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Showing posts from June, 2014

Daycare and Ideology

Due to our current living situation , taking our daughter up to daycare (which is close to where our home was) has become something of a difficulty.  In the past, I could just carry her down the street and, in three minutes, have her deposited in her class with her friends.  Now, it takes around forty minutes of stroller maneuvering.  Even still, it is a privilege to be able to take Samiya to daycare since so many people are not able to access or afford these services.  We are definitely lucky to have a childcare subsidy, which is difficult to get, that allows us to pay for daycare at a severely discounted rate while continuing to work and thus afford our bills while maintaining our respective careers. Play, play, play on those padded mats! To be clear, many of the children at my daughter's daycare are from proletarian families––and often single parent families––who are able to afford daycare due to similar subsidies, family benefits, and welfare.  Since there is no such thi

Good Old "FWP": short reflection on my current existence

One of the reasons my blogging output has been so sparse recently is due to a significant amount of housing stress myself, my partner, and my daughter have experienced in the past month.  Combined with the regular work stress––both formal and informal––and organizing commitments, I have had very little time and energy to devote to MLM Mayhem .  At the same time, however, this housing stress has also confirmed the fact that I possess a certain level of privilege to endure and compensate events that others experience as a matter of course and in a far more visceral manner. Nearly a month ago our upstairs neighbours' apartment flooded.  Because they were out of the city, the flood continued unabated until, without anyone around to monitor the incessant water build-up, it leaked through the ceiling and walls of our apartment at four in the morning.  By the time we were able to get in touch with building management so as to shut off the water, our home was flooded––the ceilings, large

Reflections on Internet Leftism

Several years ago I ended up in argument with a fellow Toronto activist about "internet presence" and its supposed necessity.  His argument was that communist groups needed to use various "social networking" tools to make themselves viable while my argument was, despite recognizing the importance of using whatever means were available for agitation, that it might be a mistake to treat internet activism as a stand-in for on the ground organizing.  (And yes, I realize the possible irony of discussing this problematic on a blog.)  That is, I was opposed to the idea that organizations were somehow defunct or passé simply because they lacked an internet following.  My contention was that a presence on the internet––particularly because internet presence speaks to a certain level of first world privilege and even the privilege of time  to work online rather than organizing in concrete circumstances––is in no way a substitution of on-the-ground agitation and organization.

On the Upcoming Provincial Electoral Circus

The Ontario elections are upon us again and the electoral circus has reached the point of self-satire.  Now the New Democratic Party [NDP] has stopped pretending that it represents even the most privileged sector of the working-class and has instead adopted a right populism in a jaded attempt to steal votes from the conservatives.  The logic of the economic crisis, that has succeeded in pushing all parties further to the right, has permitted the party that once pretended to represent the working-classes to outpace the Liberals in this rightward drift.  Hell, the NDP representative just one riding over from mine is an unabashed zionist who is proud of her service to right-wing Ukrainians in getting the "Holodomor" recognized as a genocide––a very timely candidate, to be sure, since the fascists now in power in Ukraine are the ones most responsible for pushing this ideology. Back during the days of the PCR-RCP initiated second Canadian Revolutionary Conference [CRC], those of

On the "Pseudo-intellectual"

Here is a term that has recently started to annoy me: the pseudo-intellectual .  To be fair, I've thrown this term out (and often inappropriately) in internet debates; I should probably self-criticize for those times in which I've been inaccurate.  After all, this is a term that is usually employed in a very inaccurate manner: we use it simply to insult people who use an intellectual discourse but with whom we disagree. The hallmark of the internet leftist, or the internet expert of any kind, is to complain about the supposed "pseudo-intellectual" who opposes their position and does so by referencing a constellation of intellectual language.  Rather than treating such an opponent as an intellectual in hir own right, it is often easier to simply dismiss them as pretend intellectual.  Occasionally this is done with a juvenile appeal to fallacies , which is in fact lower than the level of intellectualism that is perceived as pseudo . Perhaps this term bothers me becaus