Alternative Solutions Towards a New System for People Powered Politics: Social Ecology!

Written by Nathaniel Gregory

In the Bluegrass State of Kentucky many working people have experienced worsening economic conditions, job losses, and degraded communities, threatening our very way of life & leaving us in complete ruin, despair, and debt. Our politicians do little to help us in our time of need, as they control the levers of this systematic death spiral of socially conservative governance that leads us to our current problems. Many Kentuckians have expressed their concerns for their low wages and long work hours which leaves them unable to sustain themselves. Power outages plague most parts of Kentucky, Poverty is increasing, and families are going hungry. People dealing with increasing costs from inflation & price gouging of For-profit industries, an increasing homelessness crisis that’s not being remotely addressed and a high increase of police brutality from over bloated police budgets that overshadow our other underpaid institutions like libraries, schools, housing, healthcare, etc., which leads to our problems like: lack of healthcare, homelessness, drug addiction, poverty, violence, corruption, etc.

This all gets to the massive problem that we are dealing with in Kentucky & the elected politicians who are heavily bought off by private interests who continue our spiral through this corporate coup d’état. Our politicians explicitly pass bills that cut our social programs that feed, shelter and help us, privatize our systems that give us education, food, water, etc., ban minorities of many ethnicities from participating in our society, exploit our lands, rivers and workers for profit, give tax cuts to big corporations, while said corporations give politicians legislation to push through that hurts our labor class. If the people were given the precise details on how our politicians have governed our way of life, they would easily be furious at how they’ve been handling our issues locally!

I believe it’s time to discuss the idea of autonomy and self-governance in Kentucky, so that we will have the right to make rules and institutions of governance which will allow us to combat the constant attacks on our civil liberties & freedom which, if allowed to run unchecked, will eventually destroy our communities. Even now, real potential exists for a new world of sustainability, regeneration, and love, but the key to making it a reality is that it needs to be built within the shell of the old world as it collapses into chaos. Now more than ever, we must assert control over producing products – not through any state apparatus, but as real groups and communities – and take production into our own hands, producing and distributing what we need to care for each other. This alone is the only alternative that can lead us out of the corporate coup d’etat death spiral.

We can create solidarity in our neighborhoods by forming mutual aid organizations, or other beneficial community organizations, which can build power in communities. Following this, we can use the elections to transfer political power to the community organizations, which can push for municipal assemblies or councils. Under this type of confederal democracy, these democratic councils would have the ability to make decisions for themselves, while still holding accountability with respect to the larger federation of communities they exist in. We can create new institutions and structure real change for our communities in both rural and urban areas at the municipal level, and give people direct democratic power, much like the example set by AANES in northern & eastern Syria. What I’m currently arguing for in Kentucky is for popular citizens’ assemblies to make decisions at the local level while running in local elections, which would enable us to put more power in the hands of ordinary citizens. The first thing that this requires is for us to begin connecting to our local institutions, assemblies, worker cooperatives, land trusts, tenants’ unions, and mutual aid projects at the municipal level, then at a regional level, to build a federation of direct-democratic, grassroots, dual-power building institutions across Kentucky (and in other states as well), much as organizations like Symbiosis are currently attempting to do. Kentuckians may be exasperated at lack of involvement, while environmental and work issues go unaddressed… In this article, I propose an alternative way of working, which starts from direct involvement in your neighborhood or workplace, and gives the tools to make everyday life democratic.

The Municipal / Local Agenda

We’re in a time where we must think Outside the Box of both Federal & mostly Electoral Politics as a whole, but while not completely abandoning it entirely. We do engage in some Electoral work to dissolve the already elected positions of local seats to fully give and recognize neighborhood & community assemblies as the decision makers instead of a council of elected representatives who could easily turn back on their promises. Electoralism needs to be built up for a Peoples’ Movement for Democracy that’s Outside of the System to decentralize & then dissolve the local levels to increase more popular assemblies of the people! A real Democracy needs to be built within our Communities, where the Parties get involved with them, and the Workplaces, where the Unions get involved with them. Both Parties & Unions must have Radical Outlooks & Sets of Demands that are Unsatisfied till we have Self-determination. Elected officials could still be a thing, but they would be more like a manager or a delegate, that’s elected by the community to care for community-decided tasks. The decision-making remains with the community itself, thru its assemblies. Elected officials only to carry out tasks decided by assemblies. If they overstep power or do a poor job, the assemblies can immediately vote to recall at any time with no waiting for an election day.

The form of Radical Democracy must be Inclusive, Participatory and must make sure all Voices are Heard & have Direct-impacts on Decision-making in order for resources to be put under the Community-control with the Commons than under the Private Ownership of the Capitalists! Simple goals of Reform that legitimize Capitalism & the Nation-state are inefficient. Radical Movements that have drawn ideas from Socialist, Marxist, Communist & Anarchist Movements in history, which have rallied for change for a new society with Democratic-core Principles to make all the issues like Social & Environmental Dysfunctions be solved and dealt with, to create new varieties of Community Politics that focus on dismantling the many forms of Oppression & Hierarchy that the Nation-state creates in order to stop any form of threat to their power of their foundation. Exposing this system for being… Un-democratic, putting it kindly as we don’t live in a Democracy instead an Oligarchy, while building our own Independent Infrastructures, Organizations, Parties & Unions to help each other while we build towards a new type of Democracy in this uphill hardship, instead of forcing a “Democracy-promoting Reform”, is the only way forward in my opinion in order to dismantle the power of the Status-quo & replace it to a Peoples’ Powered Politics than a Corporate Establishment of Oligarchy. Goals shouldn’t be to form a political party to counter Democrats or Republicans, but forming an organization that can help communities organize for these changes and then work together in solidarity as a confederation of communities.

