Review: Beautiful Trouble — A Toolbox for Revolution

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Change & Innovation, Consciousness & Social IQ, Information Operations, Politics
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell (editors)

5.0 out of 5 stars Common Sense Of, By, For the Community, October 5, 2014

From a second reading after attending The New Story Summit at Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.

QUOTE Stephan Duncombe (104): “”Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” But waiting for the truth to set us free is lazy politics. The truth does not reveal itself by virtue of being the truth: it must be told, and told well. It must have stories woven around it, works of art made about it; it must be communicated in new and compelling ways that can be passed from person to person, even if this requires flights of fancy and new methodologies.”

I bought this book at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) in NYC, along with Michel Sifry’s The Big Disconnect: Why The Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet) that I am reviewing now, both of these books are huge, and the Sifry book relatively unknown when it should a “top 10” reading for all progressives.

This book (Beautiful Trouble), at 138 pages in pocket size (3/5ths of a normal pocketbook), is an utter gem. At a minimum it forces reflection. Produced by a team of people and organizations, this is a community resources in every sense of the word.

Continue reading “Review: Beautiful Trouble — A Toolbox for Revolution”

Review: Beautiful Trouble – A Toolbox for Revolution

5 Star, Consciousness & Social IQ, Democracy, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell et al

5.0 out of 5 stars Common Sense Of, By, For the Community, July 23, 2014

EDIT of 5 October 2014 to add bullets (highlights) from a second reading after attending The New Story Summit at Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.

QUOTE Stephan Duncombe (104): “”Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” But waiting for the truth to set us free is lazy politics. The truth does not reveal itself by virtue of being the truth: it must be told, and told well. It must have stories woven around it, works of art made about it; it must be communicated in new and compelling ways that can be passed from person to person, even if this requires flights of fancy and new methodologies.”

I bought this book at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) in NYC, just concluded, along with Michel Sifry’s The Big Disconnect: Why The Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet) that I am reviewing now, both of these books are huge, and the Sifry book relatively unknown when it should a “top 10” reading for all progressives.

This book, at 138 pages in pocket size (3/5ths of a normal pocketbook), is an utter gem. At a minimum it forces reflection. Produced by a team of people and organizations, this is a community resources in every sense of the word.

By all means use Look Inside the Book, it does offer a Kindle version look at the contents, otherwise I would have repeated the table of contents here. This is an important book, perhaps most useful as an inspiration and as a source of reflection on what is possible. It is a book I will carry in my briefcase to visit across many days and places.

Here are some highlights from my notes:

+ Book offers a “pattern language,” in essence a formula for telling a new story with new means
+ See the website, a growing community
+ Song creates sympathy
+ Coordination across organizations and industries is key — most are fragmented beyond imagination
+ Debts are shared fictions – pull the plug
+ Winning the revolution is an information challenge — challenge the core premises publicly
+ Flash mobs work well, especially under repressive conditions
+ Strikes are non-violent but only work when they are general and cross-industry
+ Guerilla projection (projecting truth messages against facades without doing damage) is HUGE tool
+ Hoax stories that get picked up by mainstream media reveal the larger mosaic of lies that is the mainstream media
+ Core practices include clear motive and story, disruptive action with disciplined non-violence, open to participation
+ Strategic non-violence demands DEEP education of all participants to avoid false-flag provocations to violence
+ Repressed female and minority power is a huge resource to be respected and embraced
+ Highlighting human (and true) cost of any issue is not something the media does — we must
+ Play to your SECONDARY audience (the follow on viewers of the YouTube)
+ Shift the spectrum of allies from hostile to neutral to friendly to stalwart
+ Tell the story — the “naked truth” is simply not that effective because the story grabs the heart and the heart is central
+ Message discipline is vital — leave the conspiracy theories even if known to be true – for after the revolution
+ Listen to those most affected by the issue, let their authenticity be your foundation on that issue
+ Challenge the behavior in context, not the person — everyone really is a good person trapped in a bad context
+ Most are ignorant of the power they can exercise by withdrawing consent and buycotting

Below I list other titles to consider in two blocks — five in this genre, specifics of organizing, and five in the larger context of collective intelligence and public power.

