Networked Labour University Information Bulletin No. 1 | 1-7 May 2015 [ENGLISH] | Networked Labour

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1. Culture and knowledge for classless societies is networked in process! 

Networked Labour University is designed as an educational module to be integrated with a broader network composed of Global Networked Labour Union, Networked Labour Research unit, and networked labour coop GNLU. Tied to a greater ecology of universal, free and open access community projects, such as Faircoop, the Earth Cooperative, all our projects aim mutual empowerment at the bottom level. Unconditional empowerment of the dis-empowered, excluded, and oppressed with direct solidarity is the reason why we exist for. Our platform is designed to liberate knowledge from alienation and domination of any kind at the point of production and distribution. In order to enable money-free access to most essential cultural resources we rely on free/libre, open source software, but the platform also aims to facilitate broader solidarity economy by encouraging and enabling open-cooperative exchanges between participants.

Our invitation is an wide open one, anyone can join and contribute by offering and taking courses, moderating circles or skill shares, helping out with web design, platform development, promotion, or any other way!

2. Networked Labour University Opening Meeting

Date: 7 May 2015
Time: 14.00 – 17.00 (ECT / UCT+1)

Check-ins (14:00 – 14:15)

Opening and presentation of the system (14:15 – 15:00)
Networked Labour University and Worker to Worker Study Circles

Discussion (15:15 – 16:45)
How to use cross-border communication and which digital tools to build commons knowledge, culture, politics, and economy for the classless society and from the oppressed point of view?

Closing and Check-outs (16:45 – 17:00)

Access: Participation is on-line, open and free. What you need to do to is to open an account on the website below and to selfenrol for the event before. Working languages are English/Turkish

Website: networkedlabour.networg.nl/moodle
Email: networg@networg.nl

Click here to register as a user 

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Networked Labour University, a project networed in process! | Networked Labour

Networked Labour University is a universal, free and open access platform that allows collective learning for individuals and groups. Unconditional empowerment of the disempowered, excluded, and oppressed with direct solidarity is the reason we exist for. Based on a transformatory and emancipatory perspective the platform is designed to liberate knowledge from alienation and domination of any kind, at the point of production and distribution. We use free/libre, open source software is to enable money-free access to most essential cultural resources. The platform is being developed to facilitate broader solidarity economy by encouraging and enabling open-cooperative exchanges between participants. Anyone can join us and contribute by offering and taking courses, moderating circles or skill shares, helping with web design and platform development or in any other way!

Website: http://networkedlabour.networg.nl/moodle/Empowered by http://www.networkedlabour.net/

via Networked Labour University, a project networed in process! | Networked Labour.

Charter for Europe, 1.2 – articles – L’internationale

(BY WAY OF) INTRODUCING THE PROJECT OF A CHARTER FOR EUROPE

by Francesco Salvini & Raúl Sánchez Cedillo (Fundación de los Comunes)

To think Europe as a space to be invented, to be drawn up, to be constructed. This is the collective exercise that brought us to Madrid some months ago, to rethink Europe as a territory whose political, institutional and productive definition rests in our hands, or in other words, in the protagonism of social struggles and political creation from below, passing through our everyday ways of doing things.

It is in this sense that the space we created in the New Abduction of Europe, an encounter that took place in the Museo Reina Sofia in February and March 2014, was a place for working on these problems with new methods and tools for discussion and reflection. A place where we could collectively imagine – in the midst of an urgent and complex situation – a world within which many worlds fit, as the Zapatistas used to say. In other words, we gathered to rethink practices of the political imagination within the European situation, starting from the territory of making (making society, making the common of human beings) rather than from ideological organization or the diffuse elaboration of slogans. For this we used a series of tools that allow for the construction of a transeuropean political techné, common to many, different and a priori discordant subjects.

via Charter for Europe, 1.2 – articles – L’internationale.

Strength and Power Reimagining Revolution | Guerrilla Translation!

deshaucios_OLmoCalvo_Diagonal-585x390Image by Olmo Calvo

by Amador Fernández-Savater

Translated by Stacco Troncoso, edited by Jane Loes Lipton – Guerrilla Translation!

How is it possible that fifty people can stop a forced eviction? Not just once, but over and over again (as many as six hundred times). This question has been on my mind for a while. During the 25-S protests in Madrid 1, we saw for ourselves that the police can evict any number of protestors from anywhere. So, exactly what sort of strength allows those fifty people to stop a foreclosure eviction? What does it mean to have strength, if it’s not quite the same as having power (physical, quantitative, economic, institutional, etc.)? The following is my attempt at an answer that, by no means, fully exhausts the question. That is to say, there’s room for more answers and, above all, to keep asking the question – this, I believe, is the most important thing.

via Strength and Power Reimagining Revolution | Guerrilla Translation!.

Agora 99 » 24-26 Ekim 2014 İstanbul, Üçüncü Agora99 için Önhazırlık Toplantısı

agora99_officineZ_03112013Mücadelelerden mücadelelere bir çağrı: barınma ve kent hakkı için müşterekler için; güvencesiz emeğe ve neoliberal kentleşmeye, savaş ve devlet militarizmine karşı ve yurttaşlık hakkı ve sığınmacılık özgürlüğü için yerel ve küresel mücadeleleri bağlayabilecek örgüt pratiklerini geliştirelim.

“Üçüncüsü yapılacak Agora99’u 2015’te İstanbul’da düzenleyelim!”

25 Ekim’de İstanbul’da düzenlenecek ön buluşma için forumlara ve ağlara çağrımızdır.

Dünya, 2011 yılından itibaren, gerçek anlamda ulusları aşan ve küresel ölçeğe erişen bir taban ayaklanmaları dalgasına tanıklık etmiştir. Tunus, Mısır, İzlanda, Yunanistan, İspanya, İsrail, Şili, İngiltere, ABD, Türkiye, Brezilya ve diğer birçok yerde insanlar adaletsizlik ve eşitsizliği protesto etmek ve demokrasi uğruna sokaklara dökülmüştür. Yıllardır süregelen mücadeleler yeni bir görünürlük kazanmış ve yeni hareketler ve mücadeleler vücut bulmuştur.

Yerel ölçekteki çeşitli meselelerin tetiklediği bu ayaklanmalar ilk bakışta birbirinden kopuk ve eşzamanlı olmayan bir niteliğe sahipmiş gibi görünebilir. Ancak, öz-örgütlenme, bağlantı ve yataylık bu ayaklanmaların ortak özelliği olmuştur: hepsi de demokratik karar almanın yeni biçimlerini uyguluyor ve lidersizlik niteliği taşıyor. Hepsi, meclisler, çalışma grupları ve yakınlaşma alanları aracılığıyla örgütleniyor ve sosyal medya zemininde ve çevrimiçi buluşmalarla kitlesel katılıma olanak sağlıyorlar.

Aynı zamanda, yerelliğin ve ulusların ötesine geçerek grupları, hareketleri ve bireyleri bölgesel, ulusal ve enternasyonal düzeyde birbirine yaklaştıran bağlar, ayaklanmaların yayılmasına ve devam etmesine ve dünyanın birçok yerinde, insanlık değerlerine dayalı ağların kurulmasına olanak sağlamıştır. Büyük meclisler öz-düşünme ve fikir teatisi imkânlarını ortaya çıkarmıştır.

Bunlardan biri de Agora99 olmuştur.

via Agora 99 » 24-26 Ekim 2014 İstanbul, Üçüncü Agora99 için Önhazırlık Toplantısı.

The P2P Prince?: The form and the program of the transnational REvolutionary subjectivity

Below text is an excpert from unpublished and unedited 2012 article Another World, Now! Coming of the Transnational REvolutions and the P2P Prince.

The  modern  prince,  the  myth-prince,  cannot  be  a  real  person,  a  concrete individual. It can only be an organism, a complex element of society in which a collective will, which has  already been recognised and has to some  extent asserted itself in action, begins to take concrete form. (A. Gramsci)

 

Italian political activist and theorist Antonio Gramsci’s core concepts like hegemony, organic crisis, historic bloc, war of position and war of manoeuvre are central to our understanding of today’s complex global capitalist system as well as the catastrophic changes that are currently taking place in it. Referring to the original concept developed by Gramsci, global political economy theorist Stephen Gill describes the 2008 global financial turmoil as the manifestation of an organic crisis at the global level. [1] We can also read the outcomes of the global organic crisis following another neo-Gramscian theorist Robert Cox as a mixture of three scenarios he describes.[2] First one is a global (military) Keynesian recovery being pushed by the West. Regional wars moving from the periphery to the centre involving massive destruction of lives, cities and the nature, as we witness it happening since the 9/11. The second scenario is the rise of global fascism in tandem with the regional wars. This has also been happening, especially increasingly in the centre, since 2007; highlighting the race to the bottom caused by the strengthening of totalitarian forms of capitalism at the main contenders like China, Russia and India. Finally and the last scenario is accompanying transnational revolutions, like the uprisings in the northern Africa, Americas and Europe also happening.[3]

What brought humanity to this point is not a secret and also made clear by many thinkers, intellectuals, and activists. The above mentioned article by Gill is only one of the public records. It is very clear however where we have to drive history as the humanity, the third option: Transnational revolutions. Again, following Gramsci and Gill, we can think of the realisation of the transnational revolutions in relation to the ‘Prince’. For his time Gramsci thought of it as the collective subjectivity which will give the moral leadership to a wider counter-hegemonic historic bloc, and shape the form and content of the communist revolution in a national context. And it was the communist part of the working class. Gill referred to the anti- and alter-globalisation movement. Continue reading

Enric Duran on shared and disobedient crowdfunding platform networks | P2P-Foundation

We’ve recently featured Coopfunding, an Open-Sourced crowdfunding platform designed to “…promote the financing of projects with a social, self managed and cooperative nature.”  Today we present a guest article by Enric Duran, one of the developers behind Coopfunding and its parent-project, the Catalan Integral Cooperative, explaining the reasons that led to the creation of Coopfunding. This article was originally published in Radi.MS


The expansion of crowdfunding in the last few years has been quite vertiginous.

Hundreds of projects have been able to get off the ground around the world coming from very different backgrounds but united in the aim of creating a link between donors and the projects they sponsor.

Crowdfunding, for its practicality and usefulness, has expanded without any ideological limitation and while it served to finance many social projects it has also supported more conventional initiatives based on consumerism and business as meant in the capitalist system.

In this way, more traditional fund raising events like benefit gigs and have been overlooked, and we should take in to account that with the crowdfunding model we are at risk of leaving the financing of social initiative in the hands of unscrupulous business which, through the management of crowdfunding platforms, are making the same profit that any middle man would make in an ordinary business transaction, through the charge of commissions which range between 5% and 10% of the donations received. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indygogo have already made profits in the millions region.

we are at risk of leaving the financing of social initiative in the hands of third party business

Also, there are several projects which are managed by cooperatives which nevertheless still charge a 5% fee on donations in order to support themselves, like Goteo.org, managed on mainland Spain by a foundation dedicated to the expansion of common good, funditaly.it, a recent cooperative project and also a foundation in Veezuela called www.causasolidaria.com.

