Confronting Climate Change means Confronting Capitalism

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Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted today in response to the recent decision by Kinder Morgan that “Canada is a country of the rule of law, and the federal government will act in the national interest. Access to world markets for Canadian resources is a core national interest. The Trans Mountain expansion will be built.” Many progressives will argue that the national interest is instead in protecting the country from the impacts of climate change. But arguing about what is in the national interest isn’t really getting us anywhere.  

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Seven of my favourite books for understanding capitalism

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We know capitalism is killing us. Especially those of us who came of age in the 21st century: we know it is the underlying cause of poverty, the main driver of climate change, and it is responsible for more deaths than we can count. We have to work against it if we want to survive.

But working against it is hard, and so many of us don’t know where to begin. We have to organize and fight back against austerity and neoliberalism, but to do that we need to be able to articulate how capitalism is at the root of almost every major political issue. What does the war in Syria have to do with capitalism? How do capitalists coerce us into being good workers? How do we apply socialist and anarchist theories to the history we learn about in school, the things we see in the news, and the decisions we make in our everyday lives?

The books on this list are my favourites because they can help you to answer those questions -- in lots of depth. While reading political theorists like Marx, Bakunin, or Gramsci can be really useful, high-level political theory is not accessible to everyone and can require a lot of time and concentration. Many of these books are easier things to read, and a little bit more clear on how they are applicable in 2018.

 

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Ideas for an Open-Minded Left

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I wanted to title this blog post “Ecumenical Radicalism” but what does that mean? Ecumenical is a term with Christian origins that encourages believers from different denominations to better understand one-another and strive for unity while respecting difference. Being ecumenical is something that left-wing activists should aspire to today.

But first, a word on radicalism.

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Why do we need political organizations?

What’s a “political organization”?

A “political organization” is simply a group that promotes a broad vision of what society as a whole should be like and has at least some ideas about how to work towards that goal.

This is different from organizations that are focused on one or two issues, such as community groups that mobilize or organize around housing, public transit or climate change, for example. It’s also different from unions, and from social movements that arise around an issue or struggle (genuine movements are typically made up of a variety of organizations).

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Resisting the Pallister Attacks

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A round dance during Idle More in Winnipeg (photo credit: slm / Flickr)

Public services in Manitoba are under serious assault.

The majority Progressive Conservative government, elected in April 2016 following many years of milquetoast social democratic rule from the NDP, predictably promised to maintain frontline jobs and improve services for Manitobans. Hints were made of impending spars with public sector unions and plans to cut tax rates.

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The Making of a New, Old Left

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Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a rally in Gateshead on June 5, 2017 (photo credit: Ren / Flickr)

The moment I knew Thursday’s U.K. general election represented something different than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, even from the landmark Bernie Sanders run of 2016, was when some of the most brilliant yet oft cynical writers of my generation started to tweet sincerely.

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Visible Police Presence at Pride Parade

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Two Police at Steinbach's First Pride 2016

 

Friday, June 2, 2017

This Sunday, June 4th, at 11am, the Winnipeg Pride Parade will take place (we encourage you to go, and also to check out the Winnipeg Trans March  Saturday, June 3rd at 2pm). You may have heard discussions– on social media, on the news, in coffee shops, on the bus, at the dinner table, and where ever you hear about what's going on– about Winnipeg Pride's request for police officers who want to march in the parade to attend without their uniforms.

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Join Winnipeg women's march against Trump


Building movement against Pallister PC agenda

The Progressive Conservatives return to the Legislative Assembly this Monday when leader Brian Pallister is sure to continue his agenda of budget cuts and privatization. There is a pressing need to build movements and campaigns that can effectively challenge the PCs.

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Dentistry Students on UMFA Picket Line

It was amazing to see at least 20 students from dentistry walking the picket line today in support of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association as they enter their third week on strike. It’s clear that these students care deeply about their faculty.

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