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Our Times 3

Richard Swift

  • Reimagining the left in times of crisis

    Challenging the Right, Augmenting the Left: Recasting Leftist Imagination is a fine collection willing to challenge and explore a number of different paths out of the ecological wasteland that the many forms of capitalism are condemning us to. But it also goes some way to addressing the largely unrecognized crisis of all too many of the alternatives to that capitalist system.

  • Politics and pandemics

    The COVID-19 crisis is making us do some of the things required to live within the planet’s ecological boundaries. We have a stark choice before us. Rework our economy and polity around the possibilities that tackle climate change, or continue to ratchet up the labour market to produce ever more jobs while paying no attention to their ecological implications or levels of pay and conditions of work.

  • Electoral dilemmas and participatory theatre

    An alternative to a capitalism based on environment-destroying growth is once again not on the ballot. This would require the kind of institutional changes that would allow us to end corporate rule and redefine what we mean by democracy. A pole pushing such changes is essential if we are to survive as a species.

  • Capitalism: A Crime Story

    Harry Glasbeek is a real oddity — a lawyer and professor of corporate law who specializes in exposing the way in which law is manipulated to provide aid and comfort to the dubious maneuverings of corporate power. In this short but concise book he moves beyond his earlier critique of the shield provided by corporate personhood to examine the ways in which the spirit of liberal jurisprudence is undermined by the way courts interpret corporate malfeasance.

  • Nawrocki’s Displaced/Misplaced exposes plight of migrant workers

    Norman Nawroki, long a stunningly creative voice from out of Montréal’s anarchist community, combines spoken word with guitar, drum, piano and some very haunting violin in this compilation to benefit the city’s Immigrant Workers centre and Solidarity Across Borders. Nawrocki’s political poetry blends acute observation of the plight of migrant workers and refugees with musical and background voice arrangements.

  • NDP needs to leave its comfort zone

    Candidates seek to strike a series of sensible balances between the economy and the environment, between free and fair trade, between husbanding taxpayer’s dollars and meeting social needs. There is nothing wrong with balance as a principle, but these are not equivalencies, and treating them as such will mean the former always undermines the latter. This is not a path to the radical passion that has propelled recent electoral success on the Left.

  • Would a maximum wage law work for Canada?

    A maximum wage (like a minimum wage) is no panacea, failing as it does to address both the content and conditions of work or the overall way in which society’s wealth gets distributed. However, depending where it was set and how vigorously it was enforced, it could help to revive public finances and tame the trend towards galloping inequality.

  • The dead end of wage labour

    An adequate basic income for all is, in this sense, a good starting point for the Left to renew its assault on compulsory wage labour. The organization of work could be freed up to take on more cooperative, decentralized and democratic forms in which workers could decide for themselves what work is desired and useful.

  • Death of a Candidacy

    Morgan is a good advocate for challenging the apolitical apathy in youth culture which is so detrimental to NDP fortunes. So why did the party throw their candidate for Kings Hants under the bus with the 2015 campaign just a few days old?

  • The movement against Stephen Harper

    The movement to bring down the Harper government goes well beyond the opposition political parties. Canadians horrified by the authoritarian market fundamentalism of the Conservatives are trying in a number of ways to expand democracy to overcome the authoritarian grip that the Harperites hold on our national politics.

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