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Forum Post: How Do We Fight Capitalism?

Posted 3 months ago on Jan. 8, 2014, 2:06 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6276)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Capitalism, regulated or non-regulated, is tyrannical and unsustainable; it must eventually be abolished. The corporations and the financial elite must be stripped from their wealth and power, so that the people can get control over their own lives. The current economic system must be dismantled and replaced by a sustainable participatory democracy in which the communities and the economic institutions are controlled democratically by the participants. A free and just, large scale society like this will not be established over night, it will come gradually, and it’s important that we discuss what should and can be done in the struggle for freedom.

I now want to present some suggestions which I think are important to get initiated and maintained along the way to a free and democratic society.

  • EDUCATION AND INFORMATION CAMPAIGNS

Organizing engaged, solidaric and cooperative communities is very important. This is of course done by people reaching out to others in their neighborhoods and communities. By organizing meetings, contacting workers and unions, giving out flyers, pamphlets etc etc, and respectfully presenting facts and arguments that show how the current destructive system works, and present alternative ideas of how we could organize society -- preferably the ideas of Libertarian Socialism -- lots of progress can be made. Inviting knowledgeable activists, intellectuals and so on, and organizing lectures, seminars, discussions etc. in the community are also important initiatives. Making good use of the internet in all this is important. Starting political networks on the net and creating websites, writing blogs / articles etc, should also be prioritized.

  • BOYCOTTING THE BIG CORPORATIONS AND BANKS

A well known way to fight the financial elite. It can often be difficult do this, since many of the institutions in society that offer services and sell goods we need are owned, or partially owned by the 1%. But if people, to a larger extent at least, without making it too difficult for themselves, choose alternative local stores, co-ops, local community banks etc, this can have effect. Many can take part in this, and like in so many other cases, the better boycotts are organized, the more effect they have. Consumers, workers, unions, organizations etc organizing big targeted boycotts will make an impact.

  • STRIKES

Workers and unions getting involved in fighting the state-capitalist system and the ones who control it, is crucial. An extremely important and very effective tactic that workers can engage in is striking. Organizing a really large scale general strike might be hard at first in some areas, but if that’s out of reach in the near future, more local strikes should be organized. Sit-down strikes etc. organized at factories and other institutions in communities can be very effective in increasing workers’ rights. Strikes in all shapes and forms must be a very high priority in the struggle for a better society.

  • WORKERS’ TAKEOVER OF INDUSTRY

When owners and capitalists decide to close down workplaces, the workers and the communities should try to find ways to take over, start up production again, and turn the businesses into worker and community-owned institutions, democratically controlled by the participants. That could be done by the workers and the community buying it from the capitalists or by building up strong community-support with dedicated unions etc, and simply just occupying them. Workers’ takeover of workplaces can and should be highly prioritized on the way to a more just and free society. The more people that are being convinced to join the struggle for a real participatory democracy in their community, the more things like workers’ rights and workers’ takeover can be put on to the agenda and eventually achieved. If the support for workers' takeover grows big enough, current active institutions can be taken over by the workers as well: throw the CEOs out; occupy!

(Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis made an excellent documentary about workers’ takeover of factories in Argentina, called “The Take”. A must-see for all occupiers. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEzXln5kbuw )

  • STARTING COOPERATIVES

Organizing neighborhoods/communities to start co-ops -- grocery stores, industry/factories, agriculture cooperatives, local savings banks etc -- should be initiated when possible. This is of course hard since these things require capital, but as we have seen many times before: when people organize things together, lots of things can happen. Co-ops are growing in number today; they can become a very important factor if more people get involved.

