Brian Holmes on Thu, 3 Nov 2011 03:02:54 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Revolutionary Role of a Transnational Counterparty

I agree with Snafu's contribution to this thread - the idea of a debtors' party interests me more in the sense of the old revolutionary CPs, as vanguard parties and not voting blocks. There will in particular be a role for a vanguard party in encouraging people not to pay their unpayable debts in the upcoming year or two, especially students and student loans. OWS is a lot more like workers-council democracy than it is like a traditional party -- except that so far it's a middle-class council.

There is some real potential for social transformation in these formations, even in the US and probably more so in Europe (since the indignado movement is still bigger than OWS, you should really check that out, Dmytri). But to that extent, what Fran Ilich says is the key:

> and do the spanish people even know that they're economy is so
> dependent in the colonial parasiting of -for instance- latin america?
> there's a whole level of irreality on this 'first world' protests,
> that are definitely very important on the symbolic level, but if they
> don't start looking really into the complexity of economical global
> relations than what they experience on their local and national
> reality.

The way to do this in the States (dunno about Spain or Greece) is just to bring more working class people into the movements, because then immediately the color and border lines are crossed. This is happening right now in Oakland with the General Strike, and if it works it will be a huge turning point.

> maybe instead of focusing so much on the economic scam that has
> been so obvious to the underdeveloped and third world countries
> for centurys, it might be a good opportunity to create updated
> institutions or forms of organizations to balance power over the
> networks, in order to create exchanges that are more fair to all
> parties involved. and who knows, maybe this way europe and north
> america will continue to feel cheated -if not more cheated than how
> they feel now in this crisis.

We are cheated by the horrible form that capitalist expropriation has given to our societies - the incredible degrees of inequality, the predator mentality, the continual forms of entrapment visited on the people who have the least. All that depends in the US on the exploitation of immigrant labor and on all sorts of outsourcing and extraction abroad, including financial extraction through stock deals and loans and credit schemes of all sorts. Like Fran I get nervous when I see people in OWS who just want a bigger piece of the same disgusting pie. However the straightest, most business-looking guy in Occupy Chicago carries a sign about how the US has the highest levels of inequality of the developed countries, which means he's not just thinking about his own interests. So let's encourage people to think about changing social relations throughout the world, and not just reassembling the classsic international pyramid with the US and European middle classses clinging desperately to the shoestrings of the 1%!

best to all, Brian

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