New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Prism Break

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

Seeing Beyond the Shadows on the Walls Around Us

by Randall Amster

Social movements, when broadly construed and successfully applied, serve as something akin to elaborate filters. By holding a mirror up to society, a movement causes us to reconsider basic assumptions and structural processes that often exist invisibly yet pervasively in our collective midst. Social movement activities render such practices visible, and subject them to scrutiny in a manner that can become contagious in its breadth and depth alike. Movements make us question those things that we take for granted, assume are unchangeable, or benefit from without repercussions.

In this sense, a movement acts like a lens that sharpens and clarifies the reality we observe and participate in, making the strange familiar and the familiar strange all at once. (more…)

The Process Is the Demand

October 27, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Guest Author, Politics

The Occupy Movement: What Democracy Looks Like

by Ivan Boothe

In my last post, I talked about how the “Occupy” movement originated, and its potential to provide a space for renewed social justice and community organizing. In this blog, I’ll take a look at how “Occupy” events are structured and organized, drawing on my involvement with Occupy Philadelphia. I’ll also highlight some of the constructive criticism surrounding Occupy Wall Street and similar events — in particular as it relates to anti-racism and racial justice.

The Process Story

In political campaigns, there’s nothing a candidate’s staff hates more than news coverage of the campaign itself — staff changes, changes to an event schedule, behind-the-scenes negotiations with other campaigns, political party officialdom. It’s called a “process story,” and it’s frustrating to campaign staff because it takes the focus off of the candidate’s message and policies — usually positive, aspirational language — and places it on the campaign bureaucracy, inevitably leading to feelings of cynicism when people read about the “sausage making” of running for office. (more…)

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