U of A campus & Livestream • November 17–19, 2023
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Morning plenary

Justin Trudeau, the Last Stand (and Brand) of Progressive Neoliberalism


November 18, 2017 at 9:00am - 10:15am


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
with Martin Lukacs

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?

Martin Lukacs is a journalist who writes for the Guardian. He was an organizer and co-author of the Leap Manifesto, and has been involved in movements for social and ecological justice for 15 years. He lives in Montréal.