The nature of democracy is an age old question. We are currently witnessing a crisis in representative democracy. Times of crisis present opportunities for questioning assumptions and asking fundamental questions including about our conceptions and practice of democracy.
Green Agenda spoke with Associate Professor Sarah Maddison about the concept of agonistic democracy and what it offers for the practice of politics.
The Age of Consequences is a documentary film exploring how climate change stressors interact with societal tensions, sparking conflict. The film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as ‘accelerants of instability’ and ‘catalysts for conflict’, with grave implications for peace and security in the 21st century
The film is being shown in Australia as part of the Transitions Film Festival. Green Agenda editor, Clare Ozich, spoke to the film’s writer, director and producer, Jarad Scott, about the rationale behind making a climate film focused on security, the concept of interconnectedness that is central to the film, and making documentaries in the time of Trump.
Green Agenda also spoke to Jarad last year about his film, Requiem for the American Dream, featuring Noam Chomsky on the principles of concentration of wealth and power. A film (and an interview) that now provides a useful background to the conditions leading to the Trump Presidency.
“Forgotten men and women”. “Struggling families”. “Mothers and children trapped in poverty”, not “sharing the wealth” of “the establishment”.
On one reading, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech is full of left wing imagery and ideas. So much so that I have seen it explicitly suggested that it was the kind of speech that Bernie Sanders might have given. Following his rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership as one of his first acts, the tendency to “give him a chance” is even stronger.
It strikes me that this is a misguided response, born of an accurate and important analysis of the political circumstances that led us here today, but falling for a classic fascist bait and switch. Continue reading →
Does strategic community organising create and lead sweeping social change? Or does social change momentum arrive from disruptive actions and sweep individuals and organisations along with it? This is the question tackled by US labour, civil rights and immigration rights activist brothers Paul and Mark Engler in This is an Uprising; the answer, of course, is ‘both’. Continue reading →
Recently, the USA based New Economy Coalition (NEC) held its second biannual national conference, Common Bound, in Buffalo, New York State. A handful of Australians were in attendance to learn about the stunning diversity of projects, organisations, collaborations and directions this expanding movement is generating. The coalition that now comprises over 157 member organisations came together after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The groundswell of the Occupy Movement led to the energising of social and political momentum towards structural and policy alternatives to the existing corporate controlled economic system. As the seemingly disparate Occupy activists searched for democratic, equitable and sustainable solutions, their ranks flowed into and connected the many organisations that had already been working towards ecological, social and ethical economic systems and structures. Continue reading →