In this talk delivered to the fifth Bilin international conference
By David Camfield and Daniel Serge
Deficits are the difference between what governments spend and what they take in. Governments often claim deficits are the fault of social spending that’s too high. But in fact deficits always grow when capitalist economic activity slows down or contracts because tax revenue falls while state spending rises.
As the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the
By Pierre Mouterde
In the name of “deficit reduction,” governments and other public sector employers across the Canadian state are attempting to extract concessions from public sector workers and weaken the services they deliver. The Common Front of Quebec’s public sector unions is currently in negotiations for contracts covering 475 000 workers. The employers are still showing no sign of moving to meet union demands, but the union leaderships have not been preparing for a strike and continue to negotiate despite the lack of progress at the bargaining table. This article takes a look at the situation. We will be running more articles about public sector unions in future. — NS.
By Alan Sears
One talk by racist American right-winger Ann Coulter gets shut down and the media fills up with columns, editorials, stories and opinion pieces about freedom of speech. Yet a concerted silencing campaign against Palestine solidarity that has included the federal government, Israel advocacy organizations and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff gets virtually no critical media attention.
By Elena Zeledon
Costa Ricans have the highest standard of living in Central America including universal free education and health care and a social safety net of workers’ unemployment benefits and pensions that is the the envy of Central America. However, these hard-won gains are threatened by the capitalist crisis, the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and other pro- capitalist policies of the governing social democratic National Liberation Party. The NLP won reelection in February with Laura Chinchilla succeeding Oscar Arias as President. What does this mean? Will intensified attacks spark social struggles? Elena Zeledon reports from Costa Rica
By Ali Mustafa
The divestment report urging Carleton University to divest from companies implicated in Israel’s occupation and grave violations of human rights is a true gem for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The report’s research, argumentation, corroboration and writing style are impeccable and deeply impressive. In making the case for divestment from Israel, the report from Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) combines the best of both worlds: the commitment to truth and justice of the most sincere and far-sighted human rights defenders and the piercing logic of the most able lawyers. SAIA’s time-honoured commitment to just peace and international law, distinguished professionalism and creativity are truly inspiring. They build on the wonderful, pioneering divestment victory at Hampshire College last year to take divestment to the next level. This makes a superb model for the mushrooming divestment campaigns around the world.
—The Global BDS Movement
By Daniel Serge
A review of Robert Albritton, Let Them Eat Junk (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring, 2009).
There’s a burgeoning genre of books showing the crisis in food. The 100 Mile Diet, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Slow Food Nation and others point out that one of the key dimensions of the ecological crisis is food. Modern agriculture uses vast amounts of natural resources like water, land and massive oil inputs to process and transport food. What makes Robert Albritton’s Let Them Eat Junk the best book on food politics is his reason for that degradation: capitalism, and its need to make a profit regardless of the cost to natural or human health.
By Alain Badiou
We reproduce this recent essay by the French radical philosopher Alain Badiou because of its thoughts about the times in which we’re living and about the “communist hypothesis,” which are not just relevant to people in France. As always, signed articles on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or publisher (in particular, New Socialist does not share Badiou’s belief that the USSR, Mao’s China and similar societies were socialist) -NS