Democracy Is Direct

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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby Elvis » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:50 pm

Okay. I'm sorry my ideals don't measure up to yours. :starz:
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby dada » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:25 pm

Yeah, whatever. Measure away, I've made my point.

Don't worry about it, everything's cool. Let's all relax, watch some Frank Zappa videos.

Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:21 pm

Hampton Institute

The hate for Donald Trump has got people, at one point or another, supporting and defending: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Justin Trudeau, the Clintons, Amazon, Jeff Bezos, the FBI, the CIA, corporate news, and the Queen of England.

This is the difference between liberalism and radicalism. And this is why radical (systemic) analysis and inquiry are so important. Hating Trump isn't enough. We must understand that he is just an ugly symptom of a diseased system. And we must also understand that the Democratic Party has played an integral role in creating and maintaining this diseased system. A supposed enemy of Trump isn't necessarily your friend.

Be radical in your analysis, understanding, and action.

All power to the people.
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby Elvis » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:09 pm

American Dream » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:21 am wrote:
Hampton Institute

The hate for Donald Trump has got people, at one point or another, supporting and defending: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Justin Trudeau, the Clintons, Amazon, Jeff Bezos, the FBI, the CIA, corporate news, and the Queen of England.

This is the difference between liberalism and radicalism. And this is why radical (systemic) analysis and inquiry are so important. Hating Trump isn't enough. We must understand that he is just an ugly symptom of a diseased system. And we must also understand that the Democratic Party has played an integral role in creating and maintaining this diseased system. A supposed enemy of Trump isn't necessarily your friend.

Be radical in your analysis, understanding, and action.

All power to the people.


Undersigned! :thumbsup
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby Belligerent Savant » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:14 am

American Dream » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:21 am wrote:
Hampton Institute

The hate for Donald Trump has got people, at one point or another, supporting and defending: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Justin Trudeau, the Clintons, Amazon, Jeff Bezos, the FBI, the CIA, corporate news, and the Queen of England.

This is the difference between liberalism and radicalism. And this is why radical (systemic) analysis and inquiry are so important. Hating Trump isn't enough. We must understand that he is just an ugly symptom of a diseased system. And we must also understand that the Democratic Party has played an integral role in creating and maintaining this diseased system. A supposed enemy of Trump isn't necessarily your friend.

Be radical in your analysis, understanding, and action.

All power to the people.



Hating Trump isn't enough. We must understand that he is just an ugly symptom of a diseased system. And we must also understand that the Democratic Party has played an integral role in creating and maintaining this diseased system. A supposed enemy of Trump isn't necessarily your friend.
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:33 am

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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:58 am


https://vimeo.com/280969202


TFN #16: Klanada’s Coming Pipeline War
By submedia.tv - July 20, 2018

The foul mouthed Stimulator brings us news of the conflict between the so-called Canadian State and its energy projects and indigenous people fighting on unceded land.

This week on TFN we give you a peek into what could become Klanada’s Standing Rock and bring you updates from political prisoners in the United Snakes and Greece.

To find out how to support Red Fawn go to https://www.standwithredfawn.org/
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:58 am

Democracy Against Representation: A Radical Realist View

Image

Introduction

A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason.

Or it can be thrown through the window.


-Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus


Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Movement of the Squares, Occupy, and beyond, contemporary radical movements have been calling for “democracy.” In areas as diverse as Tunisia, Egypt, Greece, Spain, and the United States, “each of these movements has brought democracy into question.”[1] Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini go on to write,

A uniting agenda is that of challenging rule by politicians: we can govern ourselves. Movement participants around the world believe that representative democracies are not democratic, and that established politicians and political institutions should not be trusted. Instead, most of the new movements practice forms of direct democracy in public spaces. . . . In this way, the political, economic, and social spheres are no longer separated. In fact, this practice is grounded in a long global history. . . . Nevertheless, the embrace of direct and participatory democracy is one of the most strikingly novel aspects of today’s global movements.[2]


Similarly, Jerome Roos and Leonidas Oikonomakis write that by “refusing to align themselves with any political party or ideology,” the movements “challenged the legitimacy of prevalent power structures,” revealing “a profound crisis of representation in democratic capitalist society.”[3] In so doing, these movements and their surviving descendants repeat the calls for a society ruled for and by the people—in the same way that earlier revolutionary organizations called for “social democracy.”[4]

