Login Join IOPS

POSSIBLE IDEAS GOING FORWARD: By Many Authors

forest
  • Written by:
  • Published on:
  • Categories:
  • Comments:
  • Share:

 

 Possible Ideas for Going Forward

Around the world powerful and diverse possibilities are in struggle. We the signers of “Some Possible Ideas for Going Forward” think one high priority for progress is activists developing, discussing, and settling on priorities around which to organize multi issue activism in coming months and years. We hope this document can help inspire more conversations within groups and movements that, over time, come to a synthesis. We do this in the spirit of self organization – and as a rejection of preformed inflexible programs and agendas imposed on activists from above. We believe only program that is fully understood and owned by grassroots participants can win lasting change.

To try to help, we have assembled some familiar programmatic ideas rooted in diverse movements and projects. We signers do not each individually necessarily support every single programmatic suggestion given here. Indeed, perhaps none of us supports every single suggestion much less all the specific wording. Instead, we all support having a widespread discussion of these worthy ideas and of other ideas that emerge from the process, to arrive at widely supported program for left activists.


Some Possible Economic Programmatic Ideas

A left agenda might, for example, pursue four central economic goals – better quality of daily economic experience, more fairness, better production priorities, and increased mutual compassion.

For example, new economic program might seek: (1) a law forbidding capital export and relocation without community and worker agreement, and (2) a law delineating punishments for employers who impede nationally mandated economic reforms. Likewise, it could seek controls on work day and work week length – for example seeking 30 hours of work for 40 hours pay. It might demand that the maximum penalty for owners violating the spirit and intent of such laws would be nationalization of their businesses under the management of currently employed workers.

Similarly, new economic program might propose: (1) reducing inequality, (2) reorienting productive potentials to meet social needs, and (3) enlarging economic democracy.

For example, new economic program might propose sharply progressive property, asset, and income taxes, with no loopholes, as well as a dramatically-increased minimum wage, say $20 an hour, and perhaps a guaranteed income for all, coupled with a new profit tax that would be proportional to inequities in each firm’s pay scale. The more oppressive the pay scale, the higher the profit tax.

Due to a new minimum wage law, minimum pay would rise dramatically. Due to a new pay equity tax, industries with a more equitable pay scale would have more after-tax resources. Not only could more equitably structured firms use these extra funds to further improve work conditions and increase their social contribution, they could generally out-compete less socially responsible firms. New property and asset taxes would dramatically diminish differences in wealth.

New economic program might usefully label all these innovations redistributive and repeatedly explain why redistribution from the rich to the poor is both morally justified and socially essential. Perhaps this part of a new program could be called “reclamation of stolen riches.”

New economic program could seek a comprehensive full employment policy arising from campaigns to rebuild infrastructure and, in particular, to attain sustainable energy policies, as well as via the shift to a shorter work week. It could include comprehensive adult education and job training, and a comprehensive social support system for those unable to work, whatever the reason.

Moreover, beyond material equity, new economic program could also advocate that workers should all have work conditions and responsibilities suitable to their personal development and to their responsibility to contribute to society’s well being. Why should some people endure boring, dangerous, subordinate, and rote conditions, a new movement might ask, while other people enjoy challenging, fulfilling, empowering, and varied conditions? New program could reveal that fairness is not only attaining equity of wealth and pay, but also equity of conditions of work and life.

Using this principle as a long term touchstone, new program could seek to build and support workers’ councils empowered to conceive, demand, and work to implement job redefinition as well as to win increasing say over the pace, goal, and organization of work for the workers who do it. Such a program could emphasize that work can and should be a demanding but rewarding part of people’s lives, rather than an alienating, debilitating, energy and dignity sapping affront to people’s life potentials.

Regarding investment priorities, new economic program could propose tax incentives for socially useful production and tax disincentives and indeed, legal prosecution, for wasteful and socially harmful production. This would help foster production to meet real needs and potentials. Indeed, such a new program could indicate precisely how to successfully regulate, punish, and even nationalize under workers control any business or industry deemed by an independent citizens bureau and public plebiscite to be destructive of the public good. While this might initially point at Walmart scale businesses, in time, of course, it would get at capitalist institutions per se.

Of course, major change in economic priorities that a new program could emphasize could include a massive cut in military spending. Further, new program could propose that existing military bases be converted to centers for ecological clean-up, to new schools for local communities, to workplaces for developing low income housing, or to new centers of clean transportation or energy production. Funding for the new centers of social creativity could persist simply being the old military funding now put to desirable ends and similarly resident GIs or others seeking new employment could be retrained on site, to work in the converted bases.

Regarding economic democracy and participation, new program could work for the formation of consumer and worker organizations to watchdog product quality, guard against excessive pricing, advise about product redefinition, and participate in plant, industry, and community collective consumption decisions with open books and full investigative rights. Beyond these first steps, new program could clarify that the ultimate goal is the full democratization of economic decision making and the initiation of a national public project to develop new institutions for work, consumption, and allocation.

In short, new economic program could: (1) ratify the public’s suspicion that the basic problem with our economy is that capitalist institutions make capitalists prefer war production, persistent unemployment, and homelessness to a working class able to demand a bigger piece of the pie and control over what kind of pie is baked; and, (2) propose uncompromising changes that redress existing grievances, create conditions hat are more just and humane, and establish a new balance of power conducive to winning more fundamental changes, including new defining institutions in the future.


Some Possible Education Programmatic Ideas

A new education program could note that existing schools create subservient and exploitable future workers by providing most students minimal literacy, virtually no dignity or sense of self worth, plus maximum training in enduring boredom and obeying orders.

New education program could explain that schools accomplish all this destruction and distortion by incorporating differences in teacher-student ratios, in resources per student, and in teacher expectations and training—all on top of different conditions of home life, community relations, access to information and comfortable learning conditions, that simply multiply the injustice.

To foster educational change new program could highlight the need to overcome corporate agendas and existing institutional pressures with our own alternatives. It could reveal that to have good education for all we must have a society promising full employment at jobs that require and utilize people’s full capabilities, including facility at decision-making, ample knowledge about society, and expectations of success and participation.

New education program could also pressure for specific pedagogic changes in how schools and classes are conducted both during school hours, and also for surrounding communities in off hours. To enumerate these changes, new program could advocate a national debate about curriculum reform, improved teaching methods and enriched teacher-student relations, improved resources for schools, and increased community involvement and benefit.

New education program could also seek specific goals for education. For example, to reduce class size to a maximum of 20 students per teacher in all schools and to equalize resources per student across all schools, including architecture, computers, books, and food, and, of course, to guarantee free education (through college) for anyone who wants it.

New education program could seek specific funds to staff all schools at night for community meetings and remedial and adult education. Space to meet and engage with others is a huge factor in successful community organizing, and perhaps public schools, at night, could become that space. And finally, new program could seek that funding for education comes from corporate profit taxes and from private progressive taxes collected at the national level to guarantee that regions attain educational parity.


