Saturday, 30 November 2013


There is nothing in this world that will ever convince me that the vancouver cops ever gave a shit about the missing women from the Downtown Eastside of that city. Everything points to the opposite; the reactions the family members got  when they tried over and over again to report their missing loved ones, the lack of ANY fucking movement on this AT THE TIME IT WAS FUCKING HAPPENING, and in fact still IS fucking happening, and other shit, like the fact that the head of the bullshit missing persons department was eventually fired and convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography. Holy fuck. No, I'm not making this stuff up.
  I recently read a small part of some vancouver cop's blog who had spent some time working that part of the city. He tries to say that they do give a fuck. I am totally positive that it's not fucking true. As I just said, the way everything was handled screams that they are cold indifferent assholes, who do not care about the marginalized people of vancouver (or anywhere).
  Read "On The Farm" by Stevie Cameron. It is an eye opening and brutal book.

Friday, 29 November 2013


Once again, I'm more than happy to shatter any smugness and holier than thou bullshit that any kkkanadian is feeling towards the government of our imperialist civilian killing neighbours to the south. If this fucking country's government has a spy agency that "isn't allowed to" spy on kkkanadians, then they are more than happy to let someone else do this fucked up dirty work for them. And if the national agency isn't allowed to spy on "canadians", then who and where are they allowed to do this? This shit is fucked up, and needs to be burned off the face of the earth.
Top secret documents retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden show that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government allowed the largest American spy agency to conduct widespread surveillance in Canada during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits.

U.S. government response

A state department official said the United States "recognizes the importance of privacy to its citizens and people around the world."
"The President has directed a review that looks across the board at our intelligence gathering to ensure that we are properly accounting for both the security of our citizens and our allies, and the privacy concerns shared by Americans and citizens around the world.
"This review is being led by the White House, and includes agencies from across the government. There are also important efforts underway that will enable others to review how we strike the right balance, including the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
"While we are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations." 
The documents are being reported exclusively by CBC News.
The briefing notes, stamped "Top Secret," show the U.S. turned its Ottawa embassy into a security command post during a six-day spying operation by the National Security Agency while U.S. President Barack Obama and 25 other foreign heads of government were on Canadian soil in June of 2010.
The covert U.S. operation was no secret to Canadian authorities.
An NSA briefing note describes the American agency's operational plans at the Toronto summit meeting and notes they were "closely co-ordinated with the Canadian partner."
The NSA and its Canadian "partner," the Communications Security Establishment Canada, gather foreign intelligence for their respective governments by covertly intercepting phone calls and hacking into computer systems around the world.
The secret documents do not reveal the precise targets of so much espionage by the NSA — and possibly its Canadian partner — during the Toronto summit.
But both the U.S. and Canadian intelligence agencies have been implicated with their British counterpart in hacking the phone calls and emails of foreign politicians and diplomatsattending the G20 summit in London in 2009 — a scant few months before the Toronto gathering of the same world leaders.
Notably, the secret NSA briefing document describes part of the U.S. eavesdropping agency's mandate at the Toronto summit as "providing support to policymakers."
Documents previously released by Snowden, a former NSA contractor who has sought and received asylum in Russia, suggested that support at other international gatherings included spying on the foreign delegations to get an unfair advantage in any negotiations or policy debates at the summit.
It was those documents that first exposed the spying on world leaders at the London summit.
More recently, Snowden's trove of classified information revealed Canada's eavesdropping agency had hacked into phones and computers in the Brazilian government's department of mines, a story that touched off a political firestorm both in that country and in Ottawa.
The documents have rocked political capitals around the world. NSA spies on everyone from leaders of U.S. allies to millions of Americans. Personal information has been scooped up by the agency’s penetration of major internet and phone companies.

Economic and political espionage

The spying at the Toronto summit in 2010 fits a pattern of economic and political espionage by the powerful U.S. intelligence agency and its partners such as Canada.
That espionage was conducted to secure meeting sites and protect leaders against terrorist threats posed by al-Qaeda but also to forward the policy goals of the United States and Canada.
The G20 summit in Toronto had a lot on its agenda that would have been of acute interest to the NSA and Canada.
Secret documents released by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden have provided new insight about the level of U.S. and Canadian spying on allies and foreign diplomats. (The Guardian/Associated Press)
The world was still struggling to climb out of the great recession of 2008. Leaders were debating a wide array of possible measures including a global tax on banks, an idea strongly opposed by both the U.S. and Canadian governments. That notion was eventually scotched.
The secret NSA documents list all the main agenda items for the G20 in Toronto — international development, banking reform, countering trade protectionism, and so on — with the U.S. snooping agency promising to support "U.S. policy goals."
Whatever the intelligence goals of the NSA during the Toronto summit, international security experts question whether the NSA spying operation at the G20 in Toronto was even legal.
"If CSEC tasked NSA to conduct spying activities on Canadians within Canada that CSEC itself was not authorized to take, then I am comfortable saying that would be an unlawful undertaking by CSEC," says Craig Forcese, an expert in national security at University of Ottawa's faculty of law.
By law, CSEC cannot target anyone in Canada without a warrant, including world leaders and foreign diplomats at a G20 summit.
But, the Canadian eavesdropping agency is also prohibited by international agreement from getting the NSA to do the spying or anything that would be illegal for CSEC.

Canada's 'Five Eyes' partners

The NSA isn't Canada's only partner in the covert surveillance business.
They are part of a multinational partnership that includes sister organizations in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand — the so-called "Five Eyes."
CSEC has roughly 2,000 employees and an annual budget of about $450 million. It will soon move into a new Ottawa headquarters costing taxpayers more than $1.2 billion, the most expensive federal government building ever constructed.
By comparison, the NSA is the largest intelligence agency in the U.S., with a budget of over $40 billion and employing about 40,000 people. It is currently building what is believed to be one of the largest and most powerful computers in the world.
CSEC is comparatively much smaller but has become a formidable and sophisticated surveillance outlet. Canadian eavesdroppers are also integral to the Five Eyes partnership around the world.
The documents obtained by the CBC do not indicate what, if any, role CSEC played in spying at the G20 in Toronto.
But the briefing notes make it clear that the agency's co-operation would be absolutely vital to ensuring access to the telecommunications systems that would have been used by espionage targets during the summits.
G20 Report
A protester jumps on a burnt-out car as a police car burns in the background during an anti-G20 demonstration June 26, 2010 in Toronto. Top secret NSA briefing notes predicted vandalism by "issue-based extremists" was a more likely threat than al-Qaeda-type terrorists during the event. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
Much of the secret G20 document is devoted to security details at the summit, although it notes: "The intelligence community assesses there is no specific, credible information that al-Qa'ida or other Islamic extremists are targeting" the event.
No matter. The NSA warns the more likely security threat would come from "issue-based extremists" conducting acts of vandalism.
They got that right.
Protest marches by about 10,000 turned the Toronto G20 into an historic melee of arrests by more than 20,000 police in what would become one of the largest and most expensive security operations in Canadian history.
By the time the tear gas had cleared and the investigations were complete, law enforcement agencies stood accused of mass-violations of civil rights.
Add to that dubious legacy illegal spying by an American intelligence agency with the blessing of the Canadian government.
CBC contacted the Canadian and U.S. governments for comment, and answers to specific questions.
U.S. State Department officials would not comment directly on the spying issue. Instead they pointed to the fact President Obama has ordered a review of all NSA operations in the wake of the Snowden revelations.
In Canada, officials at CSEC offered no comment .

