» Archive for 2010


Sunday, April 25th, 2010 by Darin Robbins

Autonomous solidarity is a form of association that can be truly an expression of justice as it balances freedom and equality.

A big question, that is not necessarily at the forefront of public debate, is whether autonomy or liberty is more important. Liberty can easily be defined as freedom from government tyranny, and obviously is quite valuable in its own respect regardless of political ideology. There can be a leftwing or rightwing movement for liberty. Autonomy, on the other hand, must be defined strictly from its origins in ancient Greek. Autonomy translates into “self-law” and is the act of people creating the institutions that govern their lives in such a way as to be able to decide on actions that directly affect themselves. This definition implies that direct democracy is the best method to achieve this goal, whereas the definition of liberty never proposes a way to accomplish itself. In fact, some have argued that democracy can be a detriment to liberty since it can become mob rule. A republic where representatives govern has been seen as an improvement on direct democracy. But a republic carries with it the baggage of an inherent elitism, and over time has been shown to be also imperfect. If a democracy and a republic were compared based on the negative connotations of mob rule and elitism respectively, then an interesting factor emerges. The will of a mob may infringe on liberty at times, but this will has the potential to change over time. In contrast, the goal of an elite is always to perpetuate itself and its hierarchy. If democracy can be corrected to insure that liberty is not sacrificed, it will result in more autonomy. Therefore, autonomy has a more long-term importance. This autonomy can exist on the individual level or collective level, but the element of a new type of association must be formed in between in order to balance individual freedom and collective equality. This is what is called autonomous solidarity.

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The Democrats, The Republicans, And The Tea Party

Monday, April 5th, 2010 by Guest Commentator

By Tom Siracuse:

The Republican Party is appealing to the prejudices of the white working class by supporting the “Tea Party”. They have encouraged these prejudices over many years but when they get into office, they temper their ultra right rhetoric and resemble the Democratic Party. It is not because the Republican Party is ignorant, crazy or particularly racist. Fostering racism and xenophobia enables the Republican Party to confuse the American people and especially the white working class and that prevents them from focusing in on what is really happening–saving the capitalist elite by reducing its taxes, restoring its profits by cheapening the cost of labor through high unemployment, denying climate change by maintaining the super profitable oil and coal industries, militarizing the economy through expanding the arms industry and keeping the banks deregulated so that they can continue to engage in ultra profitable speculation.

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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 by Darin Robbins

The inherent flaw of the bailout was that it did not address the structural flaws of the economy, which could be addressed by a non-corporate and community-based economic democracy.

The economic crisis that occurred in September of 2008 initiated a mode of public policy that bridged two presidential administrations and two political parties. Commonly referred to as the bailout of the financial system, it gave government support to large corporations in an attempt to avoid a depression as great as the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Though enacted before the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration, president Obama has fully supported this approach in his first year in office. Even though it was argued that these large financial institutions were “too big to fail”, the use of taxpayer money to save large corporations illustrated a long-term economic trend in public policy to favor corporations in general in the U.S. economy. It can be argued that an emphasis on local ownership, and expanded ownership as well, may be a far better alternative to sustain a stable economy. The 2008 bailout can be critiqued as a symptom of a larger economic problem.

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