Articles

  • Economic power to the people!

    Economic Crisis

    Sadly little known today, Robinson was a radical, defiantly outside the mainstream. She engaged the orthodoxy of her day in fiery debates, defending the core belief that the free-market profit system was no way to organize the economy and society. In this, Robinson was very much like the Marxist economists of her day, although she was explicit that she was not a Marxist.

  • The Basic Income debate

    Economic Crisis

    If BI is used to top-up low wages, then it will create incentives for employers who used to pay decent wages to reduce wages so they won’t have to compete with companies that benefit from subsidized labour and, in any case, BI will serve as a public subsidy for cheap labour strategies. That means our precious public dollars will be re-directed into the coffers of corporations, not to human needs.

  • Historical foundations of Aboriginal rights

    Having long ago established himself as a foremost scholarly interlocutor of Canadian Indigenous history, Arthur Ray, with a career that spans those ’70s books on my shelf (two magisterial studies: Indians in the Fur Trade and with Donald Freeman Give Us Good Measure) to new books including Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History, one would have thought he would be happy with what could be called “vanity projects.”

  • Addiction among the middle class

    In recent years, my newsfeed has played host to a steady trickle of articles documenting the alarming rise of opioid addiction rates in North America. Described by political pundits as a “quiet epidemic,” the explosion in the use and abuse of pharmaceutical opioids — substances with clinical names like oxycodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone — has gone largely unnoticed, media coverage often limited to celebrity overdoses and litanies of dreary statistics.

  • Exploring settler-colonial culture

    Lowman and Barker’s Settler really dwells on the dominant culture in Canada as a settler-colonial culture. Hence it is not “about” Indigenous peoples per se, but rather the bad faith of a culture constructed on ongoing colonial dispossessions. It is my own view that we do not yet have a fully developed theory of the specificity of settler colonialism, though such a theory no doubt is coming and can be found in nascent forms in earlier writing on colonialism.

  • First choice for a younger generation

    No doubt for a younger generation of activists, Palmater’s Indigenous Nationhood will be a first choice. Her cadences — and anger — capture the mood of an emerging generation of social justice, broadly Left-oriented, ground level activists. When she writes that one of her goals is to “help us kick the colonizers out of our heads,” (4-5) she puts her finger on an enduring problem within and around Indigenous social movements.

  • Québecers mobilize against intolerance and exclusion

    Quebec

    The testimony gathered by media covering the January shooting at a Québec City mosque brings to light a somber situation. According to a representative of that city’s Muslim community, many no longer go to mosques for fear of being identified, while some women have stopped wearing hijabs, hiding their faith for fear of being fired from their jobs. (As one of them put it, “It’s enough that I am black; that is something I cannot hide.”)

  • Trumping nature

    Environment

    Such is the depth of Trump’s planned assault on environmental regulation that it bathes his predecessors in a greenish light. As the U.S. turns back the clock on its already grossly inadequate measures to mitigate the most menacing ecological fallout from industrial capitalist civilization, the countdown to ecocide accelerates. And while some of the harm Trump & Co. wreak in other policy areas may ultimately be reversible, the injury to ecosystems will be all but irremediable.

  • NDP Leadership Race: A Labour-Themed Debate Brings Most Substance Yet

    Canadian Politics

    Much is still at stake for 2019, and while Trudeau remains strong, his father in 1972 lost his Trudeaumania majority, nearly lost power altogether, and had to depend on the David Lewis NDP to keep it. Even if 2019 doesn’t bring an NDPer into 24 Sussex, the chosen leader could wield immense power and influence.

  • World’s biggest coal company closes 37 mines as solar power’s influence grows

    Environment

    The largest coal mining company in the world has announced it will close 37 mines because they are no longer economically viable. Coal India, which produces around 82 per cent of India’s coal, said the mines would be decommissioned by March 2018. The closures, of around 9 per cent of the state-run firm’s sites, will reportedly save around 8,000,000,000 rupees (£98m).

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