Cynthia Kaufman

Cynthia Kaufman

Cynthia Kaufman is the author of Getting Past Capitalism: History, Vision, Hope and Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change. She is the Director of the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action at De Anza College. She blogs at cynthiakaufman.wordpress.com.

Articles by this author

We need to paint a picture of an inclusive sustainable world we are trying to build; remind people that the work is already underway and that millions of people are doing important work. (Photo: Beth Scupham/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, August 08, 2019
Motivating Climate Action: A Review of Per Espen Stoknes "What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming."
Averting the worst outcome of the climate crisis will require a huge amount of very thoughtful and brave work. Unfortunately the crisis has a number of qualities that make it especially hard to organize around. It seems remote in time and place, its causes and impacts are diffuse, and the solutions...
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A bike sits along a narrow path at sunrise Views
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Creating a Home through the Green New Deal
Near where I live, in Pacifica California, there is a big piece of land right at the ocean that was once slated to be the site of a giant freeway interchange. That plan was stopped by local people who saw no need for increased freeway capacity. When I moved to town 14 years ago it was covered in...
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In 1994, congress outlawed giving Pell Grants to prisoners. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli) Views
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Bring Back Pell Grants for Prisoners
When I was in working on my PhD in philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I paid for part of my education by teaching in prison. For me it was an incredibly rewarding experience. It was great working these students who had time to read and think, and wonder in the deep ways that...
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Demonstrators march in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2011. (Photo: Glenn Halog/flickr/cc) Views
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Belonging and Social Change: A Critique of the Politics of Wokeness
We are in an amazing and dangerous time, where the chronic social problems which have caused so much trauma over so many years are coming to be seen as urgent and in need of attention by a rapidly increasing number of people. As so many people become “woke” to these problems, it is important that...
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Sunday, November 25, 2018
Fighting for the Climate: A Note from Post-Apocalyptic California
As I write this the air is brown and dangerous to breathe for the third day in a row in California. Yesterday I needed to wear a respirator to keep my lungs from hurting. So far over eighty people have lost their lives in these fires. Last year's fires were the worst on record. This year’s fires...
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Sunday, May 13, 2018
Building Democracy to Fight the Nativist Attack: A Review of 'The People vs. Democracy'
As someone who came to politics opposing US government policies, I’ve been surprising myself lately by how much I end up talking about the importance of “rule of law." I'm used to being the one to criticize how bad our laws are, how unfairly they are enforced, and how oppressive government actions...
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U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meets with General Augusto Pinochet in 1976 Views
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Owning Our Shit: The US Role in Global Migration
Trump's comments about shithole countries are no surprise and it reflects the racist worldview we know he holds. While much of the discussion around the statement has focused on how racist it was, less commented on has been how profoundly it misunderstands the nature of immigration. The US is a...
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Wednesday, November 08, 2017
Holding onto Your Humanity in Solitary Confinement
Introduction: I first met Ifoma Modibo Kambon through my friend Sharon Martinas. Sharon is part of PLEJ (Power, Love, Education and Justice), a project of Human Rights Pen Pals. PLEJ is a collaboration between incarcerated people in California and allies on the outside, to bring the wisdom of...
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Wednesday, September 06, 2017
It May Actually Be Worse Than You Think: Assessing the Integrated and Funded Machine We Are Up Against
When Trump first came to power, like most progressive, leftist, and liberal people I know, I was terrified. It seemed possible that we were on the verge of fascism. Could Trump unleash thugs onto the street to act with impunity against people from vulnerable groups, as Hitler’s Brown shirts did?...
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Friday, July 07, 2017
The Fortress World of Capitalism vs. the Beautiful Possibilities of Cooperation
Our beloved world is entering an increasingly unstable period, full of dangers and also full of possibilities. In many countries, old political parties are crumbling faster and anyone thought imaginable. Old geopolitical alliances have come unglued as the US comes to exercise its role as world...
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