We have to start by Building a real Democracy from the Bottom-up in Local & Municipal Elections, instead of the Top-down with Federal Elections. Usually in Local Elections they aren’t partisan & are mostly focused on local issues that people & the Community can and would organize around for material change for the better, which there’s a lot more power at the Local Levels of Government than people assume there is. This gets me to my proposal & vision, we should look into the Principles & the Politics of Social Ecology while including new aspects of nurturing, restorting, healing, adapting & regenerating the environments that have been degrading right underneath our feet for so many years & decades! Both in our community, workplace and ecological environments. It all begins through the Local & Regional scales through practices of Regeneration in the Communities & a Change to Regenerative Culture that transitions us away from the Industrialization of our towns towards to an Ecological Urbanization, Localization & Regenerative Bioregionalization of the Communities, Ecology and Nature as a whole with an emphasis of coexisting in an adaptive world that depends on exact other, Humans, Plants & Animals, of the Environment from not of just a ‘Sustainable’ Community but a Regenerative Community with Social & Ecological Systems that benefits everyone & everything in the process of this Regenerative Social Ecologist vision!

From Murray Bookchin’s books, ‘The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy’, ‘From Urbanization to Cities: The Politics of Democratic Municipalism’, ‘The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy’, ‘Urbanization Without Cities: The Rise and Decline of Citizenship’ & ‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’ which I highly recommend if you want to get into Bookchin’s philosophy, we need a vision of Ecological Municipal Politics through reclaiming our Cities & making them the center for a renewed Citizenship, Direct-democracy Human & Ecological Values and Repair our Human & Nonhuman Relationships by eliminating this Capitalist Hierarchy, to develop a harmonious relationship with nature & foster cooperation with others. The way to do this is if we take our cities back, implement ‘Libertarian Municipalism’, have Citizen Assemblies, Land Trusts, have Practical & Effective Institutions to counter the Nation-state and finally have a say to deliberate & debate on making decisions for the better of Kentucky than our corrupted Representatives! Since one would engage in political struggle of some sort, one could call this organization a “political party”, but only if it’s made clear by what you mean as a “Party”. Not one in a traditional sense that runs candidates solely to take positions in government but Instead as one that’s almost an “Anti-party Party” whose goal is to make parties obsolete and to make elected positions as we know them obsolete, in favor of a system of democratic assemblies working in federation.

Social Ecology

Social Ecology is an ethical principle that’s based on the convictions of our ecological problems that originated from & are connected deep within the social problems, that a society’s tendency for hierarchy & domination must be replaced with democracy & freedom of Social Justice, Ecology and Peace! Murray Bookchin, Political Philosopher, Social Ecologist & Trade Union Organizer, had written a lot on the relationship between Ecology, Social Issues & Politics, such as “The Ecology of Freedom”, “Post-Scarcity: Anarchism” & “The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy”, that he envisioned a Commune-like System with a mix of Social Decentralization of the along Ecological & Democratic lines of Nature of Coexistence between Humanity & Environment. Bookchin’s solution, along with other Social Ecologists were on creating an Ecological Sustainable Society that the Environment is a Right for living & Sustaining life.

Through this vision of Social Ecology, the Principles are;

    • Interdependence & the Principle of Unity in Diversity to promote the importance of Talents, Points of View and Styles that allows the Society to evolve while simultaneously maintaining stability.
    • Decentralization to the form of a Confederation of Decentralized Municipalities that are linked to each other by commercial & social ties.
    • Direct Democracy that’s structured around the principle form of Communalism called “Libertarian Municipalism” that becomes the Political Decision-making bodies.
    • Renewal of Citizenship where all the people & community participate in relearning the Decision-making process of local life concerns.
    • Liberating Technology that is solely used in services of human beings with the moral foundations to be developed for the benefits of humans through multifunctional, durable, environmentally friendly, easily usable and maintained, not enslaved.
    • Social Vision of Work that can be done through developing machines for a large part of manual labor work, freeing people to become more creative & participate into enjoying their social life more fully with a reduced work time.
    • Dialectical Naturalism to think of living creatures interrelations with the aim for freedom & synchronicity with nature.

What Social Ecology puts forward is a Politics of a Radical Democracy & with a Counter-power called Dual Power, that understands that Capitalism & Ecology are not compatible! Capitalism & Hierarchy only focuses on incremental reforms on helping the Environment while still profiting off the Ecosystem destruction just to market off of a market that relies on this belief that the Stock Market has to grow & expand indefinitely or it’ll grind to a halt & collapse, The “Grow-or-Die” Imperative as they referred to it, which Bookchin pointed that out in the 1960’s as Ecological Movements focused for mere small solutions to a massive avalanche of ecological cascades to mitigate the problems! In the 1970’s Social Ecology played a role in the Anti-nuclear Power Movement as 1,400 of nonviolent protesters were arrested in the wake of the construction of the NextEra Energy Station in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Anti-nuclear Alliances in the United States began were it was committed to Nonviolence, Direct Action, Bottom-up Forms of Internal Organization and Sophisticated Understanding of Technological & Social Change relationships, that came under the Institute for Social Ecology, that acquired Hands-on experience in Organic Gardening & Alternative Technology, which thus build important famous roles, concepts & affinity groups such as; EcoFeminism, Reconstructive Anthropology and many other Political & Theoretical Topics that are still used to this day.

The Social Ecologist Movements’ method was always using the Municipalities & Dual Power to challenge the Capital & the State! Dual Power is a strategy that transitionally lays in the groundworks for an Ecological Society that’s sustainable for the future. Dual Power was originally used as a term when Russian Socialists had much power in the Grassroots level, during the Russian Revolution, that they contented the State for it’s Authority & Legitimacy. The term for Dual Power under the Austro-German Marxists permanent councils for workers & the parliamentary state balancing each other, practically depriving its original meaning. But the term for Dual Power, under Bookchin’s philosophy, is that it’s a strategic & transitional ‘Revolutionary Tension’ framework that precisely creates & transforms society with Libertarian Institutions of Direct-democratic Assemblies that are Conferated and challenge, oppose & replace the Exploitative State over existence! With Dual Power in a Social Ecology Strategy, it plans to construct a Grassroots, Horizontal, Local Institutions with Structural Organizations that replace the Exploitative Capitalist Institutions in both our & the neighbors’ hands to plan for a rational future that meets the material needs for the people.

The Success of Dual Power & Mutual Aid Organizations

Dual Power can be used to create federations like Cooperation Tulsa & other People’s Movement Assemblies, for example, the Food & Agriculture System. Our Agricultural System is one of the many drivers of Climate Change & Unhealthy Sustenance that continuously gets warned about but never addressed in any sort of way!

With initiatives under Dual Power, we can supplant this Capitalist Food System with a Community-owned Regenerative Agriculture Farms & Cooperative Food Provisions, like how the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network built their Localized Food System through Urbanized Farming on a 7-acre D-Town Farm & Detroit People’s Food Co-op employees 20 residents & improves their access to local, healthy grown food for the community. Even Cooperation Jackson, the arm to the Jackson-Kush plan that was established in 2014 by Kali Akuno, has aimed to creating a network in Jackson, Mississippi, to create an interconnected farming, landscaping, waste management (recycle) and construction Cooperatives to create EcoVillages on its Collective Lands. Even Cooperation Tulsa is doing the same with building a community garden in Oklahoma.

There’s another example, Energy Production & Infrastructure Communities can be Community-owned & bypass the Corporate Capitalistic Monopolies that always keep on Polluting & Price-gouging the people. In a Community-owned system, we can supply Affordable Energy to our Neighbors while in the short-term creating the groundworks to have a decentralized Community-owned Power-grid that supplies our homes with Renewable Energy in the long-term! As Soulardarity of Highland Park, Michigan, gives an example of. Their community organization installed Collectively-owned solar street lights & have a Community Energy Cooperative to scale the Production & Access.

In the Bay Area, the Local Clean Energy Alliance developed Community-owned & decentralized Renewable Energy Systems to become alternatives to PG&E’s corporate utilities. This is still building movements towards to Democratic Control of Utilities & Energy Projects! Mutual Aid comes to play for Climate-related incidents, where the groundwork can be set for adaptive, resilient & Democratized institutions! The Common Ground Relief provides a good example, which they’re a Community-initiated Organization that was established during Hurricane Katrina. They’ve been operating for 17 Years as a Mutual Aid Disaster Relief group to help people by providing immediate relief during 2005, building affordable & energy efficient housing for the displaced residents during 2007, went from rebuilding to create resilience in the Gulf Coast Communities that were ecologically sustainable & to restoration and preservation of the coastal wetlands of Louisiana that were disappearing under Climate Change during 2013 & 2015! In Puerto Rico as well, Community Members & Organizers came together to form the Centro de Apoyo Mutuo, ‘Mutual Aid Centers’, after Hurricane Maria during the neglect from their former government officials!

Cities themselves offer a tone of hope with the amount of Political & Social space for change whereas most of the Corporations that’re in control of the Hierarchy are in their headquarters of Richistan as they make more profit of the destruction of the Environment, Cities are unfettered space that the people can collectively reimagine the reality forward to a rational city from endless growth & consumption for profits and into a shift towards something more Individualist & Universal to help our Neighbors, Friends & Brethren, who we share our problems & interests that arise such as within the; Environmental, Educational & Economic Issues that form a underpin of shared civic life, like Athens, Greece and Miami has done, for example. A renewal of Grassroots movements & even creating Popular Assemblies in the Urban / Rural territories to become the Decision-making bodies where the people participate in the management with Land Trusts and provide the means of equal distribution of political power among all the community members. There will of course need to be precautions for potential power vacuums from the Nation-state’s enforcement of domination. As we all connect with the Struggles, we need to seek the experiences of Popular Democratic Autonomous processes that have functioned to their day-to-day lives through instaurating Direct-democracy connected together to achieve different types of Non-market/bureaucratic managements for residence.

The Broad Emphasis of Social Ecology

The emphasis that Social Ecology highlights is, for us to have a Rational Society that captures the Moral Regeneration & Social Reconstruction along Ecological lines, we need to emphasis that an ethical appeal & approach to the levers of power be not based on the Capitalist Market Forces where ruthless competition get in the way of our needs of survival & tranquility towards a Post-scarcity & Ecological Society, which is certainly futile in the utter end and to have the Original meaning of Politics and Citizenship to be amplified & restored back to where it originally meant, we would need to be within the community through Municipal Associations, where the people build up their own Economic, Institutionalization & Confederal of power and support in organized communities through territorial networks on the Local & Regional Scale! Electoralism, Neoliberalism or even Social Democracy, if we ever get to that path, would not be a real sort of victory as when time goes on it will rot back into the problems that we’re currently in today Because the hierarchical nature of Capitalism & the State will always be inextricably put into place while Social Democracy through Electoralism is simply a bandage of a growing issues, which was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s accomplishment by ‘reforming Capitalism’ into Social Democracy as until then through the Era’s of Republican Presidents, America’s Traitor & reason for the Democratic Party’s degradation, Bill Clinton, began the Era of NeoLiberalism. When electing politicians who are Progressives, who are better in a Social Democratic way & preferable than Neo-conservative Extremism, the broader point is simple reforms to help the people won’t be enough for all current destability because while these reforms do give us a couple of decades or more & give everyone the basic material needs of help in every way, they still leave in place the system of Capitalism & it’s ‘Grow-or-Die’ imperatives that relies on pillaging the lands and resources of the Land, which is leading to our Economic disaster and Pandemic of COVID-19 due to further Overconsumption, to easily lead us right back to where we were through its Hierarchy of Violence, which we are currently witnessing right now.

