Politics & Society

Environment

Environmentalist Bill McKibben’s Note to Tikkun and the NSP

The fossil fuel companies aren’t normal companies. In the last few years we’ve come to understand that they have five times as much carbon in their reserves as we can safely burn if the world is to meet its agreed climate target of limiting rises in temperature to below 2 degrees. That is to say, if they carry out their business plan, the planet tanks. What this means in turn is that if you hold these stocks you in effect are wagering that the planet will do nothing to limit climate change.
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Politics & Society

Generative Justice: The Revolution Will Be Self-Organized

Whereas previous generations of revolutionary activists demonized technology, today’s generation has recognized the incredible opportunities to engage citizens that new technology affords. The emergence of the Open Source movement, which emphasizes continual modification and improvement, points to a future defined by generative justice: the constant generation of value within harmonious local networks.
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Politics & Society

What the Left Needs to Be Heard

To steer our culture aggressively in a different direction, the Left needs what right-wing groups have long used effectively—power, influence, and, perhaps most importantly, money. By utilizing a concentrated and ongoing stream of funding from a diverse group of sources, small voices will again have the chance to speak out and be heard.
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Politics & Society

To Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible: Toward a Visionary Left

In the last forty years, the Left has utterly failed to articulate any viable alternative to neoliberalism’s vision of a fully marketized society. Still, the current global crisis of capitalism has made clear the contradiction of a civilization directed toward profit accumulation rather than human need and thus defined the task of an emancipatory Left: we must master capitalism’s own drive toward universality by making its benefits truly common.
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Environment

Trusting the Water Again: Understanding the West Virginia Chemical Spill

On the morning of January 9, 2014, Charleston residents noticed that the air smelled like licorice and that the water tasted like it too. Inspectors soon traced the odor and taste to a chemical storage facility owned by a company called Freedom Industries. There, near the bank of the Elk River, inspectors discovered that a 48,000-gallon tank was leaking an industrial chemical called MCHM (methylcyclohexane methanol) used to cleanse coal.
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US Politics

Let Me Be the Leninist, Please

Let me offer a simple, alternative definition of what “Lenin” stands for: the view that great social change depends to some significant degree on “leadership.” That is, social change depends on groups of people who have developed effective organizing skills, concrete social connections in milieus engaged in protest, and some shared sense of a future to be won—and thereby can foster and advance momentum toward the desired transformation.
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Politics & Society

On Anxiety and the Next Left

The Left is moving from a politics of mourning and melancholy to a politics of anxiety. For a left bedeviled by a “will-to-powerlessness,” this shift might well turn out to be an unexpected bit of good news.
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Politics & Society

How Much History Does the American Left Need?

The American Left needs all sorts of things. Rather than dwelling on its own history, it would serve itself much better by pressing for serious economic equality—and politicizing the ongoing economic crisis.
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Politics & Society

Life After Debt: Why America Needs an Anti-Capitalist Left

America needs a Left that approaches social change without “economistic” blinders, countering capitalism not by appealing to it, but by opening space for people to no longer be dominated by its logics. Making efforts to relieve the debts of those in need—while striving to reimagine our debt-financed society—is a logical starting place.
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US Politics

The Power of a Decentralized Left

For a new Left to grow strong, we must rid ourselves of the false notion that unilateral solutions proposed by the Right must be met with isometric plans from a monolithic Left—a shift that requires engaging with the tumultuous and complicated relationships we have with one another. However, it is precisely through working out our disagreements that we will arrive at more sustainable, effective, and just decisions.
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US Politics

Joining the Party for a More Powerful Left

The Left spends too much energy deciding whom to exclude. Let’s build a pluralistic, big-tent Left that embraces all with liberal-Left political faith.
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LGBT

How Jews Brought America to the Tipping Point on Marriage Equality: Lessons for the Next Social Justice Issues

The story of Jews’ contributions to the campaign for marriage equality offers valuable lessons for how to break through public resistance on other issues that Jewish groups are now addressing, including economic justice initiatives like paid sick leave, rights for domestic workers, and raising the minimum wage.
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Politics & Society

Accounting for Egyptians’ Exuberance for Violence

It was very hard to come to grips with the fact that on the third anniversary of the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution, tens of thousands of Egyptians were chanting nationalist slogans while waving photos, placards, banners and posters of General Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, exhibiting a kind of hero worship and cult of personality that was unimaginable in the Mubarak era.
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Nonviolent Activism

Nelson Mandela: A Jewish Perspective

Jews love and loved Nelson Mandela. He inspired us with his insistence that the old regime of apartheid would crumble more quickly and fully when faced with revolutionary love and compassion than when faced with anger and violence. Mandela also challenged us to think deeply about whether the current situation in Israel/Palestine reflects the ethic of compassion that is so central to Judaism.
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Film

The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality)

To put the Kennedy assassination in a historical perspective that is both spiritual and political, we here reprint Peter Gabel’s brilliant article on the subject, “The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality),” originally published in Tikkun in March/April 1992 in response to the original release of Stone’s film.
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