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The world has changed drastically since the 1970s, and so have the breadth, scope, and seriousness of the movements that purport to fight against raw capitalism. Whereas the New Left movement in North America was seemingly galvanized by the Vietnam draft, we now find ourselves in a state of constant war. There is no draft, but there is terror, and sleeper cells, and always a new enemy to be found.
The thin veneer behind which neoliberalism hid its dirty secrets has also been cast aside for all to see. The internet, Wikileaks, and the profusion of citizen journalists the world over has assured a far less one-sided portrayal of the state of affairs. And while there may be less in the way of theoretical leanings driving the current movement, there is undoubtedly a far greater percentage of the North American population that realizes there is something seriously wrong with the current system. There is no politbureau from which to take orders, and today's radical is more likely to sift through the ashes of theory, seeking out something that has withstood the fire, than they are to hold any one model upon a pedestal.
The 1970s remain a pivotal time in the Left's progression however, because while it ushered in a time of unbridled passion for the almighty dollar, it also forged resistance. Herb Gamberg was in Halifax at the time. Gamberg has witnessed, and participated in, the New Communist movement, and was, and remains, active in the Occupy movement.
Gamberg, along with Tony Thomson, will be speaking this Thursday in an open interview, titled “A Wind Blows from the East (Coast)”.
Please enjoy the following conversation with Herb Gamberg.