Making their own history
More than half a century ago, E. P. Thompson pioneered a new approach to labor history in The Making of the English Working Class. Thompson was dismayed with the bourgeois idea that history is made by great men, and the occasional princess or queen, but also frustrated with socialist histories that replace statesmen and business moguls with wise, if not infallible, party leaders and union bosses allegedly executing the iron laws of history.
Getting the Questions Right
This is the story of a Canadian woman who started to explore economic issues. The difficulties she encountered along the way led her to the conclusion that there are certain questions that can’t be answered theoretically but only practically, by people like herself. The same discovery could have been made by someone, male or female, […]
The Dollar and US Hegemony: Suspended in Air
Once again, speculation about a dollar crash abounds. The hegemonic roles of the US currency and economy have repeatedly been called into question since the 1970s. Skeptics saw each major economic downturn and depreciation of the dollar as the beginning of the end of US hegemony. In defiance of the often predicted decline, the US […]
Financial Capital: Crises Are Part of the Game
Everything went well during the summer of 2007. The economy was in an upswing and stock-market prices rose even faster. Then the end of the housing boom in the United States triggered an international financial crisis. Up to now it has been contained by heavy central-bank intervention; but the euphoria is gone. The world of […]
The Swedish Welfare State: A Model for Canadian Labor?
When I ask Canadian trade unionists and activists fighting against lower labor and social standards about their political vision, they often refer to European welfare states, notably Sweden. The Swedish social system, their reference implies, proves that there is an alternative to the neo-liberal politics of boosting profits at the expense of working people. It […]
The Euro — Going Global, Making Trouble: Why the Europeanization of “Modell Deutschland” Does Not Make a World Currency
Going Global Supporters and even critics of the European Monetary Union (EMU) often see its policies — its rejection of Keynesian demand management that was written into the Maastricht Treaty and later transformed into the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), as well as its monetarist belief in the priority of anti-inflationary policies over any other […]