"Today, we look at the past and lament the savageness of exploitative labor practices, for instance, during the industrial revolution. Tomorrow, we will look at today and lament the foolishness of the surveillance economy."
The danger posed by California’s Proposition 22, the tech-backed ballot measure that dismantles existing labor protections for gig workers, isn’t just about low wages and poor working conditions. It signals the creation of an entirely new kind of servant class.
The COVID-19 crisis has been a case study in the destructiveness of predatory financial institutions like private equity and hedge funds. From private-equity-owned hospitals that cut staff to the bone to the growing investor interest in disaster-driven industries like insurance, the pandemic has been a gold mine for some of the finance industry's most rapacious and socially useless segments.
Paul Robeson was born on this day in 1898. A pioneering black singer and actor, he was also a lifelong radical – and committed his life to the struggle against oppression and exploitation across the globe.
Reflecting on the spur of anti-Asian racism this past year, Chinese Canadian writer Xin interrogates the renewed enthusiasm for representational politics in North American discourse. This deceptive liberal schema, she argues, stakes Asian American political recognition upon the creation of a diasporic native informant class designed to propel U.S. empire’s denunciation of Asian socialism.
In so far as participating in bourgeois democracy remains a component of socialist strategy in Canada, voters on the Left are largely limited electorally to the New Democratic Party (NDP). As with many western socialist and social democratic parties, however, the federal NDP has been following a steady course of neoliberalization over the past decades. The party’s commitment to the workers’ movement and its own foundational labour-centred principles have been jettisoned in favour of a far more moderate political project.
By all accounts, NATO is a bad influence on Canada, and the alliance has proven to strengthen the worst tendencies of our political culture. Not only does it heighten pressure on the federal government to boost socially and ecologically damaging military spending, NATO has drawn Canada into various deadly foreign expeditions while continuing to prevent this country from pursuing an independent foreign policy.
As the winter’s surge of coronavirus cases overwhelmed Los Angeles hospitals, EMTs like Michael Diaz were forced to take previously unthinkable measures. What lasting impact will the pandemic have on America’s first responders?
One misguided critique of the effort to raise the federal minimum to $15 in 2025 is that there is a need to establish a regionally adjusted federal minimum wage set to local conditions. In fact, federal minimum wage policy has always provided for tailored standards, by coupling a strong national wage floor with the ability for cities and states to adopt higher standards. Our ability to set a national wage floor is much easier now than it was decades ago when lawmakers last raised the federal minimum wage to new heights.
The brutal fact is that Yemeni lives–like many others–are expendable for U.S. Senators and British MPs, who form part of a chain of imperialism that extends back for many centuries. Britain itself is a satrapy, prime ministers from Thatcher to Johnson little more than adjutants to the White House. Revelling in that status, they would like nothing more than to drag Yemen into their tent. So far they have failed. The costs of this venture have been high for the people of that beleaguered country, much higher than the profits accruing to the arms industries. Yet a permanent arms economy requires two, three, many ‘humanitarian wars’. Yemen will not be the last.
Raising them is one of the easiest ways we have to claw back funds from the private sector to help finance some of the investment we need. Perhaps more importantly, the fight over corporate tax increases provides us with an important opportunity to make the case that the public interest is not well served by reliance on corporate profitability.
On April 11, the future of Ecuador is at stake: on one side, the banker Lasso, supported by Lenin Moreno, the U.S. Embassy, and the right-wing indigenous bureaucracy; on the other, Andrés Arauz and a project of social justice based on the citizens’ revolution promoted by Rafael Correa.
As the world nears three million reported deaths from COVID-19 and almost 130 million infections, the call for free vaccines for all people rings louder than ever. There is no alternative to a people’s vaccine, no alternative to life over profit. This week’s newsletter is dedicated to our Red Alert no. 10, A People’s Vaccine. Guided by inputs of scientists and doctors, we look at the medical, social, and political basis that undergirds the demand for the production, distribution, and administration of a people’s vaccine.