The current institutions of the Hierarchy are unaccountable to people who’ve been affected by Climate Change, Police Brutality, Corporate Exploitation, Healthcare Crisis, Ecological Crisis, Student Debt Crisis, etc. We must not expect, nor pray, for any hope that Electoralism, even if the right people are elected for congress, or that the Institutional System will save us. We need & engage in coordination, cooperation & decentralization of the current system locally by creating a new politics through the rubble of the old system through Mutual Aid across the world & areas, prevent destabilization that will hurt everyone in the wake of scarcity & low payment and work to a just transition towards a Democratic Deliberation on not just the Local or State level, but the Global level!

Libertarian Municipalism

Libertarian Municipalism empowers People in Urban, Rural Local Communities in Villages, Towns & Cities, as well as build new Community Institutions to wean us, establish Direct-Democratic traditions in our Community & invert Power Structure through small districts or simply neighborhood assemblies where the public carefully considered & made through consensual decisions and Direct-democracy, which can be small enough to have an assembly that holds for in person discussions. The way it works is we have to build Local Power through Local Campaigns for Office & create Democratic Assemblies from the City Charters to become Popular Assembly bodies over the Representative Hierarchy structures, such as; Mayor, City Councils, etc and create Extra-Parliamentary assemblies that gain the power to Govern. It effectively gains an advancement over all of the conceptions by calling for the Municipalization of the Economy & Management by the Community as part of a Politics of Public Self-Management to have the productive assets be held by the Community. 

The key idea for Libertarian Municipalism is that we need to create a Decentralized, non-hierarchical Politics starting at the Grassroots Levels and gain power through both the Local & Municipal politics by decentralizing the City Government in a Social Ecologist Strategy. As the Municipality becomes Independent, the Nation-state collapses & is replaced by something that’s governed with Direct-Democracy. So it would be Creating a Communal Society that meets the needs of Inhabitants, Be sensitive & responsive to the Local Ecological System & Develop an Ethics based on Sharing and Cooperation by empowering the People to Direct Popular Control of their Municipalities through Democratic Neighborhood Assemblies, rejecting the Power of the State in our Current System. By scaling-down large geographical areas to locales, people are able to revive Political practices through Direct-Democracy, collectively assuming responsibility for their communities instead of relying on Abstract & Impersonal systems of Government & Business. Through linking together multiple of these now Independent Neighborhoods, their strength through Collective Cooperation can stand against the Current Systems of Power.

We should start laying the groundwork for our National Policies on our Municipal Levels. People should focus on Local Elections as they focus on immediate local issues & put a greater emphasis for other people to get to know they’re neighbors, talk policies and probably guide them towards a discussion on more Direct-Democracy & Mutual Aid. So many Municipalities have successfully challenged the Centralized Power. States would change when a number of Cities push hard enough to force the State into action. Many States already grant Municipalities a large amount of Power & Ability to manage themselves Democratically. Municipalities implement programs long before the States or even the Federal Government can & even sue the State / Federal Government for Action. They can form Mutual Aid Networks with Dual Power, to build and liberate Spaces & Institutions via Direct-Democracy.

Democratic Confederalism

The Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria (NES), or Rojava as it’s known, has given us a clear example of how the Principle & Politics of Social Ecology can look like and can be achieved in a large Regional scale under a Autonomous Self-governance through local assemblies that are networked in multiple confederated levels to the locus of power that still remains at the grassroots level with local assemblies, called Democratic Confederalism.

Democratic Confederalism means Communities establish they have the Autonomy & the Decision-making of their own through Neighborhood Assemblies that goes across larger Regions through Elected Delegates in larger Assemblies. It allows Direct-Democracy to take place in the Region rather than in a single Neighborhood. An elected Delegate wouldn’t be a Representative Politician, as they would not have unilateral power to make decisions on behalf of the local Communities, policies would be made at the Neighborhood Level & be coordinated by re-callable Delegates within the Confederal body instead of by Representatives who become absorbed into the larger Government’s Superstructure. Whereas our current system has Legislative bodies that create policy through Representatives elected in Districts, Confederations are made up of Delegates who Administer the will of the Neighborhood Assemblies. Even though the Confederation that’s made up of many different Neighborhoods, each individual Community maintains their Freedom & Identity. The independence of each Community is Interwoven with the larger Network of other Communities. This will create a Coordinated & Cooperative dependence that ensures stability & success of each individual community. Newly formed Interdependence of each Neighborhood develops, as this confederation of municipalities can increase their power & negate the necessity of the State.

The Political System of Rojava & Chiapas

There’s many examples of how Municipalism & Confederalism have succeeded, which I’ll get to two examples that I only currently know of at this point which are the Kurds of Rojava in Northern Syria & the Zapatistas of Chiapas in South Mexico.