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The Tragedy of The Private, The Potential of The Public

From South Africa to Brazil, from Italy to the US, in Uruguay, Greece, Norway, the UK and in many other countries, municipal councils are taking services back under public control. Public Service workers and their fellow community members are not only defending public services but are also struggling to make them democratic and responsive to the people’s needs and desires.

This report co-published by Public Services international and the Transnational Institute surveys anti-privatisation campaigns by PSI affiliates around the world. From South Africa to Brazil, from Italy to the US, in Uruguay, Greece, Norway, the UK and in many other countries, municipal councils are taking services back under public control.

Over the past 30 years, since Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan gained office, it is clear that the problems the welfare state was designed to alleviate – hunger, disease, unemployment, poor living conditions – have thrived once again, as these dogmatically pro-market politicians drove the destruction of the model. In the case of too much of the Global South, their ideology contributed to blocking attempts to build public services where they are most needed.

It is now clear that public service managers and local politicians, those taking decisions on the front line of public services, are in practice rejecting the claims of private business and their political champions. They are asserting pragmatically an understanding of ‘efficiency’ that is based on a different logic from that of private commercial accounting. Instead it is grounded in an understanding of the distant concept of ‘public value’ – the meeting of social needs – as the central criteria for efficiency in the management of public services. This turning point is drawn from their everyday experience of the failure of services delivered by private business.

How can we strengthen this pragmatic – and still modest – turn away from privatisation, to challenge the national and international institutions that continue to drive outsourciing and impose it on an increasingly disaffected public? And how can this pragmatic rejection of the private market in the sphere of public goods become a source of energy and creativity, sparking a process of improving and expanding public services to meet the new needs and desires that have emerged in recent decades? These are the questions which this booklet seeks to answer.

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A Charter for Democracy – Movimiento por la Democracia

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A CHARTER FOR DEMOCRACY

This Charter was born of a deep malaise: lack of prospects, mass unemployment, cuts in social rights and benefits, evictions, political and financial corruption, dismantling of public services. It was drafted in reaction to the social majority’s growing lack of confidence in the promises of a political system devoid of legitimacy and the ability to listen.

The two-party system, widespread corruption, the financial dictatorship imposed by austerity policies and the destruction of public goods have dealt the final blow to a democracy long suffering from its own limits. These limits were already present in the 1978 Constitution. They can be summarized as a political framework that neither protects society from the concentration of power in the hands of the financial groups, nor from the consolidation of a non-representative political class. This political framework has established a system which is hardly open to citizen participation, and unable to construct a new system of collective rights for our protection and common development. This is evident in the fact that, despite some very significant public demonstrations, the demands of the vast majority of the population have repeatedly been ignored.

Faced with this institutional stonewalling and the growing separation between the rulers and the ruled, it seems there’s only one way out: a deep expansion of democracy based on citizen control over political and economic power. Surely, since what’s left of democracy is constantly shrinking and attempts at internal reform would only mean repeating the same mistakes, we must take a chance on changing the rules of the game – a democratic change, geared toward returning to society the effective decision-making ability over all which concerns it.

Chaos and dictatorship are not the only alternatives to the current democracy. A democracy created among all people is possible – a democracy not reduced to merely voting, but founded on participation, citizen control and equal rights.

This Charter emerged from the desire to contribute to this process of democratization. In this sense, it contributes from a place of joy, from the energy of citizen mobilizations, from politics happening outside political parties, speaking in first person plural and trying to build a life worth living for everyone. No doubt the impetus is democracy itself. People have the ability to invent other forms of governing themselves and living together. This text was created with the assurance that today’s struggles are the basis of the coming democracy.

As this is a proposal of democratization, this Charter is presented as an unfinished, long-term construction project, openly inviting anyone to participate. This charter isn’t meant to be a political program or an exhaustive catalogue of rights, nor does it pretend to be a static State model. Given our investment in democratization, it simply points towards the basic, necessary elements needed to reconstruct a new institutional model that is open to the collective needs, proposals and capacity for self-governance that has recently found its voice throughout streets, squares and networks. Seen this way, the participative, deliberative process we yearn for matters as much as its content, which should always be a faithful reflection of the proposals and aspirations of the citizenry.

In essence, this Charter calls for opening a new process of debate, leading to a political and economic restructuring to guarantee life, dignity and democracy. It’s presented here as a contribution towards establishing a new social contract, a process of democratic reform in which the people — the “anyones”— are the true protagonists.

It’s time for the citizens to appropriate public institutions and resources, in order to ensure their defense, control and fair distribution. In the public squares and networks, we’ve learned something simple and conclusive which will forever change our way of being in the world. We’ve learned that yes, we can.

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Rights and Guarantees

A democracy worthy of the name requires universal recognition of a wide constellation of rights related to all areas of public life and social reproduction. The decline in access to benefits and social services, the plundering by the financial dictatorship, and the dismantling of public welfare systems by austerity policies in recent decades have all significantly undermined the means of effectively exercising these rights. Similarly, access to many of these rights is conditional upon nationality and employment status, which has ended up producing major exclusion. Moreover, the subordinate nature of social rights in the current Constitution has not allowed sufficient development of certain fundamental issues such as housing, employment and income.

In short, both the inherent limits of the current system and the impotence of the Spanish political regime in protecting the most basic of rights are strong enough reasons for the creation of a new institutional system of rights and guarantees that enable caring, the development of our lives, and access to political life.

This Charter puts forward a common starting point for defining a new system of rights. Today, these rights have arisen from the demands and struggles of society itself, and expressed through its multiple forms of organization and participation; as such they are the highest expression of the act of democracy.

