4.6 Make science, art and information technology public!

Nothing better defines the boundary between the rule of capital and people power in a green social democracy than the ownership of ideas. On the one side, authoritarianism, secrecy, copyrights, patents, that is, private ownership of the products of science and imagination are the rule. On the other, democracy and the free flow of ideas, including free access to information, knowledge, and education are the alternative.

Only by the green social democratic route can the promise of the revolution in digital storage and communication technology be fully realized. Capitalism is incompatible with the revolution in information technology. Only green social democracy can liberate humankind from the barriers placed by for-profit economic activity to the realization of the full promise of information technology.

The need for an expanding role for creative cultural activity, including work in the arts, sciences and technology, can best be met on the scale required when the creators of intellectual products and services no longer need the protection of intellectual property rights in order to live and work as intellectuals. Only in this changed circumstance can all intellectual products and services be freely shared.

The expansion of the non-market activity, as outlined in chapter three, would open the door to unprecedented opportunities for intellectual activity, including creative work in the arts, sciences and technologies. With increasing free time and public support, the door would be open to every person to contribute to the cultural and intellectual life of the community.

In the transition to a green social democracy, the enormous amount of human intellectual talent and associated material resources wasted in the capitalist market place on false advertising and other intellectual means of propping up a private-for-profit system becomes available for intellectual activity in the service of a culturally rich and environmentally sustainable society. Governments from the local community level to the national one would have the political and economic power to re-allocate these resources to support for voluntary cultural activity in the expanding non-market sector and paid activity in the market sector. Cultural activity could then be as diverse and rich as the decision-making process is democratic and healthy.

A green social democratic society could thus give to everyone with sufficiently strong motivation and ability what a class divided society provides primarily to its wealthier members: the opportunity to work as creative scientists, artists, writers, technologists and inventors.

Parenthetically, a further comment on so-called "intellectual property rights", corresponding to capitalism, may be in order here. Contrary to a popular misconception, the main beneficiaries of such "rights" are usually not the average intellectual engaged in creating intellectual products. Like other workers, most intellectual workers are obliged to give their work to their employer as a condition of employment. But not all intellectuals, of course. Some work at least for part of their time as free-lance creators of intellectual products, often supported by other forms of employment, often teaching. In the same way that many small businesses work as suppliers of services and physical goods to larger corporations, many free-lance intellectuals supply intellectual products to these corporations. The principal financial beneficiaries are usually those with the capital to employ the intellectual products, and not the independent intellectuals who create and may nominally hold the copyrighted and patented intellectual work. The supplying intellectuals, just like many small businesses, generally provide their products at a cost that is cheaper than the cost of their direct employment by the corporations that capitalize on the products of their intellectual labor. In essence, free-lance intellectuals, like many small businesses, function as employees, not as capitalists, intellectual property rights notwithstanding.

Welcome!

This website was launched September 1, 2010 in support of a green social democratic alternative to neoliberal capitalist policy and practice. The primary result is a work by Charles and Karen McFadden of seven chapters, grouped under the title, Towards a Green Social Democratic Alternative to Capitalism available here in pdf and html formats.

Below under the heading What’s New can be found the most recent materials posted on this website, including opinion pieces, book reviews, articles and selections from the 2017 edition of the main work.  For the interest of new and returning visitors, new materials will be included quarterly.

What's New

NEW & REVISED

Authors' Preface

1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

6.0 The socialism we need against the "socialism" of the 20th century

6.8 Additional concerns about 20th century variants of "socialism"

6.9 The people united!

7.1 Policy alternatives and political movements to advance them

OPINION

Charles and Karen McFadden, Is revolutionary transformation on the agenda

Charles and Karen McFaddenHumanity on the Brink

Charles and Karen McFaddenMovements of Resistance to Movements for System Change

Charles McFaddenTranslating Green Principles into Education Policy and Practice

Charles and Karen McFadden, The Role of Revolutionaries in the Labor Movement

REVIEWS

Charles McFadden, The People United for a More Just Sustainable Future

Karen and Charles McFaddenCan emergent early 21st century neo-fascism be defeated without coming to grips with late 20th century restructuring of capitalism into a global system

Karen and Charles McFaddenA Dominant Capitalism or a Sustainable Environment? Why we can't have both.

US CORNER

William I. RobinsonThe Crisis of Global Capitalism and Trump's March to War

William I. RobinsonTrumpism, 21st Century Fascism, and the Dictatorship of the Transnational Capitalist Class

CANADA CORNER

George HewisonWINNIPEG 1919 & THE COLD WAR

George HewisonArt Manuel - "Unsettling Canada

George HewisonThe NDP and LEAP

RECOMMENDED

From Climate & Capitalism
John Bellamy Foster, http://climateandcapitalism.com/2017/04/11/foster-a-resistance-movement-for-the-planet/

From Black Agenda Report
Ajamu Baraka, https://www.blackagendareport.com/story-charlottesville-was-written-blood-ukraine

FEATURED WORK

ECONOMICS

1.7 The dynamics of capitalism as a system and the limits of single issue reforms

2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

3.1 The challenge of a moribund economic system

3.7 Public banking: A cornerstone of a green social democracy

4.7 Economics and culture

6.5 Using the non-market economy as an opportunity to begin moving beyond capitalism

HISTORY

1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

2.0 Theoretical Perspective: Defining Green Social Democracy

2.5. Socialism and green social democracy in historical materialist theory

4.3 Culture in historical perspective

5.1 Contrasting a green social democratic world with the currently prevailing, but challenged neo-liberal one

6.2 Socialism and capitalism as coexisting social systems

LABOR

2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

5.7 Defeating neo-liberal capitalism: The role of social movements

7.3 Justice: Creating a just society, based on the right of all to a dignified, secure existence

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) applies to all work posted on this website except that which appears with authors whose last name is other than McFadden, in which case standard copyright should be assumed to apply.