Decades of neoliberal policies have undermined the cohesion of societies worldwide and created the conditions for the rise of right-wing demagogues and fascists, according to George Monbiot. At the same time, the world is heading to climate collapse and a breakdown of food production. Industrial agriculture, especially meat production, is one of the key causes for the destruction of biodiversity, soils, fresh water resources, and forests. In addition to “direct action” by groups like “Extinction Rebellion” and “Fridays for Future”, we urgently need, as Monbiot stresses, a new progressive narrative in order to replace a morally, economically and politically bankrupt neoliberalism.
In an interview with Kontext TV political scientist Norman Finkelstein examines the Israel-Palestine conflict, shows why there still is no Palestinian state and points out that Gandhian tactics in the Middle East conflict could work. “I don’t think they can do much. I think they’ll have a very hard time.” Today much more is known about the conflict, says Finkelstein. Too often Israel has chosen war over diplomacy and blocked a two state settlement while it is incorporating more and more Palestinian land. Furthermore Israel has become increasingly vulnerable to outside pressure due to human rights violations. Even though Finkelstein goes along with boycott strategies the BDS movement is advocating for he is critical of the movement’s political dishonesty. He insists on sticking to the two state solution following international law. The interview with Norman Finkelstein was conducted before the protests in Gaza in 2018 started.
In his speech at the international conference „Challenging Capitalist Modernity“ at the University of Hamburg David Graeber talks about his experiences with the Global Justice Movement, Occupy Wall Street and his visit to the Kurdish province of Rojava in the North of Syria. In Rojava, Kurds and other groups have succeeded in creating autonomous bottom-up structures that have so far resisted successfully the Islamic State, the Assad regime and the attacks by the Turkish government. According to Graeber, the revolution in Rojava is particularly remarkable because it has developed methods to organize economic and political life from the bottom up, largely avoiding hierarchical bureaucracies. For this purpose a double power structure has been established: For the necessary contacts with external institutions a state-like structure is in place; internally, however, the local councils remain in control of the decision-making processes. With these achievements Rojava could be an important inspiration for the search of “real democracy” beyond state bureaucracies.