Rojava

Rojava is a Self-governing Sub-region in the areas of Afrin, Jazira, Eupjrates, Raqqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir Ez-Zor that is only governed in a Commune where neighborhood Assemblies are made of a 150 Families through Democratic Structures that a person within the Commune can represent themselves in the assembly. To go fully in depth with Rojava’s Political System, they’re under Democratic Confederalism that was created by the help of Murray Bookchin’s work which inspired the founder of the Kurdish Workers Party in Northern & Eastern Syria, Abdullah Öcalan, stating that he was a “student” to Bookchin. He created & implemented Democratic Confederalism, which was basically a Larger-scale of Communalism. Communalism is when the Communities coordinate their affairs through Community Ownership of Property & making decisions at the Neighborhood level in regularly occurring Democratic Assemblies instead of the Government & fostering Voluntary Association in relationships & the absence of coercion over one another. Abdullah Öcalan’s progress aimed to bring together the peoples of the Middle East in a confederation of democratic, multicultural & ecological communes. Bookchin himself gave his remark stating, “My hope is that the Kurdish people will one day be able to establish a free, rational society that will allow their brilliance once again to flourish. They are fortunate indeed to have a leader of Mr. Öcalan’s talents to guide them”. After Murray’s passing, the PKK hailed Bookchin as, “One of the greatest social scientists of the 20th century.”

Chiapas

Chiapas is one of the states that not only make up 32 of Mexico’s federal entities & comprises 124 municipalities but are a self-governing decentralized state with the help of the EZLN, Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The Zapatistas lead an uprising in 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted, in a form of protest, revolt & even insurrection against the state until the San Andrés Accords agreements were made between the Mexican Government, which was under the administration of President Ernesto Zedillo, and the EZLN to be granted the Self-autonomous of Chiapas. Their ideology is “NeoZapatism”, which means Libertarian Marxism, Libertarian Socialism & traditional indigenous beliefs.

The way in how their horizontal autonomy, that’s decolonized, works is they’re controlled by the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities, MAREZ, which are controlled by the NeoZapatista support bases of Chiapas. They have popular assemblies of 300 families, which even 12 year olds can participate in for decision-making to reach a consensus. Federations are formed from communities to then other communities to create an autonomous municipality that then forms further federations with other municipalities to effectively religionalize. Each community has 3 administrative structures which rank to: the Commissariat that’s in charge of administration on a day-by-day basis, the Council for Land Control that deals with forestry & disputes with neighboring communities and the Agencia which is the community’s police agency. Also to point out, the EZLN doesn’t hold any power in the municipalities as their constitution states that no commander or member can take positions in authority or governance in these spaces.

The MAREZ are coordinated by the Councils of Good Government, which is to promote education & health to their territories as well as fight for land rights, labor & trade, housing, fuel-supply issues, promoting indigenous arts, language & traditions and administer justice. Their economy is composed of worker cooperatives, family farms & community stores with low-interest loans, free education, radio stations and universal healthcare for all to the communities by the councils of good government. The communities have de-privatived ownership, but not personal ownership, of property and instituted a common ownership of land system, which they sell over more worth of goods to international markets. They produce corn, beans, coffee, bananas, sugar, cattle, chicken, pigs & clothing at their cooperatives since they are largely and agriculturally self-reliant.

The Zapatistas are even strongly affiliated with feminist & queer politics that, like in Rojava, women are liberated and have rights to participate in affairs of positions in the community, pay & freedom without prejuidice regardless of race, creed, color or political affiliation.

They do have some down faults as many Socialists & Anarchists noted such as not fully abolishing the practices of wage labor, rent & multinational investment from their communities, not centralizing their powers enough and exploiting their natural resources to fund social programs in the communities and then sponsor for revolutionary activities throughout Mexico and even the communities not engaging in a full vegetarian lifestyle, continuing to use plastic & clearing the surrounding jungles to raise their cattle.

They aren’t perfect, but they are good examples of what we can effectively do right now for Kentuckian Cities, Towns & Villages for the better of the people & the environment as a whole!

How It Can All be Accomplished

Through the Political Municipality that succeeds, Community life should be rescaled to a suitable realm of Democratic Politics by decentralizing cities into smaller Municipalities to a much manageable size. In the Institutional Level of Decentralization, Political Institutions would need to be created into the small Municipalities to become larger Municipalities to exist. It essentially decentralizes the City’s governmental structures & breaks it up to reallocate the power and controls from the City Halls towards the Neighborhoods. For the smaller Cities & Towns, Local Units would be effectively fewer & larger proportions for the city to exist presently. In Rural Villages, decentralization probably wouldn’t be necessary as the Local Units are small. Through Decentralized Cities / Towns a large number of the Neighborhoods would then become the centers that control & develop the local economic production, public spaces & infrastructures instead of a single City Hall. We also have the ‘Physical Decentralization’, where it breaks up a large city’s built with the terrain & infrastructure of the environment while smaller municipalities would need smaller city centers than a city hall, small infrastructure system, public spaces, etc. as well as creating green spaces to the center of the municipality for new civic life to be focused. Decentralization helps rebalance the City & Countryside’s equilibrium between both Social Life & the Biosphere. When the New & Small Municipalities that have been decentralized, it will undergo its process of Democratization!

Democratization is inseparable from decentralization, which in the Municipalities would have Direct-Democracy as well as ‘Popular Citizens’ Assemblies’ to meet in general, deliberate and make decisions on the common concerns & issues. There have been many places that have formed assemblies like; Athens, New England, Paris, Chile, Rojava, etc. that have used the Direct-democratic policies to get their agendas done. In a Popular Assembly, they would constitute, define & draw up bylaws to conduct its proceedings themselves. The bylaws would establish both the decision-making procedures & offices and establish consultative & administrative neighborhood committees, councils & boards in order to study, make recommendations on issues & enforce the policies in the assembly. If the members violate the community’s rules over power of the councils & boards, the people can strip them of their power, hold them accountable & from office and replace them. That’s why there would be continuous reviews over the assembly & the members for this reason. In meetings, agendas with items & issues that have been asked by the people to be considered will have to be drawn. All issues, arguments & including counterarguments would be aired thoroughly for several days or more in order to give citizens the amount to contribute their discussions into specific issues to debate in a citizens’ assembly where people with different points of view should be heard as well!

