Newsletter – No #NAFTA2, Yes To Trade For People & Planet

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By Daniel Cooper Bermudez. The Trump administration is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in secret, just as President Obama did with the TPP. Over the past two decades, NAFTA has resulted in workers losing their jobs and being replaced by machinery, ruined family farms throughout the continent, displaced communities and privatized social services, environmental disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a widespread attack on labor rights and unions. This week, we explain our opposition to NAFTA2 and put forward a strategy to remake trade so it is no longer corporate-driven trade for the profits of a few, but people-driven trade to benefit all and protect the planet.

Radical Municipalism: The Future We Deserve

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By Debbie Bookchin for ROAR Magazine – I am the daughter of two longtime municipalists. My mother, Beatrice Bookchin, ran for city council of Burlington, Vermont thirty years ago, in 1987, on an explicitly municipalist platform of building an ecological city, a moral economy and, above all, citizen assemblies that would contest the power of the nation state. My father is the social theorist and libertarian municipalist, Murray Bookchin. For many years the left has struggled with the question of how to bring our ideas, of equality, economic justice and human rights, to fruition. And my father’s political trajectory is instructive for the argument that I want to make: that municipalism isn’t just one of many ways to bring about social change — it is really the only way that we will successfully transform society. As someone who had grown up as a young communist and been deeply educated in Marxist theory, my father became troubled by the economistic, reductionist modes of thinking that had historically permeated the Marxist left. He was searching for a more expansive notion of freedom — not just freedom from economic exploitation, but freedom that encompassed all manner of oppression: race, class, gender, ethnicity.

Disinformation Terrorism Against Venezuela

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By Armando B. Gines for New Dawn. World elites dominate the main international media almost completely through an intricate network of associations that conceal the participation of transnational empires such as banks, weapons industries, energy industries, and financial and investment entities. The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, the Financial Times, El País—renowned newspapers and TV networks impose the views of their shareholders on current events, dictating the agenda for the millions that make up their audience. In other words, they lead the collective attention to focus on their preferred topics while they intentionally cast a cloak of silence over other issues, according to their economic interests. As US linguist George Lakoff revealed, we only talk about that which the hegemonic power wants us to talk about.

Neo-Nazis And The Rise Of Illiberal Democracy

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By Henry Giroux for TruthDig. While Trump finally gave way to overwhelming pressure on Monday and delivered a speech in which he asserted that “racism is evil” and described the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “repugnant,” by Tuesday he had already reverted to his initial assertion of “blame on both sides,” equating neo-Nazis with anti-racist counter-protesters (whom he labelled as the “alt-left”) and speaking of “very fine people” among the crowd of right-wing extremists who chanted racist and anti-Semitic slogans on Friday night. The authoritarian drama unfolding across the United States has many registers and includes state violence against immigrants, right-wing populist violence against mosques and synagogues, and attacks on Muslims, Black people and others who do not fit into the vile script of white nationalism. The violence in Charlottesville is but one register of a larger mirror of domestic terrorism and home-grown fascism that is growing in the United States.

Newsletter: Policies For The People

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Political economist C. J. Polychroniou recently interviewed David M. Kotz, author of “The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism,” about the transition in the US from a regulated capitalism instituted under FDR that protected workers and the vulnerable to some extent to a financialized global neoliberal capitalism that started in the 1970s. Under neoliberalism, the rich got richer while protections for workers in the form of unions and and the vulnerable in the form of a social safety net were dismantled. In addition, the environmental impacts of industry and fossil fuels are barely considered despite the reality of climate change. Neoliberalism crashed in 2008 and has remained in a crisis state ever since with a stagnating economy, growing wealth divide and political turmoil. Crises are turning points.

