Michael Johnson

Naomi Klein has an interesting article in the latest issue of the Nation, Daring to Dream in the Age of Trump. I recommend it. Much to appreciate, disagree with, and discuss. I want to focus on two features of it, one I find quite surprising and one that is so typical and so disempowering of the Democratic Left.

CULTURE EATS STRUCTURE 1                                                                                                                      

A few days ago I submitted a long essay to The Next System contest that proposes a different kind of movement building strategy, one that emphasizes culture building. It is a three-part essay that is a fairly substantial expression of my basic thinking about our movements for deep democratic change. Below is an overview of the whole piece.

I received this wonder offer from John Curl in my email box today. I asked and he said send on to all of your readers.And thanked me! This man walks his talk.

 

Free EBook Overthrowing Capitalism, Vol. 3, Next 5 Days

Friends,

EMPOWERMENT and LOVE 7.

The depth and intensity of anyone’s commitment to any relationship is dependent on many factors. I have recently become very clear on two of them for myself.

EMPOWERMENT and LOVE 5.                                            

I trust the thinking of people who respond with some clarity and complexity in the midst of a muddled situation, such as the one Nate Parker is in and, as a consequence, many, many others also find themselves in, directly and indirectly.

Empowerment and Love 4.    

Anti-racism and anti-sexism are dead ends. Fix-it policies, too.

The only way out of our racist nightmare is through it. Together. Whites from all classes will have to leave their cocoons of privilege, and allow blacks to begin leading them through it. If our blacks are not willing to do this, not capable of moving beyond their traumas, rage and despair, then there is, indeed, no way out.

EMPOWERMENT AND LOVE 3.

 

Another title for this blog could be, “Being a stranger in a strange land, what do I do?” Maybe even, “…who am I?”

(Movements Moving Together 20)                

One way to get a good grasp of cooperative/solidarity economics is to see how four key elements—ecosystem, ground-up, longterm, and transformative learning—work together in the process.

1. Ecosystem

Think Rain Forest

(Becoming the Change 7)                 

When we are about making the world better—as opposed to making it right—love is reigning. Then we are passionate about our movements. We are in a reign of love, and that love owns our power.

However, we are also passionate about being seen in the best light possible. Both by ourselves and by others. In a word, ego. This takes us into a reign of terror. There fear owns our power. We either bite, freeze, or bitterly hold our tongue.

(Becoming the Change 6)

 

I need you all to see and hear me so I can see and hear me better than I could ever do on my own. I need you all to see and hear me in all the different ways you all see and hear.

This is so important for me to become aware of defeating habits, deeply embedded within me, that I am unaware of.

This is so important for me to get beyond my intense attachments to my personal identity, which is forever old as I am always seeing it through my rear-view mirror.

Empowerment and Love 2.                                               

(You won’t make much sense of this valentine blog unless you watch Billie Holiday’s 8-minute performance with a group of the best of jazzmen from the 1950s. Also, pay close attention to a voice over she does that tells you exactly what is coming.)

Becoming the Change 5.

This is how I concluded my blog last week on what seems to be the promise of Piketty’s work:

It seems to me that some heavyweight mainstream economic thinking is emerging that might be very supportive co-operative/solidarity and other movements for alternative economics. But that still leaves us with the overarching problem of how do we generate the power to move our movements more dynamically.  

Richard Wolff, a leading economist, and I talked about some realities about worker co-ops yesterday in my book Building Co-operative Power on his weekly radio/television show.

The TV version will appear in NYC on public access television this Tue

Movements Moving Together 18.

In a recent article in the Nation a “socialist feminist,” Lisa Featherstone makes the following statement:

Becoming the Change 4.                    

I am beginning to read Mary Gaitskill—author of Bad Behavior, one of her collections of short stories, the novel Two Girls, Fat and Thin, and recently of the novel The Mare—and also about her personally. I am seeing her as a model for an activist.

Black Lives Matter: Transformational Politics and Mainstream Politics, Take 2.

Well, somehow I missed the first 6 ½ minutes of the BLM encounter with Hilary Clinton that I wrote about in Becoming the Change 2. It’s good that I’m a blogger and not a reporter. J This time I will be working from the transcript of the encounter on Democracy Now.

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