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real utopias
Not TINA (There Is No Alternative) but TAPAS: THERE ARE PLENTY OF ALTERNATIVES
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Chile: high students occupy schools to demand reform - World War 4 Report

Chile: high students occupy schools to demand reform - World War 4 Report | real utopias | Scoop.it
Students had occupied several of the public high schools in Santiago by the morning of Aug. 10 in the latest protest against the privatization of Chile's educational system that started under the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Chilean high school and university students launched a militant movement in the spring of 2011 to demand free, high-quality public education; current demands also include rejection of the so-called "Hinzpeter Law," legislation proposed by rightwing president Sebastián Piñera last year to impose severe penalties on people who occupy schools or public or private buildings, or who cause damage in protests. Student actions included some 40 marches in 2011 and five so far this year.
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David Graeber on MAUSS

Have you noticed how there aren't any new French intellectuals any more? There was a veritable flood in the late '70s and early '80s: Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, Kristeva, Lyotard, de Certeau ... but there has been almost no one since. Trendy academics and intellectual hipsters have been forced to endlessly recycle theories now 20 or 30 years old, or turn to countries like Italy or even Slovenia for dazzling meta-theory.
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Martin Eiermann | The Future of Journalism - A Centrally Planned Media Economy | The European Magazine - The Opinion Magazine

Fewer publishing houses dominate an increasing share of the media landscape. The results: Centralized news production and an unfortunate loss of journalistic diversity.
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Towards an Economics of Happiness - Part I | Greenopolis

Towards an Economics of Happiness - Part I | Greenopolis | real utopias | Scoop.it

The very structure of today’s global economy is causing instability, artificial scarcity and competition, tearing apart the fabric of community, and causing ecological destruction on a massive scale. On the other hand, diverse, smaller-scale, locally-based economic structures tend to support community, thus furthering both ecological sustainability and quality of life.

 
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The SASSI Blog: Noam Chomsky: Who Owns The World?

The SASSI Blog: Noam Chomsky: Who Owns The World? | real utopias | Scoop.it
In Noam Chomsky’s “Who Owns the World?” -- the most popular TomDispatch post of all time (which means the last 10 years) -- he wrote of one key imperial principle: “The U.S. cannot tolerate ‘any exercise of sovereignty’ that interferes with its global designs.” Hence, the under-reported but staggering U.S. build-up in the Persian Gulf.
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“The Significance of Occupy”: Dan La Botz, Robert Brenner, and ...

“The Significance of Occupy”: Dan La Botz, Robert Brenner, and ... | real utopias | Scoop.it

The Occupy Movement, the first such broad, national, multi-issue, mass movement in forty years, represented a test for the revolutionary socialist left in several senses. First, would the left recognize its important and immediately move to become an active part of it and work within it to help provide leadership? Second, would the left during Occupy be able to both appreciate its strengths and develop a critique of its weaknesses and limitations? Would it as the same time be able to conduct socialist propaganda and recruit to the socialist movement? Third, would the left in retrospect be able to analyze and learn from the Occupy experience in order to prepare itself for future movements?

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Occupy Latitude and the Commodification of Protest | The Occupied ...

Occupy Latitude and the Commodification of Protest | The Occupied ... | real utopias | Scoop.it

What was born in a tent, died in a tent. Worn like the skin of one of Buffalo Bill’s victims in exactly the kind of enclosed corporate space it was built to dismantle, Occupy London’s Tent City University (TCU) was recently taken to a branded woodland glade in Suffolk where it was stripped of political meaning.

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Review of Ariely's The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty - Huffington Post

Review of Ariely's The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty - Huffington Post | real utopias | Scoop.it

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely is a funny guy on a mission. As director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, he insists on a commitment to absurdity, but there is nothing cynical about his approach to human behavior.

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InterOccupy | People's Counter-Culture Convention: Occupy LA ...

InterOccupy | People's Counter-Culture Convention: Occupy LA ... | real utopias | Scoop.it

The Occupy LA Canvassing Committee has been conducting a survey of the needs of the people, and found many points of unity, including: the desire for a new kind of socio-economic system that protects all people’s rights, particularily the oppressed, protects our natural world and animals’ rights, contributes to global peace efforts, stops politcial and economic repression, etc.

