Excerpted from Dave Pollard:
“Where is this Metamovement going? When there are no cohesive goals, demands, or measures of success, can the Metamovement ‘succeed’?
The real purpose of the Metamovement, at least in North America and perhaps Europe, is not to get the corrupt political and economic corporatist 1% to cede power, or to reform itself, or to compel political leaders to dismantle it or tax it fairly or reform it on threat of replacing them with leaders who will. Only the hapless Tea Party faction of the Metamovement is naive enough to believe that can or will happen.
The real purpose of the Metamovement, I would argue, is to re-engage the 99%, from the bottom up, community by community around the world, first to learn how things really work and what is really going on, and then to decide what actions need to be taken in response. In every nation and community the situation is different and the response that is needed will inevitably be different.
The purpose of the Metamovement is education and then organization. That means countering the official propaganda and refusing to support, with complacency, with tax dollars, with consumer dollars, with obedient wage-slave labour, or with the acceptance of crushing debt, the existing political and economic systems that are currently run for the benefit of the corporatists. It means curing the epidemic of anomie that has infected so many of us, everywhere. It’s a hugely ambitious goal.
In much of the Mideast that means for the moment deposing despots, and then struggling to avoid allowing either other ideologues or global corporatists to fill the power void. In North America and Europe that probably means both starving the system (by refusing to support it politically or economically), and smartly and strategically sabotaging it (where it is weakest) — blocking it, breaking it, or taking it at every turn, without causing suffering and without getting caught (at least until we are far enough along as a popular movement that the enforcement authorities will refuse to arrest us, and will instead join us).
This is and always has been the dream of revolutionaries. It has succeeded, sometimes, in the past, and it may succeed again, in some places and situations at least, for a while.
But look at where we stand now, the larger picture. Real democracy is, for all our efforts, rare in the world, and power inequality is staggering, growing by leaps and bounds, and almost unprecedented in human history. And we are headed towards a series of catastrophic and cascading energy, ecological and economic crises and no one is in control — no one, not the 99%, not the 1%, has the power to avert them. We have unleashed the sixth great extinction of life on Earth and it’s been accelerating unimpeded for thirty thousand years. We have created a political and economic industrial growth civilization monoculture that is unsustainable, out of control and unstoppable.
This is part of the learning that the Metamovement will have to internalize, relate to the local situation in every community, and decide how to act upon. So, of course we need a Metamovement to work to restore the balance of power in our political and economic systems, and to restore dignity and purpose to our lives. But such a movement will take a long time, will be fiercely opposed by powerful interests, will entail huge risks, and will have to play out across a backdrop of growing crises, the imminent train wreck of our global industrial growth civilization, for which we must all share the blame.
My sense is that, in the short run, the situation is simply not bad enough in most of the affluent nations of the world to engage sufficiently large numbers of people to learn and commit to what is needed and stick with it long enough to achieve the power change the Metamovement will discover is required to achieve their ends.
And every failure, like the recent failure of the anti-pipeline demonstrations in Washington DC (despite evidence of unethical and possibly illegal activities by both US and Canadian governments and regulators working with Big Oil), will only serve to demoralize the Metamovement and sap its energy.
And in the longer run, I believe that the massive and chronic crises we will all be facing will consume so much of our time and attention that the Metamovement will fall by the wayside.
In the meantime, I applaud the Metamovement and its hard-working members, especially those who are informed and not naive about what is really going on. I hope they succeed. I fear they cannot.”