Articles Socialism

  • Are we there yet?

    There is always a tendency for capital to curb democracy from becoming too effective, too prescriptive about how private wealth should be divided and deployed. Every now and again, this curbing may be excessive, causing problems for the legitimacy of the regime. There are signs we may be in such a moment.

  • Trends to barbarism and prospects for socialism

    Western societies and states are moving inexorably toward conditions resembling barbarism; structural changes are reversing decades of social welfare and subjecting labor, natural resources and the wealth of nations to raw exploitation, pillage and plunder, driving living standards downward and provoking unprecedented levels of discontent.

  • Dispatches from the Detriot USSF #2

    Unlike the World Social Forum and Social Forums in other countries,the USSF has few NGOs here and no celebrity stars. These were mostly people from local groups of grassroot activists.

  • North Winnipeg’s Seal of Identity

    “The place of childhood provides the seal of identity.” This epigram opens the first chapter of Roland Penner’s memoir, Growing Up ‘Red’ in Winnipeg’s North End. It holds true even for those of us who grew up only “pink” – i.e. whose parents were CCFers rather than Communists, and who as a result never set foot in the Ukrainian Labour Temple at Pritchard and McGregor.

  • The Left’s Review

    Most English-speaking leftists over the age of forty grew up reading the New Left Review (NLR). Founded in 1960, the journal brought together the first British New Left, which exited the Communist Party in 1956, publishing the New Reasoner, and a younger generation that put out the Universities and Left Review.

  • Building Twenty-First Century Socialism

    A spectre is haunting capitalism: the spectre of twenty-first century socialism. Increasingly the outlines of this spectre are becoming clear, and we are able to see enough to understand what it is not. The only thing that is not clear at this point is whether this spectre is actually an earthly presence.

  • No Glory: One Communists Struggle in Difficult Times

    The extraordinary British radical historian Edward Thompson described one of his goals as being to spare those whose lives and dreams are lost to history from the “enormous condescension of posterity.” In writing the first half of the life of James P. Cannon, Bryan Palmer takes up an even more ambitious task.

  • Five Challenges for Ecosocialists in 2008

    In Canada, ecosocialism is new, and still a distinctly minority current. Most progressive movements address ecological issues from time to time, but few have made them a key focus of their activity. And while socialist views are beginning to get a hearing in green circles, few ecology activists advocate anything more radical than the market-based “solutions” of the Kyoto Accord.

  • Red in Winnipeg’s North End

    In a fascinating memoir, the American award-winning and once blacklisted film writer, Walter Bernstein, warns about the dangers of looking back by reminding us of what happened to Lot’s wife: she turned into a pillar of salt. So, if perchance that happens to me, all I can ask is that you throw a little of that salt over your left shoulder.

  • Civic Nation Good, Ethnic Nation Bad

    A certain Ramsay Cook, the one who called me a “national socialist” in the late sixties, defines the ethnic nation as having “a language, history and culture that marks them out as a separate people,” while “a civic nation” has only “common civic values” (Globe & Mail, November 10, 2006). In Quebec, says Cook, many “allophones” and Anglophones don’t share the French language and culture, and only some of the history. Therefore, if the Quebec nation is deemed to have a common language, etc., that would exclude the “allophones” and anglophones.

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