Loomio founder: 5 Reasons to Build a Network of Small Groups, Rather than a Mass Movement of Individuals 

So much of the lefty US political discourse is focused on a huge scale. Environmentalists want to save the planet. Progressives want to mobilise millions of people on the #OneTrueHashtag. In preparation for this trip, one of my first meetings was with an organisation who are doing great work locally, but they’re freaking out about how they can possibly expand their efforts to encompass a national scale. My advice: don’t waste time growing a nationwide bureaucracy, just stick to what’s working, and publish everything so folks can copy you.

Source: 5 Reasons to Build a Network of Small Groups, Rather than a Mass Movement of Individuals | P2P Foundation

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Are Your Job Skills Hot Or Not? This Chart Will Tell You

It is very interesting to see that I’ve organically gravitated to the hot specialty skills (jobs) that will remain in demand.

Pulling out Design as its own graph, the hottest specialty is systems design–which is a broad topic for sure, focusing on developing services and products through a coordinated “systems” approach of development, production, and marketing. The related Systems Architecture follows right behind. After that, you get into technical drafting and CAD, and then, proficiency in Adobe Premiere and the Creative Suite. Web graphics are still in demand, too.

Source: Are Your Job Skills Hot Or Not? This Chart Will Tell You

Ondi Timoner Didn’t Want to Make Documentaries Anymore. Then Came ‘Jungletown’

Super interested in this story.

“What I hope people learn is what I learned from it, which is that there’s a real generation of young people — millennials — who are facing climate disaster and aren’t content with just sitting there,” she said.

But a lot of what viewers will see in “Jungletown” is a breakdown of those romantic ideals. The interns realize that things aren’t as they were advertised. They don’t grow all of their own food, for instance, and it’s unclear exactly where all the money goes. Stice himself doesn’t live in the town but instead travels around getting people to invest money in it. He plays video games — such as “Civilization” and “The Sims” — and buys food from grocery stores. He drives a pickup truck in and out of the town while most have to hike the three miles from the next major area.

Timoner exposes these contrasting ideals, but doesn’t linger on them too long. She acknowledged to TheWrap that she wants to believe in Stice’s mission. She said that most of what we see that can be considered hypocritical is unavoidable, since the town lacks some basic infrastructure.

“There are so many layers and I love that,” Timoner said. “I’m always drawn to stories where there’s a lot of gray area and we get to grapple with how things are versus how we think they should be.”

Source: Ondi Timoner Didn’t Want to Make Documentaries Anymore. Then Came ‘Jungletown’

What a revolution is.

“Revolution doesn’t have to do with smashing something; it has to do with bringing something forth. If you spend all your time thinking about that which you are attacking, then you are negatively bound to it. You have to find the zeal in yourself and bring that out.

Joseph Campbell, “Pathways to Bliss”
(Copyright © 2004 Joseph Campbell Foundation), p. 104

Elektrobiblioteka (electronic library)

“I was interested in the phenomenon of a book perceived as a kind of interface, which has influenced the way we deal with information. I also wanted to shift the experience typical for print design to the field of digital media. One of the major inspirations was the manifesto ‘The topography of typography’ published in 1923 by a graphic designer El Lissitzky, who has expected a book to be replaced with something he called “electrolibrary”. It seems that his predictions came true.

The final result of the project is the paper book that can be connected to the computer via USB cable. It is able to physically detect which page is currently open and send that information to the Electrolibrary website. By turning pages or touching given illustrations you can navigate through the website and get additional information such as hyperlinks, quotations, movies etc. Of course you can also unplug the cable and read it like a normal book.

Source: Elektrobiblioteka

Exiting the Vampire Castle: RIP Mark Fisher 

But the rejection of identitarianism can only be achieved by the re-assertion of class. A left that does not have class at its core can only be a liberal pressure group. Class consciousness is always double: it involves a simultaneous knowledge of the way in which class frames and shapes all experience, and a knowledge of the particular position that we occupy in the class structure. It must be remembered that the aim of our struggle is not recognition by the bourgeoisie, nor even the destruction of the bourgeoisie itself. It is the class structure – a structure that wounds everyone, even those who materially profit from it – that must be destroyed. The interests of the working class are the interests of all; the interests of the bourgeoisie are the interests of capital, which are the interests of no-one. Our struggle must be towards the construction of a new and surprising world, not the preservation of identities shaped and distorted by capital.

Source: Exiting the Vampire Castle | openDemocracy

The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves

Faced with a peasantry that didn’t feel like playing the role of slave, philosophers, economists, politicians, moralists and leading business figures began advocating for government action. Over time, they enacted a series of laws and measures designed to push peasants out of the old and into the new by destroying their traditional means of self-support.“The brutal acts associated with the process of stripping the majority of the people of the means of producing for themselves might seem far removed from the laissez-faire reputation of classical political economy,” writes Perelman. “In reality, the dispossession of the majority of small-scale producers and the construction of laissez-faire are closely connected, so much so that Marx, or at least his translators, labeled this expropriation of the masses as ‘‘primitive accumulation.’’

Source: The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves

Update: Jan 29, 2017

How did so many of us, Homo sapiens, quite late in our species history, come to live in sedentary heaps of people, grain, and domesticated animals and governed by units we call states? And what was the relationship between these polities and those remained outside their control? The earliest agrarian states were small and fragile. More people lived outside them than within. They were subject to internal fracture, abandonment, and raiding—both sporadic and systematic. They also represented valuable trade depots that enhanced the exchange value of products from non-state ecologies. The result was, for a time at least, what one might call a “golden age of barbarians.”

James C. Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Science, Technology and Society Program at M.I.T., and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression.

Recent publications include “Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed”, Yale University Press, 1997; “Geographies of Trust: Geographies of Hierarchy,” in Democracy and Trust, 1998; “State Simplifications and Practical Knowledge,” in People’s Economy, People’s Ecology, 1998 and “The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia” (Yale Press, 2009). Source: https://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/