My Resoc Interview
By Francine Mestrum at Nov 12, 2009
1. At a public talk someone asks you, "okay, I understand what you reject, but I wonder what are you for? What institutions do you favor that will be better than what we have for the economy, polity, gender, race, ecology, or whatever you have vision for?
What we work for is ‘another world’, that is a world with political, social, economic, ecological justice. That will necessarily be a socialist world, though socialism will have another meaning than it had 50 or 100 hundred years ago. But it is about human rights, democracy, work and rights for all, equality, emancipation for all, international cooperation, etc. Personally I believe we will need States in order to achieve it, but also democratic and transparent and ideologically different international and global institutions. Transnational corporations, if they continue to exist, will have to be strictly regulated and monitored. It will be a world in which all pay progressive taxes according to their income
2. Next, someone at the same event asks, "Why do you do what you do? That is, you are speaking to us, and I know you write, and maybe you organize, but why do you do it? What do you think it accomplishes? What is your goal for your coming year, or for your next ten years?
Well, in the very First place, because I believe in the necessity and the urgency of it. Of course, I will not change the world, but if there are many people who act, we can get things moving. History moves when people move. And even if some ideas are not achievable immediately, we have a duty to keep ideas alive, so they can be taken up by others in a later phase.
3. You are at home and you get an email that says a new organization is trying to form, internationally, federating national chapters, etc. It asks you to join the effort. Can you imagine plausible conditions under which you would say, "yes, I will give my energies to making it happen along with the rest of you who are already involved?" If so, what are those conditions? Or - do you think instead that regardless of the content of the agenda and make up of the participants, the idea can't be worthy, now, or perhaps ever. If so, why?
Regardless of the content of the agenda, no … It should have a socialist perspective and should clearly state that this is not a socialism of the 19th or 20th century. It should be an offer for openness, for discussion, for debate, not a group that already found all the solutions and the ultimate truth. There should be gender equality.
4. Do you think efforts to organize movements, projects, and our own organizations should embody the seeds of the future in the present? If not, why not? If yes, can you say what, very roughly, you think some of the implications would be for an organization you would favor?
I think it is necessary, but at the same time I think it is very difficult. Certainly in Europe, too many movements/parties still think they are the only ones with valid truths, there is still too much resistance to change. The organization that I favor is one that is committed to discussion, debate, democracy. Of course, there will always be power relations and of course some men will try to dominate others. Yes, all movements and parties should embody the seeds of the future in the present. Therefore, a gender balance is always needed.
5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others did not answer it?
Young people have so many other things to do. Older people have a choice: they either stop being active and try to get some rest and enjoy life Or, they get extremely busy because they know little time is left and they should do as much as they can before they die…