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Parchment in the Fire: Creating an Economy of Need in Greece

Filed under: Europe Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, Greece, Socialism, Syriza

Canadian Dimension: ‘There is no Alternative Unless We Build One’: Reinventing Socialist Politics

Photo by Pasu Au Yeung

The varied left histories dating back to the long 19th century gained momentum during the tumultuous first decades of the 20th century and for some time after. They came to an end, at one point or another, between the military coup in Chile (1973), the elections of Margaret Thatcher (1979) and Ronald Reagan (1981), the political u-turns by Francois Mitterrand (1986) and Deng Xiaoping and the collapse of Soviet communism (1991). Since that time, communist parties in the West have shrunk to insignificance (with the partial exceptions of the French and Greek parties). Social democratic (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Want to Rebuild the Left? Take Socialism Seriously

Equal Love rally in Melbourne • Photo by Socialist Alternative

As the sun set on the Occupy Seattle encampment in December 2011, the question “What next?” hung in the air, as it did over Zuccotti Park in New York City. The tents were gone, our spirits were dampened, but an awakened sense of empowerment prevailed.

The movement had given voice to a widespread fury at big business and a recognition of the gaping class divide. Key to Occupy’s success were the thousands of young people who had helped elect President Obama and had completed their own first steps toward (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who leads Canada’s progressives?

Canadian media are a lazy bunch. They follow the paths of least resistance and false assumptions. Take this past week when some supposed progressives were gathered at the Broadbent Institute in Ottawa for its Progress Summit. The one question that was never answered was ‘Who were the Liberal Progressives at the gathering?’

Ed Broadbent never invited this progressive Liberal. Nor would this Liberal attend. This is not sour grapes. We know that Ed Broadbent is not progressive nor are the sponsors of the meeting. Ed Broadbent is a staunch unionist with a closed mind. He believes in the collective (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Lies and Deceptions on the Left: The Politics of Self-Destruction

Buzludzha • Photo by Stanislav Traykov


Over the past year, what appeared as hopeful signs, that Left governments were emerging as powerful alternatives to right-wing pro-US regimes, is turning into a historic rout, which will relegate them to the dustbin of history for many years to come. The rise and rapid decay of left-wing governments in France, Greece and Brazil is not the result of a military coup, nor is it due to the machinations of the CIA. The debacle of left governments is a result of deliberate political decisions, which break decisively with the progressive programs, promises and (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Contesting Capitalism in the Eurozone

In light of the new Syriza government’s difficult struggle against the German dominated institutions of the Eurozone, I’ve revisited a little known book published ten years ago by political scientist Richard Dunphy called Contesting Capitalism? Left Parties and European Integration (Manchester University Press, 2004). In the book, Dunphy charts out the trajectory of the European Far Left’s relationship to European integration. While at the time the book seemed to fly under the radar (this was just before the French and French rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in 2005 and the rapid accession of a number of new member states in (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The rise of Europe’s new Left

The rise of Europe’s new Left.

By Bryan Evans

Filed under: Europe, Socialism Tagged: Austerity, Europe, Eurozone Crisis, Greece, Podemos, Spain, Syriza

The Disaffected Lib: The Germans Get It. When Will We?

Sixty per cent of Germans believe that capitalism is the cause of poverty and hunger and that real democracy can’t be realized under that economic system.  It seems they’re not fond of market fundamentalism and neoliberalism.  In fact, they see straight through it.

You might have thought that Germans who live in Europe’s economic powerhouse would be true free market capitalists.  You would be wrong.

The survey found that more than 60 percent of Germans believe there is no genuine democracy in their country because industry has too much political influence and that the voice of the voters plays only (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Is a socialist EU possible via left-wing populist parties such as Syriza, Podemos and the HDP? | openDemocracy

Is a socialist EU possible via left-wing populist parties such as Syriza, Podemos and the HDP? | openDemocracy.

Filed under: Europe, Socialism Tagged: EU, Europe, Podemos, Socialism, Syriza

Parchment in the Fire: How Radical is Syriza?

Filed under: Europe, Eurozone crisis, Greece Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, Greece, Socialism, Syriza, the Left

Parchment in the Fire: Los Indignados to Podemos

Filed under: Austerity, Crisis, Socialism, Southern Europe Tagged: Austerity, Eurozone Crisis, Podemos, Spain

Parchment in the Fire: The Syriza Challenge in Greece Pt. II

Filed under: Greece Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, Greece, Socialism, Syriza

Parchment in the Fire: The Syriza Challenge in Greece

Filed under: Austerity, Crisis, Eurozone crisis, Greece, Socialism, Southern Europe Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, Greece, Socialism, Syriza

Canadian Dimension: Socialism Will Continue in Cuba

Photo from Centro de Estudios Che Guevara en La Habana

Comrades all:

We have all lived through intense and exciting moments in the last few days.

In this very month of December we successfully held the Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit. Last Sunday we held the Thirteenth Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America and, on that occasion, we paid a well-deserved tribute to their founders: our close friend and Bolivarian President, Hugo Chávez Frías, and the Commander of the Cuban Revolution, Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz.

Present in this session are Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, a source of (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations

In speech, Cuban President Raul Castro thanks Canada for facilitating the high-level dialogue which resulted in the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, maintains that Cuba will not not renounce socialism.

