Date archives "December 2011"

Samir Amin: the era of social compromise is over

Via: At the start of this important essay, Samir Amin writes that: “Contemporary capitalism is a capitalism of generalized monopolies. By this I mean that monopolies are now no longer islands (albeit important) in a sea of other still relatively autonomous companies, but are an integrated system. Therefore, these monopolies now tightly control all the… Continue reading

Indian Government Files Biopiracy Lawsuit Against Monsanto

Source: Jonathan Benson – Natural News Representing one of the most agriculturally bio-diverse nations in the world, India has become a primary target for biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Cargill to spread their genetically-modified (GM) crops into new markets. However, a recent France 24 report explains that the Indian government has decided to take an… Continue reading

Hacking the food system

Marc Alt reflects on the different ways that technology is impacting on the food production system: “The connection between global agricultural data, ecosystem services and the feeding of a growing population is increasingly a focus for world governing bodies, humanitarian NGOs, technology companies and even investment banks and speculators. Ambitious real-time GIS dashboards, such as… Continue reading

John Arqilla on the diagonal future of nations cooperating with networks

Via: What happens when vertical governance modalities (nations), meet horizontalized networks? In Foreign Policy, John Arqilla predicts a future of interlinking between the two modalities: “How the new pattern will unfold is still unclear, but just as the first nation-states were often tempted to become empires, there may be a pattern in which nations and… Continue reading

Framing the #OccupyWallStreet and other 2011 protest movements in the context of anti-power and counter-power

This essay is not a blanket criticism against anti-power activism. Indeed, in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, the old political class must be removed in order to create spaces for new forms of accountability and participation to blossom. Too often, however, anti-power mobilizations lose their strength and unity once the old political class is… Continue reading

A short story of occupations as a political tactic (#OccupyWallStreet update)

Excerpted from Shareable, By Willie Osterweil: “There have been many resistance movements throughout history which have made use of the occupation tactic. In the United States, the unemployed Coxey’s Army, which marched across the country decrying injustice and unemployment in 1894, camped out throughout the summer as they converged upon Washington. In the summer of… Continue reading

Flurry of local #OccupyWallStreet actions and successes show strength and staying power of movement

Excerpted via Rose Aguilar: ” the movement is far from dead. Here in California, the movement is exploding. In a recent study called “Diffusion of the Occupy Movement in California,” UC Riverside researchers surveyed 482 incorporated towns and cities in California and found that 143 – nearly 30 percent – had Occupy sites on Facebook… Continue reading

Dmytri Kleiner: Is capitalism compatible with free P2P Systems?

Excerpted from Dmytri Kleiner’s mailing list: “In the meantime, I’d like to reflect a little on Evgeny Morozov’s keynote at #28c3 this morning. The topic was Surveillance Enabling Technologies. Long story short, Telecoms, Tech Firms, and Governments are developing and deploying systems to control and monitor their citizens online communications, and even selling this technology… Continue reading

Radical openness in educational materials: The next step in Washington State

Source: Rauven Carlyle Have you ever wondered how the ‘inside game’ of a bill becoming a law is played? Join me for an ‘open’ process, complete with uncensored policy assessments and candid political discussions, and together we will experience the journey in the 2012 session of the Washington State Legislature. On January 9, 2012 I… Continue reading

The Pirate Party, last-ditch effort to avoid a unavoidable revolution?

Excerpted from Johanna Drott, of the Swedish Pirate Party: “The party exists as a kind of last line of defense against the necessity of revolution. An intraparliamentary attempt to update policies to the here and now, through the traditional methods and channels available. A soft but tenacious reminder that there are limits to how long… Continue reading

Slavoj Žižek interviewed on #OccupyWallStreet and its aftermath

Interview conducted by Haseeb Ahmed with Chris Cutrone. Excerpts only. The whole interview is well worth reading and deals especially with the failed legacy of the left. “Haseeb Ahmed: Are we currently—after Tahrir Square and the eruption of the Occupy movement—living through a renaissance of the Left? If so, what is the historical legacy that… Continue reading

Do the Greek Indignados lack a true politics of awakening?

A critique of the lack of institutional awareness of the Greek indignado movement. Excerpted from Dimitris Vardoulakis: “The unfolding of this class consciousness takes two forms. First, it is marked by a popular awareness of the dramatic moment in which Greece has found itself. The situation, according to the “indignants”, has reached an impasse. This… Continue reading

Yet Another Study Shows That Weaker Copyright Benefits Everyone

Source: TechDirt Economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf have written some previous papers on this subject, but they’ve just come out with a new working paper on how weaker copyright protection benefits society (pdf file). Michael Geist has an excellent overview and summary of the paper. To understand the key points made by the paper,… Continue reading

Study: P2P effect on legal music sales not statistically distinguishable from zero

Source: Ken Fisher – Ars Technica A new study in the Journal of Political Economy by Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf has found that illegal music downloads have had no noticeable effects on the sale of music, contrary to the claims of the recording industry. Entitled "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An… Continue reading