The Left Radical Who Will Likely Be Jackson, Mississippi’s Next Mayor

Chokwe Antar Lumumba

By Kate Aronoff for In These Times. The city of Jackson, in the heart of staunchly Republican Mississippi, might seem an unlikely place for a municipal revolution. Yet Jackson’s radicalism has been forged in the crucible of massive disinvestment, both by private industry and by a conservative state legislature. Led by the Black nationalist organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, organizers in Jackson have backed experiments in everything from worker-owned businesses to participatory, neighborhood-by-neighborhood democracy. A leader of this movement, Jackson Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, helped start people’s assemblies in the city, inviting residents to hash out the kinds of changes they want to see. He was elected mayor in 2013, only to pass away months later. In an effort to carry on his father’s legacy, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, 33, ran to succeed his father and lost. Now, with his second run, he hopes to continue the work his father began.

How To Form A Global Counter-Economy

Commons not Capitalism

By Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis for Open Democracy. We outline a list of six interrelated strategies for post-corporate entrepreneurial coalitions. The aim is to go beyond the classical corporate paradigm, and its extractive profit-maximizing practices, toward the establishment of open cooperatives that cultivate a commons-oriented economy. First, it’s important to recognize that closed business models are based on artificial scarcity. Though knowledge can be shared easily and at very low marginal cost when it is in digital form, closed firms use artificial scarcity to extract rents from the creation or use of digitized knowledge. Through legal repression or technological sabotage, naturally shareable goods are made artificially scarce so that extra profits may be generated. This is particularly galling in the context of life-saving medicines or planet-regenerating technological knowledge. Open cooperatives, in comparison, would recognize natural abundance and refuse to generate revenue by making abundant resources artificially scarce.

Capitalism Is The Problem


By Richard D. Wolff for Truthout. Over the last century, capitalism has repeatedly revealed its worst tendencies: instability and inequality. Instances of instability include the Great Depression (1929-1941) and the Great Recession since 2008, plus eleven “downturns” in the US between those two global collapses. Each time, millions lost jobs, misery soared, poverty worsened and massive resources were wasted. Leaders promised that their “reforms” would prevent such instability from recurring. Those promises were not kept. Reforms did not work or did not endure. The system was, and remains, the problem. Inequality likewise proved to be an inherent trend of capitalism. Only occasionally and temporarily did opposition from its victims stop or reverse it.

Newsletter - The Consent Of The Governed

Revolt Source UPI

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.

A Socialist Economy For The 21st Century


By Richard Rosen for The Next System Project – In Next System Project Report 3, author and Tellus Institute co-founder Richard A. Rosen explores the changes he deems necessary for a modern definition of “socialism”, and describes key concepts and issues that arise when aiming to restructure the American economy to include social and environmental sustainability in the Twenty-First Century. To elucidate some of these concepts and issues, Rosen analyzes a set of economic sectors that have very different mechanisms and structures for determining prices, and very different environmental impacts, including: chemical manufacturing, small businesses, housing, defense manufacturing, nonprofit sector, agriculture, and finance.

The Black History Of The New Economy

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By Mandisa Routheni for US News – The past three Thursdays, I found myself in the midst of several different landscapes, all working towards real, transformational change. With hands open to the possibility of community wealth and land, I learned about the work of the Black Belt Justice Center. With hands in the soil with a community that creates healthy relationships with ecosystems, I visited the Black Dirt Farm Collective. With hands sore from tweeting about policies for freedom, I attended a racial justice forum led by the Movement for Black Lives.

Can ‘New Economy’ And Labor Movements Come Together


By Erin Dirnbach for Waging Nonviolence. California – Activists in Oakland have been campaigning for new city policies that would assist worker cooperative development. After successfully winning passage of a city resolution in support of cooperatives last fall, they are now pushing for a new law, the Oakland Worker Cooperative Incentives for Growth Ordinance. Supporters will speak in support at the upcoming hearing at City Hall on September 27, and the ordinance is likely to pass in October. It would grant a variety of benefits for registered worker cooperatives including procurement preferences, development funding, tax incentives, streamlined permitting and promotion of business conversion to cooperatives. The Sustainable Economies Law Center, one of the key promoters of the ordinance, says that it will be the first of its kind to offer this level of assistance for cooperatives.

