections last week, all eyes are on the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) after its successes in contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left.
1128. June 15, 2015 Nizar Visram EU's Military Strategy to Deepen Mediterranean Tragedies
More than 800 migrants died on April 19 this year when their overcrowded boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast. The tragedy sent soaring this year's Mediterranean death toll which was by then around 1,500 -- 10 times the deaths during the same period last year.
1127. June 12, 2015 Sungur Savran The Strategic Defeat of Recep Tayyip Erdogan
So at long last, despite all the meanders and sideways and detours of history, the logic of social struggles has finally put its stamp on the politics of Turkey. The resounding defeat of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP at the polls in the 7th June general elections in Turkey brings out into the open a loss of political clout on the part of Erdogan as a result of the successive blows he received in the last two years at the hands of the masses and, partly, his erstwhile partners.
1126. June 10, 2015 George Wright FIFA and the United States: The Russian Connection
On May 27th the United States Department of Justice issued a 47-count indictment against nine International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) officials and five executives of FIFA-affiliated sports management firms. The charges the U.S. pressed included racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering amounting to $150-million over a 24-year period. That morning, the Swiss Government also arrested seven of the indicted defendants at a Zurich hotel, while holding them for possible extradition to the United States.
1125. June 3, 2015 Mario Candeias New World Re-Ordering
What should we call the current era? Post-everything? Or perhaps, the interregnum? Whatever the name it should be given, the current period is characterized by neoliberal trans-nationalization. In addition, U.S. hegemony has been under question since the beginning of this period. In fact, the Empire is no longer U.S.-American and a change in hegemony is in full swing.
1124. June 1, 2015 John Milios The Class Logic Behind Austerity Policies In the Euro-Area
After the outbreak of the 2008 global economic crisis, extreme austerity policies prevailed in many parts of the developed capitalist world, especially in the European Union and the Euro-area. Austerity has been criticized as an irrational policy, which further deteriorates the economic crisis by creating a vicious cycle of falling effective demand, recession and over-indebtedness. However, these criticisms can hardly explain why this ‘irrational’ or ‘wrong’ policy persists, despite its ‘failures’.
1123. May 28, 2015 Sam Gindin Record Profits, Record Stock Buybacks: Another Looming Crisis?
Has the economy recovered or is it about to sink into another crisis? Do the shenanigans in finance that we regularly read about play a role in developing a stronger capitalism or do they cover up failures that will soon blow up in their faces? These can be mind-numbing questions, but they're questions that activists, in particular, can't ignore.
1122. May 25, 2015 Thomas Marois and Lucia Pradella Polarizing Development: Introducing Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crisis
Neoliberal economic policies, with their emphasis on market-led development and individual rationality, have been exposed as bankrupt not only by the global economic crisis but also by increasing social opposition and resistance. Social movements and critical scholars in Latin America, East Asia, Europe and the United States, alongside the Arab uprisings, have triggered renewed debate on possible different futures.
1121. May 24, 2015 Asbjørn Wahl From FAILURE20 to COP21
Climate change is going on. Extreme weather conditions, storms, floodings, landslides, droughts and ice melting are reported ever more regularly from many parts of the world. Millions of people are losing their livelihood, their homes, their jobs -- and many also their lives. The successive reports of the United Nation-IPCC have increasingly called for urgent action in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
1120. May 22, 2015 Mike Treen How UNITE Took on the Fast Food Companies Over Zero Hour Contracts and Won!
Workers in the fast food industry in New Zealand scored a spectacular victory over what has been dubbed 'zero hour contracts' during a collective agreement bargaining round over the course of March and April this year. The campaign played out over the national media as well as on picket lines. The victory was seen by many observers as the product of a determined fight by a valiant group of workers and their union, Unite.
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