Stan Lee, left-wing culture warrior

Under his leadership, Marvel directly challenged societal norms on race, religion, war, gender and sexuality

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warriorStan Lee passed away on Nov. 12. The larger-than-life personality of Marvel Comics for seven decades, he helped create some of the world’s most beloved superheroes, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Black Panther. The 95-year-old son of Romanian-Jewish immigrants, Lee was a genius and great innovator in the comic book industry –…

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberals

Modern progressives see proof of social oppression around every corner. They believe society in general is to blame

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberalsThe breaking point for me was Pittsburgh. This murderous act of anti-Semitic horror, when combined with the relentless breakdown in social civility, has made me face an unpalatable truth: something has gone very wrong with modern society. Our entire civilization is speeding to toward fragmentation and decay – Brexit, Donald Trump, warring political partisanship, rising…

How to address social inequality without an inheritance tax

Ideas about taxing, restricting or abolishing your inheritance have been floated by western social thinkers for centuries

How to address social inequality without an inheritance taxShould Canadians be taxed on inheritance? The question is increasingly being asked, but the answer is not straight-forward. This discussion is inherently linked to maintaining inequality from one generation to another – and basically to a skewing of the playing field of life from the start. Such debates aren’t new. In fact, they centre on…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant and Fiona MacDonald EvidenceNetwork.ca One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that some men are organizing groups driven by views of…

Banksy, and art’s uneasy alliance with capitalism

The gift shop at the Toronto exhibit offers a swath of overpriced items. What would the ultra left-wing artist think of that?

Banksy, and art’s uneasy alliance with capitalismThere’s always been an understood link between art and capitalism. Even artists who reject the very nature of capitalism will still be part of this process, whether they like it or not. This includes the popular, controversial and mysterious graffiti artist known as Banksy. A product of Bristol, England’s underground scene, this person’s name and…

Chasing higher salaries, not higher things in life

Liberalizing the university curriculum offers something new but usually at the cost of wisdom

Chasing higher salaries, not higher things in lifeIs education liberal or conservative? I’m not talking about party politics. I mean something much more fundamental: Is the work of teachers inherently geared towards replicating scholastic and cultural traditions, or does school exist to prepare students for – and even usher in – social and cultural change? Does school make history or just teach…

Can only Indigenous scholars teach Indigenous history?

Schools must be allowed to hire scholars on the basis of academic merit, regardless of race, gender or class

Can only Indigenous scholars teach Indigenous history?A liberal education should deal in ideas that are true and universal. And such an education should, by definition, prepare students to recognize falsehoods and ideas that divide, like the notion that only people of certain races can accomplish certain feats. This defining feature of the liberal arts came to the fore again last week,…

Polar opposites: where’s the middle ground in politics?

By better understanding how various political factions differ, perhaps we can help close some fundamental gaps in society

Polar opposites: where’s the middle ground in politics?North American political polarization is on the rise. Those on the left appear to move ever further to the left, while those on the right find less and less in common with fellow citizens. The political rhetoric has escalated to a toxic level. Half of Americans are labelled sexist, racist, homophobic and Islamophobic; a basket…

Wounded and vulnerable, Trudeau faces his biggest challenge

Aside from the fickleness of the modern voter, the Liberals have done a superb job in starting to dig their political graves

After a wonderful and relaxing Christmas, my thoughts turn to politics (as they often do). In particular, why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will find 2018 to be just as challenging as 2017. The PM’s political honeymoon pretty much ended late this year, and many Canadians are considering political alternatives. We shouldn’t be surprised: aside from…

Cameras in tow, Trudeau is a polarizing figure

Conservative partisans detest the prime minister because he’s really good at visuals. And conservative politicians generally aren’t

Cameras in tow, Trudeau is a polarizing figureConservatives really, really don’t like Justin Trudeau. I’m a regular on Evan Solomon’s CFRA radio show with Alise Mills and Karl Belanger. My friends Mills and Belanger are articulate and thoughtful advocates (unlike me), and they’re prepared to criticize their own political party when it is warranted (like me). Solomon invites us onto his much-listened-to…