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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 https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/677949/what-white-people-can-do-next-by-emma-dabiri/9780141996738 Himani Bannerji, The Dark Side of the Nation https://www.canadianscholars.ca/books/dark-side-of-the-nation Vanessa Wills, "Marxism and White Privilege" (paywall) https://spectrejournal.com/marxism-and-white-privilege/ Nick Mitchell, "The View from Nowhere" (paywall) https://spectrejournal.com/the-view-from-nowhere/ Annie Olaloku-Teriba, "Afro-Pessimism and the (Un)Logic of Anti Blackness" https://www.historicalmaterialism.org/articles/afro-pessimism-and-unlogic-anti-blackness Azfar Shafi and Ilyas Nagdee, "Recovering Antiracism: Reflections on Collectivity and Solidarity in Antiracist Organizing" https://www.tni.org/en/antiracism
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 (https://harbingermedianetwork.com/show/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. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA73064849&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=01953613&p=AONE&sw=w&userGroupName=anon%7E36766bd Janet Halley, Prabha Kotiswaran, Rachel Rebouché, and Hila Shamir, Governance Feminism: An Introduction (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/governance-feminism-1 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). https://www.saranahmed.com/books-1 Robin D. G. Kelley, "What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--gim7W_jQQ&ab_channel=KODXSeattle 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" https://thenewinquiry.com/against-students/ Breakdown of reported sexual assault cases at U of T: https://thestrand.ca/campus-safety-uofts-handling-of-sexual-assault-reveals-the-cracks-in-our-academic-system/ Sara Ahmed, "Uses of Use: Diversity, Utility and the University" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avKJ2w1mhng Sarah Jaffe, Work Won't Love You Back (Hurst Publishers, 2021). https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/work-wont-love-you-back/
Understanding Russia Today, w/ Simon Pirani Anyone trying to understand Russia in the context of the war unleashed by Putin and co. on Ukraine will find little of use in the mainstream media, and a lot of left media isn't much better. This episode presents an interview with Simon Pirani about capitalism and politics in Russia today. Simon has written extensively on contemporary Russia as well as on the Russian Revolution, and discussed Stalinism on ep. 3 of Victor's Children. https://soundcloud.com/user-737267994/episode-3-stalinism-and-the-future-of-socialism-part-i?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing Simon's website; https://peopleandnature.wordpress.com Simon recommends Ilya Matveev's recent article "Between Political and Economic Imperialism: Russia's Shifting Global Strategy" https://brill.com/view/journals/jlso/aop/article-10.1163-24714607-bja10043/article-10.1163-24714607-bja10043.xml?rskey=tHGbWa&result=1 For discussion of what stance socialists in so-called Canada should take to Russia's war on Ukraine, check this out: Episode 14: Russia Out of Ukraine, and No to NATO Too! by Solidarity Winnipeg https://soundcloud.com/solidarity-winnipeg-sw/swpod-ukraine-ep-final?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
The Far Right Mobilizes & Workplace Organizing at Canada Post The far right-led action in Ottawa against pandemic public health measures was the largest mobilization by the far right in so-called Canada since the 1930s, so this episode opens with analysis from Todd Gordon. Next is an interview with Edmonton CUPW organizer Roland Schmidt about building workplace power among postal workers in that city and some of its broader lessons. Judy Rebick and Corvin Russell's article, which appeared after the episode of Victor's Children on the politics of the pandemic, helps explain the situation the far right has taken advantage of: The Left is nowhere on COVID. And that’s a big problem. https://rabble.ca/columnists/the-left-is-nowhere-on-covid-and-thats-a-big-problem/ David's 2018 article on fighting the right is dated in some respects but still relevant: The far right, the hard right, and our fight against them https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/the-far-right-the-hard-right-and-our-fight-against-them
The Politics of the Pandemic A discussion with Nora Loreto, Daniel Sarah Karasik and Corvin Russell about the politics of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Canadian state, how the NDP and the radical left have responded, and the politics we need going forward. Nora Loreto (@nolore)'s new book Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic. https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/spin-doctors Daniel Sarah Karasik (@JoyAndDefiance)'s new article "Against Pandemic Realism" https://www.midnightsunmag.ca/against-pandemic-realism/
