With Progressive Syriza’s Victory, Is a European Spring Coming?

Under the guise of trying to change EU institutions from within, these parties might be coopted and exploited by EU oligarchs and elites. Alternatively, Syriza and Podemos might develop and strengthen ways of doing democratic politics that work in favor of genuine popular control. We hope they will take this second path and, by doing so, genuinely contribute to the coming of a European Democratic Spring.

Source: truth-out.org

Excellent article in Truthout about the dangers of the new European Spring parties being recuperated by the European elites. Will they be able to escape "Hollandeization" and Robert Michels ‘iron law of oligarchy’? Only if the grassroots movements behind them stay vigilant and strong.

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Economic and Ecological Crisis in Greece

In conclusion, the left worldwide, and in particular in Greece, has to make ecology central to its discourse and struggles. Climate change is a global problem but requires local solutions. Syriza must continue to add to the momentum of the activist movements in Greece, gain from them, and help them grow into a resistance movement and a political force. As more people participate and connect the pieces of the puzzle, i.e., local ecological catastrophes, to the larger picture, i.e. climate change and capitalism, the political awareness of these ecological movements will be awakened and will be successfully expressed through the left.

Source: newpol.org

This article by Natassa Romanou of the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies emphasis the real challenge for Syriza: can it link the austerity crisis with the ecological planetary limits crisis?

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A new theory of energy and the economy – Part 1 – Generating economic growth

How does the economy really work? In my view, there are many erroneous theories in published literature. I have been investigating this topic and have come to the conclusion that both energy and de…

Source: ourfiniteworld.com

Brillliant must-read analysis by Gail Tverberg of the link between economic growth, energy and debt.

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system

A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the ‘subprime’ mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost ‘unconventional’ oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk – and that’s putting the entire economic system at risk

Source: www.theecologist.org

Brilliant must-read analysis in The Ecologist on the fracking Ponzi scheme and its future downfall.

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Institutions need to radically change for the Anthropocene epoch

The problem with existing institutions is that they developed in a very different kind of world. They are subject to all kinds of path dependencies, and are quite capability of generating feedback that reinforces their own necessity. So the institutions of global finance have successfully positioned themselves as ‘too big to fail’. The institutions of global environmental governance have failed to produce a comprehensive global treaty on anything since the Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer in 1987 – but that aspiration remains the focus of the efforts of most concerned actors, be they governments or environmental NGOs.

Source: blogs.lse.ac.uk

Excellent article by John Dryzek on LSE blog on the failure of current institutions to address the challenges of the social-ecological transition.

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Podemos party’s plan to ‘stimulate consumption’ needs more ambition

The economic policy of Spain’s rising leftwing party signals a new model of prosperity, but it could go further

Source: www.theguardian.com

Interesting look by degrowth expert Giorgios Kallis of the new economic model put forward by the Spanish Podemos party. But Kallis’ analysis should go further too. The key challenge for any new economic model will be a democratic one: how to set, monitor and enforce ecological limits to growth.

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Engaging with oil companies on climate change is futile, admits leading UK environmentalist

After years working on sustainability projects with BP and Shell, Jonathon Porritt says he came to the conclusion it was ‘impossible’ for today’s oil and gas companies to adapt to the need to exit fossil fuels

Source: www.theguardian.com

Of course, they have too much to lose. all talk about responsible capitalism and the like is naive.

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Slavoj Žižek on the Charlie Hebdo massacre: Are the worst really full of passionate intensity?

What Max Horkheimer had said about Fascism and capitalism already back in 1930s – those who do not want to talk critically about capitalism should also keep quiet about Fascism – should also be applied to today’s fundamentalism: those who do not want to talk critically about liberal democracy should also keep quiet about religious fundamentalism.

Source: www.newstatesman.com

Brilliant must-read analysis by Zizek of the Charlie Hebdo killing: "Fundamentalism is a reaction – a false, mystifying, reaction, of course – against a real flaw of liberalism, and this is why it is again and again generated by liberalism. Left to itself, liberalism will slowly undermine itself – the only thing that can save its core values is a renewed Left."

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Green economics versus growth economics

I have already noted that a central component of Piketty’s answer to the current crisis is more of the same – that is, more growth, the proceeds of which can then be ‘redistributed’. The harsh truth, however, may well be, at the level of public policy debate and democratic discussion, that growth is in practice an alternative to egalitarian redistribution, an alternative to any serious effort to create a more equal society. The promise of growth is a replacement for the need to share. That is how growthism has ‘superseded’ socialism: ‘left-wing’ politicians join right-wing politicians in the mantra that everyone benefits from a growing pie,

Source: www.radicalphilosophy.com

Brilliant must-read critique of Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st century’ starting from a ‘limits to growth’ perspective: ‘The true condition for redistribution may well now be recognition that we can’t rely any longer on growth.’

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

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