Declaration Of Principles & Action For New World

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Staff note: The statement below was written using a collaborative process beginning at the Moving Beyond Capitalism Conference this summer in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It addresses two crises: neoliberal trade and climate change.

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A Declaration of Principles and Action for a New World

From the Moving Beyond Capitalism Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico held in August, 2014

Shared Values and Principles

Millions are rising globally to challenge corporate domination of government, people, and the commons, and building a ‘movement of movements’. Hundreds gathered in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the ‘Moving Beyond Capitalism’ Conference in August, 2014, and we share the millions’ principles for building a new world. This new world is founded upon the basic human rights principles of universality, accountability, transparency, and equity. It is rooted in interconnection, interdependence, and love. It is based on a popular sovereignty which involves direct, democratic participation in shared, from-the-ground-up, cooperative decision-making for collective action that serves the common good, with higher levels supporting the lower.

We will combat the toxic forces on which domination and tyranny variously rely, such as the patriarchy, hegemony, colonialism, and racism that exist within external oppressors, and even within our own movements at times. The resulting participatory-expansion promotes human development through direct engagement and social decision-making, and it fosters cooperation, a care economy, dialogue and a sense of agency, instrumental knowledge and wisdom, values clarification, and social consciousness. In this new paradigm, the enriched individual is part of a larger social whole, not an isolated atom, and thereby significantly enriches the whole, from the grassroots up, and in the millions.

Two Campaigns

As part of co-establishing a new world, we believe it is essential to join hands with the millions rising with regard to two issues: namely, Trade (stopping the TransPacific Partnership, specifically) and Climate Change.

Trade affects everything. So-called ‘Free Trade’ is simply trade rigged for the benefit of transnational corporations. ‘Free Trade’ agreements (such as the TPP, TTIP and TISA) lead to monopolies, loss of sovereignty, commodifying government services and other essentials. They undermine democracy and drive a downward spiral of exploitation and destruction of the planet and all living beings. They expand the wealth divide and adversely affect the environment, agriculture, labor rights and wages, food safety and  water, internet freedom, healthcare, banking and financial regulation, and community control of economy and environment.

They allow corporations to sue signatory countries for “expected” profits in trade  tribunals that neither abide by the laws of the nation where the trade occurs, nor are reviewed by traditional courts. Judges on such tribunals are primarily corporate lawyers  on leave from corporate jobs. It is clear we need new approaches to trade.Building on the victory of the successfully stopped World Trade Organization (WTO),  our intention is to focus upon the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), which is being  secretly negotiated by over 600 corporate advisors working with the American  government with neither public nor government oversight. It will affect the people and economies of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore,  Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile, Peru and Japan. The economic power of TPP  countries is more than 40% greater than the 27-nation European Union, and will result in further attacks on democracy, sovereignty and the rights of people and nature.

We believe it is crucial to simultaneously dismantle all systems of oppression and to replace ‘free trade’, skewed in favor of corporations, with fair trade, which benefits  people, communities, and our environment. That is, trade that powerfully supports all  democratic, worker-based initiatives and ownership, and fair trade organizations and  companies. In light, then, of the upcoming introduction in November 2014 of ‘Smart  Track’ for the TPP in the US Senate to push it through into law, we seek to join  campaigns to stop the TPP and to thereby establish trade that puts people and planet  before profits, is negotiated transparently with participation of people and elected  officials, minimizes corporate dominance economies, and that recognizes human rights, public goods and environment.

Climate Change is an acute challenge to the future of the planet and all species, and  the biggest issue regarding climate change is our continuing to ignore it. Pacific Island  nations are already being swallowed by rising sea levels, and globally hundreds of thousands of lives are at great risk from climate change. Methane gas (perhaps 20  times worse for warming than carbon pollution) is escaping from a melting Arctic, further  moving us to critical tipping-points. The Earth and humanity are being affected by freak  floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, polar ice caps melting, coral reefs disappearing, alteration in sea/fresh water composition, migration patterns changing, volcanic eruptions, mudslides, drought, salinity and other ecological threats and crises. Climate change is an issue with ever-shortening time limits that demands coordinated, unprecedented action now to fight inertia, denial and lethargy.

