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, August 19, 2011

What next for Wisconsin? [7:00m video]

The Real News provides us with this commentary by Allen Ruff, a program host for a radio station in Madison, Wisconsin. 

I have known of the results since the election results last week, but I have been waiting for a good analysis of the results. Ruff provides this. Clearly this recent electoral defeat was only one small battle in the war against the system. People like Ruff are learning some important lessons from this defeat.

He has reached the critically important conclusion that activists must not rely on creating change through the system's political and labor institutions. The latter have been shaped and refined over long periods of time to serve the interests of the ruling class. The labor unions and the Democratic party are key elements to contain dissent within limits that are tolerable to the political operatives of the capitalists. I certainly do not recommend opting out of these organizations, but activists must adopt a strategy that is multifaceted. Such a strategy would include community organizing, protests, campaigns targeting corporations, along with working within labor unions and the Democratic party to change their direction.