A call to Action
The colonization of our lives goes beyond what is described in simple terms as economic crisis and becomes a crisis that affects all areas, making us forget our values and lose our basic life and living skills. While social and economic rights achieved after decades of struggle are severely degraded, we are further dehumanized by the promotion of individualism and superficiality, along with the social control exercised by the state through repression, welfarism, misinformation and authoritarian education – destroying our ability to think, act and love life itself. It kills what has been called the concrete human essence. So as to not lose this essence it is essential to consciously reconstruct it – both individually and collectively.
This is the first step toward the revival of what is already rotten in this system and in our own person. The raising of awareness that is becoming apparent today, is accompanied by a radical break from imposed needs, material or otherwise.
Voluntary simplicity, but without limits to the abundance of that which is essential: the flow of feelings and emotions between people, and a happy and fulfilling life. To do this we are learning to self-manage resources which will collectively allow us to supply ourselves with what we really need, and with dignity. We are creating ways of living that have mutual support and trust networks as a basic substrate. At the same time, we must break the verticality which holds this society together. It will not be possible to do it from a passive standpoint because the structural violence of the system of domination requires an experiential and organized response from the bottom up. This response will need horizontal projects in political action and ideological emancipation. It’s not about being to the right or left, or even about who is at the top or at the bottom: it is about emerging together, all those who wish to, in an organized manner toward another system that can value the physical commons and relationships as well as cooperation, reciprocity, mutuality and multiculturalism; understanding the Earth’s limits and focusing on the care of this shared home.
All these developments toward the liberation and reconstruction of the collective subject and the conditions of our existence are what we call Integral Revolution. A process of construction with its roots in self management, that is based on autonomy and on the abolition of existing forms of domination: states, capitalism, and everything that interferes negatively in human relationships and in our relationship with nature. The Integral Revolution implies conscious action to improve and restore qualities and values of life in community and at the same time, the creation of new organizational forms to ensure equality and fairness in deciding how to cover our basic needs.
The Revolution of those who live each day as they feel, those who re-create community ties between neighbours step by step, those do not put themselves either up or down, of those who listen, laugh, of those who dance, those who know how to give a second chance, those who know when not to abide by even their own standards, those who have no fear, who trust, who love …
All these people are already taking part in the Integral Revolution. Many individuals and groups have been on this path for a long time. There are even generations born within free and autonomous societies, out of reach of the authoritarian grip of all known systems. An example are the indigenous peoples who realize that their actions not only affect the here and now, but also that they have to take care of anything that allows for life as a common good.
They are the most radical anti-capitalists, often without knowing it, without getting into the “anti” standpoint that labels them as something else. Those of us who are living in the so-called West, can also take on once again the ongoing construction of a collective identity and of direct action in the exercise of our rights, without asking permission from any authority outside the local assembly process, also because we have the ability to recover the identity of our peoples, to link ourselves with the make-up of our environment and to recover our ancestral knowledge combined with our collective intelligence.
These are the tools that allow for the Integral Revolution. Whilst we live in this new world we are building, we have to take into account the interference caused by state attempts at coercion and assimilation, but without focusing all our attention and intentions on it. Perhaps the most revolutionary act would be to ignore them all and leave the masters without slaves, but because they will not ignore us, we have no option but to disobey. We are attacked for our everyday contempt for authority, whether legal, medical, intellectual, cultural, economic or political. That’s why we opted for the Integral Disobedience as a condition for continuing to build.
To facilitate understanding of this term, we shall introduce the concept of a “social contract.”
The social contract is a philosophical and political concept which is the underlying basis of an individual’s relationship to society. Integral Disobedience involves breaking the social contract with the state of the territory where we live, in order to create a new social contract with a community in which the individual really feels connected.
Within the framework of the Integral Revolution, new communities are emerging where people are accepted and can actively participate in the process of defining rights and duties inherent in this social contract that enables us to live in society. A self managing rural community, a region, or an integral cooperative active across a wider area, would be three examples of these new institutions with which we choose to forge this new social contract.
