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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

Global Intern Strike!

20 February 2017.


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On February 20th, young people across the world will come together to push for an end to the exploitative and exclusionary practice of unpaid internships. Decentralised actions will take place in a range of cities, to call on employers and leaders to ensure that quality intern opportunities are paid and accessible to all - regardless of their socioeconomic background.

There is an increasing tendency around the world to hire interns, often without pay and with very little possibility of achieving a real education or a stable job. In the last few years, the rise of the intern economy has attracted the attention of journalists and activists; sociologists, however, are still paying inadequate attention to this phenomenon and its causes. This inattention contributes to a growing ambiguity surrounding the term ‘internship’, making it difficult to understand its aims and to evaluate its abuses. In other words, sociological analysis is very much needed not only to explain the explosion of the intern economy, but also to develop a critical compass to raise awareness about the uses and abuses of internships.

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If You Don't Understand the Second Product, You Understand Nothing About Marx's Capital

Athens — 14 January 2017.


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The following talk was given at the International conference “150 years Karl Marx's Capital - Reflections for the 21st century” held in Athens, Greece on January 14-15, 2017. Organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - Athens Office in cooperation with Theseis, the conference discussed the actuality of Marx's theoretical system of the critique of political economy 150 years on from the publication of Capital Volume I.

In this presentation, Lebowitz notes: “Unfortunately, for many who have followed Marx in name and others who never pretended to do so, there is only one product – the change in circumstances, the change in the object of labour. The second product – the change in human beings, the change in the subject of labour – is ignored. The political effects of this blindness can be seen everywhere. In the countries of ‘real socialism’ where the absence of self-government and self-management produced a working class with neither the capacity nor the will to prevent the restoration of capitalism. In the social democrats who, convinced that they are cleverer than capital, use the strength of the working class as a credible threat in their negotiations rather than as a force to be built and built and, accordingly, emerge from the most disgraceful defeats as immaculate as they were innocent. In political parties of the left which, rather than treating social movements as multiple sites for developing the capacities of the working class, view them as fertile ground for the recruitment of cadres for their disciplined phalanxes and celebrate in their solitary gatherings the distilled purity of their brands and their preparedness for the next October. It is not only political practice, however, that has suffered from the eclipse of the second product. Without an understanding of the centrality of the key link between human development and human capacity, we are blind to the limitations of Marx's Capital.”

Michael A. Lebowitz is professor emeritus of economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and the author of The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted, The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, Beyond Capital: Marx's Political Economy of the Working Class, Build It Now: Socialism for the 21st Century and Following Marx: Method, Critique, and Crisis. His latest book is The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now.



What's the Matter with America?

Toronto — 26 January 2017.


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Introductions by Byan Evans and Ron Vogel, Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University.

Organized by Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture and Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University.


