Whether in “developed” or “developing” countries, popular movements have always contained, to a different degree, a desire for direct democracy.
What is crucial to understand is that this is all a question of politics: of who gets to shape our city – a handful of bureaucrats and capitalist investors, or the vast majority of a district’s inhabitants. It is this political question that frames the content and the outlook of urban space.
Should we maintain independence and function as a critical force outside of mainstream politics, or should we attempt to take hold of the levers of institutional power in order to create change?
In that sense, I endorse GW’s upbeat conclusion that it’s within people’s power to change things and remake their social world – not a power or a social world restricted to particular classes, groups, genders or political ideologies, but one available to everyone.
No anarchist should be surprised that the government has failed us during this time of crisis. But every anarchist should be given hope by the selfless actions of individuals and communities in this time of need. The lesson is clear. We can, and should, provide for ourselves. Now, where did I put that spade?
Despite appallingly difficult circumstances the Kurds in the region of Rojava are building a society that is totally different from the Middle Eastern norm. Very few people understand that this is the kind of model we must all adopt if we are to achieve a sustainable and just world.
Years of research in rural communities have convinced Ashwood–and she makes a convincing case–that the greatest enemy of rural America is what she calls “for-profit democracy.”
My “The Simpler Way” project is about persuading people that it would be very easy to design and build an idyllic alternative society that was not just sustainable and capable of adoption by all the world’s people, but would actually greatly improve the quality of life of people in rich societies today.
Tens of thousands are currently coming to Europe, hoping for a better future.
Akshay Ahuja reviews A Paradise Built in Hell, Good News, and The Long Loneliness.