michaeljohnson's blog

Pope Francis just released his first encyclical, "The Joy of the Gospel." And indeed, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, the new Pope's primary spokesperson, seems to have been a genuine herald.

It seems like the Pope Francis team is rejecting "neoliberal dictatorships that rule democracies" and promoting "the globalization of mercy and solidarity"

Bedrock conviction: oppression is a relational dynamic involving at least two roles: oppressor and oppressed. If we want to relate to someone or some situation in a different way, then we have to move out of and beyond these two roles. We have to focus our attention in a way in which we can experience the other as neither oppressive nor oppressed. It has to be focused on the other as genuinely and humbly as possible in order to experience them as they are. At least as much as possible.

It’s goal is to address strategic barriers limiting the creation and growth of worker cooperatives and show how they can be overcome.

A friend sent this link to this New Clear Vision piece. In Swanson's piece there is a paragraph worth posting in your bathroom to get you going every morning:

Here’s  a stunning video report on some research that is looking with some depth at economic behavior and how we see ourselves and others. I think the implications of this work for economic democracy and understanding empowerment processes could be awesome.

Over her 20+ years as a reporter she has gotten a sense of what's happening that isn't easily replicated by anybody else. She sees a crisis and opportunity like that famous Chinese character.
Think of democracy as a garden: structures would be the plants and culture the soil. The soil will determine the quality of the plants more than the plants the quality of the soil. Plant democratic structures in conflicted soil and you get a mix that seriously lacks cooperation and collective power.
How did gays move a nation while racism tenaciously holds its ground?
A film about people transforming trash into music; about love, courage, creativity
Phyllis Chesler’s reflections on how the radical feminist movement was powerful but also killed its own
How to destroy relationships, communities, and democracy
A major figure in the women’s liberation movement in the 60s and 70s, her dynamic flame burned out when she was only in her 20s. Her story dramatizes two dynamics that cripple radical movements.
How do we talk and think together coherently about love, domination, and cooperation?
An anthill. A beehive. A crackling campfire around which the cave kids could play, the cave elders stay, and the buffalo strips blacken all day

The blurb for a story in Truthout tells it. Dismiss the shame and blame, and cut to the strategic point:

Resistance From a Cage: Julian Assange Speaks to Norwegian Journalist Eirik Vold
Eirik Vold, Truthout:

A key element in movement building
We in the various change movements have our myths and dogmas, and they screw up how we approach our work and our longings for a different kind of world
A "grassroots" response to the question: What would it really take to give students a first-rate education

There’s a good graffiti story that goes with this title.The graffitti was "your karma ran over my dogma," but that story will have to wait for another time. The basic idea is not difficult: reality will make a mess outta of our theories, dogmas, ideologies. The 2008 meltdown is one example. Another is finding out that the other does not love me the way I think she/he should. This bubble gets busted ad infinitum.

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