Peace of Mind, Democracy at Work: ‘We have the philosophy of not firing people. We want people to not have too many worries.’

By Peter S. Goodman Dec. 29, 2020 NYTimes.com Co-ops in Spain’s Basque Region Soften Capitalism’s Rough Edges: A group of worker-owned businesses may present an alternative model to economies dominated by the interests of shareholders. Over the decades, scores of other cooperatives took root, dominating the town’s economy. Each business is autonomous, but they operate under shared principles, especially the understanding …

How to reconnect urban and rural America. Also, education…

A Marshall Plan for Rural America, local journalism and local recovery, Launch a new development corporation, to invest in local vision and leadership through long-term block grants at the community level and innovative financing tools that give communities a fighting chance to strengthen and renew their local institutions, economies, and vision. Create a national rural strategy, elevate White House and interagency leadership, and undertake a set of specific and targeted …

US is an oligarchy not a democracy. Thomas Frank: Anti-populism helped Democrats embrace plutocracy. Plus Christopher Lasch: Revolt of the Elites

December 2020 https://scheerpost.com/2020/12/04/thomas-frank-how-the-democratic-party-became-a-vehicle-of-aristocracy/ More than six years ago, a study by Princeton University Prof. Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof. Benjamin I Page made headlines for concluding what many Americans may have already known: the United States is an oligarchy, not a democracy. While the evidence is all around us, perhaps even more clearly in a pandemic that has enriched the …

Just recovery policies

Foundations for a Just Recovery Many of the policy solutions we advocate for a just recovery are cross-cutting by nature. They aim to shift mindsets, cultural norms, how people are treated, how our voices are heard, and how bedrock environmental laws are upheld, creating an overarching structure from which to fight for social, environmental, and economic justice. Honor those whose …

Everything you need to know about online free speech

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SECTION 230 The most important law for online speech, by Casey Newton, The Verge, Dec 29, 2020 WHAT IS SECTION 230? Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was passed in 1996, says an “interactive computer service” can’t be treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content. This protects websites from lawsuits if …

On energy governance and energy transitions: Energy democracy as a process, an outcome and a goal

By KacperSzuleckiaIndraOverlandb Science Direct, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101768 Energy democracy can be perceived as a process (and an existing movement); an outcome (the reconfiguration of social relations as a result of changes in the energy system); or a goal communities and other stakeholders can aspire to. Energy democracy is related to the demand for increased accountability and democratization in a sector previously seen as apolitical and not requiring …

Colonialism is the interplay of dispossession, dependency and oppression

Art Manuel: The Reconciliation Manifesto, 2007 Truth must come before reconciliation Loss of our land that has been the precise cause of our impoverishment Systemic impoverishment is used as a weapon by Canada to keep us too poor and weak to fight back. It is used to bribe and co-opt Indigenous leadership into becoming neo-colonial partners to treat the symptoms …

Long history: fundamental problems are a bloated elite class, with too few elite jobs to go around; declining living standards among the general population, and a government that can’t cover its financial positions

“There is a very close correlation between adopting democratic institutions and having to fight a war for survival” Nov 2020, The Atlantic, Interview with Peter Turchin, excerpt From the June 2020 issue: We are living in a failed state The year 2020 has been kind to Turchin, for many of the same reasons it has been hell for the rest …

There is a deep well of people in this country who are sure the system is not working for them, and we seem to be only coming around to recognizing how deep it goes.

‘The cultural elite are inexcusably unaware of the challenges and perspectives of many others in this country.’ Many Americans don’t like either party all that much or hold closely corresponding issue preferences. Instead, many Americans see politics as a battle between “the corrupt elite” and “the good people.” Trump took advantage of such views, presenting himself as an outsider taking …