(1) Could you please identify what you think are the core defining features and institutions of society that need to be changed i.e. economic, political, cultural, gender/sexual, ecological, etc.?
I actually summarized these in my paper for ZSVS, so here just a brief outline:
a. production system – from private ownership/control to social ownership/control
b. exchange system – from “free” markets to participatory allocation
c. technology system – from private intellectual property to “free” intellectual property
a. governance system – from representative to participatory governance
b. legal system – from equal rights to equal rights with social justice
c. civil society – from identity politics to universal solidarity
a. mass media system – from center-to-periphery communication to peer-to-peer communication
b. education system – from old to young ed. to participatory education
c. face-to-face – from dominator and exclusionary discourses to participatory and inclusive discourses
Note: In my conception domination and exclusion along racial, ethnic, gender, ability, sexual orientation, etc. lines cuts across all of these above-named systems and must be overcome in each of them. The proposed changes will contribute towards facilitating the overcoming of all forms of domination, but attention must, of course, always be placed on the different forms of oppression, so as to make sure that even when the system changes the different forms of oppression are indeed also overcome in the process.
(2) What are your goals for this change, do you seek to reform them, if so with what changes, broadly? Do you seek to fundamentally replace these institutions with some others? If so what do the replacement structures look like, what are their defining features, of course in brief?
Yes these institutions must be replaced, but I think it is better this is done gradually in most cases because they have to change along with people’s consciousness and the dominant culture, which change far slower than institutional arrangements. The replacement institutions are already named in the previous point.
(3) Who do you think the strategic actors are in achieving these goals i.e. political parties, workers, women, queers, immigrants, particular countries or regions, etc?
I do not believe that there is any one “revolutionary subject”. Rather, I believe that anyone whose consciousness is sensitive enough to the different forms of oppression and their institutionalization will be an actor in bringing about the necessary changes. This could literally be anyone – even people who would be acting against their own material interests (such as the rich and privileged).
(4) What tactics do you see being centrally used in achieving these changes i.e. voting, direct action, media action, strikes, demonstrations, etc.?
There is no general answer to this question, other than to say that the tactics should be guided by certain principles, such as:
the ends do not justify the means
our institutions and tactics should pre-figure the society we are trying to achieve
we must be flexible and undogmatic in our efforts
think/analyze before we act – we should employ a holistic approach that sees the inter-connectedness of institutions and people
(5) How do other perspectives, which have different ideas about societal change, fit into your strategy and vision?
To the extent that they are compatible we should find ways they can be integrated into our analysis. If they contradict what we are trying to achieve, we should find out why and try to explain to their adherents why we believe their ideas will not lead to the better society we all want.