Reinventing Democracy - Progressive Dialogue Series

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MegB
Reinventing Democracy - Progressive Dialogue Series

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MegB

This is an extended series on the Canadian left -- Reinventing democracy, reclaiming the commons: A progressive dialogue on the future of Canada -- a look at where it stands after the recent federal election, and what the future can hold. The series will run in this, rabble.ca's 10th year, and is curated by journalist Murray Dobbin.

Joseph E Fasciani Joseph E Fasciani's picture

This topic and its discussion are important, BUT, unless we kill the myth of "the deficit" --the supreme cudgel used by Stevie Harper and the Harpettes to beat us and all our arguments into the ground-- we waste our time and resources.  The deficit was deliberately created by the failure of the Central Bank of Canada to perform the task it is meant to do: create and manage the currency of Canada.  The neocons in government have for decades quietly dismissed the not-for-profit role of the Bank of Canada in favour of the bankster extension of debt --not credit!-- to the helpless public. What currency we have aside from coins is really an infinite expansion of debt, not even true credit!

Very few people understand the concept or roles of "money" and "currency", although they are basically quite simple, once the imposed mysteries are removed.  Just as "number" is the concept and "numeral" is its expression, so "money" is the concept, expressed in a variety of currencies.  Money is NOT gold and silver, although these can be currencies.  First in Holland, then in England, then in the new American colonies, and finally in Canada, governments were persuaded to create central banks. 

The evil begins when these are privately owned and controlled. The most egregious example is the so-called "Federal Reserve Bank" of the USofA, which is not Federal, has no reserves, and is not a bank.  The "Fed", as it is usually termed, is a privately-owned and operated system of eight European banks and two US banks which collaborate to create and sell the currency of the United States to its citizens, not only charging them for this but also deliberately manipulating interest rates for its further enrichment.  No part of it serves the best interests of the US people, only those of a very small number of its operators.  While the Bank of Canada is not yet subourned as the Fed, its neglect to do what it was charged to effectively allows our banks to create our currency and and manipulate interest rates to their ends, not public ones.

Dr John Hotson, Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo, has written on this, it was once discussed in many higher schools and public forums in the past, but somehow the last twenty years has seen this discussion virtually silenced.  Why?  For "the deficit" is a lie: it a fictive monstrosity that allows the banksters to charge usury, then wring their hands, saying "the government made me do it!" 

I recently was the victim of a former business associate who deliberately misused a credit card I'd loaned him.  He was only to make purchases up to $2,500.00.  By the time I learned of his misuse, he'd run it up to its limit of $11,000.00.  When I went to my bank to get a loan to pay this down [as it was their cc],  I was told that I'd get the very best rate possible: 3% prime plus 12.5, for a total of 15.5%.  When I said I didn't think this was very reasonable, my officer said that at least it was lower than the VISA loan rate, which was 25%!!  She's factually correct, of course, but it's still usury.  Interest rates should be capped for all time at 5% simple fee, non-compounding, if we are serious about reducing our national exposure to the banksters!

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Shakespeare once had one of his characters say "Let's kill all the lawyers", or words to that effect.

Obviously, the bard never met a banker. lol.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Combat "Economic Control?"

Economists should "weight in" as well as,  Universities like Carleton "as to media control."

Control the media,  you control the people?

Unclefred Unclefred's picture

They use money as a weapon.  The greatest asset to the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed, and the value of money is only in our minds, but it drives our actions and we're quickly learning to distrust each other in favour of only dealing with money.  The money supply available to middle and poor class people is constantly diminishing.  The switch from government power to private economic power is a direct attack on democracy.  Democracy is a political concept.  There is no democracy in the private sector.   The right wingers often remind us of that.  People somehow accept enslavement under money where they would reject enslavement by violent force.  Corporate power in the news media as well as in the entertainment industry have built this prison in our minds.  It's part of our culture, virtually worldwide.

