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Victor's Children

Author: Victor's Children

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A podcast from so-called Canada talking socialism from below
35 Episodes
Palestine 101: 75 years of Colonialism, Imperialism, and Resistance This episode is made up of presentations from a Nov. 12 online event organized by the Tempest Collective, a revolutionary socialist project based in the US that now also accepts members from Canada. Speakers: Shireen Akram-Boshar, a contributor to Palestine: A Socialist Introduction Brian Bean, co-editor of Palestine: A Socialist Introduction Sherry Wolf, anti-Zionist Jewish socialist; former press officer for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine
Germany 1923: A New Perspective on a Failed Revolution (& a Poem for Palestine) One hundred years ago, a socialist revolution came close to happening in Germany. This episode is an interview with Sean Larson, who has written an article that draws on original research to illuminate what happened and why: For further reading: On the revolution of 1918: On Germany 1918-1933: Germany’s Counterrevolution Paved the Way for the Rise of Nazism On an important German marxist: Ernst Meyer, Theorist of Revolutionary Realpolitik On the history of the global workers’ movement: ***Israel's war on Gaza is on our minds and I hope listeners are involved in Palestine solidarity activity wherever you are.*** At this time, I recommend reading the classic document by Palestinian marxist Jabra Nicola: Theses on the revolution in the Arab East While obviously over-optimistic, and much has changed in the half-century since it was written, Nicola's analysis helps us understand the impasse into which the PLO led the Palestinian struggle, which allowed Hamas's rise to begin, and why ultimately, because of the specific character of Israeli settler-colonialism, the possibility of radical change within Israel depends on the struggles of the masses in the region, outside as well as inside its borders.
Episode 33: Chinese Imperialism Episode 31 of this podcast looked at the imperialism of the US, which despite its relative decline is still the most powerful component of global capitalism. In this episode Kevin Lin and Ashley Smith look at the rise of China and US-China rivalry. Suggestions for Reading: Ashley Smith, "As US-China Tensions Mount, We Must Resist the Push Toward Interimperialist War" Todd Gordon and Jeff Webber, "Complex Stratification in the World System: Capitalist Totality and Geopolitical Fragmentation" in the academic journal, Science and Society(unfortunately paywalled but the file may be findable elsewhere online), isn't an easy read but suggests a better way of understanding imperialism today than the more influential frameworks. Is BRICS+ an Anti-Colonial Formation Worth Cheering From the Left? Far From It. Taiwan Shouldn't Be Used As A Geopolitical Pawn Lausan Collective New Bloom Magazine -- Radical Perspectives On Taiwan And The Asia Pacific
The War in Ukraine Drags On: A Conversation with a Russian and a Ukrainian Socialist A year and a half after Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine, the war goes on and unfortunately the war is still not well understood by much of the left outside of those countries. Hanna Perekhoda and Ilya Matveev discuss Putin's war, some common political ideas about it on the Western left, the situation in Ukraine and Russia today, and what people on the left elsewhere can do to help socialists in Ukraine and Russia. Hanna and Perekhoda and Ilya Matveev will be participating in a speakers' tour in several US cities in September 2023 sponsored by the Ukraine Solidarity Network. For details see For a list of groups in Ukraine to support, see: solidarity-with-the-peoples-of-turkey-kurdistan-and-syria/ Posle, a site of the Russian anti-war left with some content in English: On the arrest of Russian socialist Boris Kagarlitsky: A July 2023 article by Gilbert Achcar worth reading:
Episode 31: U.S. Imperialism Today Although no longer the world's unchallenged dominant power, the U.S. remains the most powerful state in the economic and political system of global capitalism. Ashley Smith discusses U.S. imperialism from the end of the Cold War to today. Articles by Ashley Smith: After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Biden’s Chip War With China Is an Imperial Struggle for High-Tech Supremacy Biden’s National Security Strategy Is a Defense of US Domination, Not Democracy
The Politics of the Family, w M.E. O'Brien Families are political -- part of how most people survive under capitalism, places of love and support as well as often violence, other forms of oppression, and suffering. ME O'Brien's new book "Family Abolition: Capitalism and the Communizing of Care" is an important radical analysis of families in capitalist society and communist politics of the family from the mid-1800s to today. David thinks it's one of the best books of marxist theory he's read in a while, and this episode is an interview with ME O'Brien about the politics of families and care. Family Abolition Capitalism and the Communizing of Care by M. E. O'Brien
