An open letter to PGA – re: your latest Bulletin


Richard Moore

Dear PGA, Sergio Hernandez, et al,

10/29/1999, Peoples' Global Action Secretariat wrote:
    This call is made in the spirit of continuing the process of
    building a strong, bold and CREATIVE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT
    against the economic and political institutions of
    capitalism. For as we realise that no issue is isolated, be
    it the exploitation of workers, the bankruptcy of peasant
    farmers, the displacement of indigenous peoples by
    "development" programmes or the destruction of our
    environment, we also realise that we must act together and
    UNITE OUR STRUGGLES AGAINST the social, political, and
    economic institutions of THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM. Only a
    strong and united movement of grassroots groups based on
    mutual respect and solidarity, who struggle independent of
    these institutions and seek to effect change directly
    through their own autonomous action can dissolve their power
    and BUILD A BETTER SOCIAL ORDER based on grassroots

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud PGA's energetic efforts to
help facilitate the development of effective resistance to capitalist
oppression.  By facilitating communication and collaboration among
grass-roots groups, you are helping to build the solidarity that will be
necessary for a successful global revolution against capitalist hegemony -
a revolution which is long over-due.

By emphasizing autonomous local initiatives, you are helping the broader
movement to evolve a collaborative, democratic process.  This is of central
importance - if the movement is not democratic, then the resulting new
regime will not be democratic.  None of us want to trade one set of masters
for another, and we all know that power corrupts even those with the best
of intentions.  The movement must evolve toward bottom-up democracy, not
the 'enlightened leadership' of some new hierarchical 'peoples party'.
Keep up the good work!

I will be re-publishing your Bulletin #4 to a few email lists, along with
some comments of my own.  I will copy you on the comments.  One of the
lists - 'renaissance-network' - is an online community of activists from
various movements, many of which are based in Canada.  Our own call for a
"Democratic Renaissance" is in harmony with your work.

Another of the lists is 'social-movements', a community of activists and
activism academics, with more of an Irish and European constituency.  In my
posting to that list, I have expressed a few concerns about the PGA
process, which I hope you will receive as constructive criticism and as an
invitation to dialog.


In looking over your Bulletin, I find many of the 'usual suspects' that one
would expect to be at the forefront of the anti-capitalist 'brigades'.
These 'usual suspects' include the down-trodden of the third-world, the
victims of imperialist military suppression, and some of the more radical
activist groups from the West.  This is a good start, with much potential
for mutual-support and collective success.  A vibrant network of solidarity
which brings together activist groups from the third-world and the West can
be the seed from which a democratic global counter-revolutionary movement
can evolve.

From here, I suggest there are two basic direcions in which PGA might
direct its attention.  The first, which seems to be your current focus, is
to work with these 'usual suspects' - building communication, organizing
collective actions, developing consensus and common understanding, etc.  If
you pursue only this focus, and if you keep things democratic, then you
will be doing the world an invaluable service.  But the counter-revolution
will only succeed, I believe, if a second focus is also pursued - if not by
PGA then by some other means.

That 'second focus' is to expand the scope of your constituency beyond the
'usual suspects'.  There are many activist groups which are, shall we say,
ripe for inclusion in a coordinated movement against the capitalist system,
as it is manifesting itself in its demonic globalization project...
        What about all the small farmers in the EU and the US who are going
out of business as a direct consequence of free-trade and laissez-faire
policies?   I did see some farmers in their tractors at a PGA gathering,
but the vast majority are being co-opted into seeking a solution through
lobbying Brussels for more subsidies - they go to the agents of
globalization seeking relief from globalization!
        And what about the French truck/lorry drivers who periodically
mount impressive 'blokages' - but always for some limited reform objective?
What about the labor movement in general?
        What about the anti-MAI movement in Canada, which seems to be
carrying forward into a campaign against the usurpation of the democratic
process in Canada?  And what about those in Australia who see themselves
being overcome by what they call the 'New World Order'?

These groups and many others may speak a different language than that found
in PGA literature, but they are responding to the same problems as they
perceive them.  There are fundamental grounds for solidarity, and in many
cases the thinking of these groups is becoming sufficiently radical for
them to consider taking the next step - acknowledging where the lair of the
dragon is to be found - in the capitalist system itself.

Wexford Ireland