Creating a sustained conversation on how our current capitalist political and economic
organization shapes our understanding of the world and our lived experience;
sparking further investigation, critique and resistance to our unjust world.


               
  16/01:
Living Theory #2, Fredericton:

Dying to Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Contemporary Canada

Saturday, June 7, 11:00 am
Conserver House: 180 Saint John St., Fredericton
Free and all are welcome

Description


Since at least 1977 there has been unquestionable proof that, depending on age, region, and other demographic factors, indigenous peoples in Canada have suicide rates anywhere between three and ten times the rates for non-indigenous Canadians. As a consequence, there has been since that time at least a moderate interest in mainstream Canada, both bureaucratically and academically, not only to explain this difference but to supply interventions into Native centers that will ameliorate this disparity.

It is our contention that the existing work ostensibly aimed at resolving the "problem of Native suicide" has been less than useless, in that, not only does it promote a factually and scientifically specious understanding of the issues, it is a continuation and extension of the assault responsible in the first place. Our charge is grounded in the principles and origins of modern suicidology itself, while the traction that oppressive, victim-blaming explanations and interventions have received in even supposed radical-liberal literature is traced to the forces currently destroying everyone's... not just Indian's... worlds.

About the presenters

Roland Chrisjohn & Shaunessy McKay are the co-authors of a forthcoming book of the same title as this presentation: Dying to Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Contemporary Canada



Living Theory #1 in Fredericton:

The Left at the End of Politics

A presentation by Thom Workman, followed by a discussion
Tuesday, March 25, 7:00pm
Conserver House (180 Saint John St.)


This talk addresses the obstacles facing the left in the face of the historic degradation of political discourse. It asks: “What political traction can the left find when political discourse is populated with mythic accounts of history, sound bites, buzz words, emotive turns-of-phrase, codes of hatred and petty nationalist mantras, all to the virtual exclusion of rational dialogue?”

Thom Workman teaches political science and political theory at UNB. He is author of Social Torment: Globalization in Atlantic Canada, and, If You're in My Way I'm Walking: The Assault on Working People since 1970.



* * * * * B R E A K * * * * *


Living Theory #9:

A place called Kerala

Dr. Nissim Mannathukkaren

Saturday, April 26th, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Room 108, Bloomfield Centre
(2786 Agricola St)


Summary

The amazing transformation of a 'poor' agrarian society into a world-renowned model of development has attracted attention from both scholars and the wider public. This lecture will look at some of the factors that made Kerala different from other societies of the global South and will also provide a theoretical understanding of the same.

About the presenter:

Dr. Mannathukkaren is Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University. His research has focused on left/communist movements, development and democracy, modernity, the politics of popular culture (esp., the politics of mass cultural forms like the media, cinema and sport), and Marxist and postcolonial theories.

At this stage, the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the bourgeoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeois. Thus, the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie.

But with the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon, the workers begin to form combinations (Trades’ Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest breaks out into riots.