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Not TINA (There Is No Alternative) but TAPAS: THERE ARE PLENTY OF ALTERNATIVES
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Democracy and Smart Mobs

Democracy and Smart Mobs | real utopias | Scoop.it
In our age, the advent of social networks and the transparency of shared networks challenge all hierarchies from monopoly of the mainstream media to professional knowledge protected by credentials, such as doctors, to dictators protected by force.
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Book of the Day: The End of the Market

Book of the Day: The End of the Market | real utopias | Scoop.it

“The End of the Market examines how the idea of the market-clearing price eventually emerged in the final decades of the 19th century after more than 2,000 years of debate. It was finally defined in a book by a Cambridge University professor published in 1890. This was an event that history has largely ignored. But its impact has been enormous. The idea of the market-clearing price freed human beings to get on with the business of producing and consuming without pondering excessively, if at all, about the true value of what they were doing.

 

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James Livingston on the "socialist" consequences of the internet-driven market revolution

James Livingston on the "socialist" consequences of the internet-driven market revolution | real utopias | Scoop.it

“What happens to (capitalism) when the internet permits what I have elsewhere called “primitive disaccumulation,” the conversion of basic commodities like information and music into goods that we can appropriate or distribute without the mediation of money and markets? What do we call the results? The decommodification of communication, the demise of “reification,” the socialization of the culture industry? Has the “self-?organization” of society now reached a point where the reproduction of capitalism requires ever greater doses of socialism, liberalism, and democracy? Is the transition from capitalism to socialism legible here, too, in the new battles over copyright and intellectual property in cyberspace?”

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Western dogma of advertising and consumerism - Redress Information & Analysis

Western dogma of advertising and consumerism - Redress Information & Analysis | real utopias | Scoop.it

It’s not clear how many advertisements we are exposed to every day. Taking into account the average hours of TV viewing, radio listening, newspaper and magazine reading, internet surfing, public street and transport use, common estimates range from around 250 per day on the conservative side, to 3,000 and above. Regardless of which is more accurate, there’s no doubt that being exposed to adverts is a ubiquitous and almost necessary part of human experience in the modern world.

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A Call for Progressive Values: Evolved, Unapologetic and Urgent - New York Times

A Call for Progressive Values: Evolved, Unapologetic and Urgent - New York Times | real utopias | Scoop.it
 He did not utter the words, but President Obamasuffused his second Inaugural Address with the spirit of a favorite phrase: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to heed “the fierce urgency of now.”
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The Occupy movements have dramatised questions about public space: Who owns it? And who can use it? | British Politics and Policy at LSE

The Occupy movements have dramatised questions about public space: Who owns it? And who can use it? | British Politics and Policy at LSE | real utopias | Scoop.it

One year on, Richard Sennett reflects on the Occupy movements and the nature of public space. He argues that the Occupiers not only changed the terms of debate about the current economic crisis, they also challenged urbanists to think about the city in new ways.

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Slavoj Zizek - The Cyberspace Real

Are the pessimistic cultural criticists (from Jean Baudrillard to Paul Virilio) justified in their claim that cyberspace ultimately generates a kind of proto-psychotic immersion into an imaginary universe of hallucinations, unconstrained by any symbolic Law or by any impossibility of some Real? If not, how are we to detect in cyberspace the contours of the other two dimensions of the Lacanian triad ISR, the Symbolic and the Real?

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ZCommunications | Hitting Society With A Sledgehammer by Noam Chomsky | ZNet Article

ZCommunications | Hitting Society With A Sledgehammer by Noam Chomsky | ZNet Article | real utopias | Scoop.it

Minutes before the interview began we received news of a school shooting in CT (the Sandy Hook tragedy). Details were unclear at the time, but there was an indication that many young children had been killed. We thus opened the interview with a question about the school massacre.

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Occupy: The Name in Common - Creative Time Reports

Occupy: The Name in Common - Creative Time Reports | real utopias | Scoop.it

For well over a year, we were inundated with an electoral campaign between two parties committed to continuity. Even when they spoke of change (and the party out of power always speaks of change), they meant more of the same. Change, real change, is what they fear above all else. Every four years, we go through a ritual of change that does little more than guarantee that the system will remain intact, benefiting the have-mores, placating the haves, and screwing the have-nots.

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Three Approaches to the Economic Crisis - Bay Area Indymedia

Before 1980 wages, productivity, investments and production pushed one another and ensured general prosperity. After 1980 wages were dropped as a driving force of economic demand. Deregulations, financial innovations and speculation enabled the financial sector to fill the demand gaps through consumer credits. A complete turning away from neoliberalism is necessary. The question how future economic demand can be generated is raised all the more urgently.

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Spain's Rebellion Moves to Print

Spain's Rebellion Moves to Print | real utopias | Scoop.it

Cooperatively owned by journalists and readers, Spain's radical new monthly magazine, La Marea, is committed to democratic regeneration and aims to reach people with sober language and militant ideas.

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Fantasies About the Future

Fantasies About the Future | real utopias | Scoop.it

Paul Hawken, environmentalist and entrepreneur, explains that there is no quick fix to the global environmental and social crises as many hope, but rather a complete change in civilizational construct is required.