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Democrats Can't Wait To Run Against Paul Ryan's Budget - TPM

Democrats Can't Wait To Run Against Paul Ryan's Budget - TPM | real utopias | Scoop.it

Obama has made tax fairness central to his campaign, calling his opponent “Romney Hood” for proposing a plan that would, according to an independent analysis, shower $250,000 in tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes for 95 percent of Americans. Ryan’s plan, which calls for a new system with only two income tax rates, 10 percent and 25 percent, has been scored much the same way and costs an estimated $4.5 trillion.

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Call for Solidarity: Please Support Occupy Media and Direct Action! | OccupyWallSt.org

Call for Solidarity: Please Support Occupy Media and Direct Action! | OccupyWallSt.org | real utopias | Scoop.it
This campaign is for expanding crucial Occupy media efforts (we represent OccupyWallSt.org, Occupied Wall Street Journal, Occupy Together, @OccupyWallSt, OccupyWallSt Facebook page, etc.) as well as supporting direct action organizing. The people behind these crucial projects have been working on daily basis for nearly a year for little or no pay. Our goal is to help support them with living stipends so they can continue working without having to choose between going hungry or promoting social justice. We also believe that with modest compensation, these people will be able to focus and expand their efforts and help bring Occupy back into the public eye.
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Obama’s Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid « naked capitalism

Obama’s Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid « naked capitalism | real utopias | Scoop.it
This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s. As an experienced political hand told me, the two candidates are speaking not to the voters, but to the big money. They hold the same views, pursue the same policies, and are backed by similar interests. Mitt Romney implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts, or Obama implemented Romneycare nationally. Both are pro-choice or anti-choice as political needs change, both tend to be hawkish on foreign policy, both favor tax cuts for businesses, and both believe deeply in a corrupt technocratic establishment.

 

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The loss of unity and polarisation within the Occupy movement

The loss of unity and polarisation within the Occupy movement | real utopias | Scoop.it

The following is from a long analysis of what went wrong with the Occupy movement. It traces its dislocation to the loss of the unifying encampments, the subsequent polarisation within the movement, and the rise of confrontational tactics that lacked a connection with mass movement.

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Oprah-iate of the People - In These Times

Oprah-iate of the People - In These Times | real utopias | Scoop.it

I was reminded of Karl Marx’s frequently misinterpreted critique of religion: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Many have stripped those lines of their context. The sentence that follows explains: “To call on [workers] to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.” Marx’s problem wasn’t with religion itself, but with an exploitative environment that drew many to rely on religion.

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The Reality of Happiness | the ecology of happiness

The Reality of Happiness | the ecology of happiness | real utopias | Scoop.it

Many an environmentalist campaign continues to look as if it were all just about saving a certain species. Save the panda, save the tiger, save the polar bears… “save the whales, save those snails.” At best, it has expanded to concern about the habitat, and its wider ecological role (if there is an obvious one), as in the long-running calls to “Save the Rainforest.”

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Democracy and Revolution - P2P Foundation

Democracy and Revolution - P2P Foundation | real utopias | Scoop.it

"In “The Jacobin Spirit” Žižek “Marxified” his argument for terror and dictatorship by radically misconstruing what “Marx’s key insight” was. He claimed Marx understood political democracy to be a mere “democratic illusion” because without economic equality political democracy can only be a tool of the ruling class, a part of the state apparatus and therefore our “main enemy.” This gets Marx totally wrong. And getting Marx right is not merely an academic exercise. Looking back, what is at stake are those 100 million Communist corpses memorialized by Vasily Grossman in Forever Flowing, with their “crazed eyes; smashed kidneys; skull[s] pierced by a bullet; rotting infected, gangrenous toes; and scurvy racked corpses in log-cabin, dugout morgues.” Looking forward, what is at stake is the possibility of the Left creating more corpses.

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The Power of Nonsense

The Power of Nonsense | real utopias | Scoop.it

The only ‘realistic’ prospect is to ground a new political universality by opting for the impossible, fully assuming the place of the exception, with no taboos, no a priori norms (‘human rights,’ ‘democracy’), respect for which would prevent us from ‘resignifying’ terror, the ruthless exercise of power, the spirit of sacrifice … if this radical choice is decried by some bleeding-heart liberals as Linksfaschismus, so be it!

