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Project of the Day: Jua Kali, Open Source Machinery for Africa

Project of the Day: Jua Kali, Open Source Machinery for Africa | real utopias | Scoop.it

“Ask for a pair of door hinges at a hardware store in Kenya and the shopkeep might offer two options: regular and “Jua kali” hinges. The jua kali pair could cost half the price, but they will not be finished or cleaned, and they are likely made by a cheaper, cruder manufacturing process the forges each hinge in a unique size and shape.

 
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Not TINA (There Is No Alternative) but TAPAS: THERE ARE PLENTY OF ALTERNATIVES
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The FLOK Society Vision of a Post-Capitalist Economy | David Bollier

The FLOK Society Vision of a Post-Capitalist Economy | David Bollier | real utopias | Scoop.it

Michel Bauwens, Founder of the P2P Foundation, has recorded four short videos describing the FLOK Society’s pioneering research project in Ecuador.  FLOK stands for “Free, Libre, Open Knowledge,” and the FLOK Society is a government-sponsored project to imagine how Ecuador might make a strategic transition to a workable post-capitalist knowledge economy. As Research Director of the project, Michel and his team are exploring the practical challenges of making commons-based peer production a widespread, feasible reality as a matter of national policy and law. 

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Slavoj Zizek Accused of Plagiarizing White Supremacist Magazine

Slavoj Zizek Accused of Plagiarizing White Supremacist Magazine | real utopias | Scoop.it
Slavoj Zizek, Slovenian critical theorists extraordinaire, has drawn the ire of academics after a blogger alleged that he had plagiarized from a white supremacist magazine.
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Amerikistan, not Afghanistan; Warocracy, not democracy - Fellowship of Reconciliation (blog)

Amerikistan, not Afghanistan; Warocracy, not democracy - Fellowship of Reconciliation (blog) | real utopias | Scoop.it

Afghanistan Analysts Network reported on July 9 that “he [Abdullah Abdullah] told the crowd that he had received phone calls from both U.S. President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry and had been told that Kerry would make a stop-over in Kabul on Friday. It was clear he wanted to see what could come of that.”

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Noam Chomsky calls on Iran to release imprisoned journalist Marzieh Rasouli - The Guardian

Noam Chomsky calls on Iran to release imprisoned journalist Marzieh Rasouli - The Guardian | real utopias | Scoop.it

The US philosopher Noam Chomsky has called on Iran to release the female journalist Marzieh Rasouli who was jailed last week to endure a sentence of 50 lashes and two years in prison.

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Andrew Kliman interview 1 of 4 - YouTube

Andrew Kliman, author of "Reclaiming Marx's Capital", speaks about the Marxist theory of capitalist crisis. This interview was filmed on April 19th, 2009. Kliman speaks about Marx's theory of crisis- the Falling Rate of Profit- and critiques some of the other theories of crisis that are floating around out there. He also comments on the state of academic Marxism, the public reception of his research on the transformation problem, and envisioning alternatives to capitalism.

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Edip Yuksel (E) Noam Chomsky on Sunni and Shiite Conflict

For the second interview with Noam I chose to dicsuss the Sunni and Shiite conflict. I met Noam at his MIT office on 1st October 2013.
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The return of George Orwell and Big Brother's war on Palestine, Ukraine and ... - OpEdNews

The return of George Orwell and Big Brother's war on Palestine, Ukraine and ... - OpEdNews | real utopias | Scoop.it
The other night, I saw George Orwell's "1984" performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell's warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, "To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country."
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Slavoj Žižek on Kevin MacDonald’s “Culture of Critique”

Slavoj Žižek on Kevin MacDonald’s “Culture of Critique” | real utopias | Scoop.it
Slavoj Žižek is perhaps the highest-grossing Marxist continental philosopher. But there’s always been the suspicion that the purported Communist is a bit of a prankster and put-on artist.
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Real Socialism and “Coloniality” in Cuba - Havana Times

Real Socialism and “Coloniality” in Cuba - Havana Times | real utopias | Scoop.it


Cuban society will not achieve true social emancipation and decolonization without breaking with these power relations, which persist within capitalism and socialism alike.

