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Change That Starts With Communities

By Rob Hopkins and Cormac Russell for Resilience - After Hurricane Sandy, Noam Chomsky was critical of Occupy Sandy, who often reached communities before the first responders, saying this is a terrible idea because this is exactly what neo-liberals want, for us all to do everything so they can make the government even smaller. How do you view that tension? Chomsky’s version of reality is obviously highly respected but I’m going to have to part company with him. I think government, and even more evolved welfare states (I was in Denmark last week for three days), clearly at their best are an extension of us, not a replacement for us. It’s important to say that there are certain things that individuals, families and communities can do that are irreplaceable...

Transformation: Means And Measure Of Revolutionary Change

By Richard Moser for Counter Punch - Truly massive movements take shape around affirmations of goodness most powerfully represented by the promise of universal values. Our task is to fulfill this promise, recognizing that we doom our efforts to win people’s support and allegiance if we too often rely solely on criticism, resistance, and opposition. It is far, far better thing that we be authors of a new world rather than critics of the old one. If we envision revolution as radical departure or complete discontinuity from the existing world we are likely to both overlook real change and leave the millions behind. A transformative movement works on culture and works with history.

Talking ‘Necessary Trouble’ With Sarah Jaffe

By Jacob Swenson-Lengyel for Campain for America's Future - Jaffe has spent years traversing the country, covering protest movements in the wake of the financial crisis. In her new book, 'Necessary Trouble', Jaffe distills what’s she’s learned, taking her readers on a tour of today’s most powerful social movements and introducing us to the people on the frontlines leading them. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to understand contemporary social movements and their power to reshape American politics. I caught up with Sarah Jaffe recently to talk about 'Necessary Trouble'. Read our conversation, edited for length and clarity, below.

Ten Ways We Can Build A Better Economic System

For the numerous readers who asked: "But what can we do?" after reading my "10 reasons to smash capitalism," here are ten ways we can build a better economic system: 10. We can elect governments that represent people rather than corporations. This will require serious electoral reform and include laws to make it clear corporations are not people and therefore cannot participate in the political process. A government representing all the people would regulate corporations to ensure socially responsible behaviour and transform psychopathic capitalist monstrosities into democratic, social enterprises that benefit all. 9. We can build communities and organizations that encourage solidarity, compassion and altruism. These will include worker, consumer, housing and producer cooperatives, as well as institutions of government. People must always remain vigilant, especially while capitalism continues to exist, about the pervasive power of greed to destroy these communities and organizations. 8. We can promote and build a democratic economy in which social ownership replaces private ownership of communities’ means of livelihood. The people who work in them and the communities in which they are located should control economic enterprises.
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