Talking About A Revolution


By Jim Naureckas for Other Words – Saving people and the planet means upending virtually every kind of business — starting with the media. It’s long been clear that if we want to avoid catastrophic climate disruption on a scale that threatens human civilization, we need to leave vast amounts of fossil fuels in the ground. Environmental writer Bill McKibben pointed out the math in a crucial 2012 article for Rolling Stone: To avoid disaster, 80 percent of the carbon already discovered by private and state-owned energy companies has to be left alone — to be treated as useless rock. The problem is, the energy companies are some of the richest, most powerful entities on Earth. Corporations are designed to act like organisms with a single goal: maximizing profits. And the fossil fuel industry’s future profits — roughly 80 percent of them — depend on extracting that carbon and burning it, climate and civilization be damned. They’ve been using and will continue to use their vast influence to thwart any effort to avert that disaster. Does humanity have the collective power to tell the current owners of carbon deposits that they don’t have the right to take them out of the ground and sell them as fuel? That the companies simply don’t own those assets anymore?

Eve Of Destruction…Or Revolution?

Flickr/ teofilo

By Ron Jacobs for Counter Punch – “In order to replace capitalism with an ecological society we need a revolution.” That modest sentence is how Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams, the authors of Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation, begin the last chapter of their new book. Although the chapter is the end of the book, it is also an opening to a new direction, a new movement. It is also the essence of the entire text. Capitalism is the reason our biosphere is collapsing and the only way humanity and the rest of earth’s species can survive is by ending capitalism. Given that capitalism and those who profit most from it have proven time and time again that not only are they unwilling to give up the rapacious economy that is destroying earth, but that they even refuse to admit that it is that system which is the cause, the only solution is revolution. This text is written by two environmental activists (and teachers) with credentials that more than back up the science they explain in this book. Indeed, it is their understanding of the science involved when discussing the ecological crisis we face that has helped inform their Marxist politics.

Is The Post-Capitalism Revolution Already Arriving?

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By Staff of The Free – Take the Cooperativa Integral in Catalonia. . It’s a mixed consumer and producers coop and like many Iberian ventures has its own money, the Ecu. (which is interchangeable with the Euro and other alternative currencies, but not issued or directly controlled by the banks or the State). You can exchange, or gift or buy online, via Faircoop. Tiny tiny, you may say, but this coop is also behind FAIRCOIN, which is a blockchain currency, like Bitcoin but collectively owned and managed without speculation to finance alternative projects and coops., In theory Faircoin could expand exponentially. It could develop into a world Coop currency and money-free credit system quite apart from State and Bank control.. (see #faircoop.. Occupying free economy with Anti-money.. #faircoin and many links below.) The hot organisational topic right now is ‘Democratic Confederalism’, a system elaborated by the heretical anarchist Murray Bookchin. The ideas were adopted by the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in his lifelong prison cell, and proposed, taken up and adapted by the revolutionary ‘Kurdish Spring’. The Kurds replaced the old hierarchical stalinist resistance of the PKK movement and renounced the goal of a new Kurdish state..

Fourth of July Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!


By Mike Ferner for War Is A Crime. A historically critical article about the American Revolution would typically discuss how the democratic promises of the Declaration were left hanging at war’s end, followed by a decidedly undemocratic constitution six years later. Examples of that would include abandoning ideals stated in the Declaration like: “all men (sic) are created equal” and have unassailable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It could cite that: Slaves weren’t included in “We the People,” they were only the property of their owners. Because this human property, unlike a bale of cotton, could plan to run away, particular attention was paid to securing it. “A person (the indelicate word “slave” never appeared) held to service or labor in one state…escaping to another…shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” ( IV, sec. 2) To appease Southerners interested in gaining the maximum number of seats in the new House of Representatives, the Fathers of Our Country declared, in writing, that these “other persons” would each count as three-fifths of a human. ( I, sec. 2) Women did not have the right to vote, nor did Catholics and Jews in some states. White, Protestant, men had to own qualifying amounts of property. Thus, only about 6% of the new nation’s population was eligible to vote in the first presidential election and only 3%, or 38,818 people actually did.