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Four Futures

Four Futures | real utopias | Scoop.it

n his speech to the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, Slavoj Žižek lamented that “It’s easy to imagine the end of the world, but we cannot imagine the end of capitalism.” It’s a paraphrase of a remark that Fredric Jameson made some years ago, when the hegemony of neoliberalism still appeared absolute. Yet the very existence of Occupy Wall Street suggests that the end of capitalism has become a bit easier to imagine of late. At first, this imagining took a mostly grim and dystopian form: at the height of the financial crisis, with the global economy seemingly in full collapse, the end of capitalism looked like it might be the beginning of a period of anarchic violence and misery. And still it might, with the Eurozone teetering on the edge of collapse as I write. But more recently, the spread of global protest from Cairo to Madrid to Madison to Wall Street has given the Left some reason to timidly raise its hopes for a better future after capitalism.

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Can I Vote for Revolution? - CounterPunch

Can I Vote for Revolution? - CounterPunch | real utopias | Scoop.it
For people interested in progressive social change, voting in a capitalist nation like the United States is at best a tactic. Even then, it is a limited if not just plain lousy one. The choice presented to the voter is almost always between candidates selected by interests directly opposed to the economic and political interests of most workers, employed or not. This situation becomes truer the further removed the position being chosen is from the voter’s daily life.
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Politics as an End in Itself: Occupy Wall Street, Debt and Electoral ...

Politics as an End in Itself: Occupy Wall Street, Debt and Electoral ... | real utopias | Scoop.it

As I observed in my last post, I think that an OWS focus on debt, as Pamela Brown has been advocated, makes a lot of sense. We discussed this in the Wroclaw seminar. I continue to think about that discussion and how it relates to American electoral politics.

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Have Americans lost their taste for more and more stuff?

Have Americans lost their taste for more and more stuff? | real utopias | Scoop.it

Americans are drowning in material possessions. But have years of economic stagnation tempered the US consumer's habit of accumulating ever more stuff?

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Circle of 13: Andrej Grubacic & David Graeber: Anarchism, Or The ...

Circle of 13: Andrej Grubacic & David Graeber: Anarchism, Or The ... | real utopias | Scoop.it

On one level it is a kind of faith: a belief that most forms of irresponsibility that seem to make power necessary are in fact the effects of power itself. In practice though it is a constant questioning, an effort to identify every compulsory or hierarchical relation in human life, and challenge them to justify themselves, and if they cannot — which usually turns out to be the case — an effort to limit their power and thus widen the scope of human liberty. Just as a Sufi might say that Sufism is the core of truth behind all religions, an anarchist might argue that anarchism is the urge for freedom behind all political ideologies.

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People Need To Hear That They're Part Of The Solution | ideasforimpact.sauder.ubc.ca

People Need To Hear That They're Part Of The Solution | ideasforimpact.sauder.ubc.ca | real utopias | Scoop.it

Facilitated by new networking technologies and platforms, people are now sharing all kinds of things – food, tools, gadgets, couches, homes, cars, workspaces, time, money. According to Rachel Botsman, co-author of What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, what this means is that we are richer than we think: “We are surrounded by assets that have ‘idling capacity’ – the untapped social and economic value of under-utilised spaces, skills, time, gardens, and ‘stuff’.”

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ZCommunications | Corruption Organically Redistributes Wealth by Boris Kagarlitsky | ZSpace

ZCommunications | Corruption Organically Redistributes Wealth by Boris Kagarlitsky | ZSpace | real utopias | Scoop.it

Russia is by far not the worst country in terms of state intervention in the economy and the amount of property owned by the government. China, for example, has much greater state intervention and ownership and yet has much higher growth rates than Russia. Government intervention in capitalist systems acts as a powerful stimulus to economic growth, but the effectiveness of the stimulus depends on the quality of the government itself — a quality that is woefully lacking in Russia.

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The True Blasphemy: Slavoj Žižek on Pussy Riot

The True Blasphemy: Slavoj Žižek on Pussy Riot | real utopias | Scoop.it

Pussy Riot members accused of blasphemy and hatred of religion? The answer is easy: the true blasphemy is the state accusation itself, formulating as a crime of religious hatred something which was clearly a political act of protest against the ruling clique. Recall Brecht’s old quip from his Beggars’ Opera: “What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a new bank?” In 2008, Wall Street gave us the new version: what is the stealing of a couple of thousand of dollars, for which one goes to prison, compared to financial speculations that deprive tens of millions of their homes and savings, and are then rewarded by state help of sublime grandeur? Now, we got another version from Russia, from the power of the state: What is a modest Pussy Riot obscene provocation in a church compared to the accusation against Pussy Riot, this gigantic obscene provocation of the state apparatus which mocks any notion of decent law and order?

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Curated by jean lievens
Economist, specialized in political economy and peer-to-peer dynamics; core member of the P2P Foundation