Category Archives: 2) Activism Theory

Analyses of activism and action methodologies

Relating to the Labour Movement

Advocates of a Resource Based Economy agree that access abundance mitigates social conflict at its root, that this is potential only through technologically-advanced industry, and that the attainment of such an industrial complex requires multidisciplinary teams working for this purpose. Employees have created every commodity you own today, could they create the apparatus for global abundance? Technically, no one else can.

This is why we must relate to workers, who alone can make transition a reality, especially relations through the labour movement. The labour movement is the united action of workers from a multitude of disciplines and industries, often most active in times of economic crisis. Their campaigns typically focus on various immediate and attainable goals that all workers can relate to, such as increased remuneration, workplace safety, job security, better staff to student/patient ratios in public institutions, or something else.

The process of winning such reforms tends to instil into its participants many social values necessary for the formation of a Resource Based Economy. For example, bigotry based on racial, gender or sexual discrimination are barriers to a cooperative society, as they are barriers to the cooperation of the labour movement. Success in both cases requires we relinquish such bigotry by necessity, as regularly occurs in an active labour movement.

Workers’ most effective actions to impose their wills against economic or political authority are strikes, mass discontinuation of work, best combined with picket lines, human barriers to business as usual. These are genuine acts of defiance against the money sequence of value and for the life sequence of value. Observe these events and you’ll notice such multidisciplinary teamwork generates a cooperative culture both within workplaces and inter-workplace, harbouring the potential emergence of the first and transitionary multidisciplinary teams.

For these reasons and more, we must lend workers our active support to ensure their successes, while fostering such rebellion within our own workplace. Our support and workers’ success will foster workers’ confidence and a belief that a cooperative society is possible, through real-life demonstration. We can also use this interaction as a platform to argue for an economy founded on large-scale economic teamwork that, as this blog argues, will make the transition to a Resource Based Economy inevitable. Thereby, a movement for simple demands and reforms becomes a movement for the transformation of society, involving those capable of transforming it.

Forward Movement for updates

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Organising Workplace Activism

This blog has made the case for workplace activism, progressively turning our workplaces into what Peter Joseph of The Zeitgeist Movement calls “Multidisciplinary Teams”, and that the development of a Resource Based Economy will follow. How do we begin to organise this in the workplace? There is a process.

Unity in action is central to successful workplace activism. While we will likely not win our coworkers to the theoretical goal of a Resource Based Economy, we can win them to more conservative and immediate goals; A contract for yearly pay rises, safer work conditions, some issue that motivates our coworkers.

These demands upon employers are best won by workers refusing to work, blockading their workplaces instead, until they win. The participation of student movements and community activists may aid the blockade, especially helpful to smaller workplaces. Sometimes an organised threat to strike in negotiation may be enough.

When a goal is won there likely becomes greater confidence, organisation and membership density in the workplace. We can build towards bigger goals over time, like a shorter working day, these are small steps. During economic crisis workers may be especially motivated. When workers strike they can see that its there labour which makes the economy, and with it they can unmake it and remake it.

The strength of workers’ strikes can be amplified when other workplaces strike in support, or sometimes workers’ demands are industry-wide, or nationwide demands upon the government. This kind of cooperation not only wins, but teaches the workers of the necessity for mass cooperation to achieve anything. Positive social values develop best through this kind of experience.

How do we coordinate and arrive at decisions on the scale of an entire nation’s industry? One accountable way is by delegation. Once those in a given workplace arrive at their position on a topic relating beyond their workplace, they select someone who would best relay and debate their view among delegates from other workplaces in the industry.

Delegates are not politicians but coworkers known personally by those who elect them. They receive no special privileges, are affected by the a decision’s outcome just as everyone else and may be recalled and replaced by their coworkers at any time. This is the structure by which most workers’ unions operate.

Unions also develop a bureaucracy, a professional mediating layer between workers/delegates and their employers. This can discourage workers’ direct action because it is their job to come to resolve by negotiation. Direct action always wins the best results and better develops a cooperative culture.

Bureaucrats may even sell out, leaving it up to delegates’ and workers’ self-organisation and action to achieve successes. Delegate’s meetings provide opportunity for delegates to network with other delegates, thereby undermining bureaucracy and creating opportunity for delegates to argue for workers’ industry-wide or nation-wide actions.

Workplaces are dictatorships only to the degree that we remain subservient and divided. When we unite in our workplaces we can go even further than placing demands upon our employers and governments. We can begin taking matters into our own hands, using the resources of our workplaces to achieve certain ends, the ultimate end being a Resource Based Economy.

Forward Movement for updates

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Where Other Methods Fail

Many methods of activism aimed at resisting the status quo and initiating the transition to a new society have been suggested. Examples include forming and supporting ethical or cooperative businesses, developing economic communities or networks of some type, living rurally or developing permaculture systems in the city. While there are many ways to starve a beast, some are more effective, others have a fatal flaw.

The project of many to create transition towns as off-the-grid self-sustainable communities based on permacultural practices provides a worthy solution to the sustainable agriculture. However, it fails to address the problems of industrial society, at the same time using the products of industry. Permaculture is largely an individual production process. We need a way to acess resources for socially-organised and sustainable industrial production. The project of this blog is to provide such an answer.

As much as we may try to be separate from the system through transition towns, circular cities, communes or the like, insomuch as they are a realy sucess, it will simply become illegal for us to do so, if it isn’t already. By land taxes and intellectual property rights, by some multitude of ways, the system will ensure our participation in its competitive market. As in every other instance, this amounts to competing for the title of lowest regard for human and environmental well-being to avoid economic failure, or at best being limited to a fringe affair.

Since the agricultural revolution, history is a majority labouring for the accumulation of assets under the control of a privileged minority. From the violent state machines of the world to the global industrial complex of workplaces, all this is said to be legitimately owned by those who did not labour for its construction. Not only does the majority lack all these resources on their side, we are also forced to compete with the minority who has all this on their side, until we challenge that ownership and its justification.

While we must form out own socio-economic networks from scratch, there is no need to rebuild the world’s industrial hardware from scratch, to do so would also be environmentally irresponsible. Instead, a movement must fully dislodge all economic and political apparatus from minority rule. This movement must involve the imense majority of people in its decisions and actions is it is to result in a cooperative society, but that is likely for no such achievement is possible without mass involvement.

Such an approach hosts its own challenges, but none insurmountable, the groundwork begins now.

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On Being the Change

What it means to “be” the change is not always as obvious as it may at first sound. Most of the defining aspects of a Resource Based Economy are inter-personal and global in nature, beyond the potential of an individual or even a group thereof. This is not to say that we can’t take actions as individuals and as groups, we most certainly can, but what change of our actions aligns with this goal?

The active human component of a Resource based economy is its multidisciplinary teams. Peter Joseph of The Zeitgeist Movement describes these teams as the developers of the economic system, working to maintain and continually upgrade it, arriving at their decisions via the scientific method. This is the change to be if a Resource Based Economy is our goal because this is the active human agent that creates a Resource Based Economy.

But how can we possibly be this change – We don’t have the equiptment or resources to be this change, nor the economic ability to sustain ourselves while we make change, or do we? At our workplaces, we have all of these things. In a RBE, workers run their places of work, rather than the other way around. This is the change we have to be, and we can start doing this in small steps. This blog provides examples of workers doing just that at different levels, and how they did it!

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