Thursday, 28 November 2013


I am currently reading the book you see pictured right here. It's a tough one. The author, Stevie Cameron, not only talks about the events leading up to the horror story that this farm became, she goes into the personal lives of many of the women who were to fall victim to this vicious and vile predator. She also talks about pickton's own upbringing, which predictably was terrible as well. But the one thing that strikes me the most, is the police and public indifference to all of these women going missing. No one gave  a shit. The fucking cops were telling the families of the missing women that they were out "partying", and even told the family of one of the women that she was probably "on a cruise".Fucking assholes. I had my suspicions from the first day that cops were at some of the pickton parties, along with the occasional politician, and the book implies that this was indeed the case. They can do all of the fucking "look at the nice cops trying to help the down and out" documentaries that they want, but the truth remains that they are the sworn upholders of a fucking criminal system, and at least for some, they can be as disgusting as the creeps they eventually arrest, and as heartless as the system they keep in place at the barrel of a fucking gun. Find this book and read it. You need to. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013


Last night was Tyler Stranglehold's Birthday Bash at everyone's favourite shithole, Logan's. I missed The Goon Squad, but managed to catch Class Of 1984, who grow on me everytime I see them. They had the big man get up on stage and do a couple of ill-rehearsed cover songs. "Hope" by The Descendants, and "Civilization's Dying" by the Zero Boys. It was a fuck of a lot of fun. The last band of the night were The Frostbacks, who were also very entertaining. I was actually thinking that if AK were to have played, we might have ruined everyone's evening. It might have been worth it. Oh well. There'll be plenty of opportunity to wreck everyone's good times in the future.
  As always, it was great to catch up with people I haven't seen in a long time, and I also find it inspirational to see the old (and not so old) faces. A small handful of straightedgers, people who work hard and party harder, 40-something drunken skateboarders, and even some stupid fucking clueless university types were represented. A great time, in honour of a great human being. Happy Birthday, my friend.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


This is for all of those smug motherfuckers passing judgement on that idiot rob ford. It's easy to not think about the real issues going on right now, and instead talk about how some idiot politician should resign, while sounding so fucking self-righteous and indignant. Fuck him and all of them.

We have not wasted too much time focusing on Rob Ford in the Partisan—as we have been focusing on more important issues, like the indigenous protests in Elsipogtog against fracking. However, we do believe the Rob Ford scandals, and the reactions to it, tell us a lot about the society we live in and what we need to do to change it. Here are some key lessons we can learn from the fiasco.

Lesson # 1: The police enforce class rule by using violence against poor and marginalized people, not rich and powerful people.

In the “Project Traveller” raids in June—where at least two of the men connected to the Rob Ford video were arrested—numerous people were violently attacked by the police. One 100-year old woman was sleeping when police surrounded her bed and pulled her hands behind her back. Dozens of peoples’ apartments were searched in the middle of the night for no reason. Anyone who lives in a low-income suburb of Toronto, or any major city in Canada, knows that the police will harass and jail young, poor and racialized people for anything.
The Somali-Canadian community in the Dixon area (north of Toronto)—the main target of the raids—are already dealing with poverty due to a lack of living-wage jobs and structural racism in this country. They are also powerless against greedy landlords, some who refused to repair doors the police broke in.
Meanwhile, Rob Ford was shown exchanging envelopes in late night gas station meetings with a known drug dealer, and the police didn’t pull the mayor over to find out what was in those packages. They also admitted they stopped interviewing Rob Ford staff and contacts months ago about the video because they wanted to focus on the “guns and gangs” arrest of Somali Canadians.
We do not want racist and classist police. We must fight for a society where the people themselves will manage security. We must fight for a justice system that fights for communities, not corporations and powerful individuals.

Lesson # 2: For the bourgeois media, personality is politics

Mainstream media defines “acceptable” political beliefs by what they decide to cover and what language they use. For example, the media portrays the option to vote, every four years, between three similar political parties—all of who represent the ruling class—as if it is a vibrant democracy. Likewise, the media makes politics about personalities and individuals, and turns politics into entertainment. The message is clear: you can vote on the personality of your political representative, but don’t think you have any say over environmental degradation, the quality of food and clean water communities have access to, access to education, decent jobs and housing, etcetera.
The capitalist media has focused on selling papers and TV commercials, making a “reality show” out of Rob Ford—covering his family life, his partying, etc. The sad truth is that many people in Toronto have come to believe personality IS politics—and are demonstrating for Rob Ford to resign based on the fact he is “embarrassing” or addicted; meanwhile these same people failed to demonstrate about actual issues, like when Ford tried to cut $50 million from services like day cares and libraries, affecting mostly poor people.
In a communist system, media is based on what is important for people to know, rather than what sells. Moreover, we are working towards a communist democratic politics where people have true power over the real issues affecting their day-to-day lives. Politics is not about one man’s escapades—power should be in the hands of all the people.

Lesson # 3: Racism, sexism and classism are rampant in a capitalist society

Rob Ford is a racist and sexist man. He has used the old trope that Asian people take jobs from Canadians, calling them “Oriental people” and saying “they work like dogs.” He sexually harassed a female councilor and security guard. He called taxi drivers “Pakis.” The list goes on and on. Rob Ford comes from a milieu where these kind of comments are normal.
Why do racism and sexism continue? They are needed by the capitalist class. Corporate marketing uses women’s bodies to sell products, for instance; our capitalist society has long denied all but the most menial and undervalued work to racialized migrant labourers. Low wages and poor treatment are accepted because of divide-and-rule, racist, sexist tactics on the part of the capitalist elite.
But the response by the larger public to Rob Ford’s scandal also reveals racism and sexism. Many Canadians seemed especially appalled that Rob Ford did crack, as if they are scandalized simply because a rich white man did a drug associated with poor and racialized people. Few of these same people spoke out all the other times he insulted entire communities.
Likewise, few people cared about the brutal “Project Traveller” raids on the Somali community, because the bourgeois media and politicians have portrayed this community as criminals. Finally, while many people were disgusted by Rob Ford’s lewd comment about allegations made by female security guard, no one seemed to notice that he openly named this woman and used his power to intimidate and harass her—something women face in the workplace on a daily basis.
While many see Rob Ford’s “casual racism” and sexism as jokes, we know how these ideologies are used as tools to oppress entire communities. Fighting racism, fighting sexism and fighting capitalism go hand in hand.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


There are many reasons why events unfolded in the Philippines the way they did...and it isn't just about the weather, or just about some detached "climate change", global warming, etc...All of this is connected with the workings of international capitalist/imperialism. There are several different causes for the tragedy surrounding the death and destruction that happened, but they can all be traced back to imperialism, and to why Revolution is the only way out of this madness and hopelessness.

