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Class divisions, the other American dilemma

Protesters from Occupy Oakland, Oct. 2011. Photo: Glenn Halog/Flickr

In An American Dilemma, published in 1944, Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal examined U.S. race relations, and concluded that the American "creed" would eventually vanquish widespread racism, and allow black and white Americans to live in greater harmony.

The election of a mixed-race U.S. president in 2008 did not mean the end of American racism. However, the victory of Barack Obama did confirm the guarded optimism of the conclusions Mrydal reached in his classic work of social science. A majority of those voting signalled it was all right for a non-white family to occupy the White House. Some 64 years after Myrdal documented the extent of systemic racism throughout the U.S., this definitely constituted progress.

| September 7, 2012

Embodying the values of a new progressive economy

SP leader Emile Roemer. Photo: Maurice Boyer/HH/Flickr

A decade ago, the liberation theologian Frei Betto and the ecosocialist Michael Löwy wrote an article for the 2002 World Social Forum titled "Values for a New Civilization." They pointed out that the current neoliberal order is essentially dominated by a religion of profit: this system of beliefs has its churches (the stock markets), its Holy Offices (the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank), its theologian (Adam Smith), a vast clergy (orthodox economists) that defends its principles, and a variety of instruments to persecute its heretics (all th

| August 28, 2012
| August 22, 2012

Paul Ryan and the collectivism vs. individualism debate

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in Ashland, Virginia. Photo: tvnewsbadge/Flickr

A toast to Paul Ryan -- or to Mitt Romney who made him his teammate in the U.S. presidential race -- for putting a grand old argument back on the front burner. "The fight we are in here, make no mistake about it," Ryan has said with spunk, "is a fight of individualism versus collectivism." That was once a great debate but it's drifted almost out of view. First the Berlin Wall came down 23 years ago, then the Soviet Union imploded, the "individualism" side declared total victory and if that wasn't enough, the End of History too. The collectivism side, which had been largely hiding behind communist and socialist parties, grew mousy, except for relics like the socialist "caucus" in the NDP.

Photo: Fairfax County/Flickr
| August 8, 2012
Image: Jared Rodriguez/Truthout/Flickr
| August 1, 2012

Reforming global governance: A multipolar world?

A sheet used in the construction of globes.

How do we reform the international political system? One new radical solution that has emerged as a response to traditional Keynesianism is a multipolar anti-imperialist framework. Keynesians believe that the global governance institutions -- the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) -- can function as regulatory bodies that exhibit greater accountability, transparency and access to decision-making by developing country governments. Thus, if the global governance institutions operate according to guidelines that are rational, rather than ideological or power-driven, then they can become key, responsible actors on the global stage and we can build a world of peacefully interacting national capitalisms.

Needs No Introduction

Congress of the Humanities: Chris Hedges on America and the 'Empire of Consumption'

July 19, 2012
| Chris Hedges says America is experiencing a coup d'etat in slow motion. The American liberal class has allowed an unregulated, unfettered capitalism to create an 'empire of consumption.'
Length: 43:46
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