Retreat when you lose your serenity in capitalism.
We differ as individuals, but we are all humans. Capitalism wants us to believe that we all have different stomachs but an equal chance in a so called free market.
Ray Charles, a force of nature.
STATEMENT OF POSITION OF THE OPM (FREE PAPUA MOVEMENT) AND DEMMAK (KOTEKA TRIBAL ASSEMBLY) WHO REPRESENT THE INDIGENOUS POPULATION OF WEST PAPUA.
We are not terrorists!
We do not want modern life!
We refuse any kinds of development:
religious groups, aid agencies, and governmental organisations.
Just Leave Us Alone, Please!
This is the proposal for a stream of initiatives, on the theme of "life despite capitalism". The content, form and organisation of these initiatives has to be worked out together, by whoever wants to participate in this process. The process of making this stream happen should be a living example of life despite capitalism.
As some of you may have noticed, this LDC heading echoes another one that was used in previous European and World Social Forum events. We call this stream "life despite capitalism" instead of "life after capitalism", in order to problematise alternatives as something in the here and now, not simply in a distant future "after capitalism" has been abolished. This means a capacity to do and produce things, and relate and learn from each other, in ways rooted in dignity, respect and common access to resources. Such activities are antagonistic to the competitive and commodifying modes shaped by production for profit.
Commons and Communities
In the last two decades, neoliberal globalisation has carried out massive attacks on public goods of various kinds. Going beyond privatisation, this agenda has commodified and individualised more spheres of life – e.g. public spaces, collective skills, education, etc. By analogy to the original Enclosures of common land, these attacks can be understood as new enclosures of present-day commons, where the state acts as a prime agent. At the same time, the neoliberal agenda has eliminated or marginalised social-democratic forms which previously mediated between the state and civil society.
In response, anti-capitalist forces have grown in strength and coordination. They have developed new social forms and international networks of resistance, which go beyond demands upon the state.
The resistance always has a community basis. Often resistance develops communities for articulating alternatives and for appropriating resources as a collective good, in ways independent of state authority or antagonistic to it. Other times, existing communities develop resistance which in turn changes the nature of communities and their mutual relations.
Such experiences should be understood not as an aberration, but rather as a different basis for struggles for alternatives to capital accumulation – namely, "commons and communities". Commons suggest alternative, non-commodified means to fulfill social needs, e.g. to obtain social wealth and to organise production. Commons are necessarily created and sustained by communities, i.e. by social networks of mutual aid and solidarity. As our movements have shown, commons cannot be separated from the learning practices of direct democracy, horizontality, participation, inclusiveness – i.e., popular empowerment – to decide what are the goals and modalities of social production.
Rather than falsely counterpose the state to the market, a resistance strategy can identify the state-market nexus as the problem and develop strategic alternatives around extending new types of commons and strengthening commnunities. Such activities can make ‘alternatives’ relevant and real to many people not yet drawn into the anti-capitalist movement. A political discourse centered on the “commons and communities” could thus provide strategic perspectives for Europe-wide anti-capitalist forces.
LDC stream at the ESF
"Life despite capitalism" is an opportunity to debate strategies, theories, and actions that help to undermine the power of capital to shape our lives and our relations to each other. Such efforts create spaces of social action in which:
a) it is we who reclaim our own many powers – and not capital which uses our own many powers for its accumulation purposes;
b) it is we who decide the norms and ways of relating to each other in the re-production of our livelihoods –not an abstract market mechanism or a vertical state.
c) it is we who decide what kinds of commons and communities to defend, to create anew, etc.
Profit-driven capitalism never stops trying to colonise everyday life in its own image, e.g. by enclosing commons. So, by reclaiming our many powers, we also reclaim a political space to undermine capitalist relations.
LifeDespiteCapitalism also means despite those counter-hegemonic or subaltern ideologies, organisations and practices that have proven ineffective or counter-productive, or that actually reproduce within themselves major characteristics of capitalist (or even pre-capitalist) class societies.
Lastly, LDF has to mean a critical eye towards our own ideas and experiments in resisting and superseding capitalism.
Important remark concerning links to third-party web sites
When you click on links on sites of KT that take you to third-party web sites,
you will be subject to the third parties' privacy policies.
While I support the protection of privacy on the Internet, I cannot be responsible
for the actions of any third-party web site. I encourage you to read the posted privacy statement
of any and every site you visit, whether you are linking from KT's sites or browsing on your own.