Some Possible Race Programmatic Ideas

New program addressing the pivotal problem of race in the U.S. and societies around the world could seek to ensure that people can freely have multiple cultural and social backgrounds and commitments, including providing the space and resources necessary for people to positively express their views, celebrations, languages, and values.

New program addressing race could explicitly recognize that rights and values exist regardless of race, religion, or cultural allegiances, so that while society protects all people’s right to affiliate freely, its core values are universal for every community.

New program addressing race could guarantee free entry and exit to and from all cultural communities including affirming that communities that do have free entry and exit can be under the complete self determination of their members, so long as their policies and actions don’t conflict with society’s broader norms of equity and justice. This could include amnesty for immigrants and open borders for all refugees.

But, mainly, new program addressing race could prioritize directly redressing violations of race equity and justice. For example, new program could emphasize confronting the institutions of racist and national oppression, seek community control of police, end mass incarceration, and could seek to reverse the legacies of these same phenomena by way of reparations for Black and Native American communities. New program might categorically reject the notion that “…a rising tide raises all boats…” and the notion that broad and progressive economic reforms such as those supported elsewhere in this call ipso facto resolve racist and national oppression.

New Program addressing race could therefore go beyond universal aims to highlight specific measures needed to repair the damage of hundreds of years of oppression to racial and cultural communities. This would necessitate examining all areas of life including the economy, education, healthcare, politics and law enforcement, in each case seeking to determine innovations required beyond those that are universal for all, precisely to avoid bias that leaves racial communities with less than universally acclaimed and sought benefits.


Some Possible Gender/Kinship Programmatic Ideas

New program addressing the pivotal problems of gender and kinship could emphasize the need to not privilege certain types of family formation and sexuality over others but instead to actively support all types of families and lifestyles consistent with society’s other broad equitable norms and practices.

It could promote children’s well-being and affirm society’s responsibility for all its children, including affirming the right of diverse types of families to have children and to provide them with love and a sense of rootedness and belonging. It could minimize or eliminate age-based permissions, preferring non-arbitrary means for determining when an individual is old or young enough to participate in economic, political or other activities, or to receive benefits/privileges.

It could respect marriage and other lasting relations among adults as religious, cultural, or social practices, but reject marriage as a way to gain financial benefits or social status.

It could respect care giving as a valuable function including making care giving a part of every citizen’s social responsibilities, or pursue other worthy means to ensure equitable burdens and benefits.

It could affirm diverse expressions of sexual pleasure, personal identity, and mutual intimacy while ensuring that each person honors the autonomy, humanity, and rights of others.

It could seek to provide diverse, empowering sex education, including legal prohibitions against all non-consensual sex.

And mainly, given the world we now live in, new program addressing gender and kinship could fight to reverse decades of discrimination’s residual effects and persistent elements, including protecting the rights of women to control their own bodies on the one hand, and to enjoy equal benefits and responsibilities throughout all parts of society, thus seeking abortion rights, day care opportunities, and equal payment requirements.


Some Possible International Relations Programmatic Ideas

Today’s policy makers view foreign policy as a way to maintain a flow of riches and wealth out of other countries into one’s own, while ensuring fealty and obedience and curtailing efforts at establishing new relations of true national independence much less social renovation anywhere in the world to avoid their having a showcase effect. In contrast, a proper foreign policy for any country would respect the integrity of other nations and simultaneously seek a human-serving society at home. New foreign policy program could emphasize:

• Cessation of all arms shipments abroad.

• Cessation of any aid abroad intended for the hands of police or other potentially repressive agencies, such as occupying armies.

• Elimination of all U.S. or other nations’s overseas military bases with half the funds saved from such closings returned to the Home country for solving domestic problems and half applied to aid to poor countries in the form of no-strings attached infrastructure improvements, job and skills training, equipment grants, food aid, and privileged buyer status for many goods on the international market.

• An end to the use of military force as an instrument of national policy.

• Use of aid and trade, and foreign policy in general, to demonstrate and provide solidarity with struggles for social justice, democracy, and self determination everywhere in the world to benefit all parties, but mostly those who are weaker and poorer.


Some Possible Health Programmatic Ideas

A new health program could emphasize that civilized health care and conditions for our society must involve three main components: prevention, universal care for the ill, and cost cutting. At a minimum a new health program might seek:

• Improved preventive medicine, including increased public education about health-care risks and prevention, a massive campaign around diet, laws against and penalties for corporate activity that subverts health in employees, consumers or neighbors, and provision for community centers for exercise and public health education.

• Universal health care for the ill, including a single-payer system with the government providing comprehensive and equally fine coverage for all citizens.

• Reassessment of training programs for doctors and nurses to expand the number of qualified health workers and to better utilize the talents of those already trained rather than simply aggrandize those at the top of the pyramid of all involved.

• And, as well, civilian review over drug company policies including price controls and severe penalties for profit seeking at the expense of public health up to and including nationalization under civilian control and workers self management, plus similar attention to the medical impact of all institutions in society—for example, the health effects of work conditions and product definitions and components.

Such a campaign could point out that the single-payer system would save tens of billions on billing, collection, and bureaucracy, but, perhaps even more important, would improve the quality of care for all and move us toward a caring and mutual aid conception of life, rather than me firsts. It could also advocate saving billions more, to be allotted to preventive medicine and treatment, by establishing limits on the incomes of health professionals and the profits pharmaceutical and other medical companies could earn. If additional funding was required, it could come from punitive taxes on unhealthful products such as cigarettes, alcohol, and unsafe automobiles, etc.

The overall guideline for health program would be that illness should be reduced as much as possible, the quality of health care should be raised as much as possible, and the costs of these improvements should be paid by those who have gotten rich at others’ expense.


Some Possible Ecology Programmatic Ideas

A new ecological program could establish a department of ecological balance to develop a list of necessary clean-up steps, energy innovations, and steps to reduce global warming and mitigate its impact, and, in general, policy to preserve the ecology.

Beyond this, new ecology program could argue that clean-up funds should come from a reparations tax on current polluters and prior beneficiaries of unclean industrial operations.

The critical innovation in a new program’s approach to ecological sanity, however, could be to open a national public debate about the relation between our basic economic and social institutions and the environment. For example, new program could begin the process of clarifying that we need institutions attuned to ecological costs and benefits and that we must experiment with non-market approaches to allocation, rather than trying to police the inevitable ecological ill-effects that markets routinely produce.

And, of course, new ecology program that was sane, much less highly worthy, would have to formulate a truly massive campaign to turn the tide against global warming, water depletion, and other life threatening trends.


