Is creativity overrated? Oli Mould is a human geographer at University of London in the UK, and the title of his latest book—Against Creativity—might lead you to think so. The provocative argument Mould makes in his book is that “creativity is a barely hidden form of neoliberal appropriation. It is a regime that prioritises individual success over collective flourishing. It refuses to recognize anything…that is not profitable.” He’s referring to the manner in which neoliberal, corporate capitalism has appropriated everything we thought of as creative—from the arts to scientific innovation—and harnessed it for the exploitation of profit. His book offers numerous examples. Real estate developers have taken to spray-painting graffiti in housing developments in the hope of making them seem trendy and appealing to the hip and wealthy. Other developers will convert empty warehouses into art galleries or offer free apartments to artists, not because they want the arts to…
“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,…
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…
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…
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,…
Victory of individualism over collectivism a disastrous defeat for society as a whole.
But they plan to survive civilization’s collapse.
Whether or not global plutocracy can be toppled, its billions of victims need immediate help.
What we need to know about neoliberalism. (Part 3 of 3)
Small group in St. John’s protests RBC’s involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline.
A recent panel discussion at Petrocultures 2016 needed to admit the harsh truth: The shift to a ‘green economy’ will be uncomfortable.
In a capitalist society, no one is concerned about how empowering someone’s job is — unless it’s sex work.
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.
Even when times are bad, capitalist states pursue policies that benefit capitalist profit.
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.
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.
Prominent thinkers are speaking out against it and pro-democracy groups are calling for proper public consultations. But is our government listening?
“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.”
Are you caught up in the rat race? The principles of homestead economics might just be your way out.
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.