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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

The Hope of the Hopeless

Contemporary Lessons from Marxist Struggles Against Hitler and Mussolini


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Fascist movements are on the rise. But does that mean that Donald Trump’s America, Viktor Orbán’s Hungary or Narendra Modi’s India are fascist? Many on the left think so and discovered antifascist action as their preferred rallying point. It remains often unclear, though, is which alternatives to a discredited neoliberalism and the rise of a new right the left has to offer. Historically, fascism represented the organized counterrevolution against the communist challenge seemingly spreading from Russia to Germany and Italy. No such challenge exists today. Often made references to the 1930s depression and the 2008/9 world economic crisis by no means suffice to qualify all of today’s new right as fascist.

Besides, purely economic explanations of fascism didn’t help to build effective anti-fascist movements in the 1930s either. A fuller understanding of these movements, as socialists of different persuasions learned the hard way, required a closer look at the social mass basis of fascism as well as an understanding of the psychological reasons that made fascism attractive for so many of the discontented back in the day.

Marxist theories focusing on the economic conditions, social basis, and psychological motives that produced the fascist rule of Mussolini and Hitler can serve as useful starting points to understand today’s crisis of neoliberal capitalism and its political articulations. Beginning an analysis of today’s conditions with these old theories allows us to see parallels but also significant differences. And they remind us that one thing present then, socialist and communist mass movements, is missing today. Leftists often recite Max Horkheimer’s dictum that “whoever is not prepared to talk about capitalism should also remain silent about fascism.” This dictum should be amended to: Whoever mobilizes against fascism and talks about capitalism should also present a viable socialist alternative. In the absence of such an alternative, neoliberal discontent will be articulated in right-wing terms but capitalists have little reason to take refuge, as they did in 1920s Italy and 1930s Germany, to fascist rule to retain their crisis-ridden power.

Presentation by Ingo Schmidt – teaches Labour Studies at Athabasca University and is one of the organizers of the annual World Peace Forum teach-ins in Vancouver.

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The Struggle for Decent Work and Wages


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Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (in Ontario, Canada), has been referred to the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Over 10 days in July in 10 different cities, the Committee heard deputations on the Bill. In August, the Committee will review the Bill “clause-by-clause” to decide what, if any, amendments will be made to the legislation.

While supporters of the Fight for $15 and Fairness are calling for important amendments – such as eliminating the sub-minimum wage rates for students and liquor servers, strengthening the language for equal pay for equal work, improving the scheduling provisions, adding more paid leave days and simplifying the process by which workers join unions – the ruling class is not rolling over so quickly. “The Fight for $15 & Fairness isn’t over. It’s just gearing up” ... continue reading.

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Palestinian Dispossessions, Canada and the Jewish National Fund


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The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has been the key tool used by Israel to dispossess Palestinians of their lands for over a century. It also discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel in the provision of land and housing, and appropriates lands in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in violation of international law.

Canadian taxpayers subsidize these activities, as the JNF has a fundraising office in Canada that has had charitable status since 1967.

Join with Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) in calling on the Minister of National Revenue to revoke JNF Canada's charitable status NOW!

Sign our petition here.


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
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80. 12 December 2010 Public Sector Unionism, Austerity and the Left Gindin, Sam
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79. 9 December 2010 The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development Lebowitz, Michael
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78. 30 November 2010 Rally to Stop the Closure of 120 Beds OCHU/CUPE
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77. 28 November 2010 Launch: Alternate Routes Fanelli, Carlo; Chris Hurl; Rebecca Shein; James Meades
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76. 21 November 2010 Capitalism and Confrontation Palmer, Bryan
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75. 14 November 2010 Forum on Bolivia with Dr. Hugo Salvatierra Salvatierra, Hugo
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73. 31 October 2010 Workers' Control, Workers' Councils and the Social Economy Lebowitz, Michael
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72. 28 October 2010 Building Labour Resistance Guest, Don; Michael Hurley, Monica McKenzie
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71. 22 October 2010 How Labour is (Part of) the Problem in Building the Left Fox Piven, Frances
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70. 4 October 2010 NO Fare IS Fair
Start of the campaign to win free and accessible transit for the GTA. A project of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded October 2, 2010 at Christie Pits, Toronto.
69. 26 September 2010 Race, Class and Crisis Reed, Adolph
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68. 21 September 2010 Rally in Support of Alex Hundert
G20 defendant and alleged 'ringleader' Alex Hundert appeared in court on Saturday September 18, 2010 for an alleged breach of his existing bail condition to not participate in any public demonstration. The police and Crown have made the preposterous and unbelievable claim that Alex's two public speaking events on university campuses in Kitchener and Toronto are public demonstrations.
67. 19 September 2010 Do We Pull the Monster Down? Carroll, William
A music video that comments on some of the salient contradictions of the post-9/11 conjuncture, one year into the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
66. 12 September 2010 Book Launch: Power in Coalition Tattersall, Amanda and Natalie Mehra
Launch of Power in Coalition - which includes a chapter on the Ontario Health Coalition's campaigns to save Medicare and against P3s. Recorded September 7, 2010, Toronto.
65. 9 September 2010 So Said Tony Hayward Carroll, William
A music video featuring imagery dredged from the internet - about the BP oil spill and its disastrous impacts, focused around the story of BP CEO Tony Hayward's hapless efforts to spin and manage a massive, and televisually spectacular, environmental catastrophe.
64. 24 August 2010 Economic Crisis? Who Pays?
Forum and organizing meeting on the government's proposed public sector wage freeze.
63. 19 July 2010 Free and Accessible TTC! Cowen, Deb; Karen Sun; Franz Hartmann
Discussion about free and accessible transit in Toronto organized by the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded July 16, 2010 in Toronto.
62. 16 July 2010 Bargaining in an Era of Wage Restraint Gindin, Sam; Michael Hurley
Re-thinking strategies for the public sector - with Sam Gindin and Michael Hurley. Recorded June 19, 2010 in Toronto.
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