Features

by Editors — last modified 2018-02-24T13:28:39-04:00
Original articles by non-sectarian socialist student, labour and community organizers based in Canada.

The Crisis of Social Democracy | Asbjørn Wahl

by Asbjørn Wahl — last modified Feb 09, 2018 01:44 PM
All over Europe the crisis of social democracy is being debated. Given a situation in which several of these traditionally strong parties have almost been wiped out at particular elections or on a permanent basis, this should not surprise anybody. Although the situation is not as dramatic in Norway/Scandinavia, the crisis is discussed also here. After all, during the last two decades, the Norwegian Labour Party has experienced two of its worst elections (2001 and 2017) since the 1920s. Further, it is widely perceived, at least in large parts of the trade union movement, that the Labour Party messed up something, which should have been an easy victory at last year's parliamentary elections, precisely because of circumstances that can easily be interpreted into a crisis scenario.

Apologists, failure, and always being wrong about privatization | What's Left 2018-01-21 Volume 104

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Jan 21, 2018 10:11 PM
The fight against privatization is framed by liberals and the right-wing as a clear and unsubstantiated ideological position of the left. And, no matter how much research is presented exposing how privatization of state services and programs costs more and has no positive (but, in many cases negative) impacts on quality of services, the dominant narrative is privatization works. But, at this point, believing that privatization leads to increased efficiency and lower costs is akin to the denial of climate change and thinking vaccines cause Autism. Decades of real life examples, economic analysis, and trial and error policy show that there are so many ways that do not work when it comes to privatization. So, why do people still believe this nonsense?

State Power Apologists and Propaganda | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Jan 01, 2018 01:26 PM
State propaganda is sophisticated. To a point that we do not even call it "propaganda" any more. Narratives glorifying soldiers of war, spies, and good cops defending the poor and innocent from external threats are everywhere in Western media. All celebrating the moral individual fighting an immoral other. Or, the take down of a Rogue by a broken state system made up of good people.

Reading my way through 2017

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 31, 2017 10:30 AM
January 2017 was somewhat of a low point. Living in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as the president of the United States had a chilling effect not just on me, but on everything and everyone around me. Reading the news became more depressing than before, and I was uninspired to write—my usual remedy to seasonal blues.

Book Review: Brother by David Chariandy

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 30, 2017 01:21 PM
David Chariandy’s second novel is set in Scarborough, Ontario in the ’90s: a backdrop that turns out to be a brilliant soundtrack for the story of a teenage boy. Raised by a single mother who came from Trinidad, Michael grows up in a large residential complex called The Park. Brother is an impressive story about family, struggle, grief and violence.

Transfers of Wealth and Snake-Oil Promoters | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Dec 20, 2017 10:09 AM
There is something not quite right with the regulation of the financial-technology world. The focus of regulation since the financial crisis was on risk (even if these have since been rolled back). However, the main problem in the end might have not been the high risk, but that the negative consequences of high risk are not borne by those taking the risk.

The Third Way Science "Revolution" Is Nonsense | Citizens' Press

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Dec 18, 2017 11:13 AM
We are not going to fix the influx of commercialism into research programs at Canadian universities by turning everyone into a commercial research agent. More commercialism would obviously exacerbate the problem of underfunding of basic research. But, that is exactly what the nice sounding "cooperative" Third Way is selling.

Naming Capitals | What's Left Guest Editorial

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Dec 11, 2017 09:07 AM
For the republican Arab world, the past twelve years have been defined by foreign invasion, civil and proxy wars, revolution and counter-revolution. It has been devastating. However, it should be remembered that, within the republican Arab world, the twenty-first century began with the American backed crushing of the second Palestinian uprising (intifada).

What to write about? | What's Left 100th Edition

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Nov 14, 2017 02:38 PM
Reading the news today is like living through a poorly written dystopian novel, but without any of the exciting grittiness that comes with a real apocalypse or the fun of Zombieland. And, the current contradictions make it difficult to focus on a topic to write about. We have economic growth with rising inequality. Right-wing populism without a populist left-wing response. The decline of social democratic parties, but with a rising acceptance of democratic socialist values. Increased access to knowledge, but less real understanding. Increased politicization, but no clear path to political power. It makes one's head spin.

Book Review: Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Nov 10, 2017 01:13 PM
Toronto Star journalist Tanya Talaga takes a dive into a crisis based in the northern community of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Since the year 2000, seven Indigenous high school students have died in circumstances that are too similar to discount. Questions around the events leading to their deaths remain unanswered to this day. In every case, it was found that the police systematically failed to provide the families with due process and a sense of justice. In the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report in 2015, Seven Fallen Feathers is required reading.
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