New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


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…)

Commons Champion

June 20, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper

R.I.P. Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012), Advocate for Shared Resources

by Jay Walljasper

Elinor Ostrom, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for her lifelong work studying how communities share resources, died June 12. She was 78.

The only woman out of 69 Nobel Laureates in economics honored since 1969, Ostrom taught political science at Indiana University.

In research conducted throughout the world, she increased our understanding of how commons function in a wide variety of communities. Ostrom’s work also debunked the Tragedy of the Commons — the widespread idea that shared resources inevitably end in environmental and economic ruin

This international acclaim for her work was heralded in many developing nations as evidence that their commons-based traditions of cooperation and communal resources was not a violation of basic economic common sense, as many Western economic advisers warned. (more…)