These rights redefine social relations, the production and distribution of wealth, and relations between nation-states according to a concept of the human being as a subject with the right to autonomy, but still in deep interdependence with the common space s/he inhabits. To this extent, these rights oppose being characterized as merely individual attributions. These rights must be recognized from both a universal as well as a singular dimension.

In order to guarantee these rights, we require an institutional framework that recognizes and promotes access to an active and democratic political life, and the recognition of the right to collective and direct participation as a real opportunity for the expression of the citizens’ desire to decide on everything which significantly affects the community. This framework should also be fully inclusive; one that accepts that we live in a global world, and acknowledges people’s right to migrate and/or settle where they see fit, in order to live life fully. A framework that could safeguard a life – our own – which, being interdependent, requires protection. This would comprise institutions specifically designed to ensure social reproduction, while neither delegating care labor to particular social groups nor permitting the privatization of that labor. A framework which also guarantees and extends all the rights already recognized in existing frameworks, constitutions and declarations of human rights, and which also recognizes the environment wherein life takes place as a rights-holder that should be carefully defended. This framework must, in the end, recognize society as a source of rights, therefore it must be considered open and under constant construction.

The basic principles which inspire a new, robust Bill of Rights with a guarantee of institutional means are:

  • Universality. All residents will have the same consideration and access to resources that guarantee the effective exercise of their rights.
  • Singularity: Recognizing that there are realities, forms of organization and a diversity of needs, different types of rights must be taken into account, including specific forms of recognition as well as human resources and economic requirements, to the extent that we must preserve such diversity.
  • No regression. Public authorities are not entitled, once these rights are recognized, to interpret them restrictively or to reduce them.
  • Equality. Given that all rights — civil, political and social — are fundamental to the development of people’s lives, the relationship among them must be protected and cared for with the same constitutional and legal guarantees.
  • Multi-institutional and democratic guarantee. Rights should not only be guaranteed by jurisdictional means but also through citizen participation and extra‑institutional organisms created by the persons entitled to the rights themselves. The social participation in the recognition, extension and guarantee of rights through the institutions of direct election and citizen intervention procedures must be explicitly admitted.
  • Financial sufficiency. The development of these rights must be ensured with the necessary economic means. These means will be provided by fiscal reform measures established in the following paragraphs of this Charter.

Finally, it is understood that a subject of rights is also a subject of responsibilities, insofar as she or he is part of a community built around a common project. These responsibilities extend to the environment we inhabit, and include accepting the responsibility to care for it, protect it and enable its reproduction, and in doing so, our own. Such responsibility involves all citizens, but is distributed according to the differences of wealth and ability.Carta_por_la_Democracia_1pag-12red (1)

Political Democracy

The crisis has shown that the decisions of the political class are increasingly controlled by financial interests, and therefore, that democratic Government is conditioned by private enterprise. This situation has lasting repercussions, having provoked a major crisis of legitimacy and representation, aggravated by a state of continued corruption and underscoring the serious lack of existing democratic control.

In any case, the limits of the political system are not recent; rather, they’re structural. These problems can be summed up as: bipartisanship; one-party government in most autonomous communities; difficulty creating new political options; media monopolies; and, especially, the enormous legal difficulties in reforming a Constitution which, moreover, has never been approved by most of the current population.

This is compounded by the fact that political parties – the major players in political life – have turned into a self-serving class, primarily geared towards its own propagation. Without a doubt, institutional obstacles to direct participation hamper the imagination and formation of a political framework founded upon the direct involvement of ordinary people in public affairs..

The decline of the current democracy manifests itself in neglecting the demands of different sectors of society, thus magnifying the distance between legislated policies and what the people say they need. This growing gap between the rulers and the ruled results in the democratic deficit of a system that has prioritized governability over representation and respect for minorities.

The limits of the current democratic system cannot be resolved from the same position from which they arose. Therefore, in order to establish a true democracy, an overhaul is needed.

This Charter advocates a form of democracy capable of returning decision-making power concerning the fundamental aspects of life back to the population. A democracy based on participation in social and political life, one which enables joint decisions on how we want to live. It is, therefore, a wager on a new political agreement built in an open way and with the active participation of citizens. A new agreement based on the recognition of society’s capacity to organize, create institutions, and self-govern.

The construction of this democracy requires a series of agile, effective, and transparent mechanisms articulated on different levels and geared towards both deepening direct participation and the control of delegation, via representation, as deemed appropriate.

Some actions that could give shape to a new democratic political system are as follows:

1. Democratization of public authorities

  • Control of representation. Revocable mandates by a social majority and absolute transparency both in public accounts and the actions of the various organs of Government. Tightening of controls and penalties related to corruption, and the development of independent supervisory authorities with competence over different public institutions. Economic and temporal limits on political appointments: salary caps; an incompatibility regime before, during and after the appointment; and effective limits on the duration of the mandate.
  • Democratization of the internal functioning of the parties. Transparency in party financing, clearly democratic internal statutes, and autonomy of the vote of representatives to ensure the internal plurality of organizations.
  • Reform of the electoral representation system. Removing privileges accorded to parties in the assignation of representatives; modification of lists system; eliminating minimum quota of proportionality; mechanisms of recognition and respect of minorities, as well as balance between the different territories.
  • These mechanisms for democratization, openness and citizen control will be extended to other areas of collective representation, such as social and labor organizations, as well as the media, given their relevance in public life.

