Monday, March 26, 2018

Advancing the Bolivarian Revolution

Advancing the Bolivarian Revolution: Addressing the Crisis in Venezuela A discussion with Venezuelan Diplomats Carlos J. Ron and Jesus “Chucho” Garcia On Monday, March 5th, Cooperation Jackson members gathered to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the untimely passing of Venezuelan President and revolutionary, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, and the ongoing advance of the Bolivarian revolutionary process. CJ was joined by the ChargĂ© d'Affaires at the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's embassy in Washington, D.C., Carlos J. Ron, and the Venezuelan consul in New Orleans, Jesus “Chucho” Garcia, to discuss the mounting threats confronting the Bolivarian revolution from the Trump administration and the US government and its proxies—the governments of Brazil and Mexico—who are amassing military forces along their boarders with Venezuela and threatening to invade. Or as in the case of Mexico are working at the behest of the US government to politically isolate the Venezuelan government from its allies in the Caribbean and throughout Latin America. The Bolivarian revolutionary process has been and remains a key source of inspiration and ideas for Cooperation Jackson. It was one of many intellectual sources of the Jackson-Kush Plan; for elements of the practice of participatory, direct and protagonistic democracy that we are experimenting with our Transition Assemblies; for cooperative development on a mass scale; and for the development of innovative social exchanges like the mass Trueke or cooperative producer markets or swap meets that are being organized throughout the country; for the incorporation of African and indigenous traditional knowledge(s) into all field of social production and reproduction; and more! The aim of the discussion is figure out concrete ways the people and social movements of Jackson can stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela and continue to build deeper people-to-people relations between the people of Venezuela and Jackson.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Rojava Revolution and Democratic Confederalism

The Rojava Revolution and Democratic Confederalism: A Cooperation Jackson dialogue with Ercan Ayboga, Co-Author of "Revolution in Rojava", an activist of the Mesopotamian Ecologist Movement

Come learn about the ideological, political and programmatic similarities between the Jackson-Kush Plan and the radical democratic movement in Jackson, Mississippi and the Charter of the Social Contract, which serves as the Constitution of the Rojava Cantons, guiding the revolutionary transformation of Syrian Kurdistan. Learn more about their experiment with radical democratic confederalism amongst the various peoples and ethnicities of Syria, their work to build an anti-capitalist solidarity economy, to liberate women, and to restore the ecology.

Given the widespread violence and suffering in Syria, it's not unreasonable that outsiders look at the situation as unrelentingly awful. And while the reality of the devastation is undeniable, there is reason for hope in at least one small pocket of the nation: the cantons of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan, wherein the wake of war people are quietly building one of the most progressive societies in the world today. Revolution in Rojava tells the story of Rojava's groundbreaking experiment in what they call democratic confederalism, a communally organized democracy that is fiercely anti-capitalist and committed to female equality while rejecting reactionary nationalist ideologies. Rooted in the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the system is built on effective gender quotas, bottom-up democratic structures, far-sighted ecological policies, and a powerful militancy that has allowed the region to keep ISIS at bay. This first full-length study of democratic developments in Rojava tells an extraordinary and powerfully hopeful story of a little-known battle for true freedom in dark times.

Holding the Line against Neoliberalism in Jackson, MS (Black Agenda Report)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Radical Transformation of Jackson, MS with Chris Hedges On Contact

A discussion about the radical transformation of Jackson, Mississippi through capitalism and the socialist alternative. 

Cooperation Jackson dialogue with Samir Amin

Cooperation Jackson held this dialogue with Samir Amin, one of the most critical revolutionary intellectuals of our time, about the transition from capitalism to economic democracy or outright barbarism, on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Center for Economic Democracy and Sustainable Development. As a vehicle designed to execute a dimension of the Jackson-Kush Plan, Cooperation Jackson was not born just to create worker-cooperatives for the sake of having worker cooperatives. Cooperation Jackson was born to be an instrument of radical social transformation. To be a vehicle to aid in the construction of socialism by a) building institutions of economic democracy grounded in the establishment of institutions of the solidarity economy, like cooperatives, time banks, swamp meets, alternative currencies, etc., and b) by building the overall capacity of the working class to not only democratically manage and govern it’s own affairs, but to democratically manage and govern the overall affairs of society. One of the central things that we have been and continue to be focused on in the development of Cooperation Jackson is the question of transition from capitalism, late stage neo-liberal capitalism, to economic democracy and socialism (and beyond). One of our central tasks is trying to figure out how to transform limited vehicles of worker self-organization, like cooperatives, into instruments of revolutionary change. As we have stated on many occasions, cooperatives in and of themselves are not revolutionary vehicles. They have to be anchored by revolutionary politics, revolutionary organizations, and an assortment of revolutionary institutions and practices that challenge the logic of capital and capitalism and reorient social relationships and social production towards socialism and socialist construction. Samir Amin, one of the premier revolutionary economists and social scientists of our time, about the deep crisis of capitalism and the primary economic and social transformations over the last 70 + years. We are listening to see how the economic, social and technical transformations of our time could lead us towards socialism, with an ear towards what the primary subjective factor, i.e. the working class (us), can and must do to usher in this transformation. The dialogue is a contribution to our ongoing discussion about the question of transition from capitalism to socialism or outright barbarism (i.e. fascism) – should the reactionaries continue to dominate the political landscape in the US empire and throughout the world. It is also a prelude into the deeper exploration of how to make our work and the vehicles we are struggling to build instruments of socialist transformation. This entails going deeper into the question of worker self-management, worker self-governance, and how to develop inter-connected systems of production that upend capitalist logic and social relationships. Some background on Samir Amin from Monthly Review Press: "Samir Amin was born in Cairo in 1931 and was educated at the Lycee Francais there. He gained a Ph.D. in Political Economy in Paris (1957), as well as degrees from the Institut de Statistiques and from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques. He then returned home where he was attached to the planning bodies of Nasser's regime. He left Egypt in 1960 to work with the Ministry of Planning of the newly independent Mali (1960-1963), and following this, he commenced an academic career. He has held the position of full professor in France since 1966 and was for ten years (1970-1980) the director of the U.N. African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (in Dakar). Since 1980 he has been directing the African Office of the Third World Forum, an international non-governmental association for research and debate. The main contributions of Samir Amin can be classified under four headings: (i) a critique of the theory and experiences of development; (ii) an alternative proposal for the analysis of the global system which he calls "really existing capitalism"; (iii) a re-reading of the history of social formations, and; (iv) a reinterpretation of what he describes as "post-capitalist" societies.