A left wing which doesn't believe in putting all it's faith in the NationState
, but it social solutions organized in the same way as it's protests methods, through a network of different grassroots organizations and institutions of different scales.
- A good general description here : http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR24704.shtml (but note his claim that the Brazilian Landless Movement MST invades land non-violently is incorrect. I've heard second hand from MST sympathizers that these can get disturbingly violent.)
(Read with TheLeftTheoryOfDisagreement and AlternativeVisionsForDecentralizedLeft)
Visions of a Decentralized Left
in a nutshell, my basic (though developed through experience) intuition is that a fair economic system has to devolve decision-making to the level of those who substantially stand to be effected by it. neither centralism nor market systems achieve this. Thus on the one hand centralism robs individuals of power over their own fates whilst in markets we get externalities and public good failures, not to mention exploitation and inequality.
As for alternatives, I can see a lot of individual cases where things could be arranged better, but a grand scheme for the reorganisation of the global economy is of course another matter.
(Agree, although would also like to point out that a) exploitation and inequality is certainly not limited to free markets, and b) in order to produce a decently "fair" system, you must first decide what you are to measure fairness against. My main gripe with free market system is that it places money as the yardstick, to the detriment of anything else ... -- GrahamLally). (More of Graham's comments refactored to OnMarkets)
I believe the left should be independent. I am now committed to a high degree of independence as a left person. Subversion action and thinking should know no boundaries of committment to organizations, movements or parties. While I'm always willing to colaborate with all left-inspired institutions, I believe no institution can capture the spirit of subversion for justice. Left-wing thinking, at least as far as the promotion of heterotopias are concerned, is a wild animal, not to be tamed by any narrative with a goal attached to its end. It should be wide open. We need independent communists more than we need communist institutions. There are common feelings, common analysis and, of course, phallocentrism and patriarchy feeds capitalism as labor is never completely freed (subject only to economic concerns), capitalism often encourages imperialist practices etc. But analyses don't have to converge into a big narrative free of conflict, as GayatriSpivak often remarks: left movements are often very discontinuous. When decisions are required, we attend to particular circumstances. Spivak has that the efforts of solidarity don't have to prevent conflicts, conflicts between two solidarities (see for instance Alice Walker's wonderful "Advancing Luna - and Ida B. Wells") shouldn't scare anyone away from the left struggles. Why should they?
the nation state is hopefully giving way to other, better ways of organizing ourselves. (federations of regions, networks of special interests groups) It's not for us to put hope in the French *state* to oppose US power. It's also for French corporations, German charities, Dutch hackers-conventions, Italian cities. Whatever types of organization people find themselves affiliating with.
Discussion of the visions
Putting various, self-described, decentralized left visions together, above I notice that there are two AlternativeVisionsForDecentralizedLeft :
- decentralization / plurality of institutions
- plurality of narratives
Who's doin' it?
Is a decentralized left the same as AnArchism
See also :
- Conservative critique : http://www.amconmag.com/2006/2006_07_31/cover.html This relegates the Democrats to trying to lash together unwieldy coalitions of minorities united mainly in their alienation from majority attitudes. This is possible, but itís harder than the GOPís task of mobilizing a fairly cohesive body of supporters. The Democrats resemble the ramshackle multi-tribe army of the Persian Empire and the Republicans the cohesive Greek phalanxes of Alexander.
- opposition to capitalism (CapitalistResistanceToNetocracy)
- desire increase in freedom and democracy (left and freedom? yes, damnit, if you accept AmartyaSen and don't have some naive libertarian notion! Libertarians invited to add discussion at this point :-)