Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Vermont & the Progressive Paradox

In the early 20th century the nation’s progressive movement attempted to control concentrated wealth and widen democratic participation. For a quarter century, reforms addressed workers’ rights, monopoly excesses, political corruption, uncontrolled development, and the impacts of the early industrial era. In the process, many people got relief from the worst effects of uncontrolled capitalism, a considerable accomplishment. 

Yet, many of the efforts quelled popular discontent rather than producing basic changes, and the resulting reforms were often co-opted by business interests to serve their own interests. The same can be said of the most recent progressive era, led in Vermont by Bernie Sanders. 

On March 3, 2009 voters in Burlington again chose a mayor. Incumbent Bob Kiss, the third progressive to hold the office over the previous 28 years, defeated Democratic, Republican, Green and Independent challengers. Three years later, however, local voters elected Miro Weinberger, the first Democratic Party mayor in over 30 years. To put the 2009 election and the Burlington progressive movement in perspective, this eight-part essay looks at the process that began with the election of Sanders on March 3, 1981 and subsequently changed the face of Vermont politics.

Chapter Two: Rhetoric & Reality

Chapter Three: Identity Crisis

Chapter Four: Beyond Bernie

Chapter Five: Quality Control

Chapter Six: Pragmatic Populism

Chapter Seven: Mixed Messages

Chapter Eight: Small Changes

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dangerous Words: A Political Memoir


  Dangerous Words: A Political Memoir
   By Greg Guma


Audio Prologue ON THE AIR: Burlington Reflections (May 2016)
(One month later Burlington College was closed)

Independent Politics (1989), Vermont Solidarity Conference discussion, moderated by Greg Guma, with Terry Bouricius, Sandy Baird, Ted Glick, Howie Hawkins, Eric Chester, Brian Tokar, and Barbara Nolfi

Part One: Education of an Outsider (1960-1968)

Part Two: Fragile Paradise  (1968-1978)

Part Three: Prelude to a Revolution (1974-1978)

The People's Republic: Vermont & Bernie Sanders

Listen to “The People’s Republic” podcast
Episode One: July 12, 2019
All Episodes Index

It was time for a change, real change... 
a revealing look at the rise of Bernie Sanders and the progressive movement that changed Vermont

“The best book on the pre-Congress years” - UVM Library
“Sympathetic but honest”  - Socialist Worker

Available in paperback from Maverick Media

Mentioned in 2019 articles and interviews 
with the author in the Washington Post, New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Jacobin, Politico, and VTDigger

Discussed during the 2016 Presidential campaign in...
Mother Jones: How Bernie Sanders Became a Real Politician
New York Times: Bernie Sanders' Revolutionary Roots
CNN: Can Bernie Sanders Win Black Voters?
Politico: 14 Things Bernie Has Said about Socialism
Politico: Bernie Sanders Has a Secret
Washington Post: Sanders is in with the enemy, so old allies say
CNN: How Bernie Sanders Turned Himself into a Serious Contender
Mother Jones: Here's How Bernie May Be Changing Politics for Good
Washington Post: Sanders Prepares for His National Debate Debut
New York Times: Setting Bernie Sanders Apart from the Debate Field
Mother Jones: Here's What Bernie Sanders is like as a Debater
CNN Video: What is Bernie Sanders' Debate Style?
ABC: What to Expect from Bernie Sanders in Tuesday's Debate
International Business Times: Bernie Sanders' Debate Plan
Washington Post: A Somewhat Reluctant Socialist

BURLINGTON SNOW - By Allen Ginsberg

Bernie Sanders' election as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1981 caught the attention of the entire nation and inspired progressives throughout the world. Originally published in 1989, just before Sanders won his first race for the US House of Representatives in 1990, The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution was the first comprehensive analysis of Sanders' mayoral years and the progressive movement in Vermont. It remains the most intimate and revealing. 

Greg Guma's exploration of the "revolution" goes far beyond Sanders and his impact on Burlington. The factors behind the initial surprise victory, the tension between leftist ideals and pragmatic politics, the evolution of an effective political coaliton outside the two-party system -- all these topics and more Guma investigates, with an eye on global political implications as well as the immediate local impact. The People's Republic is for all those interested in progressive politics and political history, not to mention those in places where a similar "revolution" is possible.

