Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Grace Blakeley writes that class politics are making a sorely-needed return, raising the prospect that people might again start to make gains against corporate forces:
The reemergence of class politics is not a fad; it is a response to the material conditions created by the collapse of finance-led growth. After a recession caused by the reckless greed of the few was followed by an austerity programme that sought to impose the clean-up costs on the many, it is more obvious than ever that the wealth and power of the elite comes at the expense of everyone else. Or, to paraphrase Bernie Sanders, there has been a class war in this country for a long time – it’s time the working class won it.

In this new political context, economic policy is no longer a question of tinkering around the edges of a stable model: economic policy today is about power. As I argue in my new book, this is the moment for working people to seize back control of our most important institutions and rebalance power away from capital and towards labour.

The only way to bring about such a shift is to promote state, worker and community ownership of society’s most important resources. In an economy in which ownership is mediated by the finance sector, this requires a socialist government to take on the banks the way Thatcher took on the unions.

Finance-led growth emerged because its advocates used their control over the state to smash the organised power of working people and convince them that capitalism had won, once and for all. As the finance sector became ever more powerful, and the alternatives to capitalism faded further from view, it became extremely difficult to believe that there could be another way to organise the economy. Today, the greatest challenge for the left is to remind people that history isn’t over, that capitalism hasn’t won, and that we still have the power to change the world.
- Emma Teitel points out how Greta Thunberg and other climate activists are rightly forcing people to pay attention to devastating climate risks.

- But Fatima Syed and Emma McIntosh report that the forces who brought the world such catastrophes as Brexit and the Trump presidency are trying to push Canadian voters to accept continued negligence. And Charlie Smith writes that the Libs and Cons alike are serving their wealthy donors and patrons by trying to keep any option to transition away from fossil fuel extraction off the ballot, while Linda McQuaig calls out Justin Trudeau in particular for throwing money at pipelines while refusing to invest in clean transportation.

- Finally, Naheed Nenshi writes that Trudeau's history of blackface shouldn't draw our attention away from the ongoing and deliberate hatred being stoked in the federal election campaign. And Desmond Cole, Azeezah Kanji and Amar Wala go into detail about how racism is still reflected in public policy.

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