 Where Government Is Embracing Coops, Citizen Activism, & Solar Energy


By Sebastiaan Faber and Becquer Seguin for The Nation. Barcelona, Spain—“When we moved into city hall, there were only paintings by men,” Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau tweeted in March, attaching a picture of her current office wall, which now featured portraits of eight prominent Catalan women—including the legendary anarchist leader Federica Montseny. “Redecorating the walls, that was the easy change,” Colau’s second in command, Gerardo Pisarello, joked when we spoke with him in late June. “The other ones take quite a bit longer—they are more difficult and don’t just depend on us.” Pisarello’s office, too, features black-and-white photographs: one of a woman celebrating the proclamation of Spain’s Second Republic in 1931, and another taken at the country’s first LGBT protest after dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, a demonstration that, as Pisarello proudly points out, happened in Barcelona.

How Globalization Divides Us


By Kristen Steele for Local Futures. United Kingdom – When I woke up on June 24th and checked the news, I cried. Along with millions of people around the world. I’m a diehard believer in independence, freedom, democracy, and strong local economies. For some, the Brexit result represented those things. If that had been the reality, I would’ve supported it too. But like every other choice offered in the global economy these days, Brexit was a false one. Getting out of Europe does nothing to address the real problems in UK society—or the world. We’re still headed down the same destructive path together, but now more fractious and divided than ever. My colleague Lawrence Bloom[1] summed it up perfectly: the referendum was like choosing between cabins on the Titanic.

Building A Cooperative Solidarity Commonwealth

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By Jessica Gordon Nembhard for The Next System Project – Before defining a cooperative commonwealth, it is important to describe its major features. Cooperatives are companies owned by the workers or the people who use their services. These member-owners form the company for a particular purpose: to satisfy an economic or social need, to provide a quality good or service (one that the market is not adequately providing) at an affordable price, or to create an economic structure to engage in needed production or facilitate more equal distribution.

Oceans Will Soon Contain More Plastics Than Fish By Weight

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By Staff of Ellen McArthur Foundation – Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to the latest report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company. The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides for the first time a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.

BYP100 Agenda To Build Black Futures, Economic Justice Plan

BYP 100 New Orleans Chapter 10 years after Katrina

By Staff for BYP100. As people across the world celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and take action to reclaim his legacy of radicalism, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) announces its upcoming release of the Agenda to Build Black Futures. The Agenda to Build Black Futures, the organization’s second public policy agenda, is a platform for young activists seeking to create a new economy where young Black people can thrive. “For Black people living in America, there is no economic justice without racial justice. We live in a country that tells us that not all of us deserve to breathe, eat well or have access to water,” says BYP100 National Director Charlene Carruthers. We understand that Dr. King’s personal revolution sparked his commitment to economic justice. In doing so, a wider target was placed on his back. His last days were spent among street sanitation workers demanding dignity and fair pay for their work.

Thoughts On Rojava: Admiration And Critique

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By Janet Biehl and Zanyar Omrani for ROAR Magazine – In this interview, independent filmmaker and journalist Zanyar Omrani talks to Janet Biehl about her late companion Murray Bookchin, her trips to Rojava and the important question of how to build bottom-up power structures without risking the reversal of the process over time. Janet Biehl has traveled to Rojava twice in the past year and has written extensively about her experiences and observations while visiting the autonomous cantons in northern Syria. She is the author of the book Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin.

Newsletter - In With The New!


By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. For the new year, we thought we would start with a newsletter that highlights a critical task of the movement for transformation – the creation of alternative systems to replace the current dysfunctional systems. There are exciting advances in this work. There were many actions of resistance this past week, especially around the holidays, and you can read about them here. In addition to stopping harmful policies and practices, people are creating alternatives that may mature to a place where they replace the current systems and the current systems of capitalism, oppression, militarism, racism, etc, will wither away. We call this combination “Stop the machine, create a new world”.

Newsletter: Looking Back And Ahead


By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. As we look back over 2015, we see progress and, as we look forward to 2016, we see continued challenges ahead. Overall, the strategic path of resisting harmful policies and practices and building alternative systems to replace the current dysfunctional ones, known as ‘stop the machine, create a new world,’ is being taken by a growing number of people. The movement continues to grow on multiple fronts and is unifying around issues, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that impact us all. We are on our way to the 3.5% of activated people necessary to defeat the plutocracy, but there is still much to do. And we must be prepared to face even more difficult times before we break through the current paradigm and transform our economic, social and political systems.