20 February 2017.
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.
Athens — 14 January 2017.
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.
|LS #||Date Published||Title|| |
||1 November 2015
||Palestine: A Political Travelogue
|Palestine has long been central to colonial and anti-colonial imaginaries – of the Ottoman and British empires, and Zionist and Arab nationalisms, before becoming a key site of inspiration for left and anti-colonial internationalism and recent scholarship on decolonial resistance. The International Conference of Critical Geography in Ramallah, Palestine, in July 2015, extended this trajectory of anti-colonial internationalism by enriching our historical and political understandings of Palestine.|
||25 October 2015
||The Culture of Conquest and the Doctrine of Discovery
|A roundtable discussion with Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and York University scholars focusing on her latest book, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. Recorded in Toronto, 6 October 2015.|
||24 October 2015
||Working For Each Other, Working For Ourselves
|Earlier this month, the Industrial Workers of the World's Toronto General Membership Branch hosted “Working For Each Other, Working For Ourselves: A Revolutionary Public Service Worker-Organizer Summit,” an event which brought together grassroots workplace organizers from around North America. Recorded in Toronto, 3 October 2015.|
||18 October 2015
||Russia in the Global Crisis
|Geopolitical Dilemmas, Strategic Responses. Moderated by Judy Deutsch and presentations by: Boris Kagarlitsky and Sergei M. Plekhanov. Recorded in Toronto, 1 October 2015.|
||11 October 2015
||Linda McQuaig is Right: Keep the TarSands in the Ground!
|At the beginning of the federal election campaign, Toronto Centre NDP candidate and respected author Linda McQuaig stated a simple fact: "a lot of people recognize that a lot of the oil sands oil may need to stay in the ground if we're going to meet our climate change targets." This sparked a corporate media backlash, accusing her of being ideologically-driven, anti-Alberta and anti-jobs.|
||13 September 2015
||The Great Unraveling: with Chris Hedges
|Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy Movement. In his newest book, Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance.|
||23 August 2015
||Public Transit Struggles in London and Toronto
|P3s, Transit Workers and Alternatives. Moderated by Herman Rosenfeld. Presentations by Kamilla Pietrzyk, Brenda Thompson and Janine Booth. Recorded in Toronto, 9 August 2015.|
||16 August 2015
||The Battle Against Austerity: Lessons From Greece
|Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler discuss alternate views on recent developments in the fight against austerity waged by Syriza and the Greek people. Moderated by Susan Spronk. Recorded in Ottawa, 10 August 2015.|
||26 July 2015
||Right to the City/Right to Landscape
|From an Elitist to a More Just Urban Landscape in California's East Bay Area. Presentation by Don Mitchell, Professor of Geography, Syracuse University. Recorded in Toronto, 9 July 2015.|
||12 July 2015
||Capitalism vs. Ecology
|It is no longer plausible to propose incremental solutions to the ecological crises of our time. The numbers are clear: to avoid a trillion metric tons of cumulative carbon emissions by 2039, it is necessary to stabilize immediately Greenhouse Gas emissions. Presentations by Niloofar Golkar, Greg Albo and Jodi Dean.|
||28 June 2015
||Nuclear Precipice: Ukraine, Russia, and patterns of U.S. Hegemony
|What is the background of the ethnic conflict in Ukraine? Can the Ukraine situation lead to a Russia/U.S. confrontation involving nuclear weapons? According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world is again at a precipice with threats of nuclear war. Recorded in Toronto, 12 June 2015.|
||14 June 2015
||The Scottish Left after the Referendum and The UK Elections
|The eyes of the world were on Scotland last September when it held a referendum on independence. This month, the whole political establishment in the UK has been shaken up by the election of 56 MPs from the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Westminster Parliament. Recorded in Ottawa, 3 June 2015.|
||7 June 2015
||Syriza, Podemos, Left Bloc, and the Left: A European Revolutionary Politics?
|The 2105 Left Forum opening plenary focused on anti-austerity politics, alliances, and national and international political potentials and challenges emerging in Europe and impacting the world; revolutionary dimensions of these developments - in the context of a mass-based political, economic, cultural, ecological, race, gender, and class struggle-illuminating politics - of electoral, left, and social movement organizing. Recorded in New York, 29 May 2015.|
||31 May 2015
||Carbon Markets and Neoliberal Capitalism
|What is wrong with Ontario's new climate change policy? Why should we oppose it? Presentations by Greg Albo, Paul Kellogg and Romain Felli. Recorded in Toronto, 24 May 2015.|
||17 May 2015
||Workers' Struggles Against the Corporate Offensive
|A Panel discussion of Continental Crucible with Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, Jim Sinclair and Richard Roman. Recorded in Vancouver, 28 April 2015.|
||10 May 2015
||Class Struggle in North America
|A Discussion with Ben Isitt, Bill Carroll, Carlos Flores and co-author of Continental Crucible, Richard Roman. Recorded in Victoria, 13 April 2015.|
||9 May 2015
|A very blue music-video about global warming and climate crisis, carboniferous capitalism, and possibilities for an alternative future.|
||3 May 2015
||From Minimum Wage to a Fair Wage
|This round table brings together some of the leading North American activists and scholars concerned with the situation of minimum/low wage work. Moderated by Bryan Evans. Presentations by: Sheila Block, Don Wells, and Stephanie Luce. Recorded in Toronto, 27 March 2015.|
||2 May 2015
||What is Political Party for the Left?
|A panel discussion about the role of political parties within the Left and what it means today for the Left to take political action. Moderated by Andony Melathopoulos. Presentations by: Leo Panitch, Jackie Barkley, Antoni Wysoci and Carlos Pessoa. Recorded in Halifax, 21 January 2015.|
||26 April 2015
||Green Cities Against Neoliberal Urbanism
|This forum, part of the 'Capitalism vs. Ecology' series, looks at the track record of neoliberal urbanism and its deregulation of greenbelts, expansion of capital developments, resulting housing inequalities, and green-washing of planning and urban design. Recorded in Toronto, 12 April 2015.|
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