by Steve Fraser “All that is solid melts into air” is even truer about the hyper-flux of everyday life today than it was when those words first appeared in the Communist Manifesto more than a century and half ago. Truer, that is, with one major exception. In our political life we are fixated on the past, forever looking backward. Arguably, national politics over the last half century has polarized between efforts to defend and restore the New Deal Order and relentless attempts to repeal it and replace it with something even older. The liberal left has fought to extend or … Continue reading To go beyond the capitalist state
by Aziz Choudry and Eric Shragge In September 2012, the Liberal government of Jean Charest was defeated, and the pro-independence Parti-Quebecois (PQ) was elected to a minority government. The PQ government almost immediately rolled back the tuition increase and repealed Bill 78-Law 14, the repressive emergency legislation to curb and limit public protest which had been introduced in May of that year. In the short term this is a victory and was certainly brought about by the mass protests during what has been described as Le Printempserable or Maple Spring. There is the amazing experience of the “carré rouge,” the small red squares worn by students and the general public that … Continue reading Taking notes 20: The 2012 student strike: Many lessons were learned and taught
If it has not already, then the world should be taking note of the curious and disturbing situation that is developing in Cyprus. The latest is that some resolution has come to pass in which Cyprus can remain in the Eurozone and deposits over 100,000 euros, not guaranteed by EU governments, will be expropriated to help resolve the debt issue. Most of those who will be affected by this appear to be Russians who have deposited billions in Cyprus. But it does appear that we have what amounts to a never-ending Eurozone crisis where the savings of ordinary Cypriots (small … Continue reading Taking notes 15: Sad Cyprus
by Zoltan Zigedy Economic relations clarify politics just as politics can return the favor. In truth, it is impossible to fully understand one without an understanding of the other, and especially without a grasp of their inter-relationship. No doubt that explains the wisdom of the classical economists (and Marx and Engels) in describing their studies as “political economy.” Similarly, the failure to systematically integrate the two social domains explains the frustration of the modern-day academic economists, even Nobel laureates, who fume about the politicians standing in the way of their ready solutions to the current global economic crisis. A case … Continue reading Getting serious about politics
by Zoltan Zigedy Twenty years ago Marxism was in retreat. Actually, it had been in retreat much earlier than the fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern European socialism a decade before the end of the twentieth century. But certainly the dissolution of the USSR marked a dramatic and, for many, a surprising finale. Communism, the revolutionary expression of Marxism, was the official ideology of states that contained roughly 40% of the world’s population as late as the nineteen eighties. At the same time, in many other countries, Communists were formidable political forces possibly in reach of political power or, … Continue reading Marxism: Dead or alive?
by Dave Hill This is a revolutionary period in world history. The collapse of finance capitalism, the bankers’ bailouts across the globe, the continuing bankers’ bonuses, and the intrinsic problems of finance capitalism have, under current `bourgeois’ parliamentarist rule, resulted in ordinary families, workers and communities,`paying for the crisis’. All this, while the national and international capitalist classes and organisations impose austerity capitalism on a reeling public and public educational, social, health and welfare systems. This `austerity capitalism’ has led to an eruption of discontent-against political, economic and financial dictatorship, through the Arab Spring, the indignados in Spain, the Occupy … Continue reading Fighting neo-liberalism with education and activism