Conclusion

Obviously the above list of programmatic possibilities, culled from projects and endeavors around the world, could be enlarged to include, for example, more comprehensive immigration program, drug program, infrastructure program, diversity program, arts and culture program, science program, and so on. In addition, the ideas offered could be refined, improved, and altered as grassroots experiences require.

Recent progressive electoral efforts and mass campaigns around the world have revealed a huge reservoir of desire and of creative willingness on the parts of large sectors of populations, and very especially young people, to seek change. Many of those newly participating in progressive activity are already within reach of supporting these and additional programmatic ideas as they are refined and augmented by grassroots voices.

Ultimately attaining worthy new program will entail thinking outside the box, as many emerging struggles around the world have urged, noting that the box is capitalism, patriarchy, racism, and authoritarianism. The box is the imposed mental straitjacket of thoughts and practices typical of all too many countries’ political life.

As just a few current prominent examples, why couldn’t the energy generated during Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president in the U.S., Jeremy Corbyn’s victory as opposition party leader in the UK, or Podemos’ electoral attempts in Spain come over to sustained, militant commitment to suitably refined and improved programmatic ideas of the sort we propose in this document?

Campaigns need money, often a serious stumbling block, but Sanders, for example in the U.S. case, has reached 5 million donors giving an average of over $25 each. Why couldn’t a program like what is offered above, but adapted and improved, attract all those 5 million people and many more, in the U.S., and do comparably well elsewhere in the world, attracting aroused constituencies to contribute creatively to plans for on-going mass activism?

Similarly, in the U.S., as its current prominent case, Sanders has suffered immeasurably at the hands of what he calls rigged elections, as have others here and elsewhere, but another general problem, even beyond the structure of elections, is the corporately organized, profit seeking, and horribly motivated media that operates in country after country. Why couldn’t a prominent campaign built around new program include renovating electoral practices and also taking back communications in countries around the world, which are certainly desirable aims in their own right, as well as bedrock steps on the path to larger programmatic successes?

Despite current progressive electoral energy and, in some places, major movement gains, we have a long way to go to win lasting fundamental change. Partly vile institutions at the core of our society manipulatively and coercively twist our motives and awareness. Partly a right wing surge is also occurring. And partly the public has still not thrown off cynicism and a trembling fear of enduring even worse outcomes if we try to seek better. However, it is not impossible for people to take that crucial step. And when that happens, the massive support many popular projects have lately revealed could become a foundation upon which to go further in the coming period.

We offer the many programmatic thoughts in this document hoping to encourage a movement-wide discussion of where we go and what we stand for as we all attempt to counter the forces of darkness and irrationality with light, hope, and vision.

Signed,

Michael Albert, Z Communications / U.S.
Greg Albo, Centre for Social Justice / Canada
Gar Alperovitz, The Next System / U.S.
Bridget Anderson, COMPAS / UK
Kehinde Andrews, Organization of Black Unity / UK
Gordon Asher, Activist/Scholar / Scotland
Omar Barghouti, BDS / Palestine
Walden Bello, Focus on the Global South / Philippines
Elaine Bernard, Labor and Worklife / U.S.
Peter Bohmer, Economics for Everyone / U.S.
Leslie Cagan, Peace and Justice Organizer / U.S.
Noam Chomsky, Internationalist / U.S.
Savvina Chowdhury, Rachel Corrie Foundation / U.S.
Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, Activist/Scholar / UK
Marjorie Cohn, Activist/Scholar / U.S.
Ben Dangl, Journalist/Editor / U.S.
Heather Day, CAGJ, / U.S.
Cindy Domingo, Electoral Activist / U.S.
Steve Early, Labor organizer / U.S.
Joe Emersberger, UNIFOR / Canada
Barbara Epstein, Activist/Scholar / U.S.
Mark Evans, What About Classism / UK
Vincent Emanuele, IVAW / U.S.
Ann Ferguson, Activist/Scholar / U.S.
Laura Flanders, The Laura Flanders Show / U.S.
Bill Fletcher, Talk Show Host / U.S.
Bill Gallegos, Environmental Justice Trainer / U.S.
Irene Gendzier, Activist/Scholar / U.S.
Andrej Grubacic, Global Commons / U.S./Balkans
Arun Gupta, Independent  Journalist, U.S.
Thomas Herndon, Univ. of Mass. / U.S.
Sam Husseini, IPA / U.S.
Bruno Jantti, Investigative Journalist / Finland
Antti Jauhiainen, Parecon Finland / Finland
Robert Jensen, Activist/Scholar / U.S.
Ramsey Kanan, PM Press / U.S.
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence / U.S.
Matt Lester, Economics for Everyone, / U.S.
Joris Leverink, ROAR / Netherlands/Turkey
Rodolfo Leyva, Middlesex University / UK
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun / U.S.
Auset Marian Lewis, Journalist / U.S.
Mandisi Majavu, Activist/Negritude / South Africa
Ben Manski, Liberty Tree Foundation / U.S.
David Marty, Activist/Scholar / Spain
Binu Mathew, Countercurrents / India
Scott McLarty, Green Party / U.S.
Robert W. McChesney, Univ Illinois / U.S.
Suren Moodliar, Global Action / U.S.
Larry Mosqueda, Movement for Justice & Peace / U.S.
John Narayan, University of Warwick / UK
Immanuel Ness, CUNY / U.S.
Eugene Nulman, Critical Social Research / UK
Paul Ortiz, University of Florida / U.S.
Garry Owens, Kindle the Flame / U.S.
Leo Panitch, Socialist Register / Canada
Michael Parenti, Activist/Scholar / U.S.
Cynthia Peters, World Education / U.S.
Justin Podur, Activist/Scholar / Canada
Philippe Prevost, Activist/Scholar / France
Nikos Raptis, Activist/Scholar / Greece
Jack Rasmus, St Marys College / U.S.
Jerome Roos, ROAR Magazine / The Netherlands
Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Internationalist / Portugal
Saskia Sassen, Internationalist / U.S.
Lydia Sargent, Z Communications / U.S.
Stephen Shalom, New Politics / U.S.
Marina Sitrin, Lawyer/Author / U.S.
Norman Solomon, RootsAction / U.S.
Sarah Stockholm. Showing Up for Racial Justice / U.S.
Eric Stoner, Waging Non Violence / U.S.
Paul Street, Journalist/Author / U.S.
Verena Stresing, Activist/Scholar / France/Germany
David Swanson, WarIsACrime / U.S.
Laurie Tuller, Activist/Scholar / France
Fernando Vegas, Retired Supreme Court Judge / Venezuela
Tom Vouloumanos, NDP / Canada
Greg Wilpert, Real News / Ecuador/U.S.
Cat Zavis, Network of Spiritual Progressives / U.S.
Florian Zollmann, Activist/Scholar / UK/Germany

Discussion 22 Comments

  • LedSuit ' 8th Apr 2016

    Stupid damn thing. Doing from iPad and it comes out as one paragraph. Will fix it later if I can be bothered.

