(1) list holiday, (2) about coaltions & revolution


Richard Moore

Dear friends,

(1) list holiday
We are getting down to the final days before our retreat, and I must
concentrate on travel arrangements and setting up coalition-building
meetings.  Jan _may have some time to devote to this list, but by and large
I think we're going to have a list holiday for a few weeks.  My apologies
to those who have been sending things in without seeing them appear on the

What you are likely to see on this list over the next few weeks are
"reports from the road", as we find time to get to a computer.  In
particular, we will file reports, perhaps sporadically, about our
experience at the retreat.

_After the retreat, we will be coming back with renewed energy and
"rededication to mission", or at least that's what we're hoping for.

(2) about coalitions and revolution
Below is a message from Yves Bajard, in response to the comments of John
Spritzler.  I am including John as a Bcc above, so he can get in touch with
Yves if he has time.  John has been receiving several messages from me
recently, such as this one, and this may already be more traffic than he
wants, so I do not want to give out his address.  (John - I promise to stop
forwarding things to you unsolicited.  These few I've been sending are in
the spirit of preparation for our meeting.  I hope you understand  (:>)  ).

You all might want to read Yves' comments and then return to my response to


Dear Yves,

I find more to agree with than to disgree with in what you say.

Yes of course a revolution without goals, without a vision, is pointless,
in fact worse than pointless.  If, for example, people start rioting in the
streets without direction, we're more likely to get fascisim as a result
than anything else.  Or perhaps we'd get something like Russia got, the
replacement of one set of oppressors by another.  This is why I am
extremely critical of what PGA (Peoples Global Action) has been doing, with
their destruction-oriented, over-confrontational, mass demonstrations,
which alientate people from their cause.

And yes, leaders need to get together and discuss goals, strategy, and
vision.  I invite you to view this dialog as part of that process.  Some of
your comments are cast in a negative way, but when you say "Or do I
misunderstand the messages?" you are staying open to dialog and mutual
education, and I appreciate that.

I sense a "top down" orientation in your thinking.  As if a few select
leaders were going to get together, totally define a revolutionary agenda,
and then "lead the masses" to a new society.  I don't think that's the way
to proceed, and I don't think that would lead to democracy.

I see revolution as being more organic than that, I see it as _evolving
rather than being _engineered.  And it needs to evolve on many threads at
once.  In fact, even in modern engineering, there is a concept of "parallel
engineering".  What that means is that you do _not start with a total
design first.  You divide things up into components, define the component
boundaries, and then design all in parallel.  This has turned out to be
necessary for really large projects, as for example the first Moon shot.

One revolutionary _thread is a popular understanding of sustainability and
economics other than capitalist economics.  This thread is actually not
doing so badly... most people _are aware of pollution, eco-destruction,
over-intensive agriculture, loss of species, etc.  We've had decades of an
environmental movement, and people generally are less ignorant in this area
than in most others that relate to systemic change (ie, revolution).

Another thread is a popular understanding of how elite power works, and how
the corporate media manipulates and lies.  People are catching on to this
as well, although they are being guided into factionalism to keep their
anger from having any net political effect.

And, yes, another thread is the development of sound goals and strategy.
But, I suggest, this thread can carry on in parallel with the others; it
does not need to be totally settled at the beginning.  In fact it would be
premature to try to settle on these matters until more people and groups
begin participating in the revolutionary endeavor.  If you believe, as I
do, that it is time for mankind to grow up and take responsibility for
itself (which is genuine democracy), it is not appropriate for some elite
(even _us) to pre-define the democratic agenda.

These are the considerations that compel John and myself to emphasize
particular threads of the revolutionary process.  Waking people up to
revolutionary consciousness is necessary, and it does not depend on having
a complete plan ready in advance.  And it is also necessary to identify who
our current oppressors are, and to focus on overcoming corporate hegemony.

But these too are only two of the threads.  I fully agree that revolution
is not "limited to contradicting capitalism".

in solidarity, love, and revolution,

Date: Mon, 08 Jun 1998
To: •••@••.•••
From: Yves Bajard - National Centre for Sustainability <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: a perspective on revolution from "New Democracy"

At 20:16 08/06/98 +0100, Richard Moore wrote:
I'm setting up a series of mini-seminars on revolution for when I'll be on
the US & Canadian East Coasts later this month.  Many of the people I'll be
visiting (in company of some cadre cohorts) were recommended by Carolyn
Chute, revolutionary, and Secretary of the 2nd Maine Militia (the "no wing"

One of the people we'll be meeting (in Boston) is John Spritzler, editor of
New Democracy.  I sent him the little piece about "cars, parts, and
coalition" and I found his response (below) to show very solid thinking.
Following his comments below is my response to him.
My comment:  I am really worried with the focus on "revolution" before its
objectives and contents have been discussed and refined by the potential
members of the "coalition" as proposed by Richard or "partnership" as
proposed by me.

A revolution is a process. We need a target state to attain. I have seen
none satisfactory to date. Putting the cart before the horses is not
necessarily an effective way to go from A to Z.

Or do I misunderstand the messages?>

John Spritzler's letter is indicative of a small movement, probably
centered around him, like Richard's is centered around him,. the TWN around
Martin Khor, the NCFS essentially around me (against my will), etc. Our
movements are all fighting uphill battles to break through.. Difficult as
long as we do not go through a process of discussion among the central
persons as outlined in my recent correspondence to you, Richard.

Also, John Spritzer's explanation of why most organizations are leery about
undertaking the "revolution" ( 1. control by the elite; 2. control by the
Left who want their own revolution without calling it that, or 3. fear of
isolation if revolution is the goal among members) are very disputable, and
in my opinion incomplete. Maybe there is a deep misunderstanding about what
you mean by "revolution" among people. Neither the "elite" nor the "Left"
are defined by John. So, I don't know what to do with his interpretation.
If the "revolution" is limited to contradicting capitalism, there is a huge
span of objectives missing. There certainly are other obstacles to
overcome, and there is a need for something constructive..

Also, there is no perception in john's post that we need to operate from a
"full world" perspective and within the corresponding context of limits

I am therefore becoming somewhat ill at ease with what you are trying to
do. Can you clarify and also, perhaps listen to what others have to say
(not just me, but many others)?

Could you send this post to John, so that I can see how he reacts and
perhaps find complementary elements in waht we are attempting each from our
respective side?

Thanks in advance.

All the best,


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