Looking on the bright side we now know the existing political arrangements are going to collapse. Each month the science brings more bad numbers. Last month the parts per million of CO2 increased by 5ppm in 12 months - only a few years ago we were looking at numbers saying it was 3ppm a year. The rate has doubled in a decade. In 6 years we will have 450ppm and 2C locked in. The usual response within exhausted “activist” communities is a cynical regression into passivity - “it’s all too late”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ordinary people are not so easily given over to such “sophistication”. “So we are fucked” leads to - ”Okay so what’s the plan?”
The plan is as our political regimes literally collapse under the weight of their own contractions - the resulting “social fluidity” will open up for the amazing potential for the biggest social transformation in the human story - not despite things being “so bad” but because they are “so bad”. Of course nothing is certain. Fascism will present its burn baby burn option to those drawn to nihilism, and of course it is possible it will in fact be “too late” and a revolution whether social or technological will still not save us
But still - looking on the bright side… And there’s another thing. Aside from the high drama of the end of the world there is the low drama of the price of bread - and the price of everything else. And then there are the lies and more lies from “them”.
It is a truism that things can be totally crap but people will only rise up if there is a vision and pathway to something a lot better. That vision and pathway does exist - running things ourselves through assemblies.
Seeing is believing. When people sit around a table and go round one by one to moan about all the shit, people can't help but to cheer up. Of course that is just the starting point. You then have to have them go round on what needs to get done. And then they are ready. It takes about an hour for transformation to happen for most people most of the time. Forget social media - eye to eye trumps the screen just about every time. As I say, seeing is believing.
And then what. Well let’s just take one thing. 90% of the people in the UK don’t believe in the present constitutional arrangements. People are more pissed off with the political class than at any time in my lifetime - since the 1970s. So in the assemblies you say (it’s not a choice) we’re going to put up community candidates all over the country to stand in the national elections. There will be say 5 assemblies around a constituency - at which people will create their programme of what needs to change - and nominate candidates - ordinary people like them. Then those that agree to step forward go to a public hustings (a big party basically) and the candidate is chosen. Everyone goes away with 2 rules for the election campaign - keep it positive and do what the fuck you want (the model that won the Madrid mayorial election in 4 weeks in 2016).
Everyone owns the process and so everyone gets involved. Loads of different posters and leaflets get produced and yes half of them are crap but that’s the whole point - it’s people power - people are doing their thing.
For those clever sceptics out there - yeah the candidates have to take an oath to follow the will of the assemblies and the assemblies need a central group that ensures they are inclusive and well run - only centralisation can ensure sustainable decentralisation.
And then it goes wild because no one wants “them” anymore. And we are “not them”. As a friend said when this was a great success on a local scale - all people had to say on the doorstep was they were “not them” - that was it.
I have helped to create a few successful things. And really it comes down to a stat. A XR public meeting got 20% of people to do civil disobedience. A Insulate Britain meeting got 1 person to go on the motorways. So here is the stat on this one - 80 hours of labour - leafleting, doorknocking, posters, stalls - gets 70 people into an assembly in the inner suburbs of a Western city. I expect 20% will step up to create more assemblies/support an election campaign. Wash and repeat. We did 1000 meetings for XR and 1000 more for Just Stop Oil. 1000 assemblies in an average sized western democracy and you are shaking a good dice on a revolution.
There is something else you can be sure of is that 90% of the people reading this will go - “well yeah” and carry on. For the 10% that want to fight before we die then you can email me to say you want to do an assembly and get the details of what is happening in your country.
I am in no doubt this is the next big thing. But hey what do I know.
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