Cuba’s New Draft Constitution: Institutionalizing Revolution and Reversing Personalization

25 July 2018 — TRNN

Cuba’s National Assembly passed a new draft constitution, to replace its existing Soviet-era constitution via national referendum in a few months. Many changes are in the works, including the recognition of private property and gay marriage. But will it mean real change? We discuss the constitution with Prof. Liz Dore and James Early (inc. transcript) Continue reading

Some Pundits Think the Solution to Right-Wing Populism Is Less Democracy

8 July 2016 — FAIR

ForeignPolicyEliteThe core orthodoxies of neoliberalism are under attack by populist forces, and commentators are scrambling for a response. Some are suggesting more left-wing red meat. Others, a moment of self-reflection. But a number of pundits are doing that most noxious of political commentary pastimes—equating right and left responses to the failures of globalization and advocating that “elites” should fight back against the forces of inconvenient democracy.

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Vox’s CIA-Backed ‘Democracy’ Standard Is OK With Slavery and Women Not Voting

17 May 2016 — FAIR

Defining democracy is a notoriously difficult thing, but much is revealed by how media outlets choose to do so.

One popular metric is called “Polity IV”—a methodology created by the Center for Systemic Peace, headed by Dr. Monty G. Marshall of Georgetown University, which has been cited in prestigious outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times. But few outlets have embraced the method as enthusiastically as the “news explainer” site Vox.

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The Commons As a Fount of Hope By Richard Swift

9 July 2014 — The Bullet Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 1006

The commons is not just a battlefield between corporate predators and those who resist them – it is also a source of hope for those willing to imagine a world beyond capitalism. It represents a space between the private market and the political state in which humanity can control and democratically root our common wealth. Both the market and the state have proved inadequate for this purpose. In different ways, they have both led to a centralization of power and decision-making. Both private monopolies and state bureaucracies have proved incapable of maintaining the ecological health of the commons or managing the fair and equitable distribution of its benefits.

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Manifesto instalment out now: States of imagination

14 March 2014 – Lawrence and Wishart

Out now: Next Soundings manifesto instalment

States of imagination (PDF)
Janet Newman and John Clarke

Many people associate the state with bureaucracy or even repression, and have no time for current politicians. But the state also looks after us – in hospitals, schools, social services – and could enable us to better control unscrupulous business and banks. Can we imagine a more responsive state?

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Parties, Causes and Political Power By Ben Little

15 January 2014 — Soundings

By the time the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill was published in summer 2013 it had become little more than a brutal attempt to shut down civil society influence on electoral politics. Any work in the public domain that could be seen to address matters of public policy would be covered by far stricter rules than previously; but corporate lobbying would be virtually untouched. Continue reading

Media Lens: Launchpad For A Revolution? Russell Brand, The BBC And Elite Power By David Cromwell

30 October 2013 — Media Lens

When someone with interesting things to say is granted a high-profile media platform, it is wise to listen to what is being said and ask why they have been given such a platform. Comedian and actor Russell Brand’s 10-minute interview by Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight last week was given considerable advance publicity and generated enormous reaction on social media and in the press, just as those media gatekeepers who selected Brand to appear would have wished.

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The Golden Dawn Murder Case: Larry Summers and the New Fascism By Greg Palast

7 October 2013 — Truthout

On September 18, hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas, a.k.a. Killah P, was stabbed outside a bar in Keratsini, Greece. 
 
Larry Summers has an air-tight alibi.  But I don’t believe it.
 
Larry didn’t hold the knife:  The confessed killer is some twisted member of Golden Dawn, a political party made up of skin-head freaks, anti-immigrant fear-mongers, anti-Muslim/ anti-Semitic/ anti-Albanian sociopaths and ultra-patriot fruitcakes.  Think of it as the Tea Party goes Greek.
 
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Contested Reproduction and the Contradictions of Socialism By Michael A. Lebowitz

13 September 2013 — The Bullet • Socialist Project E-Bulletin No. 877

Some Explanations About the Fall of ‘Real Socialism’

Why did ‘real socialism’ and, in particular the Soviet Union, fall? Let me note a few explanations that have been offered. With respect to the Soviet Union, one very interesting explanation that has been suggested is that it’s all the fault of Mikhail Gorbachev. And not simply the errors of Gorbachev but the treachery. Those who offer this explanation rely in particular upon a document which is sometimes described as his confession. This document begins as follows:

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