Instead of delegating sovereignty to an alleged parliamentary democracy, we can participate directly in decisions through a truly democratic Assembly. When we pass from an implicit contract, which we never really signed, to an explicit contract, we are making an empowering leap. This is so that living in society can also mean living in freedom. In this framework, we can also choose to be part of different communities, among which we distribute our involvement and commitment, from the more experiential and small, to the more structured and wide.
These can supplement each other because none of them will be totalitarian like the state, and therefore will not try to control all spheres of the individual’s life but rather help in the areas within which each person chooses to work. Local assemblies, which try to be more and more constructive, autonomous spaces to meet community needs, and integral cooperatives that are becoming reality every day, are some of the examples of the Integral Revolution. These are much more worthy examples of where to place popular sovereignty for people who participate daily in politics: in assembly based political activism rather than in the supposedly democratic institutions of the state. When we carry out Integral
Disobedience, we disassemble the legitimacy of the capitalist state system and participate in legitimizing a new system.
Starting from the stated context, it is our long-term strategy to improve the way society operates from within by institutional means or via protest, or through reforms, lobbying activities, etc… In fact, the decline in social rights that we have seen in the last five years, shows that after decades of what it has cost in the path of social struggle and mobilization, the capitalist system is able to disassemble it in one term. However, we recognize the value of denouncing injustice, raising awareness, dignity and social empowerment that protest movements carry out. These are lived with excitement, seriously and persistently, and short-term wins that can be achieved in this way are still important.
As a living example of the present, desperate struggle to defend the basic right to housing, Plataforma Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH – Platform of those affected by mortgage) brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets this past 16th February to defend an ILP (Iniciativa Legislativa Popular with 1402854 signatures, and the citizen tides will march together on the 23rd of February, under the theme “Citizen tide against cuts and for a true democracy”. ”Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world”
You may get the idea that the people who are willing to take these values of integral transformation in our lives are a minority in society. We could conclude that about 1% of Catalonia are actively involved in some kind of self-management initiative, and between 5 and 10% are directly related to it, but do not participate or have only done so sporadically.
If we had been thinking about this 15 years ago, when there were almost no consumer cooperatives or self-managed social centers or networks of exchange, or free children’s nurseries, much less the approach of creating integral cooperatives – we would probably have concluded that the number of participants would have been at least 10 times smaller, but without the efforts of that small minority we would now be very far from where we are.
If we continue this way, 10% of the population would be actively participating in a self-management initiative by 2028 and at least 50% would then be related directly and/or would be involved with them at some point in their lives. I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful servitude.
Right now it is not the fact we are a minority; it’s not money, prison or the police that we have to fear. What we have to fear is fear itself, because that’s the only thing that separates us from the empowerment we need to regain control of our lives and to allow us to build the society we want. So, compañeros, we ask that you win over your fears. There is no short-term security that can be an excuse to leave behind a commitment to another society. What is at stake is our commitment to ourselves to live the way we want to live, and feel good in the process.
Taking to the streets until we tire ourselves out is not enough. We can go further. We can disobey any imposed authority, we can stop buying from multinationals and trade instead with local businesses directly, we can become more self-sufficient, exchange with others, we can use social currencies. We can transform our relationships. We can stop accepting discrimination of any kind … Whatever our chains, we can break them. Indignation and revolutionary commitment together with an attitude of Integral Disobedience with respect to legal, political and financial power, will no longer be enough to allow us to achieve the changes we wish to see in the world. Call to Action to extend the Integral Revolution With this appeal we are proposing 3 actions that have a direct connection with the process of expanding the paths that have already started: 1st action.
FOR US; FOR THE INTEGRAL REVOLUTION
15, 16 and 17 March. 1st anniversary of the publication Rebelaos and 4th anniversary of the publication We Can!
We call all integral cooperatives, self-managed projects, local self-management nuclei, ecoxarxes and autonomous initiatives aligned to the principles of the Integral Revolution, to organize and host decentralized conference days to inform, welcome and facilitate the participation of everyone who wants to know what is being done. We call on you to help them to take steps to start being part of a process of self-managed creativity outside of capitalism. We propose an action similar to that already made on the 17th of September 2009, when more than a hundred “points of contact” took to the streets.
