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The Radical Open Access Collective: Building Better Knowledge Commons

The general public may not give much thought to how scientists and scholars publish their work, but please know that it matters. Like so much else in the world, corporate markets have colonized this space, which means that turning business profits is the primary goal, not the easy, affordable sharing of knowledge. Commercial academic publishers have long privatized and monetized academic research, which over time has resulted in an oligopoly of a few publishers able to charge exorbitant prices for their books and journal subscriptions. The impact has been greatest on researchers in the Global South and at smaller, less affluent colleges and universities, where it is harder to access and share the latest scientific and scholarly research.

What Red Book Will You Read This Year On Red Books Day?

On 16 February 2015, Govind and Uma Pansare went for a morning walk near their home in Kolhapur, in the western state of Maharashtra, India. Two men on a motorcycle stopped them and asked for directions, but the Pansares could not help them. One of the men laughed, pulled out a gun, and shot the two Pansares. Uma Pansare was hit but survived the attack. Her husband, Govind Pansare, died in a hospital shortly thereafter on 20 February at age 82. Raised in poverty, Govind Pansare was fortunate to go to school, where he encountered Marxist ideas. In 1952, at the age of 19, Pansare joined the Communist Party of India (CPI). While in college in Kolhapur, Pansare could often be found at the Republic Book Stall, where he devoured Marxist classics and Soviet novels that came to India through the CPI’s People’s Publishing House.

Pete Dolack: “It’s Past Time We Had An Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Imperialist Global Front”

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your fascinating book It’s not over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment shows us why we need to move beyond capitalism and it also provides the tools on how to do so. Can you explain to our readers how we can effectively fight to destroy definitively this aberrant system that is capitalism?

These Chains Will Be Broken: New Book Delivers Resistance Message From Palestinian Prisoners To The World

On Monday, January  20, Clarity Press, Inc. of Atlanta announced the launch of These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons, by Palestinian author and journalist, Ramzy Baroud, and The Palestine Chronicle Editorial Team. Bookended by a Foreword by Khalida Jarrar Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and an Afterword by Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories...

Ten Years After Howard Zinn’s Death — Lessons From The People’s Historian

January 27th marks the 10th anniversary of the death of the great historian and activist Howard Zinn. Zinn did not merely record history, he made it: as a professor at Spelman College in the 1950s and early 1960s, where he was ultimately fired for his outspoken support of students in the Civil Rights Movement, and specifically the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)...

Direct Democracy And The Passion For Political Participation

Yavor Tarinski is an independent researcher and activist whose publications and talks center on the possibilities of direct democracy and commoning practices as an alternative to the current social imaginary. He is the author of Direct Democracy: Context, Society, Individuality (Durty Books Publishing House, 2019). He is a member of the editorial team of the Greek political journal Aftoleksi, bibliographer at Agora International and member of the administrative board of TRISE. In the past he has co-founded “Adelante” — the first social center in Bulgaria as well as the first Bulgarian Social Forum.

American Exceptionalism And American Innocence – A Book Review

Roberto Sirvent and Danny Haiphong have explored the albatross of myths, legends, lies and damn lies around America’s neck in their book  American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.  They look into America’s closet of historical secrets and expose them.  They knock down the stuff that is just made up.  The authors explain why the US habitually denies its own bad behavior, and projects it onto others. Over the centuries the US has developed an illusion of grandeur.  It imagines itself as indispensable and exceptional, unlike any nation that has ever existed.

