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, July 14, 2015

SYRIZA in power, social movements at a crossroads

Click here to access article by Theodoros Karyotis from is blog atonomias. (Note: Theodoros Karyotis is a sociologist, translator and activist participating in social movements that promote self-management, solidarity economy and defense of the commons in Greece. Like most Greek writers, he frequently makes reference to the word "imaginary" which in English appears to be a word that is only used by sociologists. Here is an excellent definition.
The dire circumstances in Greece compel the social movements to reposition themselves in front of the SYRIZA government.
This writer for Greek grass-root social movements clearly see the need for the grassroots' social movements to formulate a plan of action now that the middle class Syriza party has caved in to the neoliberal demands of European capitalists.
...at the end of February a forum of thinkers and activists of grass roots movements took place in Athens, with hundreds of participants, under the title “Prosperity without growth”, with the explicit goal of translating their activities into concrete proposals, addressed as much to the political powers, as well as to society. Starting from the premise that economic growth is already incompatible with social wellbeing and environmental sustainability, the grassroots movements seek to complement the creative resistance to neoliberal politics and the construction of viable alternatives from below with the demand for radical reforms: from the introduction of a basic universal income, to the institution of new regimes of management of the commons, to the creation of a legal framework that permits the operation of recuperated factories, like Vio.Me in Thessaloniki. ....

.... ...one of the most relevant initiatives that emerged from the forum was the effort to connect and integrate antagonistic projects in defence of the commons into a political agent capable of playing a protagonistic role in a postconsumerist society, helping thereby to overcome the artificial dilemma between austerity and growth.