We want to share databasesand we are doing it with those willing to share with us. We want to work together so the third parties and all the single-issue or single-focus organizations cohere and work together. We consciously and militantly include in our sense of this broad national movement the labor unions and socially conscious churches, synagogues, and mosques. We have been developing new methods of democracy, even some new content for democracy. We are committed to horizontal communication among each other, not vertical communication from the top or a dominating center. We are committed to listening to each other on the premise that democracy is respect for the others and you do not respect a person you do not listen to. We are inventing democracy as we go along, for sure, just as we are inventing ethics as we go along. In the long run, democracy and ethics should mean the same thing. We need a new theory of democracy as the social ethic of human life. We need a new theory of technology as our accumulated social fund. They are coming. But we can do nothing fundamental until we reconstitute ourselves as free people acting together to build, first here, then nation by nation, a genuine international democracy. 0 ur first work is our mutual education. We have just begun to learn who really governs us, and how. The Alliance, the Program on the Corporation, Law, and Democracy, and Share the Wealthand probably other organizationsare forming a Democratic Mutual Education Consortium. We plan speakers, programs, videos. The Boston Alliance has formed study and action committees onamong a few other subjectsthe corporate oligarchy in the Boston area; transnational corporations; weapons, war, and peace; economic alternatives in the Boston area; and democratic media. Billie Beach of the West Los Angeles Alliance wants her group to assemble into a database the , unemployed, underemployed, temps, and otherwise abused workers and put them together with the specialists at the Industrial Cooperative Association who help workers form unionized worker-owned businesses. We are seeking unified media strategies for Alliance areas; we are beginning to devise such a strategy nationally. The heart, the courage of our undertaking, is ending corporate rule. The Alliance is a nonviolent revolution, or it’s a sham. The subtle corporate sell for “market democracy” tries to convince us that democracy is the same as capitalism dominated by the transnationals. It’s not. Democracy and the transnational corporations are exact opposites. Self-government is the one fatal vulnerability of the structurally dictatorial corporation. A command corporate world economy is just as deadly for democracy as the command communist economy was, and now, free of communism, we can free ourselves of corporate gigantism. How do we do it? It’s still true that Workers of the World, unite, we have nothing to lose but our chains. But after the twentieth century we know that force plotted by an elite vanguard plunges us into war, mass murder, mass repression, the prohibition of independent labor unions, and that economic domination plotted by a corporate vanguard intensifies without limit the overconcentration of wealth and power, exploits and pollutes the human race and the earth, and rots out democracyin short, elitism of the left or the right plunges us into communism or corporatism. Now that we are free of the one, we must break free of the other. The truly radical idea for the twenty-first century is organizing and sustaining nonviolent action for real economic and political self-governance by the people, the regular people, the consumers who are also the producers, the voters who are also the rulers. As Martin Luther Kinghaving learned it from Gandhi, who had learned it from Thoreausaid, “There is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest.” It’s a gaspingly dif&ult undertaking. All the Indian independence movement had to do was eject the British from India. The Alliance, then the JULY 12, 1996 -” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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