A fast-moving description that illustrates one of the great efforts at innovative government of the past fifty years…
--Pierre Clavel, Cornell University

If you were going to create somebody to write about Bernie Sanders’ years as socialist mayor of Burlington, you might make him a fortysomething Vermont journalist and bookstore founder and former government worker who almost ran for mayor of Burlington himself…That’s what you have in Greg Guma.
—Mark Satin, New Options

A treasure house of first-hand information and perceptive, if often controversial analysis of great value to anyone concerned to explore realistically the possibilities for combining third-party electoral politics with other methods of working for justice, peace, environmental sanity and genuine democracy.
– David Dellinger, author/activist

If you are at all interested in Vermont and Burlington, and public policy, get this book.
– Phil Hoff, former Vermont Governor

More Books from Maverick Media HERE 

Uneasy Empire
How an international establishment has used fear of socialism, communism and terrorism to justify repression and a massive military establishment. Pointing past nationalism and corporate empire, Uneasy Empire: Repression, Globalization, and What We Can Do combines a radical critique with hopeful solutions and a vision of democratic globalism through which people can regain control of their futures.

Spirits of Desire
Set during the spirtualist craze of the 1870s, Spirits of Desire follows a group of extraordinary people, including Russian theosophist Helena Blavatsky, paranormal investigator Henry Olcott and Oneida Community leader Theo Noyes, as they search for the truth about ghosts through a notorious family of Vermont mediums. The trail leads them into a world of seances, deadly elementals, astral forces and past lives.

Dons of Time
Unsolved mysteries collide with cutting edge science and altered states of consciousness in a world of corporate gangsters, infamous crimes and top-secret experiments. Based on eyewitness accounts, suppressed documents and the lives of world-changers Nikola Tesla, Annie Besant, Ignatius Donnelly and Jack the Ripper, Dons of Time is a speculative adventure, a glimpse of an alternative future and a quantum leap to Gilded Age London at the tipping point of invention, revolution and murder.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Prisoners of the Real: An Odyssey

An intellectual journey from Pythagoras to planetary consciousness -- and a new vision of freedom & cooperation. 
Prisoners of the Real makes the connection between solar and lunar knowledge, illuminating the cost of our preoccupation with certainty and order. 

Listen to "Prisoners of the Real: From Here to Paradise" on Spreaker.   
Exploring insights from linguistics, psychology, physics, literature, philosophy and management science, Prisoners of the Real opens the door to a new vision of freedom and cooperation – Dionysian leadership.

Video Preview: Dionysus Rising

"Dionysian leaders use artistic methods to invent structures of reality. Although they acknowledge that scientific and artistic processes have equal worth, they de-emphasize logical reasoning and deduction and focus on metaphorical thinking. Their interest is not definition but discovery.”

Section One: The Rational Trap
The Creative Also Destroys * Deconstructing Leadership * Anatomy of Insecurity * Managers and Their Tools * The Corporate Way of Life * The Dictatorship of Time * Rules for Rationals * The Age of Adaptability * Living with Rational Management

Section Two: Philosophy of the Real 

Section Three: New World Disorders

Section Four: 
Restructuring Reality – The Dionysian Way

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Planet Pacifica: Power & Politics Inside America’s Progressive Radio Network

Greg Guma’s examination of the original listener-supported radio network and challenges facing progressive media in an age of deception and decline in the credibility of journalism

New eBook now available: 

The Road to Berkeley
Pacifica’s beginnings, a brief history of radio and TV, and how the author became a CEO

In the Bubble
Constraints, conspiracies, more Pacifica history, and an early assessment

A Listening Tour: February-March 2006

Real Life


Afterword: State of the News Media 2008

Reviews by Pacifica Leaders

Greg Guma's journalistic eye precisely captures the essence of contemporary Pacifica as it stuggles with its own contradictions and the proliferation of competing media alternatives to re-establish a relevancy and significance slowly surrendered over the years in accommodation to the tantrums of strong personalities and the ethical compromises of identity-based politics…

Greg Guma's important inside narrative of a critical recent transitional period in Pacifica's complex history is an excellent read, well-contextualizing whatever chapters remain in Pacifica's uncertain future.
--Terry Goodman
What makes Greg Guma's new blog so extraordinary is that he is the first executive in Pacifica who has been willing, and able, to share his experiences…. I think that Greg's articles on his experiences at, and observations on Pacifica have been a real gift to the network. They ought to be required reading for all the PNB and LSB members. 

And for me, personally, they have been a tremendous validation of all sorts of observations and concerns that I have been expressing on the discussion lists for years, so for that I am very grateful to Greg for compiling all these stories.
-- Nalini Lasiewicz

While serving on the Pacifica Radio National Board I not only developed a real respect for Greg Guma and his leadership of the network and Foundation as executive director, but I worked in a faction of the Board at that time which tried to consolidate more responsibilities in that office. We wanted to give appropriate power and oversight to the Pacifica national executive director so that decisions on the day-to-day operations of the network could be made more effectively.
--Don White

Updated 6/09