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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 
222. 7 June 2014 Fighting Austerity Today
Moderated by Shannon Balla. Presentations by Dave Bush, Robb Barnes and Natalie Mehra. Recorded in Ottawa, 26 April 2014.
221. 1 June 2014 Neoliberalism and Politics in India Patnaik, Prabhat
Presentation by Prabhat Patnaik, who is a highly distinguished and internationally renowned critical scholar. He holds a D.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford, UK, and in 2012, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) by SOAS, University of London. Recorded in Toronto, 26 May 2014.
220. 31 May 2014 Building Solidarity Against Austerity: Learning From Our Past
Moderated by Simone Powell. Presentations by: Rosemary Warskett, a former PSAC Staff Rep. and Jean-Claude Parrot, the former National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), and is the author of My Union, My Life.
219. 25 May 2014 A Women's Labour History Walking Tour
We bring back to life vibrant and committed women union leaders like Grace Hartman and Madeleine Parent; international figures like Emma Goldman and Amelia Earhart, and lesser-known Toronto women like Lily Ilomaki and Annie Buller, Depression-era union organizers and Communists. The tour celebrates the work of women in unions, the arts and the community who created the seeds of our social safety net and the Canadian educational system.
218. 24 May 2014 Global Austerity and Global Resistance McNally, David
Moderated by Shellie Bird. Presentation by David McNally teaches political science at York University, Toronto. Part of Building Solidarity Against Austerity -- A Dayschool on Past and Current Struggles. Recorded in Ottawa, 26 April 2014.
217. 18 May 2014 Challenging the Leadership of the Canadian Labour Congress Husseini, Hassan; Herman Rosenfeld
The GTWA presents a forum with Hassan Husseini, candidate for the Presidency of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). Husseini is a long-time social justice activist and trade unionist with roots in CUPE and Unifor. Husseini shared his views on how to make the CLC a strong and militant leader of the trade union movement in Canada and organize the wider working class to fight effectively for social and economic justice.
216. 3 May 2014 Oil, Tar Sands, Coal, Natural Gas Annis, Roger
What's behind the expansion drive of Canada's and North America's fossil fuel industries? Presentation by Roger Annis. Recorded in Santa Barbara, California, 11 April 2014.
215. 27 April 2014 Syriza and European Elections Panitch, Leo
The Possibility and Challenges of the Left in Government in Greece and the May 25 European Elections. Presentation by Leo Panitch. Recorded in Toronto, 21 April 2014.
214. 13 April 2014 Capitalism in the Classroom
Neoliberalism, Education and Progressive Alternatives. Opening remarks by Carlo Fanelli. Keynote presentation by Dr. James L. Turk, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Recorded in Toronto, 4 April 2014.
213. 30 March 2014 Left Alternatives to Social Democracy
Discussion with three prominent left activists (Leo Panitch, Roger Rashi and Adolph Reed Jr.) about Left Alternatives to Social Democracy. Organized by the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly and recorded in Toronto, 16 March 2014.
212. 23 March 2014 New Working Class Leadership and the Prospects for Socialist Politics in South Africa Jim, Irvin
NUMSA, National Union of Metalworkers with over 340,000 members, under the leadership of its General Secretary, Irvin Jim, has heralded a new socialist political direction for South Africa. This forum was recorded in Toronto, 6 March.
211. 22 March 2014 The Systemic Crisis of Financialization Lapavitsas, Costas
Costas Lapavitsas teaches economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. During the last three years his interests have focused on the Eurozone crisis, and he has undertaken research on it with a group of researchers associated with Research on Money and Finance at SOAS. His most recent book Financialization in Crisis. Recorded in Toronto, 3 March.
210. 16 March 2014 Organizing Against Multiple Oppression in Our Time
A GTWA coffeehouse forum with Steven Tufts, Winnie Ng and Ajamu Nangwaya. How does class exploitation intersect with racism and hetero-patriarchy to sustain and reproduce capitalist rule? Are forms of oppression predicated upon race or gender necessary to capitalist social relations? How does our analysis influence our organizing?
209. 9 March 2014 Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell) McAlevey, Jane
A discussion with author and labour organizer Jane McAlevey. Recorded in Toronto, 27 February 2014.
208. 8 March 2014 Poor People's History of East Downtown Toronto Heroux, Gaetan
For close to two centuries East Downtown Toronto has welcomed the unemployed, homeless and working poor. Infrastructures to support the unemployed, some of which date back to the establishment of Toronto first poor house to the 1830s, are now being threatened and dismantled by the city to make room for Toronto's more affluent residents. Where will the unemployed, homeless, and poor residents go?
207. 2 March 2014 The Coup D'État in Haiti: Ten Years Later
Presentations by Mario Joseph -- a Haitian human rights lawyer; and Dr. Melanie Newton -- a professor at the University of Toronto specializing in the social and cultural history of the Caribbean.
206. 16 February 2014 The Turkish Summer
Insights and Lessons from the Gezi Park Resistance. This forum features a wide-ranging discussion of insights, lessons and strategizing in terms of both the Turkish and international left. Recorded in Toronto, 31 January 2014.
205. 13 February 2014 History and Crisis of the Left Cristall, Gary
Gary Cristall, one of the organizers of the World Peace Forum in Vancouver, Canada, presents a history of the Left movement. He concludes with a series of questions about what to do to revive socialism. Recorded in Vancouver, November 2013.
204. 9 February 2014 Can We Afford FORD More Years?
This forum was part of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly GMM. A broad-ranging discussion that shifts the focus away from Mayor Ford's personal failings and toward an analysis and critique of austerity policies, as well as the class dynamics that underpin Ford's continuing popularity.
203. 2 February 2014 Building New Parties or Building Direct Democracy?
This forum was part of the 2013 World Peace Forum in Vancouver. Chaired by Ingo Schmidt. Presentations by: Michael Lebowitz, Roger Rashi and Tara Ehrcke. Recorded in Vancouver, 2 November 2013.
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