cj#1069> Greg Coleridge – re: NWO & WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

2000-03-06

Richard Moore

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From: •••@••.•••
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2000 20:41:38 EST
Subject: Re: cj#1068> THE NEW WORLD ORDER AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
To: •••@••.•••
MIME-Version: 1.0

Richard,

I have much appreciated receiving your postings over the
last few years. I find them all, those you pen and those you
forward, refreshing, stimulating and challenging for
activists -- of which I am one.

This is among your very best. While lengthy, it captures
what has happened since the launch of the "New World Order"
-- especially the military dimension which is often missing
in most "globalization"/"corporatization" analysis.

Maybe the most important feature of this piece, however, is
your thinking about "democracy" -- an overused word even (or
especially) among activists. I have been somewhat troubled
by many accounts of the WTO festivities in Seattle (which I
took part in myself and cherished many empowering
experiences) that seemed to exclusively equate the street
actions with "this is what democracy looks like."

This is only a part of the truth. The other, more important,
part of democracy is establishing a process that from the
start is authentically inclusive and remains so through the
entire process. By definition, this must involve some type
of consensus. It is a principle affirming cooperation and
that brings to the surface important ideas what in a
"winner-take-all" approach to majority rule in a democracy
is lost, crushed or belittled.

I affirm your "ends and means" thinking. I believe Gandhi
also said, "the means are the ends in the making."

Your democracy model is actually quite in line with the
thinking and actions ofJayaprakash Narayan who in India in
the 1970's tried to organize "Lok Samitis" or "People's
Committee's." Representatives of these committees convene to
form larger groupings ("Village Committees") who send reps
to even larger groups. Narayan Desai and his "Institute for
Total Revolution" has written as well about such a model. I
spent some time in the early 90's visiting a variety of
Gandhian communities throughout India and learned about this
sensible approach to democracy.

Cuba is certainly a great example. Neighborhood people are
actively engaged in their process of discussion and
discussions.

These and other examples are more what I associate with
"what democracy looks like" over the long haul.

The one part of your suggestion that I couldn't quite follow
was about how this "bottom up" structure connects to the
more formalized, constitutional structure -- elections and
elected representatives.

I have been associated for a few years with the Program on
Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD) in the US. Mary
Zepernick (who speaks very highly of you) says that she and
Richard Grossman met you awhile back.

POCLAD has done an excellent job at the "corporation" side
of their mission, but has more work to do on the "democracy"
side. Your thinking and suggestions can serve an important
role. The next meeting of the POCLAD "collective" begins on
Wednesday -- I plan to share your piece with everyone there.

Thanks for your posts and in sharing your written works.
They are among my most valuable sources of ideas and
inspirations.

Greg Coleridge
Director
Economic Justice & Empowerment Program
Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee
(a Quaker social action organization)
513 W. Exchange St.
Akron, Ohio 44302
Phone: 330-253-7151
Email: •••@••.•••

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Dear Greg,

Many thanks for your note, and glad to be linking back with 
POCLAD.

As regards constitutional structure and elections, permit me
to clarify... First of all, where do these ideas come from? 
They come from looking at precedents in history and from
considering scenarios in a systematic way.  This process
eliminates many superficially attractive alternatives - such
as reform of the current system, electing a 'white knight'
hero such as Nader, premature pursuit of stronger
international agreements, and the creation of a new
political party.

In considering scenarios, whether inspired by history, by
readers' comments, or by proposals put forward by others,
one must take into account...
    1) how the scenario can be brought about
    2) how it would fare when the regime fights back
    3) what would be likely to happen when it nears victory
    4) where it goes in the long run - what are the
      inherent dynamics of the scenario's elements?

As I currently see it - and I'm always open to new insights
and observations - only a complete re-structuring of the
political process and the economic framework can save
humanity from a very bad historical period - unrestrained
corporate power organized on a global scale and backed by
elite-controlled hi-tech military forces and elite-designed
media propaganda.

And I can see no way to overcome such a well-organized and
well-funded array of power without a majority mass movement
on a global scale.  Such a movement would need to keep its
eye on the prize: (1) the establishment of a stable
democratic process and (2) the use of that process to create
a human, livable, sustainable world.  If the movement
focuses on anything less (such as the winning of a
particular election) then history clearly shows that the
movement will eventually fade away or be co-opted into the
existing regime.

Since any victorious movement is likely to become the
de-facto interim policy-making body - a democratic outcome
can only be assured if the movement itself is democratic. 
Thus I think it is critical - if the movements goals are to
be achieved - that all activists insist that any
orgnaizations they participate in are functioning
democratically themselves, and are seeking collaborative
democratic harmonization with other activist groups, NGO's,
citizen groups, and other organizations.

The latest issue of Toward Freedom magazine carries a useful
article about Lessons From Seattle which discusses the
non-violence training and other preparations for the
demonstrations.  I'd say these preparations and organizing
are "what democracy looks like" - even more than the
demonstrations themselves.

I may well have missed some possibilities, but my 'scenario
analysis' leads me to only a single viable scenario.  That
scenario leads us to a situation where global democratic
mass movement has achieved victory and is intent on
restructuring how the world works.

Keep in mind that this movement has been working
collaboratively for some time in the pursuit of its
objectives.  During this process, one of its primary
objectives has been to build the size of its constituency to
include most of society - otherwise victory could never be
achieved.  In order to bring everyone in, on a democratic
basis, it would be necessary to harmonize the goals of the
various constituencies.  Thus 'policy formulation' would
already be well under way long before victory was achieved. 
There would be policies, they would be harmonized, and there
would be a process in place by which democratic
problem-solving happened within the movement - locally and
on larger scales.

Thus we have a movement which is a _working movement - it
establishes objectives on a democratic basis and then it
pursues them collectively and in its various constituencies.
When it reaches sufficient size and achieves sufficient
internal consensus then it can field a slate of candidates
at all levels of governemnt, and expect them to win their
elections.  If these candidates are pledged to implement
movement policies, and if those policies have been
determined democratically, as discussed above, then the
consitutional governmental structures will be functioning as
an administrative agency - carrying out democratically
determined policies.

I believe this scenario is an achievable one: for each of
its steps, one can see real historical examples where such a
step succeeded - often against seemingly overwhelming odds. 
If people can think of other viable scenarios I'd like to
hear about them.  If there are no other viable scenarios,
then that can be a very empowering fact!  That is to say,
_if we all agree there's only one basic scenario that can
lead to victory, _then we may be motivated to drop lesser
objectives and get on with the show.


I hope that clarifies things and feedback is invited.

all the best,
rkm
    

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Richard K Moore
Wexford, Irleand
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org
cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/
book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri/gri.html

                A community will evolve only when
                the people control their means of communication.
                        -- Frantz Fanon

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