  • LedSuit ' 8th Apr 2016

    Maybe people here could start discussing this stuff. Particularly for all those armchair aficionados who don't belong to specific activist groups or orgs.

  • Lambert Meertens 9th Apr 2016

    For those who can't wait, Znet has the formatted text.

  • Lambert Meertens 9th Apr 2016

    My first impression: what a strange document. Ostensibly the aim is to encourage conversations within activist groups and movements to come to a programmatic “synthesis”, the New Program, for ultimately the New Movement. The programmatic suggestions given are (in my opinion) mostly very reformist, very haphazard and uneven, and too often very vague. Who could disagree that ”new education program” must “pressure for specific pedagogic changes”. Yes, but which ones? “To enumerate these changes, new program could advocate a national debate about curriculum reform, improved teaching methods and enriched teacher-student relations, improved resources for schools, and increased community involvement and benefit.” Everyone in favour, raise your hands!

    Nothing about democracy except a completely unspecific suggestion that “new economic program might [my emphasis — LM] propose: ... enlarging economic democracy” while clarifying that “the ultimate goal is the full democratization of economic decision making”, and that “new foreign policy program” could emphasize the use of aid and trade to “provide solidarity with struggles for social justice, democracy, and self determination everywhere in the world”. What about the struggle, also outside the context of foreign aid and trade, against all forms of repression and oppression? What about pushing back against the intrusive nosiness of the states into the private lives of its citizens while they lie to us all the time and hide all kinds of dirty secrets themselves? What about the struggle against public corruption all around the world? Isn't that worth some paragraphs?

    There is a suggestion that the document aims at an international audience, but there are signs all over the place that it, or at least much of it, was written with a US audience in mind, such as where it mentions the goals of “the initiation of a national public project to develop new institutions for work, consumption, and allocation” [clearly parecon institutions], “a national debate about curriculum reform” and “a national public debate about the relation between our basic economic and social institutions and the environment”.

    I always hope for the best and so, as so often, I hope I’ll be proven wrong, but I don’t see how these ideas can play a role in encouraging conversations that might lead to some synthesis.

  • LedSuit ' 9th Apr 2016

    Well, I guess it's who's writing the thing and who's reading it. It's a general, perhaps very general, tentative document, perhaps more pointed towards ideas that could lead to policy changes the could lead to more radical changes, possibly. I don't know. Fuck, you gotta start with reform first don't you? Or do we smash the state straight off?

    I don't see it as strange at all but perhaps it is US centric, but so what. Part of the conversation could happen here. But are these things, as I have pointed out relentlessly before, just to be read and signed by a bunch of special activist people and then the "conversation" disappears into the ether, away from ordinary eyes?

    To tell you the truth I don't know what is meant by conversation really. Probably the right, well mannered type, among all the hardcores all over the place, in their own little enclaves, be they physical or virtual, but not here. Perhaps there will be some facebook page somewhere, but I'm not on facebook.

    Or are all the signatories just the go to list of those prepared to sign anything, whenever? And any real meaningful conversation around the 'ideas', strange as they may be, is just bullshit.

    There is no place, there are no places where any 'conversation' is to be had.

    Certainly this isn't the place because this place's website, particularly now, is like some wasted virtual space for posting the odd list of boring minutes because this place was meant to be something else and I still believe, that that something else is the preference of most - on the ground activity and face to face meetings where stuff and conversations certainly happen but nobody outside those little get togethers gets to know about any of it.

    The strange aspect of the document is the idea that there could be a conversation. Any conversation pretty much about anything other than some special conversations by some special people somewhere on this planet without me knowing anything because I don't know where it's all happening. It's kind if really weird. The Next System Project has that same vibe, and it's not just that it's US centric.

    You can ivade the comments section of Z but that's not talking. You could invade the blogs individual's blogs but that just feels rude and fairly pointless after a while. But then talking over coffee, or at somecreading group or within your little activist group is probably the best.

    So what's the need of a website? Like this one? Really? What? Who needs it?

  • LedSuit ' 11th Apr 2016

    Excerpt from a follow up article by Bill Fletcher, Marina Sitrin and Michael Albert https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/what-wins/. Just the end bit.

    What comes next?

    1. Individuals could write their own replies, indicating what they like, what they would like to see changed and how, and what they would like deleted or added.

    2. Similarly, individuals could talk with friends, workmates, and organization cohorts about attaining desirable shared program.

    3. Likewise, individuals could use social media to attract attention to the task and explore aspects of it.

    4. Beyond individuals, alternative media could make the document visible, and could even invite submissions by their readers and regular writers. Alternative media could say we too want to arrive at shared program. We will sponsor debate and presentations, both for ourselves internally, and also for our constituencies.

    5. Activist organizations could also seek multi issue program. This could occur in everything from political parties and projects – like the Sanders campaign, Podemos in Spain, Syriza’s left factions, the PSUV in Venezuela, and the current French uprisings – to large and small movements focused on Palestinian struggle, fracking, war and peace, immigration, police violence, housing, and so on.
    If we all widely discuss and debate what needs to be corrected, deleted, or added, why couldn’t we arrive at worthy shared program and then also at mutually supportive efforts to attain our newly shared program?

    The three of us don’t know how many of the 85 signers of “Some Possible Ideas for Going Forward” will undertake the steps noted above or try to convince others to do so. But for the desired bottom up effect to transcend rhetoric, it is important that they do so, and, of course, still more important that many other people and groups take up the tasks. Looking into the future, the benefits of attaining inspiring program will make each new hour applied to seeking change far more effective.

  • Lambert Meertens 11th Apr 2016

    To me, the word “conversation” evokes a mental image that goes like this:
    — Hello, Mr. Abercrombie, how are you today?
    — Oh, hello Mrs. Fitch, thank you, and how are you?
    — I’m fine, thank you. Isn’t it a wonderful day today?
    — It is, isn’t it? Are the kids alright too?
    — Yes, they are. Mollie took her first dancing lesson yesterday. She loved it very much.
    And so on and on. Applying it to some kind of political discussion may be North American usage. The first time I heard it used that way was by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, which I remember because it struck me as odd.

    It seems to me that having an open and open-ended discussion is much more important than trying to reach a common program. In fact, as I’ve tried to argue in Can a shared ideology unite leftist activists?, I believe that formulating demands will not bring us much further, unless we “ask the impossible”. What we need instead, I believe, is a unifying vision of that other world that we believe is possible.

    And in Dreaming Revolution I’ve expressed my belief that what is missing is mainly the consciousness among activists and potential activists that we are all part of one world-wide movement, a movement that has the power to change the world. That consciousness may be formed by an open-ended discussion, but not by one aiming at formulating a short-term program.

