More and more I tend to agree with George Monbiot that it is not neoliberalism in and of itself as an ideology or economic theory that is the root cause of our economic/political/social woes, but the ruling oligarchy’s alibiing use of that model to further their own wealth no matter the harm that results from that quest. (Is it any wonder they’re called “the feral rich.”) The distinction is important because it shifts the strategic focus to the plutocratic investor class itself and in turn their banking, regulatory, and corporate institutions - their agents of destruction - which are served of course by compliant governments everywhere and nowhere more so than right here in Canada. Our banks are now “too big too fail.” This is, sad to say, the point to which the financialization of the Canadian economy has descended: 80% of financial assets are held in these institutions. Be prepared for the socializing of bank debt down the road now that the framework's in place; that is, you'll pay for any bailouts.
More and more too I find myself in agreement with both Greg Albo and Leo Panitch, who have argued persuasively that progressives groups here (including the Council of Canadians) and elsewhere are very big on tactics and “micro-politics” but woefully lacking in overall strategy and considerations of long-term consequences. I would add to their basic argument that the self-interest of the progressive groups each with its own agenda determined largely by their executives - as is the case with political parties - will no doubt continue to inhibit any collectivizing co-operative movement towards a larger, focused pragmatic goal of institutionalizing social democratic controls.
For a brief moment, there was a ray hope with the establishment of CommonCauses, but apparently all they wish to do is replicate the actions of other progressive groups and to replace the Harper Regime. The issue of course is much larger than that simplistic goal. The issue is not capitalism under new management, but the transformation of capitalism itself. Else all is lost.
Is it hopeless? Perhaps not. Perhaps all that is required is patience, As Richard Wolff has said, "As has happened often in human history, what provokes change is less any clear vision of where we go next and more the intolerability of where we are. Capitalism is no longer "delivering the goods" for most people. The circle of its beneficiaries grows smaller and richer and more out of touch with the mass of people than ever."