We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Take Back the Land, Give Root to Democracy

a book review  by Alex Knight from The End of Capitalism

The book, written by Max Rameau, appears to focus on some critical issues that any movement faces when it attempts to solve major social problems while confronting representatives of the ruling class whose priorities are the maintenance of the capitalist system, which in turn, creates those very problems. The reviewer does a good job of pointing out these issues that the author expands on in his book.
Ultimately, it is a question about “revolutionary reforms” – theoretically a change in policy (reform) that leads to the empowerment of a movement, and therefore the ability to carry on further campaigns towards revolution. But what does that actually look like in a capitalist society that has successfully undercut and co-opted grassroots social movements for the last century or more, and which even more skillfully ignores and silences those movements so that they feel powerless and marginalized?