The most significant, recent news -- that trust in neoliberalism is dead, that confidence in the unrestrained free market has become unfathomable to the majority of U.S. citizens -- has become more evident since 2008. The event is of course obscured by neoliberalism's continued dominance of conservative and centrist governments, political parties and media, yet it is evident that we are now witnessing its inevitable sequence of delegitimation, ruin and replacement.
Recently the Harper government decided to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard station which provided search and rescue services in waters bordering Vancouver. The numerous watercraft (representing 20 million human transits annually) crossing English Bay and False Creek now have to depend on a station over one-half hour from the centre of water traffic.
Though only one small instance of massive government cutbacks, it nevertheless affects the sense of well-being in the lower mainland of British Columbia.
Though the Conservatives deny it, the Kitsilano closure puts lives in danger. Providing security for citizens is what democratic governments are supposed to do.
In my co-edited book The Revolution in Venezuela: social and political change under Chávez, Margarita López-Maya and Luis E. Lander contributed an insightful article on the 2006 Venezuelan elections. The essay is worth revisiting because its analysis identifies the same crucial dynamics that underlie the current campaigns vying to win the Venezuelan presidency on October 7.