Posted 3 months ago on Jan. 8, 2014, 2:06 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Capitalism, regulated or non-regulated, is tyrannical and unsustainable; it must eventually be abolished. The corporations and the financial elite must be stripped from their wealth and power, so that the people can get control over their own lives. The current economic system must be dismantled and replaced by a sustainable participatory democracy in which the communities and the economic institutions are controlled democratically by the participants. A free and just, large scale society like this will not be established over night, it will come gradually, and it’s important that we discuss what should and can be done in the struggle for freedom.
I now want to present some suggestions which I think are important to get initiated and maintained along the way to a free and democratic society.
- EDUCATION AND INFORMATION CAMPAIGNS
Organizing engaged, solidaric and cooperative communities is very important. This is of course done by people reaching out to others in their neighborhoods and communities. By organizing meetings, contacting workers and unions, giving out flyers, pamphlets etc etc, and respectfully presenting facts and arguments that show how the current destructive system works, and present alternative ideas of how we could organize society -- preferably the ideas of Libertarian Socialism -- lots of progress can be made. Inviting knowledgeable activists, intellectuals and so on, and organizing lectures, seminars, discussions etc. in the community are also important initiatives. Making good use of the internet in all this is important. Starting political networks on the net and creating websites, writing blogs / articles etc, should also be prioritized.
- BOYCOTTING THE BIG CORPORATIONS AND BANKS
A well known way to fight the financial elite. It can often be difficult do this, since many of the institutions in society that offer services and sell goods we need are owned, or partially owned by the 1%. But if people, to a larger extent at least, without making it too difficult for themselves, choose alternative local stores, co-ops, local community banks etc, this can have effect. Many can take part in this, and like in so many other cases, the better boycotts are organized, the more effect they have. Consumers, workers, unions, organizations etc organizing big targeted boycotts will make an impact.
Workers and unions getting involved in fighting the state-capitalist system and the ones who control it, is crucial. An extremely important and very effective tactic that workers can engage in is striking. Organizing a really large scale general strike might be hard at first in some areas, but if that’s out of reach in the near future, more local strikes should be organized. Sit-down strikes etc. organized at factories and other institutions in communities can be very effective in increasing workers’ rights. Strikes in all shapes and forms must be a very high priority in the struggle for a better society.
- WORKERS’ TAKEOVER OF INDUSTRY
When owners and capitalists decide to close down workplaces, the workers and the communities should try to find ways to take over, start up production again, and turn the businesses into worker and community-owned institutions, democratically controlled by the participants. That could be done by the workers and the community buying it from the capitalists or by building up strong community-support with dedicated unions etc, and simply just occupying them. Workers’ takeover of workplaces can and should be highly prioritized on the way to a more just and free society. The more people that are being convinced to join the struggle for a real participatory democracy in their community, the more things like workers’ rights and workers’ takeover can be put on to the agenda and eventually achieved. If the support for workers' takeover grows big enough, current active institutions can be taken over by the workers as well: throw the CEOs out; occupy!
(Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis made an excellent documentary about workers’ takeover of factories in Argentina, called “The Take”. A must-see for all occupiers. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEzXln5kbuw )
- STARTING COOPERATIVES
Organizing neighborhoods/communities to start co-ops -- grocery stores, industry/factories, agriculture cooperatives, local savings banks etc -- should be initiated when possible. This is of course hard since these things require capital, but as we have seen many times before: when people organize things together, lots of things can happen. Co-ops are growing in number today; they can become a very important factor if more people get involved.
Here are some documentaries and videos on cooperatives and workplace democracy:
- PROTEST, CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND PUSHING POLITICIANS
How to deal with party politics will vary from country to country. It depends on the specific circumstances and the political landscape. If there is a party in a country or community that’s dedicated to working for more economic equality, less hierarchies, workers’ rights and a sustainable environment, I think it could play a role in changing the society -- at least in the beginning and middle stages. However, I think a big part of the struggle for a free and democratic society must be done outside party politics, especially in countries with very poor functioning political systems, where the elections are more or less run by the elites (cf. United States f.ex). In addition to the things mentioned so far in this post, other things like protesting, organizing lots of people and communities to push politicians to put higher taxes on the rich, strengthening workers’ rights, etc., should be done as well. Also, civil disobedience can be used not only in workplaces, but other situations like occupying foreclosed homes etc.
Many of the things mentioned here are of course already taking place (much thanks to the Occupy Movement, which has managed to not only put a lot of important topics on to the agenda, but also started actual work to try to create a more solidaric society) but I think it’s important to emphasize the importance of these things, so that strategies and tactics can be discussed and planned well. If we do that, the struggle will be more effective.
Please comment and contribute with your opinions as to how we can fight capitalism. This is, as we all know, a very important topic; it can never be discussed enough.
(I have posted a similar text here before, but I re-posted it partly for the new people here, as well as because it's an important topic)