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capitalism

We need solidarity now more than ever

in Opinion/Uncategorized by

“Power goes to two poles – to those who’ve got the money and those who’ve got the people.” — Saul Alinsky May 1st marks May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, when countless workers across the globe take to the streets to commemorate the sacrifice and struggle of a strong labour movement that faced state-sanctioned violence to bring us the 8-hour work day, wages, benefits, and safe working environments, while continuing to hold institutions and governments accountable in what shouldn’t be an uphill battle for fair working conditions and living wages but often is. As a student at Memorial University for the past six years, I am no stranger to the immense contribution workers on our campus make, to allow students to learn in a safe and supportive environment. Despite the crumbling infrastructure due to years of upper level mismanagement, a profound amount of effort goes into keeping classrooms,…

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The Capitalist God’s Ten Commandments

in Opinion/The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

The first version of this satiric parody was written nearly two decades ago by Brian Arden, while he was a member of the board of the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 2018 revisions and updates by Ed Finn. 1. Thou shalt honour Me as your one true God and have faith in my religion of neoliberalism, globalization, free trade, and private ownership. 2. Thou shalt accept the impoverishment of the many and the enrichment of the few, for in my religion avarice is to be valued over social and economic equity, and competition over co-operation. 3. Thou shalt not oppose the decline of democracy. I will permit you the illusion of democracy. You may still vote for and elect parties that purport to be different, but since they now all bow down to Me, it matters not which forms the government. 4. Thy governments shalt provide…

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Scorpions, icebergs and cancer cells

in Opinion/The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

Feedback from readers of my earlier essay “Who benefits from government policies?” was mostly positive, but a few thought I had taken a view of the future so dire that it implied capitulation—that further “resistance is futile.” Let me clarify my thinking, at least to the extent of assuring readers that I have not lost hope. Although I see unchecked capitalism as inimical to life on Earth—as the deadliest enemy of all that is fair, progressive and wholesome—I believe it can be vanquished and replaced. Eventually. And before its demolition of the environment passes the point of no return. I am reserving my rationale for optimism until the very end of this perhaps overly protracted blog. I think it will be helpful first to consider how and why capitalism has become the world’s predominant economic system. This does not necessitate a tedious academic treatise, but can best be done by…

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Do governments neglect social spending for corporate subsidies?

in Columns/Featured/Opinion/The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The rich need no protection. — Wendell Phillips. When it comes to listing countries on the basis of the social services they provide to their citizens compared to the subsidies they heap on their corporations, Canada doesn’t fare well. A recent study from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy reports that our federal government and the four largest provinces spend $29 billion a year subsidizing business firms. The study’s author, John Lester, says that half of these huge subsidies fail to improve economic performance and therefore constitute a colossal waste of government revenue. “And because nearly one-third of all such subsidies just go generally to support specific industries or regions rather than to enhance economic development,” he added, “the proportion of questionable spending rises to 60% of the total.” Of the $29 billion in government handouts that corporations receive annually,…

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The decline of collectivity

in The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

Victory of individualism over collectivism a disastrous defeat for society as a whole.

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World’s super-rich are wrecking the planet

in The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

But they plan to survive civilization’s collapse.

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We can fight neoliberalism and mitigate its impacts at the same time

in The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

Whether or not global plutocracy can be toppled, its billions of victims need immediate help.

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‘The future’s not ours to see’ — but it is ours to shape

in The Nonagenarian’s Notebook by

What we need to know about neoliberalism. (Part 3 of 3)

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Protests against U.S. pipeline reach Newfoundland

in Journalism by

Small group in St. John’s protests RBC’s involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Oil talk must include more discussion of privilege

in Uncategorized by

A recent panel discussion at Petrocultures 2016 needed to admit the harsh truth: The shift to a ‘green economy’ will be uncomfortable.

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Capitalism, feminism, and sex work

in Uncategorized by

In a capitalist society, no one is concerned about how empowering someone’s job is — unless it’s sex work.

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The revolution has come, and the left is terrified

in Uncategorized by

A massive change is underway in the west, and a fresh struggle for the soul of the middle class and the nations we call home is upon us.

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Breaking the cycle of exploitation

in Uncategorized by

Even when times are bad, capitalist states pursue policies that benefit capitalist profit.

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Inequality, neoliberalism, and the unmaking of the middle class

in Uncategorized by

Nowadays middle class values largely conform to the neoliberal ideology that has dominated economic discourse for the past 35 years. In light of our current “fiscal” problems, however, maybe it’s time to evaluate whether this has been in our best interests.

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Working toward “ecological conversion”

in Journalism by

MUN professor takes aim at consumer capitalism for its role in the ecological and climate crises, draws inspiration from Pope Francis in leading a local initiative to start “a new conversation” about ecology and sustainability.

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Why you need to know about the TPP

in Uncategorized by

Prominent thinkers are speaking out against it and pro-democracy groups are calling for proper public consultations. But is our government listening?

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We will never have better than we demand

in Letters by

“All is well for western profiteers when their media and politicians can get us quibbling among ourselves over jobs and who gets a better pension.”

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“Time is not money”: Homestead Economics (Pt. 1)

in The Good Life by

Are you caught up in the rat race? The principles of homestead economics might just be your way out.

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Neoliberalism is destroying Canada: Former NDP leader

in Journalism by

Ed Finn, Newfoundland’s first NDP leader, sat down with The Independent to discuss the biggest challenge facing Canada today — the one nobody’s talking about in the lead-up to the federal election.

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The trouble with charity

in Gadfly by

Giving and generosity may reduce the burden of immediate suffering and desperation, but if we’re serious about finding long term solutions we can begin by questioning why some have so much while others have so little

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