Raising Capital for Community Projects

Direct Public Offerings offer the opportunity to raise money that will support community projects without having the domineering requirements of quick profits or loss of control that might come with the usual funding opportunities. Read here for more:



Comunalidad: Positioning not for your self

Here are two articles that act as an introduction to the notion of Comunalidad, a concept emphasised in Oaxaca, Mexico.  It is introduced/summarised as:

“Comunalidad is a way of understanding life as being permeated with spirituality, symbolism, and a greater integration with nature. It is one way of understanding that human beings are not the center, but simply a part of this great natural world. It is here that we can distinguish the enormous difference between Western and indigenous thought.”

“the vitality of comunalidad as it presents itself witnesses to the integration of four basic elements: territory, governance, labor, and enjoyment (fiesta). The principles and values that articulate these elements are respect and reciprocity.”

“What needs to be taught is nothing more than sharing the sharing of anger, enchantment, routine, misfortune, pain, tenderness, joy…All of which leads us to understand that no one can teach anyone else, or all of us must teach each other, and with that we reproduce intentions and resolve needs. This is what we learn from comunalidad.”


In this then…

“Communal beings, as Benjamín Maldonado affirms, make sense of themselves in terms of their relationship with the land… a relationship with the land that is not mercantile, a relationship of sharing and caring. That is, humans are linked to the land not only for organic sustenance, but also for spiritual and symbolic sustenance…We must find in the experience of our peoples the lessons necessary to create new conceptual frameworks. And we must not be afraid to construct new epistemological notions that will lead us to transcend even ourselves.”

The second article before relating an experience of comunalidad, first relates an encounter with choba-choba in Peru:

“The term choba choba is a Quechua word that means ‘hair with hair’ (choba means ‘hair’ in Quechua Lamas).  The significance of the meaning of choba-choba comes from the interweaving of hair braids that occurs during marriages.  This notion is extended to the interweaving of people, communities and the land.”

Before moving on to tell us how comunalidad focuses around four aspects:

“1. Territory:  Territory involves knowing the land where one is, the place that sustains the community, its history and stories, its plants and animals, not unlike what the Blackfoot where also teaching at Red Crow around place-based learning and traditional foods.

2. Work: Work involves the different kinds of jobs and skills that people from the community take part in and which is not necessarily only about an individuals’ work and skills. This can also be about collective or cooperative forms of work such as the choba chobain Peru, or the mutirão in Brazil.

3. The organisation of the community: The organisation of community life in indigenous communities and around Oaxaca happens through the various assemblies and individual roles of responsibility, cargo, which take charge of different aspects of the community.

4. The fiesta: Lastly, the fiesta is the celebration of work, of the community and the land, also having as Jaime points out, a spiritual dimension. It is the culmination of community life and comunalidad.”

Anyway read more yourself to give you a fuller picture:



Thatcher Was Only The End/Beginning.

Here’s a fascinating piece (one of the best I’ve read in years possibly) that traces the destruction of a number of working class movements to inherent tensions in the structure of those movements that started to pull them apart before Thatcher delivered her hammer blow.  It also includes an extremely positive perspective on what could occur in the future.  A little taster for you:

“Rather, every single year since 1984 has seen some new state initiative aimed more or less directly at preventing the re-emergence of any sense of social solidarity and collective potency among the working population. Neoliberal hegemony is dependent on constant work to make sure that popular media stay on-message with a culture of competitive individualism and political apathy, on constant harassment of and intervention in the public sector to prevent it from becoming a site at which ideas and practices of collective self-empowerment can re-emerge, on deliberate social engineering to make sure that working class communities do not re-discover their own capacities – which they threaten to do constantly.”


If You’re Asking “What’s With All The Crazy Weather”…

… Then read this.  It’s not new.  It’s not the only place you’ll hear this.  In fact it’s been said for years.  But maybe now we could connect those white/wet dots outside to the dots in your petrol tank or your political choices.  It’s time to get involved with actions that will change the way the world works (if you want to find some then leave a comment):



A Brief, Brief History of Neo-Liberalism

Here is a good introductory piece about the development of Neo-Liberalism. If you want something to break open the movement to you, filled with references that you could follow up if you want to (look for the red writing and click on it) but not so deep you will fall asleep by the end, this is a good starter-for-ten:

The Zombie Doctrine

Piqueteros: The Solidarity Economy

Following on from my last post here is an interview with three members of the Piqueteros movement which gives you a feel for what they feel are the real benefits of the movement.  It appears that dignity is at the core of what they are trying to create as well as not being drawn into a purely economic system once again: