An invitation to make democracy workMon 26 Feb
Changes of government by means of elections may result in greater or lesser degrees of loosening or tightening of democratic structures, but the grasp of the state will never loosen sufficiently to allow full democratic participation of all its citizens.
So what to do? The need to change our present ailing form of representative democracy is becoming ever more necessary. The Real Democracy Movement evolved from an earlier organisation called A World to Win which was formed in 2005. Its founding members were concerned about the state of our world and the general deformation of political structures, of the state and of democracy itself. The crises of the past few years and falling standards of living, are signs that the ways to which we have become accustomed are not fit for purpose in the new century. Actually they never really were. But now the wheels are visibly coming off the vehicle of the neo-liberal state. It was for the purpose of doing something about this that the RDM was formed. Discussions, conferences, forums and the search for new methods of organising for change have formed the basis of an organisation of which participative democracy is the bedrock.
RDM is not a political party, nor is it allied with any specific party. Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and espousing its current values, we do offer critical support to the Labour party. But we are prepared to take on aspects of policy that might not be favourable to the basic tenets of a true democracy. Compromise and pragmatism are usually seen as necessary by parties in order to gain power. We have seen again and again here and across the world, how people of seemingly the highest integrity are corrupted by power or their need to gain governmental power. So it will be necessary to be on guard against anything that we believe might lead in that direction.
Neither are we a pressure group. We do not believe that it is possible to change the nature of global capitalism by appealing to governments, by lobbying or even by applying pressure on those who hold power. We now have the means to meet the needs of all of humanity and even to alleviate the effects of climate change and end its causes. However we are constantly prevented from accessing the benefits of these achievements unless they serve the cause of profit. The right to vote, a hard won right, is coming to mean less and les. Hence the need for an organisation like the RDM.
The principles of the RDM are constantly evolving and are not set in stone. All participants are involved in creating and shaping the aims of the movement and maintaining it as a dynamic organisation that is truly democratic. Everybody has a right to participate fully at all levels and the flexibility to work with other likeminded groups and individuals. Obviously supporters need to be committed to basic policies, democratically agreed upon, while having the right to disagree, discuss and share in changing anything that is seen to be unhelpful or unnecessary.
We invite people, of all ages and backgrounds to become involved in building the RDM into the kind of powerful and meaningful organisation that is so vitally and urgently needed in order to transform our increasingly unequal and unstable world. We need to inspire working people with a vision that is worth the struggle.
Article by Fiona Harrington