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My Resoc Interview


1. At a public talk someone asks you, "okay, I understand what you reject, but I wonder what you are for? What institutions do you want that you think will be better than what we have, for the economy, polity, gender, race, ecology, or whatever you think is central to have vision for?

We need to find institutions in all areas of society that give everyone true control over how they lead their lives. To me, for the workplace this would mean self-management with balanced job complexes and remuneration according to effort and sacrifice; for the market place it would mean participatory planning; for the polity it would mean radical democracy (not necessarily direct democracy, but as direct as is feasible); for the family it would mean “balanced job complexes” with regard to childcare; for gender, I don’t see what more there is to say other than total power equality for the sexes/genders while still paying attention to (as in not ignoring) biological differences; for the production and use of knowledge to apply the principles of the free software/creative commons movement; for the legal system, to complement formal justice and equality with substantive justice and equality (that is, to not just make sure everyone has the same rights, but that the outcomes also reflect greater social justice, recognizing that equal rights are undermined when there is no social justice). There is, of course, a lot more that can be said, but these are some of the main ones and the ones where I can write about fairly briefly.

2. Next, someone at the same event asks, "Why do you do what you do? That is, you are speaking to us, and I know you write, and maybe you organize, but why do you do it? What do you think it accomplishes? What is your goal for your coming year, or for your next ten years?

Very simply: I write and organize and teach in the hopes of promoting and at some point of achieving the institutions that I describe in the previous question. I don’t know if I am accomplishing anything, but act as if I am. My goal for next year, as well as for the next ten years is to do more of what I am doing now.

3. You are at home and you get an email that says a new organization is trying to form, internationally, federating national chapters, etc. It asks you to join the effort. Can you imagine plausible conditions under which you would say, yes, I will give my energies to making it happen along with the rest of you who are already involved? If so, what are those conditions? Or – do you think instead that regardless of the content of the agenda and make up of the participants, the idea can’t be worthy, now,or perhaps ever. If so, why?

Yes, I can definitely imagine joining such a group if it, first, aims to promote some or most of the institutions I describe above. Second, it would have be organized democratically (but not in terms of “democratic centralism”). Third, we would all have to agree to strive to create a diverse organization (achieving that is a different matter). Fourth, the organization would also have to aim to involve as many of its members as possible in all of its activities. Fifth, the organization should not treat any of its ideals or statements of leaders as dogma.

4. Do you think efforts to organize movements, projects, and our own organizations should embody the seeds of the future in the present? If not, why? If yes, can you say what, very roughly, you think some of the implications would be for an organization you would favor?

Yes, definitely.

5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others did not answer it?



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