Hundreds of thousands will take to the streets on September 21’s People’s Climate March, ahead of New York’s world leader gathering as called by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon just two days later, and that will focus on Paris’s UN Climate Conference  in November 2015.

With others, we have opportunities to bring attention to what is at stake and to highlight strategies founded on sustainable energy economies to protect the planet and the welfare of people. We have opportunities to remake economies based on sustainability, equity and fairness, and to establish economies that use renewable resources, such as  solar, ocean wave, and wind. We have opportunities to entirely divest from (carbon and  nuclear) polluters and to invest in the creation of democratized energy systems of green infrastructure, from the local to the global, prioritizing the decentralized community  control that localizes economies and empowers communities, and that simultaneously works towards the goal of democratizing the state with nationalization of large-scale green energy and industrial enterprises.

Joining Local and Global Movements

Aware of the challenges we are facing, the participants of the ‘Moving Beyond  Capitalism’ Conference wish to work in solidarity with local and global efforts to not only  expose toxic, rigged trade agreements and climate change denial, but also to galvanize  momentum and focus on solutions. Critical examination of the current situation is only  the beginning. In light of fast-moving domestic, international trends, we are committed  to supporting just trade and sustainable energy economies. Embracing the power of the  fundamental principle of ‘Unity in Diversity’, and knowing a multitude of local and  international, focussed initiatives already exist, it is our desire to assist in utilizing all available means and alliances, and we are open to how we might collectively partner  with numerous others in the continued building of a new world in a ‘movement of movements’.

The New World Being Co-Created

A new world is emerging and positive actions are already in motion. Talents and  initiatives are building in momentum to bridge worldviews and powerfully re-imagine and  found the new world from the ground up. Born out of acute necessity, and aware of the  critical interdependence of policy, human behaviour, economic and environmental  health, examples abound regarding the inspired, visionary, positive initiatives  exponentially manifesting worldwide, further linking and cross-pollinating different  cultures, countries, and continents.

We are seeing the rise of consumer, worker and manufacturing cooperatives, more progressive electoral politics, and people’s community councils that embrace local, grassroots governance, community mediators, consensus-building and participatory democracy. We are seeing both rural and urban communities working to create sustainable, locally-owned energy, and local food production and distribution networks.

We are seeing the rise of the international solidarity economy network, alternate currencies, public banks, community partnership banking models, barter systems and state banks. The global climate movement and increasing desire for, and use of, solar,  wind and other clean energy sources for heart-centered, sustainable communities and initiatives are also on the rise. Enormous initiatives and organization have resulted in unprecedented victories opposing extreme energy extraction, demonstrating the transformation of global beliefs and practices to secure a sustainable and just planetary culture and wellbeing.

There remains a long way to go, and crises abound, to recover what has been lost and  to ensure the conscious capacity to live in freedom and abundance as a global  community, interdependent with Nature, and enhancing life on earth for everyone. It is  critical to continue to take a stand, to engage imagination, and to focus on what we want  to build in conscious co-creation and participation. It is critical that we maintain a vibrant hope at this crucial moment in our evolutionary trajectory and not give into despondency  in order to secure a collective future that has moved from the more primitive,  reactionary, destructive and fear-based and into empowered cooperation, sustainability  and resilience for all, for generations to come.

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  • larrysherk

    What wonderfully gratifying news! I believe that the whole world is “turning over” to such a degree that we must be careful to avoid all assumptions about how it will be, because all such assumptions are products of our experiences and concomitant beliefs. I believe we are called upon to be utterly loving and open. We suddenly see there are no trails to assist us. Thus we are completely free to become our very best selves with a society we all deserve. We are leaving the mess we created now, and history will assume fainter proportions. I wish to help remind us that it’s never too late.

