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Global News and Analysis

US Capitalism Was Born in the Destruction of the Commons

Source: Truthout

“Community has to be intended, not as a gated reality, a grouping of people joined by exclusive interests, and separating them from others, but rather as a quality of relations, a principle of cooperation and of responsibility, to each other and the health of the forests, the seas, the animals.”

So writes [feminist] Silvia Federici. But how can we get there from here? The practice of commoning, and the idea that we might hold and manage land and assets together in common, holds a lot of appeal these days. To help us think forward as we do on this show, we have two world-renowned experts on commoning in the house. Federici’s latest book is Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons. Its foreword is written by historian and “Laura Flanders Show” regular, Peter Linebaugh, who is the author of, among other classics, The Magna Carta Manifesto. In this interview, Federici and Linebaugh discuss the history of the commons and how we might apply some of the ideas central to commoning to rebuilding our communities. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Arundhati Roy on Fiction in the Face of Rising Fascism

Source: Truthout

“How to tell a shattered story by slowly becoming everybody. No, by slowly becoming everything.” That’s the line that stuck with me from The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, the latest book by one of our favorite guests, Arundhati Roy. Roy’s strength as a writer — and what she does that so many of us struggle to do — is weave many stories into one fabric, without diluting the integrity of those stories. I’ve spoken to her often about her writing on capitalism, nationalism, solidarity and resistance. In this conversation we’ll talk about all those things again, and visit her new novel against the backdrop of anti-Muslim violence and landmark changes for queer people in her home country of India. read more

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Global News and Analysis

The Culture That Capitalism Created: An interview with Boots Riley

Source: The Nation

Poet, rapper, and filmmaker Boots Riley has just published Tell Homeland Security—­We Are the Bomb, a collection of songs, commentaries, and stories 
from his work with the Oakland hip-hop group the Coup and the band Street Sweeper Social Club. Riley has been involved in political activism for decades, from police-brutality protests to supporting Occupy Oakland. This interview has been adapted from The Laura Flanders Show.

LF: How would you describe what you do?


BR: I try to find creative ways to put ideas out to make the ground fertile for organizers. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Republic Windows Workers Consider Employee-Owned Co-Op

Source: The Nation

Three years ago, a worker occupation in Chicago saved a factory and sent up a flare of resistance. Three years on, workers at the same factory are illuminating not only how workers might resist layoffs but also what they might do next.

“Last time it took six days. This time it took about eleven hours.” That’s union representative Leah Fried describing winning another reprieve last week for the factory formerly known as Republic Windows and Doors.

In December 2008, days after receiving a $25 billion federal bailout, Bank of America cut off Republic’s credit, leading management to fire all 250 workers without pay or notice. With layoffs approaching 500,000 a month around the country, Republic’s workers and their union, the militant United Electrical Workers, voted to resist. They occupied the plant and stayed, winning the hearts of downcast Americans everywhere and inspiring even an incoming US president. Bank of America backed down, giving the factory time to find a new buyer, which it did, a company called Serious Energy. read more

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Special Reports

The Politics of Videogames: Reality and Overreaction

Source: Grit TV

‘Medal of Honor’ is a video game out this week set in modern day, war-torn Afghanistan. The controversy? As a player you can choose to play on the opposing force– as the Taliban.  This has led to the game being banned at US Army base stores.

Another game causing a stir is called ‘Hey Baby,’ a simulation of street harassment that allows women to fight back.  So is everything fair game when it comes to virtual gaming?  To discuss this and more, we’re joined by two video gamer experts, Kieron Gillen, director of Rock Paper Shotgun and Lucas Siegel, site editor of Newsarama and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Is the Drug War a Class War?

Source: Grit TV

The war on drugs. We keep calling it that, it seems, because we like wars on abstract concepts. Like the war on terror, the war on drugs racks up one hell of a body count, and its victims are mostly innocent civilians with no more love for the corrupt regimes that rule them than we have.

Molly Molloy, who runs Frontera List, which focuses on border-related news and specifically Ciudad Juarez, and Charles Bowden, author of a new book on Ciudad Juarez, both call it not a war on drugs but a war on the poor. read more