For decades, the neo-liberal agenda, first tested outside of the United States and then brought home, has driven waves of privatization. Today, it is proceeding in an unchecked way and without regard for the suffering that it leaves in its wake. We’ll discuss some of the vehicles for privatization and commodification of everything and how we fight back. We’ll cover the Trade in Services Agreement, public private partnerships and the attack on the commons, such as the Internet. This boils down to corporate power versus popular power.
Relevant articles and websites:
Decoding the Doublespeak of Chairman Pai by Timothy Karr
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships by Pete Dolack
Craig Aaron has led Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund since 2011. For more than a decade, he has been a leader in major campaigns to safeguard Net Neutrality, stop media mergers and consolidation, oppose unchecked surveillance, defend public media and sustain quality journalism. He works in Washington and speaks often to the press and the public on media and technology issues. He has written for The Daily Beast, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Hill, MSNBC, Politico, The Progressive, The Seattle Times, Slate and many other outlets. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: 25 Years of In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter @notaaroncraig.
Peter Dolack has extensive experience as an activist, having been a local chapter coordinator for Amnesty International in the early 1990s and subsequently working with a variety of groups, including Trade Justice New York Metro, the National People’s Campaign, New York Workers Against Fascism, the Brooklyn Greens/Green Party of New York and the No Spray Coalition (an anti-pesticide environmental group, of which he was a co-founder, that forced New York City to stop mass spraying of pesticides). He also served for two years as editor of the Green Party of New York’s newspaper.
Pete has been published on a variety of political and literary topics, mostly pertaining to contemporary issues. He has been published multiple times in the peer-reviewed academic journal Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society, and currently is published regularly by the online popular magazines CounterPunch and ZNet. He has written a well-received pamphlet on fascism (www.eastwaterfront.com) and currently writes a weekly blog on the economic crisis and the political and environmental issues connected to it, Systemic Disorder (https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com), that has attracted a sizable international following.
Among the publications to have run articles written by Pete are The Ecologist, Z Magazine, Climate & Capitalism, The New Jurist, Portside, World War 4 Report, Green Social Thought and Green Left Weekly. Online literary magazines in which he has had multiple articles published in recent years include BigCityLit, Mad Hatters’ Review and Pemmican Press.
Pete has spent many years debating, thinking and writing about the failures of capitalism and the need to bring into being a better world, one based on human need. Toward these ends, he is particularly interested in the unity of theory and practice.