[maybe i should save this for a day for further consideration, given all the other comment on the conference call, but it is written, so i’ll push the “send. ” forward ever, backward never. ]
In our October 11, 2006 conference call of the “movement for a democratic society, incorporated,” officers, with others listening, among the many things discussed was the question of “an exclusionary principle.” like “no authoritarians need apply” The question was postponed for further discussion, and I was delegated the task of composing some words, short of the port huron statement, to convey a positive expression of membership commitment and address the exclusion question. I had written a paper on “non-exclusionism in the new left” back in 1965. As i considered, I realized this is a larger task than simple. “mds, inc” has a “boiler plate legal structure,” for which i was selected as president, intended to serve the larger movement for a democratic society and the students for a democratic society, and to spawn a “movement for democratic society foundation,” and maybe an “institute” and whatever is needed. But as was pointed out, there was no actual statement of principles, and so actually nothing to join, except our association.
The following is a DRAFT, perhaps a poem, making the political personal, inviting you, and all, to be part of the movement for a democratic society, addressing the question of exclusion, expressing a beginning of the vision.
anyone who can relate to this is welcome, and can pass it on, and invite more. It’s like a 1000 word membership card. i think agents and vanguardists and egoists will keep away.
“movement for a democratic society” is an association of activists, forever young, students of life, for a democratic society, international, intergenerational, inter racial, interesting: students, seniors, survivors, seekers, strugglers, sisters, singers, speakers, scholars, sociologists, socialists, scientists, saints, savants, satirists, soldiers, sailors, slackers, scriveners, scribblers, smiths, semites, whoever you are, from wherever, for a democratic society,
all who would like to join, please do, respond to this invitation.
we are a union
an unarmed army embracing all humanity
to affirm and represent the rights of the common people, the oppressed, the multitude,
all who have been voiceless, and in the struggle to find our own voices.
challenging the old order and building the new
joining the global movements,
of popular democracy, liberation theology, peace education,
non-violence, direct action, civil disobedience, insistence,
for justice, where ever we are and everywhere,
for a transforming of patriarchal power to a true sharing of authority
in partnership and cooperation
between women and men
and all the genders and races and workers
a new social contract
a world labor contract
to affirm human responsibility
to turn around the impending climatic disaster of global warming
and the consequences of the oil and fossil fuel based industrialization of the past age,
and to do what we can to stop the bloody wars,
and putting down the guns
and making peace
and creating a culture of peace
for the children of the world,
that the next generations, to the seventh generation,
should not have to live through the wars and oppressions that we, and our fore-bearers have seen and suffered.
we, of course, serve to overturn the old order of power and war and greed,
and are completely subversive to fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, top down centralization of power
and most of what passes for government these days
we are inclusive, non exclusive,
there is room at the table for everyone with an open heart
agents and vanguardists and recruiters and opportunists enter at their own peril.
our task is to turn your heart
that you become an agent of the movement,
in whatever organization you serve,
to undermine hierarchy and totalitarian purpose
to transform itself and themselves
to serve instead
the grass roots, bottom up, horizontal, work democracy
insurgent movement and movements in every institution of the old order
joining the union for global partnership, the big we
we take on the nsa, cia fbi, rcp, iso, plp, dlc, ,
and any other initialed new-speak contraction of complex reality into simplistic ideology obedient to some old authority
our message is:
give up the old order, the old politics, the old wars
join the new order of the ages
our undertakings are favored.
democracy is what it is about
even the minority of one
for healing from the wars and traumas of past time which we have inherited, and our mis-leaders perpetuated.
and which we must do all what we can to stop now,
in iraq, afghanistan, columbia, darfur, all of them,
and the heart of the war, longest bleeding, in palestine and israel.
the entire war system must be transformed
no more war
economic conversion of the war economy is our common cause
we are workers in building a peace economy
our task is to work together in an artistic harmony
blending our strengths,
meeting our needs also in mutual aid
using the knowledges we have
revolutionary evolutionary actions changing history integrating national groups
r e a c h i n g
for quality public education available for everyone
for quality public health available to everyone
for redirecting resources for ending hunger and poverty
for creating new work
for reclaiming the public commons from the privatizers and usurpers
for putting more minds to curing aids and alzheimers and malaria and all the other dread diseases
for restorative justice, rebalancing what is out of harmony
for cultural survival
for the abolition of nuclear weapons totally
for mother love and apple pie and better days to come
there are many principles of organization in this association
we are a center-less circle with its circumference everywhere
we are an underground army of nurturers, arising
we are a network of affinity groups
we are a chorus of caucuses
we are a solidarity deeper than differences
we are veterans of past struggles, intent to affirm our continuity
we are your best friend and your worst nightmare
we are keepers of the dream
we are intent on change, and changing ourselves as well
we are each of us, you, a center of power
each with unique capacities to reach out
to family and friends, lovers, partners, teachers, coworkers, neighbors, acquaintances
compatriots from by-gone barricades and student days
all who know us.
we are encouragers of one another to mobilize our power
you are a center of power, send the call out,
put it in your own words, to all who know you, try again.
we are discovering what we can do together.
we combine many ideologies and analyses,
we are promoting human solidarity and effort for authentic relationship.
like students for a democratic society
we seek to create a sustained community of educational and political concern
maintaining a vision of democratic society where at all levels people have control of the decisions which affect them and the resources on which they are dependent, increasing democracy in all phases of our common life, promoting participation
we seek relevance through continual focus on realities and on the programs necessary to affect change at the most basic levels of economic, political and social organization.
our urgency is to put forth a radical, to the roots, democratic program whose methods embody the democratic vision
this is an initial statement of mds/movement for a democratic society
if you would like to join,
to acknowledge your membership
which is in your heart
alan haber, president
(i will sign your membership card, if you like)
answer please, 2 questions:
the beginning of dues
what do you need?
what do you have to offer?