request for comment on Bear River workshop


Richard Moore

Dear rn friends,

We've gotten very little feedback from our readers (you!) regarding the
results of our workshop in Bear River.  One of our primary goals in setting
up the rn list was to be of service in fostering discussion amongst
activists toward the creation of a grass-roots movement, helping us find a
sense of community and solidarity.

Allow me to encourage you to send in your thoughts and responses to the list.

As you may recall, as sent to the list on the 14th, we came up with
following agenda for the stages a movement would have to go through:

     1) Things we can do now to build a movement:
        a) encourage personal empowerment
        b) help disseminate useful and accurate information and analysis
        c) facilitate harmonization of citizen activism

     2) What a widespread grassroots movement could hope to achieve:
        a) to establish vibrant democratic processes at local, national,
           and international levels
        b) to shift the balance of political power to democratic control

     3) How established democratic processes can build a livable world:
        a) limit / control corporate power
        b) `implement' sustainability, rights for all, and peaceful
           resolution of conflicts at all levels
        c) further pursue (1a) and (1b), above

This is obviously just the barest outline, only hinting at whole vast
problem areas.  But we believe it does make a contribution: it divides the
process into stages, showing what needs to be accomplished first.  As long
as politics and governments are dominated by the power of
mega-corporations, there's no way we're going to get any sensible agendas
implemented; hence building a movement must come first, at least that was
the sense of our Bear River gathering.

We invite suggestions and comments about how progress can be made on this
agenda, or comments on how the agenda can be improved, even at this
bare-outline level.

You may also recall the following comments, which were also in my "Bear
River report", and which might help inspire your thinking in responding...

      * VISION: The vision we offer is a new era of `democratic renaissance',
        a complete paradigm shift from `rule by a greedy capitalist elite'.
        The `overproduction crisis' (!!), so bemoaned by those seeking endless
        profit growth, becomes (under democracy) a boon to humanity.  The
        excess productive capacity of modern technolgies, if used wisely,
        can provide the basic needs of all, and can allow us to `throttle
        back' from `full steam ahead' to `proceed at a sustainable rate'
        without causing suffering to anyone.  We're not talking about
        `give away programs' but about empowering people both politically
        and economically to solve their own problems and provide for
        their own needs, individually and collectively in their societies.

      * DISCOMFORT LEVEL:  Global corporatism, with its limitless demands
        for profit growth, and its draconian market-force economic doctrines,
        has created a global crisis.  And in every crisis lies both danger
        and opportunity.  The danger is that we may allow this disastrous
        course to continue; the opportunity is that the arrogant greed
        and callousness, with which which the corporate community is
        proceeding, is sowing the seeds of a mass movement.  Even the middle
        classes, long the staunch ally of the capitalist system in the face
        of `worker rebellions' or `student movements', has now been all but
        abandoned by the ravages of globalization.  The children of even
        the middle class, increasingly in the West, find that even with
        university educations, they are facing the prospect of unemployment
        or under-employment: the `each generation more successful' formula --
        the people's version of `economic growth' -- has basically come to an
        end.  This gives us the opportunity to encourage a _majority mass
        movement that cannot, if we take care,  be co-opted by the competitive
        party-politics system.

      * MEANS:  Our means _are are ends!  Just as we seek a `vibrant democratic
        process' in a post-capitalist democratic society, we see that a
        vibrant democratic process is the key to creating a movement out of
        the disparate causes and single-issue movements that currently exist.
        We believe this movement paradigm is `means with an attitude',
        something we can `get rolling' through focused engagement with
        movement leaders, and which can rapidly contribute to a `movement
        spirit'.  This is a `means' which builds on itself, and empowers
        everyone in the movement as the movement builds on itself.

I apologize for duplicating the above material, but I do want to make every
effort to encourage discussion of `movement building', and some of these
key points were buried in the middle of the earlier report.

Hoping to hear from you,
Richard K. Moore
Citizens for a Demcratic Renaissance.


                  Create a sane and livable world
                  in vibrant democratic societies.
             Bring global corporate power under control.
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