The post Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

wmtc: what i’m reading: this changes everything by naomi klein, one of the most important books you’ll ever read

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein, is incredibly difficult to write about. I’ve been putting sticky notes beside important paragraphs as I read, and my copy now looks like an art project, bristling with coloured paper squares. I can say without exaggeration that this is one of the most important books you’ll ever read.

In her clear, readable prose, Klein demonstrates exactly what is destroying our planet: unregulated, unchecked capitalism, brought to you by the scourge of our era: neoliberalism. (US readers may be more familiar with the term neoconservatism.)

In her 2007 book  (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Trumpeting the Nordic Model – How Socialism Wins the Day

Damn, Ólafur Grímsson, President of Iceland, is getting cocky. For good reason of course. Keeping the people that run your country and businesses educated and healthy = productivity and innovation.


Shocked I am. Positively aghast.


Filed under: Education, International Affairs, Politics Tagged: Neo-Liberal Troll Bait., Nordic Countries, Socialism, Welfare State

Parchment in the Fire: Crisis and Class-Struggle in Slovenia: The Growing Momentum of Socialist Politics | The Bullet No. 1055

Crisis and Class-Struggle in Slovenia: The Growing Momentum of Socialist Politics | The Bullet No. 1055.

Crisis and Class-Struggle in Slovenia: The Growing Momentum of Socialist Politics Jaša Lategano

For many liberal spectators, Slovenia was for a long time considered a success story of transition from a ‘socialist dictatorship’ into a ‘parliamentary democracy’ based on a market economy. In the winter of 2012, however, mass popular uprisings swept through the larger cities and eventually brought down the far-right neoliberal government of the Slovenian Democratic Party. What followed was more or less a continuation of the same policies under a nominally (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Socialist, AND Nobel Peace Prize Winner

…And after reading that, do you have an urge to say, “yeah, but”

– she’s young

– she’s a woman

– she’s uneducated

– whatever other condescending, dismissive thing you can imagine?

As a post-partisan eco-socialist, I affirm her words.

And if you follow the link below, you’ll see that The Nation Magazine uses the socialism quote to promote her picture, but does not link directly to their story on her, and the story doesn’t include the word “socialism.” Corporate media, for the fail, again!

“I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension | Articles: Real Democracy and the Capture of Institutions

It is no longer enough to win over civil society, occupy public spaces, take to the streets, carry out symbolic actions, prevent evictions, or to win plebiscites. In Spain movements for ‘real democracy’ are setting a course to capture institutions – albeit with the aim to recreate these institutions in a constitutive process in the interests of ‘real democracy’.

We are witnessing a dynamic reorganization of the political sphere – from the left. Even before the European parliamentary elections at the end of May a shift was evident that would bring the Izquierda Unida (United Left, IU) party a tripling (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension | Articles: Working Class Politics After the NDP

The issue that we can’t ignore this Labour Day is the disorientation in our movement’s politics. List the issues working people are most concerned about today – whether deindustrialization, unemployment and underemployment; access to healthcare, childcare and pensions; poverty, racism, conditions of foreign workers and appalling levels of overall inequality; the environment, transit costs and transit services; another corporate-friendly trade agreement that is insensitive to workers and communities; or the horror of Gaza – and two things especially stand out. First, how fundamental the actions of the Canadian state are to what is most important to us. Second, how distressingly (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Upstart party Podemos emerging as third political power, says new poll | In English | EL PAÍS

Upstart party Podemos emerging as third political power, says new poll | In English | EL PAÍS.

New party Podemos has taken a further step toward becoming the third power on the Spanish political scene, according to the latest opinion poll from the Center for Sociological Research (CIS). The group – which was the surprise success of the recent European elections, winning five seats thanks to 1.2 million votes – received support from 15.3% of those polled. That’s compared to 30% of voter support for the governing Popular Party, and 21.2% for the main opposition Socialist Party (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The Radical Left at the 2014 EP Election - Transform Network

The Radical Left at the 2014 EP Election – Transform Network.

The publication of the final results of the 2014 European Parliament (EP) election of 22-25 May finally permits to draw a first assessment of the performance of the radical Left.[1]

By Paolo Chiocchetti

The election marked an important electoral advance for this party family, which won 12,981,378 votes (+1,885,574) corresponding to 7.96% of valid votes (+1.04%). This was matched by an even stronger increase of radical left Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), from 36 to 53, and of their parliamentary group (European United Left/Nordic Green left – (Read more…)

Left Over: Incoming? Nah, Outgoing….

Guaranteed $20K income for all Canadians endorsed by academics Advocates enjoy resurgence of plan to ease poverty

The Canadian Press Posted: Jun 30, 2014 9:53 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 30, 2014 11:31 AM ET



A great idea, but like many academic ideas, not too practical in the sadly real world we live in…Scandinavian countries do it successfully, but they have intelligent well-designed social programs and a population that is onside..a far cry from N. America. where getting rich and climbing the wealth ladder is tantamount to sainthood, and damn the undeserving poor.. They probably didn’t (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: What German Left (Part II)

Originally posted on thecurrentmoment:

This guest post, by Phil Mader, a researcher in sociology at the Universal of Basel, follows on previous posts by him and by Wolfgang Streeck on the German Left. Mader’s first installment dealt with the SPD and the Greens; this second and final part highlights some issues plaguing the parties on the left of the SPD in Germany.

What German Left? (Part II)

The Eurozone crisis has set even the rigid German political landscape in flux. Merkel’s seemingly post-political governance, with what from many a German’s perspective appears as benign motherly strictness towards the continent, (Read more…)