The Typhoon in the Philippines... and the Destructive Unnatural Forces of Imperialism

November 14, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |

Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda) struck the populous, and poor, island nation of the Philippines on Thursday, November 7, causing staggering devastation to its people, land, and economy, especially on Leyte and Samar islands. Tacloban, a city of 220,000 people and the provincial capital of Leyte, has reportedly been largely destroyed.
Haiyan hit land with sustained winds of up to 195 miles per hour. To get a sense of how strong this is, when Hurricane Katrina brought death and destruction to New Orleans in 2005, the highest sustained winds were estimated to be 130 mph.
The winds also brought a nearly 20-foot-high storm surge, a wall of water that inundated coastal areas, turning land and cities into swamps and lakes in a matter of minutes.

Survivors of the typhoon walk through the devastated city of Tacloban, Philippines, November 11. Photo: AP
The full scale and scope of suffering left in the storm's wake is not yet clear. Haiyan impacted a wider area than Hurricane Katrina, and communications with many places hit had not even been established six days later. But initial estimates of deaths run from a minimum of 2,410 (as of November 13) to ten thousand or more. At least 600,000 people have lost their homes, with tens of thousands injured.
Reports of conditions in the aftermath of the storm are horrible and heartbreaking: Dead bodies, rotting, smelling and a possible source of disease, are everywhere; food and fresh uncontaminated water is almost unavailable. Rations in one area were reported to be 34 ounces of water—about four cups—per household per day, with temperatures in the high 80s! People are so desperate for water they are digging up and breaking water pipes to extract whatever is in them. Eight people were reportedly killed trying to get rice from a warehouse when a wall collapsed on them.
Hospitals are completely overwhelmed and out of medicine. Doctors working days without sleep, near tears, can only apologize to people they are unable to treat. People desperate to get on outgoing planes are being driven back at gunpoint by Philippine government soldiers at the airport.

Why Is This Happening?

As millions around the world watch, as our hearts are ripped apart once again by so much agony and suffering, the mainstream media assaults us with the same tired narrative: "It's a natural disaster, it's just the way things are," and we are to be reassured that the United States is on the way to the rescue with some of the fleet of warships that just happen to be in the area.
It is true that powerful and destructive storms are part of life on our planet, and humans have always had to find the best ways to minimize the damage and suffering they cause. But in this case—as was the case with Hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti—the power of nature has "intersected" with the forces of capitalism-imperialism: with this system's destruction of the environment, with the way it impoverishes people all around the world, and with its completely reckless disregard for the lives of the masses, which lead them first, to fail to give adequate warning to the people, and then to fail to provide anything approaching the aid and relief needed in the face of this powerful storm.

Global Climate Change and the Increase in Deadly Storms

Climatologists (scientists who study the climate) point out that the formation of massive storms involves the interplay of many different factors, and therefore that it is impossible to say conclusively that any particular storm is a result of the climate change that is causing a global environmental emergency. Typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones (which are all the same event, just named differently in different parts of the world) occur naturally and vary widely in their strength and size.
But there is increasing evidence that global climate change is already leading to more severe weather extremes and, very likely, to more powerful storms—and this is predicted to increase as climate change advances. The impact of climate change on the severity and number of hurricanes is a point of debate among climatologists, but there are a number of studies that predict hurricane intensity will increase in at least some regions of the planet.
Hurricanes gather their energy from warm waters in the oceans. The oceans are warming as a result of the build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This build-up is caused by the mad drive for profitable production by global capitalism-imperialism.
According to the Guardian newspaper, Philippines government statistics indicate an increase in peak wind speed strength of the strongest typhoons hitting the Philippines over the last six decades. Haiyan was an extraordinarily powerful storm—in fact, it may be the most powerful hurricane/typhoon in recorded history.
So while it's not possible to say that Haiyan was "caused" by climate change, it is the case that warmer oceans fuel hurricane strength, so it's quite possible there was a climate change component at work in building Haiyan's power.
Also, much of the damage of cyclones is caused by storm surge—put simply, water levels rise and overcome natural and artificial barriers that normally keep them from flooding inland. But sea level (the level of the ocean relative to the land) has been rising due to global climate change as well, which means that the "starting point" for the storm surge is going to be higher than it otherwise would be.
What this means is that for much of the world—especially in the tropical and sub-tropical regions which are mainly very poor, and many of which have huge populations as well as much of their agriculture and industry concentrated on the coast—this is going to increasingly be the shape of things to come. This underscores the need for massive and urgent efforts to halt the burning of fossil fuels and other practices that are causing climate change and allow the climate to  re-set and nature to heal.
Not only is there the sudden loss of life in storms, but the gradual flooding of coastal areas will both reduce food production (as farm land is destroyed) and turn millions of formerly productive (but very poor) people into refugees who will need to be fed, clothed, etc. The potential for suffering in all this is almost unimaginable, and we are really just scratching the surface of this here.
Yet year after year, the imperialists organize international conferences of governments that are aimed at making it look like they are working to solve this, when in fact they are continuing and even increasing the level of profit-driven environmental destruction that created the problem in the first place. So these meetings come up with no proposals for meaningful change, and often even their most modest proposals for reform are then blocked by the refusal of the U.S. and other major powers to support them.
Last year, Naderev Sano was the representative from the Philippines to the Conference of the Parties [COP] to the Kyoto Protocol (an international conference on climate change) in Doha, Qatar. Expressing his extreme anger and frustration at the meeting, he said: "The outcome of our work is not about what our political masters want. It is about what is demanded of us by 7 billion people. I appeal to all: Please, no more delays, no more excuses." But these meetings are exactlyabout what their "political masters"—most fundamentally the U.S. and other imperialist powers—want, and so once again, no meaningful action was taken at that meeting either.
This year Sano is again representing the Philippines at the COP meeting being held now in Warsaw, Poland. On November 12, five days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, he announced at the conference that he was going on a hunger strike to demand concrete steps to fight global warming. Sano said he was fasting "in solidarity with my countrymen who are now struggling for food back home," including his own brother who "has been gathering bodies of the dead with his own two hands." Sano said, "What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness."
(To learn more about the seriousness, source and impacts of climate change, see the articles "New Scientific Studies on the Dangers of Global Climate Change" and "Superstorm Sandy and Climate Change," To understand why capitalism-imperialism is completely incapable of dealing with this or other major problems facing humanity, see "On the 'Driving Force of Anarchy' and the Dynamics of Change, A Sharp Debate and Urgent Polemic: The Struggle for a Radically Different World and the Struggle for a Scientific Approach to Reality.")
This powerful storm has intersected with the extreme poverty, backwardness and corruption in the Philippines, which is also a product of capitalism-imperialism, to make the immediate impact of the storm much worse, and to make the relief and rescue effort into a disaster in its own right. And there is nothing "natural" about any of this.
One element of this—and this is common around the world—is that as imperialist capital has penetrated into rural areas, particularly in the Third World, small-scale agriculture has been wiped out, and hundreds of millions of peasants have been moving to major cities to try to find work in industry or the underground economy. The majority of the world's people now live concentrated increasingly large cities, under conditions of extreme poverty, and these cities are often on coastlines, or on rivers. In other words, the workings of imperialist capital have driven millions of people into impoverished conditions where they are also a concentrated "target" for "natural" disasters.

