[P2P-F] [Networkedlabour] Another Politics - After Syriza

P2P Foundation mailing list p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org
Mon Jan 26 07:31:30 CET 2015

hi Anna,

At the p2p foundation we stress personal and interpersonal change and
facilitation, but at the same time, we have to be realistic in this, what
is already possible but very difficult in small groups of committed people
may not be possible for society at large ... For understanding this, and
though I'm critical of the authoritarian interpretations of that tradition,
the integral psychology of clare graves remains fundamental ..

Detailed studies by Susan Cook-Greuters have determined that at most 2% of
the population have integrative consciousness, with 30% more or less having
this as a aspirational consciousness ..

I take great comfort in the growth of participative culture and skills now
evident in the new mutualized working spaces  but this is far from being
the general culture ..

Again, referring to the scheme of John Heron, I would say that for the
greater masses, we are at the potential change of stage 2 to 3, with
significant minorities at four ..

so here is how I see it:

* develop fully participative cultures for mature peer producing communities

* develop deeper participative potentialities for the aspirational parts of
the population (active citizenship)

* embed participative process in the general social technology of our time,
to upgrade the general culture ..

A lot then further depends on the relative positioning of scarcity vs
abundance dynamics ...

for abundance context, the generalization of peer governance is very

for scarcity contexts, the choice between hierarchical,
democratic-representative, and market-driven allocation mechanisms remains
entirely open

see for example how the wikipedia re-introduced a rather toxic bureaucracy
by re-introducing artificial scarcity ... (notability requirements to be
decide by elite editors)

just today, I am involved in a frustrating dialogue with a feminist
activist who did not even want to share even excerpts of her book on
'moneyless living' .. in other words, she is creating a artificial scarcity
of her own book, that is technically freely copyable, in order to 'swap' it
in exchange for something else  ... reproducing the artificial scarcities
in so-called advanced milieus ... moneyless living for those that have the
money to buy it ..

I'm sure you can find similar contradictions in all of us, including me ..

in conclusion, we are not ready to shed relative domination processes for
any pure egalitarianism any time soon,


On Mon, Jan 26, 2015 at 1:05 PM, Anna Harris <anna at shsh.co.uk> wrote:

