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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 
262. 25 April 2015 The Greek Crisis: Syriza vs Europe
A panel discussion on Greece and the fight against austerity, moderated by Michal Rozworski. Presentations by Ingo Schmidt, Peter Prontzos and Natassa Romanou. Recorded in Vancouver, 10 April 2015.
261. 19 April 2015 Economic Restructuring and the Politics of Low-Paid and Unwaged Work
Video presentations from the Alternate Routes conference "Labour Pains, Capital Gains: The Paradox of Low-Wage, No-Wage Work." Recorded in Toronto, 27 March 2015.
260. 12 April 2015 The Historic Feminist Victories of the 1980s
This forum commemorates two of the greatest achievements of the modern Canadian feminist movement, when thirty years ago, working closely together with the labour movement, the historic legislative and judicial victories on pay and workplace equity and women's reproductive rights were both won.
259. 11 April 2015 Neoliberal Violence and the Mexican state
Emerging community and class struggles. Presentations by: Hepzibah Munoz Martinez, Maria de la Luz Arriaga Lemus, Richard Roman and Columba Gonzalez. Recorded in Toronto, 20 March 2015.
258. 5 April 2015 Lifting Up Low-Wage Work: Global Perspectives Luce, Stephanie
Stephanie Luce gives the 2015 Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture. Luce is a Professor of Labor Studies at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education, CUNY School for Professional Studies and Professor of Sociology in the CUNY Graduate Centre. Recorded in Toronto, 26 March 2015.
257. 4 April 2015 Solidarity rally with striking YorkU and UofT workers
Solidarity rally with striking YorkU (CUPE3903) and UofT (CUPE3902) workers held in Toronto, 21 March 2015.
256. 29 March 2015 Education and Mobilization in Contested Mexico
This panel of experts on contemporary Mexico explores the context surrounding these events including the rise of drug violence, long standing popular movements among teachers and students, meaningful democracy, and the links between powerful interests in licit and illicit industries. Recorded in Toronto, 18 March 2015.
255. 22 March 2015 Climate and Capitalism
Climate change is already catastrophic for countless people around the world, especially in parts of the Global South. Some residents of low-lying Island States in the Pacific Ocean are already having to move to other countries as a result of rising sea levels. Water is also rising in Bangladesh, swallowing up coastal areas and contaminating fertile land. In East Africa changing sea surface temperatures have disrupted seasonal rains and lead to severe droughts. Recorded in Toronto, 15 March 2015.
254. 15 March 2015 TRANSITogether: Building A Movement
The election of John Tory creates new openings and challenges for the public transit movement in Toronto, as does the large vote for Ford in the city's inner suburban areas. How are we to understand this moment, and how do we move forward as a transit movement? Recorded in Toronto, 1 March 2015.
253. 8 March 2015 ALBA after ten years
This forum explores the achievements and challenges of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). Recorded in Toronto, 21 February 2015.
252. 7 March 2015 Solidarity with CUPE 3902 and 3903
Solidarity rally was held on the grounds of the University of Toronto with the striking members of CUPE 3902 and support from Canadian Federation of Students. Recorded in Toronto, 6 March 2015.
251. 1 March 2015 Green Jobs
We cannot develop an ecologically-responsible and just economy without considering the consequences for work and employment. But what is the meaning of 'green work' in capitalist societies of endless production and consumption for the purposes of profits? If we scale back on tar sands, fracking, and other dirty energy projects, as we must, workers who lose their jobs will need retraining, temporary income support, and a green energy infrastructure to work in. This will require a whole range of collective investments and decisions.
250. 22 February 2015 Europe's Crisis and the Rise of the Right: Challenges for the Left Eley, Geoff; Gaspar M. Tamas; Liz Fekete
Presentations by Geoff Eley, Gaspar M. Tamas and Liz Fekete. Recorded in Toronto, 16 February 2015.
249. 15 February 2015 The Historic Victory of Greek Left: What Now? Panitch, Leo; Peter Bratsis
On January 25 2015, Greece elected a new government representative of a range of radical and left forces after years of protests and street battles against the extreme policies of austerity imposed by the so-called Troika composed of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Syriza represents the first and the strongest democratic response to the bizarre deepening of neoliberalism after the 2008 crisis.
248. 14 February 2015 Burying Nuclear Waste in Ontario?
There are significant critiques about burying nuclear waste, and a history of failures for the industry. This forum presents frontline voices who have been resisting both the creation of nuclear waste, and the burial. Recorded in Toronto, 7 February 2015.
247. 8 February 2015 Environmental Justice, the Tar Sands, and Indigenous Rights
Tar Sands extraction projects, located primarily in Treaty 6 and 8, have radically damaged and contaminated a huge area of land in so-called Alberta, and poisoned the Athabasca watershed. Moderated by Greg Albo. Presentations by Keith Stewart, Heather Milton-Lightening and Lana Goldberg. Recorded in Toronto, 1 February 2015.
246. 25 January 2015 Launching the Socialist Register 2015: Transforming Classes
This 51st annual Socialist Register completes the investigation of class formation and class strategies on a global scale begun with last year's volume. Presentations by David McNally, Sue Ferguson, Adolph Reed, John McCullough and co-editors Leo Panitch and Greg Albo. Recorded in Toronto, 15 January 2015.
245. 18 January 2015 This Changes Everything Muhammad, Umair; Patricia Perkins, Sam Gindin
Umair Muhammad, Patricia Perkins and Sam Gindin discuss the importance of Naomi Klein's new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, where she argues that the main culprit of runaway climate change is the system itself: capitalism. Recorded in Toronto, 11 January 2015.
244. 21 December 2014 Partners in Crime
The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement came with the promise of prosperity and jobs for all and the extension of human rights. These are, it needs hardly saying, promises unkept. Recorded in Toronto, 12 December 2014.
243. 14 December 2014 Book launch: A Line in the Tarsands
Tar sands 'development' comes with an enormous environmental and human cost. But tar sands opponents -- fighting a powerful international industry -- are likened to terrorists; government environmental scientists are muzzled; and public hearings are concealed and rushed. Recorded in Toronto, 29 November 2014.
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