[P2P-F] [NetworkedLabour] Gindin and Panitch (from Athens): A Real Plan B

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Mon Jul 20 17:00:38 CEST 2015

On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 9:18 PM, Theodoros Karyotis <tkaryotis at gmail.com>

> The idea that society, under the guidance of a 'progressive' Syriza
> government can advance towards the plan C, is a dangerous fiction.
> Syriza is a governmental force that is now implementing an extreme
> structural adjustment that will further compress the lower classes and will
> attack the commons.
> Reluctantly, unwillingly? What difference does it make? The previous
> governments also hammered us with arguments that this is for the country's
> long-term benefit and that there is really no choice. Why should the same
> arguments be true if they are now uttered by the left-wing?

I'm afraid I have to agree with Theodoros.

It is true that I had believed, while being fully aware that the place of
the commons was minimal in Syriza thinking, that it would have been a
transformative party, a bit like the radical social democrats of a century
ago, wanting to use parliamentary means for change. Not that I believe in
such a program itself, but I believed that it would open a window of of
opportunity for the forces of the commons with a chance to make substantial
progress in advancing commons experiments beyond those already undertaken
by the people themselves, and of which Theodore has been a party.

Needless to say,I was wrong, or at least, I have been proven wrong. Syriza
will now indeed be tasked by carrying out an extremely radical and negative
neoliberal program. In less than six months, they moved to the right of the
most timid social democrats.

I think that this is not a question of  'blaming' particular people, but to
recognize the real structures of power, and what they say about what can be
done 'within the system'. And the answer is: very little. With this in
mind, we should be cautious of having overblown expectations in Spain with
Podemos in government for example.

Interesting to see right now would be what En Comu can do at the city level.

This being said, the interest of the P2P Foundation to work around the
commons with sectors active in the state apparatus, has never been a reason
not to practice or advocate self-organisation, and we've always insisted
that commons forces, while they should identify sympathetic people at all
levels of society, should in no way use this not to advance the concrete
organisation of peer production in daily life.

In a way what we have to recognize today is that political parties are
themselves a form of enclosure, no longer appropriate as the main form of
social self-organization.

This being said, what I have seen of assemblies, which on average do not
last longer than 3 months according to various studies, are NOT the

Here is what we propose in organisational terms:

   - I propose that in order to get started with the "Plan C", we should
   focus initially on getting concrete projects underway. Each of
these "Commons
   should have an initiator or group of initiators in Greece, and some
   specific objective of seeking to solve a particular problem or group of
   problems. For the purpose of discussing such projects (including in regard
   to figuring out what projects are needed and how to get them started),

   - create Commons Transition Circles
   every town and region to be the advocates and agents of commons creation ;
   create a Coalition of Commons Transition Circles
   share and coordinate activities; members of these circles support the
   creation of the initiatives listed below.

   - create Assemblies of the Commons
   every town and region, and per social domain of activity to unite the
   citizens with commons concerns ; create a Coalition of the Assemblies of
   the Commons
   share and coordinate activities

   - create Chambers of the Commons
   bound by social charters, for every town and region and for economic
   domains of activity; members are all entrepreneurial and productive
   entities responsible for the livelihood of the commoners ; create a
   of the Chambers of the Commons
   share and coordinate activities

   - create Mutual Aid Networks
   <http://p2pfoundation.net/Mutual_Aid_Networks> in every town and region
   to assist citizens in their access to basic resources

   - create a Association for the Advancement of the Commons Transition
   coordinate policy proposals to be carried out by civic or public service
   entities in support of the transition

Check out the Commons Transition Plan here at: http://commonstransition.org

P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net

http://twitter.com/mbauwens; http://www.facebook.com/mbauwens

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