The focus of this issue of CD emerges from the Socialist Studies conference held at Brock University this past spring. Several of our feature articles are based on some memorable presentations given at the conference and exchanges with Socialist Stud- ies participants. (Socialist Studies is an association of progressive academics, students, activists and members of the general public formed in 1967 to foster research and analysis from socialist, feminist, anti-racist and ecological perspectives).
In his article “The Global Economic Crisis: A View from the South,” Prabhat Patnaik identifies and analyzes the particularities of the current phase of capitalist globalization, including the unprecedented formation of a single global reserve labour army and a tendency towards underconsumption, which nation states can no longer counteract effectively through demand management due to the rule of finance capital. under these circumstances, Patnaik argues, economic bubbles become the only remedy for stagnation. He goes on to contest the proposition that the desegmentation of the global economy renders the concept of imperialism less relevant, and concludes with a discussion of how the existing state of economic affairs creates propitious conditions for the rise of fascism.
The mining industry was a central concern of several talks at the Socialist Studies conference. Here, Tracy Glynn looks at women’s resistance to extractivism both abroad and at home, and considers the heavy price women pay for their opposition, especially in the global south, while Paula Butler discusses the Canadian mining industry’s strategy for shielding itself from restrictions on foreign investments imposed by countries where it operates.
In addition to the Socialist Studies presentations, our issue also features an interview with Québec scholar and critic Alain Deneault, whose work — including the book Noir Canada, which was the object of two SLAPP suits seeking a total of $11 million in damages — lays bare the dubious practices of the Canadian mining industry abroad.