Here is the full schedule of events for Collapse: Neoliberalism in Crisis, Parkland Institute's 2017 Fall Conference. All events take place in ETLC (Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex) on the University of Alberta campus, except the Saturday evening social, which is at Dewey's on campus.
The rise of Donald Trump and others on the far-right highlights a deep dissatisfaction with the neoliberal status quo of the last three decades. Parading as populists, Trump and his crowd are trying to shape the anti-status quo sentiment into a nasty right-wing juggernaut that rewards themselves and offers nothing to working people.
But populism has an honorable tradition of actually defending working people and challenging elites. With neoliberalism now in disarray, the moment is ripe for progressives to tap into the popular dissatisfaction over rising inequality—with an agenda that empowers working people and allows them to capture a fair share of the wealth we all collectively create.
Millions of people voted for Justin Trudeau because he buzzed with progressive charisma. In symbolism alone, he has followed through: we now have "feminist" free trade, colonialism in a buckskin jacket, peace diplomacy via military might, and an environmentalism of windmills and pipelines. In short, this is "progressive neoliberalism."
How do we contend with a government that preaches diversity, tolerance and empowerment, but within an inequality-producing economy that is devastating the lives of middle-class and poor people? That marches in our rallies, while courting Bay Street? That borrows its emancipatory language from our movements, while disorganizing our campaigns?
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
From the leading edge of local and global movements, this session examines historical and present systemic discrimination in Edmonton, including police carding, and focuses on Indigenous practices that go beyond resistance to respond to systemic racism and prejudice.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Neoliberal economics dominates labour policy in Canada, resulting in inequity and precarity for workers. This session will critically examine the current structure of the Canadian workforce and contrast popular progressive options like basic income and minimum wages with systemic solutions.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 01:00 PM
Terms such as “post-truth”' and “fake news” have become increasingly prevalent in public discourse over the last year. Have we really entered a dystopian future in which an opinion market on Twitter, rather than medical experts, that determines whether a new strain of avian flu is contagious to humans? Or are we witnessing the moral panic of neoliberal elites whose grip on society is waning?
I examine recent public events such as the 2016 US presidential election within the broader context of research into misinformation and science denial. What are the various ways that misinformation adversely impact society? How do people respond to corrections of misinformation, and what kinds of corrections are most effective? Are we really in a “post-truth” world? I argue that what many call the “post-truth” era emerged as a result of societal mega-trends such as a decline in social capital, growing economic inequality, increasing polarization, declining trust in science and an increasingly fractionated media landscape. I outline a number of hypothetical paths forward.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 02:30 PM
Are provincial governments protecting the public health care mandate in the face of neoliberal pressures? Findings from two forthcoming Parkland Institute research studies examine how the politics of austerity in social democracies and the privatization of clinics are impacting public health in Canada.
Migrants and racialized communities face systemic barriers to labour rights, permanent residency, and dignity in Canada. With escalating white supremacy as a stark reality alongside the national myth of multiculturalism, how we do we challenge structural racism as an integral part of fighting neoliberalism?
By 2020 close to half of all workers in Canada will be freelance, on contract, self-employed, temporary, contingent, on-call, or part-time workers. Most are a bike accident away from the financial abyss. With no protection under provincial or federal labour laws or standards, independent workers can’t access benefits like maternity leave, employment insurance, a pension or job security, not to mention extended health and dental insurance. While work has changed most public policy to support workers is rooted in a past era of mostly stable full-time work. But if old solutions don’t work in the new economy, how do we make work better?
Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Public services promote democracy by redistributing wealth more equally, stabilizing the economy, improving quality of life, and by addressing equity issues in the workplace. And yet, these roles are seldom promoted to the public when it comes time to defend public services. In this session, we discuss the relationship between public services and democracy, and how they can be part of a larger vision for environmental justice and economic equality.
This session examines the profound impacts of the oil industry and global warming on populations, including the Bigstone Cree Nation in Alberta and climate migrants globally, with a focus on the growing social and political movements for climate justice rising in response.
As an ideology, as a political-economic program, and indeed as a concept, neoliberalism has been declared dead more than once. Jamie Peck makes the case for the continued salience of this contested and controversial synonym for “market rule,” even in the age of Donald Trump.