Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – PressProgress points out Statistics Canada’s latest numbers on Canada’s extreme wealth disparity – with 60% of the population owning only 10% of the wealth while a lucky few amass gigantic fortunes.  – Jordan Brennan discusses how a lack of labour conflict has led to low levels of both ...

Canadian Dimension: Net Neutrality and the Socialist Moment

Rolling Rebellion demonstration in Seattle to defend Net Neutrality • Photo by Backbone Campaign In recent months, one of the United States’ most important debates has revolved around the broad concept of Net Neutrality (NN). Without delving into the technicalities, the concept of NN is that internet service providers (ISPs) cannot privilege or restrict internet ...

Paul S. Graham: Solidarity with Venezuela

Winnipeg, Dec. 6, 2017 – Professor Johnny Márquez, speaking at Winnipeg’s historic Ukrainian Labour Temple on the political and economic situation in Venezuela. Photo: Paul S. Graham When it comes to Venezuela, the mainstream media is awash with lies and distortions and the Canadian government is complicit (with the United States) in an attempt to ...

Canadian Dimension: Protagonism and Productivity

Photo by Henry Romero When I went to work in Venezuela in 2004, I discovered in the Bolivarian Constitution some elements that I consider to be central to the concept of socialism for the twenty-first century. For one, there was the emphasis upon human development—the goal of “ensuring overall human development.” But there was more. ...

Canadian Dimension: Mitch Podolak: ‘A Citizen of Earth’

Photo by Community News Commons Last November Mitch Podolak was leaving one of his favourite Winnipeg restaurants, the Evergreen on Pembina, when he suddenly fell outside. As he lay there somewhat stunned, he realized that this fall was about to change his life. He couldn’t feel the lower part of his body after landing hard ...

Canadian Dimension: “Adventure it was”: The Impossible Revolution of 1917

Boris Kustodiev, “The Bolshevik” (1920) Through the wasteland of war and hunger emerged a simple flash of light. A message of hope from Russia: the Czar of Russia had been overthrown and a new workers’ government was declaring an end to war, poverty and exploitation. Victor Serge glimpsed this light in a French prison camp ...

Alberta Politics: Canada needs more Jeremy Corbyn, less Justin Trudeau, 21st annual Parkland Institute conference is advised

PHOTOS: Guardian journalist Martin Lukacs, moments before his remarks to the 21st annual Parkland Institute Conference in Edmonton yesterday morning. Below: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Prime Minister Theresa May (U.K. Photos: Wikimedia Commons); and bestselling Canadian author Linda McQuaig before her keynote address to the conference Friday ...

Canadian Dimension: They Dared: The Legacy of the October Revolution

Soviet poster dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the October Revolution and IV Congress of the Communist International A hundred years later, the question of the historical legacy of the October Revolution is not an easy one for socialists, given that Stalinism took root within less than a decade after that revolution and the restoration ...

Canadian Dimension: Time for disaster socialism

Photo by Jessica Christian The fires are not contained. The bodies haven’t been found. It’s time to talk about politics … During and in the immediate aftermath of tragedies, we are told it’s not the time for politics. As a nation, we love the spectacle of what author Teju Cole called “the white-savior industrial complex,” ...

wmtc: the worst part of trump is not trump

The freak show that is the Trump presidency gives us so many things to lament, and mourn, and goggle at. But for one organization, it is a singular gift, valuable beyond all measure: that is the Democratic National Committee. For me, the worst part of the Trump presidency is not Trump. It is the enormous ...

Paul S. Graham: Changing the Capitalist System – We are closer than you think

I’ve recently changed computer operating systems, moving from Windows 10 to a version of Linux called Mint. I was motivated primarily by concerns about privacy and had grown weary of a computing environment that was constantly trying to sell me stuff I didn’t need. I won’t bore you with what is wrong with Windows. Others ...

Canadian Dimension: Basic Income as a Socialist Project

Most discussions of Basic Income revolve around two clusters of issues: first, the normative implications of Basic Income for various conceptions of justice, and second, the pragmatic problems of the sustainability of basic income given a range of economic considerations including such things as effects on tax rates, incentives, labor markets, and so on. These ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Christopher Thompson highlights how the use of monetary policy to fuel economic growth rather than a progressive fiscal policy alternative has served largely to enrich the already-wealthy. Rachelle Younglai and Murat Yukselir report on Canada’s growing income gap, while Andrew Jackson points out how increased inequality has been ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Nice suits and empty slogans.”

That comment about suits and slogans was in the last line of the Toronto Star’s pompous editorial on “The challenge for Singh.” The newspaper editorialists want Singh and Trudeau to square off on progressive policy issues in the 2019 federal election. Lot’s of luck on that! But the problem is that the Star writers think ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What ‘New’ Democratic Party?

We are hearing that ‘Love is in the air’ and the New Democratic Party of Canada is facing the future to the beat of new drums. Everyone anticipates that this new day will start with the election of the new leader of the party. And if you believe all this guff, I have a fine ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – George Lakey describes how Denmark has built the world’s happiest society by building a political movement and an economic model centred around providing for everybody: Using the crisis as an opportunity, the Social Democrats secured the foundation of the Nordic model, the most successful economic national model ...

wmtc: rtod: herbert marcuse

Revolutionary thought of the day: Liberty Can be made into a powerful force of domination. Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slave — free choice among a wide variety of goods and services does not signify freedom if those good and services sustain social controls over a life of toil ...

wmtc: join the ndp and vote for niki ashton: deadline aug 17

The deadline to join the NDP and vote for Niki Ashton is August 17. Last night I saw something that shocked me, and today I did something I’ve never done before: I joined a political party. And I did it so I can cast my vote for Niki Ashton for leader of the federal NDP. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Jerry Dias and Dennis Williams write about the fundamental changes which we should be seeking to make to NAFTA in order to ensure that workers’ and citizens’ interests aren’t left out of trade rules: Meaningful Nafta renegotiation must comprehensively focus on balanced trade that provides real wage ...

wmtc: the politics of the hardboiled detective novel

I love these old covers! Last year, I blogged about a wonderful essay by Raymond Chandler called “The Simple Art of Murder“, written in 1950. Reading that, I realized that I knew the work of both Chandler and Dashiell Hammett — the originators of the hardboiled detective genre — only through film adaptations. I hadn’t ...

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 ...