A.Context: The global resistance to a crisis-ridden neoliberalism
1. After 25 years, capitalism in its neoliberal version is experiencing a far-reaching breakdown that began with
the great recession of 2008. It is a triple crisis:
• economic, accompanied by policies of austerity, brutal cutbacks, bank bailouts, deepening social inequality, and great suffering and frustration. The most adversely affected are women, minorities and the more vulnerable among us.
• environmental, with ravaged ecosystems nearing exhaustion due to unbridled exploitation of hydrocarbons, greenhouse gas emissions and an unsustainable mode of production and consumption.
• but also a crisis of democracy. With the omnipotence of “markets” and the financial oligarchy, capitalist democracy is ever more a hollow shell.
Finally, it is a global crisis of the system that underscores the impasse of contemporary neoliberal capitalism.
2. However, the crisis and the attacks on the populace by the ruling classes have produced extensive mass mobilizations around the world. The Arab Spring and the anti-dictatorial revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. The indignados of Spain, the repeated general strikes in Greece and Portugal. The massive mobilizations in France and Great Britain. The Occupy movement in the United States. And here in Quebec, the revolt of the student youth in the spring of 2012, which resulted in the largest mass mobilizations since the 1970s.
3. Periods of crisis can also be moments when capital reinvents itself, developing new accumulation strategies. But they are also moments during which the forms of struggle and strategies of the popular classes, the dominated, are reinvented as well.