cj#1048,rn> re: Korten & REFORM vs REVOLUTION

2000-01-03

Richard Moore

Dear friends,

Those of you who are subscribed to BOTH cj & rn have been
getting 'duplicate' copies of my postings.  That's because
I've been posting to both lists.  Don't fret, just DELETE
one of them.

There is an old saying that 'REFORM IS THE ENEMY OF
REVOLUTION'.  When I first heard that, I did not agree.  I
figured it was some kind of one-upsmanship going on -
something like "I'm more radical than thou".  But since then
what I've learned is that much of what has been called
reform over the years and decades has really been co-option.
 That is, whenever people get it together and rise up
together to demand their rights, then the establishment
yields just enough to defuse the movement.  Then after a
period of time the reforms are taken away again.

I got this message from Jan, which is similar to some I
received from others...

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 14:36:29 -0400
    To: •••@••.•••
    From: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
    Subject: I think you misunderstood

    Dear Richard,

    I just read the Korten message & your intro.

    I think you must have understood Korten to be advocating
    regulating corporations when he actually clearly says that
    will not work and that we must abolish corporations/limited
    liability.

    Did you misunderstand or what?
    ------------------------------------------------------------

As a matter of fact I _did misread Korten.  Korten set out a
list of proposals, headed by the sentence:

    With these characteristics in mind, let's review some
    frequently suggested responses to corporate rule.

I missed this sentence and I thought the 'responses' were
Korten's.  In fact, he thought most of the responses did not
get to the root of the problem - and I agree.  He agreed
with the following, and so do I:

    * Realign economic structures in ways that bring economic
    relationships into a more natural alignment with the public
    interest. This requires replacing the present system of
    unaccountable rule by a corporate and financial elite with a
    system of political and economic democracy -- a project
    comparable to the human project of eliminating monarchy...

I see this as a strong revolutionary statement.  From there,
I would go on to talk about decentralization, locally-based
democracy, and end to competing political parties, multiple
economic models, and a number of other things at a similar
revolutionary level.

When Korten goes on to say things like:

    * Radical campaign finance reform * Public financing of
     elections * Free air time for candidates

Then he's brought us out the revolutionary framework and
back into pointless and hopeless reform.  For example, "Free
air time for candidates" presumes the mass-media continues
to be privately owned.   And public-financing of elections
presumes we still have competitive factional politics.

Such reforms are temporary and non-lasting.  And they are
every bit as difficult to achieve as what we really need,
which is a revolutionary new world system.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard K Moore
Wexford, Irleand
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance
email: •••@••.•••
http://cyberjournal.org
http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/

                Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
                committed citizens can change the world,
                indeed it's the only thing that ever has.
                        - Margaret Mead

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