New Internationalist

Action And Worth Reading On… Socialism

Issue 153

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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CHANGE
29 Great James Street
London
WC1N 3ES
UK

AIMS
To create awareness that every issue is a women’s issue - and women’s issues are health, peace, war, development, transport, employment, politics.. . To alert people to the effects of inequalities imposed on women through law, custom, practice and prejudice. To demonstrate the impact of development on the female sex, and to change the course of history.

METHODS
By encouraging women to write ‘reports’ about their country. By publishing other materials which challenge the status quo and broaden understanding of women’s issues. By arranging meetings, conferences etc. ,and by lobbying, providing evidence to international commissions and enquiries and generally making our well-informed presence felt

SUCCESSES
Our publications have reached 40 countries. We have a worldwide reputation for accessibility, accuracy, readability and compassion; we have encouraged many groups and networks into existence here and elsewhere, and we proposed and organised the first National Conference on Women, Aid and Development in January 1985 from which the National Women’s Network for worldwide solidarity emerged. CHANGE was awarded the UNA Media Peace Prize Certificate of Merit in 1983 for work on the Decade for Women.

FAILURES
We have failed to persuade the sources of funding that research on women, women’s rights, women’s needs and development programmes deserves half the money around - rather than a microscopic commitment in competition with others - and therefore that women’s labour should be rewarded, and campaigns supported financially; including our own. To persuade Government that women are a political issue, not an afterthought.

FUTURE PLANS
To grow.

HELP NEEDED
We would like people outside Britain to set up CHANGE-Groups to sell our publications, extend awareness and discuss strategies amongst themselves. We would welcome help from people inside Britain with office skills, selling, design etc.

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Worker Co-ops Newsletter
P0 Box 850
Adelaide Street Station
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5C 2K1

AIMS
To become the national publication for the growing network of Worker Co-operatives in Canada.

To provide a forum for discussion, debate and the sharing of ideas relevant to the formation of Worker Cooperatives, and to provide recent news and information about Worker Co-ops in Canada and internationally.

METHODS
Run by an editorial and production collective, the Newsletter is published on a quarterly basis, with funding coming from subscriptions, advertisements and donations from a variety of co-operative organizations. Articles and news for the Newsletter are solicited from regional contributing editors and writers from across Canada and overseas.

SUCCESSES
Within the first four years of publication, the Newsletter has attracted support and readership from across Canada. We are also developing an international readership and coverage of events. Our readers include members of coops, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), church groups, trades unions and academic and government institutions.

FAILURES
We have not achieved a financial situation which would enable us to publish the Newsletter on a monthly basis. In order to do so we need to expand our readership and subscription base.

FUTURE PLANS
We would like to expand our contacts in the Worker Co-operative movement both within Canada and other countries and also become a monthly publication. We also hope eventually to hire a paid staff member to coordinate and edit the Newsletter.

HELP NEEDED
We encourage subscriptions, articles and direct involvement with the production collective in Toronto.

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Student Peace Project
77 Hungerdown Lane
Lawford
Manningtree
Essex C011 2LX
Telephone: Colchester 230434

AIMS
To encourage those students who have the opportunity of relating his or her project, dissertation or thesis to the idea of peaceful relationships at local, national or international level. We ask these students to send us a copy of their work which will be considered for an Award.

METHODS
The Student Peace Project is sponsored by Britain’s leading peace educationalists and is associated with the Lansbury House Trust Fund, an educational charity.

There are no special entry requirements and work can be sent to us at any time. Providing the work is related to the above aim it will be eligible for an Award of up to £100. The amount will depend on the discretion of the Assessors and their decision will be based on the originality and degree of research, age of student, the level of work and the degree of commitment. Presentation is also important. We also offer to refund the cost of photocopying and postage to everyone who sends us work providing a short abstract is also included of between 100-200 words. These will be later included in our Collection of Abstracts to help make students’ work known to a wider public.

SUCCESSES
Many valuable studies have been received which deserve a wide circulation. It is hoped our Collection of Abstracts will assist this process.

FAILURES
So far we have had few entries from sixth form students. We have also failed to interest the majority of students who are not directly interested in peace studies or related subjects. If peace is an interdisciplinary problem it is important for every art and science to be involved.

FUTURE PLANS
Providing we have sufficient funds we propose to continue for many years.

HELP NEEDED
We need help from teachers to encourage students to participate.

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[image, unknown] This page of New Internationalist is written by the groups featured on it The space is available free and a guide for writing entries can be obtained from New Internationalist 42 Hythe Bridge Street. Oxford, OX1 2EP.

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Worth reading on... SOCIALISM

Paths to Paradise; on the liberation from work by Andre Gorz, Pluto Press 1985, $8.95. A creative analysis of the new possibilities that micro-technologies present for a socialism based on people’s own self-activity rather than on the state. Gorz believes that the main goal of socialism should not be a preoccupation with finding everyone jobs - the orthodox view - but a society where people have less work and more freedom. Other books by Gorz that enlarge on Gorz’s stimulating vision of socialism include his Farewell to the Working Class and Ecology as Politics. Sometimes difficult always rewarding.

Socialism and Survival by Rudolph Bahro, Heretic Books, London, 1983 $7. 95. Babro’s challenging effort to integrate socialist and environmental thinking. Bahro’s political career is a fascinating one. He started out as a bureaucrat in the East German government, was imprisoned for his major critical study of soviet style socialism (The Alternative in Eastern Europe) and has ended up as an important figure in the West German Green Party.

Socialist Visions edited by Steve Russkarmn Shalam. South End Press, Boston, $10.50, 1983. Shalam has put together an excellent collection of debates on what a socialist society of the future might look like. The book covers a wide range of topics - race, women, democracy, economics and the organization of urban space. Most essays are very good although a few are on the mundane side.

Rethinking Socialism a theory for a better practice by’ Gavin Kitching, Methuen, London arid New York 1983. $9.95. Kitching presents a damming indictment of a socialism he feels has ghettoised itself and is out of touch with the needs and desires of ordinary people. Writing from a British point of view Kitching provides a socialist alternative to Thatcherism. Sometimes annoying always thought provoking.

Parliament vs the People by Phillip Resnick, New Star Press, Vancouver. $8.95 1984. Resnick argues for a Canadian socialism that extends direct democratic control by people and goes beyond the existing paternalistic political culture. Some interesting history mixed with some practical ideas.

The Road to Gdansk by Daniel Singe;; Monthly Review Press, New York, 1981 $7.50. Singer’s analysis of the crisis of state socialism in Poland that lead to the formation of the Solidarity movement. Singer effectively shows that many of the demands of the Polish workers were leading to a socialism from below. Singer is currently working on a book on the Mitterand government in France.


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