The crisis, the alternative, and the commons movement

[Note: CNS-EP (Capitalismo Natura Socialismo – Ecologia Politica, also called Ricerche per l’alternativa, Research for the Alternative) is an online journal (formerly in print in 1991-1997 and 2001-2002) and part of the CNS international network. Since the beginning of this century, with the historical defeat of the Italian and European Left becoming completely clear, the journal decided to concentrate on the alternative and the commons and to raise the visibility of social and ecological movements. The CNS-EP Collective’s position paper below is a manifesto aiming to facilitate the organization of international conferences on these themes].

The Crisis

The crisis of the dominant system marks the end of an epoch. It is not another phase of the same. Capitalism is unable to keep its promises of eradicating poverty and hunger, ensuring social justice, respecting the environment, and overcoming the South-North divide. It defends by means of warfare “its” right to resources South and North. It thereby pillages nature and identifies quality of life with economic “well-being.” For people in flesh and blood this means the loss of any possibility to decide over their own living and working conditions, or to have any self-determination or chance to decide about their lives’ prospects. So it has become “normal”, for example, to put one’s health at risk and lose one’s life at the workplace. Nineteenth-century representative democracy, tied to national states and political parties as the bridge between the state and citizens, is no longer enough in a context of globalization. People are no longer able to defend themselves, while Earth is on the brink of collapse because of excessive resource consumption both through extraction and emissions and waste. However, governments are insensitive to people’s demands for real democracy and they are blind to the relationship between economic and ecological crises. Unemployment and corruption spread but they–European Union governments and bankers, for example—at most busy themselves in “mitigating” austerity policies, instead of putting the economy and the planet right. The global defeat of the left over the last decades and especially in Europe—the cradle of western democracy—has allowed the ruling classes to erase the social and cultural improvements of the twentieth century and to exclude not only workers from public debate, but also the masses and their culture. This has given rise to an unprecedented social division between the 99 and 1% of the people. Leftist parties and unions have not been able/willing to change themselves to deal with the challenges of globalization and so they have enabled neoliberalism and austerity policies, while defending poorly (and therefore pointlessly) only “secure” workers. They have bought into the capitalist ideology of the market and the industrialist ideology of development based on mass consumption. This has favored the separation of life from work and economy from society, making obvious the left’s inability to perform its historical role as defender of the marginalized. In Italy, for example, the “glorious” Italian Communist Party collapsed with the fall of the Berlin wall, opening the road to the triumph of il pensiero unico (mainstream conformist thinkinglike TINA, There Is No Alternative).

Syriza Wins!

The world-wide interest in the historic victory of the Greek anti-austerity left in the recent elections bears witness to the profound implications of this development for a European continent still mired in deep economic crisis. A result of the failures (or successes, depending on one’s class standpoint) of the European response to the ongoing economic crisis, the victory of Syriza (an acronym which, in Greek, stands for ‘Coalition of the Radical left’) adds to the rifts that are developing within Europe while also prefiguring the future social and political struggles that will determine how the European crisis is resolved.

The Coming Destituent Flood

On September 22, 2014, a flood will descend upon Wall Street and financial centers across the globe, an emergent flood of collective disobedience, creativity, and shared compassion and existential terror to confront ghoulish capitalism, states, corporations, and financial institutions relentlessly unraveling the planet’s delicate network of ecosystems. Flood Wall Street will bring swelling waters forcing a necessary disruption to the flow of capital, which acts as the pathogenic blood pumped through the planetary body progressively bringing about its decay.

The Lima Ecosocialist Declaration / Declaración Ecosocialista de Lima

Declaration of the Ecosocialist International Network before COP20 in Lima, Peru (December 2015)

Our lives are worth more than their profits!

The imminent climate crisis that we confront today is a grave threat to the preservation of life on the planet. Many academic and political works have confirmed the fragility of life on earth to temperature change. Only a few degrees can cause – and are causing – an ecological catastrophe of incalculable consequences. Now we are experiencing the deadly effects of this situation. The melting ice, the contamination of the atmosphere, rising sea levels, desertification, and the increasing intensity of the weather, are all proof.

CNS Journal – Vol. 23, 3 (July 2014)

CNS Journal – Vol. 23, 3 (July 2014)

In Volume 23, Issue 3, we pay tribute to comrade Frans Timmerman, and authors consider: the role of technical know-how in revolutionary futures, body and environment, degrowth and demonetisation, connections between climate change and revolution, red-green movement prospects in the People’s Republic of China, Maoism-based struggles against mining devastation in The Philippines, water commodification in Andean regions of South America, Canada as settler colonial reality.

The European Network in Political Ecology (ENTITLE) joins the editorial board of Capitalism Nature Socialism in its statement in support of Professor David Correia. As individual researchers and as a collective we are passionately committed to combining our scientific work with a commitment to democracy and social and environmental justice. Therefore, we stand with David Correia and those who protest peacefully to defend their rights and ideas. We hope that the local authorities will drop all charges against Prof. Correia and that the University of New Mexico will support him for his commitment to democratic participation and involvement in the local community.

In support of David Correia

The Editors of the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism are deeply disappointed by the University of New Mexico Administration distancing themselves from their Associate Professor of American Studies and our Senior Editor, David Correia, who has been unjustifiably arrested and charged with a felony during a peaceful protest. In doing so, The University of New Mexico Administration have missed an opportunity to make a clear statement in support of the academic freedom of a faculty member.

“F**K Diamond,” Deconstruct Everything, Cite Marx: A Reaction

“Jared Diamond is back at it, once again trading in the familiar determinist tropes that earned him a Pulitzer Prize for his 1999 book Guns, Germs and Steel,” opens David Correia in his recent diatribe entitled “F**K Diamond.” The essay, purportedly a review (?) of Diamond’s latest book, builds into the now familiar rant attributing to Diamond racism, simple-mindedness, and over-generalization. The title of Correia’s essay and his tone throughout leave no doubt that he experiences a measure of glee writing this response piece. However, I have a question, did Correia even read Diamond’s latest book?

Building Warriors. Army, Police and Fascist Personalities in the Management of Domestic Security


Introduction: police, army and fascism

Drawing from a case study carried out in Italy, this article seeks to contribute to the study of the relationships between war and peace in contemporary democracies. In more detail, the training process and the formation of authoritarian and fascist personalities that takes place in an elite unit within the Italian armed forces – a paratroop brigade – is the privileged space for observing not only the training of a particular group of war professionals, but also the culture and background of many of those who pass from the ranks of the army to those of the police forces (Police, Carabinieri, Local Police and Guardia di Finanza in Italy).