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 30, 2013

The Autonomous Roots of the Real Democracy Movement

Click here to access article by Jérôme E. Roos and Leonidas Oikonomakis from Reflections on a Revolution. (Posted by permission from Roos.)

These two academics are explicating the unique nature of what they refer to as the "Real Democracy Movement" whose activities are reflected in various sub-movements throughout the world and identified by the authors. It is essentially a political treatise in that the authors clearly support this new form of political orientation, organization, and actions. 
The years since 2011 have witnessed the (re-)birth of a global cycle of struggles around the issue of democracy. With the representative institutions of liberal democracy in crisis, social movements appear to be increasingly moving away from claims-based and state-oriented contention towards a global project of autonomy. In this article, we focus on those movements that have articulated a critique of representation and expressed a desire to radically transform democratic processes from below.