This now leads us to the process of Consensus, the preservation of personal autonomy which is completely different from a ‘Majority Rule’ which still leaves a Minority unrepresented. The Consensus Process is when every member of the community agrees with the agenda, which does take a while to finalize the decision. Some consensus processes require less than unanimity, possibly 80% agreement, in order to make a decision. But problems will still remain. For example, 21% of a voting body would routinely be able to obstruct the view of the Majority! In the Community, it’s highly important to rebuild our trust & fix our social bonds with people who are in our neighborhoods to build solidarity in order to have a strong alliance & coalition to pass agendas. A consensual governance is connected to territorial organizing, solidarity economies & resistance to the Nation-states through strong relationships with the land, as well as the Non-humans for a genuine political autonomy. Obstruction can be good in cases of a Libertarian belief, in case a person who dessent’s own view or will differs from the majority, like a person having the unconditional right to veto a decision, but it’s crucially important to build solidarity with one another in order to help everyone!

If a Municipality goes rogue & harms both Human RIghts & the Environment, the Municipalities would unite into a Confederal Assembly to take action against the rogue municipality to bring it back to it’s Previously-agreed set of Human, Social & Ecological Rights that were defined by the People & Popular Assemblies! This is in a way a return to the original idea of “Small Government & Democracy” that was enshrined in the ‘Articles of Confederations of 1777’, for in this case, we would establish Basic Human, Social & Ecological Rights to be protected by the Confederation.

Through this revival of Grassroots Community Politics, that returns us to small scale re-engagement with the people & local issues with People-powered Politics instead of National Politics, would bring about a cultural awakening in our neighborhoods & communities that has been feed lies by the power of establishment propaganda & have been caved in through poor living conditions by our elected corrupt officials in office that abused us till we accepted our defeat & submission to their will to becoming disempowered for too long. If we break through this & get folks talking about issues and solutions, we will eventually see a massive cultural swing at a rapid rate!

Libertarian Municipalism & Democratic Confederalism in Becoming Reality

With Libertarian Municipalism & Democratic Confederalism, we can effectively build a Global Network of Communities, Neighborhoods, Villages, Towns & Cities which interlink through Confederal bonds with Libertarian Institutions of Direct-Democratic Assemblies that oppose & replace the State itself! With a Municipal Confederation & a Nation-State competing, one will sooner or later displace the other with one system that has a Popular Assembly, a place that gives individuals in a Community Direct Access to Power, Shaping Policy & the World around them, it would make the State cease to exist. A Decentralized Confederal Democracy relies on Local Governments to become Citizens Assemblies for the decision-making on Economic & Government issues through Direct-democracy that debates, deliberates, directly voting on the issues that affect the community and achieve consensus whenever & wherever possible, where as State & Federal Governments can easily be corrupted and become authoritarian, when an elected-representative goes to congress & abuses his or her authority of power! To recreate a Political realm with expanded Democratic core principles where our Communities have the ability to Self-manage, we have to look into these routes changing life for the better through the municipalities of Kentucky.

To accomplish this and make it a reality, we must Fight at the Local Level & Resist our States effort to control us in this abusive relationship!

  • We must build a Blockchain of Mutual Aid Networks & Fix our Social Bonds to increase Neighborhood Solidarity to create participatory Neighborhood Assemblies to decide & make the Policies that the people & the Community wants while educating people on the topics of our issues like; Financially, Principles, Economics, Ecology, Social, Racial, Debt, Addiction, Law Enforcement, Poverty, Degradation, Homelessness, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education, Defense, Corruption, etc. on what we’re literally facing in Kentucky locally.
  • Encourage people & Neighbors to create Community Small-scale Garden / Farm Cooperatives for Food with AgroEcology (Regenerative Agriculture) Practices in their Yards or an Abandoned Malls &/or Warehouse to create a Greenhouse / Food Production center, in order to create our own Food Sovereignty & to have a Regional Production of Food. Support Local Food Markets to increase production to help them & share to people and your neighbors who would be in need of help.
  • Organize for Workplace Cooperatives & Unionization, join the Movements with the Workers in their demands for a safer & fairer Working Environment!
  • Take Control of Electrical Distribution System, Install Public Renewable Energy Utilities Locally & generate efficient Power to our Community with Solar & Clean Energy that doesn’t harm us or the Environment as a whole!
  • Build a Popular Assembly for the Community in both the Neighborhood, Town & City to give people the power to shape policy via Direct-Democracy & Federations to solve issues in a Self-autonomy of Governance & helping to build Worker Cooperatives & Unions!
  • Create Commissions, similar to that of the Rojava system, for our Communities such as; Self-Defense, Politics, Economics, Social Ecology: (Civil, Social, Racial, Ecology, Justice), Free Society, Ideology, Liberation, Animals and Feminism!

Libertarian Municipalism & Democratic Confederalism with Decentralization offers benefits to Social Cooperation & Collective Action that improves the Well-being of the Local Community while structurally making it impossible for the Fascist Oligarchs seizing our power. Protests alone won’t be enough as our Freedoms are taken away from us! To create a New Society with Democratization of our Local Economy & State, the Neighborhoods & Cities must be structured through a new participatory Direct-Democratic structure of the Municipal & Local Elections with concrete problems & solutions with neighbors. We can even effectively create a New Constitution through Libertarian Municipalism & Democratic Confederalism, as the Municipalities will be our own Capital, instead of Washington! The Social Ecologist capital is a locality where we can simply live our everyday lives through our Neighborhoods, Communes, Schools, Factories, Offices and Streets, that are liberated from this Hierarchy of control & domination, by using Cities to organize & federate a new constitution! It’s possible, but we need to get organized & get involved in the Municipalist Movement, help each other in our Neighborhoods, Communities and run in Local Elections & Municipal Seats to Decentralize power & thus actually make all of it become a reality! It’s time we put “We The People” back into Politics! As many Municipalists stated, most of the Police, Judges, etc are just appointed & are never held accountable in any Democratic way, which is why they strongly oppose the Federal Institutions as the Courts & Prison Systems are never held up to any accountability!