2. Recognition and extension of the ways of participation and direct democracy

  • Recognition and expansion of direct democracy tools, such as popular legislative initiatives, referendums and virtual tools of participation.
  • Recognition of citizen control instruments in all areas of the main branches of government, as well as on public accounts. The recognition of such instruments requires transparency laws and the development of flexible mechanisms for public hearing. Recognition of other social organizations acting as control mechanisms or political representatives.
  • Developing mechanisms for collective deliberation: Favoring the development of methodologies for democratic deliberation, both virtual and analog, that promote shared decision making. These mechanisms will be essential in the development of new legislations and their budgets.
  • Extension of the mechanisms enabling direct participation at all administrative levels, and management of public goods and common assets such as school boards, health councils, labor councils as well as local, regional and inter-regional councils.

3. Recognition of popular constituent power as the ultimate source of the constitution and the powers of the State

  • Promotion of a model of open constitutionalism which allows reformation of constitutional standards from below, prevents foreseeable constitutional stonewalling, enables citizen reform initiatives and promotes permanent deliberation.
  • The autonomous, independent forging of institutions for the self-regulation and development of rights generated by the social structure itself will be recognized and favored.

A mature political democracy will not only allow for the real and effective separation of the different powers of the state, but also for direct citizen control of the latter. According to this charter, the judiciary, state police, and security forces will also be subject to the same requisites of transparency, democratization and citizen control. Its ranking heads shall not be chosen by political representatives but directly by the citizenry itself.

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Economic Democracy

A democratic society cannot be conceived without the guarantee of the necessary material support for the development of a dignified and politically active life. A democratic society without a fairer distribution of wealth cannot be conceived.

The high unemployment figures, the widespread insecurity, the spiral of evictions, the debt slavery condemning a large part of the population, the privatization of public services, the enormous concentration of wealth and the subordination of public economies to banking interests all point in the opposite direction: inequality and economic subordination of the many (99%) to a few (1%).

The current democracy as well as the constitutional guarantees on which it is based have been completely ineffective in avoiding this situation. None of the mechanisms set out in the Constitution of 1978 – social rights, labor rights, public initiatives in the economic sphere and the subordination of the wealth to the social interest, among others – have been able to protect society from economic and financial interests. Neo-liberal policies have prevailed above any other criteria, including the common good. This despoilment is most evident now, in the midst of the crisis.

This Charter intends to recover the social resources which have been privatized and concentrated into a few hands, in order to make them available for a real democratic process. Thus, the framework proposed by austerity politics will not be accepted. Never before has there been so much wealth, but rarely has this been distributed so poorly and under such undemocratic and unfair criteria. Therefore, a full review of the functions of economic policies is required, in order to prioritize of the welfare of the population over private, financial and corporate profit. A real, and not just formal, recognition that the laws of the market must always be subsumed to the social functions of the economy is essential.

With the aim of promoting economic democracy, this charter considers five basic pillars:

1. Financial democracy

Financial wealth will be considered as a common resource, upon which the citizenship must have the capacity and ability to influence. “Who regulates are the people, not the market” is the maxim that inspired this point. To do so, procedures will be established for democratic decision making on the debt contracted during recent years, as well as on financial and real estate assets in public hands derived from the restructuring of financial markets and the banking sector. To this end, the following measures are proposed:

  • Citizen Debt Audit. This proposal allows distinction between those debts which are legitimate and those which are not. This audit will be articulated as a social process of democratic and financial education, whereby citizens may acquire greater capacity for decision making and control over the financial economy.
  • Creation of public utility institutions, with financial and real estate assets resulting from successive restructuring. These institutions, under strict democratic control, will serve the promotion of economic equality and social development.

2. Tax reform

The object of the reform entails the promotion of a broad redistribution of expenditures and benefits, so that a formal equality is also a guaranteed real material equitability with access to common and public goods.

  • Major proposals: the restoration of the principles of proportionality and escalation for both labor income and corporate profits; the implementation of new taxes on financial transactions and higher taxes on capital income; the decrease of indirect and consumption taxes, and prosecution of tax fraud. Tax reform will be based on a criteria of equality and equal tax treatment, as well as territorial solidarity.

3. Common and public goods

Privatization processes have shown that public administrations have not protected public resources against attempts at appropriation by private interests. The social recovery of these goods, as well as the democratization of their management, must guarantee their accessibility by the population as a whole.

  • All goods and basic infrastructure needed for the reproduction of life, political participation and the normal function of the economy will have the status of public-common goods. These public-common goods shall include: education, health, housing, security, transportation, information, and justice; important natural resources including water, atmosphere, soil, oceans, coasts, rivers and riverbanks, forests and natural areas of ecological and aesthetic importance; and major roads, highways, interchanges, railway infrastructure, ports, and the like.
  • Strategic resources and sectors of the economy, such as communications, energy, or mineral resources, will be reverted to a condition of public–common resources. The administration of those resources will be subject to a strict public and democratic control.  This will effectively reverse the tendency towards privatization that has been promoted in the last decades.
  • Public-common assets shall neither be alienated nor sold by public administrations. Being public-common property, they are considered the property of all persons residing in the Spanish State.
  • Public-common assets shall be managed in a democratic way, regulated and governed both by mechanisms of citizen participation and expert communities required for each case.

4. Promotion of the Social Economy and Democracy in Economic Relations

This Charter promotes citizen participation in business-related decision-making processes, especially in matters which could be crucial to the common interest. In addition, economic activity will be subordinated to criteria of integral profitability, i.e. social, environmental and economic.

