Rise of the Local

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Banner from Movement for Black Lives

There have been two major and very similar policy platforms announced by the organization The Movement For Black Lives and the Green Party. While The Movement For Black Lives focuses on, well, Black lives, a lot of the policies it puts forth especially around economic justice are ones that would benefit all people (except those wealthy few currently controlling the economy and government). The Green Party has finally adopted a platform that is vocally in opposition to capitalism, a long time goal that many youth in the Party fought hard for. I highly recommend reading both platforms, sharing them with your colleagues, and supporting the efforts to get the policies passed and the Green Party (and other Left third parties) into power.

However, there is one component of both platforms I would like to caution enthusiasm¬†and give some alternatives for. Community control, also called local control, is not an inherently problematic concept and I can certainly get behind community control of many things such as the internet. I will be focusing on two community control policies that could have some problems in implementation and result: The Movement For Black Lives policy to gain direct community control over local, state, and federal police and the Green Party policy of “return[ing] to the local, face-to-face relationships.”

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Lenin, Multinationals, and Development in the Global South

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I generally do not write about international law on here because (1) I have 0 training in it and any knowledge comes from my own independent study; (2) because there is a strong presumption of comity in international common law between nations such that many of the issues that I talk about, especially with finance, wind up applying internationally (with obvious notable exceptions like Venezuela). But I had heard a lot about the 2016 UN Conference on Trade and Development so when my law library received a copy of the corresponding report on investment I thought it might be worth making an unusual departure into this mysterious realm.

What peaked my interest was that the UN Conference on Trade and Development is remarkably different from most UN and international institutions that govern economic policy and regulation (the IMF, World Bank, G20 summit, etc.). It is considered to be about as Left as you can get with such an institution in the present world and countries of the Global South have had some, albeit limited, success in defending their interests there to the chagrin of the more powerful and prosperous nations (for my purposes here I am excluding China and India who now inhabit the awkward position of wanting to utilize their former colonization politically while also wanting to surpass the United States in dominating capitalism and perpetuating their own forms of imperialism, especially in Africa).

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