  • il corvo

    What strikes me about this article is the emergence of a meme that has no nationality, borders or ethnic basis. It is a new understanding of the balance and order of life and relationship. Bravo!

  • DHFabian

    At least in the US, the only “resistance” has come down to that of the bourgeoisie, the middle class, declaring that that want to protect the status quo of those who are still in the middle class. Not real inspiring. The “inequality” discussion remains limited to the gap between the better off and the very rich, ignoring the canyon between the poor and the middle class. Maybe without even recognizing it, even “progressives” have fully embraced the corporate ideology that only those who are of current service to employers/the corporate state are deserving of the most basic human rights (food and shelter, per the UDHR). We’ve accepted that the US economic system is a game of musical chairs, and once you’re out, you’re out, until there are no more participants (i.e., no more middle class).

  • DHFabian

    What’s the meme? In the US, the focus remains on looking for ways to enhance the quality of life for the better off, middle class workers. I guess we could claim that the ideas stated here imply that something positive might trickle down.

  • DHFabian

    Idealism is good. But where do we go from here, and how do we get there? For that matter, who are “we”? Everything here is applicable to the middle class, but not the masses (the working poor and those who are far worse off). How do these ideals apply to real life right now? Think about it: Even “progressives” cling to the corporate ideology that brought us to this point, believing that only those who are of current use to employers (the corporate state) are actual humans deserving of the most basic human rights (per the UDHR) of food and shelter. We haven’t moved beyond that point in decades. This shows a national “mindset” that ensures that nothing will change.

  • DHFabian

    Americans sold their souls to the corporate state, our employers. Sorry for being crude, but they “got us by the balls.” There’s nothing we can do about it. No one is going to “rise up” against the corporate state because our survival — our means of obtaining basic food and shelter — depends on the corporate state (employers). Consider the consequences of being pushed out of the job market.

  • il corvo

    The new meme that I get from this article is that this is a human struggle not a national one. There are no “others”.

  • kevinzeese

    DHFabian — I’m actually sorry to see you back posting your false divisions between the poor and middle class. The Trade Agreements and the climate catastrophe that the article talks about will adversely impact the poor more than any other group. I see these issues as two examples that unite people — poor and middle class — to challenge the government and transnational corporations.

  • Southern

    Corporations are the modern day equivalent of the east India trading houses of times past – they ruled over the colonies and even coined their own money and decided over life and death in other words — they were the authority.

    You’re right they’ve literally got everyone by the short and curlies — still they do not own everyone’s vote and in theory that’s where it should make a difference — but we’re being snookered by the contractual obligations found in fta’s which are IMO designed to prevent a governments from functioning with the best interest of their citizens in mind — the catch being corporations objecting to government functions not being run with a for profit motive in mind — effectively blocking any people friendly ideals

    The consequences of being pushed out the job market — there’s always another willing to take their place in the rat race it’s a horrible situation with no real way out — like the article suggest, get together and form cooperatives — together you’ll not only feel stronger — You will be stronger.

    I edited my original comment which went back into moderation due to the links.

  • Jon

    Pessimism, and cynicism are not wining strategies. We need to embrace the positive and exhilarating perspective in the article and be sure all are included who are now excluded–the vast majority. It is a class war, but with somewhat different configuration from a century ago. Many of us have not, even after decades, “sold oour souls to the corporate state,” and many others are rejecting that option, Occupy being a prime example, and the just completed huge march in NYC as another.

  • Veri1138

    Failure can be a winning strategy. Let the Democratic Party fail. The Republicans would have at most, 4 years, to as they always do, screw things up.

    Thus provoking a reaction in the populace. It’s how Obama was elected.

    If the Democratic Party was wise, they’d return to their FDR roots. If not, they’ll die.

