Presentation on theme: "10 Aspects of a Revolutionary Praxis for the 21 st Century Selected from Chapter Fourteen Of Millennium Dawn By Glen T. Martin."— Presentation transcript:
10 Aspects of a Revolutionary Praxis for the 21 st Century Selected from Chapter Fourteen Of Millennium Dawn By Glen T. Martin
Background Millennium Dawn is an attempt to articulate a comprehensive philosophy of human liberation through philosophy, spirituality, articulation of values, etc. Chapter 14 attempts to summarize and express the specific kinds of things people can do as part of a “revolutionary praxis” directed toward human liberation.
(1) Promote and develop truly critical thinking. Think and live as a revolutionary heir of the philosophers of human liberation. Expose the hidden premises of class society in every way possible and in every possible forum.
“All the news that’s fit to print” (What does this mean at a critical level of analysis?) Learn to read the mass media, the manifestations of culture, the symbols of the dominant system, and the pronouncements of government critically, with insight into their ideological cover-up of the system of injustice and death from which they benefit.
Think “Ruling Class” Use a “class analysis” and an analysis of the “territorial nation-state” to understand the workings of governments, corporations, the media, and the other dominant institutions of the world. Right: In the San Francisco financial district: Monument to the Working Classes
(2) Delegitimize the system of territorial nation- states and global capitalism in every way possible and on every occasion possible. Work to expose the illegitimacy of the institutions claiming to be the only legitimate ones in a world in which there exist no other alternatives. We must make clear everywhere the inadequacies and injustices of the system of nation-states and of the global capitalism with which it is intertwined. Show the interdependent complicities in this system of domination over education, communications media, culture, charity, business, the arts, and politics.
The state and the ruling class: “Since World War II, the U.S. government has given over $200 billion in military aid to train, equip, and subsidize more than 2.3 million troops and internal security forces in some eighty countries, the purpose being not to defend them from outside invasions but to protect ruling oligarchs and multinational corporate investors from the dangers of anticapitalist insurgency…. “U.S. leaders profess a dedication to democracy. Yet over the past five decades, democratically elected reformist governments in Guatemala, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Syria, Indonesia (under Sukarno), Greece, Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti, and numerous other nations were overthrown by pro-capitalist militaries that were funded and aided by the U.S. national security state. “The U.S. national security state has participated in covert actions or proxy mercenary wars against revolutionary governments in Cuba, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Portugal, Nicaragua, Cambodia, East Timor, Western Sahara, and elsewhere, usually with dreadful devastation and loss of life for the indigenous populations. Hostile actions also have been directed against reformist governments in Egypt, Lebanon, Peru, Iran, Syria, Zaire, Jamaica, South Yemen, the Fiji Islands, and elsewhere. “Since World War II, U.S. forces have directly invaded or launched aerial attacks against Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Libya, Iraq, and Somalia, sowing varying degrees of death and destruction.” From Michael Parenti, Against Empire, 1995, pp
(3) Commit to solidarity with the poor and the oppressed. Nicaragua: Children trying to survive in the Managua municipal dump.
Ethical life in action: Engage in organized struggle for liberation from all poverty and oppression. Commitment to the poor is not an external addition to the fullness of life. It is integral to a full and fulfilling way of existing, for unity-in-diversity with its concomitant awakening to the ethical dimension that recognizes persons as ends-in-themselves is at the heart of existence. Some people happen to have been born into these circumstances, with this hunger and malnutrition, with this lack of opportunity for education or health care. I could just as well have been born there and be experiencing these horrible sufferings and deprivations.
(4) Educate for human and planetary liberation. Everywhere and in every situation, strive to educate others, with sensitivity and thoughtfulness, about the possibilities and processes and necessity of human and planetary liberation.
Educational praxis: Show the interconnections between the political and the spiritual and between humanity and nature. Apply the process of education to yourself as well as to others, since education is truly a life-long process and is never finished. Emphasize the inseparability of authentic education and truly critical thought. Think always in terms of the ways, the means, and the possibilities available for human liberation and the creation of a decent future for our children and the precious Earth on which we dwell.
(5) Become a planetary citizen: think both globally and locally, and act both globally and locally.
Planetary Citizenship can be a real commitment, not just an ideal What if every school child on Earth were learning to say the following “Pledge of Allegiance” to the Earth Federation along with their current national pledges or songs? You and I can sign and take this pledge right now.