Here are some documentaries and videos on cooperatives and workplace democracy:

"Shift Change" (trailer)

"The Cleveland Model"

"The Mondragon Experiment"

”The Take” documentary by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis

Gar Alperovitz on Workplace Democracy

Noam Chomsky on Workplace Democracy

Richard Wolff on Workplace Democracy

  • PROTEST, CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND PUSHING POLITICIANS

How to deal with party politics will vary from country to country. It depends on the specific circumstances and the political landscape. If there is a party in a country or community that’s dedicated to working for more economic equality, less hierarchies, workers’ rights and a sustainable environment, I think it could play a role in changing the society -- at least in the beginning and middle stages. However, I think a big part of the struggle for a free and democratic society must be done outside party politics, especially in countries with very poor functioning political systems, where the elections are more or less run by the elites (cf. United States f.ex). In addition to the things mentioned so far in this post, other things like protesting, organizing lots of people and communities to push politicians to put higher taxes on the rich, strengthening workers’ rights, etc., should be done as well. Also, civil disobedience can be used not only in workplaces, but other situations like occupying foreclosed homes etc.


Many of the things mentioned here are of course already taking place (much thanks to the Occupy Movement, which has managed to not only put a lot of important topics on to the agenda, but also started actual work to try to create a more solidaric society) but I think it’s important to emphasize the importance of these things, so that strategies and tactics can be discussed and planned well. If we do that, the struggle will be more effective.

Please comment and contribute with your opinions as to how we can fight capitalism. This is, as we all know, a very important topic; it can never be discussed enough.

Solidarity!

Richard Wolff on How the Business Community Screwed the Working Class

Noam Chomsky on How to Achieve Social Change

Anarchism, Libertarian Socialism & Anarcho-Syndicalism

Direct Democracy

Noam Chomsky at Occupy Boston

Peak Oil and a Changing Climate by Noam Chomsky

”America is NOT Broke” by Michael Moore

Flint Sit-down strike

Occupy your foreclosed home

Noam Chomsky on Corporations

(I have posted a similar text here before, but I re-posted it partly for the new people here, as well as because it's an important topic)

27 Comments

27 Comments


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[-] 5 points by Ache4Change (3025) 3 months ago

''This is no exaggeration. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund was able to obtain over one-hundred pages of FBI documents that labelled the Occupy movement as “domestic terrorists.” excerpted from - http://www.nationofchange.org/remembering-occupy-wall-street-america-s-favorite-terrorists-1389707956 Really excellent work with your great post. Never Give Up On The 99%! Occupy The Issues! Solidarity.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

"Is There an Alternative for Capitalist Economics and Politics? Prof. Richard Wolff Says - Yes" :

Utmerket arbeid min venn. Godt Nyttar. Solidaritet :-)

fiat lux ...

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Great article. Yes, a co-operative economic system is what a future just society should be based on. Wolff is more or less advocating establishing a libertarian socialist society -- and that's what we should try to do.

It's great to see truthout focusing on these issues.

Happy new year to you as well.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

''The current social movement that exploded onto the national scene with the 2011 Occupy Movement is following the path of successful movements so far. The social change movement in 2014 is poised to begin an exciting era of broadening and deepening the growing consensus for social and economic justice.'' From :

I strongly recommend these two articles to you and all readers & they're from the guiding lights behind :

Many thanx for your excellent forum-post Andy. Solidarity for 2014 and beyond - despite the interesting 'voting' that we've been seeing on this forum ;-) Onwards & upwards. 1 World ; 1 Struggle ; 1 Occupy !!!

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Thanks. Bookmarked.

Solidarity.

[-] 6 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

''What Is the Common Good ?'', by Noam Chomsky :

Here appended as it makes an excellent prequel to the two Flowers and Zeese articles above, imo. Also, I am cross linking here to one of your earlier forum-posts as it is very appropriate to do so :-)

consilio et animis ...

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Good article. Thanks.

Yes, a libertarian socialist society would be real freedom. The libertarian right always talks about freedom and liberty, but what they are really advocating is freedom for the corporations and the 1%, and submission for the rest.

Libertarian Socialism is the true libertarianism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwQEgOKEEXI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFDt_yv5a64

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

''Obama Trade Deal A 'Neoliberal Assault' To Further Corporate 'Domination'' (Noam Chomsky) :

''Several members of Congress, including Obama's fellow Democrats, have attacked the intense secrecy surrounding the talks. But others want to give the TPP the "fast track" to passage; Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced legislation on Thursday that would prevent members of Congress from offering legislative amendments to whatever final trade deal Obama reaches.''