No Warning to the People as the Storm Grew in Strength

Although scientists were tracking Haiyan for almost a week before it hit, and although they recognized it as a very dangerous storm three days before, people in the area had almost no warning of what was coming, and no assistance to do anything about it if they knew.
First of all the scientific ability to forecast storms was badly hurt when the U.S. stopped sending weather planes into storm systems around the world and specifically stopped doing that in the Pacific for "budget considerations"—this in spite of the fact that most tropical cyclones occur in the Pacific. To have the technical and scientific capacity to give people advanced warning on these deadly storms and to refuse to do so is nothing short of criminal.
But once scientists did track this storm and began to recognize that it was highly dangerous, the Filipino people were still not warned. Scientists began tracking the storm on November 2; it reached tropical storm levels and was named "Haiyan" on November 4; it became a typhoon on November 5; on November 6 it was declared a Category 5 cyclone. (Katrina was a Category 4)
Only at that point did the responsible Philippine government agency authorities issue a public warning—a level 1 warning, which is the lowest of four levels. Finally, on November 7, it raised it to level 4, cancelling classes at schools and ordering some people to evacuate. But clearly that was much too late for a large and predominantly poor population to clear the area.
The government's main preparations seem to have been to move police into the area. There are no reports for example of food, equipment or medical supplies being gathered around the country or moved into the area in the storm's path, nor of stockpiles existing, outside of private rice mills and warehouses.

No Aid for the Victims

Then in the wake of the storm, the rescue and relief operations have been painfully short of what was needed. Jamela Alindogan, a reporter for the TV network Al Jazeera who was in Tacloban, expressed extreme frustration with the aid effort in an interview with Democracy Now!:
"Emergency response is very slow.… [M]ost of the people who are hit by these calamities are actually those who are really at the lower sector economically. They are the ones who are most vulnerable. What has the government done? With all the typhoons and all the devastations and all the natural disasters that has hit this country, it seems as if the ability to act and ability to respond is still very much slow...
"[L]ook at how the government has responded. They have been given days to prepare, and yet they said that they had their supplies ready, and where were these supplies?… I mean, the interior secretary was there days before, the secretary of defense. We were all in the same hotel. And it seems as if you ask them, they—they seem to be taken aback by this disaster. And yet, they have been warned.Over a thousand people have been—have died, and thousands more have been—have gone missing. Millions more, in fact, have lost their homes. The numbers may have changed, the names of the disasters may have changed, but the outcome in the stories of these people is still the same. When disaster strikes, they are on their own. And unfortunately, it seems as if the Philippine government is always, always really very close and very slow in terms of responding to the needs of the people who have been affected on the ground."
Some people are looking at the inability of the Philippine government to adequately respond to this emergency, pointing to corruption and incompetence—which is all too real. But this is not the heart of the problem—the real heart of the problem lies in the fact that the Philippines is a country dominated by imperialism.
The Philippines was directly ruled by the United States as a colony for nearly 50 years, from 1898 to 1946 (though it was largely occupied by Japan during World War 2). Direct U.S. rule wrought tremendous suffering among the people, including brutal repression of any resistance, and then when the U.S. left, it put in place brutal puppet dictators to represent its interests. Through these governments, as well as through investment and other means, the U.S. remains the key political, economic and military power in the Philippines. A government established under U.S. domination is a government of reactionaries that exists to maintain the oppressive feudal relations in the countryside, the grip of highly exploitative foreign investors in the urban areas, and the domination of imperialism over the whole country. Such governments are not about meeting the needs of the people—they are about repressing and exploiting the people on behalf of the United States as well as for the power and wealth of local oppressors and exploiters.
Is it any wonder that such a government does not put, and in fact is not capable of putting, the needs and interests of the people first?
And frankly, even if the U.S., the Philippine government, and other oppressive powers wanted to provide all the aid needed, their way of doing things, which is very much to rely on money, machines and technology while keeping the people "under control," is not a good way to respond to a disaster like this. To the extent the U.S. does provide aid, they do it at gun point, with people lined up under the watchful eyes of soldiers as helicopters either drop food from above or land with their terrible roar and wind. The masses are reduced to either helpless victims or people trying to survive the best they can who are then accused of being unruly "looters" or troublemakers.
But there are undoubtedly millions of people in the Philippines (and neighboring countries)—from fishermen, truck drivers, vendors and farmers to doctors, teachers and definitely tons of youth—who would love to be able to put their energy, skills and creativity to work to meet the needs of the suffering people in the disaster area.
With revolutionary leadership, people in every neighborhood could be mobilized to collect food, water and supplies, and then people could utilize the means at their disposal, whether trucks, cars, small boats, bicycles, or on foot, to get them to the affected area and distributed throughout. Leading this would be the primary way revolutionaries would solve these problems. But these are not methods that the imperialists will or can employ.

