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Mel Watkins

  • The Waffle at 50

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Waffle was a key moment of my political education. I would not have realized until I wrote this that the Waffle remains so relevant to understanding our world today. I am delighted that the Waffle is being remembered and thereby lives on. It is fitting that this is happening in Canadian Dimension since the Waffle Manifesto was first published here 50 years ago.

  • Trump in the Time of Trumpism

    Most of us don’t like to admit of this litany of the bad. Yet it lives on. Neoliberalism in recent decades has pushed things further. Thatcher famously said that there is no such thing as society. This is dangerous talk for it risks opening the door to authoritarianism, even fascism, the better to fill the void and make people, in the gaze and embrace of the leader, feel they belong.

  • It is time to confront Canada’s staple trap

    A country should allow for that price variability and plan accordingly – like not putting all its eggs in that basket. This is precisely what neither the governments of Alberta nor Canada has done or is doing.

  • Harold Innis and the North: Appraisals and Contestations

    As the Great Powers, and the not so great, scramble for a piece of the thawing Arctic resource pie—with the Harper government pretending we own the North Pole, the home of Santa Claus, no less, though its record for gift-giving is solely to corporations—it is timely to have a book that examines the role of the esteemed scholar Harold Innis in his research and writing on the Canadian North.

  • The Beginning and End of Globalization and US Hegemony

    Let us begin with a word, and the word is “globalization.” Not chosen randomly, but because it jumped out of the mindless chatter and could not be ignored.

  • From Corporation to Crisis

    Unlike too many of the academic scribbles in the social sciences these days, this book is refreshingly light on theory into which the facts must be crammed, and laws to which they must therefore conform. It is a demonstration of how far a historical materialist framework rooted in Marx can take us once the search for immutable laws and certain truths is abandoned. It deserves a wide readership, inside and outside the academy.

  • Once Upon a Waffle

    The Waffle is long dead and little remembered. Forty years ago, at the very tail-end of the fabulous decade known as the 60s – if you missed it, too bad – it burst on the scene as a radical grouping within the NDP with a Manifesto calling for an independent socialist Canada, no less, and did so to media attention the likes of which the Left has yet to match.

  • Keynes and ‘National Self-Sufficiency’

    Is it possible that there is also too much trade? If most economists are reluctant to go as far in their thinking as Keynes had by 1931, where are those who have gotten to where he was in 1933 – in spite of the fact that the world has changed in a way that Keynes could hardly have anticipated that has given his radical views remarkable resonance.

  • Hollowing-Out

    To live under external ownership and control has been the common fate of Canadians, and has powerfully conditioned our lives and our politics. Aboriginal people were so treated from early on by the settlers who, in turn, embraced their own lot as imperial subjects.

  • Harold Innis: An Intellectual at the Edge of Empire

    Harold Innis died in 1952, more than a half century ago. He was never a man of the Left; in the 1930s he labeled the CCFers “hot gospellers.” Do we really have anything to learn from him now?

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