Today, however, with the opportunity to link to much more advanced realities of social construction than what was available at that time. And this time we are not only proposing a specific way to welcome interested people, but that we invite them to take part in the creative aspect of each process to adapt and shape the proposal according to it’s current situation.
Provisionally, we will add news of this to the following link: http://www.enricduran.cat/15-17M and soon we will activate another page specifically to collect all the information, including a map of the talks that will be made and a common schedule. 2nd action
CONFRONT THE BANKS
From March 18 to April 17. We call for a transfer of bank deposits.
Closure of stocks, mutual funds and deposits so that they can be moved to and deposited in ethical and cooperative banks.
Only this will promote the revival of the kind of economy that is desirable for the common good and for the majority of the population. Stop funding the casino economy and help finance cooperative, self-managed projects that really meet people’s needs. So we are inviting you to close all the accounts that you can dispense of in conventional banks.
Possible options for transferring deposits:
Fiare.Cooperative. Ethical banking project in Europe. For years it has been accepting bank deposits and making loans, to cooperative social projects. During the last quarter of this year it will also begin to accept current accounts.
More info: http://www.fiare.org/
Coop 57. Ethical, cooperative and supportive financial services, managing savings and loans to social economy projects promoting employment, fostering cooperation, solidarity and sustainability based on ethics and solidarity. More info: HYPERLINK “http://www.coop57.coop/”http://www.coop57.coop
Som Energia. Cooperative marketing, production and consumption of renewable energy. Not a bank or a financial institution, but the savings of members creating cooperative development of renewable energy.
More info: http://www.somenergia.coop
Casx: Cooperative Self-Social Network. It is a fledgling, assembly run, interest free banking project. It lends its members’ savings to self-managed projects related to its principles, which are similar to those of the Integral Revolution. This action coincides with its first anniversary.
More info: http://www.casx.cat
In other areas, if you want to participate you could replace or extend these proposals with other organizations local to your area.]
The significance of this action is evident. We need to cut, as much as possible, any collaboration with the capitalist banking practice whose speculative practices have sunk the economies of millions and millions of people. Choosing where we deposit our savings is one of the most compelling ways to define our values and our way of life. 3rd action.
CONFRONT THE STATE
April and May. A call to fiscal insubmission from income tax payment.
As we promoted last year with the Manual of Economic Disobedience, this time we again participate in the call to extend an act of fiscal disobedience actions to the spanish state, and to those that control it, as a consistent way of showing that we will not pay their debts because we do not recognize the Constitution, the current puppet government of global financial capitalism, and neither do we recognise, therefore, the state budgets for 2013. Instead, we support self-taxation.
Therefore we will encourage the payment of what we do not pay the state to self-sustaining projects that are useful to cover the needs of the population.
To continue with this campaign we will create an updated edition of the Handbook of Economic Disobedience and update the page www.derechoderebelion.net
While also recognizing and supporting other initiatives that are promoting similar actions, such as the “tax pledge campaign against corruption,” sponsored by the Call to Disobedience that consists in depositing to the Tax Treasury that they can be paid unless they meet the demands of institutional transparency demanded by the campaign.
Beyond the coordinated actions that can help us to recognize and attract more participants, the key is to continue building every day.
With mutual support we can help each other through our difficulties, and via mutual self reliance, can solve our neighbours’ problems a lot better than what the state is doing.
Everyone who is with us can network to make our lives into an Integral Disobedience to empower and to build the society that we each have within us. So a few days ago, a group of projects related to the Integral Revolution have begun the Call to Integral Revolution to build an international political and ideological space.
This can be found at http://www.integrarevolucio.net
Long live the disobedient, long live the Integral Revolution!
Enric Duran Giralt
PS: I want to clarify that in this message and on this call to action I only take the role of speaker for a thought process that is collective, and that it is this collective that continues making this possible. Due to my current legal circumstances, I now have symbolic visibility as well as a physical invisibility. It is desirable that on another occasion this can pertain to another person. I’m not referring to the judicial farce, but to the role of speaker ;-)