Transgender Liberation, Transgender Marxism An interview with Jules Joanne Gleason, co-editor of Transgender Marxism, about gender, the politics of trans liberation and their universal implications, and transgender marxism. If you're unfamiliar with the subject of this episode, this is worth reading: Notes on women, men, trans and intersex: "the gender binary does not fit the facts" https://www.rs21.org.uk/2016/10/24/notes-on-women-men-trans-and-intersex-the-gender-binary-does-not-fit-the-facts/ To learn more: Transgender Marxism https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745341668/transgender-marxism/ Shanice McBean, "'I Was Born a Baby, Not a Boy:' Sex, Gender and Trans Liberation" https://www.rs21.org.uk/2020/07/21/i-was-born-a-baby-not-a-boy-sex-gender-and-trans-liberation-2/ Three essays mentioned by Jules in the episode: Gayle Rubin, "The Traffic in Women: Notes on the 'Political Economy' of Sex" https://summermeetings2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/rubin-traffic.pdf Nat Raha, "The Limits of Trans Liberalism" https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2245-the-limits-of-trans-liberalism-by-nat-raha Jules Joanne Gleason and Nathaniel Dickson, "The Future of Trans Politics" https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4269-the-future-of-trans-politics
China Today & the Politics of China in Canada w/ Ralf Ruckus and Vincent Wong China's growing power in the world and the worsening rivalry between "Western" states and China make it ever-more important for leftists to understand China. This episode presents an interview with Ralf Ruckus, author of the new book The Communist Road to Capitalism: How Social Unrest and Containment Have Pushed China's (R)evolution Since 1949, about China today. Ideas about China are becoming more prominent in politics in the Canadian state. Vincent Wong, author of a recent article on China and the left in Canada in Briarpatch, looks at how China is being discussed, anti-Chinese racism, and China and the left. If you want to learn more: Ralf Ruckus, The Communist Road to Capitalism: How Social Unrest and Containment Have Pushed China's (R)evolution since 1949 https://pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1149 Vincent Wong, China, the Canadian left, and countering state capitalist apologia https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/china-the-canadian-left-and-countering-state-capitalist-apologia Lausan Collective https://lausan.hk/ Ralf Ruckus's site 闹清楚 [nau̯ tɕʰiŋ ʈʂʰu] https://nqch.org 工潮 [gʊŋ'ʧaʊ] | gongchao.org | info + debate on china https://www.gongchao.org Chuangcn.org journal and blog https://chuangcn.org/ China Labour Bulletin https://clb.org.hk/ Wu Yiching, The Cultural Revolution at the Margins https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674728790 Vincent Wong And Kennes Lin on Anti-Asian racism and workers struggles in Canada https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/09/01/the-racist-history-of-chinese-labour-in-canada-shows-not-much-has-changed-deemed-essential-but-still-invisible.html
Imperialism, w/ Todd Gordon An interview with Todd Gordon about imperialism today and Canadian imperialism. This is a rerelease of a recent episode of the Solidarity Winnipeg Podcast. Some of Todd's writing on imperialism: Todd Gordon, Imperialist Canada https://arpbooks.org/Books/I/Imperialist-Canada Todd Gordon and Jeffery Webber, Blood of Extraction https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/blood-of-extraction Todd Gordon and Jeffery Webber, Complex Stratification in the World System: Capitalist Totality and Geopolitical Fragmentation https://www.academia.edu/41453902/Complex_Stratification_in_the_World_System_Capitalist_Totality_and_Geopolitical_Fragmentation
Dialectics Demystified, w/ David McNally Marxism is usually associated with the concept of dialectics, but what is dialectics? Is Marxist theory "dialectical materialism"? Should dialectics be rejected as "unscientific," as mainstream academics argue? Or should it be discarded as part of European Enlightenment ideology that makes false claims to universal truth, as others claim? David McNally discusses these issues in a clear and accessible way. *Producer's Note* Any audio glitches or dropouts are the result of internet issues at the time of recording. The content of the discussion was not edited or altered in any way. David McNally's website: https://www.davidmcnally.org Suggested reading If you're interested in reading about the topic, try "The Philosophy of Internal Relations," Chapter 3 of Bertell Ollman's book Alienation. https://web.archive.org/web/20170706054213/http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/a_ch03.php
Is The Enemy of My Enemy My Friend? Campism and Emancipatory Politics Today, w/Barnaby Raine In recent years the influence of "campist" politics within the left has grown. Barnaby Raine goes beyond explaining what's wrong with campism by explaining why its influence has grown and discussing what this says about our times and some implications for emancipatory politics today. Background reading: John Clarke, "The class struggle and geopolitics" https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-class-struggle-and-geopolitics Jason Schulman and Dan La Botz, "Against Campism, for International Working-Class Solidarity" https://socialistforum.dsausa.org/issues/winter-2020/against-campism-for-international-working-class-solidarity/
