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CUPE 2021 leaderboard

Economic Crisis

  • Is music’s crypto moment a boon for artists or a symbol of the market’s worst impulses?

    With the arts facing a host of market failures, the promise of disruption and decentralization offered by 2021’s buzziest acronym—NFTs, or non-fungible tokens—seems messianic to a nascent class of techno-optimists who seem eager to come to the aid of the starving artists among us. Unfortunately, however, NFTs look to be more like an expression of venture capitalism and commodification than a salve to the world’s ailing creative industries.

  • The NDP must be a party of workers, not small business

    Recently, the NDP’s official Twitter account put up a post suggesting that “small businesses are the backbone of our economy.” And while one tweet’s importance should not be overstated, Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley said the same thing recently, and it is representative of a problem that is central to the NDP and its failure to put forward a coherent message rooted in the class conflict and social relations that define Canada.

  • Fighting the extreme right, building the left

    The federal government’s addition of the far-right group the Proud Boys to the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities has sparked some debate among progressive groups, including in the pages of Canadian Dimension. While street mobilization is important and necessary, it alone will not be enough to defeat the extreme right. We take this opportunity to reflect on the necessary perspectives for the left.

  • Economic justice and the limits of the Charter

    As COVID pushes more people into poverty, the Charter’s limits must be recognized. But doing so requires greater care in our discussions. Civil liberty groups should continue to litigate, but they should also be more specific in what the Charter can and cannot do. This would provide space for extra-legal solutions, such as protests and mutual aid. Otherwise, those who use the Charter will unknowingly contribute to the problems they are fighting to end.

  • Organizing in the face of crisis

    The pandemic will continue to shape our lives for a long time to come yet. However, even when it is finally behind us, the economic fallout and deeper problems of global capitalism will be left in its wake. As workers and as members of communities under attack, we are going to have to be able to assert the popular will through powerful and united social movements.

  • ‘No Country for Old Men’ and 40 years of Reagan’s America

    On the fortieth anniversary of Reagan’s inauguration, it is worth contemplating the lasting effects of his administration’s policies on communities throughout the United States. No Country for Old Men presents this shift as a modern reincarnation of the inhuman brutality and rugged individualism of the Wild West. With today’s unprecedented socioeconomic inequality, it is an analysis that grows only more prescient with time.

  • Papering over the rot

    Societal breakdown, which is looming, brings with it grotesque political distortions. Trump was a symptom of this breakdown. He was not the disease. This dystopian future, one that will probably end in the United States in a form of Christian fascism, has been bequeathed to us by the ruling global elites, who in another era would have been found promenading through the halls of Versailles or the Forbidden City.

  • Beyond ‘trusting the experts’

    Those who do wear masks may have trouble appreciating the degree of alienation experienced by people engaging in dangerous behaviour. Business owners will continue to promote conspiracy theories to try to open the economy. Notwithstanding these challenges, a critical recognition of both science and power will not only help stop COVID-19 but also make us more resilient in the face of the next crisis.

  • Jason Kenney is tanking Alberta

    Jason Kenney is beset with woes—woes he believes are caused by everyone else but himself. So called zealots and urban militants lost Kenney his precious Teck mine. Trudeau is to blame for the Keystone XL pipeline’s second death. And Albertans are to blame for high rates of COVID-19. The reality is the only person to blame for Alberta’s economic and social woes is the person in charge—Jason Kenney.

  • How capitalism’s dogged defenders and propagandists defend it from criticism

    Our current debates about our society’s problems and prospects need to refocus beyond the different adjectives for a common noun they qualify. It is time to expose and challenge capitalism’s core: that employer-employee organization of enterprises, private and state. We need to drop the taboo on debating how we ought to organize the workplaces where most adults spend most of their lives.

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