Friday, February 05, 2016

Iceland's Faux Commons Revolution: Rewrites Constitution to Avoid Privatization, Yet Primes Future Instances of it by Nationalization

There is a wide debate on proper ways to facilitate commons' jurisdictions, democratization and sustainability by land tenure changes. In this post, the bioregional state's ideas of a 'thirded choice' in land tenure (and what this term means and why it is ideal) is explored.

An Ecological Reformation in the organization of our consumption and development (which includes land tenure changes) has been discussed before with promises to expand on the topic. This is an ideal time, because what is happening in Iceland is an object lesson why the nationalization of their remaining land (despite their interpretations) is unable to serve as a protection against privatization and degradation. Iceland may be working on solutions against corrupt privatization and working on protections against future degradation of their land. However, the dichotomous interpretations that blame privatization and degradation on abstract markets and, ergo, the interpretations that full nationalization is an "opposite" to this (instead of a catalyst of it) is a false interpretation that will disappoint them in the future. Full privatization or full nationalization will hardly result in a long-term durable land protection for democratic or sustainable development of their country. We should transcend a dependence on mentally projected false dichotomies in policy analysis, and instead work from clear historical and contingent cases of what privatization is: a drift of nationalized jurisdictional control and devolution depending on that first step of nationalization, instead of nationalization being the opposite of privatization.

First come the accolades before the criticisms. Globally, little Iceland is chatted about in awe and inspiration for jailing their privatizing neoliberalist bankers who wrecked the Icelandic economy and stole their savings via currency and debt/credit manipulations. They pulled down the currency and the country in 2008 when their banks crashed. Many lost their life's wealth.

As a result of being a very small country, combined with banker crimes, governmental secrecy, and mutual cronyism in privatization in 2008 that ratcheted up risk and debt for all while rewarding a tiny psychopathic elite with profits, Iceland's economy near collapsed in 2008.

However, equally as a result of being a very small country, near revolutionary situations in tiny countries are far easier to organize--particularly if they are island isolates. This happened. It reminds me of what Rousseau said:
The larger the area which a constant number of inhabitants occupy, the more difficult it is to revolt; because it is impossible to take concerted action quickly or in secret, and it is always easy for the Government to get wind of plans and to cut communications: but the closer together a numerous people draws, the less can the Government usurp from the Sovereign [i.e., the people]; chiefs deliberate as securely in their chambers as the Prince does in his council, and the crowd assembles as quickly in public squares as troops do in their barracks. In this respect great distances are therefore to a tyrannical Government’s advantage. With the help of the support groups [points d’appui] which it sets up, its force increases with distance, like that of levers. By contrast, the people’s force acts only when concentrated, it evaporates and is lost as it spreads, like the effect of gunpowder scattered on the ground and which ignites only grain by grain. —Rousseau, Social Contract, book, 3, chapter 8
Iceland's growing political revolution after 2008 rejected a state subsidized bail out and pampering of the banker psychopaths that wrecked their economy and destroyed their bank savings. By 2015, instead of ongoing criminal banker pampering you see in wholly doomed European, U.S. and Canadian contexts, many of Iceland's banking CEOs were in jail for their financial crimes--as their brothers and sisters in crime should be worldwide. There was a bailout of sorts--though only of national citizens wealth hurt by the psychopathic bankers. Meanwhile, foreign bankers who had lent Icelandic banker's money were left bankrupt or taking the loss in the market as they should, instead of allowed to heap their bad market calculations as a burden of debt on the blameless Icelandic population with transnational criminal bankers carrying on as before.

However, an unknown saga is the Icelandic constitutional rewrite that came from this political revolution. I can't resist using this word saga in its proper north-Atlantic epic context, because it is truly an epic story most missed. We have intentionally missed it because of censorship of this story in the international media, argues Project Censored below.

This saga began in the events of 2008. By 2012, Iceland in large majorities disagreed with the narrative that they the public should pay for private banker's malfeasance, and instead they felt it was time to blame certain bankers' bad decisions directly for the country's economic dislocations and wealth loss. By 2015, many bankers were in jail. However, second, instead of accepting the narrative that it was just a 'market problem' Iceland interpreted there was something wrong with their state if it had allowed such malfeasance to continue. By 2012, Iceland had voted to rewrite some of its constitution by a combined citizens' constitutional convention followed by a national referendum. The former constitutional convention was built from a random sample of actual citizens for ideas, instead of career politicians. The career politicians that had benefited from the disastrous drift of privatization opposed both the constitutional convention and the national referendum on its recommendations of constitutional change to avoid such problems in the future. However, in this political revolution, the convention occurred and the referendum occurred and novel constitutional planks were voted upon anyway. All six convention-recommended constitutional changes passed with large majorities. (See below links for details on these six).

