Participatory Democracy: How Democracy Might Be Done Differently.

Whilst the mainstream media and established powers might intimate that the functioning of democracy would not be possible when placed in the hands of the people, this article suggests a number of ways that they could be involved, and have already in some places:

https://roarmag.org/essays/real-direct-participatory-democracy/

Advertisements

Windows on a New World

“If you’ve been told your whole life that things are the way other people tell you they are, to be able to think ‘No, well I can make it different’ is quite a big deal.”

Here’s yet another example of the difference people can make when they choose to come together and organise. What starts off as a sit down strike in Chicago, demanding that workers are paid their wages, eventually culminates in a new cooperative run through democratic processes:

http://www.newerawindows.com/

Community Wealth Building

Here’s a website of an organisation that has a focus on creating an alternative economic system rooted in shared ownership and control, as well as ecological sustainability, emphasising the values of:

  • Broadening ownership and stewardship over capital
  • Democracy at the workplace
  • Stabilizing community and emphasizing locality
  • Equitable and inclusive growth
  • Environmental, social, and institutional sustainability:

https://democracycollaborative.org/

Umberto Eco on Fascism

Here’s an interesting article that tooks about the varying qualities of fascism and how under this understanding it holds an ever present threat that can coagulate around the identified aspects, beginning in the most innocent of ways.  Whilst reading it it will probably trigger thoughts relating to current political events:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

Who Will Watch the Watchers?

Here’s a great idea, and a resource for all those of you truly dedicated to investigating the sources of your knowledge, an organisation that rates the transparency of think tanks, providing one way of identifying which think tanks might play a covert way for corporations or other interest groups to influence policy:

http://www.transparify.org/about/

#Brexit, the populist surge and the crisis of complexity

This is a fascinating post that delves quite a few political themes over the last few months and comes up with some interesting angles on what these travails actually entail, including the threat that a declining energy supply holds for our abilities to maintain complexity at all levels of society.  You can probably skip the first section (which has become outdated for reason that will be obvious if you read it), and go straight to the part in bold that says “The populist surge – or the stories we tell ourselves“:

https://paularbair.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/brexit-the-populist-surge-and-the-crisis-of-complexity/

 

Trying to Think in a New Way

The below post of Badiou reflecting on Trump’s election raising some provocative ideas.  Whilst I may not agree with his solutions completely his thought process takes us in an interesting direction of considering where we are at and what the problem is, as well as how we might respond.  What it in particular made me consider was that within political frameworks, of each nation, there is often stresses placed on the value of a rigorous opposition to hold the power holders to account.  What Badiou points out here is that there is not a firm enough strategic opposition to capitalism that can form that intertwining critique of two opposing powers and so hold it to account.  His point is that without this sort of opposition all is bent to capitalism’s rampant drive.

This made me question whether the struggle for and loss of orientation and stability in this mode needs two poles or could there be many.  Would the lack of polarising focal points dilute the strength of each drive to contest the power and weight of capitalism, which may co-opt each drive into itself, and so self destructively capitalism lacks an alternative to hold itself to account, capitalism inherently has an auto-immune condition which will drive itself along the boundary of self-destruction. Or is it that there is a changing of the guard where competing accounts will be able to hold the arena together and what is happening now is the death throes of an older generation trying to re-establish this pattern amongst an ever increasing “young” (that may have crept into the 40+ age bracket already) who are more comfortable with identifying with multipe focal points, rather than two oppositional focal points.  Whilst they do not vote, the older generations that do vote are thrashing around trying to grasp a new dynamic with an old set of values that no longer  conform to the whole of reality, so what they vote for is a craving or memorial for a time already past? This in turn makes me respond in and of myself that this won’t be split across an age boundary, but there may be some kind of fracturing along the lines of two polar security versus multiple preference disorientation where the reality of our differences comes up against the security of the binary, and the age that we are living through is to see whether we can forge a notion of what it is to be a human being, what the political/social realm can be and what we should do, from this (new) acknowledgment of multiplicity, or is this really beyond our nature? (anyway here’s the link:)

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2940-alain-badiou-reflections-on-the-recent-election