I could go on for pages about this, but the left has to find the key to unlock this prison, metaphorically speaking.  I believe that we use the weapon that we have, our labour.  Also we need to break our dependency on money as a scarce commodity, as we have always known it.  Alternative economies based on plentiful money would do that.  It is possible to organise that with education, (look up the LETSystem, it's not perfect but the concept of "money" is entirely different).  Plentiful money basically allows that we all have a right to issue money as we need it and the money holds no value in and of itself.  Radical, sure, but a conventional solution within our existing economic structure won't change the dynamics of the system and to be successful, we really,really need to do that.  No conventional solution is going to fix this.  We need to change the system.

If instead of simply going on strike, a mere withdrawal of our labour, we were to rededicate that labour to each other.  Could we produce the goods and services we need and provide that for each other while rejecting the conventional economy.   It could work in the spirit of nonviolent non-cooperation.   That's one of the most attractive features of this type of resistance.  It is totally non-violent and when we stop serving the system, it evaporates into nothingness.  If we stop giving the slave masters money, we take away their primary weapon.  It's really an ideal quiet revolution, but it takes a change of attitudes on the part of just about everybody.  That's where the education comes in.  We have to understand the dynamics of the economy and how it drives us to competition instead of cooperation.  As long as we're competing and fighting with one another, we'll never cooperate, and cooperation is exactly what we have to do in order to free ourselves.  Once you understand this and how the economy works, the solution is clear.  We have to think outside the box... We have to climb right out of the box, put our old outdated ideas in it and through it out with the garbage.  It can be a new world of economic equality and economic democracy, not just political.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Unclefred wrote: wrote:
]The greatest asset to the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed, and the value of money is only in our minds,

Tommy reveals a key factor in identify subversion through recognition of media processes and the ways in which the left is standing up for resistance to such subversion in media, that we recognize the tools used as signs of "oppression trademarks with regard too, media use?"

For instance in BC HST election process used by government to manipulate the media as designed advertising use of the vote "for and against the HST?" The Government purposely introduce "confusion as to what "yes and no may mean" in terms of getting rid of the HST. Yes means no, no means yes? You see this is a trademark recognition of using media to confuse the voter. That is a trademark recognition of using media to confuse the voter?

Integration and use of media conglomerate controls are sign of media control.....and thus signs of opportunities toward influencing large parts of the population through techniques of subversion advertising through "monopolistic control of the resources?" Resulting resistance toward such control by advancing Openmedia? A grassroots resistance toward such controls....is to recognize manipulation and advances of corporation reaches into drafting takeovers in monopolistic controls  and assigning gatekeepers.

Think about OiL and Gas here, as commodity pricing pointing toward rate of inflation leading toward indicators have you believe in competition when there is no desire on Governments part on this indicator actually complicit toward stifling growth in the economy? That's a question for the economists.

Unclefred Unclefred's picture

All this is true, Spectrum.  They do use the media to manipulate people, but I believe the economy is the root cause of the trouble.  That is what gives them the motivation to mislead and the means of oppression as well.  Changing the nature of the economy can give us a cooperative economy instead of a competitive economy.  That would cure a great deal of our ills.

One way or the other, our current economy is collapsing and when we come to rebuild, if we start the same sort of economy up, it will take us down the same path again and in a hundred years or so we'll be right back where we are now with fewer resources and higher pollution levels, (assuming there is anybody left alive after this collapse, that is).  We need to learn how to build a stable economy and that means doing away with scarce money.  I am looking to form some sort of a group to work towards this.  Is anybody interested?

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Unclefred wrote:

  We need to learn how to build a stable economy and that means doing away with scarce money.

You know what scares me is the idea "of scarce money" how eventually Paulson and Bernanke were lead too, corralled too,  thinking that to make money available was to give banks money in order to inject the viability of creating scarce money too? "More credit?" Bernanke was well aware of the results leading o the depression of the thirties as he well expresses himself,  so why did he take this stance?