However, the point here is not entirely to laud Iceland in a novel saga, though to comment on a Greek tragedy they are taking part in now, and to issue a trenchant warning to Iceland to avoid institutionalizing a framework in which future corrupt privatization may occur despite themselves. What do I mean?

I mean that Iceland is attempting the same kind of centralized environmental rights, nationalization strategies, and/or vast privatization-and-depopulation strategies that were such a failure in Ecuador and which continue to be such a failure for the vast dystopian neo-feudal land tenure empires of 'land trusts' run by groups like the World Wildlife Fund or the Nature Conservancy. Ecuador, the WWF, or the Nature Conservancy have done little to protect the environment by their land tenure consolidations of jurisdiction, according to any evaluation of their history. Instead, they have done more to protect their own crony land tenure consolidations that are associated with ongoing environmental degradation and their own propaganda to the contrary. So all these centralizing strategies--whether nationalizing state-based or privatizing corporation based--are basically the same strategy of depopulation and external management under different discourses of talk.

Dearest Iceland, first, the case of Ecuador is worth learning from for its rather clear lessons that any kind of environmentally inspired 'nationalizations' are really just loading the gun for the next (crony privatization) shot at your head and at your environment. In other words, a nationalization strategy 'on the environment' is really potentially self-destructive of what they are attempting to achieve.

Dearest Iceland, second, other equally consolidated cases of jurisdictions in the neo-feudal private (really very secretive) World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy are worth learning from as well for their own rather parallel clear lessons. These lessons are that any jurisdictional centralization and depopulation under any guise (whether nationalized state empire or advertised glossy marketing strategies of private empire) are both elite-desired ideological diversions, in which they get material jurisdiction over wider areas of the environment from you the people naively, and you only get pushed off the land with empty promises and ongoing postponement of action and improvement. History shows both these kinds of consolidated, depopulating land tenures create crony deals for environmental destruction out of sight while they lie to the contrary and while people believe their lies.

However, any evaluation of both these national statist-based land trust empires or these massive private land trust empires show bald attempts in a decolonizing world after WWII to invent distractions for neo-colonialism and recolonization under an environmental guise. (This is hardly to say all versions of environmentalism are like this. Elsewhere, the bioregional state has argued that there are several competing narratives and leaderships in environmental thought. Both these environmental nationalizations and these neo-feudal global private land trusts are the same very false kind of environmentalism, an environmentalism of massive promises with little to show for it except a record of hypocrisy. And if it can be demonstrated that these methods of nationalization or neo-feudal private land trusts fail to save the environment over the past 50 years, what is the "real reason" for their durability as strategies then? Both are false because these are the same degradative and unrepresentative imperialists as before, now donning forester outfits and expecting you to fall for it since they hardly change their colonial crony empire antics and are now just learning to do it  through nationalization of land and via global private land trusts.

This globalist and imperial branch of environmentalism (of which various regional nationalizations fit well into the corrupt deals of a wider crony corporate empire) has two main goals. The first is the goal of keeping the same degradative policies and elites in control under novel symbolic politics with ever postponed promises, since they found themselves increasingly challenged worldwide after WWII particularly in an era of decolonization and spread of nationalism. So those who are pushing nationalizations of land tenure and global corporate private land trusts are attempting novel tactics for the same global imperial strategies to keep themselves in power in changed cultural circumstances of opposition to their old tactics. The second goal is to keep you under their centralized (public or private) ideological thumb on interpretations about effective environmental policy. They are attempting to keep you from challenging their leadership toward far more effective ways of actually protecting the environment. If you believe in either of these nationalization or neo-feudal private land trust strategies, you have been bamboozled. See some of the links above. The bioregional state can save the pandas and the environment better than they can. For better ideas, look to Bolivia or to New Zealand.

Returning to the case of Iceland, avoid being fooled below by rhetorical swells. There is a seeming citizen and journalistic hype about a 'commons' being instituted here. However, it is misleading verbiage and mere analogy to talk of an oxymoronic 'national commons' as they do, instead of the actual fine-grained multi-regional commons. Read the fine print of their referendums. There is nothing mentioned about any commons being instituted. This is just another faux 'environmental nationalization' as happened tragically in Ecuador. In their own Greek tragedy, national rules were introduced in Ecuador with an equally great symbolic pretension and promise to be a constitutional device that would work well against privatization for the environment and work for the Ecuadorian people in the future. However, little actual 'on the ground commons' checks and balances were instituted against the potential (and later, the reality) of using these novel centralizing jurisdictional powers against the people or against the environment. In fact, by 2013, that "national protected" land in Ecuador is far more conveniently boxed up for sale to Chinese state oil companies:

Ecuadorians Protest Proposed Nationalized Rainforest Land Sale to China (1 min 5 sec)

Oh, if only such dichotomous rhetorical ploys were true that people only had to fear corruption and privatization and love nationalization and justice. Like Ecuador at the time, Iceland now thinks privatization is their only enemy, yet where do they think the privatization came from? It came from having such centralized nationalized jurisdiction over the banks in this case (and now, the Icelandic environment) in the first place. So this nationalization policy is hardly thoughtful. This is because it is nationalization by the same (or by future) crony groups that catalyzes, causes, and precedes privatization of that national jurisdiction instead of thinking privatization and nationalization are some kind of metaphysical cosmic opposites fighting timelessly in the world against each other. Instead, historically, privatization and nationalization are the Janus faced twins, grinning at you in your ignorance and scowling at you behind your back awaiting future chances. Look into many cases of privatization in history to see my point that what is being privatized is such nationalized jurisdictions, instead of thinking that nationalized jurisdictions are 'security' against privatization. To the contrary, do it right in the future instead of repeat this silly crony privatization tragedy by ignorant decisions. Do it right by simply assuring that privatization is avoided in the future by avoiding nationalization in the future as well. Avoid falling for either if you really want to support the commons instead of just manipulate people in aggregate symbolically, in words, to lull them once more into loading the gun on themselves and pulling back the trigger, and just creating the same tragic nationalization situations that await and catalyze avaricious and degradative dreams of privatization to take root in the future in the first place.

However, does this mean the bioregional state supports total 'bionationalization' (to coin a phrase used before here), meaning monopolies on land held in regional-commons based property only? To the contrary, all kinds of jurisdictional monopolies are corruptions waiting to happen, whether total private property, whether total cooperative property, whether totally commons-held based property ('bionationalization'), and whether total state 'nationalized' property. The bioregional state has argued before (concerning the Ecological Reformation in consumption), that property in land by watersheds should be held in balanced regimes between private property, commons/cooperative regionally held property, and 'bionationalized' (commons held) property, because any kinds of monopolies in land per region is bad, whatever ideology they develop to legitimate themselves.

This is because the bioregional state is more than just about 'state design.' The bioregional state is a form of checks and balances in state politics, yes, though a form of wider cultural and material checks and balances beyond state politics as well, into these material issues. These other wider checks and balances beyond the state are what is termed the Ecological Reformation: toward developing educational, consumptive, and financial checks and balances as well toward greater democratization, choice and sustainability. As the working definition of the bioregional state says:
Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of electoral reforms*, green constitutional engineering additions**, and larger Ecological Reformation like commodity reforms*** designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent majority concerns about the economy, the body, and environmental concerns (e.g., water quality), toward developmental paths that are locally prioritized and tailored to different areas for their own specific interests of sustainability and durability. This movement is variously called bioregional democracy, watershed cooperation, or bioregional representation, or one of various other similar names--all of which denote democratic control of a natural commons [2] and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions--while not removing more generalized civil rights protections and other conflict resolutions of a larger national state.
* - This is the informal level of politics that requires greater checks and balances to create a competitive party system that competes for 100% of the vote instead of competes to exclude the electorate. This is achievable with proportional representation with majoritarian allotment (PRMA), and watershed based election districts [2] (among other things), described in the book. A truly competitive party system creates sustainability by creating representative elites. An unrepresentative-elite-biased, gatekeeping party system creates unsustainability by rejecting such concerns by building a formal institutional arrangement and materials policy that is designed to be degradative and unrepresentative.

** - This is the formal level of politics that requires greater numbers of checks and balances to avoid an unsustainable, unrepresentative state developmental policy; in an unrepresentative, unsustainable society, the state becomes formally structured to serve informal gatekeeping interests and forms of gatekept clientelism instead of to serve multiple real locations within its territory. This means green constitutional engineering: the phrase exclusively for the additions to the formal state apparatus. Plus, this means Ecological Reformation: the phrase for taking into account more than the state in how to improve the representation of a state elite's larger dynamic interactions with other power interests in society like the sciences/research institutions, consumption institutions [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8], and financial institutions. In this way, 'green politics' is hardly a special category of politics, and it is hardly best served by an ideological party since environmental concern and support for health, ecology, and local economics comes from across the political spectrum for green politics. Green politics is a natural form of politics in that it merely means fully representative democracy, where elites are representative instead of gatekeeping on development policy concerns.

*** - This is the level of material politics and potential conflicts between different commodities for the same positional use, where the outcome gets biased toward unsustainable, unrepresentative choices without a formal means to maintain multiple local choices of materials for the same social uses. This is an important material check and balance on power in corrupt materials domination. Demotion of local ecological self-interest, its ethnobotany, and the resulting natural bioregionalism worldwide leads to unsustainability. Different durable human uses of local commodities are a resourceful, material, and market-based check and balance against the collusion of corrupt state, science, finance, and consumptive powers actively demoting or passively gatekeeping against our many choices for sustainability we already have.
So what does the bioregional state recommend, with these above points in mind?

There are actually six points of policy recommended for achieving sustainable, durable, and democratic material issues in consumptive issues, and the following point #5 of that list is germane here because it deals explicitly with land tenure checks and balances in property-holding jurisdictions. Plus, this land tenure point is just one of four recommended policies in the conclusion below.

This point #5 is the most pertinent one concerning these issues of mistaking nationalization is better for the environment or mistaking full commons collectivism is better either. It is additionally the most pertinent one for those still believing full privatization is the better route either.

Instead, among these three battling options, no one version of property relations should completely win. What is better is an ongoing check and balance in land tenure by watershed because only that principle keeps ongoing public regional decisions about land tenure as a more debated and truly public and democratic issue with more open choices toward the future:
5. There are other points I will add later [and I am doing it in this post about Iceland]--like issues of assuring a lack of domination in any singular hegemonic form of land tenure property relations in any regional land ownership/leases/rents in particular watersheds. This means a check and balance between different kinds of property relations: meaning simultaneously having [1] forms of 'bio'nationalization (regional collective ownership of a natural good or aspect of their economics--instead of a nationalization and removal of regional oversight); [2] forms of private property; and [3] forms of co-operative owned property. A major form of corruption and degradation (human and environmental) is distant unrepresentative state political primacy over the material relations of a region. [This would include how the distant state can uphold both nationalization and privatization in property relations instead of pretending the state does only the former and instead of pretending 'the market' or 'private people' do only the latter. However, in any purist arrangement, such corruption could happen. Therefore...] [t]o the contrary, a background of a thirded choice in property relations (to be maintained or adjusted based on ongoing regional issues) maintains a consumptive check and balance on material and cultural politics as well so that open ongoing choice and capacity to change with cultural, technological, and ecological changes can more readily remain the open-ended hegemonic force in a region's culture, materials, and politics. [In this way,]...[i]f it gets corrupted itself, there is appeal to a higher level outside of the bioregion/watershed to move toward some form of conflict resolution over it only if there is a bioregional commonwealth form of bioregional state. (Most people's ideas of secession [or total regional commons property] for instance ignores the fact that secession or regional myopia may fail to make a moral or sustainable environment either, environmentally or culturally [because of cultural inequalities within a region that are one of the beginning causes of systemic environmental degradation by environmental injustice upon them, or, because of other places and peoples always outside any watershed, in their own watershed, and their jurisdictional rights matter equally as well as environmental feedback toward sustainability even in other watersheds, particularly if their downstream feedback, if properly aligned in nested watershed court jurisdictions, innately works toward sustainability in all watersheds instead of only in their own.] [First for civil issues of inequality that is one of the roots of systemic environmental degradation via environmental injusticies upon them and the environment at large,] [it is] best to have the local repressed people have a choice of plural watersheds to live within so they can leave and thus avoid failing corrupt ones, [and if they decide to stay and fight it] as well...[it is better] to have other [wider] jurisdictional frameworks beyond a single watershed that can check and balance any regional corruption if it so occurs. For example [of solving the material issues that tend to be connected to the civil inequalities], redisribution can take place when a particular category of the above any category becomes more than 49%-50% of a watershed. Thus a ration of 33/33/33 is the ideal, though there is an allowance for the real pragmatic world of different watersheds simply keeping any category from being 50% of a watershed. For example, if private property, 'bionationalized' property (regional oversight of common goods/property), and cooperative property...

[Note there is nothing mentioned here about 'nationalized' property in any region as legitimate--as nationalized property is seen as the route of corruption and privatization drift as noted above. A central state in the bioregional state obviously exists, though its delimited jurisdiction (as noted in the definition above) is over [1] universal civil rights (because regionalism itself historically, if having jurisdiction over everything, has hardly always been interested in equal universal civil rights instead of more interested in protecting civil inequalities) and is over [2] multi-regional conflict management between regions,[3] while leaving 'material' issues to peoples on the ground to decide. So moving away to other watersheds or appealing to the larger levels of jurisdiction are both available in the bioregional state. The latter larger levels are there for regional citizens to appeal to if their own regional levels become corrupt, unrepresentative, and degradative, and the check and balance on the corruption of the larger level itself is that it has little 'material' oversights for owning or rearranging material issues on the regional level at all. This has been discussed elsewhere.]

...[had] one section become closer to 50/30/20, then redistribution of property would take place to balance out giving the watershed greater choices of property once more so that no singular form of property power ever dominates the human and ecological open future of the watershed. Only in this context will the people in a region be capable of making optimal decisions for themselves on ongoing changes instead of being gatekept in a certain direction by supply side or systemic interests in their region. Equally if there is "too much" bionationalization or co-operative ownership, then the forced sales go toward private property as well to balance it out back toward 33/33/33.
To repeat the above, the bioregional state avoids any purist kind of property relations in land tenure--particularly nationalization. For land tenure, there are four recommendations here in the bioregional state towards greater commons self-management, democratization, and sustainability: 

Look into many cases of privatization in history to see my point that what is being privatized is such nationalized jurisdictions, instead of thinking that nationalized jurisdictions are 'security' against privatization. To the contrary, do it right in the future instead of repeat this silly crony privatization tragedy by ignorant decisions. Do it right by simply assuring that privatization is avoided in the future by [1] avoiding nationalization in the future as well--and do it right [2] by creating this 'thirded choice' of property relations instead. This is [3] entrusted into ongoing regional jurisdictional hands as a deliberative process, and [4] entrusted as well in a larger bioregional state conflict management arrangement to check and balance against any regional corruptions that would stop that ongoing deliberative process. That check and balance would be threefold: via other watersheds complaining of the former watershed's polluting actions, or it would be by its own citizens capable of leaving that corrupt watershed for greener pastures, or if they were staying, by having recourse on larger jurisdictional levels to complain about corruption in their own watersheds).

Use all four strategies if you really want to support the commons instead of just manipulate people in aggregate symbolically, in words, to lull them once more into loading the gun on themselves and pulling back the trigger, by just creating the same tragic nationalization situations that await and catalyze avaricious and degradative dreams of privatization to take root in the future in the first place.

Links and further comments below:

9. Icelanders Vote to Include Commons [sic] in Their Constitution
September 30, 2013

In October 2012, Icelanders voted in an advisory referendum regarding six proposed policy changes to the nation’s 1944 Constitution. In response to the question, “In the new Constitution, do you want natural resources that are not privately owned to be declared ***national property?*** [not commons based],” [and] Iceland’s citizens responded with a decisive “yes.” Eighty-one percent of those voting supported the commons proposal. [The other article says 83%].

The constitutional reforms are a direct response to the nation’s 2008 financial crash, when Iceland’s unregulated banks borrowed more than the country’s gross domestic product from international wholesale money markets. As Jessica Conrad of On the Commons reported, “It is clear that citizens are beginning to recognize the value of what they share together over the perceived wealth created by the market economy.”

[A Short Digression on Historiography:

However, 'the market economy' failed to create what she is talking about. That is the failed imagination of what is going on here and why this Greek tragedy is taking place, since what she is describing is not a case of a market economy at all though an historical case of a politicized crony privatization against market economies, and a nationalization of risk that encouraged those crony privateers to do it. And that crony world is what we typically live within, instead of 'the market economy'. However, this intellectual failure to blame a Janus faced case of corrupt state leaders and corrupt market leaders for collectively creating an unrepresentative mess that has nothing to do with aggregate citizen/consumer support or blame at all is really part of the failed reductionist Marxist imagination in analysis concerning what is going on here (in analysis and in solutions based on that analysis). Instead, such historical cases of cronyism are a politically primed arrangement and a corrupt economic/bank/firm based arrangement instead of merely a market primed one. This point is almost universally lost on intellectual "critics"--who can be some of the most conservative 'thinkers' you will ever see. Their mistaken ideological analysis is of course one of the rationales why such "critics" ignorantly and reflexively reach for setting up nationalization cum privatization as their "solution" without even thinking about it either. They really and honestly think their analysis is correct that nationalization is the polar opposite of privatization instead of seeing nationalization as the key action in a potential future Greek tragedy of privatization. They prime it themselves though their miscomprehension of nationalization which shields them from considering a more historical case based view of how they are making their own degradative downfall more likely by false actions to escape it.

