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
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Corporate Oligarchy or People’s Democracy: Countering the Elite Agenda [An updated interpretation]
I just read this article again and had a slightly different reaction. I think that Baraka is not advocating simply more efforts at reforming the fake democratic structure of capitalist society, but sees the necessity to ward off efforts at further curtailment of civil liberties in order to provide space for serious revolutionary action. Because his emphasis in this article was overwhelmingly on the first part, I didn't see the second part. However, I believe it is strongly implicit.
Such a misreading the first time around is due to the fact that I read dozens of articles everyday and sometimes read them too fast and miss nuances of meaning. I think my reaction came from a concern that far too much time and energy is consumed by progressive activists in reform activities and not enough on building a revolutionary movement. In other words, far too much time is spent on defense instead of offense.