"A ghost town in just a matter of three hours"

Jamela Alindogan, a reporter for Al Jazeera who was in a hotel in Tacloban, vividly described the impact of the storm in an interview with Democracy Now!:
"[A]ll of a sudden the typhoon struck, and there's just this incredible wind, basically. These trees, they were blowing like they were weightless, they were paper. And roofs were being blown away, just like that. The visibility was in fact only a meter. We were close to the coastline, but I couldn't see the waves coming. And all of a sudden, in just a matter of 30 minutes, the water surged up as high all the way up to the second floor….
"And all of a sudden we felt that, you know, the wind was actually starting to—the roofs and the ceiling was actually starting to give way. And in just a matter of 20 minutes, it started caving in, and this really, really scary sound. And all of a sudden the entire roof is gone, and we were exposed to this beast, this incredible power that is really unimaginable. The sound is absolutely terrifying. It is horrific. I mean, it's beyond what anybody else could imagine. I have covered armed conflict, but there is nothing like this, nothing as incredible and as scary as covering a natural disaster like Typhoon Haiyan….
"[After the wind died down] we just made our way out of that area, basically, because there was nothing left. I mean, that place has become a ghost town in just a matter of three hours. And walking out of there took us about three hours to get to the next town. And it was just devastation everywhere. There was looting already. And it was hard to imagine how—you know, the damage. I mean, it's something that you see in the movies, you see, but you can't quite—it's very overwhelming to see it in reality. You don't think that it was possible. And within just a short span of time, to see that an entire province—actually, a very historical area of central Philippines has been destroyed just like that."

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


There are too many fools listening to other fools bark and snarl about the evils of a system that they themselves only understand to mean that it'll cut away their right to make money from the blood and sweat of others. So fuck 'em. Anyone who tries to claim that this is the best of all possible worlds is either intentionally ignorant, or just fucking evil. Here's a delightfully enlightening essay, or at least part of one...

No Wonder They Slander Communism

by Bob Avakian | November 18, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |

From What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, An Interview with Bob Avakian by A. Brooks.

If you step back and think about it, no wonder they slander communism so much. If you presided over a system that has such glaring, howling contradictions and disparities in terms of how people lived, a system which denied a decent life to the majority of humanity, and weighed them down with tremendous oppression and superstition and ignorance, while a relative handful in a few countries lived a life of unbelievable luxury—but, more than just luxury, they continued to accumulate capital while they fought with each other over who would beat out the other through this exploitation and accumulation of capital—if you stood back and looked at that... Imagine if you said to somebody: go to a drawing board and draw up the way you think the world should be. And imagine if somebody went to the drawing board and painted a picture of the way the world is now, and they said: this is the way the world should be. I mean, there would be tremendous howls coming from all quarters of humanity, saying: What the fuck— that's the way you think the world should be, with these tremendous disparities and people, little children, dying of cholera and malnutrition and other things that could be prevented easily, while a small number battle each other to accumulate more and more wealth from the suffering of this mass of humanity—that's what you think?!
Anybody who would actually draw that up on a board should actually be—and would probably be—rightly accused of criminal insanity. And yet, here's a class of people, the capitalist-imperialist class, that presides exactly over a world that way, and argues it's the best of all possible worlds. The only reason that people don't—masses of people don't, right at this time—say, "this is criminal insanity" is because they've been propagandized and conditioned to believe that, in fact, this is the only possible way, and that the radical alternative to it that does exist, namely communism, has somehow been a horror and a disaster. And it's not hard to see why the ruling class of capitalist-imperialists would employ a lot of people to propagate that idea everywhere they could. If you presided over such a criminally insane system, you would undoubtedly do the same.

Monday, 18 November 2013


How indeed do we know who's telling the truth? And why do we unquestioningly accept historical verdicts on Stalin and Mao from the same people we don't believe about anything else? Who is fucking lying? And how to figure it out? This is a good question for the anarchists to ask themselves when they find they're reversing from their holier than thou "revolutionary" sloganeering, to sounding like the editorial pages of the fucking globe and mail. Read on.

"But How Do We Know Who's Telling the Truth About Communism?"

November 18, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |

Some people reading this interview may be saying to themselves: "Ok, Raymond Lotta says these socialist societies were incredibly liberating, and that all these amazing things happened. But my teacher… my textbook… that magazine article I read… my friend whose family is from Russia… everything I have ever learned or heard about these societies… says that they were nightmares. How do we know who's telling the truth? Why should I believe Raymond Lotta?"
In response, two quick points must be made right away:  
First, it's not a question of what Raymond Lotta says vs. what your teacher, or textbook, or friend, or magazine article says. There are not two, or three, or four different competing "versions" of reality; there is one reality. In other words: Either something is true, or it's not. Either something is in line with reality, or it isn't. Either something happened, or it didn't.
Second, here's how you definitely don't decide what's true: By looking at what most people think.Very often what most people think is wrong! For example: At different points in the history of the world, most people thought that the earth was flat… that the sun revolved around the earth… and that slavery was completely natural and acceptable… and most people today still think that god created human beings and all life on earth. 0 for 4!
But then this leads to the question: How do we tell what is really true, and who is really telling the truth about communism?
The short answer to this question is: Be scientificExamine the evidence, and examine the methods and criteria being applied.
More specifically: Examine the evidence being offered, and criteria and methods being applied, in this interview with Raymond Lotta to argue that the past experience of the communist revolution was principally emancipatory… and compare and contrast this with the evidence (or lack thereof) being offered, and criteria and methods being applied, by those who tell you communism was a nightmare.
There is a basic question that you should ask yourself again and again as you read this interview and compare it to everything you've heard and been told and will again encounter about communism:Who is proceeding scientifically here, and who is not?
Now, what does it mean to be scientific, or to proceed scientifically? And why is this important? Being scientific means starting from, and consistently returning to, reality. It means doing that as opposed to starting from conventional wisdom, what one wants to be true, what one subjectively "feels," or one's prejudices and preconceptions about what is true.  
As Bob Avakian has put it:
Let's not mystify science. Science means that you probe and investigate reality, by carrying out experiments, by accumulating data, and so on; and then, proceeding from that reality and applying the methods and logic of rational thought, you struggle to identify the patterns in the data, etc. you've gathered about reality. If you're approaching it correctly, you're struggling to arrive at a correct synthesis of the reality you've investigated. And then you measure your conclusions against objective reality to determine if they are in correspondence with it, if what they sum up and predict about reality is confirmed in reality. That's the way breakthroughs in science have been made—whether it's in the realm of biology, like the understanding of evolution, or whether it's things about the origins of the universe (or the known universe), like the Big Bang Theory, or whatever. That's the process that goes on, and the question is: is it scientific? That is, does it, in its main and essential lines, correspond to reality?
—From What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, An Interview with Bob Avakian by A. Brooks
And why is it so important to be scientific? Because this is the only way to actually get to realityand to continue learning more about reality. To return to the examples given earlier: where would we be if Copernicus and Galileo, or Darwin, or the Abolitionists who fought against slavery, proceeded from "what everybody knows," or decided that no one could really say what was true, or what was right and wrong, that there was no objective reality but simply "different versions" of that reality, or that truth depended on one's individual perspective?
Now, to be clear, the point is not that if someone is applying a scientific method—and the communist method of dialectical materialism in particular—that automatically means everything that person says about communism is true, or that everything anti-communists say is not true. In fact, at the heart of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian is an understanding that while the communist outlook and method represents the most systematic, comprehensive, and consistent means of arriving at the truth, this does not mean that communists have a monopoly on the truth, or that those who are not applying this outlook and method are incapable of discovering important truths. Rather, with anything that anyone says, the test should be: Does this, in fact, correspond to reality?
But it is also the case that with this interview, as is the case with literally anything that one reads about any topic, everyone who reads this is not going to be able to independently verify every single statement made or fact cited. And if you just look things up for yourself, without an eye towards all the points being made above, you are—to be blunt—going to run across a lot of lies and bullshit and unsubstantiated garbage about communism and not know what to make of it.
So, again, as you are reading this interview with Raymond Lotta and comparing it to everything you've been told about communism, consider the question: Who is proceeding scientifically here? And who is not?   

