Review: “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation” – Brian S. Roper

What are the origins of ‘democracy’? Are countries like the US, Canada, Britain, etc., democratic? In “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation,” Brian S. Roper examines liberal assumptions about the origins and essence of democracy using Marxist historical materialism. Roper begins by examining the system of participatory democracy in Athens and Rome and its later suppression under the Roman Empire. In this, Roper differs … Continue reading Review: “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation” – Brian S. Roper

Toronto Police Brutally Attack Homeless Encampment

In Toronto this week, Canada once again stretched its “democratic” muscles, in true banana republic fashion. On July 21st, 2021, Toronto police violently attacked an encampment of 14 to 17 homeless individuals, with batons, pepper spray, and other weapons, and destroyed all their meager belongings in a scorched earth campaign. Take a look at the photos of this “tremendous job”: The violence of the Toronto … Continue reading Toronto Police Brutally Attack Homeless Encampment

Democracy in Canada: Fact or Fiction?

Recently I was discussing Telford Taylor’s memoir on the Nuremberg trials with someone. That individual responded with how “lucky” we are to live in a “democratic” state like Canada. Although this particular individual is an immigrant and might not be familiar with Canadian history and politics, their statement nonetheless expresses a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a “democracy”. Let me be clear: … Continue reading Democracy in Canada: Fact or Fiction?

An Open Letter to David Anderson, MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands

Dear David Anderson, I am writing to express my disgust with your false and outright disgraceful polemic in the House of Commons recently about the death of Fidel Castro and the revolutionary government of Cuba. I’d like to respond to some of your criticisms of Castro and of the Cuban “communist regime.” Quoting an unnamed ‘Cuban friend’ of yours you claim that Cuban healthcare, far … Continue reading An Open Letter to David Anderson, MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands

Peacekeeping: Fiction vs. Reality

(Image: Protest in Haiti against UN sexual crimes against women. Source)

The word peacekeeping is like the word terrorism: it is meaningless on its own and able to be molded to serve the interests of a political clique. Like Alex P. Schmidt’s description of terrorism in The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research, peacekeeping “is usually an instrument for the attempted realization of a political…project that perpetrators lacking mass support are seeking”[1].

Peacekeepers have never kept the peace in any conflict. On the contrary, peacekeepers themselves have been linked to an increase in violence and human rights abuses, particularly of a sexual nature. In Bosnia, Somalia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, peacekeepers have been “associated with criminal misconduct, including sexual violence. Crimes against women and children have followed UN peacekeeping operations in several locations, and the UN reported that the entrance of peacekeeping troops into a conflict situation has been associated with a rapid rise in child prostitution”[2]. Allegations of sexual violence against peacekeepers dates back to the 1990s. During the 1995-2002 UN mission in Bosnia, Kathryn Bolkovac, a human rights investigator, found that young “girls from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and other Eastern European countries [were] being brought in to service the UN and military bases as sex-slaves. The cases involved the officers from many foreign countries, including the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, government contractors, and local organized criminals”[3]. Bolkovac was subsequently fired for her investigation. As of 2015 more than 200 women and girls have been sexually exploited by UN peacekeepers in Haiti in exchange for food, clothing, medicine, and other basic necessities [4]. In the Central African Republic, French peacekeepers have forced young girls to have sex with dogs [5], starving and homeless boys as young as nine have been sodomized by peacekeepers [6], and an entire UN contingent was expelled from the country due to sex crimes [7].

Extrajudicial murder, torture, and mass murder – all war crimes under international law – have also been committed by peacekeepers. A 14-year-old Somali boy was beaten, tortured, and murdered by Canadian peacekeepers in Somalia; the peacekeepers having posed in photos with the boy’s bloody corpse. Not to be outdone, Belgian peacekeepers were photographed roasting a Somali over a fire. Continue reading “Peacekeeping: Fiction vs. Reality”

Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism

The widely circulated photo of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and whose family was “making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected” by the Harper Government, has caused widespread outrage and forced Western leaders to acknowledge that there is a “refugee crisis”. In Canada, the … Continue reading Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism

The War on ISIS is a Farce

Nowhere in recent years have the contradictions of imperialism been so clear than in the West’s war against ISIS. Working people are bombarded with messages in the media of the worldwide threat of ISIS, with the aim of the messages to convince working people of the need to sacrifice their civil liberties and democratic freedoms to counter ISIS and to support more military interventions in … Continue reading The War on ISIS is a Farce

Partners in Apartheid: Boycott Indigo Books and Music

Branches of Indigo Books and Music and its subsidiaries Chapters, Coles, SmithBooks, and IndigoSpirit are a familiar site to Canadians from coast to coast, thanks to the company’s monopoly control of retail-bookstore sales in Canada. But behind the inviting facade of each store there lies a terrible reality – the murder of Palestinians. Heather Reisman, the founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music, and … Continue reading Partners in Apartheid: Boycott Indigo Books and Music