Linking Opposition & Alternatives

[Editor's note: This post is Part III of an essay by Michael Johnson--Developing a Democratic Praxis. In it he focuses on the key educational factors necessary for building cultures of "small 'd' democracy" in communities and regions across the country. In Part I he argues that culture is a powerful factor in political and economic dynamics, but currently almost all strategic thinking focuses just on structures and systems.

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[Editor's note: This post is Part II of an essay by Michael Johnson. In it he proposes a democratic movement strategy that emphasizes a strong cultural component. In Part I he argued that culture is a powerful factor in political and economic dynamics, but currently almost all strategic thinking focuses just on structures and systems.

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[Editor's note: This post is Part I of an essay by Michael Johnson. In it he proposes a democratic movement strategy that emphasizes a strong cultural component. In Part I below he argues that culture is a powerful factor in political and economic dynamics, but currently almost all strategic thinking focuses just on structures and systems.

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At the Laura Flanders Show, we want to find the common ground that unites Americans, stories of progress, equity, and resilience — to discover that there is more evidence of congress, than of division. Our guest this weeks speaks to some ways he has built a career on these very philosophies of equity and unity.

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Radical Routes, a network of co-operatives working for social change are looking to raise £15k for a women‘s worker co-operative bakery in Kobane a city rended apart by the long civil war in Syria, but now being run under democratic principles as an autonomous region.
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Free Twitter from Wall Street

For a lot of us Twitter is the fastest, easiest way to know and share what’s going on around us. It sparks urgent conversations, spreads vital information, and energizes movements.

But Twitter is under threat of being sold and selling out its users.

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[Editor's note: this talk was delivered in Cuba, during a trip organized by the Center for Global Justice in June, 2016.]

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[Editor's note: below are two videos that, while separated by over 50 years in time, share a common theme.  First, Ed Whitfield of the Fund for Democratic Communities and Renaissance Community Co-op, dicusses cooperative economics in the context of reparations for historical and on-going racial injustice.  Then, in priceless archival footage, Father Albert McKnight from Lafayette, LA discusses the founding and operation of the Southern Consumers' Co-op, their impr

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The public, the people, will find a way to create forms we cannot even imagine, forms that could solve problems that seem insuperable to us. So what is needed is this constant creative activity from the public, and that means mainly everybody’s passion for public affairs. ~Cornelius Castoriadis [1]

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Originally published in GEO vol. 1, issue 61, 2004

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“This is a female moment in time,” observes Rev Dele, founder of the Virginia-based, Soil Souls. “The Earth and society are about to give birth to a new culture. It’s women who give birth to that which is yet unseen.”

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[Editor's note: Below are four videos from the CommonBound 2016 closing panel "Moving Forward with a Plan to Win."  Makani Themba of Higher Ground Change Strategies sets the stage by asking us to consider what exactly we mean by a "new" economy, and how our New Economy will relate to the old, i.e.

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This article was originally published in Critical Asian Studies on 18 August 2010, available online here.

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The cast of characters assembled on vacant lots in Larimer, an East Pittsburgh neighborhood.

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[Editor's note: Below are three interviews from CommonBound 2016, held in Buffalo, NY earlier this year.  Interviewers Laura Flanders and Esteban Kelly talk with three women who are working to build financial and economic structures that empower people and communities.  Click here for more videos from the conference.  CommonBound is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction, 350.org, and the U.S.

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When you think of the work that needs to be done in order to transition to a restorative society, one that solves problems rather than creates them, one that regenerates living systems – what do you think of? Chances are there's plenty of such work to be done, all around us. And chances are that opportunities to get jobs doing that work are few and far between. But what if we built our new economy on exactly that work? We can.

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