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Our Times 3

Economic Crisis

  • Strange bedfellows: Trump’s political base

    Trump represents one class and one large subsection of Americans that rebelled against the politics of the so-called “Golden Age” that contributed to the transition to neoliberalism, the effects of the which shifted the political economy of the US to the right and the resulting epic inequality, macroeconomic instability, and the social and health crisis that followed.

  • The fate of capitalism hangs in the balance of international power

    Most commentary on international relations proceeds as if the global order floated above the patchwork quilt of the world map, an ethereal stage on which disembodied states play leading or bit parts in consequential but ultimately inexplicable plots. Inadequate at the best of times, such commentary will not serve when the fate of capitalism itself hangs in the balance of international power.

  • Trudeau’s game of throne speech

    Throne speeches are part of a tradition of parliamentary hypocrisy. We may sometimes win things in those settings, but the far more decisive question is the struggle that is taken up on the streets. In this time of crisis, that is truer than ever before and we must build the movements to hammer out and win a post-pandemic future based on the needs of workers and communities rather than empty Liberal promises.

  • Modern Monetary Theory could be the key to unlocking Canada’s economic future

    Canada is in a unique position to implement MMT, perhaps better than any country in the world. Elements of UBI have been tested before, but never all of them in concert. With increasing corporate capture of our everyday lives and the states that govern us, it may be time to try something new—even if it doesn’t take us all the way to a truly egalitarian and equitable society.

  • Mental health under neoliberalism: From self-help to CBT

    The left has been pushing for greater access to mental health care for years, so for many, CBT could be viewed as an exciting success. However, we need and deserve better, beginning with solutions that target systemic causes of mental distress. Building radical futures means we must reconsider how we will support our communities, and work towards healing justice.

  • Political openings: Class struggle during and after the pandemic

    After the pandemic, the challenge confronting the left is whether it can take advantage of the spaces capitalism has not completely conquered and the contradictions of life under capitalism that have blocked the full integration of working people, to remake the working class into one that has the interest, will, confidence, and capacity to lead a challenge to capitalism.

  • Trudeau’s crisis-driven ‘reset’

    What takes place in the House of Commons in September will be of considerable interest but the fight for workers’ rights, decent income and housing that we take up outside of Parliament will be considerably more important. We can be sure that whatever Trudeau’s “ambitious plan” looks like in the end, that fight will remain urgent and inescapable.

  • Basic income is on the table in Canada. Is it the fight we want?

    As unemployment remains high, CERB remains an important way to keep Canadians afloat. We should continue fighting for its survival. But the long-term idea of converting CERB to basic income, both as a policy and strategy for the left, is less a matter of principle and imagining the possible than it is a gamble with conservatives and free market fetishists.

  • Canada’s post-pandemic response: Socialism for the rich, austerity for the poor and working class?

    The ideas raised at the recent Courage press conference urge government officials and journalists to consider the importance of essential workers and vulnerable communities, not only during the pandemic, but in Canada’s economic recovery. Only by taking stock of their concerns and demands will Canada be better prepared for future crises.

  • The fiscal deficit, modern monetary theory and progressive economic policy

    If we want much more public investment, we will have to give less priority to private consumption, especially the luxury consumption of the rich. If we want greater control of our economy, we must confront the power of private financial interests. MMT, based on the theoretical legacy of Keynesian economics, offers us a way forward, but it does not free us from the very real constraints of capitalism.

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