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Why you're still poor as the Dow nears 17 000

Why you're still poor as the Dow nears 17 000 | real utopias | Scoop.it
Wall Street is celebrating, but much of America is still struggling with declining household income, higher prices for products and low interest rates for savings.
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Why Karl Marx remains relevant - Deciphering Capital by Alex Callinicos - Socialist Worker

Why Karl Marx remains relevant - Deciphering Capital by Alex Callinicos - Socialist Worker | real utopias | Scoop.it


There has been a real renewal of interest in Karl Marx's masterpiece Capital in recent years.

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Questions about socialism and value theory

Questions about socialism and value theory | real utopias | Scoop.it

A: In general, I shy away from questions about how a future socialist system will work but in the Russian revolution the original intent was to only expropriate the big capitalists. In the immediate period, however, a policy of War Communism led to the expropriation of all privately owned firms, large and small. This was a function more of the need to disempower a middle class that was hostile to the revolution rather than comply with any socialist blueprint—which of course Marx never intended to begin with.

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Slavoj Zizek - Cogito, Madness and Religion: Derrida, Foucault and then Lacan

The 'antagonism' of the Kantian notion of freedom (as the most concise expression of the antagonism of freedom in the bourgeois life itself) does not reside where Adorno locates it (the autonomously self-imposed law means that freedom coincides with self-enslavement and self-domination, that the Kantian "spontaneity" is in actu its opposite, utter self-control, thwarting of all spontaneous impetuses), but "much more on the surface": [1] for Kant as for Rousseau, the greatest moral good is to lead a fully autonomous life as a free rational agent, and the worst evil subjection to the will of another; however, Kant has to concede that man does not emerge as a free mature rational agent spontaneously, through his/her natural development, but only through the arduous process of maturation sustained by harsh discipline and education which cannot but be experienced by the subject as imposed on his/her freedom, as an external coercion:


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The Sharing Economy Lacks A Shared Definition

The Sharing Economy Lacks A Shared Definition | real utopias | Scoop.it

"Sharing economy," "peer economy," "collaborative economy," and "collaborative consumption." What does it all mean? Collaboration thinking pioneer Rachel Botsman breaks it down.


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The Value of Labor Theory (and the uselessness of labor theorists)

The Value of Labor Theory (and the uselessness of labor theorists) | real utopias | Scoop.it

In 1971, the United States, under pressure from international economic forces, was forced to abandon the gold standard. Yet forty years later, labor theorists have failed to come to grips with that event and refuse to acknowledge what it signified: the final collapse of production on the basis of exchange value, as was predicted by Karl Marx in 1858. This incapacity to recognize Marx’s prediction in the actual events of 1971, probably more than any other single event in 20th century history, demonstrates the utter and complete failure of the post-war Marxist school.

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Detroiters Put Bodies on the Line to Stop Privatization of Their Water

Detroiters Put Bodies on the Line to Stop Privatization of Their Water | real utopias | Scoop.it
The Reverend Bill Wylie-Kellerman sat down with nine others blocking the entrance of the facility where Homrich Wrecking’s water shutoff trucks were set to leave for the day. (Nooo, we can't let that happen.
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There Will Be No Real Recovery Without The Middle Class - Forbes

There Will Be No Real Recovery Without The Middle Class - Forbes | real utopias | Scoop.it


Despite blather about our “democratic capitalism,” stock ownership is increasingly concentrated with the wealthy as the middle class retrenches.