    Of course, I may be wrong. But if I’m right, this proposed conversation or discussion or debate about a “new program” – where in fact all programmatic suggestions seem quite familiar – will be mostly irrelevant and not at all helpful in forming a stronger movement.

  • LedSuit ' 11th Apr 2016

    I have no such set beliefs. For me, this is the conversation right here, now. You and me Lambert. Pathetic, I know.

    "Hey, you, here's some ideas."
    "Yeah, well, I reckon they're shit."
    "Why?"
    "Well, because I reckon, blah blah blah..."
    "Alright, but I reckon, blah blah blah..."

    I think those who actually drafted this document, and signed it have the exact same belief as you Lambert. Exact same. They just may phrase it differently or have a different approach for whatever reasons. It's just a bunch of ideas. They may all be familiar to some but not to all or even most. I don't think most are used to hearing things put that way at all. Certainly not ideas that can and do have ramifications for future direction that could easily connect to a wider unifying vision. Whatever a "unifying vision" is.

    But you've gotta start somewhere and any ideas have to get beyond the pathetic paralysing pabulum of popular political pulp that is the usual conversation. you may find the above doc bland or insipid fair but I just see it as stuff that a bunch of involved activists with much the same driving motivation as yourself think might get something going.

    Unifying vision is stuff. What is it, how is it expressed? Then how do you get it out there into the world?

    IOPS failed and I think the Next System Project is flawed as well. And most other activists are interested in "unifying" by example. Which to me is improvising one's way out of the mess, and which is completely locally based stuff. I think that flawed when left isolated from some sort of on going "discussion".

    But I'm starting to feel more and more that it is all a pipe dream. All one big delusion.




  • No “possible ideas” for the concerns of indigenous peoples? Indigenous activists would see several aspects of this as offensive and arrogant.

    From “The Communist Manifesto” to “Possible Ideas for Going Forward.” Much conviction. Very passion. So believe. Many class rage. [Also, do they mean ‘possible ideas’ or just ‘ideas?’]



    Fuck equality. The point is to liberate.

    Reads like a vaguely-but-not-really-Marxist child’s Xmas letter to Santa. Satan. Staan. Statn. State.

    It’s riddled with reformist utopianism. 1. The collective strength and organisational capacity required to achieve lasting reforms as profound as universal basic income or laws forbidding capital flight without worker persmission is so great that any movement that possessed it would be absolutely insane (or near-collapse) to channel its energies into petty reforms rather than attempting a full-scale revolution. 2. It doesn’t at all go into how such legislation would be enforced? But we know what they’re thinking. They mean for the state to enforce it. Somehow. There are no words for how stupid this is. (a) That’s not something the state can do—how much more recent and numerous do the let-down of such attempts have to be? The ability to enforce the outcomes (whether they’re legislated or not) turns on a movement capable of general strikes and mass-scale DAs, and, probably, given current conditions, being able to coordinate those things on a scales beyond the national. (b) What’s going to happen if another movement tries to take things a lot further, and, necessarily, breaking the law and defying the state in the process? Is a movement that advocates and supports upholding the law (and aggressive law enforcement) going to have the wherewithal to start contradicting itself in the way needed? Somehow--probably based on things from history and shit--I don’t think so.

    From ‘mutual aid’ to ‘mutual compassion.’ What’s wrong with ‘mutual aid?’ Oh, yeah: fucking nothing. It’s a wonderful concept that motivates and frames practices in a really direct way. But, then, again, aren’t we all sick of hearing about it? Everyone you run into, the media; it’s all they talk about!

    aid
    n. 1. help, typically of a practical nature.
    v. 1. help or support (someone or something) in the achievement of something.

    compassion
    1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

    ‘Mutual sympathetic pity’—mmmm, compelling. Not help. Just a perspective shift. Not. Fucking. Practical! People don’t need pity, they need means to fight. [Btw, this is not nit-picking. Language matters.

    There appears to be very little thought given to the different demands relate and the possible orders in which they would be achieved (if we assume they all could be in some reliable way). E.g. Full employment and high minimum wage mean there’ll be almost no poor to redistribute wealth to.

    “Many authors” should be “too many chefs.”

    It’s interesting how the signatories, after reading the rest, don’t make it any better at all.

    Goals can’t be cut-and-pasted. Without context and proper input from the people concerned they’re senseless. The centrality of the oppressed’s subjectivity to struggle is denied. On which, I also like how it’s written from this perspective of (supposed) radicals preemptively compromising with some imagined liberal-leaning population. This approach doesn’t make sense. It’s a weird repression of the conflict and cooperation that goes on between different kinds of left cultures and orgs. This is the problem with having a bad concept of “the left.” In a sense, there is no left. There are liberals. There are social democrats. There are democratic socialists. There are trots. There are anarchists. There are communists. There are Communists. There are unionists. There are community gardeners. There are people who hate their boss. For any of these groups not assert what they actually think, rather than what they think the other factions want to hear, is dishonest and a waste of time, and it means nobody ends up understanding each other actually. A “unifying vision” would have the guts to commit to a proper set of politics and then attempt to think how the conflicting left formations and ideologies could communicate and interact differetly (given the particular characteristics of each tendency).

    Campaigns that gets meaningful things done, don’t ‘need money.’ That is terrible to name as a priority. They need new relationships. They need bodies on the street. As people self-organise, they’ll work out how to fund particular activities. Pools of general funds require positions of power and complex (not really democratic) regulations to manage them. Campaigns should not structure themselves like charities, NGOs, or parties. There’s no use taking care of business like a business. Or is there? Why let silly shit like principles and foresight complicate things in these ways?

    Tired now. Too much to criticise.

    I think any conversation between [whatever left historical actors] worth having would do well to start by placing this piece in the bin.

  • LedSuit ' 11th Apr 2016

    "A different understanding says that to welcome diverse creativity while simultaneously diminishing hierarchical relations is about where choices lead. Bottom up means we attain results under the auspices of all who are involved. And it means that those who are involved include not just long time or professional activists, but mainly folks who live and work at the grass roots of society and who manifest the ideas and feelings there and speak the language heard there. Bottom up is about where efforts wind up, not how they start up."

    The "conversation" is actually usually among long time and professional activists and usually isolated and fragmented and full of "I know better than thou" crap, that often stems from said experienced activists decades long involvement in whatever and some sense of self importance and ownership of that kind of terrain.

    Those "folk who live and work at the grass roots" usually don't get listened to and often, more often than not, don't get any opportunity to connect with any deeper political conversation that involves ideas that can easily connect with systemic change and further, often don't have the confidence to do so anyway. That allusive cat.

    Nor do people often get the opportunity to really flesh out ideas or to spend time trying to understand them, rather than be terrified by them. Try talking to "folk" about Parecon and see what happens. People get scared of such shit. My sister said IOPS scared her.

