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DemocracyEssaysFeatureMedia & Publics

Order from Noise

On Cambridge Analytica, Cybernetic Governance and the Technopolitical Imaginary

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The Smartest Places on Earth

Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation

For nearly four decades, the manufacturing centers of the industrialized world have been in decline, their once mighty engines of mass productivity decommissioned and rendered into silent, rusting hulks. Waves of capital and (mostly white) people have streamed out of the central cities, leaving ruined landscapes in their wake. Recently however, the deconstructive narrative of a number of these beleaguered towns seems to have been recuperated, …

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CapitalismDemocracyDemocracy ForumEssaysFeature

Trump or Clinton: The Consequence of Anti-Intellectualism

The Oval Office is up for grabs between Clinton and Trump, and I can’t remember the last time that I, living in a capitalist society, as a consumer, somehow ran out of options. If I can get my beer non-alcoholic and my ice cream fat-free, surely I can get my presidential candidate non-corporate and scandal-free, right?

How did we get here? Trump is a shameless liar with no experience in political office; while Clinton has too much of the wrong kind of experience — for example, promoting fracking and selling arms around the world. We are trapped between Scylla and Charybdis. …

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The Green Growth Path to Climate Stabilization

The World Resources Council recently reported that between 2000 and 2014, 21 countries, including the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Spain and Sweden, all managed to “decouple” GDP growth from CO2 emissions — i.e. GDP in these countries expanded over this 14-year period while CO2 emissions fell.[1]   This is certainly a favorable development. But the crucial question remains: how favorable is it relative to what is necessary to put the global economy on a successful path to climate stabilization?

As of the most recent worldwide data (2012), global CO2 emissions are at around 32 billion tons per year.[2] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides conservative benchmarks as to what is required to stabilize the average global temperature at no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the pre-industrial average. The IPCC presents these benchmarks in terms of ranges and probabilities, but a fair summary of their assessment is that global CO2 emissions need to fall by 40 percent within 20 years, to 20 billion tons per year, and by 80 percent as of 2050, to 7 billion tons.

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DemocracyEssaysFeatureThe Left

The Shifting Class Politics of the Democratic Party

The battle for the presidential nomination has exposed ideological and class fault lines within the Democratic Party. The opposition to Hillary Clinton’s position on trade and other economic issues reveal the sense among many registered Democrats that the Party establishment has abandoned their economic concerns. The shift in the class interests of the Party has not been a sudden one, precipitated by the Trans-Pacific Partnership or even NAFTA, but part of a longer story of transformation, a shift of the Democratic base away from its roots in the labor union halls in northern cities and toward white-collar tech workers in the suburbs and gentrified enclaves of major metropolises. Since the 1960s, suburban knowledge professionals and high-tech corporations have supplanted urban ethnics and labor unions as the party’s core constituency. …