How liberal individualism is killing democracy and cumulative voting might be the antidote.

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Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

We need a new foundation for bottom-up empowerment in our electoral and legislative systems. Rigid adherence to winner-take-all majority rule contorts and rips at the seams of an intrinsically organic and fluid structure: the body politic.

Not only is forcing amorphous human interests, identities, and experiences into a rectilinear mold absurd, it’s dangerous and oppressive, especially for historically marginalized minorities.

Implicit in the majority’s electoral strategy is wholesale attachment to individualism, an ideology that reigns over group- and community-based interests. …


Advice from your resident naysayer, Imposter Syndrome

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Photo by John Beukelmann on Unsplash

Hi, there! I’m that voice inside your head, here to remind you that your creative efforts are futile and you should probably just give up.

You may remember me from such infamous life-time hits as, “I failed 7th grade chemistry and it definitely matters” and “My ex was totally right when they said I’d amount to nothing.”

Has anyone told you lately you’re the worst writer on the internet?

Oh yeah, you’ve got nothing to contribute to the discussion, and you should feel badly about it.

There are thousands of authors much more qualified and interesting than you who already…


THE GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING

What we learn about the ‘other’ when we get closer

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By Daniela Roa on Unsplash.com

“How do you know that’s how Black people feel?” my mom asked, as we winded through Oregon’s coastal forests in a rental car. Our family vacations often include sightseeing, nature hikes, and impromptu discussions about systemic racism.

I had finished my rant about the criminal justice system, its disproportionate stranglehold on Black Americans, and the ways marginalized people now experience inordinate pain and suffering under slavery’s newest form, mass incarceration. …


Pastries are for sophists. Truth is for the philosopher.

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Photo by Twinsfisch on Unsplash

I used to pit philosophy against fiction. One involves airtight logic and connectives like “therefore” and “if and only if,” while the other deals with imaginary characters and formulaic plots — never the twain shall meet.

When I first approached Plato’s dialogues, I looked at them through that first lens, parsing Socrates’ theses into equations like “If ϕ is a member of Γ, then Γ ⊢ ϕ” to get to the meaty stuff. I wanted to know how he DESTROYS his enemies with FACTS and LOGIC. This was a mistake.

I…


Black Friday isn’t for the faint of heart

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Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

The holidays are a time for sharing, caring, and spending invaluable time with loved ones.

After Thanksgiving, when all the turkey’s gobbled up and hearts and bellies are full of happiness, we continue to celebrate with the chaotic bloodletting and homicidal consumption that is Black Friday. It’s about equilibrium.

Before you embark on what could be your last trip to Wal-Mart, here are some helpful tips to secure the best deals:

1. Train for gains

You live in a sea of highly specialized and seasoned shoppers. Everyone is a potential adversary when there’s a 25%-off Roomba at stake. …


If Congress won’t reform, organized labor must.

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Photo by Salmen Bejaoui on Unsplash

Close your figurative eyes and imagine: It’s a Tuesday in November and the U.S. economy screeches to a halt this morning. Retail clerks, barbers, bus drivers, teachers, TSA agents, Uber and Lyft drivers, bartenders, factory workers, prison inmates — hell, even the tech bros — stay home and prepare for a monumental event.

It’s Election Day and the first nation-wide general strike is underway.

Over thirty million workers refuse to punch in, opting instead to exercise their civic duty. Polling stations are geared up for the outpour of eager voters. Many who live in states with early voting, mail-in, or…


But not for the reasons you might think

A man looks at his computer, gripping his disheveled face in horror.
A man looks at his computer, gripping his disheveled face in horror.
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Once upon a time, a set of steadfast Western values held our social fabric intact. But with the rise to power of evildoer Donald Trump and his minion army of astroturfing Russian bots, we’ve lost the way in the bleak woods of lies, cheats, and scandals. As the world’s most exceptional protagonist, the U.S. must now embark on a heroic quest to retrieve facticity and save the planet.

So the narrative goes.

Since at least 2016, we’ve become obsessed with the idea that truth no longer reigns supreme in the press, our democracy, or “collective reality”. We fetishize fact checkers…

Mark Pettibone

Researcher. Writer. Union Field Rep & Organizer. Into workplace democracy, affordable housing, ecosocialism, and just public policy. twitter.com/MarkPettibone

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