  • It encourages the development of a new business model based on the principles of the social economy, cooperativism, and respect for the environment.
  • All companies should progressively organize around the following principles: equity, respect for the environment, transparency, and sustainable development. Equally, controls over wage distribution in companies will be observed, forestalling the present model of speculative accumulation and extravagant salaries, while rigorously vetoing the increase of precarious labor.
  • The fundamental principles of labor rights will be observed: the right to work freely or in exchange for just compensation; the protection of workers in situations of dependence; the right to rest and to retire; the right to autonomy and to dignified lives independent of wage labor, along with the right to strike, to form unions and to freely associate and assemble.

5. The expansion of social protection, the recognition of common resources, and the right to a dignified life

Our current system of Social Security is principally funded by income tax contributions and is only inclusive according to criteria of national legal identity. In a globalised context, where employment is scarce and non-remunerated work is seen as essential to the production of wealth, migration has become an elemental necessity for an impoverished population. As such, the prior bases of our system of social protection have proven to be increasingly inefficient and less inclusive.

An expansion of the pension system to comply with just and sufficient standards is required. Another requirement is an expansion of the support mechanisms and infrastructures for collective caretaking, which presently falls almost exclusively on families (particularly, women). Child-rearing duties are a collective responsibility with the following two requirements: the necessary budgetary development and allocation, and the creation of common infrastructures.

The production of non-GDP quantified wealth (in areas such as research, study, cultural, informational or communicative production) shall also be acknowledged through mechanisms for the recognition of all such non-remunerated wealth (such as a Basic Income), along with the creation of all the necessary infrastructures for the development of such mechanisms.

This new system of guarantees will be financed by the proposed measures for fiscal reform, especially through the taxation of financial profit and its circulation, while also reducing the proportion of income tax.

portada-ética-cívica-red

Territorial Democracy

The current financial and economic crisis has shown the weakening of democracy at every level, as well as the fragility of territorial wealth-sharing mechanisms. The dictates of financial governance through austerity policies have established an extraordinary geography of inequality, plunging some countries and regions into the economic and social abyss.

The result is an important territorial split opening up both at the European level and in the Spanish state. In Europe, the absence of democratic intervention mechanisms and the crisis of sovereign debt have created a growing rift between a protected center and an increasingly impoverished periphery. In the Spanish state, the heavy indebtedness of municipalities and regions is leading to the dismantling of social protection systems and the sale of many public goods.

Both cases show a growing loss of territorial solidarity and the legitimacy of government institutions. This threatens a collapse that can only be addressed through a complete institutional reorganization based on democracy and territorial stewardship.

This charter invites discussion for a new territorial agreement at all levels, based on a radically democratic model. It is based on the assumption that decisions about the management of resources and services should be developed at the minimum level of the territorial unit, and forms of the distribution of wealth must be organized within the larger Commons to ensure equity between the territories.

In this way, it is intended to minimize the inequalities between them, compensating for the inequalities generated by models of territorial jurisdiction.

The new territorial agreement model shall be the result of democratic consultation and cooperation among the various territorial units. It should acknowledge the widest possible plurality, and build itself up from its residents’ right to democratically decide on their belonging or not to the different territorial units.

Territorial Democracy will be based on the following principles.

  • Joint responsibility and equality. Membership in the political association involves the acceptance of certain rules and communal constitutions, as well as the acceptance of a taxation system and a communal budget sufficient to correct social and territorial inequality. The new tax system shall be based on progressiveness and fiscal equity.
  • Subsidiarity. The management of resources and services as well as decisions on matters of public interest must be reduced to the minimum territorial unit in which it is most accessible to those residents responsible for such management or decisions. All services that can be better managed at smaller territorial scales will be managed at this level.
  • Financial autonomy and sufficiency. Each territorial unit must have an appropriate budget for the provision of those services for which it is responsible. This budget will be autonomously administered by the democratically managed citizen organisms established for this purpose. Moreover, this budget will not only be guaranteed by its binding resources, but additionally by territorial compensation mechanisms established at different territorial scales. Autonomy in the management of said budget does not exempt those territorial units from the provision of certain services and fiscal obligations to the supra-territorial treasury.

The institutional development of the different territorial scales will be carried out starting from the following principles:

1. Deepening of political democracy: self-government

  • To reclaim and develop all areas of participation and decision at every scale, building on the aforementioned formulas: the democratization of public powers and the extension of citizen participation and direct democracy mechanisms.
  • In accordance with the subsidiarity principle there shall be an inclination, whenever the scale of the processes and resources involved allows, toward developing local and direct democracy at a scale closest to the people, i.e., local governments and towns.
  • The democratic re-founding process is proposed not only at the Spanish State level, but also for the rest of the territorial scales.

2. Acknowledgement of the different scales and territorial realities and solidarity among them

  • The forms of political union which may result from these democratization processes shall take as their aim the rejection of the current forms of territorial competition, as well as wealth redistribution at all levels; from the supra state levels, to those which are immediate to people, such as townships.
  • European Union. The establishment of real fiscal, budgetary and banking cohesion directed at the practical elimination of the growing economic and social inequalities between countries, as well as of the controlling interests of the financial sector.
  • The Spanish State, the current autonomous communities and whichever territorial entities that shall arise from the territorial constitution processes. The principle of fiscal equity shall be accepted, the existence of a joint budget, and the wealth redistribution according to the equitable methods of the territorial distribution.
  • Municipalities. Financing and budgets, besides being subject to strict citizen control, will be guaranteed by distributive mechanisms accorded at the highest scales (regional, state-level and European Union) so as not to be dependent on property and land speculation.

3. The European scale of the process

  • In the European sphere, a new constitution shall guarantee all the fundamental rights for every part of the Union, the political participation possibilities, the share-out conditions and the distribution of wealth, and a thoroughly democratic political structure.
  • In the case that these minimums would not be guaranteed by the European Union, the various comprising territories could develop new territorial alliances from their own constituent political processes, in order to guarantee the previously mentioned principles and therefore their own collective survival.

