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Author Archives: Bobo Bose-Kolanu

Sentences on Para-Philosophical Practice

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Sentences on Para-Philosophical Practice   1. Philosophy is about generating new resources for being. This is what is meant by “philosophy is the generation of new concepts.” This is what is meant by “philosophy as an exercise in untimeliness.” Thus, philosophy is always – at some point – political.   2. Philosophy requires faith that   …Continue Reading

Notes on Understanding the UCSB Killings

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  The challenge is to see the killings as reasonable and normal.   This injunction appears insensitive at best. That is because this article is not about people; it is about logics. It is my belief that if we are interested in people, we must first be interested in the systematic ways they come to   …Continue Reading

Issue Four: Eco-Power

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Occupy America’s fourth issue is “Eco-Power.” In this issue we consider the environment and the field of struggle as it is currently determined. In “Emissions Trading: The Green Trojan Horse,” Prashanth Kamalakanthan and myself consider the evolving carbon trading market. Often touted as a market-based solution to global warming, we find that this new market actually   …Continue Reading

Emissions Trading: The Green Trojan Horse

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As the oft-repeated slogan among environmentalists goes, “there is no Planet B.” To preserve the human species we need an effective set of tools to ward against the crises associated with unmitigated greenhouse gas release. Historian Dipesh Chakrabarty has posited that global warming “poses for us a question of human collectivity” requiring “a global approach   …Continue Reading

Issue Three: The Threshold Question

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Occupy America’s third issue is “The Threshold Question.” As Americans we tend to be proud of our country first and critical second. As we enter school we are taught that ours is the “land of the free, home of the brave.” We generally have an assumed set of values in mind when we think of   …Continue Reading

It’s Still The Economy, Stupid!

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Few issues strike as close to home as jobs. A job means a livelihood, a chance to provide for one’s family, and a way to contribute to society. Understandably Americans expect their politicians to take these concerns seriously, and the economy is a perennial election issue. But what if the structure of our economy creates   …Continue Reading

The Fear Economy: No Thinking, No Safety

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We live in an age of crisis. If the media is to be believed, threats are closing in from all directions. The terrorists, criminals, gay marriage, the Chinese (racist Red Dawn tweets incoming), socialists, psychopaths—the list goes on.1 What is actually happening here? Who benefits when America collectively jumps in fright? And what happens when our   …Continue Reading

Issue One: Counter-Attacks

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This first issue of Occupy America is called “Counter-Attacks.” Oftentimes critiques fall short, failing to provide viable alternatives. This issue examines alternatives that attempt to structure society in a more just manner.

Our extended feature is Leo Zimmerman’s article, which unearths contradictions at the heart of Occupy Baltimore and examines them in light of the Occupations in general. Leo lived in Occupy Baltimore from its founding to its dissolution. From his unique perspective he suggests difficulties Occupy faced as well as new ways of coming together.

Prashanth Kamalakanthan examines how Occupy is regrouping. Turning from the tactic of occupying public space, Prashanth argues the 99% can find a common tie in debt resistance, which exposes the inequality at the heart of our current system.

Nate Gorelick turns to Canada to find a recent example of a massively successful Occupy style protest against tuition hikes. The protest ballooned into a people’s referendum on austerity measures and saw solidarity triumph over the 1%, as government officials resigned in disgrace.

My own article examines participatory budgeting, a horizontally democratic method for allocating government funds that is beginning to catch on in the United States. I argue that participatory budgeting offers a unique way for activists to engage the state productively while retaining a critical distance, offering the possibility for more systemic changes in the future.

We hope you find this issue engaging, and thank you for your time.


Bobo Bose-Kolanu

Participatory Budgeting: Towards Militant Citizenship

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On one side, protesters aligned with truth, justice, and freedom (or danger, disorder, and violence). On the other, police aligned with repression, inequality, and fascism (or order, rule of law, and safety). In the middle, a barricade divides the two. This somewhat romantic picture of Absolute Good and Absolute Evil underlies many assumptions we have   …Continue Reading