    Suffering is necessary to provoke a counter-reaction, or remedy.

  • Jon

    I am speaking of pessimism and cynicism among our own ranks. This is a recipe for inevitable failure, hence NOT a winning strategy. Embrace instead the joyful, determined energy of the just completed Climate Convergence march. Jon

  • Gina

    “Suffering is necessary to provoke a counter-reaction, or remedy.”

    Methinks a somewhat passive & old fashioned attitude. We have our brains to act independently & not by being forced by circumstances.

  • Gina

    “emergence of a meme that has no nationality, borders or ethnic basis”

    It’s not an emergence of a meme, it’s the so called free trade agreements linked to the corporations which overruled nationality & borders. We’re lagging behind decades, because they sneaked in. All the more a reason to keep our heads on our shoulders. There isn’t just happening anything great on our behalf, how could it? There must be hard & well thought-through work.

  • Gina

    I replied to you, but it’s in moderation. Hope you get it, so you have fun with a very very short video! 🙂

    I edited my original comment which went back into moderation due to the links.

    Very practical! I think trolls don’t work with links, because on other alternative sites where there’s no censorship concerning links, the trolls don’t post any links either.

  • Southern

    Never say never — Some do — C/D Mods recently cancelled the posting of links due to malicious viruses being noticed among the links posted.

  • Gina

    Oh, I understand, it’s a spam filter & no moderation!

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  • Veri1138

    Yet, it has consistently provoked change.

    One reason why war is such an innovator in human psyche.

    People demand change when they can no longer bear the pain, so to speak. 6 years and a further empowerment of plutocrats is what has been achieved.

    Apparently, not enough are truly fed up with the system.

  • Veri1138

    Do you have a better idea than just voting Corporate Democrat? I don’t see any real candidates standing up there. I do see a lot of corporate whores like Biden and HRC.

    And no, I wouldn’t run for office for the simple fact that I had an entire military career. Military does not get involved in ruling.

  • Jon

    How dare you insult me this way without any knowledge of who I am and what I support! Your words:

    “It’s just that many Liberals and Progressives, such as yourself, are too
    afraid to do anything but work within the rules that the
    Republican-Democratic duopoly have inflicted. You don’t win by playing
    by your master’s rules. It shows that you are a Conservative Democrat
    bound by the rule of lemmings.”

    I am indignant. I have been an anti-imperialist and proud radical (“getting to the truth and root of an issue” )since the mid 1960s! I was a founding member of SDS and Draft Resistance and a founding member of the Green Party in the state I was in, and have been an active Green for 25 years! Just for starters! Except for a few at high levels, the two parties can rightly be called Demagogues and Repugnants. Let them die as organizations! You owe me an apology big time!
    OWS refused to be coopted, so they were repressed but have emerged inother areas like “Occupy Sandy” which did a far better job than FEMA or Red Cross in helping people immediately. It has not disappeared, but is being transformed. One major example is the 400,000 person climate march in NYC that just happened.

  • Hopelessness and despair is the meme that the elites peddle — just as you are now. Don’t buy it for a second. They need us more than we need them. Think about that for a while.

  • Demagogues and Repugnants

    Love it!

    P. S. Veri is a good guy. You’ll get an apology.

  • Jon

    We’ll see. Meanwhile, I am glad you liked my D and R replacement. You may also like the term I coined about where we need to go–a REVEL-ution: a joyful exuberant dismantling of oppressive structures, as for instance the bringing of sledge hammers to the Berlin Wall (and I can think of ANOTHER wall to face that someday) and the just-completed huge climate change march in NYC. They are REVEL-tionaries in training.

  • Veri1138

    You are a Liberal or Progressive.

    I was quite correct in who you are. I will apologize on a minor point: you agree that the Dems have to go as a corporate party if they do not mend their ways. But lets face reality, The Greens play second fiddle to The Democratic Party.

