Progressives seem to be confronted with some real conundrums (or is it conundra?), here in the early part of the 21st century. We want to see a world that is genuinely committed to some basic principles of social justice, equality, and personal freedom. And we generally acknowledge the point that the modern world can only function on the basis of social, political, and economic structures that have a degree of authority over individual conduct. These two framing ideas are in tension, once we recognize the permanent likelihood of "institutional capture" of social structures by privileged individuals and groups. Capture may result from the access a privileged party has to the sources of wealth and power (the CCP in China) or the astronomically disproportional influence that corporations and private interests have in the legislative and regulatory process (lobbyists in France, the UK, and the US). So is it possible to create a society in which organizing structures exist, but that are genuinely governed by the constraints of justice,equality, and democracy? Can democratic institutions be established and defended that genuinely embody the interests and dignity of poor and working people? In a word, is social democracy actually a feasible outcome in the conditions of the 21st century?
Read the rest at Understanding SocietyDavid Graeber on the anarchist movement
by Daniel Little
Important. Daniel Little is always insightful and brings in relevant material to seat his analysis. This is a hugely significant developing global trend that will affect the world in coming years. It is just getting started although it has been gestating for some time.
Read this and then tell me that OWS doesn't know what it wants, or where it is going, or how to get there. It is the New New Left that is sending shivers up the spine of the 1% — as the apparently disproportionate reaction shows. It is not disproportionate at all. These are two mighty forces locking in deadly combat.