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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

Global Intern Strike!

20 February 2017.


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On February 20th, young people across the world will come together to push for an end to the exploitative and exclusionary practice of unpaid internships. Decentralised actions will take place in a range of cities, to call on employers and leaders to ensure that quality intern opportunities are paid and accessible to all - regardless of their socioeconomic background.

There is an increasing tendency around the world to hire interns, often without pay and with very little possibility of achieving a real education or a stable job. In the last few years, the rise of the intern economy has attracted the attention of journalists and activists; sociologists, however, are still paying inadequate attention to this phenomenon and its causes. This inattention contributes to a growing ambiguity surrounding the term ‘internship’, making it difficult to understand its aims and to evaluate its abuses. In other words, sociological analysis is very much needed not only to explain the explosion of the intern economy, but also to develop a critical compass to raise awareness about the uses and abuses of internships.

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If You Don't Understand the Second Product, You Understand Nothing About Marx's Capital

Athens — 14 January 2017.


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The following talk was given at the International conference “150 years Karl Marx's Capital - Reflections for the 21st century” held in Athens, Greece on January 14-15, 2017. Organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - Athens Office in cooperation with Theseis, the conference discussed the actuality of Marx's theoretical system of the critique of political economy 150 years on from the publication of Capital Volume I.

In this presentation, Lebowitz notes: “Unfortunately, for many who have followed Marx in name and others who never pretended to do so, there is only one product – the change in circumstances, the change in the object of labour. The second product – the change in human beings, the change in the subject of labour – is ignored. The political effects of this blindness can be seen everywhere. In the countries of ‘real socialism’ where the absence of self-government and self-management produced a working class with neither the capacity nor the will to prevent the restoration of capitalism. In the social democrats who, convinced that they are cleverer than capital, use the strength of the working class as a credible threat in their negotiations rather than as a force to be built and built and, accordingly, emerge from the most disgraceful defeats as immaculate as they were innocent. In political parties of the left which, rather than treating social movements as multiple sites for developing the capacities of the working class, view them as fertile ground for the recruitment of cadres for their disciplined phalanxes and celebrate in their solitary gatherings the distilled purity of their brands and their preparedness for the next October. It is not only political practice, however, that has suffered from the eclipse of the second product. Without an understanding of the centrality of the key link between human development and human capacity, we are blind to the limitations of Marx's Capital.”

Michael A. Lebowitz is professor emeritus of economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and the author of The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted, The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, Beyond Capital: Marx's Political Economy of the Working Class, Build It Now: Socialism for the 21st Century and Following Marx: Method, Critique, and Crisis. His latest book is The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now.



What's the Matter with America?

Toronto — 26 January 2017.


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Introductions by Byan Evans and Ron Vogel, Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University.

Organized by Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture and Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University.


