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.
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.”
Thomas Frank is the founder of The Baffler magazine, author of What's the Matter With Kansas? and Listen Liberal, and past columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper's Magazine. He delivered the 2017 annual Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture, on Donald Trump's election and what it means for the USA.
Introductions by Byan Evans and Ron Vogel, Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.