My Resoc Interview
By Marcus Hill at Nov 19, 2009
1. At a public talk someone asks you, "okay, I understand what you reject, but I wonder what you are for? What institutions do you want that you think will be better than what we have, for the economy, polity, gender, race, ecology, or whatever you think is central to have vision for?
I am looking at alternatives that move toward cooperative, classless, participatory communities that empower the "underprivileged" & bring the overprivileged back down to the community; alternatives creating participatory communities through building up efficient institutions intrinsically promoting solidarity, equity, self-management, ecological balance, diversity, & simultaneously dismantling institutions that foster competition, alienation, disempowerment, disenfranchisement, and exploitation, and do so in practical and efficient ways—taking into account and adjusting for real needs and focusing more on creating space for the generation of answers instead of the movement trying to have all the answers up front. I'm for a participatory economy, a horizontal and council-based federated polity, a biodynamic relationship with/in the environment based on alternative permacultural technologies and design...
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?
I firmly believe that the horrendous way things are exists largely because alternatives have a history of being choked out of discussion (not because current modes are in any way superior), and that given the space and emphasis and understanding domination, power structures, and methods of engagement, better alternatives rise to the surface. The challenge then is to confront this history of deadly constriction by electrifying a necessary emphasis on building vision.
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?
If it seems sincerely motivated, diverse, and analytically on point, I would get involved.
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? If yes, can you say what, very roughly, you think some of the implications would be for an organization you would favor?
They should certainly embody the seeds of the future. This is how proper goals are rationally achieved, and strategies and tactics rationally devised to get there. It speaks to both building alternative institutions completely anew while simultaneously coloring the character of reforms in existing institutions.
5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others did not answer it?
It presents some good foundational questions worth thinking about, and perhaps might be a good quick survey to see what pages the participants are on. Also builds a good platform for pushing the project/movement forward. Others I suppose might not see this value.