Let's Take Just One Example

Let's compare and contrast how Raymond Lotta discusses the Great Leap Forward in revolutionary China with how a recent New York Times article—which is representative of the standard anti-communist account of this experience—approaches the Great Leap Forward.
If you read how Raymond Lotta talks about the Great Leap Forward in this interview, you will notice that he consistently applies the method of proceeding from, confronting and probingreality, and the complexity and contradiction within that reality. He starts by talking about the context—the situation within China and the world as a whole—in which the Great Leap Forward was launched. He addresses the challenges Mao and the Chinese revolution were faced with, and the problems and obstacles they were trying to solve and overcome. He addresses the basic question of why Mao initiated the Great Leap Forward and what its goals were. He speaks to what the Great Leap Forward accomplished. And he does not shy away from, but rather directly engages and refutes, the anti-communist accusations that "Mao was responsible for tens of millions of deaths" through the Great Leap Forward, illuminating where these charges and figures come from and exposing how anti-communists both inflate the numbers of deaths and also treat the deaths that did occur as people "killed by Mao." And in terms of the massive food crisis that hit China, Lotta does not attempt to cover up or shy away from this, instead explaining the various actual causes of this food crisis, the mistakes that the Chinese leadership made, and the ways that this leadership learned from and corrected these mistakes. And the basic criteria Lotta is applying to evaluate all of this is: To what degree were the Chinese communists seeking to—and to what degree did they—advance in the direction of overcoming all exploitation and oppression and the ways of thinking that go along with that?
It is very instructive to compare and contrast how Lotta approaches the Great Leap Forward in this interview with how it is approached in the New York Times article, "Milder Accounts of Hardships Under Mao Arise as His Birthday Nears" (October 16, 2013). In contrast to the interview with Raymond Lotta, which is consistently proceeding from, probing, and synthesizing the lessons of reality, the Times piece is proceeding from and returning to what "everybody knows."
The tone for this article is set in its opening sentence, which claims: "The famine that gripped China from 1958 to 1962 is widely judged to be the deadliest in recorded history, killing 20 to 30 million people or more, and is one of the defining calamities of Mao Zedong's rule." Right there, you have a combination of at least three standard anti-communist methods in a single sentence. 1) Toss out a huge number of deaths without offering any actual evidence for the claim, which the Times never does in the article. 2) Be sure to blame those deaths on communist leaders—again, evidence not included. 3) Use phrases like "widely judged" to convey the impression that "everybody knows" the above two points to be true, thereby freeing you of the burden of having to offer any evidence.  
From there, in addition to putting forward snarky, distorted, and crude misrepresentations of what the Great Leap Forward was seeking to accomplish and the reasons it was launched—read how Raymond Lotta explains this in the interview, and then compare it to the Times' characterization—the basic method of the Times article is to lean on the "everybody knows" crutch over and over again, instead of offering any evidence or reality-based analysis to support its claims. For instance, the article refers to a mathematician, Sun Jingxian, whom the article says "asserts that most of the apparent deaths were a mirage of chaotic statistics: people moved from villages and were presumed dead, because they failed to register in their new homes." But the article never even attempts to show why what Sun says is inaccurate! Similarly, the Times refers to a book by Yang Songlin, whom the Times identifies as a "former official," who argues that the numbers of deaths in the Great Leap Forward have been severely inflated, and that the deaths that did occur were caused mainly by "bad weather, not bad policies." But again, there is not even an attempt by the Times to show why what Yang says is not true.
We are not commenting one way or another here on Sun Jingxian and Yang Songlin, or their specific claims and methods. Rather, we are pointing to the Times' methods here, which is to start with what "everybody knows," and then measure everything else against that, rather than actually probing and investigating reality and using that as the yardstick to measure what is true.
The method, and message, of the Times article is clear: When it comes to negative things about communism, if someone said it, it must be true. If someone didn't say it, say it now. And if it can be claimed that lots of people say it—well, all the better!
Pieces like this article, which again is one of many examples that could be given, train people to think that Mao sat around and said: "Hmm, how can I implement a policy that will cause the most people to starve?" Among the things you would never know from these anti-communist slanders and methods is that there was mass starvation and mass inequalities in China before the Chinese revolution; that Mao launched the Great Leap Forward with the aims of overcoming mass starvation and inequalities, radically transforming social and economic relations, and developing the Chinese economy in a way that would reduce, not widen, the gap between the cities and the countryside; that within 20 years of the Chinese revolution, everyone in China indeed had enough food to eat; and that the deaths that occurred in China during the Great Leap Forward were principally caused by a massive famine that gripped China as a result of the floods and drought that affected over half of its agricultural land, by hardships caused by the Soviet withdrawal of aid to China, and by mistakes that the Chinese leadership made in that context—NOT by some insane and evil plot by Mao to starve people!
Again, compare all this—and many other examples you will unfortunately encounter of anti-communist methods and accounts—to the evidence that Raymond Lotta presents and the methods and criteria that he applies, in this section of the interview, and in fact throughout the interview.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


I've recently been making lots of tapes so I can listen to them in the Buick, and have had the pleasure of being reminded of how great so many fucking bands are/were. Two that stand out right now are Go It Alone and Blue Monday from Vancouver. Certainly, both bands had received rave reviews at various times in their musical lives, but it is my humble opinion that both groups were severely underrated. Musically and lyrically, Go It Alone stand out as one of the most impassioned bands I have ever had the pleasure of hearing in my long and musically saturated life. Everything about them is amazing, and if you disagree you are an idiot. Yes, music is very subjective, but I stand by that statement. Listen to them and read their lyrics if you haven't had the chance to do so. Blue Monday were one of the more intelligent straightedge bands around,a nd the word that comes to mind when listening to them is strength. Not strength in the stupid macho sense of the word, but just solid songwriting and unpretentiousness, accompanied by intensity. Check them out too.
  On our side of things, it seems like Kent has come up with a mix that we all seem to like, so look for something new from AK-47 in the not too distant future (finally). We'll have some songs for the 7" record, but we'll be putting out a CD ep before that comes out. We'll keep you posted. Good day.