Joseph E Fasciani wrote:
Dr John Hotson, Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo, has written on this, it was once discussed in many higher schools and public forums in the past, but somehow the last twenty years has seen this discussion virtually silenced.  Why?  For "the deficit" is a lie: it a fictive monstrosity that allows the banksters to charge usury, then wring their hands, saying "the government made me do it!"

I really don't have the answers either,  although there are many trademarks  appearing to me over what I see "as signs of the times" and the need to combat "the switch" to commodity based pricing determined by the market? This is part of what is mentioned as the destruction of democracy through manipulation by business governments to shift power from the people toward market demands?

Somehow this secures up corporate functionality toward those same market demands and in the end are really monopolistic takeovers to centralize that power?

Governments who sign onto this are part of being responsible for the slow down in the economy in my view as to taxation hidden in carbons credits, the whole HST issue itself, and the buying and selling of those credit. This is one persons hand in transferring money not to the environment but into the pockets of greedy.

Yes I am looking for some kind of resolve and the openness toward which methods a economy can be fair to all that work through it? Are not dogged by monopolies who are further advancing on the money that is left to the seniors and poor, as well as the extent on burdens eating away middle class in order to live.

Yes I would say the economy is stalled and Governments have a big part to play on this. There is direct taxation on Gas, and if this was a leaidng indicator of inflation....guess why th governement hasn't sought to fix that while leaving it to the Bank of Canada to determine the interes rate hike so the bankds can follow suit?

While I sight the Internet article above all you have to do is look for these trademarks where governments if they do not have their way will fractionate the public company so it is not even recognizable anymore because of the contracting out pushed through tendering of it's services supplied.

From a "public company" to a "energy company" like Fortis perhaps?

It took awhile but eventually Fortis was successful in BC and who was complicit with selling off of BC GAS to consider now perhaps BC Hydro that still exists in name? Contracts to Run of the River owners who knew well of the governments plans? After all in BC, the agenda was written as a energy policy by the BC LIEberals now to have them try to distance themselves after the fact once contracts were signed now become obligation of the people/consumer of British Columbia.

Don't worry we are on track with commodity pricing so as to ensure that when Fortis  steps up here in BC  the energy landscape has been shifted to complete market control?

Enough of the rant......the virtual expression of money seems to me to be on par with the idea of the way debt is written with interest?

Noah_Scape

Banking is surely one of the essential issues for the future of civilisation - we have to change the way we manage currency.

It is rightly pointed out here than banking has gone "private" and serves mostly/only the Elites [the wealthy, the powerfull] whereas it should, and must, get back to being "not for profit".

Banking is typical of the ways the wealthy take money from the poor, as in "privatised everything". Phones, electric supply, even health care and education and prisons are all cases of where government, with taxpayer money, builds up the infrastructure and then hands it over to "private interests" and then we all pay into it every month. Just imagine if just the phones and electricity were managed by government and the public only paid what it actually costs to operate, WITHOUT THE ADDED EXPENSE OF PROFITS.

Some will argue against this by saying "the private interests help the economy grow", but the point is that over the past 20 or 30 years of a growing economy, the middle and lower classes have only seen their purchasing power go down - only the wealthy have benefitted. If we all benefitted from a growing economy there would be inflation, which only hurts the wealthy.

Inflation has become one of those "talking points" that we all accept as being a bad thing, but really, inflation only hurts those with significant savings - low income people don't really care if we get paid more and then things cost more, its all gone at the end of the month anyhow.

So, ya, "lets take back the banks". Good point about the role of the Central Bank of Canada Joseph. Tell me more!!

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Yes in BC they have been the two step privatization model for a long time.  So our provincial telephone infrastructure morphs into BC Tel and then into Telus.  The price for the basic services people need go up and the business model then caters to the needs of Telus's corporate customers whoa re given breaks for volume. In effect the people subsidizing business by paying more for their services so businesses p[ay less.

The BC Liberals went half way with the Ferries by turning it into a corporation with an appointed board of directors.  The Coastal Ferry Act also said that profitable routes could not subsidize smaller routes that are in effect the highway system for the outer islands. As the prices go up and up we will soon be seeing demands to let the private sector take over the unprofitable routes. 

