Radical media, politics and culture.

Is Capitalism's Crisis Putting Revolution Back on the Agenda?
Mark Kosman

In the 20th century, every attempt to go beyond capitalism ended in failure. Either people looked to socialist politicians, whose reforms made capitalism even more secure, or they supported revolutions that degenerated into repression and mass killing. Consequently, today, few people have much hope that humanity could ever successfully transcend capitalism.

But are capitalism's present problems putting anti-capitalist revolution back on the agenda? And could a future revolution liberate humanity in ways that past revolutions failed to achieve? To try to answer these questions, I am going to look at past revolutions with particular emphasis on aspects that are rarely considered in conventional left discourse. These include humanity's origins, gender and military history and the revolutionary transcendence of work and democracy.

Occupy and Anarchism's Gift of Democracy
David Graeber

The US imagines itself a great democracy, yet most Americans despise its
politics. Which is why direct democracy inspires them.

As the history of past movements all make clear, nothing terrifies those
running America more than the danger of true democracy breaking out. As
we see in Chicago, Portland, Oakland, and right now in New York City,
the immediate response to even a modest spark of democratically
organised civil disobedience is a panicked combination of concessions
and brutality. Our rulers, anyway, seem to labor under a lingering fear
that if any significant number of Americans do find out what anarchism
really is, they may well decide that rulers of any sort are unnecessary.

"A Gathering of the Tribe"
John Michael Greer

I walk half a mile through a chill autumn morning to the bleak little
cinderblock building that serves the old mill town where I live as a
train station. Wednesdays aren't usually busy, but close to a dozen
other passengers are waitinge before the train pulls up. I climb on
board, stash my duffel bag above my seat, get my ticket punched, and
then head forward to the lounge car. By the time we roll past Oldtown,
where the Shawnee once had a major village, I'm perched at a downstairs
table with a cup of tea, some Latin reference books, and the draft
translation of a Renaissance handbook on the art of memory, proving (if
there was any lingering doubt) that there are non-computer geeks as well.

Court Orders Stay of Zuccotti Park Eviction

Hundreds of police officers, some in riot gear, descended on Zuccotti
Park overnight in a surprise sweep of the Occupy Wall Street
headquarters that Mayor Bloomberg said had become an "intolerable

Hours later, a judge granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting
the city from enforcing rules of the plaza that she said were
published "after the occupation began." Bloomberg said at a City Hall
briefing that the city had planned to let people back into the park at
8 a.m. but decided to keep it closed while officials evaluated the

Both sides were due in court at 11:30 a.m. See the order here.

Occupy Wall Street Takes a New Direction
Daniel Massey

Twenty-year-old East Harlem native George Machado initially assumed Occupy Wall Street was “just some well-meaning liberal arts college kids with money—same old, same old.”

But he attended a march and started showing up at Zuccotti Park. Now the college dropout who had never been an activist is at the fore of a group planning a series of militant protests Thursday that could signal a new, disruptive direction for the movement.

The actions, to mark two months since Occupy Wall Street began, will start with an early-morning attempt to shut down Wall Street and prevent the New York Stock Exchange opening bell from ringing. They will conclude with an evening march over the Brooklyn Bridge with union members and community groups.

A Choice of Contemplations
John Michael Greer

Last week's post on the problematic nature of binary thinking went out
of its way to sidestep the most explosive of the binaries in
contemporary industrial culture. That was a necessary evasion; those of
my readers who are following the argument I've been developing over most
of the last two months have now had a week to mull over the point I've
raised in that post, to consider its pitfalls and possibilities, and to
get ready for a hard look the most sacrosanct binary of our time: the
binary between society as it is and society as we want it to become.

Inside Occupy Wall Street
How a Bunch of Anarchists and Radicals With Nothing But Sleeping Bags
Launched a Nationwide Movement
Jeff Sharlet

It started with a Tweet – "Dear Americans, this July 4th, dream of
insurrection against corporate rule" – and a hashtag: #occupywallstreet.
It showed up again as a headline posted online on July 13th by
Adbusters, a sleek, satirical Canadian magazine known for its mockery of
consumer culture. Beneath it was a date, September 17th, along with a
hard-to-say slogan that never took off, "Democracy, not corporatocracy,"
and some advice that did: "Bring tent."

Belgrade Philosophical Faculty Occupation – call for international support!
Student Liberation League

Students of the Philological Faculty of Belgrade occupied their faculty building on Monday, 17th October with demands for lowering of tuition fees. Soon afterwards their colleagues from the Philosophical Faculty joined their struggle and occupied their building on 20th October as well.

The occupations are run through direct, democratically structured student assemblies which are in charge of organizing security, educational and cultural programmes during the blockades. They are also organized on non-violent basis.

The Creative Commons is to Free Culture what Shareware is to Free Software
Dmyri Kleiner

Back in the early days of computers proprietary software developers
had a problem. Often working from home or small-offices, far removed
from their potential customers, there was no easy way to sell software
to their customers. One common way was to use classified adds in
computer magazines, but unless a software title was very well known,
it was difficult to convince customers to pay for it before they had
the opportunity to try it and verify that it does what they need it

Yet, the very emerging of computers had the solution embedded into the
very technology, users where already distributing software on their
own, by way of exchanging floppy disks, uploading software to Bulletin
Board Systems or Online Services, or even printing out source code so
that others could rekey it on their own computer.

Debtor's Revolution: Are Debt Strikes Another Possible Tactic in the Fight Against the Big Banks?
Sarah Jaffe

In the gorgeous, purple-and-green-lit Lower East Side headquarters of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, nearly 300 techies, activists and thinkers gathered, shouting out ideas for social justice-minded Web projects that they would break into small groups to attempt to hash out in a day.

A man in a plaid shirt stood up and told the moderator and the crowd, “I want to create a tool for organizing debt strikes.”

The man was Thomas Gokey, an artist and adjunct professor at Syracuse University, and his idea wound up one of the four “winners” at ContactCon, a conference hosted by Douglas Rushkoff that urged people to think of solutions to the problem of the corporate-controlled Internet—and by extension, the world. The project, nicknamed “Kick-Stopper,” is in the works, but Gokey notes that he's far from the only person out there suggesting, especially in the wake of Occupy Wall Street's successes, that it's time for some more serious, organized direct action around the issue of debt.


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