The G20 Parade Of Monsters

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By Giuseppe Caccia and Lorenzo Marsili for Political Critique – The turn of the century marked the zenith of globalisation and the golden era of G7-G8 summits. One model seemed fit for all: neoliberal economics and democratic politics. One obvious hegemon was in the room: the United States of America. And one clear ambition charted the course ahead: defining a “new world order” supported by the optimistic claim of a prosperity for all. That picture has blown up. Ten years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the snapshot that emerges from the Hamburg G20 summit is one of a global disorder where no clear model, no clear hegemon, and no clear ambition prevails. The failure of the neoliberal model should be evident to all: financial and extractive capitalism has led to increasing inequalities and secular stagnation, decline of the Western middle classes and concentration of wealth on a scale not seen since the belle époque. In the meantime American hegemony is waning and challenged – from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea; the election of Donald Trump to the White House has led even traditional European allies to question the trans-Atlantic special relationship.

Authoritarianism Is Making A Comeback

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By Maria J. Stephan and Timothy Snyder for The Guardian. It is time for those who support democracy to remember what activists from around the world have paid a price to learn: how to win. Modern authoritarians rely on repression, intimidation, corruption and co-optation to consolidate their power. The dictator’s handbook mastered by Orban in Hungary, Erdogan in Turkey, Maduro in Venezuela, Zuma in South Africa, Duterte in the Philippines and Trump here provides the traditional tactics: attack journalists, blame dissent on foreigners and “paid protestors,” scapegoat minorities and vulnerable groups, weaken checks on power, reward loyalists, use paramilitaries, and generally try to reduce politics to a question of friends and enemies, us and them.

The Antidote To Authoritarianism

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By Malkia A. Cyril for The Atlantic – My first known ancestor in the Americas was an Ashanti woman called “the African.” We don’t know her name, but through records kept by slaveholders, we know she existed. We know she was transported to Jamaica, where my known lineage began. These records of property bought and sold were a form of surveillance at the time. Early technologies, and the policies and practices that undergird them, were forged to separate the citizen from the slave. The slave passes, branding, and lantern laws of then have become the cellphone trackers, facial recognition software, and body-worn police cameras of now. Their mission, however, hasn’t changed much—to catch and control black dissidence—only now they’re doing so in a digital age. These technologies have been incorporated into the law enforcement process at every level, from predictive algorithms for assessing pre-trial risk and criminal activity to widely adopted police technologies that face little to no oversight. These technologies—including cell-site simulators and surveillance cameras—are trained on communities of color, especially blacks, immigrants, Arabs, and Muslims.

History Of Anti-Authoritarian Struggle Is A History Worth Repeating

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By Sarah Freeman-Woolpert for Waging Nonviolence – Throughout his campaign, critics have drawn comparisons between Donald Trump and authoritarian leaders from the past. From his proposed plans to create a Muslim registry, to threats against journalists and other opponents, these critics urge us to learn from history about the dangers of a leader like him rising to power. Now that Trump is president, however, we must learn from history in a different way. Nonviolent social movements of the past can teach us lessons about how to resist injustice in the years to come. If we look to the past for examples of how to organize against injustice, we see how ordinary citizens…

6 Lessons Learned Fighting Oppressive Regimes While Trying to Protect People and Planet

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By Terry Odendahl for Eco Watch – The U.S. may now find itself in a similar position as countries like the China, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Philippines, Russia, Venezuela and many others where authoritarians have been swept into power over the last decade. As a public citizen who wants to take action, should you join a national environmental organization or should you join a local group fighting a dam or fracking? As a donor, should you give to a big environmental group lobbying in DC or to a local minority-action group trying to force their city council to clean up their drinking water? We will definitely need mass national mobilizations and we’ll also need numerous local actions.