In conversation with Bhaskar Sunkara
How can we gauge the implications for the American Left of the election of Donald Trump? What dangers does the Trump presidency pose and what opportunities, if any, does it present? To answer these questions, CD spoke with Bhaskar Sunkara, founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Jacobin magazine. Founded in 2011, Jacobin has established itself as a leading voice of the Left in the Anglo-American world.
Mapping the Canadian left: Sovereignty and solidarity in the 21st century
The renewed struggle for self-determination of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Québec is slowly changing the character of left politics across the country, as the long overdue reckoning with the brutal historic dispossession of the original inhabitants of the places we call Canada and Québec “unsettles” our ways of seeing, putting the concept of settler-colonialism in the centre of much contemporary left analysis and activism.
Taking basic income beyond the market: The unconditional autonomy allowance
The concept of a partially demonetized Basic Income disbursed in the form of vouchers for goods and services in addition to cash amounts in both national and local currencies is an interesting angle on Basic Income that warrants further consideration as a roadmap for how to “free our time and minds from subjection to capitalism” while moving in an ecologically sustainable direction.
A friendly disagreement
The Left has long been divided on the issue of Basic Income. The argument recurs every generation or so. In the last few years it has resumed throughout much of the global North, especially in the wake of campaigns and initiatives in Switzerland and Finland, for example. And the debate is now ablaze in Canada.
Introduction: Basic Questions
But it was really in the 20th century, with the advent of automation and the ensuing reflections on the social impact, for good or ill, of productivity-boosting and labour-sparing technology, that an unconditional Basic Income began to be viewed as feasible, finding supporters in thinkers from Milton Friedman to Bertrand Russell to André Gorz.
Malice in Harperland
The Harper government has waged an unrelenting attack on the interests of the vast majority of people living in Canada or seeking to live here: it has censored scientists, hamstrung trade union organizers, persecuted protestors, victimized refugees, battled veterans — the list of Harper’s targets is very long.
In 1935 the DuPont Corporation ran an ad campaign under the slogan “Better Things for Better Living… Through Chemistry.” Many of the vast number of synthetic chemicals introduced by industry and agriculture during the ensuing hundred years have indisputably made life far more comfortable for a considerable fragment of the world’s population. Although the origins of the discipline of toxicology date back to antiquity, little thought was given during the first half of the 20th century to the downside of the gathering tide of anthropogenic chemicals in which our world is now awash.
More than half of all the wild animals on Earth have been annihilated within my lifetime. This death notice was delivered by the World Wildlife Fund in its 2014 Living Planet Report. But the animals haven’t mysteriously vanished: the conditions of their existence were destroyed, directly or indirectly, by human action.
Alain Deneault in conversation with Canadian Dimension
Québec author Alain Deneault, one of the authors of noir Canada, and publisher, les Éditions Écosociété inc. became the object of two multi-million dollar SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) suits brought by Barrick Gold and Banro Corporation. CD discusses with Deneault the dubious practices of the Canadian mining industry abroad, the suit and its implications.
An interview with Vandana Shiva
CD had a rare opportunity to interview renowned Indian eco-feminist and alter-globalization activist Vandana Shiva when she visited Winnipeg this past spring. Shiva is a fierce critic of agricultural genetic engineering, and a tireless advocate of saving seed and preserving biodiversity.
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