[matilda] PGA Hallmarks - an item for the 18th July meeting agenda?

Dan dan at aktivix.org
Wed Jul 13 13:33:05 BST 2005


Good plan to put it on the agenda.  Just to start the argument, there's 
things that I disagree with.  Don't know what others think.

1. Attacking capitalism is too easy.  One definition of it -

"Capitalism has been defined in various ways.  In common usage it refers 
to an economic system in which all or most of the means of production 
are privately owned and operated (commonly for profit), and where 
investments, production, distribution, income, and prices are determined 
largely in a "free market" rather than by centralized state control (as 
in a command economy)." (Wikipedia)

If that's all capitalism means, I'm not against it.  I'd rather the 
means of production were privately owned than state-owned, for example.  
The model of free software is excellent and refreshing, in that no-one 
and everyone owns it.  That probably can't work with my bike - I want to 
keep it, it's mine, f*ck off! -  but it shows its possible to get 
beyond  the state-private dichotomy.

This is semantics really, but then words are important!  Markets and 
trade can be good things.  (Brambles cafe do good work for a start!)

Being against destructive globalisation is cool - but not being against 
globalisation per se.

3. Confrontation / lobbying has no impact?  How many people on this list 
think change can only come about through confrontation, and lobbying 
does nothing?  That can't be everyone, can it?  For example, I certainly 
don't believe that withdrawing from lobbying is going to help stop 
Burngreave being McRegenerated.  I'm working on stuff that tries to show 
how the policies being pushed through are pants - and I'd like to try 
and persuade others of this.  How will confrontation help?  Equally, 
though, having absolutely no time for Tesco's cynical attempts to fit 
into the social exclusion agenda is obviously the way forward - but 
shouldn't we take things on a case-by-case basis? 

Plus, your case is helped a lot if its clear that you tried all avenues 
before resorting to confrontation.  E.g. maybe its time to have a go at 
that bloody incinerator again... Dioxins are really, really f**king 
evil.  The thing should be shut down.  If lobbying doesn't work...

4.  I don't understand how a blanket call for direct action and civil 
disobedience works.  What does that mean?  The rest of point 4 is 
brilliant, particularly constructing local alternatives - that fits into 
the Burngreave stuff really well...

5. Decentralisation and autonomy: better than the opposite, but it would 
be good to spend some time talking about what this means. 

E.g. Someone autonomously promoting Matilda on Indymedia recently.  This 
went against a collective (consensus) decision at a previous meeting.  
Were they within their rights to do so, since they were acting 
autonomously, or do we want people to abide by decisions reached by 
consensus?  What does autonomy mean in this context?

On a different point, I'm hoping there will be space in Matilda, over 
time, to look over some of the questions that come from all of this.

And, as Marcos said, we must always 'walk asking'.  Argument, 
disagreement and discussion, wherever possible, should never stop us 
from learning to trust one another, and from acting together.

Or something. :)



Chris wrote:

>I wonder if it would make sense to agree that the Matilda
>social centre would use the PGA Hallmarks as one of it's
>founding principals? 
>These are simple and clear:
>  1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and
>     feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and
>     governments that promote destructive globalisation.
>  2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and
>     discrimination including, but not limited to,
>     patriarchy, racism and religious fundamentalism of
>     all creeds.
>     We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.
>  3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think
>     that lobbying can have a major impact in such biased
>     and undemocratic organisations, in which
>     transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
>  4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience,
>     support for social movements' struggles, advocating
>     forms of resistance which maximize respect for life
>     and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the
>     construction of local alternatives to global
>     capitalism.
>  5. An organisational philosophy based on
>     decentralisation and autonomy.
>  http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/pga/hallm.htm
>Perhaps this could be an agenda item for the meeting on
>Monday 18th July?

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