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Archive for 'Featured Content'

Book of the Day: Small is Beautiful

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hartsellml
22nd October 2014


* Book: E. F. Schumacher. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. 1973

 

Review

Maria Popova:

” a magnificent collection of essays at the intersection of economics, ethics, and environmental awareness, which earned Schumacher the prestigious Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon award and was deemed by The Times Literary Supplement one of the 100 most important books published since WWII. Sharing an ideological kinship with such influential minds as Tolstoy and Gandhi, Schumacher’s is a masterwork of intelligent counterculture, applying history’s deepest, most timeless wisdom to the most pressing issues of modern life in an effort to educate, elevate and enlighten.” (http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/07/07/buddhist-economics-schumacher/)

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Posted in Ethical Economy, Featured Book, P2P Lifestyles | No Comments »

Video of the Day: Dilar Dirik, Kurdish Women’s Movement

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hartsellml
21st October 2014


Dilar Dirik, Kurdish Women’s Movement at the New World Summit Brussels, 2014. http://vimeo.com/107639261.

At the New World Summit in Brussels (2014), Dilar Dirik, an activist with the Kurdhish women’s movement, and doctoral scholar discusses the conditions under which the PKK operates in the three autonomous cantons in northern Iraq, near the borders of Turkey and Syria. Currently, the region is under assault from Islamic State forces. Her thesis is the unnecessary imposition of the nation-state system in favor of the Stateless State and the role women play, on the front lines, and in society. States are inherently oppressive and violent and under oppressive, statist systems women play the role of reproducers of the state system. There must be emancipation in a meaningful way. In the region around Kobane, the cantons show a resiliency to exist and to maintain a peaceful and democratic system, which is multicultural, within a hostile region both from Turkey and now the Islamic State or “the disgusting mentality which calls itself the Islamic State” which they have been fighting for two years but a conflict which has only just made news, recently. She reports that 70,000 had been displaced in the first 24 hours of fighting.

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Posted in Activism, Featured Video, P2P Warfare | No Comments »

Video of the Day: Michel Bauwens on why the P2P Foundation supports Fair.coop

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Stacco Troncoso
20th October 2014


This video interview between me and Michel Bauwens was filmed by our associate Kevin Flanagan and recorded at a break during the Open Everything Convergence held in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Tipperary, Ireland. In the video Michel explains why the P2P Foundation supports Fair.coop and its unheard-of experiment to create a new global economic system.

How do they intend to achieve this? By taking the most desirable characteristics of cryptocurrencies while palliating their shortcomings by embedding the whole project within a transnational, P2P and Commons oriented Open Co-op. You can find out more about Fair.coop in their very comprehensive website.

 

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Posted in Commons, Cooperatives, Culture & Ideas, Economy and Business, Ethical Economy, Featured Content, Featured Video, Guest Post, Media, P2P Collaboration, P2P Foundation, Videos | 1 Comment »

Book of the Day: The Squatters’ Movement in Europe

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hartsellml
19th October 2014


Book: The Squatters’ Movement in Europe. Commons and Autonomy as Alternatives to Capitalism. Squatting Europe Kollective. Pluto, 2013

URL = http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745333953

 

Description

“The Squatters’ Movement in Europe is the first definitive guide to squatting as an alternative to capitalism. It offers a unique insider’s view on the movement – its ideals, actions and ways of life. At a time of growing crisis in Europe with high unemployment, dwindling social housing and declining living standards, squatting has become an increasingly popular option.

The book is written by an activist-scholar collective, whose members have direct experience of squatting: many are still squatters today. There are contributions from the Netherlands, Spain, the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

In an age of austerity and precarity this book shows what has been achieved by this resilient social movement, which holds lessons for policy-makers, activists and academics alike.”

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Posted in Campaigns, Featured Book, Peer Property | No Comments »

Podcast of the Day: Rachel O’Dwyer on the Role of Commons in Contemporary Capitalism

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Stacco Troncoso
18th October 2014


We met Rachel O’Dwyer a couple of weeks back, at the Open Everything 2014 Convergence, celebrated in Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Ireland. We really enjoyed talking to Rachel and listening to her contributions in the Q&As and, in fact, we’re hoping to work with her in the near future. Until then, please check out this podcast, originally published as part of a series called “Contemporary Capitalism”

From the Shownotes to the Podcast:

Contemporary Capitalism is a 4 part series of talks, each part critiquing an aspect of how capitalism affects society today.