Paradoxically to some, these movements also claim to reject representation—a keystone of many contemporary liberal understandings of democracy, and certainly of almost all the academic discussion. How can we make sense of this? There is ongoing debate about this in the movements I’ve mentioned and their descendants, and part of that work consists in figuring out what we should take “democracy” to mean. This article tries to contribute to that development by reconstructing an idea of what we might take “democracy” to mean, how we can use this concept to make sense of the critique of representation prominent in many contemporary radical movements, and examine how useful it might be for helping guide social change and the practices seeking to bring it about.[5] My investigation will be “realist” in the sense that it contributes a piece of political theory that seeks to make sense in terms of and guide real politics.[6] In this view, real politics is fundamentally about how human actions and interactions are organized, coordinated, and carried out. More precisely, it centers on three related questions: (1) the agents and contexts of political action; (2) the timing of such actions; and (3) their motivation, justification, and legitimation.[7] The main goal of this article is to develop and defend a radical concept of democracy that can make sense to and help guide the politics of a range of radical movements today. Despite first appearances, I will argue that a coherent conception of democracy can be found and that it can be a powerful tool for understanding and critiquing the shortcomings of contemporary societies as well as for guiding our efforts to overcome them.[8]

My argument is structured as follows: The first section discusses a small part of the history of the term “democracy” in the ancient and modern world, and argues that there is at least one sense of “democracy” that is useful to contemporary radical movements. In this view, democracy is defined in terms of the collective self-rule of a group of people, and an institution is democratic if and only if it is collectively self-ruled or self-governed by all of its members. The second section argues that this definition allows us to distinguish between “democracy” on the one hand, and different institutional forms that are often associated with it—like representative states or direct voting—on the other, and points out some advantages that this provides. The third and fourth sections show how this concept of democracy can be used to critique both the modern state and capitalism, respectively. The fifth section responds to some criticisms of using the term “democracy” to advance radical political projects, and finally section six concludes.

Read more: https://abolitionjournal.org/democracy- ... sentation/
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:32 am

Post Anarchist and Radical Politics today

Saul Newman


CRITIQUE OF MARXISM

Anarchism’s main contribution to a politics and theory of emancipation lies, as I see it, in its libertarian critique of Marxism. I have explored this elsewhere (see Newman, 2007b), and it has been extensively covered by other authors (see, for instance, Thomas, 1980); but, fundamentally, this critique centres around a number of problems and blind spots in Marxist theory. Firstly, there is the problem of the state and political power. Because, for Marxism – not-withstanding Marx’s own ambivalence on this question[6] – political power is derived from and determined by economic classes and the prerogatives of the economy, the state is seen largely as a tool which can be used to revolutionize society if it is in the hands of the proletariat. This idea is expressed in Lenin’s State and Revolution – a strange text which, in some places, seems to veer close to anarchism in its condemnation of the state and its celebration of the radical democracy of the Paris Commune; and at the same time reaffirms the idea of the seizure of state power and the socialist transformation of society under the dictatorship of the proletariat. [7] This ambiguity with regard to the state can be found in Marx’s own thought, which shares with anarchism the goal of libertarian communism – an egalitarian society based on free association, without a state – and at the same time departs from anarchism in its belief that the state can and must be used in the ‘transitional’ period for revolutionary purposes. For anarchists, this position was fundamentally dangerous because it ignored the autonomy of state power – the way that the state was oppressive, not only in the form it takes, but in its very structures; and that it has its own prerogatives, its own logic of domination, which intersect with capitalism and bourgeois economic interests but are not reducible to them. For anarchists, then, the state would always be oppressive, no matter which class was in control of it – indeed, the workers’ state was simply another form of state power. As Alan Carter says:

Marxists, therefore, have failed to realise that the state always acts to protect its own interests. This is why they have failed to see that a vanguard which seized control of the state could not be trusted to ensure that the state would ‘wither away.’ What the state might do, instead, is back different relations of production to those which might serve the present dominant economic class if it believed that such new economic relations could be used to extract from the workers an even greater surplus – a surplus which would then be available to the state. (Carter, 1989: 176–97)


For anarchists, then, the state was not only the major source of oppression in society, but the major obstacle to human emancipation – which was why the state could not be used as a tool of revolution; rather, it had to be dismantled as the first revolutionary act. We might term this theoretical insight – in which the state is conceived as a largely autonomous dimension of power – the ‘autonomy of the political’. However, here I understand this somewhat differently from someone like Carl Schmitt, for whom the term refers to a specifically political relation constituted through the friend/enemy antagonism (see Schmitt, 1996). For Schmitt, this entails an often violent struggle over power and identity, in which the sovereignty of the state is affirmed. For anarchists, it has precisely the opposite implication – a struggle of society against organized political, as well as economic, power; a general struggle of humanity against both capitalism and the state.

