Kategorie: English

You can’t vote for communism

Originally published on Fightback.org.nz, a trans-Tasman socialist media project operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen leftist activists throwing themselves into electoral movements – Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, and more recently the movement for Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and for Bernie Sanders in the US1. To some extent, enthusiasm about these popular campaigns is certainly understandable after decades of only defensive or unsuccessful left wing struggles which were not able to achieve structural change. However, there is also a lot of confusion about what to actually expect from an electoral strategy, since these movements often talk the language of radical change (e.g. Sander’s “political revolution”) and socialism, but in fact only have a social democratic program for regulating capitalism. I would argue that for radical leftists, it makes sense to figure out where we actually want to get – let’s call it communism – in order to figure out how to get there and what our practice should look like. (Spoiler alert: electoralism is not such a practice.)

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Connecting immediate demands and communist transformation in the climate struggle – through commoning

A sentiment that is shared by many within the growing climate movement is that there is a connection between the capitalist mode of production and the climate crisis. In this piece, I will analyse this connection and explore what that means for transformational strategies towards eco-communism as well as immediate demands for fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

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Society After Money. A Dialogue

Project Society After Money

NOW RELEASED!

Project Society After Money is an interdisciplinary project between commons theory, evolutionary political economy, media studies and sociology, that enter into a dialogue with one another in order to look at their specific theories and criticisms of money. Conceived as the beginning of a necessary interdisciplinary dialogue, the possibilities of post-monetary forms of organization and production are taken into account and examined. On one hand there is a lot of talk about ‚digital revolution‘, ‚mediatized society‘, ’networks‘, ‚Industry 4.0‘. On the other hand the present is described in terms of crisis: ‚financial crisis‘, ‚economic crisis‘, ‚planetary boundaries‘. At once there is the description of a media-technological change along with massive social and ecological disruptions.

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Video Reports on the European Commons Assembly

Between 15 – 17 November, 2016, The European Commons Assembly gathered in Brussels a group of commoners coming from different parts of Europe who claimed for a pan-European movement for the commons. This video shows a summary of the energizing kick-off event — followed by some more vids below.

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Michel Bauwens on keimform.de

Michel BauwensOn 22 September this blog has turned ten years old [DE] — and it’s still going strong! In order to celebrate this event we have asked various companions of keimform.de to share their memories and thoughts on our blog. The responses that we have received we’ll publish here in loose order.

The emerging social movements of the commons are very diverse, which is good, but also very fragmented, which may not be a good thing. So we need media that can report on this bio-diversity and point to underlying common threads. There are still preciously few online media outlets that do this. One consisting voice in the German-language world, with regular English reporting as well, has been Keimform, which acts as a necessary bridge between the German-speaking world and those who only know the lingua franca of our times.

Congratulations on a full decade of sharing and reporting!! Bravo to the team of editors who has been providing this unpaid service so consistently!

Michel Bauwens, P2P theorist and activist, director and founder of the P2P Foundation

David Bollier on keimform.de

David BollierOn 22 September this blog has turned ten years old [DE] — and it’s still going strong! In order to celebrate this event we have asked various companions of keimform.de to share their memories and thoughts on our blog. The responses that we have received we’ll publish here in loose order.

Congratulations to Keimform for a decade of exploring the challenges of commoning, the promise of free software, the structural deficiencies of capitalism, and the fate of the human condition! I have frequently been introduced to sharp new perspectives by the contributors to Keimform. May this rare voice of deep, committed inquiry continue to flourish and expand!

David Bollier, commons activist and blogger

Commons Associations

By Christian Siefkes, Johannes Euler, Gunter Kramp and Nikolas Kichler

Logo of the Commons InstituteAn idea for unifying commons-based projects in a self-organised solidarity economy that’s easy and convenient to join

[This article is also available in PDF format. / Diesen Artikel gibt es auch auf Deutsch.]

The ideas presented in this document are based on an open space session that took place in April 2016 during the spring meeting of the German Commons Institute. The session was initiated by Gunter; further participants were Britta, Christian, Hannes, Nikolas, Sarah, and Sunna.

This document has been written by Christian, Hannes, Gunter, and Nikolas together with Stefan T. It has been translated by Justin and Christian.

Context: Which Problems Are We Trying to Solve?

There are various intentional communities that practice a shared economy (e.g. Twin Oaks in the US or Niederkaufungen in Germany). However, few people are attracted to living in such communities and the barriers to entry are high. Reasons for this include the necessity of sharing so many spheres of life with the same group of people, often causing long and tedious discussions. (A new community member described the experience as “like getting married to 70 people at the same time.”)

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Post-Capitalist Strategy of the P2P Foundation

Michel BauwensA lot of people want to „overcome“ capitalism, but what do they mean by it? Michel Bauwens from the P2P Foundation gave a short note on that topic, which could be interesting to discuss here: Is it really post-capitalist (also see the critique on reciprocity licences)? Here’s the text:

A note on the post-capitalist strategy of the P2P Foundation

Following Kojin Karatini, we agree that the present system is based on a trinity of capital-state-nation, which represents an integration of three modes of exchange. (mehr …)

Social Corruption

Recently, a friend pointed me to an animation describing the inherent self-destructive elements of capitalism — while not naming what it is: capitalism. The animation has ten parts and is called »synergy«, and — nomen est omen — tries to describe the interwoven dynamics of a society which is inherently »corrupt« . First, I associated the word »corruption« which a personal defective behavior, but it is meant systemically: social corruption. However, I think, »social disruption« would fit better. And: Don’t expect any solutions, it only describes our society by using absolutely great animations! I wish, I could do animations that way! The creator is Marian Thomas.