Posted 2 years ago on March 5, 2012, 2:21 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80
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I will now cosider a difficult subject; a subject that has been debated for years on the left. I want to share my thoughts on how I think the transition from today´s society to a free and democratic society could and should look like. Now, I don´t think that what I present here will reveal some revolutionary new ways of looking at this issue, rather it´s only my contribution to the debate based on my own thoughts. I also want to point out that I do not present this on behalf of anyone. I only speak for myself. I´m just presenting my own personal views hoping that it will in some way be a useful and helpful contribution to further discussion. I would also like to hear your opinions on this topic. Do you disagree with something, did I leave something out etc. It´s very important that we help each other in finding good solutions to our challenges. Please leave comments expressing your opinion. If you think the ideas I express in my article (or in my blog in general for that matter) are reasonable, also feel free to copy and share what you want and/or link to my blog in order to "spread the word".
I will divide this mainly into 4 parts, even though many things mentioned in these parts or stages if you will, probably will blend into each other in real life. I do so because I think there are some important stages in this transition that also need to be recognized and dealt with and discussed seperatly. How long the transition phase, and each stage will take, is in my view impossible to predict. We do know one thing though: the struggle for freedom will be long. How long it will take is up to the people participating.
Stage I: The beginning of the road to freedom - Building a movement: organization and growth.
In this stage organizing and growth are keywords. In this stage we would have to focus on protesting, marching, making ourselves heard, organizing, educating, convincing, enlightening others, educating others, educating ourselves, getting more people to join etc. In other words, lots of differnet non-violent actions in order to get attention and gain support. Everyone should do this. Unions, environmental groups, students, workers, seniors, idealists; really all who are concerned, engaged, and who want a better society must start getting seriously involved in working for change.
It´s important that the organizing includes having a goal of getting people to join for common causes, a common platform if you will, but without it leading to hierarchical structeres of leaders etc. Instead the differnet people and organizations should communicate, cooperate, arrange events, meetings etc - using different arenas to discuss and work for consensus, not necessarily on all topics but so that a constructive common platform and plan could evolve. Communities and local areas should of course have self determination; each community have their own issues that need to be adressed, discussed and handled based on their unique situation, but in order for a big growing movement to become sucessful there has to be some common ground worked out. We need to find a good healthy combination of self determination within communities and local areas, and at the same time, in solidarity with each other, work out common strategies and tactics.
Now in this growth phase there will be variations in terms of support for local movements and their common platform in different communities. In one town or community there will be lots of support, in another less. The people working in the different communities must take the amount of support into concideration and find the best way of organizing in their local communities. There are in other words no magic absolute formula. It depends on the circumstances. There should of course be a general fight in terms of bargening/collective bargeining everywhere, but in a community with lots of support people could for example organize sit-down strikes at different workplaces, and even local general strikes in order to get attention, gain support and of course gain more rights. In a local community with little support one should probably focus more on baregeining, protesting, convincing, and educating others. But the way I see it, a general rule of thumb when it comes to these issues is that the more support that is gained in the community and nationwide, the more direct non-violent action like sit-down strikes, general strikes etc. could be carried out.
We must also always remember, thruout this transition phase that we have to look in long term perspective. Changes arn´t going to come over night. It will be a long hard struggle, but in the end it will be worth it. In this stage I we must be a little patient when it comes to huge radical changes. The important thing in the beginning is to focus on growth; working for gaining support within the differnet communities, but also in the general population. In other words, building up an established force that will lead to serious changes.
We should also bear in mind that in any stage of this struggle for a free democratic society we have to expect lots of opposition from the elites and their supporters and servants. Not only do we have to expect and prepare ourselves for media-propaganda, we also have to expect more police brutality. Its a natural reaction of the finacial elite who will become more and more scared of the movement(s) as they grow. The state and government are often very servile to the wealthy finacial elite, especially in the US where the wealthy more or less control policies. The police is a tool of the business-run, or business-influenced state to try to crush the ones who want to take back from the wealthy what has been stolen thru bailouts, exploitation and speculation at the stock exchange. The elites are starting to feel threatened, they want to keep all that they have stolen, so naturally they want to stop The Occupy Movement and anyone else involved in the struggle with police force. These tendencies are however an indication that we´re on the right track: The elites are getting scared, and react by increasing their effort in trying to crush movements. The finacial elite will however fail. Police brutality is counter-productive, it just leads to more support and sympathy for people engaged in the struggle among the general population.
Stage II: Continued growth, frequent striking, and fight for reform.
Stage II begins when the movement has grown substantially, moving steadily towards soon organizing and/or having the support from the majarity of the population in a nation. Stage II should be a continuation of all the things in stage I, but there should now be an increased focus on organizing strikes. As many strikes as possible, in any form, whether it´s sit-down strikes, local general strikes etc. This should be planed orgnaized and conducted in any place that has a certain amount of community support. Striking is an important and effective way of fighting the wealthy owners and achieving rights. Fighting for rights in the workplace should be one of the main goals at this point. That would include fighting for better work conditions, more pay, increased democratization of workplaces etc. The unions will naturally play a central role in striking, but It´s imortant that all the other organizations involved and engaged in the struggle for freedom will back, support and help the workers and unions in their important contribution to eventually stripping the wealthy of their undemocratic power. As we grow solidarity amongst the different local movements is increasingly important. Solidarity and cooperation among the different participants must be a very important factor in the struggle for democracy and freedom.
As I mentioned the strike frequency should increase as support increases. Now, if the support in a community is very high, than one could go further than striking and bargaining/collective bargaining etc. There might arise situations in which a huge majority of a relatively big geographic area within a nation supports even further action, like workers´ takover of economic institutions, even though the majority of the nation is against it. These situations could get tricky as to what should be done, and I don´t think there are any magic formulas or general answers to this. It would depend on the specific situation; how strong is the nationwide opposition to this, how free and democratic is the nation state, how much is the general population affected by the acts, and so on. I think though, that in most cases areas that have a lot of community support - the overwhelming majority - for making the institutions in their local society democratic they should take steps beyond just striking and take over production even though we´re just in stage II.
An increasing number of politicians will, as the movement grows try to get on the movement´s good side. The people invoved in the movement should not be fooled. Some of the politicians may be sincere and honest, but that´s really irrelevant. They can agree with the movement all they want, the thing is, they´re not needed. The people can do this work themselves, by more direct action, constructive work and coopertation and solidarity amongst the people and organaizations involved, operating within a relatively flat non-hierarchical structure. What should be done in terms of dealing with politicians is pushing for short term reform like increased taxation of the wealthy, and avoiding cuts in welfare programs. We should avoid any type of direct participation in established government and state institutions including getting mixed up with party politics. Istead the movement should work by itself organaizing constructive non-violent action (like protesting, educating, convincing, striking democratization of workplaces etc, everything I mentioned earlier) in the differnet local areas and communities, carried out by the people living there; working actively, without the use of government, to gradually shift power from government and state to increasingly engaged, enlightened and determined communities and workplaces.
(Part III & IV continues below)