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Network movements and the new ‛social atmosphere’ | Transnational Institute

New forms of social mobilization have outdated previous political practices. Network movements are a new “social atmosphere” that imbues irreversibly other social and political actors. How can we categorize them?

“We are the social network.” This slogan adorned a huge banner on the demonstration in Rio de Janeiro on 17 June 2013 1. The banner from that #17J, the day when the Passe Livre (free fares) protests became a rebellion, explains more about the new paradigms of collective mobilisation than many doctoral theses.

Of the twenty people or so who held the banner, none had political party, union or political organisations’ flags. A few days after the “We are the social network” demonstration, some organisations of the traditional left tried to join the protests with their usual methods: closed identities (symbolic colours, banners), unity structures (blocs), hierarchies (leaders, spokespeople) and identifiable political messages. They were trying to be part of the crowd that was taking to the streets of the main cities of Brazil, and also reacting to the advance of conservative groups that were trying to take the leadership of the protests against the government of Dilma Rousseff. The ‛crash’ between traditional organisations and the multitude reached its peak on 21 June at Paulista Avenue, the main street in São Paulo. The demonstration moved towards Brigadeiro subway station. On the left side, heterogeneous protesters (skaters, LGBT groups, Anonymous mask-wearers, families) walked in a dispersed way, without party symbols. On the right side, organisations and leftist movements occupied the street, marching in a bloc and waving flags.

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Education is a Commons!

the first global and interconnected event of the Near Future Education Lab, in collaboration with the P2P Foundation

The Near Future Education Lab is proud to announce “Education is aCommons!”

https://www.facebook.com/events/225370707673974/?fref=ts

its first global and interconnected event organized in collaboration with the P2P Foundation (http://p2pfoundation.net/) and hosted byLiving Bridges
Planet.

The event will occur during a whole week and it will be launched on the 1st of June, Sunday, with a Google hangout (the starting time is 8:00AM EDT, 2:00PM CEST,
10:00PM KST).

During the hangout – artists, researchers, thinkers, theorists, performers, students – will share visions and ideas about the future of education, nurturing an exchange of multidisciplinary opinions and experiences from all over the world. To make sure to be present at the hangout, just follow the link that will be provided on theevent pagetwo hours before the starting time of the live discussion.

During the following days after the first hangout, we would like to continue our discussions VIA social media and other ways, in the hopes of improving all and any parties involved.

The event culminates on the 7th June with another final hangout.

Join this 1 week conversation dedicated to the future of education!

The event is supported by:

P2P Foundation,Art is Open Source,ISIAFirenze, Fake University,The Hub RomaandCS Cantiere/SMS-UniPop.

Confronting the most difficult challenges facing the international labour movement

by  – 15th May 2014, 17.00 BST

In the next couple of days, more than 1,500 trade union leaders from 161 countries will meet in Berlin for the Third World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).  The ITUC unites national trade union centres, including Britain’s TUC, all over the world.

The ITUC event will be followed on Friday in the same city by a slightly smaller one: the LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference. Almost 700 people, from 75 countries, have registered to attend.

To a casual observer, these sound like very similar events. And there’ll certainly be some overlap. For example, the leader of Australia’s trade unions, Dave Oliver, will open the LabourStart event, though he’s also attending the ITUC Congress.

Here’s the difference: the ITUC Congress is a bit like a TUC Congress in the UK. Elected leaders attend, discuss issues, pass resolutions, elect a leadership and so on. Although, unlike TUC, ordinary rank-and-file workers, shop stewards, branch union officials and others won’t be there.  It is where the senior leadership of the international trade union movement meets.

And it’s a direct continuation of global trade union meetings that started 150 years ago in London, where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels led the foundation of the International Workingmen’s Association, known as the “First International”.

The LabourStart event, on the other hand, is something new, something that probably couldn’t have been imagined before there was an internet.

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Online Preparatory Meeting for the ‘Organizing Digital Labour and Digital Labour Organizing Workshop’ at Global Solidarity Conference

When: 10:00, 14 May 2014

Where: BigBlueButton

Preparatory and test call for planning the ‘Organizing digital labour & digital labour organizing’ workshop. The actual workshop is being planned to take place in Berlin between 23-25 May 2014, during  Labour Start‘s 5. Global Solidarity Conference.

Original Post

To open up the preparation process for the workshop as wide as possible and to allow those interested online participants to test and practice with the online system we will be using, we will be making several test conference calls in coming days. The first call will take place on Wednesday 14 May, between 10.00 am and 15.00 pm [UK time], so wider global participation will be possible during the day.

The draft description of the workshop, which we be taken as the starting point, can be found at ‘Union Upgrading’ Group Wiki created on Organizing Network -which we will be testing and using to document the workshop and the preperation, and to take the minutes. If you like to participate the preparatory call, and the workshop itself please add your name, affiliation, contact information, and any ideas or suggestion of yours on the wiki and click on ‘Save’. In order to be able to use all the functions of the Organizing Network, for instance the wiki, you will need to register first. Please read the user guide for the ON here.

The test call is open to all unionists, labour organizers, social justice activists, free information and knowledge [h]activists, researchers who are interested in and experienced on the topic. The call is especially set up for those who wish to actively collaborate in the preparation of the content of the workshop, and who needs to practice with the digital tools we will be using.

