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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Creating A Common Language For The 99%

I created this because I know that 99% of Americans lack the vocabulary necessary to engage in political discourse. This list obviously isn't comprehensive, but I'm OK with that. I hope that this post reaches someone who has the time to create a platform for occupiers to add definitions that are important to our struggle, so that the 99% can have a reliable resource to reference. 


Anarchism: Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful,[1][2] or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical[3][9][10] voluntary associations.[11][12]
There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive.

Anarchy:  Anarchy (from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία, anarchia, meaning "absence of a leader"), has more than one definition. In the United States, the term "anarchy" typically is meant to refer to a society without a publicly enforced government or violently enforced political authority.[1][2] When used in this sense, anarchy may[3] or may not[4] be intended to imply political disorder or lawlessness within a society.
Outside of the US, and by most individuals that self-identify as anarchists, it implies a system of governance, mostly theoretical at a nation state level although there are a few successful historical examples,[5] that goes to lengths to avoid the use of coercion, violence, force and authority, while still producing a productive and desirable society.

Austerity: In economics, austerity is a policy of deficit-cutting, lower spending, and a reduction in the amount of benefits and public services provided.[1] Austerity policies are often used by governments to reduce their deficit spending[2] while sometimes coupled with increases in taxes to pay back creditors to reduce debt.





Capital: In economics, capital, capital goods, or real capital are those already-produced durable goods that are used in production of goods or services. The capital goods are not significantly consumed, though they may depreciate in the production process. Capital is distinct from land in that capital must itself be produced by human labor before it can be a factor of production. At any moment in time, total physical capital may be referred to as the capital stock (which is not to be confused with the capital stock of a business entity.) In a fundamental sense, capital consists of any produced thing that can enhance a person's power to perform economically useful work—a stone or an arrow is capital for a caveman who can use it as a hunting instrument, and roads are capital for inhabitants of a city. Capital is an input in the production function. Homes and personal autos are not capital but are instead durable goods because they are not used in a production effort.
In Marxian economics, capital is used to buy something only in order to sell it again to realize a financial profit, and for Marx capital only exists within the process of economic exchange—it is wealth that grows out of the process of circulation itself and forms the basis of the economic system of capitalism.


Capitalism: Capitalism is generally considered a philosophy of economic systems that favor private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit or income by individuals or corporations, competitive markets, voluntary exchange, wage labor, capital accumulation, and personal finance.

Class: is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories. In common parlance, the term "social class," is usually synonymous with "socio-economic class," defined as: "people having the same social, economic, or educational status," e.g., "the working class"; "an emerging professional class."
 
Commune: is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income.

Communism (from Latin communis - common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.

Cooperative:  is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit.[1] Cooperatives include non-profit community organizations and businesses that are owned and managed by the people who use its services (a consumer cooperative) and/or by the people who work there (a worker cooperative).
Various aspects regarding cooperative enterprise are the focus of study in the field of cooperative economics.

Deregulation: is when government reduces its role and allows industry greater freedom in how it operates
  
Externality: In economics, an externality, or transaction spillover, is a cost or benefit that is not transmitted through prices[1] and is incurred by a party who did not agree to the action causing the cost or benefit.

Gender: is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes that they possess. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity.

International Monetary Fund: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was created on July 22, 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and came into existence on December 27, 1945 when 29 countries signed the Articles of Agreement[1].  Countries contribute money to a pool through a quota system from which countries with payment imbalances can borrow funds on a temporary basis.

Marxism: Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th century by two German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism encompasses Marxian economic theory, a sociological theory and a revolutionary view of social change that has influenced political movements around the world.[ 

Manufacturing Consent: Using the propaganda model, Manufacturing Consent posits that corporate-owned news mass communication media — print, radio, television — are businesses subject to commercial competition for advertising revenue and profit. As such, their distortion (editorial bias) of news reportage — i.e. what types of news, which items, and how they are reported — is a consequence of the profit motive that requires establishing a stable, profitable business; therefore, news businesses favoring profit over the public interest succeed, while those favoring reportorial accuracy over profits fail, and are relegated to the margins of their markets (low sales and ratings).

Means of Production: Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth[1] — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital. They include two broad categories of objects: instruments of labour (tools, factories, infrastructure, etc.) and subjects of labour (natural resources and raw materials). People operate on the subjects of labour, using the instruments of labour, to create a product; or, stated another way, labour acting on the means of production creates a product.[2] When used in the broad sense, the "means of production" includes the "means of distribution" which includes stores, banks, and railroads.

Nationalization: is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state.[1] Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being transferred to the public sector to be operated and owned by the state.

Neoliberalism: is a contemporary political movement advocating economic liberalizations, free trade and open markets. Neoliberalism supports the privatization of nationalized industries, deregulation, and enhancing the role of the private sector in modern society. It is commonly informed by neoclassical or Austrian economics. The central pillars of neoliberalism are the market and the individual.The central neoliberal goal is to 'roll back the frontiers of the state', in the belief that unregulated market capitalism will deliver efficiency, growth and widespread prosperity for all. In this view the 'dead hand' of the state saps initiative and discourages enterprise; government, however well-intentioned, invariably has a damaging effect upon human affairs. This is reflected in the liberal New Right's concern with the politics of ownership and its preference for private enterprise over nationalisation. Such ideas are associated with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Thatcher viewed the 'nanny-state' as breeding a culture of dependency and undermining freedom - freedom that is understood as freedom of choice in the marketplace. [1] The term neoliberal today is often used as a general condemnation of economic liberalization policies and advocates.

Open Market: In a general sense used in economics and political economy, an open market refers to a market which is accessible to all economic actors. In an open market so defined, all economic actors have an equal opportunity of entry in that market. This contrasts with a protected market in which entry is conditional on certain financial and legal requirements or which is subject to tariff barriers, taxes, levies or state subsidies which effectively prevent some economic actors from participating in them (see [protectionism]).

Permaculture: is a branch of ecological design and ecological engineering, which develop sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.[1][2]
The core values of permaculture are:
  • Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
  • Care of People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence 
  • Setting Limits to Population and Consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.[3][4]
Permaculture design emphasizes patterns of landscape, function, and species assemblies. It asks the question, “Where does this (element) go? How can it be placed for the maximum benefit of the system?" To answer this question, the central concept of permaculture is maximizing useful connections between components and synergy of the final design. The focus of permaculture, therefore, is not on each separate element, but rather on the relationships created among elements by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts.
Production: In economics, production is the act of creating output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of individuals.


Socialism play /ˈsʃəlɪzəm/ is an economic system characterised by social ownership and/or control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy,[1] and a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership or autonomous state enterprises.[2] There are many variations of socialism and as such there is no single definition encapsulating all of socialism.[3] They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets versus planning, how management is to be organised within economic enterprises, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.

Social Contract: or political contract is an intellectual construct that typically addresses two questions, first, that of the origin of society, and second, the question of the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual.[1] Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their natural rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory.

State: A state refers to a legal/political entity that is comprised of the following: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) a government ; and d) the capacity to enter into relations with other states.

Stock Market: or equity market is a public entity (a loose network of economic transactions, not a physical facility or discrete entity) for the trading of company stock (shares) and derivatives at an agreed price; these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.

World Bank: The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans[3] to developing countries for capital programs.

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