Should Socialists Take Union Staff Jobs? Katherine Grzejszczak, Gene McGuckin and Sherry Wolf, three socialists with a lot of union experience, discuss this question. If you want to learn more: Kim Moody's writing on "the rank-and-file strategy" is a must-read for socialists. For a start, check out "In Defense of the Rank-and-File Strategy" https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/06/rank-and-file-strategy-kim-moody-labor-unions Kate Doyle Griffiths, "The Rank and File Strategy on New Terrain." https://spectrejournal.com/the-rank-and-file-strategy-on-new-terrain/ On bureaucracy and unions, see David Camfield, "What is Trade Union Bureaucracy? A Theoretical Account." https://spectrejournal.com/the-rank-and-file-strategy-on-new-terrain/
In this episode, Alex de Jong discusses Stalinist politics, including Maoism, outside the so-called "Communist" societies, and why it's still important to understand them today. If you haven't listened to Episode 3: Stalinism and the Future of Socialism (Part I), which deals with the history of the USSR and China, you might want to listen to that first. By Alex de Jong: "The Philippine Left in a Changing Land" - New Politics https://newpol.org/issue_post/the-philippine-left-in-a-changing-land/ If you want to learn more: A good book on the early years of Stalinist politics outside the USSR is Duncan Hallas, The Comintern. On these politics later in the 20th century, see Ernest Mandel, From Stalinism to Eurocommunism. On Maoism, start with Elliott Liu, Maoism and the Chinese Revolution: A Critical Introduction. On the Communist Party of Canada, listen to Episode 4 of Victor's Children.
An interview with Harsha Walia about the politics of Canadian nationalism, including left-nationalism, followed by a discussion about Midnight Sun, a new online magazine, with Daniel Sarah Karasik, Lina Nasr El Hag Ali, and David. Harsha Walia's Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism and the Rise of Racist Nationalism https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/border-and-rule Midnight Sun https://www.midnightsunmag.ca
May 2021 marks the centenary of the formation of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC), so David interviews marxist historian Bryan Palmer about the CPC's history. If you want to read about the CPC: David Camfield, "The History and Politics of the Communist Party of Canada: An Overview" https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/the-history-and-politics-communist-party-of-canada Ian Angus, Canadian Bolsheviks Socialist History Project https://www.socialisthistory.ca/Publications/pubs.htm
Stalinism and the Future of Socialism (Part I) At the end of the 1920s a new social order emerged in the USSR. This Stalinist model later became the basis for reorganizing society in a series of other countries. It was criticized by anti-communists and supported by many people on the left, but other socialists challenged the claim that this was socialism. How socialists today understand what happened in these societies matters a lot. In this episode Simon Pirani discusses the emergence of the Stalinist social order in the USSR and some of the claims made by its defenders, while Kevin Lin surveys China from the revolution of 1949 to the present. Links: Simon Pirani http://simonpirani.blogspot.com An interview with Kevin Lin from 2020: How China contained Covid-19 and the dangerous world to come https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article6494 A Marxist analysis of the USSR I recommend: What was the USSR? Part IV: Towards a theory of the deformation of value https://libcom.org/library/what-was-ussr-aufheben-part-4 If you're interested in the background to Stalinism: David Camfield, "Revolution and modernising counter-revolution in Russia, 1917-28" https://brill.com/view/journals/hima/28/2/article-p107_4.xml (paywalled, but may be available elsewhere online) If you're interested in China under Mao, a good place to start is Elliott Liu's book Maoism and the Chinese Revolution: A Critical Introduction https://www.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=778
What is class struggle? Why does it matter? What's happened to class struggle in Canada? What are the implications for socialists? A discussion of these and other questions with Kate Jacobson (Alberta Advantage podcast, in Calgary) and John Clarke (former organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, in Toronto). Email: victorschildren at gmail.com Subscribe: https://pod.link/1556511995 Alberta Advantage Podcast https://albertaadvantagepod.com John Clarke https://johnclarkeblog.com/
Victor's Children is named after Victor Serge, so in this first episode David introduces the podcast and interviews Suzi Weissman, author of the political biography Victor Serge: The Course is Set on Hope, about this socialist fighter and writer and why Serge matters today. https://www.versobooks.com/authors/1615-susan-weissman
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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