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Leicester Research Archive: Participatory Democracy in the European Union : a Civil Perspective

Because representative democracy may be reaching its limits, the EU has turned to participatory democracy. The participatory turn is torn between a moderate and a radical version. The moderate version revitalises the Community Method (CM) by formalising the dialogue of European institutions with organised civil society, while the radical version celebrates its demise as a chance for national governments to coordinate their policies in partnership with civil society through the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). In order to assess the participatory turn, this thesis takes the view that civil society is a pluralist sphere of participation between state and market wherein deliberative democracy realises its full potential. Democratisation proceeds whenever civil society manages to assert influence over state and market without falling prey to their colonising tendencies. This emancipatory process has so far taken place within the context of national welfare states. The fundamental question raised by the turn to civil society is whether multilevel social Europe will be able to continue this trend. Therefrom arise three research questions which this thesis explores in detail. Firstly, does European economic law colonise civil society? Secondly, is social Europe democratic in the sense that it opens European governance to the democratic influence of civil society? And finally, is social Europe effective, that is, able to protect civil society from European economic integration? The first question is essential, for a civil society colonised by markets would be in no position to legitimise social Europe at a time where it more than ever needs its protection. The last two questions require that radical OMC be compared with moderate CM, so as to critically assess whether the former performs better than the latter.
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Cuban Ex-Guerilla Is Consultant for Venezuelan Economic Reform - Truth-Out

Cuban Ex-Guerilla Is Consultant for Venezuelan Economic Reform - Truth-Out | real utopias | Scoop.it

San Francisco - Cuban economist and ex-guerilla combatant Orland Borrego, who fought alongside Che Guevara during the Cuban revolution, will be advising Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro on how to establish a "total re-structuring" of the Venezuelan economy.

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Responses to Noam Chomsky on Israel-Palestine and BDS - The Nation.

Responses to Noam Chomsky on Israel-Palestine and BDS - The Nation. | real utopias | Scoop.it


Noam Chomsky rightly recognizes the injustices done to Palestinians, as well as the US role in perpetuating those injustices.

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Noam Chomsky: America Is the World Leader at Committing 'Supreme International Crimes'

Noam Chomsky: America Is the World Leader at Committing 'Supreme International Crimes' | real utopias | Scoop.it
The U.S.'s sledgehammer worldview is destroying countless lives and future generations.
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The Effects of Participatory Democracy on Political Competition: The Case of Brazilian Participatory Budgeting by Paolo Spada :: SSRN

The Effects of Participatory Democracy on Political Competition: The Case of Brazilian Participatory Budgeting by Paolo Spada :: SSRN | real utopias | Scoop.it
What are the effects of Brazilian participatory budgeting? Most studies answer this question using selected case studies. This paper proposes an empirical analysis of the political and fiscal effects of participatory budgeting. Focusing on all the cities that have a population greater than 50000 inhabitants between the years 1989 and 2008 it extends significantly the scope and understanding of previous empirical work. To the contrary of previous anecdotal evidence the results show that participatory budgeting does not alter the composition of public spending and public revenues. However participatory budgeting significantly increases (~9%) the probability of reelection of the party of the mayor. This effect is heightened when focusing on the sample of cities with more than 100000 inhabitants. Most interestingly for smaller cities the positive effect of adopting for the first time PB on the reelection of the mayor is mediated by the victory of the Workers’ Party. When the Workers’ Party doesn’t control the city the effect disappears. For the larger cities we observe the opposite result.

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David Harvey (2014) "Limits To Capital And The Right to The City"

Rio de Janeiro.
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Reading Capital #1: The Labor Theory of Value

Reading Capital #1: The Labor Theory of Value | real utopias | Scoop.it

This summer I finally overcame my fear of getting real, and have embarked on that old left journey, the reading ofCapital. While I'm taking on Volume 1 with some good people, I'd like to publicly collect my general impressions that don't find their way into our weekly conversations, which tend to be more technical and about whatever interests the group shares. This is the first of what will be an ongoing "series" of posts tracking my grasping at an overall vision of the capitalist mode of production — a much grasped-at thing  and on the process of reading the seminal text. So here's my first impression.

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Michael Parenti on the Cuban Revolution - YouTube

Michael Parenti on the Cuban Revolution: http://t.co/KW1qPVsKzr @MichaelParenti
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