> Amid all the euphoria in celebrating the Greek landslide, and following
> Michel's integrative approach, the points in the article below need to be
> emphasised. We all carry within us the wounds of oppression however much we
> feel we have cast them aside, and they will surface again in the new post
> capitalist structures unless we put some focus individually and
> collectively on healing ourselves and becoming whole.
> 'the wounding through oppression that we all experience shows up in our
> organizing, and have permeated organizational culture except where the
> influence of feminists and others committed to transformational work has
> created a different way of creating structure, that prioritizes a strategy
> and collective struggle rooted in healing and wholeness.'
> Pauli Friere spoke about this in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
> What does that mean? How do we do that? Often it seems there isn't time to
> go into this now, let's get into power first, then we can see to these
> issues. That's when the multitude becomes an instrument, and arguments
> between hierarchy and horizontality appear to be abstract concepts with no
> people involved.
> How do we become more fully human in our relationships with each other?
> What makes it particularly difficult is that there is no ready made formula
> - follow these steps and you will get there. No. This is a step into the
> unknown. But that also makes it an exciting exploration.
> Anna
> On 25 Jan 2015, at 11:38, P2P Foundation mailing list <
> p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org> wrote:
> https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/andrew-willis-garc%C3%A
> 9s/another-politics%E2%80%94from-anticolonial-to-occupy
> *Another Politics-from anti-colonial to Occupy*
> *Chris Dixon's new book identifies four principles that underpin the
> success of transformative social movements.*
> Andrew Willis Garcés 7 January 2015
> [This article originally appeared in* Waging Nonviolence*.]
> Seven years ago I worked at a tenant and worker organizing group in
> Washington, D.C. We referred to ourselves as a "movement-building"
> organization, but weren't always clear what we meant by that. One evening I
> was out door-knocking with one of our members, James, an African American
> man in his 50s. He asked me about a conference some of us had attended in
> Atlanta the previous week, the U.S. Social Forum.
> "What was the big theme there that stuck out to you?" he asked.
> It was a good question. At that moment, the DJ Unk song "Walk It Out" was
> booming from a nearby car.
> "Well, I was most impressed by the groups that really try to walk out
> their beliefs-connecting all the dots between racism, capitalism, even
> imperialism, and the inner work we have to do as people to overcome the
> things we've learned."
> I explained more about what that meant to me.
> He shook his head, amused.
> "That's a tall order!" He thought about it a little more. "When will we
> get time for all that?"
>  That tall order is the subject of Chris Dixon's book* Another Politics,*
> newly released by University of California Press. The product of dozens of
> interviews conducted with community organizers over the last decade, the
> book is an excellent distillation of what Dixon calls "another politics," a
> shared political orientation that unites grassroots organizers working from
> similar principles in the United States and Canada across issue, movement,
> sector, strategy and identity.
> Through the interviews, he identifies four core principles that unite left
> "anti-authoritarian" organizers across different "strands" of struggle,
> transcending traditional notions of issue-based organization:
> . being against domination of all kinds;
> . prioritizing the development of new social relations and forms of social
> organization in the process of struggle;
> . linking struggles for improvements in people's lives to long-term
> transformative visions; and
> . grassroots organizing from the bottom-up.
> In regards to these different strands, he writes, "We braid them together
> as we work collectively and build relationships across politics, campaigns
> and movements: anarchist labor organizers draw on analytical frameworks
> from women of color feminism; radical queer activists use community-based
> models for dealing with violence, developed by anti-racist feminists and
> prison abolitionists."
> He explores how Occupy Wall Street, anti-colonial movements, and INCITE!
> Women of Color Against Violence, among other groups, have contributed to
> developing "another politics" across decades.
> Dixon digs even deeper, characterizing organizations practicing "another
> politics" as being explicit about their "collective refusal" of
> oppression-specifically, as incorporating "the four anti's" of :
> anti-authoritarianism; anti-capitalism; anti-oppression; and
> anti-imperialism, into their work. This left me wondering how some
> organizations might "fit" this taxonomy-what if your group has a handle on
> economic exploitation, for instance, but relies on charismatic leadership?
> But Dixon is nevertheless clear about organizations that he sees as
> practicing "another politics," and the book is most compelling when he
> recounts movement-building victories, like the story of Canada's multi-city
> immigrant rights group* No One is Illegal*:
> "In a stunning December 2007 action, some 2,000 people, largely South
> Asian, blockaded the Vancouver International Airport to stop Singh's
> impending deportation. And starting with an 'Education Not Deportation'
> campaign in 2006, NOII-Toronto launched a multi-year fight for Toronto to
> become a solidarity city, where all people can access city services
> regardless of immigration status. Organizing across sectors and services,
> they finally won in 2013."
>  Dixon also uses the book to highlight "ideas rarely in writing,"
> exploring dynamics of movement-building organization that don't get much
> print. For instance, he writes about the process of integrating not just
> issue lenses but our whole selves-creating community and organization that
> operates at the speed of the whole.
> As Dixon writes,  "recognizing and deliberately fostering feelings and
> relationships as essential ingredients for transformative struggle" is
> still not a widespread practice, and he points out that this is not a new
> phenomenon, as the Black Panthers and Student Nonviolent Coordinating
> Committee also sought "to develop common expectations about how people
> should treat one another."
> Continuing this thread, he also counts as emergent practices among
> "another politics" practitioners, forms of organizing that affirm families
> and domestic and reproductive work simultaneously with challenging systemic
> inequity, and moving beyond an individual-focused anti-oppression politics.
> Dixon and the people he interviews point out that the wounding through
> oppression that we all experience shows up in our organizing, and have
> permeated organizational culture except where the influence of feminists
> and others committed to transformational work has created a different way
> of creating structure, that prioritizes a strategy and collective struggle
> rooted in healing and wholeness. This increasing focus on wholeness and
> wellness, seen in the recent popularity of integrating somatics and other
> healing disciplines into community organizing, can only make us more adept
> at building a broader and more resilient web of movements.
> And Dixon helps unpack the challenges unique to movement-building
> organizations, which, he says, must move towards specific victories and
> goals, while also moving through a process that creates new ways of being,
> doing and relating, that avoid replicating oppressive practices. All while
> avoiding "ruts" common to anti-authoritarian groups, like knee-jerk
> non-hierarchy, and the "burn bright, burn out" cycle of organizations that
> rise and fall quickly.
> Dixon illustrates this point with a fantastic metaphor offered by Project
> South's Steph Guillioud, comparing different forms of organization to
> different kinds of cars suited to particular functions:
> "The variations in vehicles don't change the map, they don't change the
> road, they don't change the need for people to drive and people in the back
> or the people moving it. We will always have and need the people who can
> push it and the people that can work on the insides, the people who can
> never get a ride, et cetera."
> It's rare to find a book on social movements written explicitly for people
> with less academic credentials than its author. Dixon, who wrote the book
> for a PhD program, takes care to explain terms as they come up; he doesn't
> assume we know about ethnography ("analyzing lived culture while
> experiencing it"). And he gives his interviewees plenty of airtime to put
> their own spin on, for instance, "affective organizing," which becomes "not
> being a fucking asshole," in the wonderfully succinct words of Bay Area
> activist Harjit Singh Gill.
> Still, the number of concepts he introduces feels overwhelming at times,
> and I longed for a glossary or flow chart when concepts like
> "non-instrumental organizing" popped up (which, it's worth noting, refers
> to the analysis and strategies people can create when they come together in
> dialogue and struggle as peers, as opposed to treating people as
> instruments to be manipulated, or pieces on a figurative chess board to
> mobilize toward a predetermined end).
> "Anti-authoritarian," then, could be shorthand for "principled
> organizing"-organizing that gets down to the roots, that refuses to settle
> for electing a slightly better candidate, for selling out our potential
> allies to scoop up a superficial win, or that sees the path to victory as
> anything less than the destination itself.
> Towards the end of the book, I was reminded of my exchange that day with
> James. Clearly, as Dixon demonstrates, there are mixed-class organizations
> that make time for individual and collective healing practices, for
> skillshares and strategy seminars, for discussion groups, for intentionally
> developing and evaluating leadership, and for developing organizational
> structure. But increasingly, as people are forced to work longer hours for
> lower incomes, I have to wonder: How are organizations adapting to support
> their people to do more with less?
> I longed for more detail on what day-to-day life is like for an organizer
> in the six specifically-chosen cities from which Dixon chose his interview
> subjects. What does it look like to practice "another politics" in Atlanta,
> for instance? It's worth asking, given that the book is structured around
> questions like, "How can we most productively manifest our visions through
> our organizing work?" Like a good organizing mentor, Dixon (and his
> interviewees) gives us insight without "right" answers, helping to deepen
> our understanding of commonalities and remind us of the deep roots of the
> "another politics" leftist lineage.
>  ((((((  )))))
> *Andrew Willis Garcés* works with Training for Change and has led
> trainings for immigrant activists in several US states on campaign strategy
> and civil disobedience. Read more of his work at www.porvida.org/.
>  _______________________________________________
> _______________________________________________
> NetworkedLabour mailing list
> NetworkedLabour at lists.contrast.org
> http://lists.contrast.org/mailman/listinfo/networkedlabour

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