the Disillusioned kid
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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Fellow blogger Michael Albert argues in a recent post that activists should not simply limit themselves to critical analysis of the economic and political systems they oppose, but should take a position one way or another on the reform/revolution debate and set out what alternatives, if any, they propose. This seems a fair enough proposition, so here goes nothing...

I believe strongly that capitalism as a system is fundamentally unjust, exploitative, oppressive, inegalitarian system and militates against many of the principles I hold dear (co-operation, solidarity, sustainablity etc.). Our ultimate aim in the long run must be to replace it. Indeed given the effects of the current economic system on the environment this may be come an increasingly pressing task. I am less clear on the exact form I believe a post-capitalist society should take. Further I think we should be careful about setting out blueprints in too much detail for fear that they become a dogma which ultimately prevents us achieving a free, just world. Nonetheless I believe that direct democracy and workers' control of the means of production are essential and debate about what forms this could take is to be encouraged.

In the past I often referred to myself as an anarchist, but I feel increasingly that this does not accurately describe where I am 'at' politically. Influenced by Ward Churchill's "I Am Indigenist" article among others I have come to see the importance of self-determination for oppressed nations and the so-called Fourth World (indigenous and native peoples) as a step towards a free (or at least freer) society. I would argue that the world consists of a 'network' of oppressions along lines of class, nation, race, gender, age, status etc. and that efforts to challenge any of these should be supported. "Revolutionary" change is desirable, not because reform is somehow not any good, but because revolutionary change represents a greater, more significant and hopefully more permanent, challenge to one or more forms of oppression.

As a add-on, I would also be dubious about suggesting that the same system can be applied globally, regardless of cultural and historical differences. Arguably this was one of the major flaws of Marxism. Instead the peoples of other nations must be free to decide on the form that their own societies will take and act to bring about the neccesary changes.
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