Category Archives: Social change

Beyond Consensus or Majority: Notes about Decision-Making in a Leaderless Movement

On October 18th I participated in the general assembly meeting in OccupyOakland. On October 22nd I posted a piece about that experience, which I named In Search of Dialogue. Even before writing that piece I have been engaging in my … Continue reading

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The Stigmergic Revolution

It was long believed that the queen played a central role in the complex social order of an ant colony, through the exercise of direct command and control over her subjects. Not so. Biologist Pierre-Paul Grasse coined the term “stigmergy” … Continue reading

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Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today

The wave of political demonstrations since the Battle of Seattle in 2001 have crystallised a new trend in left-wing politics. Modern protest movements are grounding their actions in both Marxism and Anarchism, fighting for radical social change in terms that … Continue reading

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What Would It Mean to Win?

Connecting some of the more remarkable events of the last decade–including the rioting in Oaxaca and in the outskirts of Paris and the modern crises of neoliberalism–this critical analysis suggests new strategies for the progressive Left and that forward-moving change … Continue reading

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Change the World by Taking Power

Is power something negative? Does it always have to corrupt? And does “taking power” necessarily have to mean taking state power? This critique of John Holloway shows that communalism and autonomism provides two different answers to these questions. In 2001 … Continue reading

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The Fall of the Argentine Assembly Movement

New social movements based on open assemblies is emerging in ever more places in Europe and North America as a response to bank bailouts, unemployment, austerity measures and growing economic inequalities. This is not the first time in history that … Continue reading

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The Metasociety

OWS is only one small part of a much larger movement. It is the movement made up of community groups and NGOs, trade associations, special interest groups, community co-ops, environmental groups, rights groups, online activists, artists’ collectives, and more. The … Continue reading

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Sobre el Conflicto Noviolento Estratégico – Entendiendo Sus Principios Básicos

Habrá siempre ideales por los que vale la pena luchar y opresión que haya que superar. Algunas  cuestiones no se pueden resolver solo mediante negociaciones, pero la lucha armada puede no ser una opción viable para una sociedad oprimida, debido … Continue reading

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Saul Alinsky, community organizing and rules for radicals

Saul Alinsky‘s work is an important reference point for thinking about community organizing and community development. His books Reveille for Radicals (1946) and Rules for Radicals (1971) were both classic explorations of organizing and remain popular today. Mike Seal examines … Continue reading

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Gandhi meets Monty Python: The comedic turn in nonviolent tactics

On October 3rd, protesters at Occupy Wall Street failed to march. Instead they clumsily lurched. With white painted faces, glazed looks and dollar bills hanging out of some mouths, protesters chanted “I smell money, I smell money…” It was Corporate … Continue reading

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