Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The rhetoric of the other side: Ecosocialism or Barbarism

by Cassiodorus Wed May 7th, 2008 at 09:10:47 AM EST

This is a rhetorical critique of the anthology Ecosocialism or Barbarism, edited by Jane Kelly and Sheila Malone, an introductory text in ecosocialist thought apparently meant for European audiences.  In it, I suggest that its main problem is that it skimps upon the presentation needed to anticipate objections to its main arguments, and so I suggest amendments here.

Promoted by Migeru

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Twenty Theses About Money

by Cassiodorus Fri May 2nd, 2008 at 06:33:20 AM EST

Since almost all of you forgot to read my diary of last February about Hutchinson, Mellor, and Olsen's The Politics of Money, I'm going to try to encapsulate the wisdom contained therein in a series of bullet points, with links added.  Maybe I was too long-winded back then.

[editor's note, by Migeru] Fold originally here

Yeah, there are other things to be concerned about.  Peak oil; abrupt climate change; overfishing; authoritarianism in government; and so on.

One thing we will have to focus upon as we head into the 21st century is the role of the money system in creating the mess we're in.  As Hutchinson, Mellor, and Olsen point out in The Politics of Money, money is not politically neutral.

Promoted by Migeru

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Uprising of Hope: An Ethnography of Zapatismo

by Cassiodorus Tue Feb 12th, 2008 at 09:30:18 AM EST

This is my take on Duncan Earle and Jeanne Simonelli's (2005) book Uprising of Hope, an ethnography of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico.  I conclude by suggesting that there are political lessons to be learned from Zapatistas, especially insofar as they go about their everyday lives.

(original photo taken by "Alma_Roma", San Cristobal de las Casas, August 12, 2006.)

Zapatistas -- Wikimedia public domain

(reposted from Docudharma by special request)

Diary rescue by Migeru

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A Reality-Based Agenda for the '08 Campaign

by Cassiodorus Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:03:38 PM EST

Here it is.  It comes in three parts:

  1. a "reality-based" political agenda for the future.

  2. a discussion of the pragmatics (relation of discourse to hearers/readers) of political agendas

  3. a critique of a successful politician's agenda.

(crossposted on ecosocialism)

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Anti-consumerism of an earlier era: the "Culture Industry" thesis

by Cassiodorus Wed Aug 1st, 2007 at 12:25:19 AM EST

Given the negative orientation to the future of much of what I've read, I thought it appropriate to revisit the "culture industry" thesis, more specifically the thesis given by the essay on "the culture industry" in Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment.  This diary will look at how the "culture industry" has placed culture under the control of industrial power and in the discipline of mass production, and examine the argument in "The Culture Industry" for its social lessons and its relevance to the present political situation.

Theodor Adorno, who according to Jurgen Habermas was the main author of the "Culture Industry" essay.

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Gramsci for Democrats: Charles Derber's "Hidden Power"

by Cassiodorus Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 01:05:58 AM EST

This is a review of Charles Derber's (2005) book Hidden Power, a progressive problem-solution book offering advice to the Democratic Party about how to conduct "regime change" in America.  Derber is uninformed in certain ways, but his advice ought to be heeded, especially as regards expanding the realm of "people power" in American politics.  Derber brings a Gramscian reading of the American political situation to his political advice, and this makes said advice stronger and more practical.

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Saving capitalism for a dying planet: a theory

by Cassiodorus Mon Jun 18th, 2007 at 08:26:11 AM EST

Here's the theory.  There is an elite consensus around the notion of "saving capitalism for a dying planet."  The idea is that if "growth" (which we desperately want and need if we are to maintain our positions as representatives of capital) is to continue, planetary concerns for the future will have to be ignored, even with reckless oil and coal consumption levels causing a runaway greenhouse effect.  That is what is behind the G8 agreement, so wonderfully diaried on DKos by Devilstower.

(crossposted on DailyKos and Booman Tribune)

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

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Economics Behind Politics: A Review of Kees van der Pijl's "Global Rivalries"

by Cassiodorus Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 07:41:07 PM EST

The economic order of society is implicit, property and money being largely invisible, abstract principles.  The political order, though, has obvious physical institutions: the police, the politicians, the buildings, and so on.  So it is hard to connect economic realities to political ones.

Van der Pijl's Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq, one of the best books of last year's crop, is about the politics end of the political economy equation.  1998's Transnational Classes and International Relations was an overall summary of van der Pijl's theories, but it was mostly about economics and economic theory.  This book is about politics, and again about how the spread of "capitalist discipline" across the world has intensified economic rivalries in the world.  It explains recent history in a unique and interesting way.

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global warming/ six degrees/ Mark Lynas (forwarded from DailyKos)

by Cassiodorus Sun Jan 21st, 2007 at 07:40:36 PM EST

This diary will be a dramatization of the IPCC's forthcoming report, as well as a short discussion of Mark Lynas' (2004) ethnography of global warming titled HIGH TIDE.  No, I'm not a scientist; but I do try my best to put two and two together on the global warming issue, and I would heartily invite climate scientists reading this diary to contribute to the comments section.

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Slow down fast: A review of Teresa Brennan's "Globalization and its Terrors" (repost)

by Cassiodorus Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 03:09:27 AM EST

This is a review of the late Teresa Brennan's book Globalization and its Terrors, to examine its relevance toward our current, out of control, globalized economy.

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Education, Democracy, and Utopia: Ira Shor's "When Students Have Power"

by Cassiodorus Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 01:20:07 PM EST

I want readers of this diary to confront our society's need for utopian dreaming through a reading of Ira Shor's When Students Have Power.  So I will start with a bleak, dystopian projection of current social trends, and discuss Shor's book in terms of what utopian thinking can do for education, democracy, and society as a whole.

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For a movement to defend the right to live off of the land (repost from DailyKos)

by Cassiodorus Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 09:47:33 AM EST

The main social developments in the world over the last thirty years or so have been 1) the imposition of neoliberal economics over nearly every one of the world's economies, and 2) the fantastic growth in slums that have accompanied the explosion of urban capitalism in the neoliberal era.  Using Mike Davis' Planet of Slums, I outline a "way out" of the resultant social and ecological catastrophe brought on by these developments: a movement to defend the right to live off of the land.

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Ecologia y Capital, or Enrique Leff for beginners (crossposted from DailyKos)

by Cassiodorus Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 07:40:29 PM EST

This is a review of the English translation of Enrique Leff's 1995 short book Ecologia y Capital, titled Green Production, oriented toward a discussion of its political usefulness in the current era.  I finally got around to reading this book over the weekend, after suggesting it to a friend who is in fact doing this kind of work in college; here are my thoughts.

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