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A year gone by, a new year ahead

forest
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Let me start by wishing everyone a happy and productive new year.  It has been one year now that IOPS has been self-managing also at the international level. Looking back, how did that work out?  I have to say, not well. The results are, frankly, very disappointing. A system by which members can contribute their membership dues is still not in place. Even more disheartening: the content curators did not generate or facilitate any new content. In general, activity on the website dropped…

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Why we should go on with IOPS

forest
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As anyone can see, IOPS is not doing well. Although new members keep coming in, the activity level here is close to absolute zero. So a natural question is, Why bother? Why not simply admit that IOPS is a failure and give up?  The essence of my argument for not giving up is that “something like IOPS” is needed, and that there is currently no alternative. I do not feel a particular loyalty to IOPS as an organization, and if I see a better alternative I’ll be happy to jump ship,…

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It’s “Deep State” Time Again

forest
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By Fred Nagel, April 21, 2017 Whenever there are obvious conflicts within the ruling class, the concept of a Deep State is brought out to explain why our government seems to be coming apart at the seams. When the tired rhetoric of our two party system can’t bring us to a satisfying catharsis, there is always the deus ex machina of grand conspiracies and hidden rulers. The actual nature of our oppression, however, has been in plain sight for decades, although assiduously avoided by much…

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Two-and-a-half minutes to midnight

forest
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The other day the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic presentation of how close we are to the end of humanity, was forwarded by half a minute. The immediate reason was the election of the Trumpinator, in view of his stated policy intentions to stop fighting climate change and escalate nuclear armament.Once H. sapiens has gone extinct, no one will be left to shed a tear for its demise. Sad. But a worse future is possible – and, in my opinion, more likely – in which humankind does not end but the…

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Eating Our Own Dogfood

forest
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In the software industry, “eating your own dogfood” is an expression for a practice in which the people in a company themselves use the products they make and sell. It is a good way for them to discover usability problems that you only notice when you actually use a product instead of merely testing it with some standard tests.  In movements on the revolutionary left there is a notion that the movement should prefigure the society aimed at. If that society is to be inclusive, democratic,…

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Film Nights

forest
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One of the early blog posts I did, entitled IOPS Presents..., was about ideas that had come up during the first (and as of yet only) meeting of IOPS members from the Netherlands, now four years ago. We were brainstorming about what we could actually do concretely, and one of the ideas was to hold informational meetings on topics that are of interest to a wider group of concerned people and relevant to the IOPS mission and vision. And one of the forms that might take was that of a film night.Several…

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Activisten in Afrika protesteren tegen Europese migratiebeheersing

forest
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[Dit stuk is overgenomen van de website van Doorbraak. —LM] De Europese beleidsmakers op het gebied van migratiebeheersing proberen niet alleen Turkije voor hun karretje te spannen. Ook met Afrikaanse landen wil de EU “deals” afsluiten om zoveel mogelijk te voorkomen dat “ongewenste” migranten en vluchtelingen Europa bereiken en om mensen zonder verblijfsrecht gemakkelijker te kunnen deporteren naar hun land van herkomst. Activisten uit diverse Afrikaanse landen leveren…

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A future worth striving for

forest
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We can use this website for making plans to do something together. What can we do? There are many things we can choose from – but we can do only so much. We had better choose wisely.   Most activism today consists of resistance against capitalism and racism. All over the world groups are active, many of them much stronger than IOPS. We should not duplicate their efforts. The question is, what can we add?   Explaining how terribly wrong many things are is probably not the…

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Critical Thinking

forest
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While surfing I came across a website with the name Critical Thinking. Quoting from their website:Critical Thinking is a non-hierarchical, apolitical, collaborative research and education project that analyses the current political economy to identify fundamental flaws and potential levers for change. The organisation aims to understand the historical context of issues from different perspectives and explore their current and future impacts on social cohesion, inequality, individual liberty and…

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