New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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Revolutions Happen

April 25, 2014 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Economy

On the Crisis of Neoliberalism and the Alternative of the Common

by Devon G. Peña

Revolutions happen. One has already started though many people are yet to recognize it. But they may already be participating in it and helping to bring alterNative[1] futures forward. The resurgence of the common is the revolution quietly unfolding around us and through each of our relations and actions.

Here, I explore the enactment of a new social revolution the multitude (a.k.a. the 99%) is creating to ‘sublate’ (aufheben)[2] neoliberal capitalism in the spaces of direct material production and bio-politics, qua reproduction. The resurgence of the common is the underlying force driving a largely subaltern and protean process of revolutionary change.

It is through the agency of collaborative networks and their spaces of autonomy that we are disrupting the empire of the commodity form and threatening the stability and long-term survival of the neoliberal state of economic exception (Negri 2008). (more…)

Bija Swaraj

October 08, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Pancho McFarland

Seed-Saving as Self-Determination and Resistance

by Pancho McFarland

Gardeners at the Roseland Community Peace Garden have committed to the principles of bija swaraj, which is the principle of seed self-rule or seed democracy. They are also committed to bija satyagraha or non-cooperation with the powerful corporate seed machines and unjust laws and legal structures that benefit transnational corporations at the expense of the planet.  This summer at the Outdoor CommUnity Classroom at the Peace Garden, gardeners discussed international movements for food sovereignty and food autonomy, especially as detailed by Vandana Shiva in her numerous works and how this related to the their situations in the U.S. inner city. (more…)

R.O.I. from Another P.O.V.

August 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Measuring Wealth and Well-Being from the Perspective of Mother Earth

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Peter Buffett, one of billionaire Warren Buffett’s sons, published a brave, thoughtful op-ed piece in the New York Times the other day.  In it, Buffett takes to task what he calls “the Charitable-Industrial Complex,” the philanthropic crowd who piously seek to save the world, as long as the R.O.I. is sufficiently rosy and the status quo is not upset.

Buffett knows he sounds like a class traitor here as he proffers this description of “Philanthropic Colonialism” (his term):

“As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to ‘give back’. It’s what I would call ‘conscience laundering’ — feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity. But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over. Nearly every time someone feels better by doing good, on the other side of the world (or street), someone else is further locked into a system that will not allow the true flourishing of his or her nature or the opportunity to live a joyful and fulfilled life.” (more…)

Revolutionary Maroons

June 27, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Fred Ho, Politics

Coming to a Class Struggle Theater Near You…

by Fred Ho 

Today I will address how all the traditions of supposed mass-organizing and revolutionary strategies heretofore practiced by almost the entirety of who would be self-identified as “the left” must be transcended and replaced with both a different revolutionary vision and method as to ending industrial-patriarchal-capitalist imperialism.

All revolutionaries in the Euro-centric tradition have believed that the struggle for reforms (usually considered mass organizing) are not ipso facto reformist, but can be struggled for in what has been conventionally touted as via a “revolutionary way.”  Simply, reformism is the reliance upon the system — whether electing different politicians, changing laws or allocations of funds and resources more favorable to the masses. (more…)

Soul of the Longshore

January 31, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Bacon, Economy, Politics

‘We Have the Right to Decide What Kind of World It’s Going to Be’

by David Bacon

Leo Robinson was a Black leader of the longshore union in San Francisco. He died this week.  For many of us, he was a lifelong companion, an example of what being an internationalist and a working class activist was all about.

Leo Robinson came into the International Longshore and Warehouse Union because of a deal made by Harry Bridges and the Communists who led the waterfront strike of 1934.  That strike metastasized and became a three-day general strike after cops shot and killed three strikers.  It was the birth of the ILWU, and changed the political history of the west coast.

The radical leaders on the docks were both black and white. But the bosses who controlled the jobs on the waterfront always showed preference for the white gangs.  Black crews got the worst jobs, when they were hired to unload ships at all.  All workers on the docks were hungry, poor and desperate for work.  But Black dockers were the hungriest of all. (more…)

Twilight of Twinkie Capitalism

January 04, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Economy

Transforming the Food System and Honoring Workers’ Demands

by Devon G. Peña

The Twinkie® I will admit is one of those quintessentially ‘American’ foods that I did not get to eat as a child. We never bought junk food in our home and so I was in college before I tasted something that my peers swore was a classic guilty pleasure. I was not impressed when I finally ate one, but then again I grew up savoring pan dulce, including the inimitable pan de semita, from La Superior Bakery in Laredo, Texas. To me, the Twinkie tasted like Elmer’s Glue with sugar encased in a squishy sponge or pound cake. It was too chalky and gooey all at once. Hmm. Must have missed out on the Leave it to Beaver upbringing required, I imagine, to love a quasi-food like that.

[I use the term quasi-food here to refer to what is typically called “processed food.” My choice is based on recognition of the fact that many wholesome and organic foods are processed and so I feel that is an inadequate and misleading concept. For e.g., to produce our farm’s chicos del horno (adobe-oven roasted white flint corn) requires that we process organic heirloom white flint corn in a labor-intensive artisanal practice involving no less than 19 distinct steps. Quasi-food implies that the food is processed through various steps before consumption but also that it incorporates numerous non-food chemicals and additives, thus rendering the product more of an industrial quasi-food item rather than a processed food.] (more…)

Charting the Course

September 19, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Social Awakening Depends on a Balance of Activism

by Jan Lundberg

Our tall ship inches toward Copenhagen where it will dock near Christiania, the semi-autonomous village in the Christianshavn quarter. Apart from the job of getting the engineless ship into port where we deliver 8,000 bottles of French wine, there is much for an ecological and social activist to reflect upon.

Sometimes when Nature’s energy is high on the sea, with a fury, or when we are in the tender embrace of the water, air and sun that calms and becalms us, we get a slightly new perspective on our place on the planet. I should not have to add: that place is not about money or other narrow goals.

That this crew is a tight community is food for thought. Besides the imperative of cooperation for survival, it is simply easier and more natural to operate within a collective. Yet, in that situation one still finds oneself in serious personal contemplation on one’s intentions, dreams, and grappling with vexing questions about modern living. (more…)


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