A New World? Where Do We Start?
Someone made the observation that a recent statement released by the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) resembled our own Declaration of Independence. Immediately this resonated with me. I went back and looked at the demand for sovereignty and dignity, the scathing attack on a foreign occupation by an Empire that has reached the pinnacle of its power and is ready to crumble.
What is more is this statement by the IFOU is much more radical and progressive than Thomas Jefferson ever was.
The final sentence of the statement read as follows, "We look forward to the day when we have a world based on co-operation and solidarity. We look forward to a world free from war, sectarianism, competition and exploitation."
I have been thinking on how we most effectively bring this new world into existence.
While I am confident that an alternative like PARECON is desirable how we make the non-reformist reformations is still something we should be thinking about.
What are our top priorities?
On what level do we focus our attention, city, state, federal or international?
Or, can we effectively organize ourselves into splinter cells to be able to focus on all of them?
While there is always an exception to the rule I cannot help but notice too many of Leftist organizations focus on the national or international arena.
This is certainly something I am guilty of. In fact the observation came from my own inner-reflection brought to my attention by none other than my future mother-in-law.
In a recent blog, Michael Albert noted:
If the campaign to create a better world - which is the left - wants to have support from huge numbers of otherwise jammed up and restricted folk, then that campaign has to incorporate the seeds of the future in the present. The left has to aid to people's lives now, adding color, compassion, creativity, and especially a sense of belonging and social joy, and it has to at the same time promise even more, much more, in the future. People must come to see and feel the left as being at the core of who they are, what they can enjoy today, and what inspires them to seek more tomorrow. Short of attaining that degree of centrality in people's lives, the left will not have sufficient membership that is sufficiently committed to win even major reforms, much less fundamentally new social relations.
The most immediate government we are effected by is our local city government and I am growing more certain that if we want to "aid to people's lives now, adding color, compassion, creativity, and especially a sense of belonging and social joy" we have to put a lot more of our focus of political change on the city government. We have to start closer to home and I don't live in D.C.