Shift of strategy re/workshop; new mission for renaissance-network list


Richard Moore

Dear renaissance-network,

What I have to say is in some sense discouraging, but my own interpretation
is that we try things, we see how they work, we learn, and we pick
ourselves up to try again.  It's all part of the process -- no one ever
said revolution will be easy, and the effort we've put in trying to make
this workshop happen has led us to many wonderful people and brought us
into contact with many very effective activist movements.

The fact is that the workshop, as orignally announced and envisioned, is
not going to happen.  There have simply been too few people who could
afford the time and money, or perhaps the workshop just wasn't shaping up
in a way to seem worth the time and money.

So instead we will have a much smaller group, with a less formal agenda.
It will be more like a retreat, where we will reflect on what we've
learned, talk over our thoughts regarding the human predicament and what
can be done about it, and brainstorm how we as people committed to real
change can most effectively use our talents and energies.

There will be time as well for spiritual reflection, story telling, music,
and dancing.  Whatever else happens we will get to know one another better
and have a good time in the process.  Jan has mentioned some special places
and people in the vicinity we may want to visit, and some of the Bear River
locals have expressed an interest in participating in the workshop.

If any of you are interested in dropping by for part or all of this
redefined event, you will be welcome, but please let us know when you plan
on attending. There will be no charge, as our meeting hall is free, and
meals will be handled on a pay-as-you-go basis.  We will be doing group
meals for lunch, and sometimes for supper, so low-cost options will be
available.  We can help hook you up with places to stay such as B&B's, and
there is camping and some floors to sleep on, though advance notice will be
needed to arrange such billeting.


The topic of "workshop preparations" is therefore no longer appropriate as
a "main topic" for this list.

In fact, the longer-range purpose of this list is indicated by its name,
renaissance-network.  It is intended to be a networking forum for people
and organizations who subscribe to the concept of bringing about a
"democratic renaissance" as a replacement to this current era of elite
corporate hegemony.

Does a "democratic renaissance" sound like too much to ask for?  Shouldn't
we be content to aim for curbing corporate power and its worst abuses?  I
think not.  Elite hegemony can only be ended by replacing who has power in
our society, by people taking power through the electoral process, or in
some parts of the world by other means.  And this kind of societal
revolution can only succeed if there is a positive vision of a better

The word "renaissance" means new birth, new beginning, the budding of new
forces and new energies, the unleashing of new creative wellsprings.  When
people are empowered, and this has been demonstrated many times in history
both ancient and recent, they find they have creativity and energy that
they never knew they possessed.  Capitalism has kept us all disempowered
for so long that it's become easy to think of ourselves as being weak and
ineffectual, unable to control the circumstances of our lives.

Just try to imagine the resources of the world being used intelligently for
the benefit of mankind, medical knowledge being used to cure disease
instead of making profits for megacorp pharmacutical companies, agriculture
being practiced sustainably and with the purpose of ending starvation
instead of feeding the greedy pockets of a megacorp agribusiness industry
while the soil bank is destroyed and the streams are polluted.  Imagine the
surge of hope that would fill your heart if the world started to make

I will close this posting with the original "cadre manifesto" which, I
_believe, was the primary document that gathered us all together.



                              Manifesto for a
                          Democratic Renaissance

                               - CADRE -
                           Ides of March, 1998

      (1) Corporate globalization is leading the world to disaster
      and something MUST be done about it. Corporate influence has
      corrupted our democracies, undermined our sovereignties,
      bankrupted our governments and is destroying the very earth
      our survival depends upon.

      (2) The very success of corporate globalism in subjugating
      everyone to its agenda has created the potential for a massive
      counter-movement, a peaceful democratic counter-revolution on
      a global scale.

      (3) Political activists must rise to the challenge of this
      strategic opportunity -- it is time to move beyond our special-
      interest causes and find a path to solidarity and the collab-
      orative pursuit of shared objectives. Foremost among our tasks
      is to build bridges cross the gulfs dividing factions such as
      liberals & conservatives, believers & non-believers, labor &
      environmentalists, etc.

                     We are all in this together!

      (4) Overcoming corporate globalism calls for more than protest
      or resistance -- it requires a different vision for the world,
      a coherent agenda which can provide sustainable prosperity and
      which avoids chaos during the historic transition.

      (5) That vision and agenda must be based on the establishment
      of healthy democratic processes in our individual nations and on
      the realization that sustainable economics and respect for the
      environment are not just good ideas, but are rather necessities
      for human survival.



                  "Seeking an Effective Democratic
                     Response to Globalization
                       and Corporate Power"
     a workshop retreat for those committed to systemic change
        June 25 <incl> July 2 - 1998 - Nova Scotia - Canada
                  Restore democratic sovereignty
                  Create a sane and livable world
             Bring corporate globalization under control.
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