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The subversive power of joy

JANEY STEPHENSON

The unexpected, spontaneous and pleasantly disruptive nature of collective celebration is one of the great equalisers of social and political struggle.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Utopia in Sheffield? We have to start somewhere.

DARREN WEBB
openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

“What makes us move is tasting dreams of what could be, stepping into the cracks where another world is coming into view.”

Fire in neo-liberal London

ANGELA MCROBBIE
openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower is a visible reminder that public responsibilities should never be watered down.

The subversive power of joy

JANEY STEPHENSON

The unexpected, spontaneous and pleasantly disruptive nature of collective celebration is one of the great equalisers of social and political struggle.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Utopia in Sheffield? We have to start somewhere.

DARREN WEBB
openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

“What makes us move is tasting dreams of what could be, stepping into the cracks where another world is coming into view.”

Fire in neo-liberal London

ANGELA MCROBBIE
openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower is a visible reminder that public responsibilities should never be watered down.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’ and immigrant-bashing? openDemocracy is different - join us and hear from Elif Shafak, Brian Eno, Peter Oborne, Sultan al-Qassemi, Birgitta Jonsdottir & many more on what we can do together in 2017.



Can Donald Trump predict the future?

The myth of prophecy is central to the success of authoritarian politics.

Love, anger and social transformation

The politics of the future must embrace all that makes us human: our anger, our pain, our joy and our love.

Should funding agencies also share in the sacrifice of social change?

The furor over Pepsi's fake protest ad resurfaces questions around the Ford Foundation president's decision to join their board. (Originally published December 5 2016).

Why we're not taking the new porn laws lying down

Who cares about a bunch of queers flogging each other when there’s a migrant crisis and article 50 has been triggered? We do.

The power of sign

As Sweet Honey in the Rock’s sign language interpreter, Shirley Childress dedicated her life to deaf rights.

Seven ways to think like a 21st century economist

Economics matters enormously for the future, but its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date.

How anti-Vietnam War activists stopped violent protest from hijacking their movement

Governments welcome violent protests and know how to deal with them. It’s a lesson the anti-Trump movement should remember.

The neoliberal economics of family life

Attempts to restore the family as the foundation of social welfare could destroy the gains of second-wave feminism.

Minnesota churches face tough questions in offering sanctuary to immigrants

Protecting immigrants is vital work, but what happens when the police arrive at your door?

Don’t mention Jesus! Why excluding beliefs from the public sphere is mistaken

Should we hide our deepest values in the public sphere or shout them from the rooftops?

Listen to a recorded audio version of this article courtesy of curio.io.

Preparing for the long haul under the Trump administration

There are hundreds of ways to stay upright and human in trying times—here’s a selection.

What does it mean to love the world? Hannah Arendt and Amor Mundi

Sentiment is dangerous in politics, but solidarity and critical thinking are essential.

For automation to benefit society it must serve human beings—not replace them

Advances in artificial intelligence call us to revisit basic questions about work, love and human purpose.

We’ve been down this road before

A powerful new video shows how immigrants have been scapegoated throughout US history (4 minutes). 

From the politics of division to the politics of humanity

We must not give up on revolutionary optimism. It may get us some important concessions from neo-liberalism—and possibly much, much more.

Escaping from the echo-chambers of politics

How can people who spend their lives discussing politics sometimes be so out of touch? Español

Six reasons why the Left should keep on infighting

Having lots of people with lots of voices isn’t a weakness—it’s a strength.

Demons and angels: strongman leaders and social violence

Politicians who live in an angry narcissistic fog pose a threat to democracy and peace.

Scorn wars: rural white people and us

What could end the cycle of mutual ignorance, resentment, and anger in politics? 

The book of fragments

As shown by Christianity itself, America is not united by any one faith. 

Uncertain comma Texas

A new film describes a world whose inhabitants have been broken, but offers the hope that all can be repaired.

Why black bloc tactics won’t build a successful movement

Nonviolence can be just as powerful and militant as violence, and it works.

We aren’t so different—three steps to overcome hate and fear

Avoiding Trump supporters only increases our already dangerous polarization. Here’s how to really listen and find compassion.

Love in action: the life, work and death of Sister Maura Clarke

Celebrating a stellar example of how to say no to the warmongers and yes to life itself.

Profits first, love later: why western love stories need subverting

What alternative possibilities are opened up when dominant representations of love are questioned?

The new infantocracy in politics

Like an aged babysitter who has forgotten herself for a moment and decided to join the kids, Theresa May now identifies Donald Trump as her closest ally.

How the everyday use of militaristic jargon makes us more combative

The language of violence pervades our discourse, even when we’re not talking about war.

Why play? This is serious.

Play isn’t the opposite of work—it’s vital for social transformation.

Can contemplating death improve the quality of life?

Deep reflective thought about death can bring us closer to self-compassion and concern for the well-being of others.

Trying to save the world should be fun

If we can't find joy in our work for peace and social justice, what's the point?

How we talk about race and safety can really make a difference

Speaking with both honesty and care can transform a conflict in unexpected ways.

Cold war, hot love

The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a revolution of the intimate. To open our series on Romantic regimes, we discuss the trajectories of emotional socialism and emotional capitalism in the post-Soviet context. Русский

America is not the Promised Land

Wrapping Jesus in the Stars and Stripes so that we can wage wars, claim exceptionalism, and justify the expansion of US business interests is not Christianity.

‘Arrival’ and the possibility of conversation

The gift is their language itself, and the new perception of reality it unlocks.

How Somali Muslims are raising a 10,000-person anti-hate army

The refugee community in Minnesota is a big target for bigotry, but they have a plan.

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