The talks were originally held in Dubzland studios, north inner city Dublin, in late 2012, and were organised by the Provisional University, a group of researchers and social activists. [www.provisionaluniversity.wordpress.com]

The series was edited for broadcast by artist and Near FM volunteer Craig Cox. [www.craigcoxart.com]

Contemporary Capitalism Part 4: The Commons

Part 4 is by Rachel O’Dwyer and is about the commons as it exists today.

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Posted in Collective Intelligence, Commons, Culture & Ideas, Featured Content, Featured Podcast, Media, Networks, Podcasts | No Comments »

Book of the Day: Digital Solidarity

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hartsellml
18th October 2014


Book: Digital Solidarity. Felix Stalder. Mute Books and Post-Media Lab, 2013

 

Review

“Felix Stalder’s extended essay, Digital Solidarity, takes its point of departure from the waves of new forms of networked political organisation which have met the onset of the global economic crisis of 2008. Following Karl Marx, Stalder lays out how in the current period there are emergent contradictions between applied innovation and technical progress and the economic institutions whch organise or restrain this progress. The contradictions between forces of production and relations of production are placed in a context in which we have left McLuhan’s Gutenburg Galaxy behind for good and the struggles over where we will arrive are only just beginnning. A co-publication of Mute Books & the Post-Media Lab.”

 

 

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Posted in Featured Book, P2P Governance, P2P Public Policy, P2P Theory | No Comments »

Why is the world ignoring the revolutionary Kurds in Syria?

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Kevin Flanagan
17th October 2014


The PKK ‘has adopted the vision of “libertarian municipalism” calling for Kurds to create self-governing communities, based on principles of direct democracy’

Extract from the article by David Graeber http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/08/why-world-ignoring-revolutionary-kurds-syria-isis

In 1937, my father volunteered to fight in the International Brigades in defence of the Spanish Republic. A would-be fascist coup had been temporarily halted by a worker’s uprising, spearheaded by anarchists and socialists, and in much of Spain a genuine social revolution ensued, leading to whole cities under directly democratic management, industries under worker control, and the radical empowerment of women.

Spanish revolutionaries hoped to create a vision of a free society that the entire world might follow. Instead, world powers declared a policy of “non-intervention” and maintained a rigorous blockade on the republic, even after Hitler and Mussolini, ostensible signatories, began pouring in troops and weapons to reinforce the fascist side. The result was years of civil war that ended with the suppression of the revolution and some of a bloody century’s bloodiest massacres.

I never thought I would, in my own lifetime, see the same thing happen again. Obviously, no historical event ever really happens twice. There are a thousand differences between what happened in Spain in 1936 and what is happening in Rojava, the three largely Kurdish provinces of northern Syria, today. But some of the similarities are so striking, and so distressing, that I feel it’s incumbent on me, as someone who grew up in a family whose politics were in many ways defined by the Spanish revolution, to say: we cannot let it end the same way again.

The autonomous region of Rojava, as it exists today, is one of few bright spots – albeit a very bright one – to emerge from the tragedy of the Syrian revolution. Having driven out agents of the Assad regime in 2011, and despite the hostility of almost all of its neighbours, Rojava has not only maintained its independence, but is a remarkable democratic experiment. Popular assemblies have been created as the ultimate decision-making bodies, councils selected with careful ethnic balance (in each municipality, for instance, the top three officers have to include one Kurd, one Arab and one Assyrian or Armenian Christian, and at least one of the three has to be a woman), there are women’s and youth councils, and, in a remarkable echo of the armed Mujeres Libres (Free Women) of Spain, a feminist army, the “YJA Star” militia (the “Union of Free Women”, the star here referring to the ancient Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar), that has carried out a large proportion of the combat operations against the forces of Islamic State.

How can something like this happen and still be almost entirely ignored by the international community, even, largely, by the International left? Mainly, it seems, because the Rojavan revolutionary party, the PYD, works in alliance with Turkey’s Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK), a Marxist guerilla movement that has since the 1970s been engaged in a long war against the Turkish state. Nato, the US and EU officially classify them as a “terrorist” organisation. Meanwhile, leftists largely write them off as Stalinists.

But, in fact, the PKK itself is no longer anything remotely like the old, top-down Leninist party it once was. Its own internal evolution, and the intellectual conversion of its own founder, Abdullah Ocalan, held in a Turkish island prison since 1999, have led it to entirely change its aims and tactics.

The PKK has declared that it no longer even seeks to create a Kurdish state. Instead, inspired in part by the vision of social ecologist and anarchist Murray Bookchin, it has adopted the vision of “libertarian municipalism”, calling for Kurds to create free, self-governing communities, based on principles of direct democracy, that would then come together across national borders – that it is hoped would over time become increasingly meaningless. In this way, they proposed, the Kurdish struggle could become a model for a wordwide movement towards genuine democracy, co-operative economy, and the gradual dissolution of the bureaucratic nation-state.

