Direct democracy and consensus.
Chapter Thirty-two of The Authority of the Boot-Maker by Mal Content.
An important aspect of prefiguring the new society is the practice of direct rather than representative democracy using recallable mandated delegates, with consensus decision making.
“Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds that there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.”
– Eugene V. Debs, 1905,
Once a worker takes on a representative role, whether by standing for office or becoming a paid union official, they face a conflict of interests. A trade union leader must sell the benefits of membership to workers in order to build the union; she must also persuade management that she can deliver industrial peace or they will not negotiate. Crucially, she must be seen to put the interests of her membership above those of fellow workers in other unions or none, all the while maintaining the fiction that the management and workforce have some interest in common, in effect denying the fact of class struggle. Most unions today want dues-paying members, peace and quiet. Many trade union leaders of my youth ended up sat in the house of lords.
The elected politician, who sits at the tables of the bourgeoisie drinking their claret, may promise the earth to the electorate, but will surely deliver it to the bourgeoisie. Few of our politicians will ever have
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