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
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Labour’s rebirth requires a grassroots revolution, not more diktats and spin
I am posting this as an excellent example of what passes as left politics (often referred to as "liberal" politics) in capitalist media. Because of the Tory victory in Britain's recent elections, widespread pessimism has engulfed British labor-oriented activists. This article is essentially a sop to those people.
Monbiot uses the language of real revolutionary activists to advocate community organizing, but his meaning is very different from those activists. His use of a "grassroots revolution" clearly means local organizing within the interstices of capitalist societies to win elections and to alleviate the worst ravages of the system--nothing more. This is a form of conceptual co-optation used to convert revolutionary language into acceptable language that does not threaten the capitalist system. This treatment gives Monbiot and others like him access to major left-capitalist publications like the Guardian.