By Raghav Kaushik at Nov 22, 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 for institutions that incorporate core values that I believe in. I believe the values espoused as part of the parecon movement, namely equality, solidarity, classlessness and diversity plus an additional value sustainability (no, we cannot dismiss it as self-evident) qualify as desirable values to attain. How would such institutions look? We have to try out and see, but the parecon ideas such as balanced job complexes are great starting points into institutionalizing some of these values.
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?
Pure selfishness - I do what I do since it enriches my life to be part of a progressive movement. My goal at this point in life is to figure out how my time is to be balanced between activism and other needs such as making a living. I don't set goals for 10 years so cannot answer that part of the question.
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?
Depends on the people who are in the organization. To me that is important. If people I admire and respect greatly are in the organization, I would join it (needless to say it would follow that the organization shared my values). I would certainly not dismiss the idea without understanding its content.
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?
Yes, our efforts should embody the seeds of the future in the present. For instance, organizations must try not to have class divisions - balanced job complexes are a concrete alternative here.
5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others did not answer it?
I saw many sustainers sharing their thoughts on these questions and felt that I would like to pitch in also. For others, it all depends on how they feel their time is best utilized.