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The Catalan Integral Cooperative … The Simpler Way revolution is well underway!

#1
The following article by the Australian ecoanarchist Ted Trainer examines the Catalan Integral Cooperative)CIC), a political project to bring together workers and consumers to produce an alternative to capitalism and the social and ecological crisis it has been generating. All questions and comments are welcome. Trainer who has been advocating The Simpler Way as an alternative to capitalism argues that the CIC is a living example of it. Below is the opening paragraph from his paper and the link to the full article:

"This is a remarkable and inspiring movement in Spain, now involving hundreds of people in what I regard as an example of The Simpler Way transition strategy … which is primarily about going underneath the conventional economy to build our own new collective economy to meet community needs, turning our backs on and deliberately undermining and eventually replacing both the capitalist system and control by the state."

The Catalan Integral Cooperative … The Simpler Way revolution is well underway!
 
#3
I would be cautious about mistaking these types of projects for revolutionary struggle. The "prefigurative" notion of "creating the new in the shell of the old" is a form of folk politics which I believe needs to be transcended at this stage of capitalist crisis. Not that everyone shouldn't try to find an affinity group where they can share ideas and material /emotional support. At least here in America where I live, I have seen these demonstration projects come and go for decades with little effect on the dominant culture or institutions. For a bunch of reasons I could go into if someone cares to debate.
 
#4
Hi David,

All these projects are important though in and of themselves not necessarily revolutionary. In my opinion, what we need are coalitions of these type projects that are sharing theory and practice and cross fertilizing as we are building a mass popular social movement of movements toward socialism.

I believe we need to talk about this and the dialectic relationship between the linked projects and the mass movement of movements.

What kind of organizational structural do we need to build?

Do we need a mass revolutionary party of parties?

Theoretically what is our tendency?

Best,
Dennis
 
#5
Thanks for the reply Dennis,
Again, I have no problem with projects that focus on sustainability and the whole Transition thing, as long as they are not held up as the model for resistance and struggle. They won't threaten capitalism, as Trainer claims, and they are somewhat privileged sites. It might even be that capitalism welcomes them as proof of its "flexibility" and "tolerance for plurality".

The other aspect seldom discussed is the high rate of failure and how this can demoralize participants. Sociability is difficult in a bubble where capitalist relations are the background ambience (there is dependence on markets for steel and glass and medicine, etc.. there are taxes and police, lack of retirement for old people, of universities...) Producer co-ops are great but they still have to compete and survive recessions.

As for building those coalitions and an organizational structure, we have started with critical thinking communities, gatherings for sharing food and ideas on a weekly basis. From this core we extend to activist groups, bringing a radical critique and often challenging their agendas. At the moment we are focused on Democratic Socialists of America as a new, growing force in our community and state. A basic task is to break the stranglehold of market ideology and introduce rational democratic planning. I think energy markets are a perfect place to attack by advocating for publicly owned renewables. Als0 healthcare organized around a single-payer system.
 
#6
Hi David,

Thanks for the reply. Everything that can be done along these lines needs to be encouraged in a process that aims for a critical mass. And we need a revolutionary party of parties just as we need a movement of movements on the left. Not only political and economic struggle, but the struggle for sustainable production as a whole and theoretical struggle too.

Best,
Dennis
 
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