I recently put in motion the process of forming a Dallas/Fort Worth Project for a Participatory Society. We are having our first meeting this coming Sunday at 1919 Hemphill in Fort Worth. As currently defined on the group page (on facebook and on Z):
DFW-PPS is a network/group for anyone in the D/FW metroplex advocating Participatory Society (parsoc).
We strive to develop and promote the kind of analysis, vision, and strategy that activists need to work effectively for radical social change. Among the changes we seek are the elimination of all hierarchies and oppressions, including those based on race, gender, sexuality, ability, age and class.
We also seek to promote both institutional innovation and grassroots popular mobilization in order to advance our goal of a radically egalitarian post-capitalist participatory economy, and a society founded upon political and economic democracy and social and environmental justice.
Much of this was adopted from the London PPS in London, Ontario (and with their permission).
As someone on the Left, especially the radical Left, agreeing on much of anything is no easy task. So trying to form a project with no hierarchial leadership and that is addressing not only what comes after capitalism, but also looks towards a post-imperialism, post-racism and post-sexism society (to say the least) will be an interesting thing to witness.
But more than witnesses, I hope there is a growing amount of participants and that it ultimately leads to successes – residue, upon residue building up to a crescendo of popular, grass roots organizing and mobilization that (re)builds society from below.
I would like to see some lively discussions from many perspectives on economy, polity, kinship and culture.
As a pareconista, the obviousness of addressing what an economy is, what are its key features, what values do we aspire for it to uphold and what structures can we give it so the seeds can germinate, is relatively easy. An economy produces, allocates and consumes goods and services; an economy is ownership, allocation, remuneration, planning and division of labor; we want solidarity, equity, self-management, diversity and efficiency; social ownership, participatory planning, compensating based on intensity and duration of one’s labor and balance job complexes will give us what we want.
But how do move this beyond economics and more broadly into other social spheres.
- How will we create a post-racist society?
- How will we create a post-sexist society?
- How will we create a post-imperialist society?
Luckily, plenty of others are already working on these questions too (Chris Spannos provided some of it in his book, Real Utopia). So it will be interesting to see what we can contribute, if anything.
I am an atheist and yet I want theists to participate. Some may find that odd, but I don’t think so. If a religious believer can find agreement in a participatory society then I am as open to them as I am of someone from other political and cultural spheres.
For years now the phrase "another world is possible" has been said. What is that world and how do we get there? Obviously, answering that first part should lead us to incorporate the new world into the organizations that seek it, and that goes a long way towards answering the second part.
Anyway, I am excited to see who shows up on Sunday. I can already sense the possibilities and it has got me tingling with anticipation.