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It’s hard sometimes to get the balance right. When it comes to the subject of December’s Big Story on the authoritarian assault on democratic rights around the world, one is in danger of being swamped by negativity.

To balance, we sought out an example of a fertile political space with a record of creative alternative-building. Catalonia seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Whatever the ultimate results of the current independence struggle, Catalans have a proud record of building radical democratic alternatives especially in their economic lives.

As the number of examples of state and corporate assault on the right to dissent mount it becomes crucial to build effective coalitions to defend our basic rights. This issue of the magazine is a contribution to the effort to do just that.


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