Our health care regions and their MBA guided boards resemble the American HMO model and could be sold off easily.  

All of these are examples of necessary goods and services that the public requires and therefore they should be under democratic control and oversight not under the control of appointees whose expertise is always in business and finance not the actual services that need delivering.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The normal progress of capitalism comes into conflict with democracy. I don't know what other conclusion to form but that if we want more democracy then we need  to get rid of capitalism. Period.

Noah_Scape

Here is another site that talks about "How bankers and the Federal Reserve are Bankrupting the Planet"

Web of Debt

by Ellen Hodson Brown [whoever she is...?] > http://www.webofdebt.com/

 

Quoting the introduction:

     "Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them "bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money." Except for coins, all of our money is now created as loans advanced by private banking institutions - including the privately-owned Federal Reserve. Banks create the principal but not the interest to service their loans. To find the interest, new loans must continually be taken out, expanding the money supply, inflating prices - and robbing you of the value of your money.

    Not only is virtually the entire money supply created privately by banks, but a mere handful of very big banks is responsible for a massive investment scheme known as "derivatives," which now tallies in at hundreds of trillions of dollars. The banking system has been contrived so that these big banks always get bailed out by the taxpayers from their risky ventures, but the scheme has reached its mathematical limits. There isn't enough money in the entire global economy to bail out the banks from a massive derivatives default today.

     Web of Debt unravels the deceptions in our money scheme and presents a crystal clear picture of the financial abyss towards which we are heading."

 

Unclefred Unclefred's picture

The last 4 posts are very promising, (which you can take to mean, they are gravitating towards my philosophy, (:-)).  So the rich will get rich faster because it takes money to make money.  Simple enough, but think it through.  Do the suggestions you have been making solve this issue?  "De-privatization" of the banks puts them under the control of the government and takes away the profit for private bankers.  Who would then control banking?  Well, who controls the government now?!

My point is that as long as money is a "scarce commodity" the rich will get richer and the poor won't.

Look also at natural resources.  Our resources are jointly owned by all the people of Canada.  That's what I was taught when I was young.  So when Canada sells $30 billion of natural gas to the US, which we did last year, why does a private company get all the profits?  What did we Canadians get for our gas?  Why are elite, wealthy, upperclass people selling off what rightfully belongs to all Canadians?!?!  Why, when workers go into a factory and work hard to build, say widgets, do the widgets belong to the factory owner?  It's a con game and money is the weapon.  Workers have a right to own what they produce and they are conned into giving away that ownership for barely enough to live on while people manipulating little bits of paper rake in billions.

We really, really need to look at the situation with openned eyes. "Poverty is the worst form of violence." -- Gandhi.  If you haven't heard of it before, look at the de-commissioning of streetcar lines across North America.  There's a movie called "Taken for a Ride" about this and how General Motors managed it.  There are some Web Sites that also describe it and some Web Sites that try to propagandise the whole thing saying it wasn't GM's fault.  Read both sides before you make up your mind.  Corporations are doing this sort of thing all the time and the more powerful they are, the more success they have at doing it.  Henry Ford said in private, "It is well enough that the people of this country don't understand the banking and monetary system.  For I believe that if they did, we would have a revolution before tomorrow morning."

Conventional solutions will not solve this problem.  As long as money can make more money, the system will continue to be more important than the people.  Working with "plentiful money" makes it impossible to use money as a weapon to commit poverty on others.  That will solve the problem.  It's a whole new concept and hard for people to imagine, especially if they are well versed in conventional economics, but if we don't do it, ... well, we won't smell too good that's for sure!

sknguy II

It’s been generations since we’ve viewed the earth as possessing an endless bounty of resources. As the new globalization has expanded corporate markets we continue to draw down more and more on the remaining resources of the planet. Things that we could once depend upon, like job security, can no longer be counted on with certainty. The security of working at a place where my parents and their parents worked are becoming as endangered as multi year ice packs.

