Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Weekly Links 28/08/08

A good article here from Red Pepper on the Lisbon Treaty and the left opposition to it -

Which part of No don’t they understand?

When the EU constitution was rejected in 2005, European leaders resolved that the people of Europe would not get a vote on its replacement. But Ireland’s constitution forced one exception, and the Irish promptly rejected the Lisbon treaty. Westby Swift looks at why the Irish voted No, what the EU plans to do about it and how the left should respond

American Politics
Elsewhere in this month's Red Pepper is a debate on the Obama Presidential challenge and the left -

Holding Obama’s feet to the fire

With his appointment of a series of Clintonite economic and foreign policy advisers, Barack Obama has attracted fire from the American left. But does this mean that hope in his campaign for the presidency is misplaced? Doug Henwood, Gary Younge, Jo-ann Mort, Betsy Reed and Ta-Nehisi Coates debate the politics of Obama’s candidacy and the huge mobilisation of support behind it

The anti-ecologist, "Wise Use", and libertarian right sometimes like to use the arguments of Garrett Hardin as an intellectual totem, a weapon in the battle for the privatisation of everything and the permanent defeat of collectivism. Ecosocialist activist and writer Ian Angus takes on Hardin's arguments in an article published on the Socialist Voice website here -

Will shared resources always be misused and overused? Is community ownership of land, forests and fisheries a guaranteed road to ecological disaster? Is privatization the only way to protect the environment and end Third World poverty? Most economists and development planners will answer “yes” — and for proof they will point to the most influential article ever written on those important questions.

Since its publication in Science in December 1968, “The Tragedy of the Commons” has been anthologized in at least 111 books, making it one of the most-reprinted articles ever to appear in any scientific journal. It is also one of the most-quoted: a recent Google search found “about 302,000” results for the phrase “tragedy of the commons.”

Angus presents a convincing attack on both the veracity of Hardin's argument and the duplicitous uses to which it has been put.

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