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Rescuing Democracy

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ISBN: 9780998237503 Year: Pages: 518 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0153.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:35
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This book proposes a new institution — the ‘People’s Forum’ — to enable democratic governments to effectively address long-running issues like global warming and inequality. It would help citizens decide what strategic problems their government must fix, especially where this requires them to suffer some inconvenience or cost. The People’s Forum is first based on a new diagnosis of government failure in democracies. The book tests its own analyses of government failure by seeing whether these might help us to explain the failures of particular democracies to address (and in some cases, to even recognize) several crucial environmental problems. The essential features of a new design for democracy are described and then compared with those of previous institutional designs that were also intended to improve the quality of democratic government. In that comparison, the People’s Forum turns out to be not only the most effective design for developing and implementing competent policy, but also the easiest to establish and run. The latter advantage is crucial as there has been no success in getting previous designs into actual trial practice. It is hoped that this book may inspire a small group to raise the money to set up and run the People’s Forum. Then, as citizens see it operating and engage with it, they may come to regard the new Forum as essential in helping them to deliberate long-running issues and to get their resulting initiatives implemented by government. Smith also discusses how the People’s Forum must be managed and how groups with different political ideologies may react to it. An Afterword sets out the method by which this design was produced, to help those who might want to devise an institution themselves. The new concepts in environmental science that the book develops to test its diagnosis are applied in an Appendix to outline crucial options for the future of Tasmania. Similar options apply to many countries, states and provinces. As indicated above, those choices are currently beyond the capacity of democratic governments to address and in some cases, even to recognize. But the People’s Forum may lift them out of that morass.

Antiracism Inc.

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ISBN: 9781950192236 9781950192243 Year: Pages: 382 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0250.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-04-26 11:21:03
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"Antiracism Inc. traces the ways people along the political spectrum appropriate, incorporate, and neutralize antiracist discourses to perpetuate injustice. It also examines the ways organizers continue to struggle for racial justice in the context of such appropriations. Antiracism Inc. reveals how antiracist claims can be used to propagate racism, and what we can do about it.

While related to colorblind, multicultural, and diversity discourses, the appropriation of antiracist rhetoric as a strategy for advancing neoliberal and neoconservative agendas is a unique phenomenon that requires careful interrogation and analysis. Those who co-opt antiracist language and practice do not necessarily deny racial difference, biases, or inequalities. Instead, by performing themselves conservatively as non-racists or liberally as ‘authentic’ antiracists, they purport to be aligned with racial justice even while advancing the logics and practices of systemic racism.

Antiracism Inc. therefore considers new ways of struggling toward racial justice in a world that constantly steals and misuses radical ideas and practices. The collection focuses on people and methods that do not seek inclusion in the hierarchical order of gendered racial capitalism. Rather, the collection focuses on aggrieved peoples who have always had to negotiate state violence and cultural erasure, but who work to build the worlds they envision. These collectivities seek to transform social structures and establish a new social warrant guided by what W.E.B. Du Bois called “abolition democracy,” a way of being and thinking that privileges people, mutual interdependence, and ecological harmony over individualist self-aggrandizement and profits. These aggrieved collectivities reshape social relations away from the violence and alienation inherent to gendered racial capitalism, and towards the well-being of the commons. Antiracism Inc. articulates methodologies that strive toward freedom dreams without imposing monolithic or authoritative definitions of resistance. Because power seeks to neutralize revolutionary action through incorporation as much as elimination, these freedom dreams, as well as the language used to articulate them, are constantly transformed through the critical and creative interventions stemming from the active engagement in liberation struggles."

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