New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Occupy Halloween

October 30, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Current Events, Matt Meyer

A Simple Suggestion for Mass Solidarity

by Matt Meyer

For everyone who wants to support the inspiring and growing “Occupy Wall Street,” “Occupy Together,” and “Occupy the Hood” movements but is feeling too busy, too scared, too overwhelmed, too young or too old (even too middle-aged!), too tired, too cautious, too far away from the center of the action, too involved with work or parenting or just trying to survive; for everyone: a simple suggestion…

THIS HALLOWEEN, MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011, WEAR A “V” MASK

For Victory & Peace, For Vigilance Against Injustice, For a Vision of a New & Better Tomorrow (more…)

The Significance of OWS

October 28, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Economy, John Clark, Politics

Emancipate Yourselves from Mental Slavery…

by John Clark

When Occupy Wall St. burst unexpectedly on the scene a mere month ago, many (and especially many in the mainstream media) had no idea what to make of it, and treated it as an incoherent outburst. We need to consider why this phenomenon was so perplexing to some, while so inspiring to many others. We need to see that the Occupy Movement does have a deep significance. Yet, we also need to be careful not to attempt to pin down its meaning too rigidly at this early point in its development.

It is crucial to understand that “Occupy Wall St.” is a floating signifier. This means that although it may have a common core of meaning for many, it also means many different things to many different people. There is simply no way to pin down what it “really means.”  What it really means is everything it is, and everything it will become.  Its various meanings at this stage of its evolution sometimes overlap and sometimes conflict. (more…)

Time for Jubilee

August 22, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Family, Politics, Randall Amster

Let’s Forgive, Forget, and Find Some Genuine Relief for a Change

by Randall Amster

If we’re truly looking for paths toward managing debt and promoting economic stimulus — which is about stimulating optimism as much as anything else — then we ought to consider getting closer to the source and stop nibbling around the edges of governmental machinations and corporate malfeasance. Instead, let’s directly incentivize and bring relief to actual people, giving them a new start by wiping the ledgers clean and ensuring that their future decisions will never again have to be governed by the demons of debt. For the price of two massive bank bailouts, and in the face of an austerity regime that mostly punishes working people, we could essentially “bail out” every American from under a mounting pile of indebtedness. (more…)

In Defense of the Environment

May 27, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Ecology, Economy, Politics

Why the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia Is Still a Bad Idea

by Diane Lefer

For five years, the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiated between the administrations of George Bush and Colombian president Alvaro Uribe was stalled in the US Congress because of violence against Colombian workers, including 51 union leaders assassinated in 2010 alone.

On April 7, President Obama and current Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced they had reached an agreement that would smooth the way for passage. Under this plan, actions that violate labor rights would be criminalized (as though assassination isn’t already criminal); investigators would be assigned to look into abuses, and leaders could request protection. I do wonder how Colombia will be able to provide this protection given the extent of the violence. In the past months, I’ve received word almost every week of new murders: not only union organizers but small farmers and the honest judges who hear these cases, while the perpetrators too often are members of or linked to the security forces. (more…)

Challenging Ideological Hegemony

May 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Harry Targ, Politics

Remaking Our Conceptual Maps of the World

by Harry Targ

I read about the dangers of federal deficit, the connection between markets and democracy, capitalist institutions and human well-being, insurance companies and quality health care, and the historic victories for peace and justice resulting from killing Osama bin Laden, and the son and grandchildren of Muammar Gaddafi.

I am reminded of Antonio Gramsci’s perceptive analysis about how people are ruled as much by what they learn to think and believe as by the use of force. Ideological hegemony refers to the idea systems that ruling classes construct to create willing and pliant citizens in political regimes that lack moral legitimacy or economic rationale.

I am also reminded of theorists from the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School, particularly Herbert Marcuse, who wrote about how the fundamental contradictions in peoples’ lives — capitalists versus workers and rule by the few versus the possibility of the rule by all — are transformed into a unanimity of thinking among people whose interests should make them adversaries and not collaborators. (more…)

Give the Money Back

April 18, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Will Wilkinson

Are We Missing the Obvious?

by Will Wilkinson

An online headline proclaims “The ‘Key to Recovery’” — which apparently is rebuilding America’s infrastructure — but then the rest of the article mentions that funds for this have been slashed in the new budget.

Duh.

What’s so difficult about acknowledging the real key to recovery: some Americans have way too much money and some have way too little. So, spread it around.

The idea of “redistributing wealth” surfaced a while back and was immediately branded as a socialist horror. Politicians who preferred to keep their jobs distanced themselves from the concept pronto, but it is the obvious answer. And there’s nothing radical about it at all, actually. What’s radical is what we already have — a huge gap between the rich and the poor. (more…)

The Fall of Public Education

April 04, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Matt Meyer, Politics

And the Rise of a New American Radicalism?

by Matt Meyer

If “democracy” is understood to mean a process of inclusion, equalizing diverse peoples such that power and resources are distributed fairly, then democratic movements have a potentially positive role to play in furthering revolution, liberation, justice and peace. By any definition, though, the experiment known as democracy in the USA today is in dire trouble. Nowhere is that trouble more strikingly evident than in the national campaign to do away with public schools. After little more than 150 years of federally-mandated and coordinated schooling-for-all, the US commitment to publicly supported teachers and students is quickly coming to an abrupt end. The global corporate penchant for the privatization, commoditization, and enclosure of practically everything is having particularly chilling effects in policies that Henry Giroux suggests “seek nothing less than the total destruction of the democratic potential of American education.” (more…)