City, Municipality, Commons: Rebel Cities in the Neoliberal Age

UntitledCity, Municipality, Commons: Rebel Cities in the Neoliberal Age

By Yavor Tarinski

 Pages: 42

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Self-Limitation and Democracy

By Yavor Tarinski

9687368356_6c01d3ea58_b-750x375[F]or the impulse of mere appetite is slavery, while obedience to a self-prescribed law is liberty.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau[1]

The philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis has often been credited with saying that “democracy is the regime of self-limitation.” [2] But since for him the only true democratic form is direct democracy, this claim might seem a bit odd. Direct democracy has come to be conceived by many, including several critics, as a regime that disconnects society from laws and regulations, resulting in its depolitization and degradation. This concept has understandably raised concerns about what would be the outcomes of the more excessive actions of the masses. Continue reading “Self-Limitation and Democracy”

A coffee with Jacques Rancière beneath the Acropolis

Yavor Tarinski, Yannis Ktenas, Alexandros Schismenos, Nikos Ioannou, Nikos Katsiaounis and Ioanna Maravelidi, from the editorial team of Babylonia, in conversation with Jacques Ranciere, during B-Fest 6, 2017.

 ranciere acropolis Continue reading “A coffee with Jacques Rancière beneath the Acropolis”

Political Parties: Obstacle to Democracy

By Yavor Tarinski

Neverending RaceIf understood to the letter, a Democracy must be a stateless society. Power belongs to the people insofar as the people exercise it themselves
Giovanni Sartori [1]

The contemporary political model, vulgarly named democracy, is undergoing deep crisis, which can be attributed to many of its systemic features and the political parties are among the main reasons for it. The Party, once encompassing massive social support and powerful movements, has become today synonymous with dishonesty, greed for power and corruption. Many have embarked on journey to recreate it in different ways that strive at mimicking the grassroots, decentralized character of contemporary social movements and the internet. Continue reading “Political Parties: Obstacle to Democracy”

Commons, Social Ecology and the Transcending of Capitalism

By Yavor Tarinski

scncc2Introduction

Life on this planet, as we know it, is a result of fragile environmental conditions that the contemporary predominant neoliberal system has already began to alter. Capitalism and its doctrine of unlimited economic growth seems to completely neglect this dependency and continues to violently exploit nature for the benefit of tiny elites, thus increasing their already enormous power. Continue reading “Commons, Social Ecology and the Transcending of Capitalism”

Commons: From free access to democratic management

By Yavor Tarinski

ecology 3The commons offers a framework and a process for effectively and equitably stewarding of the resources communities need to live in dignity. If we have a collective right to a resource, we should be able to participate in decisions about that resource’s use.[…] So what about this for a radical idea: let people participate in the decisions that most directly affect their everyday lives.

-Chris Tittle[1]

During the last years there has been an increasing interest in the paradigm of the commons. Much have been written and done in this field. There has been an explosion in digital commoning with new platform co-ops, wiki-projects and free software to be successfully challenging the domination of corporations in this sphere. But advances have been made and in the non-digital world, with urban agricultural projects, charters of rights and municipal platforms being developed and experimented with. Continue reading “Commons: From free access to democratic management”

Overcoming the State by Reinventing the Polis

By Yavor Tarinski

*The present text was delivered as a speech in a panel, entitled “Overcoming the State”, part of the 3rd Antiauthoritarian Festival in Ioannina, Greece (June, 2017).

city right[T]he rhetoric of Thatcher and of Reagan has changed nothing of importance (the change in formal ownership of a few large enterprises does not essentially alter their relation to the State), . . . the bureaucratic structure of the large firm remains intact [and] half of the national product transits the public sector in one way or another (State, local governmental organizations, Social Security); . . . between half and two-thirds of the price of goods and services entering into the final national expenditure are in one way or another fixed, regulated, controlled, or influenced by State policy, and . . . the situation is irreversible (ten years of Thatcher and Reagan made no essential changes therein).[1]

Cornelius Castoriadis Continue reading “Overcoming the State by Reinventing the Polis”

Democratizing Education

hand_tree__largeBy Yavor Tarinski

Just think how the old traditional hierarchy is always trying to find out who is the best among us… and I think this is a bad idea. It is not the best, the greatest, but different that is beautiful. I don’t want to see if someone is better or not better than me: I want to learn if something is different. That, from my point of the view is at the core of what we call democratic education.

-Yaacov Hecht[1]

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Individuals and minorities in the framework of direct democracy

De Campo Vaccino
Jan Lingelbach’s Campo Vaccino te Rome (1653)
 By Yavor Tarinski

First of all, direct democracy, the democratic regime I’m thinking about, is not paradise on earth. It’s not the perfect regime, and I don’t know what perfect regime means.
Cornelius Castoriadis [1]

With the recent electoral success of the far-right in Europe and around the world certain fears of society, of the excessive masses, has been resurrected among liberals and leftists (if such fears were ever dead). They are rooted in an elitist tradition, shared by many political tendencies, that views society as inherently irresponsible, if not even cannibalistic, and thus in need of restrainment by enlightened extra-social institutions which to keep it “civilized”. Continue reading “Individuals and minorities in the framework of direct democracy”

Our best chance for solving the climate crisis — direct democracy and equality

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Illustration by Yuko Shimizu

By Yavor Tarinski

The apocalyptic images that we see in contemporary fictional cinema and literature seem to be not that far from materializing and in real life. Talks about the end of life as we know it are beginning to make more sense as information about the possible consequences of the unfolding global warming is coming from the scientific community, as well as from communities from the global South, already facing droughts and other related meteorological phenomena. Continue reading “Our best chance for solving the climate crisis — direct democracy and equality”