The Problem With Saying Movements Must Be ‘Totally Nonviolent’ To Succeed

It is misleading and disempowering to say that any violence ends a movement’s chance of success. To truly be effective, we need to stay in the game even when violence occurs. It can be hard to criticize a movement elder who has been a friend and mentor to you, whether you do it in private or in public. Yet, I need to make a public criticism of the late nonviolent organizer and strategist Bill Moyer. His classic 2001 book “Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements” continues to reach new audiences — thanks, in part, to an educational initiative by my organization, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Unionizing The World’s Largest Slaughterhouse

Capitalism has many victims, but few fare as badly as slaughterhouse workers. Every day, meatpacking workers risk life and limb to provide cheap meat for consumers. Yet, meatpacking workers are not glorified by the state. They are not given medals for bravery or celebrated in our movies, books, or video games. Instead, they are often vilified. Political scientist Timothy Pachirat once described slaughterhouse work as a form of labor “considered morally and physically repellent by the vast majority of society that is sequestered from view rather than eliminated or transformed.”1

Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance

On the hot summer morning of Aug. 2, 1980 a massive explosion ripped apart the main waiting room of the Bologna railway station. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds more injured. Though at first blamed on Italy’s legendary urban guerrillas, The Red Brigades, it soon emerged that the attack had, in fact, originated from within the ‘deep state’ of the Italian government itself. The full nature of this secret parallel state would only come to light a decade later when the Italian premier, Giulio Andreotti, under questioning from a special commission of inquiry...

No Right To Privacy If You’re Poor?

Institutional racism places Black women with gross disproportionality in the position of being disenfranchised of privacy rights as poor women, and the moral construction of poverty gives the cover of colorblindness to some manifestations of racism. Nor does Bridges make the claim that poor men have or don’t have privacy rights. She limits her claim to poor women because The Poverty of Privacy Rights is based in large part on research she did in her first book in 2011, Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as s Site of Racialization. She makes no claim about poor men simply because she lacks ethnographic data on which to base such claims.

Going Horizontal: Written For Workplaces; Perfect For Activists

I read the book as an activist, a small business owner, and a novelist who writes about nonviolent movements for change. The Dandelion Insurrection featured a self-organizing movement based on leaderful principles. I turned to Slade’s non-fiction book in preparation for diving deeper into those ideas for the third part of the Dandelion Trilogy and I was not disappointed. Going Horizontal is meant to be a practical, applicable manual, and it succeeds. My personal copy is filled notes and sticky tabs with reminders of practices to try and concepts to revisit for my work, activism, and writing. It has earned both a place on my bookshelf and a spot on my recommended books list.

Three Books Make The Case For A Universal Basic Income

Massive, disruptive change is happening in the world economy. Up to half of all current workers, both white and blue collar, could be driven into unemployment by technology. Automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are fueling a new industrial revolution. Once again, as in the past when steam, fossil fuels and biotechnology upended lives and fortunes, workers are getting the short end of the stick—this time robots may come for our jobs. Unless, as science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson warns, we become the robots ourselves, first. Instead of tinkering around the edges, several recent authors make a forceful case for a bold solution to our society’s growing levels of inequality and economic insecurity: a universal basic income (UBI).

Sarah Chayes On Kleptocracy In America

“I was loading a lot into Thieves of State,” Chayes told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “I was saying that violent religious extremism is actually related to governmental corruption, not religious ideology. That was a big thing to try and say. I didn’t want to load this book down with too much controversial analysis.” “But I did have a chapter at the end that looked at Iceland, Ireland and the United States in the lead up to the 2008 financial disaster. Many of the factors I was identifying in developing countries were visible in the West. And if we weren’t careful to try and put some constraints on systemic corruption in the West, we were going to suffer the same kind of extremist uprising that could take who knows what form...

The Insurgent Power Of The Commons In The War Against The Imagination

Thank you, Fred [Iutzi] and The Land Institute for inviting me to this wonderful festival! It’s a great honor to be speaking at an event at which so many illustrious thinkers, innovators, and activists have attended in the past. I want to thank the Land Institute for its pathbreaking research and leadership over the years – and give a special thanks to Wes Jackson for his vision, courage, and sheer persistence over so many years. I’m not a farmer or seed-sharer, and I don’t have a specific role in the farm-to-table world except as a grateful eater. However, I do live in a small, somewhat rural town, Amherst, Massachusetts, a place of maple trees and CSA farms, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost, and a town common.
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