Again, NATO’s Polling Shows Far Higher Percentages of Chinese Than of Americans Think They Live in a Democracy

1 June 2021 — The New Dark Age

Eric Zuesse

[Of course, this ‘poll’ depends on what definition of ‘democracy’ the polled accept. And then there’s the technics of conducting the poll, the questions asked and who was polled, so all in all, I’d suggest that the results tell us more about the institution doing the polling, NATO, than the polled, and anyway, why is NATO conducting this poll in the first place and then NOT revealing the findings to the publics at large? WB] 

A NATO front organization recently released their polling report “Democracy Perception Index 2021”, and its poll-findings in the 53 surveyed countries contradict more than confirm what NATO’s own propaganda routinely asserts; so, though these findings are major news, they are suppressed, instead of publicized, by NATO, and are practically a secret NATO poll. These rankings are published here for the very first time; they weren’t published, at all, in the NATO-affiliated report, but I calculated them from the data, which were published (and even those data were suppressed by the polls’ sponsors).

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Will the United States finally decolonize Puerto Rico?

11 May 2021 — MROnline

Puerto Rican flag outside the Capitol, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2 March, 2008

by

On April 14, 2021 the House Committee on Natural Resources held hearings on two competing bills to end Puerto Rico’s colonial status. The different bills reflect the changing political dynamics in the archipelago, as well as the Puerto Rican diaspora’s growing political clout. H.R.1522, the Puerto Rican State Admission Act, binds Congress to admit Puerto Rico into the Union if a majority vote in favor of doing so in a special referendum. H.R. 2070, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act, authorizes the insular legislature to convene a semi-permanent status convention where elected delegates decide on alternative self-determination options that are “outside the territorial clause of the constitution.” The bill creates a bilateral negotiating commission of U.S. government officials and the convention delegates. In a referendum, voters will select a territorial option, which may include statehood, independence and sovereign free association. The bill requires that Congress “approve a joint resolution to ratify the preferred self-determination option” approved in a referendum. Commonwealth (or Estado Libre Asociado–ELA in Spanish) is not included as an option in this status bill.

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Democracy – “this is another attack on our ability to stand up to power”

10 December 2020 — True Publica

Democracy under attack - "this is another attack on our ability to stand up to power"

By TruePublica:

“New laws to curb protests which threaten democracy” is quite the phrase. We have a five-yearly democratic event which hands absolute power to the Government. In the years that follow, the right to protest is all there is of democracy. Be very afraid.”

These are the words of Joe Maugham QC – director of the Good Law Project, barrister and Honourary Professor at Durham Law School.

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As Capitalism Collapses Into Totalitarianism, Socialist Revolution Looms On The Horizon

11 January 2020 — See You in 2020

 For the last generation, the United States and other capitalist countries have been on a steady trajectory towards despotism. With 9/11 and the resulting return to the Cold War’s atmosphere of perpetual conflict, a change appeared in the prevailing aims of the capitalist governments. Whereas capitalist societies generally assumed they could look forward to an increasingly liberal future after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the easing of war tensions, but what’s happened throughout the 21st century is a shift towards less and less freedom.

Democracy in Focus: A post-austerity state

8 January 2020 — Red Pepper
Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

Lowering the voting age. Restoring and entrenching the powers of local government, including the power to build public housing. Ensuring that people are able to fulfil their potential (including outlawing many of the practices of the gig economy that drive its workers to suicide). Establishing a proportional election system, so that voters have a real choice and their votes make a difference.

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Building Socialism from Below: A Conversation with Martha Lia Grajales By Cira Pascual Marquina

31 May 2019 — Internationalist 360°

Martha Lia Grajales, founder and organizer of the Unidos San Agustin Convive cooperative. (Venezuelanalysis)

Martha Lia Grajales, founder and organizer of the Unidos San Agustin Convive cooperative. (Venezuelanalysis)

Martha Lia Grajales is part of the Surgentes Collective (a human rights organization) and a founding member of the San Agustin Convive cooperative. She is a lawyer, holding a master’s in human rights and democracy. In this interview, we ask her questions about the dialectic between state power and popular organization, with a view to understanding how grassroots initiatives might breath new life into the socialist project.

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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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