Canada as Churkendoose: A Response to Paul Kellogg, Escape from the Staple Trap

  • James Lawson University of Victoria
Keywords: Canadian political economy, historical materialism, epistemology


This response is based on a presentation as part of a panel on Paul Kellogg's Escape from the Staples Trap at the annual meeting of the Society for Socialist Studies. The responder welcomes Kellogg's diligent use of statistics and argumentation in critiquing the left-nationalist tradition, including its emphasis on staples (raw-material exports) as central to Canada as a "rich dependency" and false comparisons with countries of the Global South.  It also suggests a possible one-sided over-emphasis on Canada's membership in top-tier advanced industrialized societies, and questions the general emphasis on categorization at the expense of a more humanistic multi-sidedness, or of an acceptance of ironic or paradoxical categorizations.  Some features of Kellogg's positive case about Canada, including "extractivism", need to be more clearly distinguished from the approaches he rejects. Finally, the categorical rejection of the possibility of a sound left-nationalism may need to be explained or qualified.

Author Biography

James Lawson, University of Victoria
Associate Professor, Canadian Politics, Department of Political Science


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