Continue to read the full article at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/08/why-world-ignoring-revolutionary-kurds-syria-isis

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Posted in Cooperatives, Featured Movement, P2P Movements, Politics | No Comments »

Book of the Day: A Route Map to the Enabling State

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hartsellml
17th October 2014


A Route Map to the Enabling State. Sir John Elvidge. Carnegie UK Trust, 2014

URL = http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=5b79f25d-3771-4b28-8b28-22fadee2356a

 

Description

“The Carnegie UK Trust has been a supporter and advocate of community led initiatives and ‘bottom up’ approaches to decision making and development throughout our 100 year history. Whether it was our early support for rural community councils or more recently community ownership of land, our Trustees have long recognised the power of community led activity to transform wellbeing.
It has been increasingly apparent that traditional models of public service delivery can not solve our most complex social problems. In recent years we have seen policymakers and politicians take a growing interest in’ bottom up’ ways of working that give citizens and communities more control. A new more responsive and engaged type of state is emerging which we have described as an ‘Enabling State’. Progress, however is not linear. As our own research The Rise of the Enabling State shows, this shift is occurring in a piecemeal way, transformative language is being appropriated by those with vested interests and the narrative of the changing role of the state is at risk of being conflated with that of austerity and public service retrenchment.

In this document Sir John Elvidge presents the Enabling State and sets out eight steps that governments can take to improve the wellbeing of all sections of our society, to support individuals and communities to achieve positive change and ensure that the most vulnerable people are not left behind.”

 

 

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Posted in Featured Book, P2P Governance, P2P Theory | No Comments »

Podcast of the Day/C-Realm: March Then Flood

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Stacco Troncoso
16th October 2014


C-Realm_433_cover

KMO shares a variety of interviews, along with his impressions on the pseudo-mainstream People’s Climate March and the wilder affair that was Flood Wall Street. Originally published at C-Realm.com


From the Shownotes to the episode:

KMO attended the People’s Climate March on Sunday and Flood Wall Street the next day. The first event was a permitted march that respected authority and was timed not to disrupt business. The second was unauthorized and was deliberately disruptive to traffic around the icons of finance capital in lower Manhattan. There were zero arrests at the People’s Climate March. There were 102 arrests at Flood Wall Street. KMO shares interviews collected on location at both events.

 

Links:

Socialist Alternative: http://www.socialistalternative.org/
Autonomous Resilient Community 38: http://arc38.org/
Renée Renata Bergen: http://www.renegadepix.net/
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Posted in Activism, Collective Intelligence, Culture & Ideas, Featured Content, Featured Podcast, Media, P2P Ecology, Podcasts, Politics | No Comments »

Book of the Day: The Mutual Ownership Revolution That Britain Needs

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hartsellml
16th October 2014


* Book: Making It Mutual. The ownership revolution that Britain needs. Edited by Caroline Julian.

pdf: http://www.respublica.org.uk/documents/qrz_Making%20It%20Mutual_The%20ownership%20revolution%20that%20Britain%20needs.pdf

 

Description

“Diverse and devolved ownership, power and capital, alongside user, consumer and employee participation in governance and decision-making, are principles that we can all agree with. Unlike any other policy agenda, mutual, employee-owned and co-operative models, and their underpinning ideals, have attracted cross-party support and have been promoted as foundational players to our public institutions, private services and businesses, not just in this Government’s lifetime, but the ones that have preceded it also.

This is not to say that mutual models are a ‘silver bullet’ for all of our economic and societal problems, or indeed, that such models have been or will be successful in all sectors and public services. We have argued elsewhere that it must be right for the locality, the employees and the industry, and, as many of the contributors within this collection point out, must be considered as one model amongst others that could seek to promote similar principles. Greater plurality and competition within markets – both public and private – matched with greater participation, ownership and control, is first and foremost needed.

Mutual models also vary in legal type, governance and wider outreach. For the purposes of this collection, we have not restricted the definition of ‘mutual’ to a particular business model, but have included, and encouraged authors to draw upon, the importance of distributed and devolved ownership, alongside ‘mutuality’ and ‘co-operation’ in their broadest sense. Again, no single model or legal form will be suitable for every community’s and industry’s needs.

ResPublica has, however, particularly advocated models that can offer a real ownership stake – an entry point into a given market that has become closed and out of reach for so many. This model must also be capable of transforming the drive of such markets from what has often been a consumerist, individualist and self-interested enterprise, to one where communities, employees and users can take control.”

 

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Posted in Featured Book, P2P Lifestyles, Peer Property | No Comments »