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Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World-Economy - P2P Foundation

Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World-Economy - P2P Foundation | real utopias | Scoop.it

Wherever Wallerstein declines into vague approximations and rhetorical conclusions, Li produces precise statistics and original analyses, whether on the relations between social classes and the regional hierarchy of states, on the conditions underlying the regain of corporate profit in the 1990s-2000s, or on the geopolitics of capitalist expansion since the 1980s. His strongest point, however, is to fully integrate the data on climate change into political economic theory, and to draw the at once sober and necessarily exorbitant conclusions from that integration. For Li, the destructiveness of capitalism has been proven by the world wars of the mid-twentieth century and it will be proven again, this time absolutely, by the consequences of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. He believes that, given the much higher degree of access to knowledge and organizing capacities that the expanded working classes now enjoy, there is some possibility of a socialist world-government emerging to coordinate a draw-down of the failed industrial-capitalist economy in the mid-21st century, as extreme conditions begin to necessitate extreme solutions. Of course he believes this with the deep lucidity and keen awareness of other possible outcomes that such a study as his own must inevitably produce.

 
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Social media, social dynamics, and the Dunbar number | john hawks ...

Social media, social dynamics, and the Dunbar number | john hawks ... | real utopias | Scoop.it

Dunbar proposed that the size of social groups is limited by our evolutionary history. Our social interactions require us to track social relationships with many people. People aren't capable of following the details of thousands of city-dwellers, we are better suited to follow details of a single city block. In Dunbar's model, we should be well adapted to track the number of people that would have occupied social groups in the distant past.

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Beyond The Auto Industry's Secret Fear: The Share Economy - Forbes

Beyond The Auto Industry's Secret Fear: The Share Economy - Forbes | real utopias | Scoop.it

The bottom line is pretty simple. The auto industry has to figure out a response to consumers who don’t want to own automobiles. There’s certainly an opportunity, but there may be pain in figuring out what it will be.

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Class in the 21st Century By Goran Therborn ”We...

Class in the 21st Century By Goran Therborn ”We... | real utopias | Scoop.it

”We are witnessing the birth of a new era: novel relationships of class and nation, of ideology, identity and mobilization, and of global left-wing politics are taking shape. The end of the Cold War brought no ‘peace dividend’, merely a new cycle of wars. The triumph of Western capitalism was not followed by universal prosperity, but by soaring inequality and recurrent economic crises: East Asia, Russia, Argentina, and now the ongoing Euro-American turbulence. The classic issues of concern for the left—capitalist exploitation and imperialism, oppressive hierarchies of gender or ethnicity—have reproduced themselves in the new century. The struggle will go on: of that we can be sure. But who will stamp their mark on it—the new middle class, or the plebeian masses?”

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The Economics of Planned Global Failure

The Economics of Planned Global Failure | real utopias | Scoop.it
Individual debt creates a slave relationship, which ends up enslaving society under a global economic system, all dependent on large government programs and entitlements.
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"I wouldn't want my anarchist friends to be in charge of a nuclear power station": David Harvey, anarchism, and tightly-coupled systems | libcom.org

"I wouldn't want my anarchist friends to be in charge of a nuclear power station": David Harvey, anarchism, and tightly-coupled systems | libcom.org | real utopias | Scoop.it

An industry-specific response to David Harvey's popular claim that anarchists can neither run nor combat 'tightly-coupled systems', specifically nuclear power plants and air-traffic control. This paper is examines the the former and critiques Harvey's understanding of how such systems meet anarchist theory and practice, arguing that hierarchy does not make such systems safer or more efficient - quite the contrary.

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From free trade, via fair trade, to scalar trade?

From free trade, via fair trade, to scalar trade? | real utopias | Scoop.it

Free Trade is based on the assumption that markets will self-correct, but in a world where the rich companies actively block true costs of production showing up on price tags and balance sheets, the markets are a political construct, as artificial as Second Life or Disneyland.

 
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Peernet: Constructing the Open Mesh

Peernet: Constructing the Open Mesh | real utopias | Scoop.it

While the original internet infrastructure was one of P2P connections between university mainframes, the emergence of the world wide web has led to a paradigm shift, as recently argued by Simon Edhouse in The Medium is the Mess. We now have clients and servers, and in physical infrastructure, we have consumers and access providers.

 
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Who Owns the World?

Who Owns the World? | real utopias | Scoop.it

The democracy uprising in the Arab world has been a spectacular display of courage, dedication, and commitment by popular forces — coinciding, fortuitously, with a remarkable uprising of tens of thousands in support of working people and democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, and other U.S. cities. If the trajectories of revolt in Cairo and Madison intersected, however, they were headed in opposite directions: in Cairo toward gaining elementary rights denied by the dictatorship, in Madison towards defending rights that had been won in long and hard struggles and are now under severe attack.

 
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‘The Story of Stuff’ and How Startups are Heeding Its Message

‘The Story of Stuff’ and How Startups are Heeding Its Message | real utopias | Scoop.it
Consumerism may have hit a highpoint in the last several decades, but these days the real opportunity resides in our closets. Here's a look at the rise of resale startups.
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The Limits of Political Consumerism

The Limits of Political Consumerism | real utopias | Scoop.it

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about the limits of consumerism as an avenue for political change, particularly in the context of the food movement. Today, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Michael Maniatesof Allegheny College, whose presentation on green consumerism and the limits of particular theories of social change helped to catalyze some of my own thinking on the topic.

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Occupy Augmented Reality: A proof of concept

Occupy Augmented Reality: A proof of concept | real utopias | Scoop.it

Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land and/or a building – usually residential – that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use

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The Film The 1% Doesn't Want You To See

The Film The 1% Doesn't Want You To See | real utopias | Scoop.it

In his inaugural address on Monday, President Barack Obama spoke eloquently about America's need to level its economic playing field. "For we, the people," he said, "understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class."

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