by Barry Weisleder
The sh*t has hit the fan. COVID-19 now afflicts multitudes. World War C. It has triggered the shutdown of all but ‘essential’ production, leaving millions without jobs and income. In Canada, the ‘value’ of stocks plunged more than $1 trillion in a month, severely undermining pensions and retirement funds. A record nearly 1,000,000 workers applied for employment insurance benefits just in the third week of March, compared to the usual 35,000 for that time of year. This is just the tip of a deadly iceberg. Economists predict up to 35 per cent unemployment, far above the peak joblessness rate of 27 per cent in 1933 during the Great Depression. It seems the term Recession just doesn’t cut it anymore.
And let’s be clear: the current economic downturn preceded the virus. It was already underway in December. GDP growth, capital profitability, capacity utilization, volume of working hours, etc., indicated the onset of a recession. In 2019, countries like Germany saw the lowest growth rates since 2009, the peak of the global financial crisis. In addition, mass layoffs in the global automobile industry were no longer simply the result of computerization or the transition to e-mobility, but reflected a slump in economic activity. Capitalism and crisis are inseparable.
Continue reading COVID-19 and Trudeau’s Sick Priorities
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The 2019 SA ‘Year in Review’ by Barry Weisleder (presented on December 7, 2019.)
Socialist Action is a small but fast growing revolutionary party that puts a great emphasis on political education. At the same time, SA is an activist organization that has many practical accomplishments to its credit. From Chile to Lebanon to Hong Kong, from Ecuador to Catalonia to Iraq, 2019 has been a year of revolt against austerity, authoritarianism and repression worldwide. Today the working class of France is confronting the reactionary agenda of President Emmanuel Macron with an unlimited general strike. 2019 was also a year brimming with activism in this region, in this country, in which we have proven our ability to make a positive difference. This is a chronology of the activities of Socialist Action, primarily in the Toronto region, during the past 12 months.
Continue reading The 2019 Socialist Action ‘Year in Review’
WE ARE WITNESSING AN HISTORIC EVENT. It is a turning point for indigenous rights, for climate change resistance, and for a new generation of fighters for justice. It is a powerful step forward in social protest in Canada.
SOCIALIST ACTION has been expecting and preparing for such struggles. We recently published an in-depth booklet on the history and struggle against colonial-settler oppression, occupation, theft and murder of indigenous people of Canada. It explains how our common struggle against capitalism is inextricably bound up in theirs, and how their struggle is interconnected to ours. There can be no reconciliation under capitalism, and there can be no socialism without reconciliation.
SOCIALIST ACTION IS in the process of publishing a new detailed booklet on the life and death struggle against climate change, how it originated in the ceaseless drive of capitalism for capital accumulation through profit. The very survival of capitalism depends on it and drives the rapid expansion of green house gases that may kill us all. Again, socialism, a system of rational and democratic operation of a planned economy is the only way out of the present crisis.
Continue reading SOME KEY LESSONS OF THE INSPIRING STRUGGLE FOR INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY AND CLIMATE SANITY
Lessons and Prospects
Brexit and the Class Struggle in Britain
by Barry Weisleder
For over forty years, Jeremy Corbyn and the left wing of the British Labour Party (BLP) strongly opposed the European Union (E.U.). They opposed joining it. They opposed remaining in it. Was that stance a concession to racism? Not at all. Not any more than opposing imperialist war is a concession to isolationism, or a sellout to capitalists who profit from building homes, instead of bombs. The European Union is a monstrous machine of corporate rule, not a humanitarian refuge. Opposition to it was, and continues to be an essential basis for popular sovereignty and a Workers’ Agenda. The retreat by Corbyn and the BLP into the pro-EU swamp largely explains Labour’s devestating electoral setback on October 21, 2019. (Voters in 53 of the 59 seats that Labour lost had earlier voted to Leave the E.U.)
Why discuss this now? Because reversing that stance will be key to resisting the Tory agenda, towards mobilizing the working class in mass action for a socialist alternative.
Continue reading Brexit and the Class Struggle in Britain