Thanx for your excellent, short Chomsky videos btw. Recommended to all readers. Solidarity.

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Thanks.

Obama is a puppet. The political elite is bought and paid for. When the wealthy and powerful more or less control government, we shouldn't be surprised that these puppets serve the interests of wealthy.

Neoliberalism must come to an end. We must replace Capitalism with democracy

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

''Obama is a puppet. The political elite is bought and paid for. When the wealthy and powerful more or less control government, we shouldn't be surprised that these puppets serve the interests of wealthy.'' Bingo & ditto !!! Thanx for the excellent short videos of Profs., Chomsky & Wolff and in compliment :

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

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[-] 6 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Fighting economic inequality is essential. We should work towards creating a free, classless society with collective ownership of the means of production.

Good article. Thanks, shooz.

[-] 2 points by shooz (26675) 3 months ago

It's a journey of many steps.

These are 10 of the most essential.

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[-] 1 points by youngradicalmind (1) from Union City, NJ 3 months ago

interesting idea. would everyone have a democratic voice? or would some people decide for everyone?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Hi. I think we should work towards creating a libertarian socialist society. That would be a non-hierarchical society where the institutions are controlled not by a powerful state or powerful corporations, but by the communities and the workforce.

Libertarian socialism is about creating a real participatory democracy controlled from below, so that people control their own lives and work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

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[-] -1 points by youngradicalman (19) from Queens, NY 3 months ago

Although your theory is interesting and quite plausible, I fear it might be very difficult to achieve in practice.

We have tried for two years to establish a forum where everyone is equal and it has been absolutely impossible. youngradicalmind, a new user has been banned after only one comment. I was forced to create a new one. Many users here are banned or censored, and the rest are being threatened with the ban hammer everyday. Four users have taken over and rule like drunk totalitarians. We have points which are supposed to represent votes, but only those with high points can vote.

Do you not see the irony? Here we are, Occupy anarcho-communists theorizing about libertarian socialism and we can't even create a forum that functions as well as the current society, never mind better.

Theories are important. Extremely useful. Thinking must continue. But, I think it is normal for people to become cynical when those doing the theories do not support them themselves. If we can't even run a forum of 20 users using a well functioning democratic scheme, how are we supposed to run a country like that?

My belief is that we must think, but also do. I believe it is possible to create a libertarian society step by step. We have to implement the principes everywhere we can. Our own backyard should be the first step since it should be easiest. Thus far, it has unfortunately proven impossible due to the twinkle team.

In this regard, apart from all the efforts and groups we are individually engaged in - like the Tiny House movement, local gardens, etc... which help build a libertarian society step by step, I believe we should all be striving to actively create a forum based on libertarian socialism ideals. The best way to recruit new members and create a growing community is to show examples of what libertarian socialism can achieve. By creating such a forum, one where we are all equal, I believe people outside of Occupy would start realizing we are on to something good. As it is now, when people come here and see what we are doing on the forum, they leave thinking our dreams and ideals are ridiculous. That is normal, if we can't provide an example ourselves, just 20 people, then it is no wonder people do not take us seriously.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Dismantling capitalism won't be easy. It's going to take time and hard work to establish a really large scale participatory democracy. However, lots of things are starting to happen, for example the growth of cooperatives:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA6jWAYzTIJfb-LPnn8FhTwF8KWCldeGt


This forum gives its users a very high degree of free speech. If you get banned here, you must have really acted like a douchebag. People who are trolling etc will eventually get banned. I have absolutely no problem with that. This forum, like most others, has rules. Read them.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

Only an anti-OWS uber-dork would have stinkled that excellent comment .. and 'ConcernTrollers' aside, my money is on any putative new mod, lol & I'd take issue with sff's : ''If you get banned here, you must have really acted like a douchebag.'' - as that is not quite as true as many of us may like but sff is right about reading the forum rules and we can All do with heeding that. Much more relevantly to this thread :

minima maxima sunt ...

