Friday, December 28, 2018

Minassian's Misogynist Attack, Courage to Leap, James Laxer & more -- 2018 on The Left Chapter in review

2018 saw over 330 posts of various kinds on The Left Chapter. These ranged from analysis to opinion pieces to left history to art and recipe posts.

Consistently popular as well were our vintage postcard and photography posts. One of these, Covered Bridges of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine -- A Vintage Postcard Folder  was the most popular of these we have ever done and very nearly made our Top Ten list. Our three part look at Revolutionary Cuba 1975: Sixteen Years of Socialist Construction with dozens of vintage photographs was also widely viewed and shared. There were many others such as In the Delta of the Volga -- Images of Soviet Astrakhan and Region, 1976 or 20 Panoramic Views of Soviet Ulyanovsk 1969 -- Lenin's Birthplace. 

Meanwhile we continued our Vintage Leftist Leaflet project with posts like Sitdown Strike -- Heritage of Struggle - UAW Education Department 1965. Readers can look forward to many more of these in 2019. Similarly we started our looks at Soviet social history that included such posts as The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic 1987: Photos, Culture, Economy, History & more -- Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union Series and the very popular Trams and buses in the USSR -- A look at public transit in the Soviet Union, 1976. 

I want to thank all of our readers and contributors very much for their feedback, support, criticisms and engagement.

The year had many posts that came very, very close to making this list. We also had contributions from writers that were widely read and shared and that included Gabriel Haythornthwaite's trenchant analysis Ontario’s 2018 Election: Pessimism Today, Strategic Organizing Tomorrow , Yves Engler's It is time to call a technical foul on Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri's ties to Paul Kagame and Nathaniel Laxer's The true seasonal message is that the monarchy has got to go

The Left Chapter also posted petitions and appeals such as Open Letter Re: The Closing of the Saskatoon Office of the Provincial Archives at the University of Saskatchewan and A call for the NDP to withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed this year and I look forward to seeing what interesting viewpoints and arguments we see next year!

(Remember that if you have a left point-of-view or opinion, a recipe or a story you want to share or if you want to share a petition/appeal or upcoming event you can send them to The Left Chapter via!)

Readers can look forward to new features in 2019 including videos and interviews. Remember also that on New Year's Day we will post our list of the top food and recipe posts of 2018.

Here, without further ado, are the top ten posts (in terms of hits) on The Left Chapter in 2018:

1) We all could have seen Minassian's misogynist attack coming if we had wanted to look

Horrified. Disgusted. Angry. Those words and many others can accurately describe how myself and so many others feel about the terrible, senseless attack in Toronto that claimed the lives of 10 innocent people and seriously injured 14 others.

But what I am not is surprised.

See also: In the wake of another mass killing in Toronto we have to keep talking about male violence

2) The Courage to Leap comes far too late to matter

If you have ever wanted a snapshot of why the left in Canada is a joke, here it is.

See also: Socialist International backs BDS. When will Canada's NDP?

3) James Laxer -- Canadian iconoclast 1941-2018

A unique figure during these past few decades of Canadian politics, Jim always tried to fight for and suggest a path forward towards a fairer and more just Canada, an independent and socialist Canada, regardless of whose feathers this ruffled or whose feet he stepped on. Not one to shy away from what he believed, he provides a lesson to all of us on the left of how to stand up for what we think is right no matter the short term cost and irrespective of careerist goals.

That, as much as anything else, is a legacy worth embracing and one I hope is not soon forgotten.

4) In-depth interview with Ryan Meili, Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate: “As change is happening, are we going to be leading it, or just watching it happen?”

By Ammario Reza

As the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party’s leadership race winds down, I have a chat with Dr. Ryan Meili, who is campaigning to be the next leader of the party. (Editor's note...Dr. Meili ultimately won the leadership).

5) The grotesque absurdity of left-liberal support for porn and prostitution needs to be questioned after Minassian's misogynist attack

There is no liberal or left case for porn or prostitution that is not simply aiding and abetting the worst and most dehumanizing aspects that have led us here.

6) An interview with NDP Parliamentary Leader Guy Caron

by Ammario Reza

In the federal NDP timeline, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year in 2018, rounding up the first quarter since the federal NDP leadership race four months ago that was ultimately won by Jagmeet Singh on the first ballot.

7) Tie: "Ban on Jews" -- A 1933 antisemitic beach edict in Long Branch reminds of Toronto's past on the anniversary of the Christie Pits Riot

Today is the 85th anniversary of the Christie Pits Riot, a pivotal moment in the fight against fascism and Nazism in Toronto and Canada in the early 1930s.

See also: "You can't hang us all. They will avenge me." - Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Anti-Nazi Hero Murdered November 29, 1941

7) Tie: James Laxer on Canadian Social Democracy: Past, Present and Future

By Matt Fodor 

In this wide-ranging interview, conducted in April 2014, James Laxer discusses his personal history and involvement in the NDP and the Waffle, the ideological trajectory of Canadian social democracy and the continuing relevance of a socialist vision for the future.

8) Why are Toronto police officers striking a pose with far-right mayoral candidate Faith Goldy?

Faith Goldy, a "reactionary, islamophobic Rebel News contributor, turned “Euro-Canadian Catholic Nationalist”" held a campaign rally for her Toronto mayoral run today. As is common after such events she posted a photo of her and her volunteers on twitter.

9) Chaos Theory: For Doug Ford disruption will be the plan

On his first day in office in 2010 newly elected Toronto Mayor Rob Ford strode out before assembled reporters and proclaimed “Ladies and gentlemen, the war on the car stops today . . . Transit City is over".

See also: Doug Ford's bully boy antics may yet derail his vicious administration

10) Doug Ford wants you to subsidize the poverty wages of corporations

Any plan that frames tax cuts or credits as an alternative to higher wages is by definition asking the people of the province to help ensure that businesses can continue to pay workers wages that they cannot live on.

See also: Ontario Conservative MPP Ross Romano's grotesque comments against cancer medication coverage

Have a happy and safe New Year! See you all in 2019.

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