Things aren’t as certain as they once were. And with the uncertainties come economic ones. Our environment is changing, and that’s changing us. But we aren’t becoming more responsible because of it. We’re becoming more greedy, voracious and efficient at extraction. The corporations have been forced to become so much more efficient at making the most of their new “opportunities”. The more limited our resources become, and the more streamlined and efficient companies needed to be, the more keen we grown to preserve the mechanisms of our wealth. The more keen the system’s players become about self preservation.

I'm afraid about the coming nanotech revolution. Will it simply enable companies to drill deeper and faster? Will it give companies a mechanism to prolong our pertroleum dependecies. It'll certainly create new markets and provide the market players new tools to become bigger, better, faster. If change is coming it needs to come soon.

Unclefred Unclefred's picture

If you think of the economy as having 2 parts it becomes clearer.  There is the artificial economy of money, stocks and bonds etc.  and there is the real economy including the land on which we grow our food, the air we need to breath and the fresh water we need to live.  The real economy is ur environment and our labour.  The artificial economy is not real!

Our current economic system has the decision making process firmly embedded in the artificial economy.  The goal is to make money, and it's a matter of survival to the poor and a matter of conquest to the rich.   The consequences to the real economy are irrelevant to the process.

Only by changing the nature of the economy, can we change the "forcing functions" which drive people.  The fact that money can make more money means that the rich will get richer and over time they will get very rich.  The poor will get poorer and many will die, being cut off from the economy.  This is not their fault.  It's a saying that comes directly from this system that says, "Nice guys, (people), finish last."  We all know who finishes first, then.

It all stems from money making more money and that is because money is scarce.  If money were plentiful, then everybody would have their own purchasing power 100% of the time, like the LETSystem.  The money supply expands and contracts to accomodate whatever transactions are desired.  The money itself has no value, as if it ever did, and therefore the decision making process is shifted from the artificial economy to the real economy.  People have to decide how much things are worth, of course, because "the market" won't do that with plentiful money.  But no one will ever be able to use poverty as a threat to force another to work for them.  That's a big plus, and plentiful money circulates evenly amongst al the people.  That makes the system not only more fair, but also more stable.  It seriously democratises the economy.

There are still some problems with the system, but it's much better that the insanity and horror that we have now.  The current system is dominated by psychopathic corporations and their owners, (the 1%, if even that).  By switching to plentiful money, their power simply evaporates.  We can make room for them and they can become one of us if they choose.  That's the other thing about this way, it's totally non-violent.  No revolution has to be fought.  We need not raise our hand angainst any other.  We simply work for ourselves instead of them.  They have worthless paper money.  We have the real economy and we can dedicate our labour where we wish.

sknguy II

Unclefred wrote:

...That makes the system not only more fair, but also more stable.  It seriously democratises the economy...

Just want to suggest that the economic system is a tool of control. The way in which systems of democracy are managed though, they're simply tools of control, just like financial systems and the economy system as a whole. Democracy is about deciding who's in control. And, in terms of that control, too much of it is centralized within our social institutions. A single government is in control of economic, health care, education, military, foreign policy, justice, etcetera. The struggles for control is in the nature of the governance we've created and is the model that that we export to other nations.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

 

Uncle Fred wrote:
By switching to plentiful money, their power simply evaporates.  We can make room for them and they can become one of us if they choose.

I guess for me this only verifies what was used in the economic crisis with which money was made available to the banks, Isn't this what you are saying? If not in the control of the banks,  it was just a way to use "further indenturing" to ensure the system was propped up to further the control of  money?

Joseph E Fasciani wrote:
The deficit was deliberately created by the failure of the Central Bank of Canada to perform the task it is meant to do: create and manage the currency of Canada.


Quote:

A progressive dialogue: Occupy -- What can it teach the left?

