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Globalization

  • Pensions and the Detroit Bankruptcy

    Many business-oriented commentators blame urban corruption and incompetence, poor investment decisions by auto companies, and pensions cast as too generous. While there is always a grain of truth to some of those claims, they have little to do with the underlying causes of the decline of cities like Detroit.

  • U.S. Corporations Launch Wave of NAFTA Attacks on Canada’s Energy, Fracking, and Medicines Policies

    U.S. corporations have launched an alarming new offensive against Canadian health and environmental policies under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Three U.S. firms recently announced plans to use the “trade” pact to seek nearly one billion taxpayer dollars in private, NAFTA-created tribunals as compensation for Canadian policies on fracking, wind energy, and medicine patents.

  • The Global Crisis of Capitalism

    Crisis theorists confuse what is clearly the degrading of labour, the savaging of living and working conditions and even the stagnation of the economy, with a ‘crisis’ of capital: when the capitalist class increases its profit margins, hoards trillions, it is not in crisis. The key point is that the ‘crisis of labour’ is a major stimulus for the recovery of capitalist profits.

  • Mud, Hubris and Malevolent Urban Change

    India seems more preoccupied than ever with showing off its resources and firepower, of which it certainly has plenty, than worrying about their mal-distribution and misuse. This attitude, as my article suggests, is at the heart of all that is wrong with the Commonwealth Games.

  • G20 Fiddles While Planet Burns and Economy Fizzles

    With the G20 political leaders preparing to gather in Toronto this June, the outcome of the palaver can already be predicted with certainty: failure to resolve either the global economic or environmental crisis.

  • The Return of Mr. Keynes

    John Maynard Keynes has returned from the graveyard of discarded and abandoned theorists. Blamed for the strange brew known as stagflation, Keynes’ economics had been unceremoniously dumped there in the mid-seventies. His economics was replaced by that rediscovered nineteenth-century concoction of deregulation, privatization and free trade. And so, the cycle turns.

  • Sewing the Seeds of a New World Agriculture

    Tony Weis is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Western Ontario, and he’s really stepped back to look at the big picture. His book, The Global Food Economy: The Battle for the Future of Farming is a lively, detailed, very readable survey of the global food economy. Ranging from the rich world to the majority world, his book is a scathing indictment of the “problems and iniquities of the world food system.”

    Kuyek’s short history (just 125 pages) covers one hundred years of Canadian agriculture centred on seeds. Seeds are profoundly social, he writes: “they reflect and reproduce the cultural values and social interests of those who develop them.”

  • Better and Better Reasons for War

    In his timely and keenly argued polemic, Humanitarian Imperialism, Jean Bricmont subjects left-liberal humanitarian rationale for war to the same kind of unsparing scrutiny as he and his co-author Alan Sokal did to the intellectual pretenses of postmodernists in Intellectual Impostures. But while the influence of the postmodernists rarely reaches beyond the confines of academia, the conceits of humanitarian imperialists have global implications and, with the saber-rattling against Iran, may yet lead to catastrophe.

  • The Gold Bug

    Guided by resource discovery and the heavy-handed rule of the free market, the mining of gold today is “rush-mining,” much as it was a century ago. From the Indigenous lands of Brazil to those in Canada, from Tanzania to the Philippines, whenever gold is discovered, local communities are forced to migrate or attempt to adjust to the new industry. In fact, only eleven per cent of the gold mined worldwide has a practical use in technologies like biomedicine or electronics. Meanwhile, seventy per cent is used for jewellery, with the rest going to investment.

  • Manufacturing Jobs

    “Globalization” has become the easy explanation for any disaster that befalls. In itself, however, this generally obscures as much as it explains. The crisis in Canadian manufacturing is a case in point.

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