It’s Not Only Necessary To Develop An Alternative To Globalization — It’s Entirely Possible

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By Walden Bello for Foreign Policy in Focus – Free trade and the freedom of capital to move across borders have been the cutting edge of globalization. They’ve also led to the succession of crises that have led to the widespread questioning of capitalism as a way of organizing economic life — and of its paramount ideological expression, neoliberalism. The protests against capitalism at the recent G20 meeting in Hamburg may seem superficially the same as those which marked similar meetings in the early 2000s. But there’s one big difference now: Global capitalism is in a period of long-term stagnation following the global financial crisis. The newer protests represent a far broader disenchantment with capitalism than the protests of the 2000s. Yet capitalism’s resilience amidst crisis must not be underestimated. For trade activists, in particular, who’ve been on the forefront of the struggle against neoliberalism and globalization over the last two decades, there are a number of key challenges posed by the conjuncture.

Building Red-Green Alternatives: Can Commons Challenge Neoliberalism From Below?

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By Inger V. Johansen and Gitte Pedersen for Transform! – Following on from our fruitful experience at the 2016 conference, when the issue of Commons was discussed as an integral part of the economic and ecological alternatives we are seeking to develop, we made Commons the focus of this year’s conference. We decided to address the subject from different perspectives, including how to use Commons in transforming society and the limitations involved in doing so. This was an extremely successful conference. We even managed to incorporate Commons into our general debate on alternatives, linking it to the all-important red and green strategic perspectives of our conferences. Nevertheless, we have concluded that, here in Denmark, it is still difficult to raise the debate on Commons at conferences. In this country, Commons is almost exclusively discussed in a few closed political and academic circles. The number of participants at this conference was fewer than on previous occasions, with a decrease in young people in particular. We believe that this reflects the problem. We simply need more time and discussion before we are able to focus specifically on the issue of Commons once again. In the future, we will therefore choose to integrate Commons into the overall themes of the conferences and debate. We strongly feel that we need more debate on privatization and remunicipalization, which is a big issue in Denmark.

G20 Protestors Call For An Alternative To The Neoliberal Order

Protesters show V-signs and shout slogans as German police use water cannon during the demonstration at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

By Patrick Bond for The Real News Network – On July 7th and 8th, the G20, a grouping of the world’s 20 largest economies, concluded a summit in Hamburg, Germany. At the conclusion of the summit, G20 leaders issued a 15 page declaration. Nineteen of the 20 leaders were able to agree on all points made in the joint declaration, but Donald Trump could not agree with the other G20 leaders on the climate change language. So the G20 broke with tradition and crafted a separate paragraph on Trump’s stance on the Paris Climate Accord and fossil fuels. That paragraph stated – quote – “We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris agreement. The leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.” And it went on to state, “We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris agreement.” The U.S. also managed to insert, however, a piece of text referencing fossil fuels which read – quote – “The United States of America states it will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently.” German leader, Angela Merkel, said she deplored the decision by the U.S. government to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, but she reiterated that all the G20 states other than the United States agree that the Accord is irreversible.

First Day Of G-20 Mass Protest, Tear Gas and Water Cannons

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By Staff for Popular Resistance. The meetings of the G-20 began on July 6 with President Trump and other foreign leaders arriving. They were met with immediate mass protests of globalization policies that urge corporate trade agreements, neoliberal privatization and austerity as well as inadequate action on climate change. More than 100,000 protesters are expected and 20,000 police are on hand to control and arrest them. The Huff Post reported: Violent clashes erupted Thursday between police and protesters in Hamburg, Germany, as world leaders are set to attend the G-20 summit in the city. Several people were injured, according to HuffPost Germany reporters on the scene. Hamburg police said 76 officers were injured. Earlier the department said three were hospitalized for the injuries. They implicated small groups of protesters in the violence. Police used smoke grenades and water cannons on protestors, reporters said, while activists threw stones, bottles and explosives, and set at least one car ablaze. Fires were still burning in the street as of 11 p.m. local time.

