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What should the movement of movements do if we want to win?

Cox, Dr. Laurence (2005) What should the movement of movements do if we want to win? In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Many people within the movement of movements, while outraged at the global state of affairs, and determined to bring about large-scale systemic change, are nevertheless reluctant to use the language of winning - that is, to consider what it means to bring about that change against determined and powerful opposition. In part this reflects a fear that to think strategically is to act like "the system", and is bound to lead to cynical instrumentalism and the attempt to replace one elite-led system with another. We start by outlining what is at stake and asking what "winning" means: what actually happens when a social movement project from below achieves its goal of constructing "another world"? We explore the step- by-step processes through which the movement of movements is currently developing the "insurgent architecture" involved in this construction, and noting how this presents a challenge for the powers that be. We then turn to the massive opposition that the movement has been meeting from above - from multinational institutions, states and corporations. We explore the nature of these responses and argue that while they have failed to defeat the movement, they have brought about something of a temporary stalemate. We ask how the movement can get beyond this stalemate, not by adopting the logic and methods of its opponents, but by taking qualitative steps forward in its own development, according to its own logic. The paper finishes with some brief discussion of the most important practical steps in constructing another world, and the nature of the moments of confrontation that lie ahead.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Global civil society;
Subjects: Social Sciences > Sociology
Item ID: 459
Depositing User: Dr. Laurence Cox
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2007
Refereed: No
URI:

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