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

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Revolutionary's Toolkit

Click here to access article by Moti Nissani from his website.

(Note: Because this extremely complex article has been substantially revised quite recently, it will fit into my posting requirements that articles should be written and/or posted on some website within the last 30 days.)
Because I have been convinced that the capitalist system needed to be overthrown ever since the days of the Vietnam War, I was expecting something much more practical regarding methods which would overthrow the system. The only feature which qualified for this was his reference to an historical "Al-Sabbah". Nissani writes:
Up to now, we have shown that rulers and powerful cliques often safeguard their position by killing their opponents. We still need to show that assassinations can likewise be productively employed by the weaker party in any given conflict. Hassan Al-Sabbah and his successors provide one fascinating example of this form of asymmetrical warfare.
Essentially this method means adopting the oppressor's methods that are used against us, to use against them: bullying, blackmailing, and killing influential opponents. (See the nine ingredients advocating in overthrowing an oppressive ruler contained in this post regarding Al-Sabbah--towards the bottom.) 

This article as a whole appears to be a summing up of many articles that Nissani has written over the last several years. But instead of a "revolutionary toolkit" what I found was much more like what the sub-headline described--"What I've learned in a lifetime about humanity's needless predicament, its causes, and cures". It might also be thought of as providing some very good recommendations for preparing for a revolution. But I argue that it provides very little substance as a "toolkit" for revolution.

Also this summing-up article reflects a lot of conceptual confusion. Nissani's previous articles focused on three pillars: bribery, assassinations, and co-optation. In this article we are confronted with 14 pillars that support the ruling regime--whatever that is: "bankers"? "controllers", a "criminal syndicate"? Then under the sub-heading "Revolutionary Strategies" the content refers partly what is needed before we embark on any revolution, or dispensing with reformist measures that have been used in the past. But then Nissani suggests a "surgical reform strategy" which is still a reformist strategy, and which purportedly and vaguely strikes at the root. What the root is, is not clear. The best I could find was in the sentence "Eradicating the scourge of private money from American politics." So, I guess this means passing a law that forbids large money contributions to political campaigns of candidates. 

What is striking to me is that nowhere is any system identified although the term is used frequently--mostly a reference is made to a "political system". I think that Nissani is himself a victim of "Belief Perseverance" which he has identified as a hindrance in understanding human problems. The ruling capitalist class has so long and so effectively forbidden the identification of the system as capitalism in any negative sense that most people simply cannot think in terms of this system which imposes a class structure based on a ruling capitalist class's control over what is an essential core of society--its economy.

What I would like to do with the short time I have left this morning is to leave readers with a better and more constructive view of a revolutionary toolkit by providing three videos produced by StormCloudsGathering website.