Neoliberalism’s Crumbling Democratic Façade

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By Joris Leverink for ROAR Magazine – Years from now, when we look back at the 2010s, what will be the images that come to mind? Will we recall the wealth and prosperity brought to us by free markets and private investment? The freedom and democracy we enjoyed under our neoliberal governments? Or the ways in which we bravely protected our cultural and natural heritage, safeguarding it for future generations? Most likely not. When we think of the 2010s, we will remember the protesters in the streets, the wars ravaging the Middle East, causing entire populations to leave home and hearth behind, and the millions of people across the globe risking their lives just to make a living somewhere else. We will remember the xenophobic attacks, the racist politicians, the gag orders and the crackdowns.

The New Merchants Of Death

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By Jeremy Kuzmarov for ROAR Magazine – In August 2016, the Pentagon announced that Six3 Intelligence Solutions, a private intelligence company recently acquired by California Analysis Center Incorporated (CACI), which was implicated in the Abu Ghraib scandal, had won a $10 million no-bid army contract to provide intelligence analysis services inside Syria. They were to work alongside the roughly three hundred US troops fighting against the so-called Islamic State and to depose Russian-backed Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad. Hiring a company with as checkered a record as CACI is bound to ignite a backlash against US interference within Syria, and may empower the very forces the US is fighting.

Anti-Trump Resistance Will Fail Without Ditching Establishment Democrats

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By Bhaskar Sunkara for the Guardian. The reality is the only way to ditch the establishment Democrats is to ditch the Democrats. The party has shown itself to be unreformable and a destroyer of political movements. Half the voting population has left the two parties. The movement must give them somewhere to go and that is independent politics outside of the two party system. It may seem like a shortcut to try and change the Democratic Party but every movement that has tries has found themselves changed and weakened while being absorbed into the Democratic Party, which has always been a party of big business. There is no shortcut — the movement must have its own party so its interests are represented. As this article says “November’s election is a powerful reminder that the Clinton establishment’s mix of socially inclusive rhetoric and neoliberal economics is a weak response to xenophobic populism.:

Former World Bank Staffer Explains How Neoliberalism Is Destroying The World

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By Dylan Charles for Activist Post – More destructive than bombs, money has become the weapon of choice for the global elite, for the hidden hand of finance can plunder and conquer entire nations, assimilate whole cultures, exploit resources and rape the earth while forcing billions into poverty, all with the surprising stealth of pen-strokes and business contracts. Neoliberalism is the economic and political philosophic driving force in the world today. It suggests that human progress is the result of competition, best expressed by an extremist version of unfettered capitalism, where privatization of profits and socialization of losses are acceptable ethics, regardless of human and environmental costs incurred along the way.

Trouble Vs. Trump

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By Staff of Waging Nonviolence – Donald Trump didn’t so much win the election as Hillary Clinton lost it. Clinton’s failure to turn out the Democrats’ traditional base on election day should be understood as a catastrophic failure of the Democratic Party establishment to fire up their base by responding to the growing public opposition to neoliberalism. This, in effect, was the key difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries: Sanders named the enemy — increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few under deregulated capitalism — and vowed to confront that power. Hillary Clinton preached a “realism” that simply accepted the ground rules of neoliberalism unchallenged. Compared to Trump’s repeated focus on how the country’s leaders had failed the working class

Newsletter - The Consent Of The Governed

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Governments function because of the consent of the governed. When a government does not serve the needs or interests of the people, it loses its legitimacy and no longer deserves the consent of the people.Plutocracy defined We have argued for a long time that current governments at all levels – local, state and federal -function primarily to benefit the wealthy. Academics have proven that the United States is a plutocracy – rule of, by and for the wealthy. It is time for us to withdraw our consent. Let’s consider how to do that and what protections will be needed. When a government loses the consent of the people, all it has left to wield to keep its power is repression and force. Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Organizing Movement, is calling for “a program of noncompliance and noncooperation on both the federal and state levels.” We have entered a new era, a presidency of protest and an increasing illegitimate government. We have the power to withdraw our consent from hate and exploitation and build love and prosperity.