Taking notes 29: Abundance and Apocalypse

by Steven Miller Somewhere in the ‘90s, world production crossed the historic line into Economic Abundance. Humans now produce, through the global economy, so much wealth every year that it is no longer necessary for anyone to be impoverished. The UN has long held that the world produces enough food to end hunger forever; the problem is how it is distributed. This is essentially based on ability to pay. The reality of Economic Abundance is carefully censored and hidden, because it immediately raises the fact that people today have the capacity and the tools to — if they wished — … Continue reading Taking notes 29: Abundance and Apocalypse

The Surveillance State and digital deformation

by Steven Miller and Satish Musunuru “The executive branch has now confirmed that the ‘rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans’ have been violated thousands of times each year.  We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.” — US Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall [1] The Surveillance State is the inevitable development of a corporate-controlled Internet. Today some 70% of the NSA budget goes to corporations, which routinely implement … Continue reading The Surveillance State and digital deformation

Taking notes 20: The 2012 student strike: Many lessons were learned and taught

by Aziz Choudry and Eric Shragge In September 2012, the Liberal government of Jean Charest was defeated, and the pro-independence Parti-Quebecois (PQ) was elected to a minority government. The PQ government almost immediately rolled back the tuition increase and repealed Bill 78-Law 14, the repressive emergency legislation to curb and limit public protest which had been introduced in May of that year. In the short term this is a victory and was certainly brought about by the mass protests during what has been described as Le Printempserable or Maple Spring. There is the amazing experience of the “carré rouge,” the small red squares worn by students and the general public that … Continue reading Taking notes 20: The 2012 student strike: Many lessons were learned and taught

Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

by Henry A. Giroux “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. The American public is suffering from an education deficit.  By this I mean it exhibits a growing inability to think critically, question authority, be reflective, weigh evidence, discriminate between reasoned arguments and opinions, listen across differences, and engage the mutually informing relationship between private problems and broader public issues. This growing political and cultural illiteracy is not merely a problem of the individual, one that points to simple ignorance. It is a collective and social problem that goes … Continue reading Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

Protesting youth: A new political language

by Henry A. Giroux Young people are demonstrating all over the world against a variety of issues ranging from economic injustice and massive inequality to drastic cuts in education and public services. At the moment, these demonstrations are being met with state sanctioned violence and insults in the mainstream media rather than with informed dialogue, critical engagement and reformed policies. In the United States the state monopoly on the use ofviolence has intensified since the 1980s and in the process has been increasingly directed against young people, poor minorities, immigrants, and increasingly women. As the welfare state is hollowed out, … Continue reading Protesting youth: A new political language

A new form of activism

by Douglas Rushkoff As highly corporatized people, it’s only natural for those of us interested in addressing our social and environmental rehabilitation to do so from within our roles as employees, consumers, and maybe shareholders. We rarely relate to one another very directly as it is, so it’s a bit much to expect us to engage together in a pursuit as foolhardy as the reinstatement of the social fabric. Instead, like corporations, we tend to prefer to express our charitable and community impulses from afar. Lord knows there are plenty of people who need our help, and their advocates seem … Continue reading A new form of activism

A co-revolutionary theory

by David Harvey The historical geography of capitalist development is at a key inflexion point in which the geographical configurations of power are rapidly shifting at the very moment when the temporal dynamic is facing very serious constraints. Three percent compound growth (generally considered the minimum satisfactory growth rate for a healthy capitalist economy) is becoming less and less feasible to sustain without resort to all manner of fictions (such as those that have characterized asset markets and financial affairs over the last two decades). There are good reasons to believe that there is no alternative to a new global … Continue reading A co-revolutionary theory

The decline of America

by Noam Chomsky In the 2011 summer issue of the journal of the American Academy of Political Science, we read that it is “a common theme” that the United States, which “only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal — is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay.” It is indeed a common theme, widely believed, and with some reason. But an appraisal of US foreign policy and influence abroad and the strength of its domestic economy and political institutions at home suggests that a … Continue reading The decline of America