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
122. 11 December 2011 CUPE National: Move Your War Room To Toronto Now
In 1981, Ronald Reagan took on and smashed PATCO, the Air Traffic Controllers. The American labour movement expressed outrage but did nothing. This sealed the fate of American workers for over three decades. Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford, has declared war on city-workers. He intends to smash unions. This is our PATCO moment.
121. 8 December 2011 Toronto Emergency Public Warning
This is a message from the Emergency Public Warning System. This is not a test. Open class war will break out in Toronto in early 2012. Produced by Sindicalista TV for rabbletv.
120. 7 December 2011 #OccupyTTC
A group of people from OccupyToronto paid their fare and rode the subway cars of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). They engaged with riders using the people's mic - about the state of the TTC and the city's budgetary cutbacks.
119. 4 December 2011 The Left's Responses to the Crisis in Europe and North America
Leo Panitch, Stephanie Ross, Albert Scharenberg, Bill Fletcher
118. 20 November 2011 Understanding and Fighting Austerity Gindin, Sam; Stefan Kipfer
What are some of the forces that are driving the current crisis? How is it pushing forward the agenda of business and governments to get working people and our organizations to tighten our belts and accept their calls for austerity? What forms is resistance taking around the world - what are the strengths and limitations of that resistance and what can we learn from it?
117. 30 October 2011 Afghanistan: Ten Years of War and Resistance
Opening meeting of the Canadian Peace Alliance convention. Featuring: Judith Leblanc, Suraia Sahar and Derrick O'Keefe. Recorded in Toronto, 14 October 2011.
116. 16 October 2011 OccupyTO - day 1
OccupyTO is a movement that will start on October 15th, 2011 that intends to show our solidarity with the Occupy Wall St. movement and stand in unity with the rest of the world to seek and work towards drastic changes to economic systems that are destroying our economy, social fiber, and environment.
115. 10 October 2011 The Failure of Liberal Democracy
Gaspar Miklos Tamas is one of Hungary's pre-eminent public intellectuals and social critics. Following a lecture (in Montreal) about the failures of liberal democracy as part of his North American speaking tour, he was interviewed by Matthew Brett.
114. 2 October 2011 Public Services, Good Jobs and the Ontario Election
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are cutting, privatizing and contracting out vital public services. The McGuinty Liberals are giving corporations a $2.4-billion annual tax break while cutting jobs and services. And Tim Hudak's Tories plan to start cutting where Mike Harris left off. Labour and community activists discuss the Ontario provincial election, what our communities have at stake, and how we can make a difference.
113. 16 September 2011 Stop Ford's Cuts
The idea is simple: Torontonians meet in the park and lay out a People's Declaration - a clear set of demands to deliver to City Hall. Then we all show up at City Hall on September 26 and 27 to make sure that are these demands are met when council votes on the future of our city.
112. 31 July 2011 One World, One Revolution
New video on Greece and the European Union financial crisis, produced by RealDemocracy.gr. "Welcome to the civilization of fear. Where words have no meaning. It is us or them..." Recorded in Athens, Greece on 28 and 29 June 2011.
111. 10 July 2011 The Madison Moment: North American Public Sector Collective Bargaining
Over the last year or so there have been over 700 attacks in the United States upon public sector collective bargaining. This alarming trend is also finding root in Canada with the elimination of collective bargaining rights. Recorded in Toronto, 23 June 2011.
110. 9 July 2011 No TTC Fares on Smog and Heat Alert Days!
Activists demand action on 'No TTC Fares on Smog and Heat Alert Days'. Recorded in Toronto, 6 July 2011.
109. 3 July 2011 Meaning of Maghreb?
Participants: Slavoj Zizek, Mamdouh Habashi, Samir Amin, David Harvey, Zygmunt Bauman. Moderator: Srecko Horvat. Recorded in Zagreb, Croatia on 18 May 2011.
108. 26 June 2011 How Do We Build a Bigger Left?
With Monique Moisan - a leading member of Québec solidaire; Ritch Whyman; Sam Gindin. Recorded in Toronto, 28 May 2011 - part of the Marxism 2011 conference.
107. 19 June 2011 Stop Signs Mugyenyi, Bianca and Yves Engler
Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay with co-authors Bianca Mugyenyi and Yves Engler. Opening remarks by Jordy Cummings and Rick Salutin. Recorded 12 May 2011 in Toronto.
106. 18 June 2011 New York State Is Not Broke Coates, Andy
Decades of growing income inequality combined with tax cuts for the wealthy and the corporations have needlessly set up the present state budget crises.
105. 12 June 2011 Radical Democracy and Popular Power McNally, David
Thinking About New Socialisms for the 21st Century - with David McNally who teaches Political Science at York University, Toronto and is a long-time activist in socialist and global justice movements. Recorded 5 March 2011, Ottawa.
104. 5 June 2011 Democracy and the Public University Chomsky, Noam
Rebecca Schein in Conversation with Noam Chomsky. Recorded at Carleton University, Ottawa on 8 April, 2011.
103. 29 May 2011 Building Solidarity from Palestine to South Africa Barham, Amjad
This speaking tour is an important opportunity for debate and discussion on the question of how we as trade unionists can stand in solidarity with Palestinians.
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