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
342. 19 February 2017 Global Intern Strike!
On February 20th, young people across the world will come together to push for an end to the exploitative and exclusionary practice of unpaid internships. Decentralised actions will take place in a range of cities, to call on employers and leaders to ensure that quality intern opportunities are paid and accessible to all - regardless of their socioeconomic background.
341. 12 February 2017 If You Don’t Understand the Second Product, You Understand Nothing About Marx's Capital Lebowitz, Michael A.
Unfortunately, for many who have followed Marx in name and others who never pretended to do so, there is only one product - the change in circumstances, the change in the object of labour. The second product - the change in human beings, the change in the subject of labour - is ignored. This presentation by Michael Lebowitz was recorded in Athens, Greece, 14 January 2017.
340. 5 February 2017 What's the Matter with America?
The 2017 Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture presentation by Thomas Frank, on Donald Trump's election and what it means for the USA. Recorded in Toronto, 26 January 2017.
339. 29 January 2017 Launching the Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution
The main purpose of the 2017 edition of the Socialist Register (SR) - one century after 'Red October' - is to look forward, to what might happen next. Moderated by Greg Albo. Discussion featuring: Joan Sangster, Bryan Palmer, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin. Recorded in Toronto, 12 January 2017.
338. 15 January 2017 Art Manuel: Defender of the Land Manuel, Arthur
Arthur Manuel (1951 - January 11, 2017) was a First Nations political leader in Canada. He was four times elected chief (1995-2003) and three times elected chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (1997-2003). Since 2003, he served as spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET), a network of indigenous nations working on the international level to achieve recognition of Aboriginal title and rights.
337. 8 January 2017 Labour Struggles in Palestine and International Solidarity
The global labour movement has long criticized Israel for human and trade union rights violations and abuse of Palestinian workers, while workers in Palestine are resisting oppression and building a movement we can support. Trade unions and federations of labour in Canada are heeding the call for solidarity made by 170 Palestinian organizations for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Recorded in Toronto, 8 May 2016.
336. 1 January 2017 Unions and Climate Change
How do we build a trade union movement that promotes solutions to the climate crisis and responds to the attacks on workers' rights and protections? The ecological and social implications of climate change have - or should - become a central parameter for all discussions of work and capitalism. The unrelenting build-up of greenhouse gases has led to the jarring conclusion, drawn by climatologists, ecological militants and union activists, that an exit from reliance on fossil fuels for energy needs to occur with some urgency.
335. 25 December 2016 Pray For the Dead
A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny, a new play for and about workers and unions, is now available as a radio show. This 30 minute radio version of the play, with the music, aired on WPFW in Washington, DC and in San Francisco on Bill Fletcher's weekly show Arise! It includes a 10 minute interview about unions and culture.
334. 18 December 2016 The Rise and Fall of Cheap Nature
Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? In Capitalism in the Web of Life, Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today's global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature. Recorded in Toronto, 13 December 2016.
333. 11 December 2016 No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age McAlevey, Jane
Income inequality has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. Labor unions’ membership is in decline, and popular opinion has turned against them. Author Jane McAlevey discusses her book with Stephanie Ross and Michal Rozworski. Recorded in Toronto, 1 December 2016.
332. 4 December 2016 The Case of Hassan Diab
This is a 3-part podcast series on the case of Hassan Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian sociology professor extradited from Canada and currently in a French jail, accused of a bombing that happened in Paris in 1980. The series was produced by Justin Podur.
331. 27 November 2016 Climate Change and the Struggle Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Thousands have been pouring onto Vancouver streets, as well as protesting across Canada, against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been attempting to square the impossible – expanding oil sands production and building pipelines while addressing climate change. The Liberal governments of BC and Canada have ignored theses issues, as well as wider questions about First Nations consultations and sovereignty claims, already in the cases of the PacificNorthwest LNG, Woodfibre LNG and the Site C Dam in BC.
330. 20 November 2016 Bursting at the Seams
A short video on the crisis of brutal overcrowding in Toronto's homeless shelters and a call to action. This video had it's premiere outside the building where Toronto's Mayor John Tory lives in somewhat better circumstances.
329. 13 November 2016 Chinese Workers' Uprising: Unions, Workers, and Resistance in China Today
Lu Zhang and Eli Friedman have each interviewed dozens of Chinese workers, from the auto sector to the factories producing computers and footwear, documenting the processes of migration, changing employment relations, and worker culture underpinning the new Chinese working class and their forms of resistance today. Recorded in Toronto, 30 October 2016.
328. 30 October 2016 Hearts and Mines (book launch) Mirrlees, Tanner
From Katy Perry training alongside US Marines in a music video, to the global box-office mastery of the US military-supported Transformers franchise, it's clear that the US national security state is a dominant force in global media culture. How and why is this so? This book covers the production, profit and power of US Empire's culture industry -- a nexus between the US state and globalizing media firms and the source of entertainments that promote US Empire as a way of life around the world. Recorded in Toronto, 20 October 2016.
327. 23 October 2016 The Building Storm Against the TPP
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the one of the most recent of the neoliberal trade agreements being proposed. The final proposal was signed off in February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand by 12 countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the USA, and Vietnam, after 7 years of negotiation. It awaits ratification in each country. It is a companion agreement to the existing NAFTA agreement, and the CETA and TTIP agreements that Canada and the U.S. are respectively negotiating with the EU.
326. 16 October 2016 Canadian Mining Corporations in Latin America: Solidarity Rally
In a ruling released October 14th, the investment tribunal rejected OceanaGold's claims and ordered it to pay $8-million in legal fees and costs to the government of El Salvador. This solidarity rally was in held in Toronto, 14 October 2016.
325. 9 October 2016 The Struggle at Standing Rock: Pipeline Protest, First Nations' Uprising
For the past few months, an encampment has sprung up on the banks of the Cannonball River in North Dakota in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The resistance has been led by the Standing Rock Sioux opposed to the routing of the $3.8-billion pipeline transporting oil from the Bakken oil fields through burial grounds and sacred sites under the Missouri River. The warrior spirit at Standing Rock is a critical drum beat inspiring other social and class struggles demanding an alternative.
324. 2 October 2016 Facing the Anthropocene Angus, Ian
Science tells us that a new and dangerous stage in planetary evolution has begun, the Anthropocene, a time of rising temperatures, extreme weather, rising oceans, and mass species extinctions. Humanity faces not just more pollution or warmer weather, but a crisis of the Earth System. Presentation by Ian Angus recorded in Toronto, 25 September 2016.
323. 25 September 2016 Free Public Transit
Public transit lies at the intersection of several critical social struggles today. Affordable (or free) public transit is an important mechanism for redistribution, and particularly targets low income women and people of colour. This video mostly focuses on Tallinn, Estonia, and includes interviews with international activists. Video produced by Revo Raudjarv for Tallinna Televisioon (2015).
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