Organizing for Social Change 4th Edition
Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor’s Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today
Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements
The Occupy Handbook
Occupy: Reflections on Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity (Occupied Media Pamphlet Series)

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Participatory Budgeting (Public Sector Governance and Accountability)
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust

Review (Guest): Conversations with Wall Street – The Inside Story of the Financial Armageddon & How To Prevent the Next One

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Justice (Failure, Reform), Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)
Amazon Page

Peter Ressler, Monika Mitchell

5 Stars

Co-authors Peter Ressler and Monika Mitchell have been 20-year Wall Street insiders as partners in an executive search firm. Their book is a page-turning account of the 2007-8 meltdown and continuing unsolved issues that will inevitably lead to the next crises. Woven throughout their analysis are conversations with dozens of top executives from Lehman, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, AIG, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and many hedge funds and private equity firms.

Only the executives’ first names are used (for obvious reasons), which makes their recorded interviews with the authors more revealing, with all the vivid expletives un-redacted. We hear first-hand of how Wall Street’s culture actually worked based on the “buyer beware” treatment of sophisticated clients. Pension funds were considered “big boys” who should do their own due diligence and against whom it was OK to bet that the securities sold to them would blow up. These were the market makers who, unlike the partnerships of yore, regularly took both sides of deals with their often unsuspecting customers while pushing ratings agencies to stamp these toxic products as triple-A. The prevailing culture is reflected in their language: “eat what you kill,” “ripping the face off” clients and the jungle rule of “survival of the fittest” (often incorrectly associated with Charles Darwin rather than originally coined by Herbert Spencer, a British economist of that era who wrote for The Economist).

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Review: Big-Box Swindle–The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Economics, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Truth & Reconciliation

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Author has created a meme, essential part of a bigger picture,

January 2, 2007
Stacy Mitchell
The author of this book has gone way past good authorship–the business reporting in this book has achieved meme status and “Big Box Swindle” is now a term that leads to all sorts of interesting findings when one searches the web and the literature.

I recommend the other book listed above as part of the literature on “True Cost,” a meme that is resonating with the public much more than is “inconvenient truth.” True cost covers water (4000 liters in a T-Shirt), fuel (hundreds of gallons to move Wal-Wart toys from China), sweatshop and child labor (Wal Mart again), and tax avoidance as well as convictions for breaking various laws.

Although they do not appear in the list above, I recommend the varied books on Wal-Mart, especially the one focusing on the high cost of low price.

This author and the literature surrounding this author will shortly be matched by a point of sale ability for buyers to photograph any bar code, send it to Amazon or other sources, and get back the “True Cost” as well as comparable prices and alternative purchase suggestions.

This book could represent a turning point in the public mind, and is therefore of considerable importance to how we choose to react to its findings so that our children and grandchildren are not swindled–however, and the author would among the first to agree, it is not enough that we eradicate these unethical companies; we must also educate our future generations so that they do not lose sight of the “True Cost” of the “Big Box Swindle.”

See also, each with a review:
Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource
The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink

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Review: Corporate Irresponsibility–America’s Newest Export

4 Star, Crime (Corporate)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Lawyer-Author-Reformist: Double Oxymoron Overturned,

February 27, 2002
Professor Lawrence E. Mitchell
I just realized this is the third book by a lawyer I have absorbed in this month’s reading, and that is somehow a scary thought. If lawyers are starting to write popular reformist tracts against unfettered capitalism and the export of the flawed U.S. approach to capitalism, something very interesting must be happening in the dark recesses of our national mind.This is not an easy book to read but on balance it is a very important book and one that would appear to be essential to any discussion of how we might reform the relationship between the federal government with its 1950’s concepts and regulations, corporations with their secularist and short-term profit and liquidation notions, and the people who ultimately are both the foundation and the beneficiaries (or losers) within the political economy of the nation and the world.

The author lays out, from a business law perspective, all the legal and financial reasons why our corporate practices today sacrifice the long-term perspective and the creation of aggregate value, in favor of short-term profit-taking. He makes a number of suggestions for improvement.

Toward the end of the book, citing Lipsett but adding his own observations, he digs deep and summarizes our corporate culture as one that threatens traditional forms of community and morality (Lipsett), while increasingly dominating–undermining–foreign governments and cultures. Elsewhere in the book the stunning failure of our form of capitalism in selected countries is explored.

Although there are adequate notes, there is no bibliography and the index is extraordinarily mediocre–not containing, for example, the references in the book to oversight, political, or regulation. One star is deducted for this failure by the publisher to treat the book’s content seriously.

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