A Pledge of Allegiance to the Constitution of Earth (Ratified at the Sixth Session of the Provisional World Parliament) I pledge allegiance to the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, and to the Republic of free world citizens for which it stands, One Earth Federation, protecting by law the rich diversity of the Earth’s citizens, One Earth Federation, protecting the precious ecology of our planet. I pledge allegiance to the World Parliament representing all nations and peoples, and to the democratic processes by which it proceeds,
Pledge (con’d) One law for the Earth, with freedom and equality for all, One standard of justice, with a bill of rights protecting each. I pledge allegiance to the future generations protected by the Earth Constitution, And to the unity, integrity, and beauty of humankind, living in harmony on the Earth, One Earth Federation, conceived in love, truth, and hope, with peace and prosperity for all.
Explore the connections; recognize that the only solution to many local problems will be planetary. Understand that it is not “globalization” in itself that provides an answer (since capitalism has been doing this for centuries) but rather a planetary solution based on a founded society, a global non- military democratic world government. Distinguish critically between the misleading ideology of “global governance” or “new world order” in which nothing substantial has changed and a founded, planetary society in which human liberation has been substantially institutionalized. Transfer your primary loyalty to the Earth and its inhabitants. Be a citizen of the Earth before all else, for only then can we become truly good citizens of the local communities of which we are a part.
(6) Organize and resist; organize for political and economic effectiveness, and resist through nonviolent direct action.
Critical Theory, Compassion, and Nonviolence: Use the inseparability of critical theory, compassion, and active nonviolence as the basis for action as well as the theoretical framing of a new social order. Active nonviolence includes speaking out, editorial writing, voting, organizing, strikes, boycotts, protesting, street theater, revolutionary music, wall murals, disrupting the system, conferences, educating, teach-ins, and refusal to participate (for example, in paying war taxes, military registration, corporate military contracts, corporate exploitation of the third-world poor, and so on). It includes expressions and actions of solidarity with others in their revolutionary struggles, whether these be environmental defense actions, labor movements, or third-world struggles of liberation. Be very clear that none of the struggles by themselves can lead to a just world order without democratic world government.
(7) Practice meditation and mindfulness.
Perpetual growth in awareness: Meditate: set time radically apart, free from all interruptions, to quiet the mind, and practice mindfulness in daily activities. The emergent evolutionary history of humanity is precisely the history of transformations of consciousness, often linked with the material conditions of existence. A person imbued with revolutionary ideology who is not self-aware and lacks sensitivity to others and to the fullness of the present moment is likely to be an incomplete revolutionary. The process of living itself is inseparable from a perpetual growth of awareness, a growth requiring effort, discipline, and conscious choice.
(8) Cultivate compassionate solidarity; think and live compassionately Right: Kuan-yin, Goddess of Mercy, Interreligious Park of the World Peace Envoy, Thailand
Compassion is awareness: The word “compassion” is used here as a symbol for a spiritual awakening to the inseparable unity-in-diversity of all things that is the source of our revolutionary solidarity with the poor and oppressed. As such, the realization of compassion is the inseparable compliment of social revolution and a fundamental dimension of revolutionary praxis. As the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, insists in his writings, compassion does not need to come in a blinding light of something called “enlightenment” for those who follow the Buddhist path
(9) Think and live with an awareness of the silence encompassing our lives: be apart from all the world.
Silence: Such awareness is simultaneously to be at the heart of the world, living from the depths of silence in the fullness of the present moment. But it gives us the non-attachment, the objectivity, and the critical relationship to our own subjectivity that are essential requirements for effective revolutionary praxis. This awareness is also linked to other aspects of praxis: to the meditation, mindfulness, compassion, and ethical awareness discussed at many places in this book. But it must be emphasized in its own right, for ultimately the process of realizing this silence, available to us as the background to all our experiences, leads to the transcendence of the compulsive and fractured ego so fundamental to capitalism and nationalism. The silence is transforming, so we become revolutionaries not only in our actions and commitments, but also through being transformed and awakened persons ourselves.
(10) Think and live eschatologically, and cultivate the utopian imagination.
Celebrate daily the new time of human fulfillment being born in the present, or the realization of Buddha nature in all things, or the coming of the kingdom of God, or the coming and ever-present pleroma, or the realization of the messianic age, or the cosmogonic birth of the Omega Point, or the new era of peace and prosperity beginning in the here and now.
The eschatological present-future informs the fullness of the absolute present and points to the wondrous, transformative depths at the heart of reality.