Climate Change, Hope, And Revolution: Notes For Dark And Gloomy Times

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By John Foran for Resilience – The other day I was invited to speak in a colleague’s Environmental Studies class, called, simply, “Hope.” It happened to be the day after Donald Trump had uttered his calculated, genocidal stupidities about the Paris Agreement (which he kept calling the “Paris Accord”). By now, a hundred thousand words of outrage, resolve, and analysis have been written and spoken. Let’s go in the opposite direction, then. I’m trying to remember when I first associated hope and revolution. I had been working on a theory of revolutions (long story, longer project). I was searching for what prompted ordinary people to leave everything behind and engage in what seem to outsiders to be extraordinary acts of courage and determination. After some time I felt this arose from what I have come to call (sociologist that I am fated to be) strong and vibrant political cultures of opposition and creation. The bedrock of what I mean by a radical political culture is the subjective side of life here on Mother Earth: memories, experiences, and emotion. Ideologies – generally this meant some form of “socialism” throughout the twentieth century, or today, thinking wishfully, perhaps, “ecosocialism”

Script For Plans To Destroy Bolivarian Revolution Was Written In Washington

Protests in Venezuela have become more violent and better organized as projected in non-conventional warfare strategy. Photo: AVN

By Sergio Alejandro Gómez for Granma – The U.S. doctrine of non-conventional war is based on manipulating citizens to encourage confrontations with authorities, to achieve the strategic objectives of a foreign power without having troops on the ground BREAKING the law, creating a parallel government, organizing alternative economic institutions, harassing public officials, destroying property, hoarding of goods, marching, obstructing social events, boycotting elections, disrupting schools, using false identities, seeking arrests, launching hunger strikes, and overwhelming the state administrative systems – are only a few of the 198 methods to overthrow governments proposed by CIA coup expert Gene Sharp, more than 40 years ago. Finding just one of these techniques that has not been used against Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is difficult. These last several years, President Nicolás Maduro’s administration has faced particularly intense attacks and the implementation of so-called Non-Conventional War, based on psychological manipulation, social protest, coups, and irregular armed struggle.

Single Payer Congressional Progressive Caucus And The Cuban Revolution

Single payer protest in NYC by Occupy

By Staff of Single Payer Action – And the only Senate member of the Progressive Caucus — Bernie Sanders — is dragging his feet on introducing a companion single payer bill in the Senate. Recalcitrant Democrats say they are too busy defending Obamneycare to get behind single payer. Typical is Progressive Caucus member Don Beyer who said that while he has voiced support for single payer in the past, his immediate priority is “protecting the health care achievements of President Obama.” There is a history here, of course. Back in 2009, a young single payer activist, Nick Skala, ran into the same kind of stonewall from the Progressive Caucus, when he presented the case for single payer.

Manufacturing Dissent Out Of Control Of Our Puppet Masters


By Mitchel Cohen. CJ Hopkins has penned, below, a very perceptive, snide (and funny) analysis of what we’re facing. Might as well call it “Manufacturing Dissent.” I pretty much agree with it, except that as a participant in many radical movements I’ve noted that things happen in the course of movements that the puppet-masters can’t control, although they try. So the neoliberal Dems’ bolstering of the anti-Trump movement is a gambit that they’re willing to risk, just as they’ve done many times in the past. Usually they’ve emerged victorious, but with unanticipated side effects. Our job is to make those “side effects” come back to haunt them. Remember when the robber-baron Jay Gould in the 1880′s bragged that he could hire half the working class to kill the other half? His observation was correct — and so workers organized into the Knights of Labor, Western Federation of Miners, the Wobblies, and other militant working class organizations whose goals included unifying sectors of the working class around defending workers through direct action.

Transformation: Means And Measure Of Revolutionary Change

by jar [o] | CC BY 2.0

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.

