Category Archives: Writings

On Direct Democracy

Democracy has two contradictory meanings today: the justification of existing and aspiring states and ruling classes versus a tradition of revolutionary popular liberation. The extension of this second tradition is the future of the world in which we live. This vision of self-governance has always been held in contempt by elites everywhere who mask themselves in the language of freedom while simultaneously attempting to crush its expression and manifestation.

We believe in direct democracy. We believe everyday people can and must govern themselves. This means popular self-management through a federation of popular councils and committees where decisions are made and executed on matters of economic planning, judicial, military and cultural affairs. This is not only the best way we can imagine a more free society but also a historic necessity.

We recognize there will never be one utopian moment in history. However, direct democracy is the most ideal and pragmatic vision at this juncture where working and oppressed peoples can truly take their destiny into their own hands.  The historic necessity of everyday people truly governing themselves is by no means new. We have a long and proud tradition. From ancient Athens to the Hungarian people resisting Soviet totalitarianism; from the Nuer people of Sudan and the Igbo people of Nigeria to the popular committees of the Spanish Civil War; from the Diggers and Levellers in the English Revolution to the Shanghai Commune in the Chinese Revolution; from workers self-management in Algeria to the many French Revolutions; from the liberated zones of the Zapatistas in Mexico to the historic general strikes of Argentina, Brazil, Jamaica and Trinidad; from the popular committees in the Palestinian Intifada to the Anabaptists of medieval Europe, and the historic Maroon communities of these Americas; from the rebellions of the American Revolution and Native Americans against colonialism to the dual power of Reconstruction; from the copwatchs of the Black Panther movement to the CIO labor strikes and organizing drives. We see that people have always been trying to extend their freedom in the face of those who would try and reduce them from equals to appendages of profit and property; from those who would govern themselves in fraternity to those who would be governed.  Even when hurricanes and tornadoes hit and rivers overflow, or political disasters of terror in Oklahoma and New York strike, whether state sponsored or by authoritarians from below, we see that everyday people can manage their economy and provide for each others welfare and security.
Continue reading On Direct Democracy