Articles Social Movements

  • The Psychology of Fascism

    Social Movements

    The continuing rise of fascism around the world is drawing increasing attention particularly as it takes firmer grip within national societies long seen to have rejected it. Some recent studies have reminded us of the characteristics of fascist movements and individuals, particularly as they manifest among politically active fascists. For example, in his recent book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us And Them Professor Jason Stanley has identified ten characteristics shared by fascists which have been simply presented in the article ‘Prof Sees Fascism Creeping In U.S.’

  • The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

    Social Movements

    The General Strike of 1919 was not only Winnipeg’s climactic event, but a watershed of some consequence in the evolution of Canada. It stands, too, among the great class-confrontations of capitalist history. It was far more massive and disciplined than the Seattle General Strike which barely preceded it, even without counting the general sympathetic strikes that occurred simultaneously in a dozen other Canadian cities — often massive affairs themselves, though barely mentioned in any record.

  • The rise of the Right & the challenge of building a Left alternative

    Social Movements

    Europe and North America had been relatively sheltered from the crisis until recently, mainly because of their position of dominance vis-à-vis the global south, gained through economic exploitation and militaristic policies, with the U.S. leading the way and Canada following. The resulting permanent environmental and economic crises have now reached our shores. The lasting recession that has taken hold in Europe, and the United States is now knocking at our door, both in Canada and Québec.

  • Learning from the past, fighting in the present

    Social Movements

    Facing an urgent present, why dig into history? The short answer is that it’s invaluable for helping us to struggle more effectively. In the pace of movements and mobilizations, years can sometimes feel like decades and, with frequent activist turnover, we all too easily end up repeating similar mistakes and debates over and over again. Coming to know movement history can help us to learn from our missteps.

  • Five Ideas for Building the Manitoba Activist Left

    Social Movements

    There are a number of existing and emerging initiatives that you can get involved in like the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, Communities Not Cuts, and emerging initiatives like Fight for $15 and a potential campaign around public transit. Recent union protests have largely been one-off actions, so if you are in a union, push for a longer-term campaign rather than one-off rallies.

  • Why is the Manitoba Left Struggling?

    Social Movements

    Decades of neoliberalism have helped create a culture in the prairies and other parts of Canada where unions place the bulk of their “political action” on parliamentary and electoral politics. Conversations with elected union leaders in Manitoba confirmed this. One elected union leader said a core means to get rid of the Tories is “being active and being engaged and involved in the Party. Volunteering and working for them and encouraging others to do the same.”

  • Climate change and the next left

    Environment

    Climate change is already happening. But the really bad news is that there’s very strong evidence that capitalism will deliver a future of catastrophic climate change that will have far-reaching effects around the world, especially in the imperialized countries of the Global South. There is a vast gap between the continuing growth of greenhouse gas emissions and the massive reductions of emissions are needed to prevent widespread catastrophes.

  • Free and Accessible Transit Now

    Social Movements

    More is at stake than reducing traffic congestion and gridlock. Transit and general mobility are intimately related to larger issues in capitalist society: how goods and services are produced and delivered; the location of and nature of jobs; where and how we live and travel; issues of class, inequality and oppression related to race, age, gender, and sexuality; climate justice; and the very shape and nature of our democratic institutions.

  • From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes

    Social Movements

    Like the nostalgia for the Cold War, the media is going back to what took place in the United States at a time when prestigious universities like Columbia and the University of California at Berkeley were shut down. Strikes by various unions accompanied and accompany the strikes in France so that, on the surface, comparisons between the late 1960s in the U.S. and 2018 in France seem to have some validity.

  • How We Fight Fascism

    Social Movements

    Zetkin’s analysis, eerily prophetic and reprinted in the book Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win, edited by John Riddell and Mike Taber, highlights the principal features of emerging fascist movements. Fascism, Zetkin warned, arises when capitalism enters a period of crisis and breakdown of the democratic institutions that once offered the possibility of reform and protection from an uninhibited assault by the capitalist class.

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