With Direct Democracy, we would have the capability of Self-governance & Self-determination towards a Rational Society that we can push for Regeneration of our Lands & Rivers. Humans are a product of evolution, that favors Cooperation & Mutual Aid, instead of Competition of Exploitation. Citizens in States & Local Cities need to always find a way to turn the discussion toward Direct-Democracy, toward Communities making decisions on their own instead of the Top-Down Hierarchical Governance that’s leading us to devastation from the destruction of our Forests & Swamps. With built in Mutual Aid Networks & true Grassroots Democratic Institutions to cooperate toward an Ecological Society, the ecological politics that’s deeply rooted in Mutual Aid & formed Community Assemblies for us to practice real Democracy, form real Associations with other Ecological Communities to cooperate will come to fruition towards a Global Ecological Revolution.

We can Locally do; $25 Living Wage Jobs, An Income Above Poverty, Affordable Housing w/ Universal Rent Control & Public Housing, Medicare For All: (Community-controlled Health Service), Lifelong Free Universal Public Education: (Pre-K through College), A Secure Retirement: (Double Social Security Benefits), Worker Cooperatives & Public Ownership, Democratic Economic Planning & Production for Use within Ecological Limits and A Regenerative Moral ‘Circular’ Ecological Economy! Not to forget push for Community-control of the Police with elected Neighborhood Review Boards w/ Investigative & Policy-making powers in their Communities & a Citywide elected Police Commission to set Citywide Police Department Policies & determine Disciplinary sanctions for Police misconduct to hold Accountability & to institute culture & policies for policing so that Departments serve & protect Communities instead of intimidate them. In a Municipal Confederation, we can Co-op the Local Internet for a Decentralized Platform, like Mastodon Social Network for Example, to have an Online Platform that has strong Privacy, Encryption Protection & Push for Freedom Of Speech & Expression that we need now & expand Civil Liberties and Freedom as everyone wants to happen!

The alternative that I’m advocating for is where the people live in a world of perfection within Material Well-being & Social Ecology! A Peoples’ Powered Politics where we have a Government with an Economic System that’s characterized & based on Large-scale Green Public Work Projects, Municipalization, as well as Workplaces & Community-based Democracy to form a world that’s best for both the People and the Planet where Production is Democratically owned & operated by the people who do the work and those mostly affected by the Production System that exists in Worker Co-ops, Land Trusts and Community Assemblies that shifts us towards a different direction of life that’s characterized by Sustainability & Regionalization to more of a Harmonious balance between the Natural Ecosphere & Human-made Environments and a revival of Community-based Civilization for the Cooperative basis of Organic Community survival to become the integral outlook of People & Nature to coexist in a Natural and Social World through a decentralized system that helps end the Labor & Environmental Exploitation, as well as Racial, Gender & Wealth Inequalities by bringing real Economic and Social Justice through a Cooperative Commonwealth that’s governed by Democratic decision making bodies in the peoples’ Popular Assemblies that would deliver positive effects for the Community and environment around it as a whole!

How to Get Involved in the Revolution

So as we witness the sight of our Capitalist Empire & collapsing before our very eyes, while they go all in on oppressive tactics to try to keep their weakening hold onto power. I encourage everyone to join in on the Peaceful Revolution for real a Social & Regenerative future by doing anything that everyone can do to help bring change, deradicalize extremists from these belligerent forces & even support Unions and Mutual Aid efforts. The real antidote to this rising force of Authoritarian Fascism is by real Democracy, Peace, Love & Equality through nonviolent actions by dispelling the incorrect myths that keeps circulating in our areas, treat people fairly as Equal human beings who deserve the same basic Human Rights with Democratic Principles, bring up the real reasons of our problems & give them the solutions that would materially help their them and their well-being and try to come together & implement them through new means of process that isn’t relied on by the Nation-state!

Here are ways to help in the cause for the Revolution in anyway;

Everyone can join these Organizations / Social Justice Movement Groups: Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Sunrise Movement Kentucky, Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign, Democratic Socialists of America in Kentucky, Kentucky Youth Climate Strike, Extinction Rebellion Kentucky, Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare, etc.

Some can be picky or too “Liberal”, but they’re highlighted because they’re all a start to help bring a Revolutionary Change for Democratic Organizing & Inspiration in Kentucky & explain the Systematic Change that we want to bring to Kentuckians in a Factual Way. As well, you can join in those Groups to make them more Further-left in the Branches where it’s Liberal by working together & getting involved! Or attend a Meeting & see for yourself to make your decision on joining or not.

Everyone can join Political Movements / Political Parties: look into any type of Political Party & join them to help them Organize & as well try to Run as Grassroots Candidates for Local or Federal Office as well to bring real Socialist Policies to Change the System, whether you decide on being one of the Two-Parties or Third-Parties. Even people can also help with Unionization & on ground organizing & advocacy for Specific Initiatives, like for Ranked Choice Voting that’s led by Rank the Vote Kentucky ever since the Primary of 2019! We should desperately call for Electoral Reform so more people get equal say. As well as helping to push for Direct Ballot Initiatives as well, on a Local & State level too! We can try to get our issues addressed & implemented in Kentucky. I’m not a fan of the Democratic Party because I don’t trust them, but if you feel that it’s more winnable or if you’re a Socialist & are strategic to win in an Establishment Takeover, then go for it. As an Independent Green Member, I’ll let people make their choices on who or how to join or run & hope we can coalesce for change!

