Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First Century (2020)

The Enduring Legacy of Karl Polanyi, edited by Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt. Geopolitical Economy series, Manchester University Press, 2020.

As far right movements, social disintegration and international conflict emerge from the decay of the neoliberal order, Karl Polanyi’s warnings against the unbridled domination of markets, is ever more relevant.

The essays in Karl Polanyi for the 21st Century extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi’s life and work. They will interest Polanyi scholars and all interested in socialism and our future after neoliberalism. One asks whether, following Keynes and Hayek, Polanyi’s ideas will shape the twenty-first century. Some clarify, for the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Others resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi’s thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States’ exceptional development, the reality of society, and socialism as freedom in a complex society. And yes others explore how Polanyi sheds light on income inequality, world systems theory, comparative political economy.

Book details page


Video: May Day Webinar: Confronting the Covid-19 Pandemic

Winnipeg, May 1, 2020: The Winnipeg Venezuela Peace Committee observed May Day with a webinar on the issues raised by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Panel Radhika Desai, Director Geopolitical Economy Research Group Maria Victor, President of the Board of Directors of the Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre Dimitry Lascaris, lawyer, activist, journalist and candidate for leadership of the Green Party of Canada Nigaan Sinclair, Professor of Native Studies, University of Manitoba; columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press and commentator for APTN, CBC, CTV Ajit Singh, lawyer, independent journalist and contributor to The Grayzone Host: Alan Freeman, research affiliate of the University of Manitoba’s Geopolitical Economy Research Group Moderator: Glenn Michalchuk, Chair of Peace Alliance Winnipeg, labour and social justice activist/Winnipeg May Day organizer Video Editor: Paul S. Graham, https://paulsgraham.ca

Click here to watch the webinar.

Video: How China Defeated the Coronavirus – Lessons from the World

The coronavirus continues to devastate lives across the world and stopping it must be the top priority for humanity. This global crisis requires global cooperation and learning from one another to help defeat this virus. To discuss this, Learning From China hosted a live online seminar with John Ross (Chongyang Institute, Beijing), Dai Suyue (Guancha.cn – China), Martin Jacques (author, When China Rules the World), Ma Hui (minister at the Chinese Embassy in London), Radhika Desai (politics professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada, New Cold War website) and Brian Mier (Brasil Wire). The seminar was chaired by peace campaigner Kate Hudson.

Online seminar held by Learning from China, Apr 18, 2020

Click here to watch the seminar.

Know Your Enemy: The Dangerous Futility of Pseudo-Philanthropic Neoliberalism

The pandemic is revealing the racist foundations of the liberal and neoliberal capitalist West.

Will they be dismantled? It is a real possibility. The present crisis is no ordinary recurring recession. It represents the comprehensive exhaustion of neoliberal capitalism. The pandemic merely accelerated the long-overdue reckoning. Since no other type of capitalism is possible—and has not been since the late nineteenth century—it is a crisis of capitalism per se. Necessarily multi-faceted, it can and will throw up powerful new forces demanding change practically overnight. However, to give effective battle, the left that seeks to organise these forces must know itself, its resources and the limitations it must overcome. It must also know the resources, strategies and aims of the right and the capitalist classes. “Know your enemy”, said Sun Tzu in The Art of War.

That, today, also involves knowing the enemy’s contradictions. Great as the resources of capitalist and right forces are, and long as their experience in permanent counterrevolution is, what they want and need–to launch a new phase of neoliberalism –is almost certainly unobtainable. Given that, the left must prepare to deal with the sheer destruction their efforts will wreak. It must prepare to carry society out of it and place it on a radically different, preferably, socialist and anti-imperialist foundation, one that is ecologically sustainable and geared towards gender and race equality. This is the responsibility of the left today.

Click here to read more.