Friday, 15 November 2013


Once more I want to reiterate to the smug motherfuckers out there that kkkanada is an IMPERIALIST country!!! Whether it's in a support role for the u.s., or for the interests of the fucking kkkanadian mining companies, this is an imperialist nation. They are not OUR fucking troops, they are the stormtroopers of the bourgeoisie, fighting to keep their fucking profits safe. Read this for more detailed clarification....

Understanding Canadian Imperialism

By Harold Lavender

Review of Todd Gordon, Imperialist Canada (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2010).

Over the last decade Canada's carefully constructed if largely mythical image as a peaceful force in the world has rapidly unravelled. This image completely flies in the face of the Canadian state's support for coups, invasions and occupations. Involvement in the decade-long counter-insurgency war in Afghanistan has become the symbol of a more aggressive and militarist Canada.
Why is this taking place? How do we explain what's going on?

In a well-researched, wide-ranging work Todd Gordon details the many ways in which Canada is an imperialist power. Canada-based multinational corporations maintain exploitative relations with the Global South, with the full backing of the Canadian state, including a beefed-up military. He also highlights the ongoing colonial empire-building process of depriving indigenous peoples of their land and resources which starts in the Canadian state but extends to other parts of the world.

Understanding Imperialism 

Documenting the real story of the predatory role of Canadian corporations and the Canadian state is an important and worthwhile task. However, Imperialist Canada doesn't just tell that tale -- it is also an important of work of theory. The book attempts to lay a solid foundation for understanding contemporary imperialism in general. And this understanding frames its more particular understanding of the global reach of Canadian corporations and the Canadian state.

This emphasis on theoretical foundations is a very refreshing counter to the widespread retreat from any kind of systematic coherent analysis and explanation of global injustice and the dynamics which create it. We need to understand the world in order to come up with effective strategies to change it.

Gordon writes better and with far more clarity and far less jargon than most academics. Unfortunately, at this point there is a very marginal left-wing intellectual culture in Canada and theoretical debates are often confined to a narrow layer of university faculty and graduate students. The theoretical aspects of the book can be a bit challenging for people not previously familiar with the debates. However, the book is copiously footnoted and this points readers to all sorts of interesting writings that many will never have heard of before.

Importantly, Imperialist Canada is not just theoretical. An enormous amounting of supporting evidence is presented in a very organized and quite accessible way.

The introduction presents a strong case for why we need to rethink Canada's role in the world. Gordon argues that existing ideas -- including those of much of the mainstream left and particularly Canadian left-nationalists -- don't enable us to clearly understand Canada's role in the contemporary neo-liberal world. Gordon argues Canada has a coherent capitalist class with a very strong outward orientation, and that Canadian foreign and military policy is driven by those class interests.

In the next chapter Gordon tackles the question of what imperialism is and what shape it takes in the contemporary world. Following David McNally, he argues that "imperialism is system of global inequalities and domination... though which wealth is drained from the labour and resources of people in the Global South to the systematic advantage of capital in the North."

Earlier forms of imperialism saw the conquest and colonial control of much of the world by European states, often with enormous violence. This has very clearly changed -- although it has not entirely disappeared. Today the dominant mechanism of imperialism is the imposition of capitalist market imperatives, which have spread to virtually all corners of the globe.

This understanding of the domination of market imperatives on a global scale contradicts widely-held misconceptions that imperialism is reducible to the policies of horrid right-wing governments like those of Bush and Harper.

Gordon does not reduce imperialism to economics. The book is interlaced with passages about the highly racist ideological dimensions of imperialism and the "War or Terror." Racism may be slightly less crude than at the height of the colonial era a century ago. But the underlying stereotypes remain and are used to justifying ongoing domination of the South, military interventions and the exploitation of cheap labour. However, this work is very clearly Marxist in its focus on underlying ways in which the accumulation of capital drives imperialist expansion.

Capitalism sustains itself through constant expansion. Much investment is now highly speculative and involved in high-risk financial transactions. However, the Marxist writer David Harvey has emphasized that opening up new geographical spaces of accumulation, along with privatizing previously state-held assets and public services, is a fundamental feature of neo-liberalism. This theme of accumulation by dispossession forms a central part of Gordon's narrative.

Capital seeks new markets around the globe, looking for cheaper sources of labour and access to new sources of raw materials. In doing so it targets areas not fully absorbed into market relations, including the lands of indigenous people.

Canadian Imperialism Begins at Home 

In a key and well-developed chapter, Gordon looks at how Canadian capital aided by the military and political authorities has carried out accumulation by dispossession at the expense of indigenous peoples in northern North America.

This involved the subjugation of indigenous nations and the seizure of their lands and other natural resources. Land was acquired by outright thievery, treaty-making and treaty-breaking. As a result of the destruction of their traditional ways of life many indigenous people were compelled to work for wages. The Canadian state pioneered an apartheid-style model of social control and set up residential schools to try to eliminate indigenous identity. However, assimilation efforts were never accepted and there is a long history of indigenous resistance.

This process of accumulation by dispossession continues into the present. While many indigenous people seek to preserve what's left of their land-based ways of life, the federal government pushes for assimilation and the creation of a cheap and flexible indigenous labour force.

Governments seek to extinguish aboriginal title through the comprehensive treaty claims process, while specific claims drag on endlessly. Some indigenous communities have tried to secure rights through court challenges. Gordon points out the problems in relying on the law. He draws inspiration from many examples of direct action, including roadblocks, blockades and occupations, in response to incursions and resource grabs on native land.

Bay Street Goes South... 

Canadian capital's role in the Global South is certainly not new. However, Gordon argues that its activity there has expanded enormously in the neo-liberal era of globalized markets and investment.

Gordon effectively uses quotations from business leaders and government documents to show that they see gaining access to foreign markets and opportunities for expanded investment as important priorities. The future of Canadian capital is seen as lying not in the limited domestic market or in the US but on the global stage.

