I have far more confidence in the beleaguered people’s potential to rouse themselves to fight back on their own terms than I do in the standard reformist crawling and scraping and begging for crumbs. (Here’s a great example of how relocalization is already winning anti-corporate victories
, and at least as important, infusing communities with the conviction that their destiny is in their own hands. The contrast with feckless liberal reformism and the conformist fetish of “national” politics is complete. I’ll have more to say about this in upcoming anti-corporatism posts. But I wanted to give the example now.)
We’re at a dead end with conventional reformist and representative politics. It’s a total blockage. Everyone feels it. It’s the source of the great tension which lays over the land.
As Egypt has proven, the path to freedom, to action and liberation, lies open before us the moment we renounce our political passivity and strike out on our own. We can be our own leaders, our own organizers, our own inspiration, our own wellsprings and steam surges of action.
So it follows that if we want freedom and security in our homes, we can’t count on the accident of whether or not a judge is conscientious. It should go without saying that Congress will never pass reform, but on the contrary will only look for a way to legalize the criminal assaults. Every bankster expects the politicians to do this, and so must we.
So that leaves us where we started and where we should have ended: Reliant upon ourselves.
I’ve advocated that mortgage holders should stop paying the banks
, should stay in the house, keep paying the property tax, remain (or become) deeply involved in their communities, and get involved in local politics. If a critical mass did this, it would break the banks, and deal a severe blow to centralized power. It would be a great assertion of true federalism
(I don’t mean individuals should necessarily do this unilaterally. The correct evolution of such a movement would depend on lots of regional conditions, but I think the basic plan should be for significant numbers of people in a region to organize for this, plan it, and do it as a group.)
So how do we get such groups started in the first place? The media certainly won’t undertake any systematic citizen education on the issue. So the idea I had was derived from the Farmers’ Alliance lecturers movement
of the 1880s.
Farmer’s Alliance invented the lecturer system. Each local chapter chose a lecturer — someone in the chapter who had an ability to move its membership. In the local meetings, these speakers gave speeches, learning what moved their neighbors and polishing their way to capture the situation that they and their neighbors found themselves in as a public problem. These local speakers gave speeches at the district conventions and developed their speaking to a broader range of farmers. In turn, the district’s best speakers learned their craft at the state conventions. The result was a rich tradition of speaking that spawned a rich public sphere constructing the farmer’s problems as public concerns. Travelling lecturers developed, but the system always tied these lecturers with a local chapter where they kept their immersion in their local community.
These lecturers toured the South, the Midwest, the Plains and beyond, educating farmers about the way the banks manipulated the money supply and the crop lien system to rob them of their rightful reward for their hard work. They described the aspirations of the Alliance and how joining its cooperative system could liberate the farmers from the yoke of the parasites. They also attempted liaisons with factory labor.
(As that short description I quoted demonstrates, the lecturer organization was itself a superb example of participatory democracy, where the citizen activist flourished in proportion to his passion and commitment.)
So this is an idea that we might deploy today to educate our communities about the Land Scandal and its place at the core of the Bailout and the finance tyranny. (And the idea’s applicable not just to the banks and foreclosures. Unfortunately, there’s more than ample opportunity and room for anyone who wants to educate on the food rackets, the weapons rackets, the health racket bailout and Stamp mandate, the police state and civil liberties, net neutrality, and so many other things. I especially recommend student debt as a potential movement-builder which dovetails well with Foreclosuregate.)
In my next post on this I’ll give a basic outline for a sample curriculum for such a lecture series.