October 21, 2011| By Murray Dobbin Reinventing democracy is a complicated process, but as for reclaiming the commons? It is exactly what the Occupy movement has been about. A reinvented democracy rests on a reclaimed commons .......The "organized" left is still fighting the old wars using the old tools, the old structures, and old language all contained in a kind of middle-class complacency and business-as-usual bubble. There is a global capitalist crisis unfolding before our eyes the consequences of which will be unspeakably miserable for scores of millions of people in western nations -- and hundreds of millions everywhere else.

> Inflation was conquered after 1979 (Figure 1) when Paul Volcker, newly appointed by President Carter as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, raised interest rates to an unprecedented height, causing unemployment to jump to levels not seen since the Great Depression.LOW INFLATION, HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Quote:

RECLAIMING THE COMMONS

What is ‘the anti-globalization movement’? [1] I put the phrase in quote-marks because I immediately have two doubts about it. Is it really a movement? If it is a movement, is it anti-globalization? Let me start with the first issue. We can easily convince ourselves it is a movement by talking it into existence at a forum like this—I spend far too much time at them—acting as if we can see it, hold it in our hands. Of course, we have seen it—and we know it’s come back in Quebec, and on the US–Mexican border during the Summit of the Americas and the discussion for a hemispheric Free Trade Area. But then we leave rooms like this, go home, watch some TV, do a little shopping and any sense that it exists disappears, and we feel like maybe we’re going nuts. Seattle—was that a movement or a collective hallucination? To most of us here, Seattle meant a kind of coming-out party for a global resistance movement, or the ‘globalization of hope’, as someone described it during the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre. But to everyone else Seattle still means limitless frothy coffee, Asian-fusion cuisine, e-commerce billionaires and sappy Meg Ryan movies. Or perhaps it is both, and one Seattle bred the other Seattle—and now they awkwardly coexist.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

What is the thread that runs through Occupying Wall St? How effective is this toward change for the future? Are we able to look past the opposition in order to gain on the truth.

 

THE CRISES OF DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM

Quote:

wolfgang streeck
THE CRISES OF DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM

The collapse of the American financial system that occurred in 2008 has since turned into an economic and political crisis of global dimensions. [1] How should this world-shaking event be conceptualized? Mainstream economics has tended to conceive society as governed by a general tendency toward equilibrium, where crises and change are no more than temporary deviations from the steady state of a normally well-integrated system. A sociologist, however, is under no such compunction. Rather than construe our present affliction as a one-off disturbance to a fundamental condition of stability, I will consider the ‘Great Recession’ [2] and the subsequent near-collapse of public finances as a manifestation of a basic underlying tension in the political-economic configuration of advanced-capitalist societies; a tension which makes disequilibrium and instability the rule rather than the exception, and which has found expression in a historical succession of disturbances within the socio-economic order. More specifically, I will argue that the present crisis can only be fully understood in terms of the ongoing, inherently conflictual transformation of the social formation we call ‘democratic capitalism’.

Democratic capitalism was fully established only after the Second World War and then only in the ‘Western’ parts of the world, North America and Western Europe. There it functioned extraordinarily well for the next two decades—so well, in fact, that this period of uninterrupted economic growth still dominates our ideas and expectations of what modern capitalism is, or could and should be. This is in spite of the fact that, in the light of the turbulence that followed, the quarter century immediately after the war should be recognizable as truly exceptional. Indeed I suggest that it is not the trente glorieuses but the series of crises which followed that represents the normal condition of democratic capitalism—a condition ruled by an endemic conflict between capitalist markets and democratic politics, which forcefully reasserted itself when high economic growth came to an end in the 1970s. In what follows I will first discuss the nature of that conflict and then turn to the sequence of political-economic disturbances that it produced, which both preceded and shaped the present global crisis.

sknguy II

Thanks for the link of post #18 Spectrum. From the Article:

Quote:

On smaller scales, the same struggles for self-determination and sustainability are being waged against World Bank dams, clear-cut logging, cash-crop factory farming, and resource extraction on contested indigenous lands. Most people in these movements are not against trade or industrial development. What they are fighting for is the right of local communities to have a say in how their resources are used, to make sure that the people who live on the land benefit directly from its development. These campaigns are a response not to trade but to a trade-off that is now five hundred years old: the sacrifice of democratic control and self-determination to foreign investment and the panacea of economic growth.