    OWS was crushed as the protests frightened the powers that be. And now they operate within the rules of their master, quite effectively as you have pointed out. They have ceased to be a credible threat to the powers that be.

    The Climate Convergence March has, like many other items, raised consciousness and little else. It’s a feel good measure so that people can feel as if they are actually changing things. When they are not. Even Chuck Schumer, that asshole, bothered to show up and he is pure corporate Democratic Trash.

    The elements within our society have had, since The Great Depression, all that time to study threats. Since the 1960s, they have had the resources and time to study the threat of mass demonstrations, to develop an effective counter – which OWS found itself on the receiving end.

    The Green Party, again, is second fiddle to The Democratic Party. Which is where they will remain. Let The Green Party pose a threat to the duopoly, and they too will find themselves the subject of wrath. Ross Perot found out what happens if you threaten the established power structure.

    Until the Green Party begins actively opposing even Democrats in substantive ways, The Green Party is – itself – subverted.

    How are local elections for the Greens, going, BTW? It is where you need to start. Matter of fact, Green candidates should be infiltrating Democratic ranks at the local level while concealing their true allegiances. Greens need to run their own candidates as Green Party, and then run candidates acceptable to DNC while concealing their true allegiance. Do unto them what they have done unto you.

    Until then, The Green Party will remain a bit player. BTW, The Greens and OWS should be emulating the tactics of Hezbollah – if they are smart. Social services is a great way to establish a power base. Golden Dawn in Greece does much the same. The Tea Party would be doing the same if they were a true revolt against the status quo within the Republican Party – which they are not.

    As another example recently written about elsewhere, Harvey Milk established a business and relations within the community.

    If you are not doing any of the above…

    Co-opt and subvert.

  • Veri1138

    Got a website?

  • Yup, I like Revel-ution too! I also like your eternal optimism. It’s a necessary ingredient for a successful REVEL-ution.

    “I believe that we will win!”

  • I’ve probably mentioned this before but track down the unfinished manuscript, “Stop Me Before I Vote Again” from the website of the same name. In it Michael J. Smith outlines the way changes have been made in the US:
    – a single issue (or very few issues) third party
    – mass movement

    They work in tandem. OWS didn’t have the political wing it needed to win as “power concedes nothing without a demand.”

    “The general sentiment of mankind is that a man who will not fight for himself, when he has the means of doing so, is not worth FDbeing fought for by others, and this sentiment is just. For a man who does not value freedom for himself will never value it for others, or put himself to any inconvenience to gain it for others…”
    “The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”
    “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”- Frederick Douglass, August 3, 1857, in a speech at Canandaigua, New York

  • Gina

    We will combat the toxic forces on which domination and tyranny
    variously rely, such as the patriarchy, hegemony, colonialism, and
    racism that exist within external oppressors, and even within our own
    movements at times.

    A great insight! Self-criticism is fundamental to changing the world to be a better one. Very often people work in good organization, but are in private bullies & intriguers. I think those are the ones who make the fight for a better world a Sisyphean task.

  • Gina

    But they have a grip on us. As to the video I posted directly above, the dog must be shot, so it has to loosen its grip on the gorilla. “What’s the joke?” 🙂

  • We should be willing to slay the Hydra or the colossal squid or cut off the tentacles one by one (and torch the ends if necessary). What we should stay away from is inconsequential issues that makes it look like we live in a democracy.
    The joke is that the kid can’t tell a joke. When the MAN falls out of the tree he yells, “Shoot the dog! Shoot the dog!”

  • Veri1138

    I’ll look it up. Always learn something new everyday.

    Obama and The DHS and its various sub-divisions were already responding by sending reps to the CEO suites of major banks in order to develop a “solution” to OWS. Meanwhile, The Democratic Party was busy trying to find ways to co-op OWS and failing. The other issue was ‘rule by committee’.