On Martin Luther King Day: Revolutionary Love In An Era Of Trump

Joel Suárez and Berta Zúñiga Cáceres at the Martin Luther King Memorial Center in Havana. (Photo: Beverly Bell)

By Beverly Bell for Truth Out – In the toxic political environment of the US, love is an act of protest. At least, that is what Dr. Martin Luther King, whose 88th birthday we celebrate Monday, said in many ways. As just one example, he wrote in his book Strength to Love, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” But today, with such dangerous and violent power at play, is love a priority? Should it, or even can it be a fundament of our organizing and mobilization, especially amongst the sectors suffering the rampant attacks and threats?

Universal Values Are Revolutionary Values

Resistance – Find The Cracks

By Staff of Be Freedom – Independence is more than freedom from empire or oppression. Independence is the power to achieve self-governance. In its Constitution, the United States asserts that power as belonging to “We the People.” For the Irish it’s “Sinn Féin” (“We Ourselves.”) In Xhosa, South Africans chanted “Amanda Awethu!” (“Power is Ours!”) The Black Panthers “All Power to the People” became “Power to the People,” perhaps the most widely loved ideal in the movements of the Sixties and Seventies. Listen to John Lennon or Rootz Underground sing it. All these revolutions — and many more — aspired to universal values and moved millions. We need millions because the challenge is steep. Surely, we have lost our democracy.

The Nature Of Mass Demonstrations


By Red Wedge Magazine. John Berger is dead. There are very few people who, when they pass on, leave you at such a loss for words. Mostly because there are so few as versatile and prodigious as he was. Art critic, painter, poet, novelist, socialist. And he was consistently brilliant in every one of these roles. Often, he was more than one simultaneously. His first novel A Painter of Our Time was available for a month in 1958 before the publisher withdrew it under pressure from the anti-communist Congress for Cultural Freedom. When he won the Booker Prize in 1972, he donated half the prize money to the Black Panthers. Landscapes, a recently published collection of his works, nestles musings on Cubism next to moving tributes to Rosa Luxemburg.

The Failure Of Passive Revolution


By William I. Robinson for ALAI – Barack Obama declared to CNN this past December 26 that he could have beaten Trump had he the chance to run against the president elect for a third term, but he may have done more than anyone else to assure Trump’s victory. While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society and the political system a fascist outcome is not inevitable and will depend on the fight back that has already begun. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of a 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized, and watered by the government of outgoing president Barack Obama and the bankrupt liberal elite that Obama’s presidency represents.

Philippines’ Incomplete ‘People Power’ Revolution Paved Way For Rodrigo Duterte

The 30th anniversary celebrations of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled late president Ferdinand Marcos. Erik De Castro/Reuters

By Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles for The Conversation – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed that he killed three men during his time as mayor of Davao city, despite officials trying to downplay an earlier admission. Duterte’s comments might yet hurt his popularity but that seems unlikely. Duterte’s national crusade has resulted in an alarming daily average of 34 drug war-related murders. Despite this death toll and international condemnation, public satisfaction with his anti-drug war is at a significantly high rate of 78%. How can this be explained in a country that a mere 30 years ago brought down a dictator without resorting to violence?

The Sixth Anniversary Of The Start Of The Arab Uprisings

Mohamed Bouazizi Arab Spring Tunisia

By Gilbert Achcar for Jadaliyya. What started in the Arab region in 2011 actually is a long-term revolutionary process which, from the beginning it was possible to predict, would take many years, or even several decades, and would not reach a new period of sustained stability short of the emergence of progressive leaderships capable of bringing the Arab countries out of the insuperable crisis into which they have fallen after decades of rotting under despotism and corruption. This brings us to the second issue that it is necessary to emphasize on this anniversary of the uprisings. To say that the old Arab regime is better than the revolt against it is like saying that the accumulation of pus in a boil is better than incising the boil and letting the pus out. The tragedies that we are witnessing now are not the pro.duct of the uprising, but indeed the product of decades of accumulation of rot in the heart of the old regime. The “Arab Spring” provoked the explosion of this accumulation, which inevitably would have happened sooner or later. The truth is that the longer the explosion was delayed, the more rot accumulatedIf there is indeed one thing to be regretted in the Arab explosion, it is not that it happened but that it took so long to happen.