    Coops make sense to most, but Parecon doesn't, but then coops don't necessarily lead to systemic change. Nor do tiny houses, simple living, or even solidarity economics more generally. Mondragon is a good example. It was never intended to be some systemic revolution. But then, not many people have even heard of Mondragon.

    Part of any "conversation", however it may develop, could be had here. But, I merely say again, I do not think people really want to "talk" and when they do, it is usually short and sweet and then they disappear from view. (At least Satan stuck it out. At least Satan was up for a good old chin wag. And as stupid as it may sound, I actually learnt shit from going toe to toe with him. Even kind of enjoyed it. No, did enjoy it.)

    Entertainment, personal enjoyment, should never be underestimated in this. Fulfilling activity should always include entertainment. Stuff that people enjoy spending time doing. Arguments and discussions must maintain that aspect. Even stupidity. Especially stupidity. The infantile. It is something that really lacks. It lacks in the document above. No humour at all. It lacked in the way some engaged here at times. But most of the time, here, there was a humour and an entertainment factor that attracted me that I find lacking at LibCom for instance.

    I like to call it the Hitchens factor. Regardless of where Christopher ended up, Hitchens loved a scrap and was good at it and had a fucking great sense of humour. Richard Dawkins found it surprising that Hitchens wouldn't like to see religion completely wiped from the earth because he enjoyed the scrap. It was entertaining for him. Now I know one can find fault with such a position, but please, just see the humour in it.

    Frank Zappa had that humour, Derek Bailey had it. Eugene Chadbourne exudes it. Ben Watson, a friend, exudes it. It's not even about whether what they believe is bullshit or not, but it's about the desire for engagement with ideas and a good old scrap. Militant material dialectics and Militant Esthetix. A scrap that could very easily rub up abrasively with nice neat bourgeois ideological bundles and upset the apple cart. But done with an energy that doesn't exclude the infantile and chance contingencies and connections that could also make the whole thing enjoyable to be part of rather than some constant fucking boring banal banging on about organising and matter of fact comments from the experienced or facilitated meetings with white boards and people sitting in seats behind tables who later disperse to listen to the boring banal banging ons of Tom Morello and his acoustic guitar.

    But it seems to me that seriousness and well mannered neatness, brevity and concision, must always prevail when it comes to discussion. And always action over words. It is indeed the deed that matters more even though talking is a indeed a deed in need.

    Well, that isn't how I roll. Just ask J. Chap. Anywhere between 4 to 8 to more hours of conversation over coffee. Yeah, maybe we aren't "doing" in some sense (he does, but I actually usually don't "do"), but it keeps me involved. It keeps me thinking. Trying. Keeps my energy up more than did Melbourne IOPS Chapter meetings. Yawn. Here come the boring minutes. Like an ice pick to the forehead.

    The physicality of activism is a must of course but without some background conversation, that does in fact connect and spread widely and carry some sense of unity among its participants then physical action will always and only be local and hidden from view to most in the world. Even the Chiapas and Rojava is hidden from view and the wider implications of the struggle mostly unknown. The on going attempts at building independent unions throughout the world is unknown to most. The hundreds of thousands of yearly labour actions in China slip past most people's awareness as do the tens of thousands of Indian farmer suicides, and in other places around the world, every year, in favour of some insipid cat video trending on social media or whatever.

    People have no time to converse about heavy shit. If that is the case then they have no time for the physical side of activism. Unless they like a good old fashioned riot. But the physical side is heavily dependent on ideas that are clear and coherent and do connect with the wider vision and desire for system change. And those ideas need to spread into the popular awareness. Folk awareness. And spread from the bottom up, using language that most are comfortable with (I am however, more than before, willing to engage with language that seems obscure as long as humour and entertainment are involved) and that reeks of a unity or solidarity that actually frightens the rulers of the world.

    None of that precludes people from following there own political proclivities but it does suggest, to the suggestible listener, that whatever it is that one is doing would be better served if it connected with other like activity going on around the globe, clearly and coherently.

    But then, I talk too much. So fuck it.

  • LedSuit ' 11th Apr 2016

    That lack of entertainment , fun, humour, the infantile and stupid, awareness of chance contingencies and connections, is also lacking at ZNet as well. FUCK. Paul Street's about as entertaining and funny as a kick in the head.

