October 12 2000
It is time for a fundamental change.
It is possible that in the past mass actions were effective, but
nowadays results are disappointing. Therefore many activists lose their fighting
spirit and are forever lost for the movement. The result of many
negligible, not in the least because many leftist people are hurt in
actions. I miss in anti-capitalist actions often the relation between
planning and result.
Through strikes, sit-ins, demonstrations, etc., only minimal improvements
are achieved. At the best some wrong developments are blocked. But the
minds of the people at the top are still directed in the wrong way. Or do
you think that the Seattle demonstrations against Globalisation did
influence the way leaders are thinking? That the skirmishes between
demonstrators and police in Prague are a step in the direction of a
Leftist actions do not penetrate into the brains of rightist decision
makers. The people at the top stay out of reach. Their first political
goal was, is and shall be the improvement
of the position of their own
group (and to transfer their money, positions and power to their
Something else is needed to change this.
Something else is possible.
So stop fighting the police, focus your energy on leaders who take the
Do not put any hope in elections. Then you only transfer some of your
power to other people.
Most leftist actions only ask leaders to change their policy, they never
force them to act different. The elite gives sometimes favours to the
masses but only when it is also in favour of their own position. It is
necessary to break the power of leaders.
Political thinking is deeply influenced by the idea that change only
occurs gradual. The Evolution Theory of Darwin
that stated that life developed step after step from an early organic soup is at the least incomplete.
Catastrophic events were also important in the development of living
beings. The evolutionary theory benefits people who are in power because
in a gradual way they will only lose their power in the far future - and
in the meantime many people on the world die in wars or from hunger. And
many more do not get the education to live a life that we in the West call
decent. You need big steps to change this terrible situation and change is
needed fast - not gradual. In spite of the petrifying idea that change
occurs only on a gradual way the world has changed anyhow in the past
Many changes were brought about by (a part of) the leading classes.
Slavery was abolished, colonies liberated and we got some social security.
Of course some leftist people also advocated these policies but the
strongest pressure for such changes came from within the elite, from those
leading people who thought that their position, their power and their
wealth should increase after these radical changes. Only the elite has the
power to bring about change. Leftists miss this possibility.
It is time to force the leading class to change the world in the right
Society is becoming more individualistic. The
left did not draw any conclusions from this change. Leftist actions are
still concentrated on the mobilisation of many people on the short term, never on the involvement of some people during an extended action period.
The left rejects the idea of the application of constant pressure on those
people who take (wrong) decisions. On the contrary, actions are mostly
directed against symbols of power, against places where important
events are happening. There demonstrators clash with security forces and many activists and security men are hurt.
The decision makers
stay out of range. Leading individuals are never personally touched by
I propose a different kind of actions.
Therefore I open this new site on which an open discussion will
Very regularly I will publish new Letters of an Autonomous Thinker about
something that happens in the world.
Stop hurting yourself in futile demonstrations, look for other action
methods in which only those people are hurt who take decisions that harm
innumerable humans who live at the edge of our world.
And, by the way, do not participate anymore in actions thought of and
directed by others – you are only cannon fodder. So do not engage in
actions in which you do not control your personal situation. Start
to act as a creative and autonomous individual.
It is time for a change.Yours truly, Joost van Steenis
When the power stays in the hands of a limited group of privileged
individuals, most humans will remain secondary citizens.
Only WE can make a New World in which everyone has some power.
For an elaboration of these ideas see my books "The
Scarists" and "About Violence and
Democracy", for practical examples see "The
Power of the
For some direct actions against the elite see "The
elite under fire".