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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 
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81. 19 December 2010 Pursuing a Just World Order, Crisis for the Left Panitch, Leo
In this talk, Leo Panitch addresses a lack of ambition on the left which has been more debilitating than its lack of capacity in the current global economic crisis, and outlines the kinds of immediate demands for radical reforms as well as longer term socialist strategic orientation that is needed today. Part of the Delhi University Symposium on "Globalization, Justice and Democracy." Recorded November 11, 2010.
80. 12 December 2010 Public Sector Unionism, Austerity and the Left Gindin, Sam
A teach-in with leading Canadian labour analyst Sam Gindin explores the present crisis, its meaning and how we might get beyond it. Recorded November 29, 2010.
79. 9 December 2010 The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development Lebowitz, Michael
Prof. Michael Lebowitz discussing aspects of his book The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, at the Maritime Labour Center in Vancouver, British Columbia.
78. 30 November 2010 Rally to Stop the Closure of 120 Beds OCHU/CUPE
This rally was held in front of the Ministry of Health to oppose the cut of 120 beds (one-third of its total) at Providence Healthcare. Recorded in Toronto, November 26, 2010.
77. 28 November 2010 Launch: Alternate Routes Fanelli, Carlo; Chris Hurl; Rebecca Shein; James Meades
The following video showcased the panel discussion held at the launch of Alternate Routes' latest issue, "Saving Global Capitalism: Interrogating Austerity and Working Class Responses to Crises." Recorded in Ottawa, November 5, 2010.
76. 21 November 2010 Capitalism and Confrontation Palmer, Bryan
Legacies From the Past. Keynote address by Bryan Palmer. Recorded at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Critical Social Research Collaborative (CSRC), Ottawa, March 19, 2010.
75. 14 November 2010 Forum on Bolivia with Dr. Hugo Salvatierra Salvatierra, Hugo
Dr. Hugo Salvatierra is one of Evo Morales's top advisors and a founder of the MAS in Bolivia. Salvatierra is a founder of the MAS and the Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and the Environment in the first MAS Cabinet.
74. 7 November 2010 Unite-Here! Local 75 on Strike Unite-Here!
Workers from Unite-Here! Local 75 - on strike against the Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto. The workers are fighting for safer workloads, fair wages and workplace dignity! Check with the union before making your reservations! Recorded October 30 and 31, 2010.
73. 31 October 2010 Workers' Control, Workers' Councils and the Social Economy Lebowitz, Michael
Presentation by Michael Lebowitz made in August 2009 at ALCASA in Ciudad Guayana in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela. ALCASA is the state aluminum company, currently functioning under workers control and a key part of the 'Socialist Plan for Guayana.'
72. 28 October 2010 Building Labour Resistance Guest, Don; Michael Hurley, Monica McKenzie
Winning Strategies in Difficult Times - a forum organized by the Labour Caucus of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded October 26, 2010 in Toronto, Canada.
71. 22 October 2010 How Labour is (Part of) the Problem in Building the Left Fox Piven, Frances
Lecture by: Professor Frances Fox Piven, CUNY Graduate Center. A leading scholar and political activist, Frances Fox Piven was recently president of the American Sociological Association and is former Vice-President of the American Political Science Association. Her most recent book is Keeping Down the Black Vote (2009).
70. 4 October 2010 NO Fare IS Fair
Start of the campaign to win free and accessible transit for the GTA. A project of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded October 2, 2010 at Christie Pits, Toronto.
69. 26 September 2010 Race, Class and Crisis Reed, Adolph
What New Possibilities for the U.S. Left? – with Adolph Reed. Recorded September 24, 2010, Toronto, Canada.
68. 21 September 2010 Rally in Support of Alex Hundert
G20 defendant and alleged 'ringleader' Alex Hundert appeared in court on Saturday September 18, 2010 for an alleged breach of his existing bail condition to not participate in any public demonstration. The police and Crown have made the preposterous and unbelievable claim that Alex's two public speaking events on university campuses in Kitchener and Toronto are public demonstrations.
67. 19 September 2010 Do We Pull the Monster Down? Carroll, William
A music video that comments on some of the salient contradictions of the post-9/11 conjuncture, one year into the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
66. 12 September 2010 Book Launch: Power in Coalition Tattersall, Amanda and Natalie Mehra
Launch of Power in Coalition - which includes a chapter on the Ontario Health Coalition's campaigns to save Medicare and against P3s. Recorded September 7, 2010, Toronto.
65. 9 September 2010 So Said Tony Hayward Carroll, William
A music video featuring imagery dredged from the internet - about the BP oil spill and its disastrous impacts, focused around the story of BP CEO Tony Hayward's hapless efforts to spin and manage a massive, and televisually spectacular, environmental catastrophe.
64. 24 August 2010 Economic Crisis? Who Pays?
Forum and organizing meeting on the government's proposed public sector wage freeze.
63. 19 July 2010 Free and Accessible TTC! Cowen, Deb; Karen Sun; Franz Hartmann
Discussion about free and accessible transit in Toronto organized by the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded July 16, 2010 in Toronto.
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