TEOFWAWKIT: The End of the World as We Know It

karma karmagetiton at gmail.com
Sun Jul 24 14:20:04 BST 2011


This is the first of two articles exploring the likelihood that capitalism 
is on the verge of collapse and what a post-capitalistic world might look 

"...Bottom-Up Government

Unlike the Bolshevik Revolution, which had the immense resources of the 
Tsarist empire at its disposal, most of the small, regional units that 
emerge following the collapse of global capitalism will be forced to rebuild 
themselves from the ground-up. They all have the potential to be built 
according to democratic and egalitarian principles, though this is by no 
means guaranteed.

A study of early New England efforts to govern via "town hall" direct 
democracy reveals that self-governance is always more effective in small 
groups and communities. Early colonists found that once authority shifted 
from the town to state and eventually federal government, ordinary people 
lost the ability to have input into decision making. They could only elect 
representatives, without any ability to ensure the individuals they chose 
would actually represent their interests.

Reclaiming the Commons

"The Commons" is a historical concept present in all cultures that views 
certain property, material goods and intangibles (such as the air people 
breathe and the public airwaves used to transmit radio and TV) as belonging 
to the community as a whole to be managed in a way benefiting the public 
interest, rather than that of a particular individual group. The eighteenth 
century (British) Enclosure Act is considered the watershed event enabling 
individual and corporate interests to take precedence over the pubic good. 
Under the Enclosure Act, the landed gentry banned peasant farmers from 
raising crops or grazing on the "village commons," which now became 
"enclosed" as the gentry's private property. Subsequent enclosure laws 
enabled early capitalists to drive even more farmers off communal land to 
build factories.

Many communities around the world have already made a good start in 
reclaiming "the Commons" from the corporate elite. In some American towns 
and cities, this entails taking over functions state and local government 
have ceased to perform, owing to major budget difficulties. Examples include 
local citizens groups who have successfully fought corporate infringement on 
their communities (for example, protecting their water supply against 
bottled water companies seeking to drain their aquifers or giant 
agricultural conglomerates who threaten to pollute their ground water by 
building massive factory farms -- see
http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/programs_factoryfarms.html and
Other examples include citizen groups who have opted out of the corporate 
banking and food production system by taking responsibility for these 
services themselves -- by creating community and state banks, local 
currencies and bartering systems, as well as community gardens and orchards, 
farmers markets and community supported agriculture schemes..." 

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