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

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Working Class and Anticapitalism

Click here to access a 55 minute interview with Canadian political economist and activist David McNally from KPFA, a listener-sponsored radio station in Berkeley, California. 

McNally expresses his views on the political crisis of capitalism today and the challenges for new activist organizations that are needed to overthrow the rule of capitalists. He argues that the old cultural forms of resistance are no longer adequate given the "de-composition" of the older forms brought about by neoliberalism that began in the 1970s. 

He doesn't have a recipe for the new forms except that the new forms of resistance and activism must incorporate the advances made by the social identity and multi-cultural movements: feminism, anti-racism, alternative lifestyles, etc. Thus, there is a need to build a new anti-capitalist movement that is based on new sustainable models of organization that can bring all working people together (he accurately defines what it means to be a working person).

I found his overview of the dramatic changes needed by anti-capitalist activism in today's neoliberal world particularly useful. 

I have some other recommendations to add regarding future activist organizations. I believe there is the necessity to create a bottom-up authority system to replace the old hierarchical structures that capitalist organizations require, and which in the past too many activist organizations unconsciously adopted. Also I suggest that given the present prominent issue of "fake news", activists should take advantage of this by much greater collaboration in creating a truly independent media that serves working people. This latter institution, if it were successful, could furnish an energized impetus to create independent social, welfare, and educational forms free of influence from the ruling capitalist class. Then we would have a truly revolutionary movement.