The second distinction between Marxism and anarchism follows from the first: while for Marxists, and particularly Marxist–Leninists, the revolutionary struggle is usually led by a vanguard party which, as Marx would say, has over the mass of the proletariat the advantage of correctly understanding the ‘line of march’ (Marx and Engels, 1978: 484), for anarchists, the vanguard party was an authoritarian and elitist model of political organization whose aim was the seizure and perpetuation of state power. In other words, according to anarchists, the revolutionary vanguard party – with its organized and hierarchical command structures and bureaucratic apparatuses – was already a microcosm of the state, a future state in waiting (see Bookchin, 1971). For anarchists, the revolution must be libertarian in form as well as ends – indeed, the former would be the condition for the latter; and so rather than a vanguard party seizing power, a revolution would involve the masses acting and organizing themselves spontaneously and without leadership. This does not mean that there would be no political organization or coordinated action; rather that this would involve decentralized and democratic decision-making structures.

The third major opposition between anarchism and Marxism concerns revolutionary subjectivity. For Marxists, the proletariat – often defined narrowly as the upper echelons of the industrial working class – is the only revolutionary subject because, in its specific relationship to capitalism, it is the class which embodies the universality and the emancipatory destiny of the whole of society. Anarchists had a broader conception of revolutionary subjectivity, in which could be included proletarians, peasants, lumpenpro-letariat, intellectuals déclassé – indeed, anyone who declared him- or herself a revolutionary. Bakunin spoke of a ‘great rabble’, a non-class which carried revolutionary and socialist aspirations in its heart (1950: 47). Indeed, Bakunin preferred the term ‘mass’ to class, class implying hierarchy and exclusiveness (ibid.: 48).

Of course, these disagreements do not cover all the points of difference between anarchism and Marxism – other questions, such as the role of factory discipline or Taylorism, as well as the value of industrial technology, were also important areas of dispute – and have indeed become even more prominent today with greater awareness about industrial society’s impact on the natural environment. [8] However, the three major themes I have discussed – the autonomy, and therefore the dangers, of state power; the question of political organization and the revolutionary party; and the question of political subjectivity – constitute the main areas of difference between a Marxist and an anarchist approach to radical politics.

From: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library ... tics-today
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:08 pm

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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:33 am

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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:01 am

Image

Be Realistic: Demand the Impossible

PETER LINEBAUGH


Photo: American sprinters Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos, along with Australian Peter Norman, during the award ceremony of the 200m race at the 1968 Mexican Olympic games. / Flickr


1968, as Herbert Marcuse put it, was the year of the Great Refusal—a “public moment,” to echo French revolutionary Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, when the social contract was challenged. Allen Ginsberg chanted “Om” amidst the police riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The Beatles released The White Album. Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight champion of the world, was denied a license to fight because he opposed the war in Vietnam. The Women’s Liberation Party protested the Miss America pageant, affirming that women are people, not livestock. Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Bob Marley made reggae music in Jamaica, and the whole world danced. At the Olympics in Mexico City, just months after the massacre of hundreds of students in Tlatelolco, the fastest men alive bowed their heads and raised their arms and joined their fingers into fists of black power and workers’ struggle.

Rebels could read the writing on the walls. The graffiti of Paris took the imagination to unprecedented heights against the imperialist Leviathan: “soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible” (“be realistic, demand the impossible”). Turning the world upside down required turning the police command, “Up against the wall, mother fucker,” back on the police themselves. Below it all was an infrastructure wrought of rubber, iron, chrome, coal, oil. On them was built the Keynesian model of economic development and the Fordist model of work. The speed-up on the auto assembly line killed workers and stuffed gas-guzzling vehicles onto the asphalted highways.

Looking back on 1968, I see two big themes in conflict—thanatocracy versus the commons. My reflections are part reminiscence and part commentary on two revolutionaries of the time, Guyanese historian Walter Rodney and American writer Grace Lee Boggs.


