The coming end of start-up culture and the limits of what can be commodified

The coming end of start-up culture and the limits of what can be commodified

There is a growing focus in liberal policy circles on fostering entrepreneurial spirit in an attempt to drive growth. Having run out of ideas for promoting the economic growth endemic to capitalism through the privatization of state assets, and seeing the lackluster productivity gains over the previous decades, the governments of advanced capitalist countries are looking to leverage the only part of their economies that are growing: the tech sector. This singular focus has resulted in changes to post-secondary education policy where university research are pushed ever further into becoming corporate R&D labs, and government research supports are spun off in an attempt to commercialize anything that looks like it can be commodified and sold.

Un livre un jour, un livre toujours

Un livre un jour, un livre toujours

Translations: FR

Il y a quelques années, j'ai eu envie d'approcher la lecture de façon structurée. J'aime lire un peu de tout, mais j'aime aussi me fixer des objectifs pour lire des œuvres que je ne lirais pas autrement. En 2017, je suis tombée sur la collection d'Olivier Barrot *Un livre un jour, un livre toujours*, et j'ai su tout de suite que mon programme était fixé. En ordre chronologique, cette liste de 200 livres fait le tour des grands classiques de la littérature.

A red-green new deal in transport: Workers' Power and renewable electrification of the whole economy

A red-green new deal in transport: Workers' Power and renewable electrification of the whole economy

The transport sector represents one of the biggest challenges when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. They are increasing faster than from any other sector in society -- and at an ever-increasing pace (over 120% globally over the last 30 years -- and still increasing in all parts of the world). In Europe, transport is the largest climate problem accounting for 27% of its green-house gas emissions (GHGs) in 2017. It is also the only sector which emissions are above 1990 levels (Transport & Environment, 2018).

These times demand renewed investment in our public services

These times demand renewed investment in our public services

The events of the past two months have shone a spotlight on the underlying weaknesses of Canada’s crumbling welfare state. Many people in Canada are rightly proud that Canada does not share some of the most grotesque features of the American social model, above all the horrendously wasteful and inequitable private health insurance system. And, Canada’s national political leadership has come across as much more competent in managing the COVID-19 crisis than its American and British counterparts, whose response has ranged from openly inept at best to completely absurd at worst. But, having a head of state or government who does not advocate injection of home cleaning products at press conferences is a low bar indeed.

Unions and ending the restrictions on work.

Unions and ending the restrictions on work.

Discussions about 're-opening the economy' are just beginning. Capital's demands are not about worker protections and pay, their goal is a return to profitability. Labour unions must avoid full alignment with capital on their demands to ensure workers' interests are prioritized. There are many questions we need answered to start to support any process that ramps-up production.

Musings from inside the pandemic

Musings from inside the pandemic

The current crisis response is wrapped in a fog that conceals its true politics. The population is asked to believe that our politicians are not as partisan as they were just four weeks ago. We are to believe they have charted a new course bringing workers and business together. Look more closely and you will see they are barely wavering from the path they were on before they heard about the novel coronavirus.

Some socialist ideas for responding to the COVID-19 crisis

Some socialist ideas for responding to the COVID-19 crisis

Services and products for people in need are going to be a problem in the coming weeks. Supply chains are complex and some businesses along those chains will not be able to support production during this crisis -- or support the necessary ramp-up in production needed. To sustain production, the state is going to have to step-in and direct procurement and investment. As such, nationalized production should be on the table if it looks too complicated to coordinate the private sector to get the goods we need to the people that need them. Here is a list of recommendations outlining how socialists should be framing their demands during this time.

The right-wing are being forced to eat their own cuts

The right-wing are being forced to eat their own cuts

Prior to the pandemic, many unions and labour activists were in the thick of pushing back against right-wing governments. In Ontario, the PC government under Doug Ford spent its first two years in office slashing health care and education, imposing public-sector wage constraints, and implementing a radical transformation of public services in Ontario. In Alberta, Jason Kenney was still in early days of pursuing a similar program. Then comes a pandemic, and Canada's right-wing has changed their tune.