  • LedSuit ' 12th Apr 2016

    NOW I'M JUST PISSED. IT'S JUST SOME FUCKING WORDS FOR CHRIST FUCKING SAKE. AND YES, LANGUAGE FUCKING MATTERS. FUCK YEAH, THAT'S HOW WE COMMUNICATE. THAT'S HOW POSSIBLE IDEAS AND EVEN JUST FUCKING IDEAS GET OUT THERE. THAT'S ALL THIS PIECE IS JUST SOME FUCKING THOUGHTS. OBVIOUSLY FUCKING USELESS BULLSHIT BUT HARRY FRANKFURT DIDNT CITE THIS DOCUMENT AS AN EXAMPLE OF IT, SO I FUCKED UP. SORRY, I SHOULD HAVE FUCKING PICKED UP ON ITS LIBERAL REFORMIST TENTATIVE FUCKING BIAS SOONER. MUST BE A COMPLETE FUCKING MORON.
    AT LEAST I'M NOT ALONE IN MY FUCKING IDIOCY, THERE ARE SOME 85 SIGNATORIES WHO I CAN HANG WITH PERHAPS. FUCK.
    IT'S JUST SOME FUCKING IDEAS THAT I THOUGHT MAY AT LEAST GET SOMETHING GOING.WHAT A FUCKED THING TO THINK. SO FAR IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF SHIT THAT WON'T ACHIEVE ANYTHING AT ALL APPARENTLY. SHOULD HAVE REALISED.
    AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE JUMPED FUCKING IN EVEN IF THEY HAVE FUCKING TORN IT APART. MAY AS WELL JUST FUCKING DELETE IT THEN.
    UNIFYING VISION? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? GOT ANY FUCKING IDEAS? POSSIBLE FUCKING ONES?
    MAYBE YOU GUYS COULD WRITE YOUR OWN FUCKING SHIT. OH. FORGOIT, ONE ALREADY HAS AND FRANK WOULD PROBABLY PREFER SOME HARDCORE ACTION? A SCRAP. REAL SMASH THE STATE FUCKING STUFF. NO BULLSHIT. STRAIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE FUCKING MATTER. LIBERATION. FUCK EQUALITY, FUCKING LIBERATE. FUICKING AWESOME. I'M FUCKING INSPIRED.
    NO I'M FUCKING NOT. I'M PISSED.
    NO, PERHAPS I SHOULD JUST FUCKING HOLD OUT FOR COMPLETE COLLAPSE. HANG WITH KEV FUCKINGTUCKER'S BAND AND HOPE THOSE ANARCH-PRIMMIES BRING CIVILISATION TO A CLOSE SOON, SO I CAN RE-FUCKING-WILD. YEAH, I WANT TO RE FUCKING WILD MYSELF. GET IN TOUCH WITH MY TRUE INNER FUCKING SPIRIT AND NATURE, THAT LOONG LOST GATHERER HUNTER IN ME THAT JUST NEEDS TO BE FUCKING FREED. OH YEAH. FUCK.
    OH, SORRY, I FUCKING FORGOT. I AM JUST FUCKING WAITING. THAT'S WHAT I AM DOING BECAUSE I'M JUST A FUCKING ARMCHAIR REVOLUTIONARY. AN OXYMORON. NOT JUST A FUCKING MORON, AN OXY ONE. A USELESS FUCKING OXY MORON.
    UNIFYING FUCKING VISION MY FUCKING ARSE. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? JUST A BUNCH OF FUCKING IDEAS.
    OH, AND I ALSO FUCKING FORGOT THAT LAMBERT AND FRANK ARE MERELY ADDING THEIR VOICE TO THE FUCKING CONVERSATION. SO PERHAPS I SHOULD REALLY JUSTY TONE IT DOWN A LITTLE. BE MORE FUCKING WELL MANNERED LIKE CHOMSKY, ALBERT, MARK FUCKING EVANS. I MUST BE TWICE THE FUCKING OXY MORON.
    WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE REVIVING HERE?FUCKING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
    I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING CLUE OR IDEA WHAT TO THINK ANYMORE. I SHOULD JUST FIND SOME FUCKING LOCAL BUNCH OF HARDCORE KICK FUCKING HEADS REVOLUTIONARY GROUP AND HANG WITH THEM.START A DEATH METAL BAND TO EXORCISE MY FUCKING RAGE AND JUST WAIT FOR FUCKING COLLAPSE.
    UNIFYING FUCKING VISION. TEAH, WHAT A FUCKING LOAD OF FUCLKING HOGFUCKINGWASH.
    FUCK PARECON.
    FUCK THE SIMPLER WAY.
    FUCK ALL THOSE FUCKED UP FUCKING VISIONS.
    OH, BUT NOT THE HARD FUCKING CORE VISION OF TAKIS FOTOPOULOS. NO, FUCK THAT AS WELL.
    FUCK SOLIDARITY FUCKING ECONOMICS AND COOPS AND WORKER OWNED WHATEVERS.
    FUCK INDEPENDENT UNIONS AND WORKERS.
    FUCK THE FUCKING LOT.
    FUCK THEORY. I FUCKING HATE THAT WORD. ANARCHIST FUCKING THEORY. WHAT A FUCKING JOKE.
    FUCK VISIONJ.
    SOMEONE ELSE CAN FUCKING WORK OUT WHAT STRATEGY SHOULD BE FUCKING ADOPTED AND WHEN YOU FUCKING FIGURE IT OUT, BEAUTIFULLY FROM THE BOTTOM FUCKING UP GIVE ME A FUCKING CALL AND I'LL SEE IF I CAN MAKE IT. BUT I PROBABLY WON'T.
    JUST FUCKING EVERY PERSON FOR THEM FUCKING SELVES I RECKON.
    BUY A FUCKING TINY HOUSE AND JUST WAIT. TINY FUCKING HOUSE! IT'S A SHED, OR A DRESS UP CARAVAN OR TEEPEE.
    UNIFYING VISION. SHIT, WHAT A FUCKING JOKE.
    MOST FUCKING PEOPLE ACTUALLY AREN'T FAMILIAR WITH THE FUCKING STUPID INSIPID BANAL POINTLESS POSSIBLE IDEAS EXPRESSED IN THIS FUCKING POINTLESS USELESS FUCKING DOCUMENT. WELL, AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT I FEEL. OBVIOUSLY ALL THE SMARTER TRULY REVOLUTIONARY TYPES KNOW FUCKING BETTER. WHAT WAS I THINKING POSTING THIS PILE OF CRAP.
    WHAT WERE THESE FUCKING MORONS THINKING?
    FUCK, SHOULD STICK TO READING JASON FUCKING MOORE AND KEVIN FUCKING TUCKER AND KROFUCKINGPOTKIN, FUC KING MARX AND MALATESTA AND FUCKING SLACKFUCKINGB ASTARD AND ALL THE OTHER FUCKING SERIOUS FUCKING PEOPLE OUT THERE. PERHAPS FUCKING ZIZEK AND FUCKING HEGEL. FUCK MORTON HE'S A FUCKING DICK.
    OH, WHAT WOULD I FUCKING KNOW. I'VE OBVIOUSLY LOST IT COMPLETELY AND AN IDIOT MUCH LIKE THOSE WHO DRAFTED THIS PAMPHLET.
    DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER. THIS PLACE IS DEAD ANYWAY AND THERE IS NO FUCKING "LEFT" AND IT'S FULL OF FUCKING LIBERALS AND FUCKING REFORMISTS RATHER THAN HARDCORE SERIOUS REVOLUTIONARIES. EVEN THE SUPPOSED REVOLUTIONARIES ARE FUCKING REFORMIST LIBERALS. FUCK, I'M SUCH AN IDIOT.
    THE FLOOR'S FUCKING YOURS. HIT ME WITH YOUR FUVCKING WISDOM.
    I FUCKING GIVE UP.

    • LedSuit ' 12th Apr 2016

      OH, I FORGOT AGAIN, I NEVER DID ANYTHING IN THE FIRST PLACE NOR AM DOING ANYTHING NOW TO FUCKING GIVE UP ANYWAY. SO I'LL JUST FUCKING CARRY ON.

  • Lambert Meertens 12th Apr 2016

    On my Mac, I’ve disabled the Caps Lock key, which you can do by bringing up the Keyboard pane of System Preferences, clicking “Keyboard” and then “Modifier Keys...”, and selecting “No Action” after “Caps Lock Key:”.

    There is a wikiHow on “How to Disable the Capslock Key in Windows”. I haven’t tried any of the methods given there, so I can’t vouch for it.

  • Lambert Meertens 12th Apr 2016

    So one ion alerts us to an initiative elsewhere on starting a “conversation” intended to lead to “new program”, and two other ions continue the discussion by pointing out why they don't see much of value in this particular initiative. That's no reason to get upset.

    I bet you a pint of beer the 85 signatories are largely about as committed to engaging in this conversation as many of those who signed on for the ICC were to engaging in IOPS. There is actually a considerable overlap. Did they even bother to read what they signed?

    If I’m allowed (of course I’m allowed) to tear the initiative even farther apart, what it lacks is any analysis or indication of what aims attaining ”new program” is supposed to serve. If you ask me (thank you for asking), if there is something at all that can be done collectively, then what we really need most is to collectively question, challenge and resist undeserved authority. Not beg them to throw us some scraps, which actually strengthens their authority. We have the power to say, ”enough”, and stop this charade, but only if we do it collectively.

