Let’s spread disobedience. Let’s extend the Integral Revolution

pancarta-capitalismo

The uprooting we have been suffering as a species, inherent to the dynamics of this system, is unprecedented. The colonization of our lives goes beyond what is simplified as economic crisis, for it is a crisis that affects all areas, making us forget our values ​​and lose our basic life and co-existence skills.

While social and economic rights achieved after decades of struggle are severely degraded, dehumanization fueled by the promotion of objective individualism and superficiality, along with the social control exercised by the State through repression, welfarism, misinformation, and authoritarian education is destroying our ability to think, act and love life itself. It kills what has been called the concrete human essence.

So as not to lose this essence, a conscious reconstruction both individual and collective becomes crucial. This will be the first step to achieve the rebirth of what is already rotten in this system and in ourselves.

The rising of awareness that is becoming apparent today, comes with a radical break from imposed needs, material or otherwise. Voluntary simplicity, but without limits to the abundance of what is essential: the flow of feelings and emotions between people, and a happy, fulfilling life. In order to do this, we are learning to self-organise resources which will allow us to cover our real needs collectively, and with dignity. We are creating ways of living where mutual support and trust networks form a basic substrate.

At the same time, we must break the verticality which holds this society together. It will not be possible to do so 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 needs horizontal projects in emancipatory political action and ideology. Far from the concepts of right or left, or domination, it is about emerging together, all those who wish to, organized toward another system of planetary scope that values 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-organisation, founded on autonomy, and the abolition of existing forms of domination: nation-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 who 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 care for 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 living in the so-called West don’t need permission from any “central” authority farther away from the local assembly process to take on the task of unfolding a collective identity, or to use direct action to exercise our rights. Because we have the ability to recover our peoples’ identities, we can weave the fabric of our environment out of ancestral knowledge and our collective intelligence.  These are the tools that allow for the Integral Revolution.

Whilst we live in that new world we are building, we must take into account the coercive interference of States in their attempts to assimilate us. But we can’t focus all our attention and intentions on it. Perhaps the most revolutionary act would be to ignore them all and leave them masters without slaves. Alas, we have no option but to disobey, as they will not ignore us. We are attacked for our everyday contempt for authority, whether legal, medical, intellectual, cultural, economic or political. Therefore, we opted for Integral Disobedience as a condition to pursue building.

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 abstract state of the territory we happen to live in, in order to create a new social contract with the actual 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 social life. 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 an individual’s life but rather help in the areas within which each person chooses to work.

Local assemblies trying to be more and more constructive, autonomous spaces to meet community needs, and integral cooperatives that are becoming everyday reality, are some 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.

Within this 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, demonstrates how the capitalist system is able to dismantle decades of social struggle and mobilization, in a single term.

However, we recognize the value carried out by protest movements denouncing injustice, raising awareness, dignity, and social empowerment. They are lived with excitement, seriously and persistently, and can bring important short-term victories. As a prime 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) and citizen tides will march together on the 23rd of February, under the theme “Citizen tide against cuts and for a true democracy“. Last 16th of February, PAH brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets this past 16th February to defend an ILP strong of 1,402,854 signatures. (ILP is an acronym for Iniciativa Legislativa Popular: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initiative )

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (attributed to Margareth Mead)

You may get the idea that the people who are willing to take these values ​​of integral transformation into 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 nor self-managed social centers nor networks of exchange, nor 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.

“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” Thomas Jefferson
(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, compañerxs, we demand that you overcome your fears.

There is no short-term safety that can be any 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 inviting them to take part in the creative aspects of each process to adapt and shape the proposal according to their current situation.

Provisionally, we will follow up to this 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 given, 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: 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 obvious. 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 who 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’s 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 address 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 http://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. It consists in depositing to the Tax Treasury so that they cannot 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 neighbors’ problems a lot better than what the State is providing.

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

22/02/2013

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 ;-)

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