The greatest progressive innovation of our century -- to this point -- has been the World Social Forum (WSF). In the book Another World is Possible: popular alternatives to globalization at the World Social Forum, William Fisher and I first contended that the World Social Forum represented the beginning of building a new left and a new global civilization, grounded by a desire for participatory, radical democracy.
Recent decades have seen the exciting convergence of anti-authoritarian radicalism and broader-based movements in the U.S. and Canada. From this convergence, a growing set of activists – from anti-poverty organizers in Toronto to prison abolitionists in Oakland, from occupy activists in New York to migrant justice organizers in Vancouver – are developing shared politics and practices. They are building “another politics,” to use a Zapatista expression. These efforts combine anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-oppression politics with grassroots organizing among ordinary, non-activist people. Drawing on interviews with organizers across North America, this presentation will explore another politics and distill lessons for building effective, visionary movements.
A futuristic article by Kim Stanley Robinson, "How Science Saved the World," can be found in the February 2000 issue of the prestigious journal Nature (Vol. 403, p. 23). Looking 1,000 years into the future, Robinson reviews two books written around 3,000 AD: Science in the Third Millennium by Professor J. S. Khaldun; and Scientific Careers 2001-3000, written by a computer named "Ferdnand."
This article is adapted from This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein and was first published in The Nation. You can read our review on rabble.ca here.
About a year ago, I was having dinner with some newfound friends in Athens. I had an interview scheduled for the next morning with Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece's official opposition party and one of the few sources of hope in a Europe ravaged by austerity. I asked the group for ideas about what questions I should put to the young politician. Someone suggested: "History knocked on your door -- did you answer?"
Elections in the United States are all about money -- lots of it, increasingly from untraceable, "dark" sources. Ultimately, though, history is not made of money but of movements. The Republican sweep in this week's midterm elections has been widely described as a wave, a bloodbath, a shellacking. Beyond the hyperbole, beneath the pronouncements of pundits, strong currents are moving, slowly shifting our society. One movement that shined through the electoral morass demanded an increased minimum wage. It prevailed, even in some of the reddest of states.
Related rabble.ca story:
The Peoples Social Forum was held in Ottawa August 21-24, 2014. The following includes reports from the 17+ movement assemblies that took place over the week-end.