Walking: We Ask Questions

Notes from Nowhere Collective
Publisher:  Verso
Year Published:  2003
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX7880

An essay from the book We Are Everywhere by the Notes From Nowhere Collective.

The second stage of the movement will be harder than the first. It's a stage of working closer to home, a stage where mass action on the streets is balanced (but not entirely replaced) with creating alternatives to capitalism in our neighborhoods, our towns and cities. A politics which moves between construction and conflict, based on longer-term visions, where we seek to construct alternatives that will sustain us into the future - and yet remembers that any true alternatives to capital will throw us into conflict with the system and that we need to strategize continually to defend ourselves against it.

Yet returning to our neighborhoods, we must not fetishize the local, retreat into subcultural ghettos, nor forget that we are the world's first grassroots-led global political project. We must not undo the global ties that bind us together in a world-wide network. These powers cannot be fought alone, or by single factions. They will pick us off one by one if we attempt to do so. And our resistance still needs to be as transnational as capital, as financial speculation, as climate change, as debt, as corporate power.


How can we discover the paths we should take? How will we know they are the right ones? For is there any revolution in history that has not taken a wrong turn eventually, ending in bloodshed and betrayal - ultimately, in failure?

The anticapitalist movement is the most sustained recent attempt to reinvent the notion of revolution into a constantly evolving process rather than the triumph of an ideology. One thing we have tried to learn from history is that the means we choose determine the ends. Too many times we have seen power-seekers gradually compromise every principle they hold until by the time they succeed in gaining power, they must be resisted because they have betrayed everything they stood for. We are not creating a new ideology to impose from above, to 'replace' capitalism, but evolving a new, radically participatory methodology from below. Rather than seeking a map to tomorrow, we are developing our own journeys, individually and collectively, as we travel.

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