Tag Archives: social movements

The Goose and the Common — The Privatization of Public Space

“The [following 18th century folk] poem is one of the pithiest condemnations of the English enclosure movement, the process of fencing off common land and turning it into private property. In a few lines, the poem manages to criticize double standards, … Continue reading

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Beyond the Left Turn: The Second Wave of Incorporation of the Popular Sectors in Latin America

by Federico M. Rossi*  Neoliberalism has been defined as crucial to the reformulation of state-society relations in the postcorporatist period because it has undermined the national-populist or – as Cavarozzi and Garretón (1989) called it – “state-centered matrix”, through the weakening, … Continue reading

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What is’t to us if taxes rise or fall? Thanks to our fortune, we pay none at all

The 18th-century English poet and satirist Charles Churchill wrote the following witty and sharp words, jeering and criticizing the aristocracy and the establishment of his time. The cit, a common-councilman by place, Ten thousand mighty nothings in his face, By situation … Continue reading

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Karl Marx on Free Time – Time for the Full Development of the Individual

To justify the upcoming three-week blogcation, I turned to Karl Marx: “The saving of labour time [is] equal to an increase of free time, i.e. time for the full development of the individual, which in turn reacts back upon the productive … Continue reading

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Back to the Future: Authoritarian Neoliberal Regime versus Democratic Social State

The destiny of the 20th century, especially after the WWII, has been determined and shaped by the multifaceted confrontation between capitalism and ‘communism’, the ‘West’ vis-a-vis the ‘East’. But history did not end in 1991, as some have tried to convince … Continue reading

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Why is there no labor party in the United States? Look at Canada to find out

In 1906, a German distinguished (somewhat neglected) economist and sociologist Werner Sombart published Why is there no Socialism in the United States? – a book which will become a famous work on American exceptionalism to this day (along with a pioneering and penetrative  Democracy in America, by Alexis de … Continue reading

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Are we the 99%? The corporatization of activism and cooptation of social protests

Mass struggles and civil unrest have raged since the 2008 financial crisis. Across the world students, workers and environmentalists are taking to the streets fighting for social justice and against neoliberal austerity or state repressions. Protest Inc.: The Corporatization of Activism by Peter Dauvergne and Genevieve LeBaron, … Continue reading

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Rise like Lions after slumber in unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew… Ye are many — they are few.

The political poem “Mask of Anarchy” was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, following the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 when pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters in Manchester were brutally dispersed by armed cavalry. This is a powerful call for freedom, political representation and … Continue reading

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What is Historical Sociology? Understanding the origins of the current social world and the consequences of its transformations

Sociology was created to explain historical change, although social sciences’ “founding fathers” disagreed over the nature of that change. Dealing mainly with topics which now can be easily associated with economic sociology and political economy (capitalism and labor),  Karl Marx, Karl Polanyi, … Continue reading

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The original email that started Occupy Wall Street

On September 17, 2011 thousands of women and men gathered in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district.  It was a day when Occupy Wall Street (#OccupyWallStreet) movement was publicly born, gradually receiving global attention and spawning the … Continue reading

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Inspiring Victory of Grassroots Activism: Chile to Have Free Higher Education

Due to enduring civil, student-led protests, Chile to have free higher education. This is a huge victory to grassroots activism and social movements. The ‘Chilean Winter’ started in August 2011. A series of ongoing student-led protests across Chile have been sweeping throughout the … Continue reading

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“The New European ‪Left‬: A ‪‎Socialism‬ for the Twenty-First Century?” analyzes the development and current state of the left parties and movements in Europe

Marking 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this interesting book The New European Left assesses the performance of the political current which has grown out of communist and other left forces. Despite expectations of the total demise of … Continue reading

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A documentary “Rise Like Lions- Occupy Wall Street and the Seeds of Revolution” tells the story of the movement in its own words

“Rise Like Lions- Occupy Wall Street and the Seeds of Revolution” is a documentary that tells the story & motivation behind the movement in its own words, pulling together a combination of internet and original footage. Created by Scott Noble, this … Continue reading

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Erich Fromm: Why have we subordinate the economic machine?

Erich Fromm: “Only if man masters society and subordinates the economic machine to the purposes of human happiness, and only if he actively participates in the social process, can he overcome what now drives him into despair–his aloneness and his … Continue reading

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“Sustainable Lifestyles and the Quest for Plenitude” pulls together case studies on emerging lifestyles that balance ‪consumption‬ with the ‪environment‬

Many of today’s most troubling environmental and economic issues have come to seem insoluble: ‪‎carbon‬ emissions, overshoot, ‪‎inequality‬, ‪‎joblessness‬, and a dysfunctional food system. Can we change direction, move away from business as usual, and achieve a more sustainable, empowering, … Continue reading

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