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Dripa B

An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?" | Immanuel Kant (1784) - 0 views

    This remains one of the best texts of the permanent struggle for Enlightenment -- values that assert universal human freedom, dignity and equality. Values that include internationalism, participatory and representative democracy based. These values inform our struggleto end of political and social domination of persons and societies globally. - Zackie Achmat
Dripa B

Civil Disobedience | Henry David Thoreau (1849) - 0 views

  • "I am too high-born to be propertied,
    To be a secondary at control,
    Or useful serving-man and instrument
    To any sovereign state throughout the world." [William Shakespeare King John]
  • All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.
    This text is sometimes presented under the title On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Its original title is Resistance to Civil Government.
Arabica Robusta

Can democracy save the planet? | openDemocracy - 0 views

  • The questions addressed included: can a world of 9-10 billion people vote its way to a sustainable future - or are new forms of leadership (even forms of authoritarian rule) going to be necessary? Are the rising global powers (China, India and Brazil among them) best placed to move towards more sustainable forms of development?
  • What of the link between democracy and sustainable development? Most respondents held that voter pressure meant that democracy was of benefit to sustainable development. Yet consultation with a more specialised group of experts found that only 28% believed that capitalism (often paired with democracy in its liberal variant) aided sustainable development, against 36% who said that capitalism inhibited it. Overall, Doug Miller saw in the figures an activation of people's survival instinct: as the planet "speaks" through extreme weather events, citizens are starting to listen.
  • Many of the issues the roundtable addressed had been highlighted in a keynote paper commissioned ahead of the meeting from Ian Christie. This made four basic propositions about democracy, ecologically sustainable development, and environmental/sustainability campaign organisations (SD-NGOs). He argued that together, these phenomena offer a paradox about the relationship between democracy, civil society and sustainability; and that resolving it is now an urgent and complex task - for the west, for newly industrialised democracies, and for emergent democratic civil society in the global south.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • Democracy poses huge problems for sustainable development. In the advanced liberal capitalist states, democracy is tightly coupled to the promise of economic growth, ever-rising consumption and individual freedom. Democracy in such states now entrenches the interests of the affluent majority and well-funded lobbies in the political system (a point analysed by, among others, JK Galbraith and Mancur Olson).
  • Environmental/sustainability campaign organisations (SD-NGOs) are a massive success for civil society worldwide. Without them, we would not have anything like the progress we have seen in the past half-century in protecting the environment, cutting pollution, raising resource efficiency, highlighting linked issues of environmental and social injustice, and saving wildlife and habitats from destruction. Without them, the discourse and practice of sustainable development would not have become established in governments worldwide, and huge issues such as climate disruption would not have been acknowledged or tackled sufficiently by governments and businesses.
  • SD-NGOs are a massive failure by their own standards. For nearly fifty years they have campaigned and educated citizens and governments and businesses worldwide; yet ecological damage continues on a vast scale, environmental injustices abound, and dangerous climate disruption seems to be unavoidable. SD-NGOs have achieved limited gains in specific areas of policy but have failed to mobilise and energise citizens on a large enough scale to put real pressure on politicians and businesses in the west and beyond. Moreover, they lack clear answers to challenges to their own legitimacy and accountability, and have sometimes spoken as though they were representative voices of "civil society", when in fact they constitute a small and highly unrepresentative section of it in many countries.
    a Consultation on Democracy and Sustainability was held at the Science Museum in London on 18 March 2008. It was convened by the Environment Foundation, the 21st Century Trust and SustainAbility, and supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

    The questions addressed included: can a world of 9-10 billion people vote its way to a sustainable future - or are new forms of leadership (even forms of authoritarian rule) going to be necessary? Are the rising global powers (China, India and Brazil among them) best placed to move towards more sustainable forms of development?

    Democracy has a central role to play in any discussion of the future of the planet. But democracy is in trouble in many parts of the world, and must - if it is to deliver, remain relevant and meet people's needs and aspirations - mutate and evolve (see Larry Diamond, "The Democratic Rollback", Foreign Affairs [March-April 2008]).
Arabica Robusta

Philanthropy on the commons | openDemocracy - 0 views

    The future of philanthropy lies in joining the wave of open source peer-production that is enriching public assets, says Mark Surman.
tony curzon price

Secret mailing list rocks Wikipedia | The Register - 0 views

  • If you take Wikipedia as seriously as it takes itself, this is a huge problem. The site is ostensibly devoted to democratic consensus and the free exchange of ideas. But whether or not you believe in the holy law of Web 2.0, Wikipedia is tearing at the seams. Many of its core contributors are extremely unhappy about Durova's ill-advised ban and the exposure of the secret mailing list, and some feel that the site's well-being is seriously threatened.

    In a post to Wikipedia, Jimbo Wales says that this whole incident was blown out of proportion. "I advise the world to relax a notch or two. A bad block was made for 75 minutes," he says. "It was reversed and an apology given. There are things to be studied here about what went wrong and what could be done in the future, but wow, could we please do so with a lot less drama? A 75 minute block, even if made badly, is hardly worth all this drama. Let's please love each other, love the project, and remember what we are here for."

    But he's not admitting how deep this controversy goes. Wales and the Wikimedia Foudation came down hard on the editor who leaked Durova's email. After it was posted to the public forum, the email was promptly "oversighted" - i.e. permanently removed. Then this rogue editor posted it to his personal talk page, and a Wikimedia Foundation member not only oversighted the email again, but temporarily banned the editor.

    Then Jimbo swooped in with a personal rebuke. "You have caused too much harm to justify us putting up with this kind of behavior much longer," he told the editor.

    The problem, for many regular contributors, is that Wales and the Foundation seem to be siding with Durova's bizarre behavior. "I believe that Jimbo's credibility has been greatly damaged because of his open support for these people," says Charles Ainsworth. And if Jimbo can't maintain his credibility, the site's most experienced editors may not stick around. Since the banhammer came down, Bang Bang hasn't edited a lick.

    • tony curzon price
      wikipedia politics and culture of openness
Ako Z°om

Parti Pirate Canal Historique - 0 views

    • Ako Z°om
      il existe donc un "parti" pirate ? PPF ? disosn simplement un "organisme"/groupe de défense de l'utilisation libre de l'internet.
tony curzon price

Getting democracy into focus | openDemocracy - 0 views

  • The one element clear right through representative democracy’s advance across the world has been the centrality of popular rejection of autocratic effrontery, often exhilarating at the time but in retrospect a transitory pleasure. The structure of modern representative democracy (the form of state now called by that name) does not provide a clear model for any community to rule itself in freedom, let alone in reliable serenity and prosperity. What it provides is a practical basis through which to refuse to be ruled unaccountably and indefinitely against your will.

    Less steadily and on far less egalitarian terms, it also provides a framework through which to explore together what people should and should not attempt to do as a community. Virtually none of the elements of an answer to that question can come from democracy as an idea. Almost all have to be pieced together arduously from somewhere else.

    • tony curzon price
      Churchillian defense of democracy ... but the rest is pieced together from elsewhere
  • Crudely speaking, the political appeal of democracy lies in its claim to realise political equality. (So, soberly speaking, does its potential political menace.)
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