Read more: http://bostonreview.net/politics/peter- ... impossible
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:57 am

On Plastic Straws and the Coming Collapse

RHYD WILDERMUTH


When you look at what is needed to slow down or stop Climate Change and the destruction of the environment that sustains human life, you get confronted with an awful reality. That reality? There is literally no significant change that will not also deeply harm vulnerable people or infringe upon some modern freedom we now conceive as vital, inherent, and inalienable.

An editorial, from Rhyd Wildermuth


Image

Recently, the city of Seattle in the United States became the first US city to fully ban single-use plastic straws, utensils, and cocktail picks in restaurants, bars, and coffeeshops. The ban was heralded as an environmentalist victory by marine conservationist groups and fiercely fought by restaurant associations, plastics manufacturers, and some activists for the disabled.

You may have encountered news about the ban specifically because of the opposition of some activists for the disabled. Though the Seattle ban allows restaurants to provide flexible single-use plastic straws for people who medically need them, restaurants, bars, and cafes aren’t required to keep such straws on hand. Thus, a disabled person who cannot drink without a straw might find themselves needing to provide their own in order to consume a beverage they’ve purchased. Activists for disabled people point out that this situation creates an accessibility barrier for a minority of people who already face countless other such barriers.

The debates around the plastic straw ban unfortunately obscured several much larger issues around environmental destruction, Climate Change, and disability. More unfortunately, the way the plastic straw ban was debated across social media reduced the question to a false polarity: save the turtles and oceans, or keep disabled people from aspirating their liquids and dying of pneumonia.

The problem with all these debates was that there were deeper topics which were never up for debate. For instance, can laws designed by technocrats to change consumer behavior actually stop environmental destruction? Can capitalist nations fix the problems they’ve caused by replacing one product with another? And what about the vulnerable people who rely on capitalist-created products that destroy the environment?

One can detect in the ban on plastic straws by Seattle (a city in which I lived for 16 years) a smug and fully unmerited sense of humanitarian “progress.” Much of it is hypocrisy: Seattle is longtime home to some of the most environmentally-destructive corporations in the world, such as Boeing and Amazon (which will sell you 100 plastic single-use straws for $5.99, straw ban be damned). Seattle relies heavily on those corporations and their workers for its tax revenue. Also, Seattle’s carbon output, while low compared to many cities of its size, is only so low because of its geographical proximity to hydro-electric power plants, not from efforts to conserve energy.

Like many “progressive” European nations and other cities, Seattle obscures its own contributions to the destruction of the environment while implementing laws and policies which only alter the aesthetics of its damage. This same hypocritical stance can be seen in Seattle’s treatment of homeless people. The Seattle King County metropolitan area has the fourth largest homeless population in the United States (12,500, the same size as South Korea’s homeless population), yet prides itself on its Liberal/progressive policies and is also the first large US city to have elected a Socialist to city council.

Seattle is the perfect example of the self-congratulatory, hypocritical Liberal Democratic (that is, capitalist) order, but it is hardly alone. This same duplicity can be found throughout the Western world. For a case in point, we need only look at Germany, usually touted as a paragon of green policies even under a conservative government. Angela Merkel announced the closure of all nuclear power plants by 2022; but Germany purchases and will continue to purchase and transport nuclear energy from its neighbors, particularly France. In addition, half of its timber production is burned to create electricity.

Almost all of the shifts that Liberal Democratic (capitalist) nations in the world have made towards reducing the destruction of the climate follow a similar pattern. Reductions in one destructive behavior are replaced by increases in another, and each switch is mere aesthetic. This pattern is nothing new: consider how most of the policies of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act in the United States focused entirely on aesthetic changes. Reductions of emissions into the air from factories and coal-fired power plants, as well as from automobiles, never significantly reduced CO2 in the atmosphere; instead, they reduced particulates which were causing asthma, smog, and “acid rain.”

The problem here should be obvious. While no one wants to choke on automobile exhaust and industrial pollutants, and reducing these particulates absolutely decreased cancer rates and helped asthmatics, these policies only made the larger problem invisible. C02, the primary agent of Climate Change, doesn’t leave a stain on the sky or cause immediate health problems. Instead, it increases the temperature of the entire earth by trapping heat, thereby melting glaciers, shifting ocean currents, and initiating wide-scale droughts, floods, crop failures, extinction events, and eventually societal collapse.


Continues: https://godsandradicals.org/2018/08/04/ ... -collapse/
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby Elvis » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:34 pm

Another product that needs to be banned is disposal plastic lighters.
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
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Re: Democracy Is Direct

Postby American Dream » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:50 pm

Did you actually read the article?
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