Original articles by Citizens' Press

Below, you will find original articles from the Citizens' Press.

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Defending public health work

Public health agencies have carried the weight of this pandemic for many months now. As COVID-19 cases rise across Canada and the Fall reveals clear signs of a second wave, it is important to remember the role and purpose of public health workers at all levels – local, provincial and national.


Socialist economic policies are the answer to the current crises

The cheerleaders of neoliberal policy are rising like zombies after the current collection of economic, health, climate, and political crises seemed to bury them for a while. This means that it is not going to be enough to just defend the current wreck, but build something better. Socialists have social and economic policy programs that deal directly with these challenges. It is time to dust them off and fight for them with abandon.


Theories of money, labour, and power

When it comes to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), I tend to take a rather less aggressive position than some from the classical (Marxian/Marxist) tradition. There are some holes in the theory and its view of the economy is irksome, but others have debated these to their fullest extent (a debate that is at least 100 years old). And, in the end of the day, arguing over the degree to which a theory is wrong is not very interesting. Anwar Shaikh does a very good job of putting the limits to MMT's ideas. Basically, there is a limit to MMT and the question is: what then?


What is a union and what is it not?

The Alberta majority government has moved a series of bills that, when looked at together, drastically undermine unions in the province. Bill 1, passed in May, makes it illegal to protest ‘essential infrastructure’. Bill 32 makes multiple changes to labour law, restricts picketing activities, creates an onerous system where members must opt-in for dues used for ‘political activity’, and more. Finally, Bill 26 changes the Constitutional Referendum Amendment Act allowing big money to pour into Alberta politics.


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.


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

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.


The regular user's guide to using Linux

The purpose of this document is to outline how I work in Linux. While there are lots of documents online on how coders set-up and tinker with Linux, there are not many for regular users who want to become more proficient in their computer use.


A how-to install guide for Linux programs

This is a list of GNU and open source programs I use regularly. I have included some install commands and configuration details that I hope will make them easier to use.


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

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.

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