A Colombian Blend of Comedy, Creativity and Politics

Here’s an interesting article about how a Mayor of Bogota brought some innovative methods to the political sphere to bring about behavioural change and combat deep-rooted pessimism. Some of what he introduced was mimes replacing traffic cops, a city wide women’s night and himself showering on TV:

Academic turns city into a social experiment

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The River has Rights (and the Rest of Nature)…

Here’s an interesting article about the legal recognition of natural rights, for nature.  The concept appears to draw attention to our interwoven dependence on nature, that looks to move our relationship from one of exploitation to respect.  It points to legal frameworks introduced to recognise this in both New Zealand and Ecuador:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/new-zealand-whanganui-river_n_1894893.html

Solidarity NYC

This is an group that brings together a variety of organisations which support social justice, democracy, cooperation and ecological sustainability, whilst at the same time resisting individualism, competition and exploitation. There are a variety of types of organisations from worker coops and community supported agriculture to credit unions and social justice networks:

https://www.shareable.net/blog/solidaritynyc-transforming-our-city-through-economic-democracy

http://solidaritynyc.org/

Solidarity Economics

Solidarity economics is a way of looking at economics that looks to go beyond the single mode of economic interaction and bring to the for alternative ways of engaging with each other.  The emphasis is upon supporting livelihoods that liberate those who practise them, and also use the benefits of a breadth of methods to support one another.  The two links below have more information:

http://www.socioeco.org/page12_en.html

http://www.geo.coop/sites/default/files/SolidarityEconomicsEthanMiller.pdf

Repair Cafes

Repair Cafe’s are a place where you can take a broken item and an expert volunteer will help you to repair that item for free. It’s aimed at bringing people together to learn from each other about maintenance of different objects and in the process save the owner from buying a new one, and at the same time stop the need for producing another one and all the resources that entails.  It’s emphasis is on moving away from an accelerated consumer society. The link below allows you to find one local to you, and the video gives a better understanding than I could:

https://repaircafe.org/en/

Recuperated Workplaces

Recuperated workplaces are those that are reclaimed by workers when the capitalist system and/or bosses decide to abandon the business and workers due to their lack of profitability.  The workers move in to reclaim the workplace so as to continue to provide for their own livelihood and welfare. Many focus on democratic alternatives and work self-determination which suggests of a reversal of the capitalist ideology to focus on producing for communities, not profits, and empowering workers rather than exploiting them.  Here’s an article and two videos with more (the first video is the trailer, and the second is the full film):

http://upsidedownworld.org/archives/argentina/recuperated-enterprises-in-argentina-reversing-the-logic-of-capitalism/

 

Remunicipalisation as a Response to Privatisation’s Failures

Even where corporate power is entrenched people can reclaim and improve services.  Remunicipalisation is an acknowledgement of the falsity that private is best or most efficient (except possibly in the support of hoarding wealth), and thus moves to return services to the public sphere.  This aims to make the services accountable to more than a motive to increase profit/power, emphasizing the needs of the community rather than the wealth of a few. This enables a focus on supporting the needs of all members of  the public, the environment and engagement with other similar projects in a reinforcement of solidarity:

 

https://www.tni.org/en/publication/here-to-stay-water-remunicipalisation-as-a-global-trend

http://www.municipalservicesproject.org/

http://www.remunicipalisation.org/

Alternative Avenues: The Pluralist Commonwealth

Here’s a video and website that explains another alternative economic model that looks to explain an alternative to corporate capitalism and authoritarian state socialism, focusing on sustainability, democratic and community engagement and equality and liberty. The commonwealth denotes that the economic foundations of society are broadly spread and democratized, and the pluralist emphasises its concerns with the resilience provided from a variety of types and sizes of institutions rather than overbearing monopolies provided in the two other mentioned alternatives:

 

http://www.pluralistcommonwealth.org/

Peer Production License

Here’s an idea that aims to protect public communal knowledge from the profiteering of private private parties, in part to encourage a reciprocal economy. It looks to shift the structural logic of capitalism that rather than driving toward accumulations of capital in less hands, attempts to redirect capital to support and reinforce the commons. The process would generate a way of providing income for those peer producers who commit their efforts to open source knowledge, and so give them the economic support to increase their engagement with a part of the economy that is currently limited by financial restraints. This could be a great model for universities and other state funded research, and makes me wonder how much of those Apple profits would have been communally shared if all the technology they have benefited from were under this model:

https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/From_the_Communism_of_Capital_to_a_Capital_for_the_Commons

http://telekommunisten.net/the-telekommunist-manifesto/