Against the Market, w/ David McNally Even though capitalism's problems are becoming increasingly obvious, commitment to fight for an alternative to capitalism – rather than a regulated capitalism -- is still weak. Part of the problem is the belief that markets are the least-bad way of producing and distributing goods and services. This episode is an interview with David McNally, editor in chief of the journal Spectre, about capitalism, markets and the alternative of democratic planning. 2023 is the 30th anniversary of the publication of his book. Against the Market
The Right vs Trans People: Understanding the Attacks and Fighting Back in the U.S. and Canada Eric Maroney and Skyler discuss the right-wing forces attacking transgender people in the U.S. and so-called Canada and how to organize to beat back their attacks. To learn more: Understanding the big picture: Misha Falk, “Neither Liberalism Nor Fascism But Trans Liberation and Socialism” Eric Maroney, “The Alt-Right Anti-Trans Crusades” Episode 12 of Victor’s Children, w/ Jules Joanne Gleason: About organizing and the right in the U.S.: Tempest Magazine coverage of successful drag defence in NYC A discussion of organizing against the far right in Ohio Fundraiser for drag story hour defender arrested in Akron sheet&utm_content=undefined&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer&utm_term=undefine d Erin Reed, independent journalist tracking anti-trans legislation Madison Pauly, “Inside the Secret Working Group that Helped Pass Anti-trans Laws Across the Country” A resource: Safety planning for actions
About Future on Fire and Victor's Children André Goulet interviews David about his new book "Future On Fire" and the Victor's Children podcast. This episode is a re-post from the Harbinger Society Presents podcast. On April 15, 2023 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, the online magazine Midnight Sun and Haymarket Books present an online discussion: Fighting Capitalism's Ecological Death Cult. For more information and to RSVP:…al-death-cult Suggestions for episode topics or guests? Feel free to email victorschildren at
The Socialism We Need What kind of society is possible and worth fighting for? What would it take to begin a transition to socialism? What should people who yearn for liberation be doing today? James Graham, Saima Desai and John Clarke join David in a multi-generational conversation. A few readings relevant to this episode: A Revolutionary Way of Doing Politics Is Taking Shape in Sudan - New Politics Revolution Means Smashing The State A Letter From Canadian Comrades
The Most Important Strike in Years: the Education Workers Strike in Ontario The law-defying strike by the 55, 000 workers in CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions in November 2022 was brief but arguably the most important strike in so-called Canada in almost two decades. Peter Hogarth talks about the background to the strike, how it unfolded, why it ended the way it did, and its lessons. Some articles worth reading: Peter Hogarth, "Who Killed Bill 28?" Martin Lukacs and Emma Paling, The inside story of how education workers beat back Doug Ford John Clarke, Doug Ford underestimated the power of workers—but so did union leaders John Clarke, Beyond the Rituals of Class Compromise
Future on Fire: Capitalism and the Politics of Climate Change On this episode, Sara Birrell, Saima Desai, James Hutt and David Camfield discuss ideas raised by David's Future on Fire: Capitalism and the Politics of Climate Change in an online book launch event hosted by Fiona Jeffries. In Canada you can order the book from Fernwood Publishing: In the UK you can order it from PM Press's UK site: Everywhere else, you can order it from PM Press in the US:
Sexual Violence, Feminism and Socialist Organizing A discussion with three thoughtful socialists and feminists, Hazel, Jamie and Sheila, about feminism, the left and sexual violence. How can left activists get better at preventing and responding to sexual violence? Some readings: Articles by Hazel Why I Left Fightback by Jamie Jeremy Appel on how the CPC leadership covered up sexual harassment and expelled critics: What's going on with the Communist Party of Canada? An article that briefly discusses how the "micro-party" model of socialist organization promotes weak responses to oppressive actions by group members, especially leaders: A letter from Canadian comrades
Ecosocialism and the Ecological Crisis Faced with the worsening ecological crisis caused by capitalism, what's the ecosocialism we should aim for and what climate justice reforms should we fight for in the here and now? How should ecosocialists relate to degrowth politics? How should we respond to the immediate concerns of working-class people as the cost of living rises? A discussion of these and other questions with Sabrina Fernandes and Gareth Dale. Some sources mentioned in the episode and other resources: Sabrina Fernades' project Tese Onze Gareth Dale, "Degrowth and the Green New Deal" "For an Ecosocialist Degrowth" coauthored by Sabrina Fernandes Jack Copley, "Decarbonizing the Downturn: Addressing Climate Change in an Age of Stagnation" Julian Allwood, "Closing the Rhetoric-Action Gap on Climate Mitigation" Book launch, David Hughes on "Who Owns the Wind? Climate Crisis and the Hope of Renewable Energy" Climate and Capitalism Order Future On Fire here: (in Canada) (everywhere else)
