Free E-Book: Social Movements: An Introduction, 2nd Edition

by Evan_Gaensbauer1 min read21st Mar 20201 comment



Authors: Donatella Donna Porta and Mario Diani

Publication Date: 2006

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On the same theme .

there was a free online copy and there may still be. its a collection of 100 essays by people associated with various social movements (some of which have been around for decades) mostly dealing with the global south, environmental issues and also ones relevant to 'developed countries' such as USA .

i think it overlaps with the Oxford handbook. both of these to me are like reading an encyclopedia or history book.

(There are more social movements than the 100 in the book, but they overlap alot, so in a sense even if the 'missing' movements are not in the book they are mostly implicity there. I think there may have been some favoritism into who was included in the book, and who was excluded.

Many of these 'movements' or groups are fairly short lived --they last for a few years and dissapear, often partly due to internal conflicts. )

I never joined any social movements except for the green party, and i no longer attend their events due to internal strife. These small groups tend to attract certain individuals who try to take them over and turn them into cults of personality, though they do it using the rhetoric of social justice, intersectionality, ecology, democracy, etc.

Jacobin magazine (now sort of affiliated with DSA and a big supporter of Bernie S., though it had its roots in ISO , and has had a sort of constantly shifting ideology ---they can't decide which form of socialism they prefer ) was among the groups involved in the local political or 'social movement' scene--sort of by mistake i get their magazine .

(it has interesting histories of leftist movements in USA and internationally--written by academics and grad students primarily (almost never in sciences), but some of it i view as redundant leftist drivel.) Its a younger version of the nation mag, and a high brow version of CPUSA (i've seen old copies of that) , with excellent production and graphics. Their articles are usually written by various academics affiliated with universities that range from fairly 'low level' city colleges to the ivy league. )

This book and the Oxford one are also relevant to a May 2019 discussion on the EA forum about 'leftist critiques of EA movement'---which i thought was fairly thorough. ( i looked at that partly since i'm 'self-quarantining'. My area is sort of on 'lockdown' , so i skim various math models of this issue, and then look at lighter stuff.)

The may 2019 discussion pointed out both criticisms of EA as well as its defenses. eg 'leftists' dislike the word 'charity'--it sounds paternalistic; and in the area i live, 'US imperialism' and 'capitalism' are sort of code or trigger words, or phrases, or rallying crys.

'Earning to give' does remind one of Andrew Carnegie (I had a relative who went to CMU which is a top school for AI research--carnegie and mellon gave their money away) , the Rockefellors (Rockefellor U), , the Sackler family (art gallerys, and credited in part for the US opiate epidemic) , and Henry Paulson (plans to donate his 4 Billion $ wealth to environmental causes which he earned on wall street. )

(I knew someone who made a fair amount of money on wall street, who also gave away a large fraction of it, but part of it was based on cigarette companies. He simply seperated his money making investment decisions from his values, so he invested in whatever was most profitable. And then he gave alot of that money away to good causes. He also didnt approve of smoking even though he invested in the companies. ).

(he was actually from a small town background, so didn't have a 'systems' point of view-he was just a good stock picker. I.e. he didn't notice he may have been 'stealing from the poor to get rich', and then acting as a kind of 'robin hood' to 'take from the rich and give to the poor'. (he also donated to bernie's 1st campaign against Hilary). )

I'm not really affiliated with any 'leftist movements' anymore (though i used to attend protests organized by many of these groups, which range from 'moderate DSA', green party, or 'progressive democratic ' groups , and environmentalist and anti-poverty groups , to ones with more 'radical views' (all kinds of socialists, anarchists, and others---many of whom did not get along with each other) .

However since i think i am familiar enough with many of these 'leftist' groups i would say for every criticism of EA one can make there is another one equal to that can be made of many of these groups.

(I actually view some of them as sort of modern versions of stalinists--i call them 'stalinists- lite'.

Just as i view the 'alt-right' as the 'lite' versions of nazis and kkk. (they don't dresss in white hoods and gowns anymore, or as storm troopers--they dress in khakis and suits and ties--look like college students or government buerocrats.

The stalinist-lite 'leftist' critics of US imperialism, etc. seem to have strong affiliations with RT state sponsored media 'russia today' and its 'Sputnik' radio version--they have their own radio shows or appear as guests on those stations, as well as with China. They are big critics of US presence in Afghanistan but never mention Russia also invaded Afghanistan. )

I think the differences between EAs, 'leftists' and people like myself are cultural and educational primarily. Many EA's seem to have a philosophy bacground, so for example they use the philosophical definition of Utilitarianism rather than the ones i've seen in economics , which are mathematical (Hilary Greaves of Oxford and associated with EA, who also has a background in physics, uses the formalism of utilitarianism closest to the one i try to use--though I am not at her mathematical level.) 'Leftists' tend to get their information more from either 'radical media' or in college classes in humanites or semi-social sciences like 'cultural marxism' and 'intersectionality studies'. I get my views from my backgroun in ecology and lived experiences in fairly diverse environments--so you have to keep your language simple, even if you are familiar with technical dialects. (There are in my view at least 3 or 4 different dialects for 'systems science' or 'systemic approaches'--i view them as equivalent but they range in mathematical complexity.)