From Catalunia comes a call to create an international network/space for the ideological and practical elaboration of autonomies beyond capitalism (integrarevolució). Originating among people involved with Radi: Revolució, Acció, Desobediència, Integral and the Cooperativa Integral Catalana, as well as Derecho de Rebelión (who published Rebelaos last Spring), it is an appeal for collective rebellion. To share …
Who are We?
We are a group of individuals from the Catalan territories (southwest of Europe). We have set our objective as launching the Bloc for the Integral Revolution. We are actively participating in projects closely related to the ideals of an Integral Revolution. Of these projects, one significant example is the movement of integral cooperatives. We understand that an ideological space is necessary to make visible, link and reinforce practices like these all over the world.
What do we Understand by Integral Revolution?
Revolution: radical transformation in the values and structures that are the foundations of society.
Integral: comprehensive, that which comprises all the elements it needs to have to be complete.
Integral Revolution: a process of historic significance, for the construction of a new self-managed society, based on autonomy and the abolition of all forms of domination: the state, capitalism, and all other forms that affect human relationships and relationships with the natural environment.
It commits itself to conscious action, personal and collective, for the improvement and recovery of the values and qualities that enable us to live a life in common. At the same time, it commits itself to the construction of new structures and forms of organisation in all areas of life that ensure equality in decision-making and equity in meeting our basic and vital needs.
Many of us agree today that the form of social organization that prevails in most parts of the planet is leading us to crises on all fronts of our lives: disconnecting us from vital and social decision-making, reducing us to a form of currency as a workforce, individualizing and alienating us and destroying all forms of life and resources on Earth.
We think that this destruction, our internal emptiness, and the separation from what we could potentially be is not just the fault of bad rulers or unscrupulous capitalists. It is something inherent to the system’s dynamics, reaching across its institutions and the values of domination that configure it.
Domination is submission exercised through the medium of power. This dominant power manifests itself visibly through the monopoly of physical violence (genocides, assassinations, torture, repression, etc. exercised by repressive forces), and in more accepted ways through other forms of structural violence and social control: wage labor, private property, mass media, advertising, paternalistic social services, etc.
Overall, we can say that domination and the concentration of power are steadily increasing in most places.
Points of Resistance
Domination seeks to undermine human dignity, which is the seed of resistance and motivation for the construction of other worlds. Indigenous and aboriginal peoples in resistance, self-managed social and political movements and collectives in every corner of the world continue their long battle to defend the Earth from exploitation, their cultures from dismantlement and their people from humiliation. In the country as in the city, dignity provides legitimate forms of self-defence for peoples, human values and humanity itself.
Mobilizations multiply where dignity resists: insubordination and disobedience reinforce non-collaboration with the dominant structures (states, institutions and corporations).
These are the points of resistance to assimilation and they stand up in the face of power. These are collective intelligence in a state of motion and creation. These assert the necessity of other worlds which are already starting to become reality.
Towards the Integral Revolution
These points of resistance are also hope. Right now, they show the unwillingness to accept the current barbaric reality. Yet, we have to lament that many transformative efforts are only focused on resistance and are centred on requests for reform.
We think that in order to resist and, above all, overcome the current system, we have to self-construct ourselves as individuals and as collectives; we have to build a new society.
For some decades, and accelerating in recent years due to the systemic crisis that currently prevails, different processes of social self-construction are being born and are gaining strength, as beacons of reality that illuminate hopes for a complete transformation of society.
Some of these initiatives are coordinated with one another, but in general we find that there is substantial disconnection and lack of shared work between different movements and affinity groups. At the same time, we see that often we push aside the work of personal and collective development necessary to achieve the changes that we want. We think that there is work to do to find ourselves a common framework that takes an autonomous and decentralised form, permitting us to row together in a common direction, in an autonomous and decentralized way, and in a way that enables us to build ourselves as well as our capacity to resist.
A vital step in this process of moving forward towards this convergence and common framework is to create meeting spaces to deliberate, reflect and work on the concrete forms that will develop this revolution.
As the Zapatistas have recently expressed, it is the moment of yes, the moment to meet those of us who:
«… answer affirmatively to the question “Could there be another way?” What we lack is a response to the questions that follows this “yes”: How is this other way? This other world? This new society that we imagine, that we want, that we need? What do we need to do? With who?»
They also said that if we have answers to these questions, now is the moment to share them. It is as if we, the promoters of this call, were waiting for this moment. It is right now that the promoters of this call are prepared to facilitate the sharing of answers.
It is for all of these reasons that we have come to write this call, to talk about the answers, to meet together and build an international convergence space; that we have called Bloc for the Integral Revolution.
Ideological Bases of the Call
The basic principle is the fight against all forms of domination and the construction of alternative societies by way of an Integral Revolution.
We shape this as a set of ideological bases that we are illustrating in the following points, which will require further work and elaboration to form the founding manifesto of the Bloc:
1) Equitable human relations based on freedom
- We reject any form of domination or discrimination between people, based on any reason, like sex, gender, sexual orientation, culture or ethnicity, age, inheritance, class, etc.
- We promote mutual aid, solidarity, trust, respect and fellowship. In general, love between human beings.
- We want to revert the degradation of the human beings, which occurs in the majority of places around the world, which we see as consciously cultivated by the dominant elites. Because the more empowered people are, the more insecure the current system is.
- We need a desire for improvement, based on active listening and constant reflection, as well as on the habit to accept criticism from others and from ourselves to enable this improvement.