The Labour Front in Canada Today The cost of living is rising, unemployment is low, and a recession triggered by the Bank of Canada pushing up interest rates is coming. The number of strikes is also up, with the number of private sector workers who struck in the first half of 2022 being especially noteworthy. What's happening? How can workers take advantage of the moment to win as much as possible? Doug Nesbitt and Tara Olivetree (Ehrcke) discuss these and other questions. Doug is a cofounder of, where you can find many articles he's written. A 2021 article by Tara: Power, Workers, and the Fight for Climate Justice.
Moralism: A problem for the left Moralism -- which assumes that moral judgment can change society and thinks about people and what they do as either good or bad -- is a powerful influence today. It's a barrier to thinking about social structures, how change happens, and left strategy. Barnaby Raine and Vanessa Wills dissect what moralism is, how it affects the left, why it's so influential, how socialists should respond to it, and the place of ethics in socialist politics. Barnaby Raine is an editor of Salvage Vanessa Wills is an editor of Spectre
History of the Reproductive Justice Struggle The overturning of Roe v Wade in the US puts the spotlight back on the politics of abortion. David speaks with Jocelyn Piercy about the movement organizing that eventually led to the decriminalization of abortion in so-called Canada and defeated the Mulroney Tory government's attempt to recriminalize it, and in particular the work of the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics. This experience is relevant today as we face emboldened right-wing forces intent on replacing liberal sexual and gender rights with its reactionary sexual hegemony. Recommended reading: Jocelyn Piercy, Canada: History and strategies in the fight for reproductive justice Misha Falk, "Neither Liberalism Nor Fascism But Trans Liberation and Socialism" Rebel Girls' Rag, the publication of Toronto Socialist Feminist Action (1987-1992)
The Politics of War from Ukraine to Canada A discussion with Olena Lyubchenko and Dru Oja Jay about Ukraine in the years before Russia's invasion, the impact of the war on politics in so-called Canada, and what the left should do in relation to the war. To learn more: Olena Lyubchenko, On the Frontier of Whiteness? Expropriation, War, and Social Reproduction in Ukraine Dru Oja Jay, Ukraine’s first assailant—international lenders The March 2022 episode of this podcast is about Russia and the war. You can find it here: Marko Bojcun, "Ukrainian Socialists in the Diaspora: Lessons on Cold War Solidarity from Another Era"
Anti-racism and Socialism The problems with liberal responses to racism are no reason to dismiss or downplay the importance of anti-racist struggle as some on the left do. A discussion with Sharmeen Khan and Teddy Zegeye-Gebrehiwot on the politics of representation, multiculturalism, allyship and other aspects of anti-racist politics from socialist perspectives. Some writings referred to in this episode: Emma Dabiri, What White People Can Do Next Himani Bannerji, The Dark Side of the Nation Vanessa Wills, "Marxism and White Privilege" (paywall) Nick Mitchell, "The View from Nowhere" (paywall) Annie Olaloku-Teriba, "Afro-Pessimism and the (Un)Logic of Anti Blackness" Azfar Shafi and Ilyas Nagdee, "Recovering Antiracism: Reflections on Collectivity and Solidarity in Antiracist Organizing"
The Anti-Girlboss Socialist Club This episode is an interview with Paniz and Tamsyn, the hosts of the socialist-feminist podcast The Anti-Girlboss Socialist Club ( They discuss topics covered in two episodes of AGSC: the “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Industry” and sexual violence programs at universities. Sources mentioned by Paniz and Tamsyn or suggested for people who want to learn more: Jack Fiorito, "Human Resource Management Practices and Worker Desires for Union Representation" (2001) Journal of Labour Research 22:2. Janet Halley, Prabha Kotiswaran, Rachel Rebouché, and Hila Shamir, Governance Feminism: An Introduction (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) Sara Ahmed, Complaint (Duke Press, 2021), What's the Use (Duke Press, 2019), On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Duke Press, 2021). Robin D. G. Kelley, "What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?" John Kilcoyne, "The Politics of Policies: Responding to Sexual Harassment on Campus" (1994-1995) 3 Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal 33. Sara Ahmed, "Against Students" Breakdown of reported sexual assault cases at U of T: Sara Ahmed, "Uses of Use: Diversity, Utility and the University" Sarah Jaffe, Work Won't Love You Back (Hurst Publishers, 2021).
Comments (2)

Guy Miller

i thoroughly enjoyed David McNally's Dialectics Demystified. I've listened to lectures and class series on dialectics for over half a century, and Professor McNally's talk rates among the most useful. Now, I hope Victor's Children can do something comparable on the Franfurt School.

Oct 15th
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