3 Responses

  1. Dave Riley September 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm |

    If you check out Ted Trainer more you’ll see a continuing localist trend. Indeed since I live in Australia, I’d consider Trainer a leading localist advocate — but I guess that comes down to tactics.

    On the other hand, I’m all for local movements primarily because they are such good networking tools and they build up social connections and structures that draw folk into activism. On the left there is this attitude that approved organising avenues are trade unions, migrant groups,ethnic minorities, campaign committees, womens networks,etc that draw a lot of their dynamic from post sixties politics.

    This new localism is often very different. It isn’t some remake of Hippie self sufficiency but attempts to solve real problems people face in their lives…and do that in conjunction with others.

    In that sense localism can become a hub for a whole lot of other campaigns, if only for the simple reason that it is so darn difficult to organise in , especially suburban,localities.The manual is yet to be written but I’m suggesting that even such things as community and market gardens, self organising self help initiatives and the like are useful means to another end.

    How else do eco-socialist expect to relate to these communities? Where does one begin? Wait until the CSG drills arrive?

    In the light of options,the missions of Venezuela are worth studying. Indeed, the film —The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil — resonates in this local context, and opens up many open ended discussions.

    There’s been localist theory for ever but I doubt my neighbours are reading from that library.

  2. John Riddell August 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm |

    Let us be careful that we do not slaughter reform in the name of revolution.

    Yes, there are localist theorists whose ideas are wrong. But there is also a host of families and communities who take “localist” initiatives in order to make their lives more bearable and pleasurable.

    Consider why so many people visit farmers’ markets. Economically, these markets are costly and impractical, as presently organized. But they win support as a way for consumers to get around the monopoly of the giant food retailers and distributors — and a way for working farmers to do the very same thing. This is a positive development, even if it will not in itself overcome capitalism.

    Why do so many people engage in urban agriculture? Well, go ask them. But I suspect that among the motivations is a desire to overcome the alienation from the land experienced in capitalism’s asphalt and concrete wastelands.

    A movement for environmental justice will not get far if it feels compelled to condemn such strivings.

  3. Ming August 16, 2014 at 1:29 am |

    I think you’re fighting a straw man here. Let’s face it, localism was never designed to change the global economy. The whole point is building resilience to improve the chances of survival when resources become so scarce that they can no longer prop up the global economy and capitalism falls along with modern society. “Transcending capitalism on a world scale” is impressively ambitious rhetoric but gets us nowhere. We’ve been trying to do it for decades without success, and that’s because most of us are content to remain within the current system and living conditions haven’t yet gotten to the point of being so unbearable that even apathetic ordinary people are rising up against it. And that won’t happen until a crisis hits that signals the end of capitalism. For the sheeple won’t budge an inch till there’s no longer food on their plate. The moment they do, we’ll have our opportunity. But not until then.

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