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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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

Video: Nuclear Danger: World Action Now on Fukushima By grtv

17 October 2013 — grtv

Journalist, author, activist and historian Harvey Wasserman has been reporting on, and participating in, the nuclear free movement for decades. In that time, by his judgment, only one other event matches the danger to the world posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis. That event is the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Continue reading

German publisher advocates “less democracy

20 September 2011 — German Foreign Policy

FRANKFURT/BERLIN
(Own report) – A recently published book, by one of the most influential German newspaper publishers, is pleading for a transition toward “less democracy.” The “voice of the people” and the “emancipatory Zeitgeist, putting everything into question,” has a too “paralyzing influence” on current governance, writes the publishing house in its blurb for the book. The author therefore demands to “correct the system” for “more efficient policy making.” These “corrections” must include the dismantlement of democratic participation. Continue reading

The Communal State: Communal Councils, Communes, and Workplace Democracy By Dario Azzellini

9 July 2013 — NACLA

Report

The particular character of what Hugo Chávez called the Bolivarian process lies in the understanding that social transformation can be constructed from two directions, “from above” and “from below.” Bolivarianism—or Chavismo—includes among its participants both traditional organizations and new autonomous groups; it encompasses both state-centric and anti-systemic currents. The process thus differs from traditional Leninist or social democratic approaches, both of which see the state as the central agent of change; it differs as well from movement-based approaches that conceive of no role whatsoever for the state in a process of revolutionary change.

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Video: Dan Hind: Democratizing the public sphere should be of acute interest to progressive movements

30 May 2013 — Youtube

The Croatian government is running a trial of democratic control of the media this year, and that’s why I was in Zagreb, giving the interview. The interview was made during Dan Hind’s visit to Zagreb and participation in the Balkan Forum of the 6th Subversive Festival 4-18th May 2013 Continue reading

Understanding the Venezuelan Presidential Election Outcome

15 April 2013 — Venezuela Analysis

Things are chaotic here, as we recover from the surprise, disappointment, and a bit of hurt from the election results, but also go out in the street to express our support for those results, and to defend the national electoral system, one of the best and most secure voting systems in the world in a country which just loves to vote. We move quickly from sad last night to concerned and determined today, as the caceroles sound around the neighbourhoods and the opposition hangs outside the National Electoral Council (CNE) here in Merida, hundreds of them walking around with rocks and glass bottles in their hands, itching to have something to react to.

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The Politics of Imagined Opinion By Prof. James Tracy

11 March, 2013Global Research

Where do you locate yourself on the political spectrum? Are you liberal or conservative? On “the left”, “the right”, or perhaps you’re a bit of both (“moderate”). It is no secret that American mass culture often blunts the capacity for civic engagement and political awareness. Yet those who pursue an identity in acceptable political dialogue are less aware of how the parameters of American politics have been carefully crafted to elicit vicarious and seemingly meaningful participation for the politically inclined.

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The BBC’s ‘Why Poverty?’ Series: A Missed Opportunity

4 February 2013 — New Left Project

The Why Poverty project is a recent collaboration between the Open University and the BBC that attempts to highlight the causes of global poverty and explain the different contexts in which it is experienced. The project was extensive, including a detailed website, radio programmes, and a BBC4 television series which will undoubtedly have had an impact on how poverty is understood by a wide audience. In my view, however, parts of the BBC 4 series, as well as the overall narrative of the project were not conducive to the project achieving its aims.

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