Neoliberalism as economic theory was always an absurdity. It had as much validity as past ruling ideologies such as the divine right of kings and fascism’s belief in the Übermensch. None of its vaunted promises were even remotely possible. Concentrating wealth in the hands of a global oligarchic elite—eight families now hold as much wealth as 50 percent of the world’s population—while demolishing government controls and regulations always creates massive income inequality and monopoly power, fuels political extremism and destroys democracy.
The obsequious praise of the life and legacy of the now deceased mad-dog killer George H. W. Bush (1924-2018) on the supposedly liberal and left cable networks CNN and MSNBC this last weekend was really something. Some of this historical ass-kissing was practically comedic. I heard the power-worshipping “presidential historian” and occasional plagiarist Doris Kearns-Goodwin fondly recall getting stuck in the Bush’s Kennebunkport toilet. Daddy Bush graciously broke the bathroom lock with a hammer and then told Kearns-Goodwin, “well, at least you write well.”
Québec solidaire has proudly proclaimed its alter-globalist roots and sought to contact and deepen relationships with social movements and left organizations across North America and the world. But this is not enough, and a more pro-active approach must be taken towards the burgeoning popular and left movements in the USA and Canada particularly. There is much to be shared on common issues such as immigration and the environment, and a lot to be learned from each other in terms of building popular left organizations rooted in the working classes.
In 1979, Canada’s postal union (CUPW) bargained and bargained with the employer. Eventually, having exhausted all possibilities, it made the decision, supported by a huge majority of its voting members, that its members would no longer provide their services on the basis of the existing terms and conditions of the now expired collective agreement. Workers had determined, democratically, not to sell their labour power on those terms. In a liberal democracy, they had every right to take such a decision. Only a slave society would deny them this right.