While I believe that such community struggles, including the present day occupy events, are protests against the lack of self-determination in peoples’ lives... from people who have no control over the things that are important to them... I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest there was a consensual “trade-off” that has occurred in the past, or that supposedly functions, with Indigenous communities today. Unless I’m misinterpreting something in the context of the paragraph. Self determination is an important thing in any person’s life. From being able to determine what happens to one’s retirement savings, to deciding on the quality and types of groceries one’s able to buy, to simply having the satisfaction of participating in society. Such things are often too much out of our control. For my part, resource development isn’t about personal benefit, but about “responsible” use and what that means to me. That’s a very good article though and I very much agree with the general gist of what the author is saying. This from the final paragraph:

Quote:

To believe in human diversity and local democracy is anything but wishy-washy. Everything in McGovernment conspires against them. Neoliberal economics is biased at every level towards centralization, consolidation, homogenization. It is a war waged on diversity.

Respecting diversity is an important quality. Honouring people with respect for the obligations and responsibilities that each has in their lives is the most important way of giving to other humans in our relationships. That’s a tough principle to live by given the nature of our social institutions and our colonized attitudes towards each other though. But really, people only want the dignity of being in control of their lives.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Quote:
October 21, 2011| By Murray Dobbin Reinventing democracy is a complicated process, but as for reclaiming the commons? It is exactly what the Occupy movement has been about. A reinvented democracy rests on a reclaimed commons

skinguyII wrote:

 

While I believe that such community struggles, including the present day occupy events, are protests against the lack of self-determination in peoples’ lives... from people who have no control over the things that are important to them... I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest there was a consensual “trade-off” that has occurred in the past, or that supposedly functions, with Indigenous communities today. Unless I’m misinterpreting something in the context of the paragraph. Self determination is an important thing in any person’s life. From being able to determine what happens to one’s retirement savings, to deciding on the quality and types of groceries one’s able to buy, to simply having the satisfaction of participating in society. Such things are often too much out of our control. For my part, resource development isn’t about personal benefit, but about “responsible” use and what that means to me. That’s a very good article though and I very much agree with the general gist of what the author is saying. This from the final paragraph:

Reclaiming the Commons is an article from 2001? What I was looking at was the foundational initiative that was emergent from societies unhappiness toward the way things are now. A method presently existing in the idea of Occupying Wall street? What was the birth of taking place in Naomi Klein? Since then Shock Doctrine? Recognition of the unsettling undercurrent waves emitting from societies struggle to assert itself?

What was the tradeoff?

Quote:
Characterized by some as anti-capitalist or opposed to capitalism[3], it publishes the reader-supported, advertising-free Adbusters, an activist magazine with an international circulation of 120,000[4] devoted to challenging consumerism. See:The Adbusters Media Foundation  -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adbusters

This goes toward the understanding that self determination is a viable thing when taken in context of the movement?

Would we say that we cannot control the direction of Pension Funds investment  given the mandate by some common understanding that it will not fund the growth of, by "opposing initiatives" or sought, not to advance the control over society. There are still the hopes such investments will benefit the fund ? Democratic Capitalism? You see?

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Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district. The protests were initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters.[5] They are mainly protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, corruption and influence over government—particularly from the financial services sector—and lobbyists. The protesters' slogan, "We are the 99%", refers to the difference in wealth between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.


For some reason people are thinking they are powerless? I again sense their frustration. It is symptomatic of something unsettling in society. The battle being fought is being fought over loosing that control? The pendulum swings this way, and then that? What is the New Left. It is the changing vanguard of the way things have always been done. That's what I am saying when you recognize it's development from some historical past. We are not helpless.