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Anarchism and Direct Democracy
Posted by: MiKolar (IP Logged)
Date: August 11, 2007 10:47AM

On July 28, 2007 I attended the Grassroots Social Awareness Festival (organized by Popular Participation Movement). Many interesting local organizations participated. Several were calling for increased participation of citizens in decision making about various local issues (airport expansion, waterfront development). There was also an anarchist (anarcho-syndicalist) stand where I picked up various literature. What caught my eye first was the text titled "WHAT IS ANARCHISM?". It is quoted in the inset below. You can also find it in on the Nanaimo Anarchist Network site, while you are there, I also recommend to read WHY DO WE NEED ANARCHISM? - it's about what to do to improve society, something we seem to have hard time here to arrive at).

There was some posts against anarchism in our mailing lists rather recently. I am posting this here because for me the points listed below do constitute exactly what I believe is the Democracy (ideal of Democracy or True Democracy or Direct Democracy). So apparently I am also an anarcho-syndicalist. Note that the Anarchists also have Direct Democracy only as one constituent point in what makes a good society, that is what we called I&R here.


1. we should really make clear what we understand under the term Direct Democracy. I for one always meant under this term all what is listed in the inset below. And I had this in mind what I accepted to task of the webmaster to help revive WDDM some two years ago.

2. It would be interested to know what others think of the list below. How many do agree that all these points are necessary for a functioning democracy. I suggest that you post your thoughts on this in replies to this post.

3. Do you still have any objections to anarchism?


It does NOT stand for chaos, violence, bomb-throwing or disorder. What it does stand for is:

* Decentralization - Centralization of political and economic power leads to abuse and corruption. Political and the economic structures should be human-scale.
* Liberty – each person should be free to do what they wish providing they do no harm to other people.
* Self-management - Each person should have control over those situations that effect him/her, in both the work place and the community.
* Federation – decentralized groups, whether communities or work places unite in a federation to create an "economy of scale" without creating an authoritarian, top-down structure.
* Autonomy – each group or community should have the right to control those aspects which effect it.
* Direct Democracy – Decisions ought to be taken directly by the people effected. Where decisions must be made at a larger scale, such as with a federation, recallable delegates are selected.
* Localism – It is best for the environment that as much as possible of our needs are met locally.
* Regionalism – We live in a place and that place is a region. Each region has its own history, environment and culture and these are the basis of community.
* Community – A lack of community brings social breakdown. We must work to restore community.
* Internationalism – Nothing exists in isolation, and in truth "an injury to one, is an injury to all" The destruction of a community abroad helps to undermine community locally. The repression of workers overseas, leads to the oppression of workers here.

In this context it may be appropriate to place one more link, a link to a quote from the lecture by Andre Carrel Democracy: Back to Basics. There you will find: "Democracy’s premises are equality and responsibility. These simple propositions have yet to be achieved after centuries marked by wars and revolutions fought in the name of democratic ideals."

Democracy = equality and responsibility seems to be very compatible with the list above. And having this in mind you can see why I was so strongly questioning (opposing) the admission to WDDM of somebody who calls 'True Democracy' a system based on unequal classes of citizens. (While this may be a workable idea for a transitional system for some jurisdictions to give some voice to classes of citizens who do not have any voice at all at present, I am strongly against calling such a system a democracy, and even add the qualifier 'true'. Again, we should made our mind on what we want to be: a group promoting the ideal of Democracy, or an unfocused discussion club.


mk, [democracy.mkolar.org]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2007 11:23AM by MiKolar.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
  Anarchism and Direct Democracy 5282 MiKolar 08/11/2007 10:47AM
  Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 488 BrEggum 08/11/2007 08:38PM
  Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 385 MiKolar 08/13/2007 09:31AM
  Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 431 Warren 08/14/2007 03:14AM
  Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 452 MiKolar 08/21/2007 08:41PM
  From PVR: Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 442 WebMaster 08/14/2007 10:00PM
  Re: From PVR: Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 409 BrEggum 09/20/2007 04:47PM
  From Martin Jackson, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 419 WebMaster 08/14/2007 10:02PM
  From Antonio Rossin, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 438 WebMaster 08/14/2007 10:05PM
  From Giorgio Menon, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 465 WebMaster 08/21/2007 08:55PM
  From echarp, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 419 WebMaster 08/21/2007 08:58PM
  From Mark Antell, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 424 WebMaster 08/14/2007 10:08PM
  Re: From Mark Antell, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 395 BrEggum 08/14/2007 11:58PM
  From Doug Everingham, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 402 WebMaster 08/14/2007 10:11PM
  Re: From Doug Everingham, Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 441 BrEggum 08/15/2007 04:54AM
  Re: Anarchism and Direct Democracy 426 MiKolar 08/21/2007 08:01PM
  Comments of an anarchist on our dicussion 423 MiKolar 09/04/2007 07:08PM
  Re: Comments of an anarchist on our dicussion 410 Warren 09/06/2007 05:43PM
  Re: Comments of an anarchist on our dicussion 428 BrEggum 09/20/2007 04:04PM

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