This false bubble of the "social misconstruction" of this issue as a "market failure" is really why it is going to continue in other words, perhaps. Of course there are problems with markets as well, though the main problem is people thinking about politics and history in dichotomous purist mental constructs of abstract markets in all cases as friends/enemies and/or of abstract states in all cases as friends/enemies.

Yes, there are problems with particular contexts in cases of historical markets just as there are problems with particular contexts of historical states.

For the latter state issue, the problems of particular states have been analyzed throughout the book Toward a Bioregional State (2005), and have been analyzed in previous posts for the problems of particular arrangements of education, materials, and finance in interaction with them as well. On that point, we require an Ecological Reformation, and moreover to get it, mere models of singular ideological parties of any stripe by themselves are unable to achieve it.

Meanwhile, for the former issue, the problems of particular markets discussed elsewhere are the 'supply versus demand' dynamics typical of more consolidated monopolies or monopsonies, and from that, problems may develop contingently from unchallenged and unrepresentative raw material regimes as a major factor to blame for environmental degradation (instead of the 'only factor'--see ecological tyranny). So instead of so blithely writing off abstract markets, abstract markets are a mental construct instead of a 'materialist' analysis. And instead of blithely trumpeting abstract states (or instead of blithely writing them off either), abstract states are a mental construct as well, instead of an historical analysis.

Abstract markets or abstract states--that some laud or hate--are equally mental constructs instead of a proper analysis. Thinking in any dichotomies is an oxymoron, because in reaching for predictable dichotomies no one is encouraged to think at all much less do research on historical cases that quickly collapse any dichotomies you throw at them. Any dualistic dialetics like that have problems in their historical analysis because of their closed predictions (whether 'ideological' or 'material') which are in your head that is thinking about history, instead of which is in empirical cases of history. Cases of history are always open-ended unpredictable dynamics in space and over time based on chosen strategies and tactics with and against each other (and of always many more aggregating groups in competition, alliance and accommodation than just two!). Hegel and Marx led to a dead end on those two problematic points (that they assume history is dialectical and closed/predictable in the future), so let's start over in modern historiography based on cobbling together what has been learned in history and in the social sciences over 150 years beyond them. Trialectical dynamics is more demonstrated in our comparative past and present. We can note what particular open choices of trends were made in the open past and present and what happened after such choices. In comparative retrospect, some choices and their results were representative/sustainable and good (though generally very temporary, so how can we improve that?). In comparative retrospect, some choices and their results were unrepresentative/degradative and bad (so how can we minimize or check against that kind of choice developing?) Either way, multiple different choices and strategies are always contingently interactive instead of having predictable outcomes. Concerning human-environmental history and causality, we only can talk in comparative retrospects about open choices and implications from choices in the past, instead of projecting falsely about an unpredictable future. So we might use that historical knowledge of our open history in the past to understand how particular choices led to particular trends. It is that (and not empty fatalistic predictions of the future which mislead) which can help us now to craft better choices into a future as a triumph for how to build more durable representation and sustainability. Anything is better than remaining in this repeating Greek tragedy in which the main modern characters and audiences are ignorant of the degradative repetitions they are encouraging by their choices that look quite like the past--at least so far.

In conclusion, using dichotomies in anything is hardly thinking with evidence in mind. Perhaps this social misconstruction of all markets as "market failures" that really sometimes aren't market failures is another topic, for another time. Equally, perhaps this social misconstruction of a love/hate of all states (as having all to be either "state failures" or "state salvations" as well!) is another topic, for another time.]

After the October vote, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir said, “The people have put the parliament on probation.”

Censored #9

Icelanders Vote to Include Commons [sic] in Their Constitution

Jessica Conrad, “Icelanders Vote to Include the Commons in Their Constitution,” Commons Magazine, November 2012,

Thorvaldur Gylfason, “Iceland: Direct Democracy in Action,” Open Democracy, November 12, 2012,

Student Researcher: Pedro Martin Del Campo (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Andy Lee Roth (Sonoma State University)



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