Babel-on-the-Bay: Why progressive elites are losing.

The disappointment progressives have felt with the New Democratic Party over the last couple decades has been something we have argued about but maybe not understood as well as we should. Maybe Robin V. Sears of the NDP put his finger on it the other day when complaining in print about the ease with which ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The poster boy and the NDP.

Charlie Angus meet Jagmeet Singh. No doubt Charlie Angus MP, candidate for the New Democratic Party leadership has met Jagmeet Singh MPP, the newest candidate for the NDP leadership, before, but not likely as a competitor. The only surprise about this meeting is that both these gentlemen are in the same political party. What is ...

Canadian Dimension: 150 Years of Marx’s Capital

Photo by Thierry Ehrmann This is a collection of videos dealing with Karl Marx’s Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. This playlist starts with an audio recording of Capital Volume 1. And here’s a link to the text of Capital. It is 150 years since Karl Marx published the first volume of Capital: A Critique ...

Canadian Dimension: Richard Wolff: What is capitalism? What is socialism?

In this interview with acTVism Munich, American Marxian economist Richard Wolff answers: What is Capitalism and Socialism? What differentiates Capitalism from Socialism? Has either system ever existed in its purest form? Was Capitalism actually overcome by Socialism when the State took over private ownership? What changes are required in society to truly implement Socialism? This ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dietrich Vollrath discusses both what’s included in our societal capital, and how best to think of redistributive policies as means of fairly dealing with it: (T)axes are a way of collecting the royalties on trust and scale that we inherited and/or create ourselves. Taxes are the rents ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dietrich Vollrath discusses both what’s included in our societal capital, and how best to think of redistributive policies as means of fairly dealing with it: (T)axes are a way of collecting the royalties on trust and scale that we inherited and/or create ourselves. Taxes are the rents ...

Canadian Dimension: Mapping the Canadian Left: Sovereignty and Solidarity in the 21st Century

Demonstration against Jean Charest’s Bill 78, 2012 • Photo by Fightback/La Riposte If there is a single theme that has distinguished left politics in Canada and Québec at least since the 1960s, it is the aspiration to national sovereignty. For both the social-democratic and radical left in Québec, the pursuit of social justice is inextricably ...

Canadian Dimension: ‘There is no Alternative Unless We Build One’

Photo by Roger Blackwell The varied left histories dating back to the long 19th century gained momentum during the tumultuous first decades of the 20th century and for some time after. They came to an end, at one point or another, between the military coup in Chile (1973), the elections of Margaret Thatcher (1979) and ...

Canadian Dimension: Class, Party and the Challenge of State Transformation

‘The Hand That Will Rule the World’ by Ralph Chaplin, Solidarity, June 30, 1917. The following is excerpted from Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution, edited by Gregory Albo and Leo Panitch. Populated by an array of passionate thinkers and thoughtful activists, Rethinking Revolution reappraises the historical effects of the Russian revolution—positive and negative—on political, intellectual, ...

Canadian Dimension: Food for Revolutionary Thought

For those of us long enough in the tooth to recall what it was like ‘way back when’, there is sometimes a distinct whiff of something like the old sectarianism in the air these days. And it most often comes, oddly enough, from precisely those quarters which contrast their embrace of ecological and intersectional issues ...

Paul S. Graham: Reclaiming socialism for this new millennium

L. B. Foote / Winnipeg Free Press Archives1919 StrikeCrowd gathers at Victoria Park Sometime in the 1990s, it became fashionable for many socialists to refer to themselves as “anti-capitalists.” I’m not sure why this was the case, but I suspect it involved a large measure of opportunism; socialism (at least that variant represented by recently ...

Parchment in the Fire: The party that’s pulling the Belgian left to the left – POLITICO

The ascendant Workers’ Party has learned to punch above its weight. Source: The party that’s pulling the Belgian left to the left – POLITICO Filed under: Socialism Tagged: Belgium, Far Left

Babel-on-the-Bay: The empty chair of Tom Mulcair.

