Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Owen Jones calls out the dogmatic centre for first laying the groundwork for the rise of the populist right, then trying to vilify anybody working on a progressive alternative. And Chris Dillow zeroes in on what's wrong with the neoliberal view of the world:
- Insufficient scepticism about capitalism. Centrists have failed to appreciate sufficiently that actually-existing capitalism has led to inequality, rent-seeking and stagnation. New Labour’s deference to bosses fuelled their presumption that banks were in good hands and didn’t need to be on a tight leash.
 - A blindness to the importance of inequalities of power. Centrists take it for granted that elites should be in control, even if they lack the capacity to be so. This left them vulnerable to Vote Leave’s slogan, “take back control.”
 - Excessive deference to the media. Centrists were for years obsessed with a form of “electability” which consisted in accommodating themselves to media lies about austerity and immigration.
Centrism’s intuitive appeal lies in the tendency to associate it with the virtues of moderation and empiricism.
Such an association, however, is at least partly unwarranted. In failing to appreciate sufficiently the flaws in capitalist hierarchy, centrists are being ideologues more than empiricists.
- Meanwhile, Nora Loreto challenges the labour movement to take a leading role in countering racism and fascism.

- Justin Ling offers the inside story of the Cons' complete radio silence in response to the Rebel's role in fomenting hate. And Adam Radwanski points out that the Libs' choice to cozy up to Steve Bannon and the Trump administration can only undermine their claim to offer any alternative to the right's anti-social values.

- Katharine Lindemann interviews Tarani Chandola about her new research showing that people trapped in low-quality jobs may be worse off than those with none at all. And Dan Levin reports on the desperate situation facing migrant farmworkers in Canada - while Michael Grabell points out that undocumented workers in the U.S. have it even worse, as employers are able to have them criminally charged and deported at will to escape responsibility for work injuries.

- Finally, Vanessa Gruben and Louise Belanger-Hardy offer some suggestions to make sure provincial governments are able to hold big pharma accountable for harm done to public health.

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