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Hi. Thanks.

Not sure what you meant by that, though:

"I'd take issue with sff's : ''If you get banned here, you must have really acted like a douchebag.'' as that is not quite as true"

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

That's an allusion to the rather arbitrary nature of some of the bannings and removal of comments here on the forum. It is always good to read your posts but as you are not here as often, these days - then some of the inner forum nuances just may be unknown to you & frankly you'd be lucky if that was the case but for a brief introduction - I can point you to these threads where what I say, will be rather more self-explanatory & your comment was at '0' when I commented :

solidaritet ...

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

I don't have time to go thru all your comments in the posts you're linking to. Could you just give a specific example of what you meant?

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (18004) 3 months ago

I was quoting you and then trying to make a point - but not very clearly this time - as you can see, lol. Nothing was directed at you but there is shared concern by many posters - about the co-option of this forum by (inter alia) Neocons. Have a quick read of those threads when you have time and so also fyi :

Stay well, warm & wise 'sff'.

fiat lux ...

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[-] 2 points by Shule (1561) 3 months ago

I hear ya, but I think we have a very tough problem. Problem with all the solutions that you propose above is that they require mass action by the people, and at least here in the U.S.A. that is not going to happen. Too many people have been "stupified", i.e. made stupid, by so much corporate propaganda into really believing Capitalism is natural and it is good. For mass action one needs to reeducate the masses first.

After many years of antiwar, anti-corporate, anti-capitalism activism I have come to believe we are up against an oligarchy of psychopaths. Problem with psychopaths is they are unable to reason. Only punitive action against them will make them change behavior. So, the issue becomes how can a small number of people take effective punitive action against a large all powerful oligarchy?

A person can take individuals and corps who are inflicting misery onto others to court by charging them with a tort. A lawyer or two on your side would be nice, but as a minimum that would require some brains on the part of the person.

Until some noble somebody with some brains and resources comes along and is able to administer some punitive punishment on these psychopaths running our planet, the best we little people can do is insulate ourselves the best be can against capitalism and the effects of capitalism. Maybe plant a garden, and buy a good hepa filter for your house.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

There's a lot of ignorance out there, that's true, but it doesn't have to be this way. These conditions are not carved in stone; they're largely caused by the system.

So how can a small group of people win against this huge power system? In my opinion, by focusing on the things mentioned in the post.

Well established tyrannical power systems have been dismantled many times before thruout history, it can happen again.

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[-] 0 points by NotRockefellerTheOtherFella (-4) 3 months ago

Capitalism is being rendered obsolete by technology. Technology continues to displace human labor. It is no longer a viable economic system that can sustain our modern society. That is why once vibrant capitalistic societies are failing everywhere. No matter how much QE central banks inject into their economies, flatlining continues.

The economy is much worse than people know. Consider how bad things would be without the govt manipulating unemployment facts, without so many bullshit jobs that are really unnecessary, without a bloated military, MIC and excess govt jobs, bloated tax code, etc.

If things were really trimmed down to reality, unemployment would be closer to 30+ percent of the workforce. Not to mention underemployment. Imagine 3D printer and AI, decades from now, or 100 years from now. Eventually, technology will be doing Most labor/jobs better, faster, cheaper and more effeciently than humans.

The old luddite fallacy no longer is valid. Especially after globalization. More and more experts are predicting technological unemployment will make present economic systems obsolete.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 3 months ago

Creating a more and more advanced technological society will not alone eliminate capitalism. No matter how much technology there is, who controls the resources in society will always be the alpha&omega in politics.

[-] -2 points by twerkie2 (-13) from Libreville, Estuaire 3 months ago

"Is There an Alternative for Capitalist Economics and Politics? Prof. Richard Wolff Says - Yes" : http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/13759-is-there-an-alternative-for-capitalist-economics-and-politics-richard-wolff-says-yes . Utmerket arbeid min venn. Godt Nyttar. Solidaritet :-) fiat lux ...