- We want to extend good practices in interpersonal relationship across humanity.
2) Self-organization and sovereign popular assemblies
- The popular assembly, as a way to decision making with equality of voice and vote, is the legitimate form of organization of any collective, community or peoples, as it is a necessary condition for freedom.
- Sovereign popular assemblies: the self-determination of peoples through this form of horizontal social organization, free commitment of individuals and peoples to communities and federations.
- Relationships between peoples and communities based on solidarity, freedom and decentralisation: equitable and horizontal interdependence; a willingness to coordinate and interact, from the most local and regional level to the wider geographical scale, deciding on a small scale whenever possible and only on a wider scale when absolutely necessary (principle of subsidiarity, confederation, fractality, etc.)
- Building-in diversity, respecting human and personal differences, including minorities in all assembly-based decisions.
- Therefore, contesting the State, in all its forms.
3) The commons, the public
a/ Recover common ownership for the benefit of all, with popular possession and control
- We have to recover control of land and means of production for the common good, granting its availability through collectivization (communal ownership) for the public good.
- We reject private property as a tool of the powerful classes to accumulate capital and establish control over the ownership and use of land and the means of production, perpetuating the regime of domination by wage labor, accumulation, exploitation and speculation.
- Self-interest brings to us alienation and disaffection, destroys communal ownership and communal goods.
b/ Build a cooperative system that is public and self-managed, based upon mutual aid
- We work for the common good, to ensure that all of our vital necessities (food, health, housing, education, energy, transportation, etc.) are covered through a truly public system, built by ourselves and based on self-management, cooperating with one another and promoting the values and abilities that are essentially human.
- We reject the State as a system of control based in exploitation of humans by humans. So we also reject the paternalistic social services provided by the State, which support individualism and undermine self-empowerment. We reject the control of public services by powerful minorities (either the State or the markets). And therefore we also reject the private corporate-elitist network controlled by those minorities.
c/ Liberate access to information and knowledge
- We reclaim free access to information and free creativity.
- We foster our natural disposition to experimentation and investigation as sources of knowledge.
- We share knowledge among us all to build a greater common good.
4) A new economy based in cooperation and proximity
- We denounce capitalism as a means of production and trade based on competition, exploitation of the weak and limitless growth.
- We denounce the current financial system, dominated by centralized and private banks, and we reject charging interest on money.
- We embrace the maxim “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.”
- We commit to horizontal cooperation as the basis for economic relationships.
- We intensely promote cooperative work and consumption. We are for the eradication of wage labor and in general against the exploitation of labor.
- We propose alternative currencies, direct barter, gift economies and community economies as practical tools for a new economic system.
- An economy as local as possible and avoiding the need for intermediaries. Equitable relations between producers and consumers.
- When necessary, a public-communal financial system, without interest.
5) Cooperating with Life and the Natural environment
- We apply the principles of cooperation, conservation and respect in our relationship with the natural world, of which we are part, and we ensure good shared lives with the rest of living beings. What’s more, local popular sovereignty allows and fosters these principles.
- We take into account the cycles of natural life, to ensure the sustainability of human activity, from generation to generation.
- We denounce the values and dynamics of the current system that destroy or put at risk many forms of life, including ours, and at the same time exhausts non-renewable resources.
- We must take advantage of renewable resources in a decentralised way, promoting the self-sufficiency of human communities, reducing the scale of large cities, eager for vast amounts of resources.
6) How can we do this?
- Coherence between means and ends: the process of the Integral Revolution is a transition from the current system towards a new society and humanity. The path to go from one to the other is one of learning and must reflect where we are going. It matters, then, that the means to effect this transformation be in agreement with the ends that we desire.
- Dialectical and simultaneous relationship between values and structures: a change in values is necessary to change the structures, but achieving a deep and broad change of values requires new structures that foster and enable their practice.
- In coherence with our ends, we have to realize the Integral Revolution from a base of local groups, standing for decentralization and local actions, but with a global vision and thinking. If this simultaneously progresses in several territories and regions, it will be much stronger and unstoppable.
- The peoples, and the communities that comprise them, have an inalienable and legitimate right to organize themselves, and to defend their life, their security, their culture and their lands and territories in the way that they consider most convenient, as long as they aim for the maxim “to minimize violence against human beings and maximize respect for freedom and life of others.”
- In order to be able to achieve this revolution, we consider general disobedience legitimate and necessary in order to extract the maximum of resources, work and legitimacy from the current system and dedicate them to the new society in construction. We think we each have to use disobedience in our own context in whatever way that maximizes our transformative action.
What is this common space for?
- To raise awareness about the problems of the current system, a crisis of values and human qualities, and the possibility of overcoming them.
- To construct a collective identity, multiple counterpowers, that can spread, promote and steadily push forward in a clear form the altersystemic proposals around the Integral Revolution.
- To know and make visible the existence of specific forms of social construction that share the ideological space of the Integral Revolution, to inspire a generation of new similar processes.
- To work under a common framework that denounces domination and promotes the creation of new societies: creating synergies, debating, sharing tactics, resources and plans of action between people that share the framework.
How will the common space work?
We propose the Bloc as an ideological reference and not as an organisation, in accordance with the proposed objectives and to streamline its operation. The member collectives of the Bloc, and the projects that come into it, will be totally autonomous. We propose that the aspects of how the Bloc works (members, communication tools, meetings, decision-making, etc.), we will develop together in the process before the meeting.
(Further information can be gathered from the site)