Articles

  • Airbnb: short-term rentals, short-term thinking

    Globalization

    Our research on the short-term rental market reveals an increasingly concentrated, commodified landscape in which a few large players are making large amounts of money. Small-scale home sharing is a modest and shrinking piece of the market, and long-term housing for residents is being converted into de facto hotels. Canadian cities should respond to these facts by severely restricting the ability of commercial operators to make money converting long-term housing into short-term rentals.

  • Venezuela: Was Another World Possible?

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    When it comes to Venezuela, the mainstream media is awash with lies and distortions and the Canadian government is complicit in an attempt to force the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Nicolás Maduro. One can easily imagine Trump and Trudeau agreeing that it would be a crime to leave the largest proven oil reserves in the world under the control of a socialist government pledged to use this wealth on behalf of some of the poorest people in the world.

  • Net Neutrality and the Socialist Moment

    Socialism

    The fight for Net Neutrality is but the first salvo in a longer battle over the age-old debates about democracy. Capitalists and their ideological brethren have lined up to fight NN as a barrier towards their profit-making enterprise, and socialists can make the case that if capitalism means antagonism to the very concept that manifests a free internet, perhaps the owners of private industry shouldn’t be trusted with other important aspects of our daily lives.

  • Skip the Dishes: Poster child for precarious work

    Labour

    Low pay and instability keeps workers wondering if there isn’t a better deal somewhere else. Capitalism from the beginning has been driven by monopoly, efficiency and the elimination of expenditure. The digital job brokers of the sharing economy embody that same ethos. So while companies like SkipTheDishes suggest the inevitability of indentured digital labour, it’s up to the rest of us to organize and demand a future where technology and work are not needlessly contradictory terms.

  • Precarious workers fight for their rights!

    Labour

    Unhappy about a potential loss of earnings and increased precarity, angry Deliveroo drivers gathered outside the company’s London headquarters to protest. Bosses maintained this new contract offered increased flexibility and opportunity to boost wages, but due to the over-employment typical of gig economy companies, workers feared they could end up earning less than half the National Living Wage (the United Kingdom minimum wage for workers 25 or over).

  • Resurgence or revelation? White nationalist legacies in Canada

    Human Rights

    If we don’t feel uncomfortable, then we are not in reconciliation. Reconciliation was never intended to be a feel-good process. The acknowledgement of historical atrocities, the revelation of Canada’s white nationalist and racist foundations, and the transfer of wealth and power back to Indigenous peoples are going to make lots of people very uncomfortable and maybe even angry. But imagine how Indigenous peoples have felt all these decades, going to schools named after those who tried to kill us off.

  • Trudeau’s forked tongue reconciliation at the UN

    Canadian Politics

    While Trudeau’s speech ignored his actions at home, the most offensive part was holding up First Nation suffering as a prop to bolster his desire for a seat on the UN Security Council. Canada has a great deal to account for and other countries are starting to take note of its hypocrisy. Canada is before no fewer than four UN treaty bodies for “grave,” “alarming” and “crisis-level” human rights violations of Indigenous peoples, including land rights, treaties and self-determination.

  • Race, class, & The Revolt of the Black Athlete

    Human Rights

    The Black Freedom struggle has always been a class struggle; for the US context, just read WEB Dubois on the “general strike of the slaves” that turned a war to save the Union into a war to end slavery, or histories of the welfare rights movement, the Atlanta washer women’s strike; the list goes on. In short, in a multibillion-dollar business highly dependent on Black labour, the revolt of the Black athlete is not a race struggle or a class struggle; it’s both.

  • Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Rebel with a cause

    In Roman J. Israel, Esq., the dilemma of the independent-minded Israel evokes the condition of many conscientious individuals in various fields today, including the film industry. Gilroy must surely be commenting on the current reality in Hollywood, where giant conglomerates attempt to control or smother any oppositional projects. Gilroy explores the moral and creative dimensions and consequences of being trapped in a world that has been reduced, as he puts it, to “transactions,” between people.

  • Protagonism and Productivity

    Socialism

    To build the new socialist society, it is necessary to develop new, socialist concepts. So, let me end by paraphrasing Che from his Man and Socialism in Cuba: the pipe dream that socialism can be achieved through capitalist accounting and capitalist concepts of efficiency can lead into a blind alley. And you wind up there after having travelled a long distance with many crossroads, and it is hard to figure out just where you took the wrong turn.

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