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  44. Autonomous Clubs, a new instrument for revolution


 
-- January 4 2013 --

Autonomous Clubs, a new instrument for revolution 

Autonomous Clubs, small temporary groups of activists can become the new way to reach a different world by replacing the old way of mass actions.  

The Arab Spring, based on mass actions, was somewhat disappointing. Some leaders were chased away but replaced by clones. The Power of The People did not really hurt the Arab 1%. The damage to the 99% in terms of deaths, wounded and imprisoned activists was much higher than any damage to the 1%. The French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat said: “Despite their defeats, the princes do not lose anything”….. “Violence of The People remains always far inferior to the sum of all injustices by the despots over the century”. 

Mass action methods are dubious. Fighting with security forces, attacks on police stations, ministries and other buildings the 1% use to exert power but no penetration of the power basis of the 1%. The wealth of the 1% was hardly attacked. The power structure remained unbroken and new members filled the places of expelled ones. The 1% were satisfied because the removed group had been too greedy and had damaged the incomes of the rest of the 1%. 

Mass actions in Europe were even less successful. Austerity measures were carried out without any concession. The 1% were not prosecuted and the same people who caused the crisis increased their control and lowered the living standard of the 99%. Actions in Spain, Greece etc. mostly took place in city centres and the living quarters of the rich remained untouched. Leftist and rightist parties got a lot of votes but the parties in the centre, obedient to the 1%, remained in power.
Because of the damage to the 99% and the lack of successes mass actions slowly withered away. People became disappointed and did not want to risk their life again in unsuccessful actions.
The rejuvenated 1% can rule quietly for the next tens of years.
 

Maybe mass actions were successful in the past though also then the damage to the 99% was too big. Revolutions improved the situation of common citizens but after some time a new 1% arose that more and more resembled the capitalist 1%. Besides the authorities learned how to cope with mass actions. Control mechanisms refined, intelligence improved though the 99% were sometimes allowed to blow off steam.  

Mass actions often violate a human principle: Damage to the 99% should be minimal and pressure on the 1% maximal.
Jean-Paul Marat should be taken seriously: “
Revolution will be a kind of guerilla in which we can attack the enemy in all places where the army cannot be used. This means that we can deprive the enemy of all his advantages”. Sun Tzu said the same: “You can be sure of succeeding when you attack places which are undefended”
.
Most action organisers stick to the idea that actions must be massive and take place in town centres. Successes of actions are measured by the number of participants, the number of flyers distributed and the media coverage, not if demands are fulfilled.
 

We need different actions that undermine the power of the 1%, anchored in the extravagant mansions of the 1%. The 1% have power to get more money than anyone else for living a privileged life, far different from the life of the 99%. When they do not see the result of their power in their own backyard they lose their motivation to rule, the power pyramid becomes shaky and in the end it will crash. Then we have a chance that a new Humane World will come into being without a greedy and selfish 1%.
To avoid damage to the 99% confrontations with the police must be minimised. Actions should occur on places were the 1% live in agreement with the simple goal of getting a Humane World by taking away the power and money from the 1%.  

Mass actions have some value in showing that a lot of people want change but do not increase pressure on the 1%. Therefore we need small Autonomous Clubs that act in the way, on the place, the time and against the targets the members choose. They can put pressure on people who take wrong decisions that benefit themselves. The Club dissolves when it has achieved some success. Former members can join another Club or return to their private life. The People do not need permanent structures, they need a possibility to move when they want to move.
In a Humane Society
Autonomous Clubs will as a Fourth People’s Power control, veto or even punish faulty leaders who perpetrate crimes against the well-being of the 99%.
 

Autonomous Clubs are a new instrument to change power relations, to destroy the pivotal role of money so decisions will be taken because of the idea that all people have the same status, a decent life, food, house, education, medical care etc.
The road to the new Humane World is not one broad road on which the masses walk in a direction that is determined by their leaders but a multitude of small roads on which groups of individuals advance to a new future.
 
 

See also my blog about Autonomous Clubs http://downwithelite.wordpress.com/autonomous-clubs/

Joost van Steenis (downwithelite@gmail.com)



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