The Impossible Dream

Thomas Mulcair at the NDP convention in March 2012. Credit: Matt Jiggins, Flickr

Todd Gordon makes the case for giving up on the dream of reforming the NDP, in favour of building a new political project based on new social movements. This is the second in a series of reflections in the aftermath of the April NDP Convention, first published by Jacobin. Murray Cooke provides a view from inside in his article “The NDP Convention: A Leap to the Left?

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The NDP Convention: A Leap to the Left?

This article by Murray Cooke is the first in a series of reflections on theaftermath of the April NDP Convention. For an alternate view, see Todd Gordon’s article “The Impossible Dream.”

There were two highly visible and significant developments at the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) convention in Edmonton on the April 8-10 weekend. As widely discussed in the mass media, delegates passed a resolution on the Leap Manifesto and they launched a leadership contest to take place within two years. Much less visibly and more tenuously, another potentially significant development occurred. For the first time in recent memory, there was a promising undercurrent of organized left activity within the NDP.

These are three positive steps, but do they amount to a leap to the left for the NDP? Pundits in the mainstream media seem to think so and warn that the NDP is headed toward far-left, electoral irrelevance.

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Decolonizing Canada

Review of Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J Barker, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada (Fernwood Publishing 2015).

By David Camfield

Canada is a colonial-settler state. This society was built by Europeans and their descendents on land taken from the indigenous peoples of Northern North America. As Emma Battell Lowman and Adam Barker put it in their new book, Settler, “Canada was forged by settler colonialism, and as a contemporary settler state maintains legal, political, and economic systems rooted in the settler colonial usurpation of Indigenous lands and the dispossession and disappearance of Indigenous peoples.”

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Election reflection: Three questions for activists

The editors of New Socialist asked three activists Hassan Husseini, Niloofar Golkar and Russell Diabo to explain what the election of a Liberal majority means for their areas of social justice work. We’re afraid, but not surprised, to hear that they are deeply sceptical that real progress in labour, environmental and indigenous causes will follow. We may have a prime minister who says some of the things people want to hear, but the Liberal past and current record speaks for itself. 

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Wages of Rebellion Without Strategy

By Kaley Kennedy 

Review of Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion (Knopf Canada, 2015) 

About two thirds into Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges discusses the writing of Thomas Paine, saying “[Paine] spoke undeniable truths. And he did so in a language that was accessible. He called upon his readers to act upon these truths.”  

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Hedges. Not only is much of Wages of Rebellion excessively academic, referencing dozens of authors, theorists, and political thinkers who are probably not common reading for those on the front lines of political struggle, but he also presents little in the way of a call to action. 

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What is a Revolution?

 By Neil Davidson 

Celebrations at Tahrir Square following the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, 2011. Source: 

When asked to define revolution, socialists often quote a famous statement by Leon Trotsky: “The most indubitable feature of a revolution is the direct interference of the masses in historical events.” That was certainly true of the Russian Revolution which Trotsky was discussing and it would also be true for any future socialist revolutions; but as a general description it is far too restrictive. It would, for example, exclude most of the great bourgeois revolutions with the exception of the English, the French and a handful of others. 

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Three Reasons to Hope for an NDP Victory (in spite of what the party has become)

A statement by the editors of New Socialist Webzine
If you’re not horrified by the 2015 federal election, you’re not paying attention. As the long campaign rolls on, many people are turned off politics by the shallow rhetoric and tightly-controlled discussion orchestrated by the major parties and the mainstream media. Just as bad, the range of political options being offered to people by the leaders of the parties is shrinking.

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Cosmic Alignments and the New Labour Party Leader

By Simon Hardy

On the first night of the Labour Party conference in the British seaside town of Brighton, there was a blood red moon in the sky. Superstitious types may have viewed this cosmic event favourably. Others, perhaps, with foreboding. With the left wing MP Jeremy Corbyn taking to the stage as the newly elected leader of the Labour Party, was this the sign of a new dawn for politics in Britain?

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