    Perhaps the drafters and signers share the exact same belief as I hold. But why does that then not show through in their initiatives?

    As you know, I think it’s too soon to say that IOPS has failed. It had a bad start, specifically a lack of flexibility as evidenced by rigidly sticking to a fixed formula even when it was already abundantly clear this wasn’t going anywhere, and a spell of disapproval cast over anything deemed to be not sticking to the point – defined to be organizing, organizing and organizing. I think this site is as good as any for discussing possible initiatives for ideas going forward (or sideways for that matter – always going only forward gets a bit boring). So one member could bring up the suggestion to put out a call for conversations within activist groups and movements to come to a programmatic synthesis. Then other members could ask what this is supposed to accomplish.

    I happen to think that it would be very interesting to have an open discussion across the boundaries dividing various groups and movements, but a much more urgent topic would be how each sees the role of power in maintaining the status quo and how this might be addressed. If we could get some convergence there, it would be an enabler of joint action.

  • LedSuit ' 12th Apr 2016

    Not throwing scraps authoritatively. And I have no idea what you or Frank are really saying. None. Now it's a charade. And fuck it, I can get upset if I like and express it if I get the fucking feeling that I wasn't astute enough to see the doc's reformist utopianism, it liberalism, its strangeness, its authoritarian charade and its worthlessness because you guys have some better revolutionary insight and wisdom.

    Yeah, I am pissed. Still. Because I think you two have arrogantly missed the fucking point and just dissed it and I don't feel "smart" enough to engage with either of you. What you two say makes me want to fuck off.

  • LedSuit ' 12th Apr 2016

    And I have no idea, or possible idea going forward, what an "ion" is, other than an atom or molecule with a net electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electrons. Must admit, I feel pretty charged at the moment and I would say both the rather definitive responses here to the pointless authoritarian charade of a reformist utopian document, were pretty negative.

    What's it meant to accomplish? Fuck. Follow up by Albert(the social democrat liberal utopian reformist electoral political wet blanket!), Fletcher and Sitrin,

    1. Individuals could write their own replies, indicating what they like, what they would like to see changed and how, and what they would like deleted or added.

    2. Similarly, individuals could talk with friends, workmates, and organization cohorts about attaining desirable shared program.

    3. Likewise, individuals could use social media to attract attention to the task and explore aspects of it.

    4. Beyond individuals, alternative media could make the document visible, and could even invite submissions by their readers and regular writers. Alternative media could say we too want to arrive at shared program. We will sponsor debate and presentations, both for ourselves internally, and also for our constituencies.

    5. Activist organizations could also seek multi issue program. This could occur in everything from political parties and projects – like the Sanders campaign, Podemos in Spain, Syriza’s left factions, the PSUV in Venezuela, and the current French uprisings – to large and small movements focused on Palestinian struggle, fracking, war and peace, immigration, police violence, housing, and so on.
    If we all widely discuss and debate what needs to be corrected, deleted, or added, why couldn’t we arrive at worthy shared program and then also at mutually supportive efforts to attain our newly shared program?

    The three of us don’t know how many of the 85 signers of “Some Possible Ideas for Going Forward” will undertake the steps noted above or try to convince others to do so. But for the desired bottom up effect to transcend rhetoric, it is important that they do so, and, of course, still more important that many other people and groups take up the tasks. Looking into the future, the benefits of attaining inspiring program will make each new hour applied to seeking change far more effective.

    I don't see it as anything different to the notion of some sort of open ended discussion across boundaries addressing power and shit.fucking hell. Ot's really pretty basic shit and you to have somehow complicated the fucking matter in my mind, no end.

    Ifeas are just fucking ideas and possible ideas are just fucking possible ideas and going forward is just a phrase.

    Here, analyse this in all its clarity and internal contradiction.

    "Revolutionary Marxism deals a blow to the vanity of the intelligentsia, who fondly imagine that the world is changed by the ideas they launch into the world, whereas in fact the world only takes up the ideas that suit its social needs. Hence it is unlikely that revolutionary Marxism will become a dominant ideology among a proffessional intelligensia; it persists as a chronic barb, a persistent thorn of unwelcome critique."

    Is that not an idea, a thought, an observation itself. Is there not an air if "intelligensia" about it? Is it not, to some degree, charged with vanity itself? Is a "chronic barb" what we need?

    You two respondants gave every right to bring your chronic barbs to this doc. I have every right to get pissed because you bith offer up nothing else but vagueness. You offer your critique as if you know precisrly the right direction to go, and the right conversation to have.

    I agree with some if what you both have to offer, but in this regard I just see arrogance.

    But then, again, I am obviously an idiot who can't see the charade of such a document and hence not in the "league of inelligentsia" I need to be to engage.

    We obviously need a different document, presenting a completely different set of "possible ideas", that goes beyond the childlike letter to santa reformist utopian quality that this has.

    So write it and "bin" this one.

    I'm going back to work. It's far easier being a drone.

  • Lambert Meertens 13th Apr 2016

    IOPS glossary:

    ion: (noun) a member of the interim International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS). Examples.

    OGWEML: (proper noun) initialism for “Only Group With Even Modest Legitimacy”, i.e., the IOPS Interim Consultative Committee. Examples.

  • Lambert Meertens 13th Apr 2016

    The IOPS vision, as detailed in our [http://www.iopsociety.org/vision|Vision document], does not come across as vague to me. Maybe some things are missing, and some others are a bit too detailed – you want to leave the future inhabitants of Spaceship Earth some freedom in how to arrange things – but overall it would be a major improvement to how things are now.

    Too bad it will require a mutiny to change how things are run aboard here.

  • Lambert Meertens 13th Apr 2016

    On the other hand,

    “when you're drowning you don't say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream.”
    John Lennon

  • LedSuit ' 13th Apr 2016

    O

  • Wow! First, I’d rather be an arrogant prole—though I don’t think I am (but an arrogant prole would say that)—than one of these wannabe party bureaucrats who think the way to start a global “conversation” is by ensuring they have the first word. “Rooted in diverse movements and projects?” I don’t buy it. If it’s really so, why not give the references? Better yet, just quote the demands as they were originally articulated (rather than butchering them). Ensuring that it starts with them—makes the overlap with the ICC membership not-that curious! Obvious displays of such ego and hypocrisy—as oh-so-well-intentioned as I’m sure this one is—deserve ridicule.

    But, apparently, I’m a person who’s “missed the point” of the document. It must be too smart for me then. Guess I’ll just take the way I understand and feel about things, and go fuck myself. Or, next time, for the sake of the good ole greater good, just write some bullshit I don’t actually believe. Better yet, maybe I’ll be able to just be a signatory to someone else’s bullshit.

    Discussion: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35551-some-possible-ideas-for-going-forward