cj> Re: Petros re/ 2001 RKM Manifesto


Richard Moore

1/10/2001, Petros Haritatos wrote to wsn, cj, rn:
    > May I point out to RKM a blind spot in his strategy? ....
    I would like to focus on the proposed agent of change, ... a
    massive, global, grass-roots movement
      > For argument's sake, let us assume that this "new agent"
    (socialist or whatever) has succeeded, that its leaders are
    in power, and it is time to start taking decisions. How are
    these taken and under whose sovereignty? Is it by
    revolutionary law or through democratic processes? To whom
    are leaders accountable? Under what rules can they be
    removed? Is there an opposition? Does it include
      > Why are such questions not addressed? ...

Dear Petros,

Very good points.  History is full of movements that have
ousted regimes, only to have power slip into the hands of
some elite clique.  "Why are such questions not addressed?".
The explanation is : "The topic is covered later in the
Guidebook".  There'll be a good start on it in the very next
section (2.c), more in the section after that, about
'genuine democracy', and even more in Chapter 3 which
focuses on the movement and its process.

My basic premise is that 'The means always become the ends'.
That is to say, the movement structure will inevitably
become the de facto power matrix of the new society, at
least initially.  For that reason, my proposal is that the
movement needs to itself embody the very democratic process
that we seek for the new society.

That is why the Guidebook talks about "What kind of world do
we want?" before it talks about "How can we change things?".
The movement doesn't _begin running things on the day of
victory, it will have _already been running things
increasingly for some time.  The movement itself, by the
time it wins, will have become the new civil society
structure, operating under a working, decentralized,
democratic process. 

You use the phrase: "[movement] leaders are in power".  This
presumes a hierarchical power structure in the movement.  No
one can be 'in power', unless a hierarchical structure has
been put in place which they are authorized to command.  In
the societal and movement models we will be discussing, there
are no hierarchical power structures, and no one 'in power'.
There are means of reaching decisions, and organizing
collective activity, at whatever level - but they do not
involve hierarchies or coercion.

You ask "Is there an opposition?".  This presumes that the
movement involves only a majority of society, and that
others are left out.  In the kind of movement and society
we'll be discussing, the question has little meaning.  It
would be like saying "Is there an opposition to society?"

Section 2.c will be out today or tomorrow and I look forward
to your critique.