Beyond May Day: From ritual to resistance

by Jeff Shantz Perhaps few recurring events show the great disparity that exists between activist subcultures and broader working class and poor communities in North America than the May Day celebrations that happen each year (with a few exceptions). Despite its proud origins in working class movements of resistance, and its resonance in the mass struggles of the 1930s, May Day in Canada and the US has become little more than a historical commemoration among certain subcultures, an opportunity to (once again) unfurl black flags and distribute pamphlets (largely to one another). For the most part May Day events are … Continue reading Beyond May Day: From ritual to resistance

Post-racial America

by Henry A. Giroux  The killing of a young African-American boy, Trayvon Martin, by an overzealous white Hispanic security guard who appears to have capitulated to the dominant post-racial presumption that equates the culture of criminality with the culture of blackness, has devolved into a spectacle. While there is plenty of moral outrage to go around, a recognition that racism is alive and well in America, and that justice has been hijacked by those who can afford it, the broader and more fundamental questions and analyses are not being raised. Complex issues get lost when spectacular events are taken over … Continue reading Post-racial America

Fighting neo-liberalism with education and activism

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

Global economic justice

by Daniel Little My subject here is the role of ethical principles in the conduct of economic development planning and strategy. Bluntly, what does justice in development involve, and why should policy makers care? The field of “development ethics” has been around for at least fifty years, since the publications of Gunnar Myrdal (Myrdal, 1968). But it has received more focus and attention in the past thirty years, led by the brilliant work of Amartya Sen. Sen has many qualifications for theorizing about the ethics of development. He is a Nobel prize winning economist, he is an Asian by birth, … Continue reading Global economic justice

Why socialism?

by Albert Einstein Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is. Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological … Continue reading Why socialism?

Justice for all and the European Union

by Philippe Van Parijs When we are thinking about how the European Union should evolve, what competences it should be given, what direction it should take, what is the ultimate objective? The answer is simple: justice. But what is justice? Any conception of justice relevant for our times must combine two elements, both strongly rooted in our European traditions, but neither of them exclusive to them: equal respect for the diversity of conceptions of the good life that characterizes our pluralist societies and equal concern for the interests of all members, present and yet to come, of the society concerned. … Continue reading Justice for all and the European Union

The capitalist life crisis

by Jeff Noonan The failure of the Durban Conference on Climate Change, (December, 2011) to agree to anything more substantial than that all nations would work together to develop binding targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 is a metonym for the life-crisis besetting globalised capitalism.[1] Because global capitalism subordinates what John McMurtry calls “life-value”  to the expansion and accumulation of  money-value, it progressively undermines the conditions of planetary life-support, human life-requirement satisfaction, and meaningful human life-capacity development and enjoyment.[2]  Resources, relationships, practices, norms, institutions, and forms of life-activity have life-value when they:  a) satisfy objective requirements of human … Continue reading The capitalist life crisis