Everyone can join and support Independent / Progressive Outlets, to establish new progressive voices & perspectives on Kentuckians Politics & our Economic system of how it’s hurting the people. If you’re a Writer, then you can publish Anti-capitalist articles or posts that give factual information of many Political Philosophies that are mostly over exaggerated, like Communism, Socialism, Marxism, etc. on what it actually is & means. As well as discussing about the real consequences of living under Capitalism & giving reasons to Transition to a New System where it relies on a Post Growth Economic System that gives People the means of Public Ownership / Production in the workforce & is only beneficial to not Corporate Interest / Growth but human’s Material Well-being that enhances both Humanity & the Ecosystem that it’s conditions will be treated with the equity for our very nature of Sustainability for the world & Planet as a whole. Write for any audience that you can get. It isn’t easy, but you can host your work online!

There are many other ways to participate as well; Other Ways! Do Videos or Podcasts if you can edit Videos or make daily Podcasts, then make a Channel online to discuss about the current situation & solutions you want to give out. Read Political Philosophers’ Books / Written Work or Online Communities to know what other people have done & warn about for the future. Whether that’s in Books or Online within a Community! Participate in the Movements Near You by effectively joining in Protests! Even consider helping feed the homeless or the protesters that are in the Demonstrating in Sit Ins, Protests & Strikes! If you’re an Artist then you can create posters & flyers for a Local Group or to promote Socialist Ideas. If you’re a Writer &/or Speaker then write & Speak for the Audience you are trying to get. If you have First Aid Medical skills, then you can help out when protesters are injured. You can effectively speak at your Local Government Meetings. Elect & Donate to Local Progressive Politicians that you trust & believe will represent and can deliver for you. Or lastly, Run for Office yourself. The Possibilities are endless! If you can find one thing that makes sense to you then do it! Just please be Active & push for real changes than checking out of the Political System completely & end up doing nothing as everything gets worse in the future. Because that’s what the Elites want all of us to do!

We have to resist the powers of oppressions of the Nation-states’ abuse that will hurtle at all of us in the future, we need to form a massive Resistance group because we’re all in this together.  Injustice visits us all on an everyday basis, but resistaning it by not playing their levels to violence will show that the state is powerless & a fraud when it claims to be for Democracy. Capitalism & the Nation-state are the only blockades of our solutions as we face a Constitutional, Economic, Climate and Ecological Crisis that will only get worse as time goes on. Resistance is key & creating a new System towards an Ecological Regenerative Society where people get more say and more equity is the only path forward!

Conclusion

We must organize using the Decentralized Bottom-Up Strategy, if we want to actually bring change for the better in our society to stem against Climate Change. We must move away from a Society of Hierarchy and Domination to Democracy and Freedom for Humanity and Nature to coexist while strengthening and addressing the relationship between the Ecological and Social Issues! To prevent all forms of Social & Political Hierarchy while an Ecological Society can recognize that our Ecological Problems are deeply rooted in our current Societal Problems, We must eliminate that Hierarchy to have a Society that makes decisions with Direct-democratic methods, have Social Justice for All that recognizes the Right of Nature itself & a Regenerative Moral ‘Circular Biodiversity’ Economy that’s not based on Infinite Growth but Material Well-being and Ecological Production for Goods of All!

We have a golden opportunity to actually create a Social Ecologist Society that’s for everyone & the environment as a whole in a Participatory Confederal Democracy that Respects Diversity, Ecology, and Human Rights within a Community-control of a Moral Economy that’s based on Cooperation & Mutual Aid. Think of Social Ecology as an important step for Humanity to take an important step on an evolutionary road forward to a goal that keeps working on expanding the concepts of Ecological Ethics, Democracy, Justice & Freedom. Municipal Levels serve as an opportunity to both revive a grassroots society & engage with people to build the democratic structures & provide people the well-being while within the Ecological limits and only then can a new society be built on an Ethical Basis of Democracy, Mutual Aid, Dual Power, etc. we can learn to live with Ecological life that protects all Life & the Planet itself, if we open the doors to an alternative road that’s based on the other principles & values of democracy, human rights, peace, ecology and social justice for all to lead us to a rational & fairer society for mankind!

We’re simply participants in the larger social, cultural & ecological tableau of our time, but our war with that we’re facing now between NeoLiberalism & NeoConservatism that’s morphing this Oligarchic System into an Authoritarian Theocracy, we locally resist them and bring a Revolution that’s brought to our home! Movements are always rooted in every community & neighborhood at people’s houses who are calling for radical change as severe Inequality and Degradation continues while our Politicians continue to facilitate it as they crack down on the people’s demand for Real Systematic Changes that materially helps everyone instead of Corporations! A Political Revolution for change with peace, love & equality against hate, bigotry & control begins as a deep molecular movement, but can only be accomplished if we change the Culture that liberates us from this Capitalist hierarchical thinking of Capitalism is an American Tradition. Thus it should be brought from the stage to the audience that are demanding for a fairer world for their friends & families that’s equal & more just for all!

The organization we try to build is the kind of society our revolution will create. Either we will shed the past — in ourselves as well as in our groups — or there will simply be no future to win.” ~ Murray Bookchin, (1921 – 2006).

Readable Sources To Look into Social Ecology, Libertarian Municipalism, Democratic Confederalism & Communalism:

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