democracy

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Creating Sovereign Cities and Towns

By Shea Howell | Living for Change, Boggs Center

As much of the nation’s attention has been riveted to the devastation of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, the Michigan Legislature is quietly continuing its efforts to destroy local democracy.

This time the Republican controlled house passed two new gun bills, aimed not at guns, but local city councils. The first bill shifted the legislation around carrying concealed pistols. Instead of classifying carrying a gun after a permit has expired a felony, the bill makes the action a civil offense, subject to a fine. It seems Republicans want to “make sure a normally law-abiding citizen doesn’t lose their right to carry a concealed firearm because of an expired permit.” This action raises interesting questions about other felonies that we should consider reclassifying and for whose benefit.

Capitalism will eat democracy — unless we speak up

https://youtu.be/GB4s5b9NL3I Economist Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance for Greece, says you can be in politics today but not be in power — because real power now belongs to those who control the economy. He believes that the mega-rich and corporations are cannibalizing the political sphere, causing financial crisis. In this talk, hear his dream for a world in which capital and labor no longer struggle against each other, “one that is simultaneously libertarian, Marxist and Keynesian.”

DAMOCRACY

This documentary debunks the myth of large-scale dams as clean energy and a solution to climate change. It records the priceless cultural and natural heritage the world would lose in the Amazon and Mesopotamia if two planned large-scale dams are built, Belo Monte dam in Brazil, and Ilisu dam in Turkey. DAMOCRACY is a story of resistance by the thousands of people who will be displaced, and a call to world to support their struggle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnMD4e6nLms&feature=player_embedded

Scientific and Political Change

Prior to WW II, the American government played a relatively small role in the support of science, especially outside of its own institutions. That situation changed dramatically with the war and the Cold War that followed. We explore how these events transformed the role of science in American life, vastly enhancing the prestige of scientists, and shaping the extent and the nature of federal involvement in science. These and later developments, including the commercialization of academic research, raise important questions about the appropriate role of science and scientists in a democracy. In particular: How can we reconcile the need for scientific and technological expertise on the one hand, and for the democratic control of science on the other? We consider different theoretical approaches to this issue, and illustrate the dilemmas it poses with a number of empirical examples. Dr. Peter Taylor University of Massachusetts at Boston Scientific and Political Change

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