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
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Greece: rise of the party, demise of the movement?
The author examines the deterioration of grass roots politics in Greece and its subordination to party representation in the parliamentary apparatus of the capitalist state, and wonders if there is a connection between the two. After extending his examination to other mass movements especially in Latin America, he asserts that there is a definite relationship.
From my own examination of history, it seems obvious to me that given a ruling class whose power is based on the private ownership of the economy, any kind of representation of the subordinate working classes will easily be co-opted to serve the interests of the ruling capitalist class. You simply cannot have representatives of the people bring about actions benefiting their constituents by working within a state governing institution created by the capitalist ruling class. It is extremely naive to believe this, and inevitably results in the deterioration of popular movements and their ability to bring about real change.
The author is right--mass movements must create their own forms of organization with which to govern society and simultaneously displace the capitalist state. This representative form of "democracy" was created by the capitalist class as a kind of wolf in sheep's clothing-- it was designed to fool the subordinate classes into believing that it was a genuine form of "democracy" and into supporting the capitalist system of government. What we now see is the appearance of the wolf which is presently attacking and devouring the subordinate classes.