Canadian capital has an increasingly outward orientation. While the majority of its foreign investment goes to the US and other developed capitalist economies, a growing share is flowing to the South in search of higher profits.

Gordon notes ongoing efforts to expand in Asia. However, he places a strong emphasis on Latin America. Multinational corporations and the government believe Canadian capital can become a major player here. This analysis seems very timely, given Harper's recent trip to Brazil, the Canada-Colombia free trade deal and the new deal signed with Honduras.

This corporate activity in Latin America is being made easier by neo-liberal policy changes that open the door to foreign investment in many sectors, notably in mining but also in telecommunications, utilities and banking.

The book is particularly strong in showing how deeply corporate interests and state policy are intertwined. Corporate aims include greater protection for investments and the demolition of obstacles to profit such as environmental regulations, labour laws and "excessive" royalties and taxes. Corporate expansion aboard is generously financed by state institutions such as Export Development Canada. The book also exposes the grossly self-serving character of Canada's aid programs.

Meanwhile, Canada participates in international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank. These organizations foisted structural adjustment policies on the South. They have rebranded their efforts in terms of poverty reduction, but Gordon shows how their policies are still based on promoting market-based growth, not on addressing skyrocketing global inequality and injustice.

The fourth chapter of the book deals with violence and ecological disaster as consequences of expanded investment. A large chunk of this material deals with Canadian mining and energy companies. It is a revelation for those not familiar with the exposes of anti-mining activists. The documentation of a large number of abuses by a large number of companies convincingly demonstrates that we are not just dealing with a few bad apples. The book also indicts the record of Canadian corporate investors in the hydroelectric and telecommunications sectors, the sweatshop production of garments and financial services. Gordon argues these patterns of exploitation draw upon and reproduce the racial dynamic of imperialism.

... and so do the Canadian Forces 

The next chapter, "Making the World Safe for  Capital," shows that today's largely market-based imperialism continues to generate resistance. So, like the direct colonialism of the past, today's imperialism involves the use of armed force.

Much attention has been focused on the US military. But what about Canada's military build-up? Gordon sharply contests Canada nationalist explanations from social democratic and liberal writers who say that Canada has departed from being a "peacekeeping nation" because of US influence. Instead he focuses on the strong linkages between Canadian capitalist expansion domestically and abroad and shifts in Canadian military and security policy.

He illustrates the strengthening of the "security" apparatus against alleged domestic threats -- primarily indigenous militancy, but also against immigrants of colour. This preoccupation is not only domestic but extends far beyond Canada's borders. Canada has joined with the US and major European powers in trying to impose an imperialist version of liberal democracy on the Global South.

Canada's new military doctrine, like that of the US, is preoccupied with instability and threats  posed by "failed" and "failing" states, "terrorism" and regional conflicts. As Gordon writes, "the idea of the Global South as a dangerous and potentially hostile place, and the most likely location of future military missions, is firmly entrenched in Canadian security thinking."

He shows how these purported threats don't stand up to scrutiny. At the same time he tackles "humanitarian intervention" justified by the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, which Canada played a major role in developing. This provides a rationale for interventions against sovereign states in the South and in practice has been applied in a totally hypocritical, arbitrary and politically self-serving way. There is nothing peaceful about such interventions. Indeed, they are increasingly focused on military combat.

Many people say they would like Canada to go back to playing a peacekeeping role.  Here again Gordon debunks the supposed golden age of Canadian peacekeeping. He usefully contrasts the mythology to the actual, often far from benign, historical record from Vietnam to Somalia.

Imperialist Canada contains very useful information on the build up of the war machine and its relationship with the US and NATO. It identifies how Canadian firms abroad are increasingly turning to private forms of "security," including paramilitaries and private military contractors (modern day mercenaries).

The book also contains substantial case studies of Canada's role in Haiti and Afghanistan and its new Latin America security doctrine, focusing on Colombia and above all on support for the 2009 coup in Honduras. Gordon mentions Canada's strong support for the Israeli occupation policy. However, this observation, while true, is not elaborated upon in the same comprehensive manner as other cases examined in the book.

New Paradigm 

Overall, Imperialist Canada greatly adds to our understanding at both the level of theory and evidence. Gordon brings certain previously marginalized questions, including the dispossession of indigenous peoples, into the heart of our understanding of Canadian imperialism. He also develops a reasonably coherent narrative linking Canadian corporate expansion abroad, especially in the Global South, with the state's foreign, security and military policies.

In tackling such a vast subject, the author is perhaps inevitability selective about what points are emphasized, less emphasized and not included. There is very important material on indigenous people and the labour force. However, the vast majority of the labour force in the Canadian state has been created through immigration. Gordon very clearly takes note of the racist character of Canadian immigration policy in the neo-liberal era as well as historically, and recognizes there is more global migration under contemporary imperialism. However, much more could be said.

The book focuses on refuting Canadian nationalist claims that we are being swallowed up by the US. Gordon certainly doesn't deny the increased levels of harmonization, which he prefers to call increased cooperation, between security and military apparatuses. However, he fails to mention the prospects for a North American perimeter security agreement, which seems to be very much part of the Canadian ruling class's agenda as well as that of the US.

Most disconcerting, in part because no explanation is offered, is the total lack of any discussion of Quebec. The book reflects a real knowledge of indigenous struggles. But it is silent about past and present challenges from Quebec to the Canadian imperialist state. In the 1960s and early 1970s Quebecois struggles had radical left-wing and anti-colonial dimensions. The Canadian state went to great lengths to suppress them, most dramatically through the 1970 imposition of the War Measures Act. Reality has moved on but many unaddressed questions remain.

In the conclusion Gordon most clearly advances the argument for anti-capitalist politics from below and the centrality of building an anti-imperialist movement. Reforms bringing in stronger regulations and human rights standards may be helpful but are not in any way sufficient. An anti-imperialist movement needs to challenge widespread notions that Canadian imperialism is merely a by-product of US imperialism ("holding the bully's coat," in Linda McQuaig's words) and that peacekeeping is the answer.

Gordon is most inspired by acts of resistance by indigenous peoples within the Canadian state and beyond and by movements against Canadian mining and other projects in Latin America. Such solidarity is a fundamental beginning point. However, there is a vast gap between abstract potential for an anti-imperialist movement and the current political situation, which is obviously very challenging.

Imperialist Canada offers no balance sheet of anti-imperialist organizing within the Canadian state, either in terms of some achievements in building opposition to Israeli apartheid and Canada role's in Haiti or the failure to build mass movements at home which could compel a reversal of course. But hopefully by raising the profile of Canadian imperialism this book will spark further discussion about how to effectively oppose it.

Harold Lavender is an editor of 
New Socialist Webzine.