RONDA DE PENSAMIENTO AUTÓNOMO
CIRCLE OF AUTONOMOUS THOUGHT
INTERNATIONAL ENCUENTRO II
From the southern lands we call for your participation once again. To meet and together build new paths. We invite you to share days, to share life. Because politics cannot be reduced to words and demonstrations, to negotiations and concessions. Because life is constructed in the day-to-day, in work, in food, in everyday relationships. We do not have a preset goal for where to end up, we simply want to walk and construct our own paths, without tutors, without having others walk for us. With freedom and self-determination.
Today, in Latin America they are trying to convince us that there can be good governments that will come and save us from imperialism, waving the populist flags of a more humane capitalism. We are not interested in presidents or governments who settle deals amongst them, who negotiate our lives. We trust no more than our own strengths and we will not give them our power.
Through this encuentro we look to empower our experiences, build bridges between our paths, and to construct some new ones. At this point in time of so much communication that miscommunicates, we want to meet, overcome fragmentation and isolation. Without shortcuts and taking the most difficult path, that which one must walk inventing the whole time, where there is no one else to learn from at each step.
Crying is for church, for us, joyful rebelliousness.
RONDA DE PENSAMIENTO AUTÓNOMO
CIRCLE OF AUTONOMOUS THOUGHT
Some lunatics try to dominate the individual. May they be called S. Freud ("Be ashamed of your senses!") or H. Ford ("Consume more than you need!") or J. Calvin ("Work more than leisure!").
Answer yourself: What am I going to do with my little life? Ask your body, the first organism you have to rely on.
Some lunatics try to dominate this world. May they be called G.W. Bush or A. Hitler or may they maintain to solve social problems by economic growth or by the idea of the ecosystem being a subsystem of human economy.
Human economy is a subsystem of the ecosystem which refers to the resources of the earth which are limited.
Human beings ought not to produce more things than they need for their subsistence because that is within the renewable resources of the earth. Do only what your needs are. Not everything that can be done must be done, say some creatures.
Don't be shy, touch your neighbour. Perhaps he/she feels like being a comrade.
The question is not "revolution or reform?", neither if there is a middle course between them. Leave this unilateral thinking, think three-dimensionally, figuratively speaking.
Think of successful revolutions in society. How did they work? Abortion, for example, has become a legitimate practice in this society. Not by some bigwig's tenet. Not by avant-gardists. Mostly not through some cases of emergency. But through common and sane individuals who decided for themselves: "I don't follow the current social rules because I feel differently. I am the sovereign of my body. Nobody is allowed to interfere." Open homosexuality has likewise succeeded in this society.
Likewise an increasing number of individuals broke with the economic structure of this society. They no longer like to sell themselves. They only work according to some boss's regulations as long as they cannot provide for their subsistence themselves. They work for that goal. They want to determine for themselves what suits them: associating with people alike for production of what they need, sharing the production, sufficing for some good life, not wanting to become rich or to rule other people. These are individuals who have not been in a desperate struggle for survival and who have not been mentally destroyed by this society. They just act sensibly. They are not afraid of being singlised by this society, in such a case they retreat to their body and make up their mind. Their body tells them what is sensible.
So we have some corrections to the bequeathed socialist paradigm. The spearhead of the revolution is neither the suppressed nor the class but the individual who, by historic and biographic accident, has come to think in a quiet moment. The spearhead is not a bourgeois intellectual, but every common individual to satisfy his/her sensual needs. The motivation of the revolution does not rise from studies, but from individual feeling. From inside man present, no need to form some new man. People don't need a state or a party, they can govern themselves. There is no fight for the headquarters, they leave them aside.
This doesn't mean however that the bequeathed paradigm is completely wrong. Consciousness keeps on to be determined by existence. Not by what appears to be existence but by reality. Not by the idea of human supremacy over nature but by the reality that man is just an animal among others. Following real materialist thinking, following the laws of nature which include the functioning of this curious species man. We must not say farewell to the left and to socialism, but to the institutionalised revolution. The revolution comes from individuals, not from insitutions, not in a primarily defensive way but forward looking and emphasizing joy of life. As did Rosa Luxemburg, Bertolt Brecht, Che Guevara ... As we know, it will be no child's play. We have to be prepared for very strong reactions, but in the end the freedom of abortion and the freedom of sexual orientation gained the upper hand.
The socialist individuals have not yet joined in many movements, but Sumak Kawsay, the Zapatistas and Longo mai are very promising. With them, joy of life supersedes the daily struggle, thus the new socialist way being attractive like in old days.
So update your thinking, and think at least three-dimensionally.