In a much condemned political schtick by actor-director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in 2012, he talked to an empty chair. The chair was supposed to represent President Barack Obama. We always thought it helped get Obama elected to his second term. We were reminded of it recently when reading an op-ed piece ...

wmtc: before the flood: good information but ultimately a weak message

Tonight we watched “Before the Flood“, Leonardo DiCaprio’s film about climate change, which I had heard such good things about. It’s well done, and is chock full of appropriately terrifying and depressing information. But in the end, the film delivers yet another “it’s up to each of us” message, focusing on individual actions, rather than ...

wmtc: fidel castro, 1926-2016

More than any ruler I can think of, Fidel Castro defies our insistence on seeing leaders as solely either good or evil. As this excellent assessment in Social Worker (UK) puts it, “History must judge him both as the freedom fighter whose defiance humiliated US imperialism and as the ruler of a repressive, unequal society.” ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Post Capitalism

Here is a link to my review of an extremely interesting new book by Guardian economics and political columnist Paul Mason. “Paul Mason is a leading British economic journalist, currently a columnist for The Guardian. He is also a long time left political activist. His new book, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (Farrar, Strauss ...

Canadian Dimension: Is “Postcapitalism” On the Horizon?

Photo by Paul Sableman Paul Mason is a leading British economic journalist, currently a columnist for The Guardian. He is also a long time left political activist. His new book, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. New York, 2015) is a challenging, sometimes obscure, sometimes brilliant, eminently worthwhile read, and an ...

Canadian Dimension: Socialism for today’s NDP, and today’s Canada

Photo by Matt Jiggins While not a topic without coverage, the question of socialism within the New Democratic Party — and Canada more generally — tends to come in waves. One recent example has come from Toronto Star columnist Rick Salutin’s assertion that the NDP must re-embrace socialism, if only to offer strategic differentiation vis-à-vis ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Leaping nation building at a single bound.

In analyzing where Canada’s New Democrats are headed, we took another look at the LEAP Manifesto. Frankly LEAP stumbles on the first hurdle. It reads like the Regina Manifesto without the socialist ranting. It fails us. And where does this document get off treating Canada’s first peoples as some sort of pathetic wards of the ...

Canadian Dimension: Canada Since 1960 Toronto book launch

Image by Krishna Lalbiharie Canadian Dimension Magazine was proud to launch our new book, Canada Since 1960: A People’s History at the Imperial Pub in Toronto on June 7th. Moderated by Bryan Palmer. Presentations by: Dennis Pilon David Hugill Elise Thorburn Greg Albo Canadian Dimension Magazine is Canada’s country’s oldest Left publication. To purchase a ...

Canadian Dimension: Canada Since 1960: A People’s History book launch

L-R, James Lorimer, Nahanni Fontaine, Cy Gonick, Arthur Schafer and Jim Silver • Photo by Krishna Lalbiharie Winnipeg, June 10, 2016 — First published in 1963, Canadian Dimension is Canada’s oldest socialist magazine. This month it released Canada Since 1960: A People’s History, edited by CD founder Cy Gonick with chapters from 25 writers who ...

Dead Wild Roses: Eugene Debs – The American Politician We Don’t Hear Much About

From Wikipedia: “Eugene Victor “Gene” Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.[1] Through his presidential candidacies, ...

Canadian Dimension: When We Were Young

Photo from Public Domain JOHN CLARKE, organizer, member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty Neither of my parents had any major interest in politics, but they were both deeply affected by the hardships of working-class life as they grew up in the 1930s and ’40s in London, England. At the end of the Second World ...

wmtc: james connolly, sid ryan, and marxism 2016

This is The Proclamation. The Proclamation was read by Padraig (Patrick) Pearse outside the General Post Office in Dublin on April 24, 1916. This marked the beginning of the Easter Rising. Rather less dramatically, a copy of the Proclamation has hung on my office wall since our trip to Ireland in 2001. It has lived ...

wmtc: rtod: we only want the earth

On the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, these Revolutionary Thoughts of the Day are brought to you by the great Irish socialist, James Connolly. The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system; it must go. (1910) This speech, from 1897, is recreated in the excellent Ken Loach film “The Wind that Shakes ...