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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Spain: Beyond the general strike

by the Editorial Team of the Catalan ID Group from The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy.(Fall 2010)

In contrast to Americans, our European brothers and sisters have been actively fighting on the streets of Europe against the cuts in public services and social supports. This Inclusive Democracy chapter in Spain recognizes the limited aims of this activism and their inherent weaknesses. In this article they review a necessary strategy to overcome these limitations in order to build a genuine democratic movement that, in contrast to revolutions from above, is the only kind that can lead us out of the growing oppression of the capitalist nightmare. Such discussions are an absolutely necessary starting point in order to develop tactics in support of a strategy to win the battle of survival. Out of these discussions arose the Barcelona Assembly to implement this strategy.
This initiative to launch an autonomous and truly combative movement, organized outside the trade unions, that goes beyond a single day of striking and to become an outcry against the ruling elites and their socioeconomic cutbacks, was a very important step in bringing power back to the people from the various bureaucracies controlling it.