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#MayFirst #MetaStrike: Take part in six moth long global and systemic hackaton to take down the Prism, fascism, capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism and war

Considering the total enclosure of the Internet, the enslavement of mass free labor on it, and the rise of meta-data Orweillian society, what should one make of celebration of the rise of the Internet of Everything (IoE) or Industrial Internet and calling for the demise of capitalism by people like Jeremy Rifkin! What would be Rifkin’s advise to his ruling class clients, but more importantly why the neoconservatives and Chinese state class elite pay him high compensations?

The ruling elite way of dealing with the problem of ‘near zero marginal costs’ has been massive exploitation of zero labor cost (free labor). Now they like to capture free labor in the physical world by connecting devices and people “putting them at work on the move” -as Cisco and GE founders of the Industrial Internet Consortium publicly declare. While the translation of this ideal is the objectification of entire living labor and commons (should be read as human) to a global production process, why Rifkin celebrates this! If the plan is clearly to giving IP addresses to 50 billion devices in coming 10 years to form the IoE infrastructure, making it is possible a global scale surveillance an most logical outcome would be the total exploitation of artificially constructed happy playbouring produsers who would be living in sterile smart cities. As for the masses, there shall not be need for an hegemonic governance like bourgeois parliamentarian model what so ever in this new digital world. It has become clear by now that this ambitious capitalist project has the potential to replace the ancient industrial capitalism. It is certain by now that the fall of capitalism as we know it won’t be quite and painless. The attempt towards realizing this transition has brought about imperialist peripheral wars. If one look to the fierce clashes between Russian, Westerns and Chinese rulers in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Chechnya, Ukraine and other frontiers of the Empires, the naked truth would appears in clear vision. The fact that crack between two giant tectonic plates is about to break up to a truly global corrective war between ruling classes. Titans are getting ready to clash, and planning for the aftermath of the great cleansing, of billions of un-exploitable and expensive to feed human.

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Unite the Union’s USI mediates the established union world entering into the networked organising (networganizing) era

The below are Google Hangout videos taken from the USI’s website:

i. Hack the Union from US interviews with Andrew of Union Solidarity International: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4U4FNAkZtSc

ii.  A small step for unions, but a giant step for global labour
emancipation?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k6BmWC5lr8Y

This following link is to a nice article by Walton Patland introducing the ON platform:
http://www.scoop.it/t/networked-labour/p/4017080234/2014/03/05/karl-marx-on-facebook-what-is-the-ideology-of-your-social-network?hash=fd4c16ef-09d3-468d-a043-3b8de2a28135

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‘Binding Chaos’: a vision for a compassionate society

By Nozomi Hayase On December 12, 2013

Post image for ‘Binding Chaos’: a vision for a compassionate societyHeather Marsh’s new book puts forward a challenge: how to achieve mass collaboration on a global scale and awaken what is inherently human in the heart.We live in revolutionary times of transition and significant change in the foundations of society. 2010 was a year of revelation. The publication of classified documents by WikiLeaks revealed the world of corrupt government secrecy and war crimes beneath corporate headlines, making ‘illegitimate authority’ a household term. WikiLeaks empowered the public to demand transparency and accountability of official action as a check and balance on the exercise of power. With the global legitimation crisis, new horizons opened up.

Then, in 2011, the world saw waves of dissent as grassroots activism arose into coalitions of resistance that ripped through political parties, morphing into the powerful 99% alliance. From the Arab Spring to town squares in Greece and Spain to the Occupy movement that spread around the globe, people began walking away from moneyed politics and hitting the streets in assemblies and circles of consensus.

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All the fists of the world are GNUniting! First Brainstorm – Online Meeting This Sunday at 13.00 PM GMT

All the fists of the world are GNUniting!
First Brainstorm – Online Meeting This Sunday at 13.00 PM GMT
https://www.facebook.com/GlobalNetworkedLabourUnion

We are the workers whose free labour and privacy has been stolen, and sold
for greed! We have been abused, spied on and betrayed constantly. Before
this massive exploitation and surveillance machine turns into a global
apparatus in the hands of fascism, being operationalized for direct
oppression, we have to unite our fists and strike back!

This May Day is the time… How and what is not decided yet, there are
initial ideas but much is needed to put the global collective intelligence
at work to defend our and our children’s rights and dignity! Join us this
Sunday and bring your most free, creative, powerful and peaceful ideas and
dreams along… We did beat Freon, Caesars, Barons, Kings, Emperors,
Merchants, Industrial Capitalists and Nazis in the past, we can beat the
TNCs, CEOs and 1% as well!

We call all the workers, hackers, makers, farmers, artists, indignant and
outraged to GNUnite all their constructive capacity around the most
spectacular free libre and open sourced swarm to fight back and win!

Hasta la Siempre Victoria!
https://www.facebook.com/events/583310555077672/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
https://www.facebook.com/events/252508808246947/?ref=22&source=3&source_newsfeed_story_type=regular

World Revolutionary Forum: Towards WorldWideWave of Actions in 2014 (#www)

Pillar10-History-French-Revolution-Delacroix

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/593164267417330/

HashTags: #WREF, #www

#www call: http://gnunion.wordpress.com/www/
#WREF: http://gnunion.wordpress.com/worl-revolutionary-forum/
GNUnion: http://gnunion.wordpress.com/

Hosted by GNUnion – One Big Meshwork for All the Working People

Again, 2014 will be full of struggles, actions and mobilisations for a real global change. This Mumble call will be about starting a new series of forums and assemblies that are open to all individuals who will able to make independent efforts from any corporate, state and NGO funded agenda and; who could be exactly themselves when changing the world, when getting together, discussing and collaborating with others; either as a part of a collective, group, network or individually, and by using either online, or face to face means, or both.

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