    I can see OWS, as it is now, as a social services organization providing much needed community services, in order to build a political base. Golden Dawn in Greece, Hezbollah in Lebanon; both have done the same. Even The Mafia did so. Just because it is a successful strategy used by unsavory organizations in the past, is no reason that The Left can not use it.

    And that is a positive step in the right direction. Such an organization would also help develop the skill sets of future leaders. Individuals trained in such a way could even join The Democratic Party as subversives.

    As for people fighting, not enough are given a reason to fight. Almost anyone will fight when given a reason. Others suffer from fear.

  • Gina

    But the dog grabbed the gorilla by the nuts & swings it around. So when the dog is shot, it has to loosen its grip on the gorilla. Hence “Shoot the dog”.

    DHFabian wrote & Southern took up the metaphor:

    Sorry for being crude, but they “got us by the balls.”

    So we must fight the dog (the corporations) who “got us (the gorilla) by the balls”.

    N.B.: It’s a scene of a film, but taken from reality. Martin Scorsese picked up Alfred Lutter, our young actor, to drive him to the film set. An hour’s drive. & our young fella kept on telling like in the film. Martin Scorsese arrived on the set completely enervated. On the set the kid kept on telling the others. Then Scorsese said: “Let’s put it in the film!” In the film there is another scene but not so extensive.

    Maybe our pal found the indirect solution to free the gorilla so funny or that the gorilla will fly off when the dog has to loosen its grip. One should have asked him.

    Anyway he had an extreme need to share which was not met by the adults

    I’ll tell you until you understand. 😀

  • Jon

    You are still trying to define me and missing the mark badly, so this will be my last response to your pompous pronouncements. I do recognize and appreciate your timid and inadequate apology, however. Of course Greens are small and relatively weak since we do not accept any corporate donations at all, either as candidates or as a Party. We have a fair number of locally-won elections in spite of the profoundly unfair election rules that favor the corporate parties.
    You underestimate the movement that has begun as OWS, but is in the process of metamorphasis due to the overt repression. Also,the fact that some of the corporate elite joined the NYC climate convergence march only shows their opportunism, and is no reflection on the march itself and the sincere outpouring of outrage and unity demonstrated so well.

  • Veri1138

    Should have been at the G20 Scotland. That was interesting 🙂

    You know what has resulted from that? Nothing. Pittsburg, G10 Toronto. Nothing and nothing.

    OWS is not in the process of metamorphosis. They only think they are.

    Climate NYC was controlled dissent, a feel-good measure. It is nice to see people out there, but the end result will be: NOTHING. Well, except some pronouncements and some initiatives that will be used to promote consumerism and some pretty speeches and some legislation that won’t be followed, even if passed – its not the law, its the regulators.

    You know how I and many others, know this? Because things are worse today than seven years ago. That is not success, that is abject failure.

  • Veri1138

    Kingergarten = child garden. Plant them in rows and feed them fertilizer.

  • Jon

    Kokanee, I appreciate your appreciation! If you want to see more of what I know well, and have documented, put “Liberate Hawai’i Amazon” into a search engine. There is a national liberation struggle going on that is a blacked out matter from corporate media– not an armed struggle, so it is being ignored, but real, nonetheless.


  • Thanks – purchased!

  • Jon

    Thanks to you as well! My contact info is in the Acknowledgment section if you want direct communication.

  • Hi Jon –I’ll get back to after I read it. One thing I’ve learned from Popular Resistance is that all of our struggles are connected. Our “owners” won’t win – there’re too self-destructive.

    “Throw them all out.”
    “I believe that we will win.”

  • Jon

    Good! Yes, all maladies lead to Empire. See 1898, especially! Lots to talk about, can do via email or phone.

  • 1898 – Hmmm, that’s sounds like the Philippines.

    For your eyes only:

  • Jon

    AND ,Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and Hawai’i!

  • Gina

    I’ll steal this quote:

    For a man who does not value freedom for himself will never value it for others, or put himself to any inconvenience to gain it for others…” “The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence.