last update : nikos @ 18 July 2010


The ID Network in Catalonia (Barcelona, April 11, 2010)

The emancipatory subject today and the transition to an Inclusive Democracy

printable version





The present multidimensional crisis, which is not only economic but also ecological, political and social in the broader sense of the word, led many people, for the first time after many years, to raise questions on things they used to take for granted within the bubble created by the growth economy and the consequent growth society (or consumer society) .


The first question asked was: why the present crisis and, in particular, why ordinary people (workers, farmers, clerks etc) will have to pay for it when, in fact, they have received only a very small portion of the pie that was growing all the time, as a result of the fast economic growth ―one of the aims of which was exactly to persuade people to work harder to enjoy more of the benefits of the consumer society and forget any questions about the overall highly unequal distribution of the economic benefits from growth.


The next logical question asked, following the previous one was: if the present multidimensional crisis has amply shown that the problem is not just to reform the main institutions characterising Western modernity, (i.e. the capitalist market economy and representative ‘democracy’,) but to change the institutions themselves, then, is there any alternative form of society with which we can replace the present one? This question becomes particularly important today when, although many more people than ever before in the postwar period came to realise that something was very wrong with the system itself, at the same time there was a catastrophic loss of confidence in the feasibility of alternative forms of economic organisation, following the failure of the Soviet type economies and central planning.


The significance of a universalist political project


So, although an antisystemic consciousness seems to be flourishing again, the lack of a mass antisystemic movement, based on a concrete and feasible project for an alternative society to capitalism, has led to a situation where direct action for its own sake, or worse, life-style anarchism, have replaced any programmatic antisystemic movements, (i.e. movements explicitly questioning the very system of capitalist market economy and representative so-called “democracy”) that are based on political projects. By ‘political project’, I do not of course mean some intellectual’s vision about the future society based on the moral values one may draw from social struggles of the past or present. Nor I mean a project based on some supposedly “objective” economic or natural laws. What I mean by a “political project” is a fully comprehensive political program, which, integrated into one of the historic traditions of the Left, derives ―on the basis of a particular viewpoint― a systematic analysis of past and present society and the trends within it, and then draws the organisational principles of the future society and the consequent conclusions on a strategy and tactics that will move us from here to there.  Therefore, to derive such a new political project we need:

  • an analysis of the past and present from a particular viewpoint which could explain why we ended up with today’s multidimensional crisis,

  • an outline of a future society which shows that such a society is not only desirable (on the basis of the analysis above) but feasible as well and not just a utopia in the negative sense of the word and,

  • the description of a transitional strategy that will move us from here to there ―something which answers also the third logical and question following the first two.


The Inclusive Democracy project is such a project that attempts to give answers to all three of the above questions on the basis neither of an objective kind of rationalism (e.g. Marxism, Libertarian Municipalism and the like) nor of a subjective kind of rationalism (e.g. Degrowth, Parecon and the like) but, instead, on the basis of an axiomatic choice in explaining the past and the present as well as in envisaging the future: the choice of individual and collective autonomy. On the basis of this axiomatic choice of autonomy, vs. the alternative principle of heteronomy we can:


a) Analyse the past and the present, as the outcome of the interaction between on the one hand “objective” factors, i.e. the dynamics of the prevailing institutions I mentioned before, which inevitably lead to further and further concentration of power at all levels, given that the trends that such dynamics create are fully supported by the ruling elites which benefit from such dynamics and, on the other, “subjective” factors, i.e. the outcome of the social struggle between the ruling elites/ privileged social groups and the rest of society. So, on the basis of this sort of analysis, the ID project concludes that the ultimate cause of the present multidimensional crisis is the huge and continually growing concentration of economic, political and social power.


b) Outline a future society on the basis of existing trends in human History and the present. It can be shown that the entire human History has been marked by a constant struggle between, on the one hand, the heteronomy tradition which, for reasons we cannot expand on here, was the dominant one and, on the other the autonomy tradition. Out of this struggle, we had many forms of heteronomous societies (slave societies, feudal societies, monarchies, dictatorships, parliamentary “democracies” and the like), but also the sperms of autonomous societies, (the classical democracy of 5th century BC ―despite its obvious shortcomings― and the temporary forms of social organisation based on principles of autonomy that developed during periods of revolution or insurrection, e.g. the French and Russian revolutions, the Spanish civil war, May ’68 and so on). So, what we call an Inclusive Democracy, i.e. a society based on institutions that secure the equal distribution of all forms of power among all citizens, that is, on the abolition of power relations and structures, is not only desirable on the basis of what  I said before about the causes of the present multidimensional crisis, but feasible as well, as it is not just a utopia or an intellectual’s vision but the form of social organisation which institutionalises the historical trends I mentioned. An Inclusive Democracy has four main components: a Political or Direct Democracy, i.e. the direct control of the political process by citizens; an Economic Democracy, i.e. the ownership and direct control of economic resources by the citizen body; Democracy in the Social Realm, or the self-management of workplaces, educational institutions and any other institutions belonging to the social realm by workers, farmers, students and so on; and finally an Ecological democracy, i.e the reintegration of society to Nature.


c) Describe a transitional strategy that will move us from here to there ―which is the aim of my talk that will begin with a brief critical assessment of the main transitional strategies that were proposed in the past and will end up with the ID strategy.


Critical assessment of transition strategies


A good starting point in critically assessing the various historical transitional strategies, with the aim to learn from the failures of the past in drawing some necessary conclusions about the kind of transitional strategy we need today, is the crucial distinction we have to make between, on the one hand, strategies aiming at simply reforming the existing institutions, and, on the other,  those explicitly aiming at replacing the present society’s institutional framework, (that is, the system of the globalised market economy and the complementary institution of representative “democracy,” as well as the corresponding system of values that constitutes the dominant social paradigm on which the present society is based) with an alternative society based on different institutions and values. On the basis of this distinguishing criterion we may draw a clear line  between “reformist” and “anti-systemic” strategies.


Thus, “reformist” are all those approaches which aim at reforming the present institutional framework and system of values through a variety of tactics ranging from the conquest of state power “from above” (e.g. the old socialdemocratic strategy) to pressing the state “from below” to introduce various  reforms (e.g. the civil societarian and radical democracy approaches, postmodern politics etc). On the other hand, “antisystemic” are all those approaches which  explicitly or implicitly challenge the legitimacy of the socio-economic “system,” both in the sense of its institutions, which create and reproduce the unequal distribution of power (considered here as the ultimate cause of antisystemic social divisions[1]), and also in the sense of its values, which legitimise the domination of a human being over human being, or of Society over Nature (e.g. the old statist and libertarian strategies, the recent libertarian municipalism strategy and, the Inclusive Democracy strategy). I have examined elsewhere all these approaches in detail,[2] so here I will only describe the main strategies still around and particularly the ID strategy.


1. The reformist strategies to transition


The socialdemocratic approach of reforms “from above”


As it is well known, social democracy reached its peak during the period of statism and particularly in the first thirty years after WWII, when not only socialdemocratic parties took over power in many Western countries (Britain, Germany, France, Italy etc) but also a program based on a ‘social democratic consensus’ was dominant all over the Western world[3]. However, the internationalisation of  the market economy since the mid ‘70s brought about the end of this consensus and the rise of the neoliberal consensus, (i.e. neoliberal modernity) ―which, in my view[4]― is irreversible as long as the market economy is internationalised, in other words, as long as the market economy reproduces itself. The deletion from the Constitution of the British Labour Party (which was the last socialdemocratic party still committed to  socialisation of the means of production) of “clause four,” which committed it to full socialisation, marked the formal end of socialdemocratic claims towards real systemic change. In fact, the neoliberal agenda for “flexible” labour markets, minimisation of social controls on markets, replacement of the welfare state by a safety net etc has now become the agenda of every major socialdemocratic party in power or in opposition. The parallel degradation of social democracy and the reversal of most of its conquests (comprehensive welfare state, state commitment to full employment, significant improvement in the distribution of income) has clearly shown the impossibility of bringing about a systemic change through reforms.


This is particularly so today, when reforms have to be compatible with the requirements of the internationalised market economy. It is therefore clear that as long as the system of the market economy and representative “democracy” reproduces itself, all that reforms (either “from above,” or “from below”) can achieve today is temporary victories, i.e. social conquests which would be as reversible as those achieved during the period of the social democratic consensus, which are now being systematically dismantled by neoliberals and social-liberals, the successors of social democrats.[5] This is because the growth (and therefore the profitability) of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) depends on the continuous expansion of world markets. This means that a market economy today can only be an internationalised one ―something that implies that markets have to be as open and as flexible as possible. So, globalisation and its main effects, i.e. the present concentration of power and the continuous worsening of the ecological crisis, will persist for as long as the existing institutional framework ―that secures the concentration of political and economic power― reproduces itself, in other words, for as long as the market economy system and representative “democracy” are not replaced by an institutional framework securing the equal distribution of political and economic power among all citizens, i.e. an Inclusive Democracy.


The civil societarian approach of reforms “from below”


This is a modern variation of the reformist approach, which however is not based on introducing reforms “from above,” as the socialdemocratic approach, but on reforms from below. Thus, the civil societarian approach involves the enhancement of “civil society,” that is, the strengthening of the various networks which are autonomous from state control (unions, churches, civic movements, co-operatives, neighbourhoods, schools of thought etc.) in order to impose effective  limits (i.e. social controls) on markets and the state ―an approach which is both a-historical and utopian. It is a-historical, since it ignores the structural changes, which have led to the present neoliberal consensus and the internationalised market economy. And it is utopian because it is in tension with both the present internationalised market economy and the state.


Postmodernist politics


Finally, we may classify as reformist all those postmodernist movements, which, despite the clear universal character of the present institutional framework, they do not challenge the main political and economic institutions which constitute its universality: the system of the market economy and representative “democracy”. Instead, a basic axiom of all social movements influenced by postmodern ideas is their anti-universalism, which by definition excludes such movements from any form of antisystemic politics.[6] The two main types of postmodern strategies are, first, the “alliance politics” and second the “radical democracy” politics. Both these types of postmodern politics have as their main point of reference the “identity movements” (feminist, black, gay etc), as well as the Green movement.


The Green movement and the de-growth approach


As regards the Green movement in particular, the dominant trends within the Green movement today do not challenge the fundamental institutions of the market economy and representative “democracy” but, instead, either adopt a mix of the reformist socialdemocratic and civil societarian strategies I examined above (Europe) or, alternatively, stress the importance of changing cultural values, which they consider as being amenable to change even within the existing institutional framework (USA). Therefore, the Green movement has abdicated any antisystemic or liberatory role and today is, directly or indirectly, reformist. Directly, in the case of parliamentary Green parties and red-Green organisations, and indirectly in the case of movements like deep ecology which emphasise “spiritual change over political and social change”.[7]


Similar considerations apply to the recently developed de-growth movement, which aims at a non-growth society to replace the present growth economy and society I mentioned. This implies going beyond the economy by challenging its domination of present life, in theory and in practice, and above all in our minds. As I tried to show elsewhere,[8] the degrowth approach in fact represents a synthesis between the antisystemic Green approaches of the German “fundos,” which have nowadays almost completely disappeared, and the reformist approaches of the mainstream Green parties, which have by now proven bankrupt. The problem therefore with this approach is that it tries to reconcile two irreconcilable approaches and this is reflected in both its conception of the causes of the rise of the growth economy and consequently its transition strategy. As regards the causes of the growth economy/society, it is clear that its rise is not just the outcome of domination of specific imaginary significations or values, as the degrowth approach suggests, but the outcome of social struggle on the one hand and technological (including organisational) and socio-economic developments on the other. In other words, the rise of the growth economy and society cannot simply be reduced to the emergence of the Enlightenment idea of Progress and the consequent rise of the ‘imaginary’ of growth and so on. As regards the transition strategy, it is clear that moving to an ecological democracy and de-growth is not just a matter of “a paradigm shift to a concept of «right-sizing» the global and national economies”[9], as they declare, or just of a change in culture in the form of a cultural revolution, a change in the legal system etc. In fact, a change in culture at a significant social scale is impossible within the present institutional framework of a market economy and its political complement of representative democracy because the institutions themselves, and the way of living implied by them, have created a corresponding kind of culture. Such a change in culture at a significant social scale can only take place within the context of a new political strategy that comprises the gradual involvement of increasing numbers of people in a new kind of politics and the parallel shifting of economic resources (labour, capital, land) away from the market economy, and this presupposes a universalist political project, like the ID project, which explicitly questions both the capitalist market economy and representative “democracy” ―something that the de-growth approach never does.


2. The antisystemic strategies to transition


The common characteristic of antisystemic strategies is that they all aim, through a revolutionary change (violent or peaceful) to a “systemic” transformation of society that involves the replacement of the present political, economic and social institutions with new forms of social organisation. I think that the main antisystemic strategies still around in the West are the statist socialist strategy and the libertarian strategy to which we may add the Inclusive Democracy strategy. There are also several “hybrid” antisystemic approaches, in the sense that they are at the boundaries between reformist and antisystemic approaches, like the Trotskyite approach I will call  “reformism-as-a-strategyand the Chomskyite approach I will call “statist anarcho-syndicalism”.


The statist socialist strategy of revolution ‘from above’


The Marxist-Leninist tradition of statist socialism is a classical example of a strategy aiming at a “revolution from above” and despite attempts by today’s Marxists to differentiate between Marx and Lenin on the issue of strategy, in fact, the sperms of Leninist totalitarianism, which culminated in Stalinism, can be found in Marx’s thought itself and in particular the very idea that the only way to a communist society is through the conquest of state power by a victorious proletariat and the establishment of a proletarian state that would preside over a rapid development of productive forces that would lead to the abolition of scarcity ―which, as I attempted to show elsewhere[10], is in fact a myth depending on an objective definition of “needs”. This, combined with the Marxist attempt to convert the socialist project into an “objective” science of social change, had inevitably led to Lenin’s[11] conclusion that socialist consciousness could only come “from without”.


The libertarian strategy of revolution “from below”


The 19th century socialist split, which reached its climax in the dispute between Marx and Bakunin within the First International, led, on the one hand, to the emergence of the statist socialist strategy that we just discussed and, on the other, to the libertarian strategy. Today, almost a century and a half since this debate, the socialist project is in ruins after the collapse of both versions of statist socialism i.e. the reformist socialdemocracy in the West and the revolutionary statist socialism in the East.  Paradoxically, despite the fact that libertarian socialism still remains untried, (after the most serious attempt to implement its principles during the Spanish civil war was stifled by the fascist hordes, which were acting under the tolerant eye of Western “democracies”), the collapse of the statist version of  socialism has not led to a revival of its libertarian version. Instead, the institutional framework defined by modernity (i.e. the market economy and representative “democracy”) has become universal and, consequently, the chronic multidimensional crisis (political, economic, ecological, social and cultural) which arose with the emergence of this institutional framework has also been universalised and exacerbated.


The libertarian strategy is one involving a “revolution from below”. As such, it aims at systemic change through the abolition of state power and the creation of workers’ associations (anarcho-syndicalism) or, alternatively, of federations of communes (anarcho-communism). So, the various trends within the anarchist movement (worker-oriented vs. community-oriented ) aim at revolution in order to abolish state power and transform society “from below,” rather than in order to conquest state power and transform society “from above,” as the statist socialist strategy does.




As regards anarcho-syndicalism in particular, its strategy advocated direct action by the working class to abolish the capitalist order, including the state, and to establish in its place a social order based on workers’ self-management. The reliance upon direct industrial action stemmed from a rejection of reforms achieved through the state that was considered an appendage of the capitalist system, as well as from the practical considerations that, outside the factory, political differences among workers would come into play, possibly hindering mass action whereas inside it, their similar employment status gave workers a sense of solidarity. The anarcho-syndicalists argued in favour of a militant form of trade unions dedicated to the destruction of capitalism and the state that would aim to take over factories and utilities, which would then be operated by the workers. To sustain militancy, an atmosphere of incessant conflict should be induced, and the culmination of this strategy should be the general strike.


However, although several general strikes, with limited objectives, were undertaken in France and elsewhere with varying success at the beginning of last century, the decisive general strike aimed at overthrowing the social order in a single blow was never attempted. So, the anarcho-syndicalist movement, after flourishing in France, chiefly between 1900 and 1914, and to a significant extent in Spain, Italy, England, the Latin-American countries, and elsewhere, by the beginning of the second World War had withered away. The major anarcho-syndicalist attempt for a revolution from below in Spain led to a civil war, where the superior means, organisation and efficiency of the fascist enemy (as well as of the statist socialists who undermined in every way possible the libertarian socialists) led to the suppression of libertarian socialists. In conclusion, the anarcho-syndicalist movement is effectively dead today, as a result, also, of the major decline of the labour and the trade union movement following the decimation of traditional working class[12] in today's neoliberal globalisation. For instance, in the “Group of 7” countries (minus Canada), the proportion of the active population employed in manufacturing fell by over a third between the mid seventies and the mid nineties ―a fact which had significant implications on the strength and significance of trade unions and social-democratic parties. Thus, in the US, trade unions have been decimated in just two decades, their membership falling from about 35 million to 15 million, while in Britain, 14 years of Thatcherism were enough to bring down trade union membership from 13.3 million in 1979 to under 9 million in 1993 and since then it has fallen to about 6,5 million now. Similar trends are observed in union membership in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and even Sweden.[13]


Chomsky’s “statist anarcho-syndicalism”


As it is well known, Noam Chomsky (as well as his fellow self-professed “anarchists,” Michael Albert (the author of Parecon), Howard Zinn  et al, adopt a kind of “statist anarcho-syndicalism” ―a self-contradictory term I deliberately chose to describe their views, in order to show the blatant inconsistency of such views with  anarcho-syndicalism, and in particular of their view that the centralised State could be used against the corporations, which, however, it has always aided in the long run, as Murray Bookchin aptly pointed out in criticising what he called Chomsky’s self-professed anarchism! In fact, very recently, Chomsky repeated these utterly inconsistent views with anarcho-syndicalism (in fact, with any kind of anarchism!) in an interview published in Albert’s Znet,[14] in which he effectively distorted the anarcho-syndicalist transition strategy. Thus, whereas anarcho-syndicalists were talking in favour of a campaign of worker’s take-overs cumulating in a general strike, Chomsky only talks about using the state against the corporations, with no word mentioned about a general strike! Furthermore, the fact that he refers to this strategy as an end in itself, (or at worst, as a means for reformist changes) becomes obvious not only by his support, in the same interview, for reformist demands but also by the fact that unless one makes a concrete proposal of how exactly occupied factories could function within the capitalist market economy ―as the ID project does which advocates the self-organisation of occupied factories etc outside the market economy so that they could become the stepping stone towards a new society― then, occupied factories would simply be a form of protest that could easily be smashed by the capitalist system and the state, as it happened frequently in History, the latest example being the 2000 Argentina at the beginning of the millennium.


Anarcho-communism and Libertarian Municipalism


The most recent development with respect to anarcho-communism is the strategy of Libertarian Municipalism (LM), which expresses the politics of social ecology that has been theorised by Murray Bookchin[15] and recently codified by Janet Biehl.[16] The main difference between this approach and anarcho-syndicalism is that unlike anarcho-syndicalists, modern anarcho-communists like Libertarian Munipalists do not see the working class, or the proletariat, as the emancipatory subject. They envisage a community-based society, unlike anarcho-syndicalists who envisage a workers’ based society. The politics of LM is a politics that is characterised by certain crucial philosophical and conceptual differences with respect to ID (which I examined elsewhere)[17] and which imply different strategies for the transition to an alternative society. So, in the LM transitional strategy, there is no scope for the building of institutions of economic democracy and of democracy in the social realm, as a means of creating a rupture with the dominant social paradigm and generating the ‘majority’ democratic consciousness that will lead to a confederal Inclusive Democracy. Instead, the entire LM strategy is based on the exclusive goal of “reclaiming the political realm”.[18] This is the inevitable consequence of the fact that the LM project’s aim is to build a political democracy rather than an Inclusive Democracy, (as in the ID project in which political democracy is only one component of Inclusive Democracy) ―something not surprising as in the “post-scarcity anarchism” envisaged by LM, economic democracy makes  not much sense! Finally, the LM strategy does not involve the creation of an alternative political organisation, like the ID one, and relies instead on the creation of groups with the sole aim to “reclaim the political realm” by functioning as catalysts for the creation of citizens’ assemblies[19]. In conclusion, the LM strategy could, at best, create a consciousness for political democracy and not for the other components of an Inclusive Democracy.


3. The Inclusive Democracy strategy to transition


If we accept the premise I described at the beginning that the ultimate cause of every aspect of the present crisis is the concentration of power at all levels, then the obvious way out of this crisis is the abolition of power structures and relations, i.e. the creation of conditions of equal distribution of power among citizens. One way which could bring about this sort of society is the strategy proposed by the Inclusive Democracy[20] project that involves the creation of political, economic and social structures, which secure direct democracy, economic democracy, ecological democracy and democracy in the social realm. It also involves the creation of a new social paradigm, which has to become hegemonic for the reproduction of Inclusive Democracy to be secured.


The emancipatory subject in neoliberal modernity


But, the first crucial issue in discussing a transitional strategy for the 21st century is the following one: is there an emancipatory subject today and how we may define it?


Today, as I attempted to show elsewhere,[21] we face the end of “traditional” antisystemic movements which were mainly questioning one form of power or another, reducing all other forms of power relations/ structures to this particular form. Thus, statist socialist movements (particularly Marxists) reduced all forms of power to economic power, libertarian movements did the same with state power and feminist and other ‘new’ social movements reduced various forms of discrimination to social power in the sense of patriarchical power and so on. I think that what we need instead is a new antisystemic movement which should challenge heteronomy itself, rather than simply various forms of heteronomy, as used to be the case with the ‘traditional’ antisystemic movements which considered the unequal distribution of one particular form of power as the basis of all other forms of power.


 So, the collapse of the traditional antisystemic movements is the first reason which raises the need for a new type of antisystemic movement. A second reason, which is related to the first one and justifies further the need for such a movement, is the fact that today we face not simply the end of the traditional antisystemic movements but also of traditional Marxist class divisions. However, the fact that we face today the end of class politics does not mean that there is no “system” anymore as such, or “class divisions” for that matter. What it does mean is that today we face new “class divisions”.[22] Thus, in the ID problematique, the phasing out of economic classes in the Marxist sense simply signifies the death of traditional class divisions and the birth of new “holistic” class divisions, i.e. divisions which are located into the power structures of the socio-economic system itself and not just to some aspects of it, like economic relations alone, or alternatively gender relations and so on. In other words, the present social divisions between dominant and subordinate social groups in the political sphere (professional politicians versus the rest of citizenry), the economic sphere (company owners, directors, managers versus workers, clerks etc) and the broader social sphere (men versus women, blacks versus whites, ethnic majorities versus minorities and so on) are based on institutional structures that reproduce an unequal distribution of power and on  the corresponding cultures and ideologies, (i.e. the “dominant social paradigm”).


The unifying element which may unite members of the subordinate social groups around a liberatory project like the ID project is their exclusion from various forms of power ―an exclusion which is founded on the unequal distribution of power that  today’s institutions and the corresponding values establish. This brings us to the crucial question facing any transitional strategy: the “identity” of the emancipatory subject, or as it used to be called the “revolutionary subject”.


All antisystemic strategies in the past were based on the assumption that the revolutionary subject is identified with the proletariat, although in the last century several variations of this approach were suggested to include in the revolutionary subject peasants[23] and later on students.[24] However, the ‘systemic changes’ that marked the shift from statist modernity to neoliberal modernity and the associated class structure changes, as well as the parallel ideological crisis,[25] meant the end of traditional class divisions, as I mentioned above ―although not the end of class divisions as such― as social-liberals suggest.[26] Still, some in the radical Left, despite the obvious systemic changes, insist on reproducing the myth of the revolutionary working class, usually by redefining it in sometimes tautological ways.[27] At the same time, writers on the libertarian Left like Bookchin[28] and Castoriadis[29] moved to a position according to which, in defining the emancipatory subject, we have to abandon any “objective criteria” and assume instead that the whole of the population (“the people”) is just open-or closed-to a revolutionary outlook. Finally, postmodernists replace class divisions with identity differences and substitute fragmentation and difference for the “political system”.


In the ID problematique, what we need today is a new paradigm which, while recognising the different identities of the social groups which constitute various sub-totalities (women, ethnic minorities etc), at the same time acknowledges the existence of an overall socio-economic system that secures the concentration of power at the hands of various elites and dominant social groups within society as a whole. Such a paradigm is the Inclusive Democracy paradigm which does respond to the present multiplicity of social relations (gender, ethnicity, race, and so on) with complex concepts of equality in the distribution of all forms of power that acknowledge people’s different needs and experiences. In fact, the main problem in emancipatory politics today is how all the social groups, which potentially form the basis of a new emancipatory subject, would be united by a common worldview, a common paradigm, which sees the ultimate cause of the present multidimensional crisis in the present structures that secure the concentration of power at all levels, as well as the corresponding value systems. In this problematique, given the broad perspective of the project for an Inclusive Democracy, a new movement aiming at an Inclusive Democracy should appeal to almost all sections of society, apart of course from the dominant social groups, i.e. the ruling elites and the privileged social groups. 


So, to sum it up, it is necessary that the new political organisation is founded on the broadest political base possible. The ID project should appeal to a broad range of social groups, which could potentially be the basis of a new “liberatory subject” for systemic change:

  • the victims of the market economy system in its present internationalised form, i.e. the unemployed, low-waged, farmers under extinction, occasionally employed etc;

  • those citizens, particularly in the ‘middle groups’, who are alienated by the present statecraft which passes as “politics” and already claim a right of self-determination through various local community groups; 

  • workers, clerks etc who are exploited and alienated by the hierarchical structures at the workplace;

  • women, who are alienated by the hierarchical structures both at home and the workplace and yearn for a democratised family based on equality, mutual respect, autonomy, sharing of decision-making and responsibilities, emotional and sexual equality;

  • ethnic or racial minorities and other identities, which are alienated by a discriminatory ‘statist’ democracy that divides the population into first and second class citizens;

  • all those concerned about the destruction of the environment and  the accelerating deterioration in the quality of life, who are presently organised in reformist ecological movements, marginalized eco-communes etc.


There is no doubt that several of these groups may see at the moment their goals as conflicting with those of other groups (middle social groups vis-à-vis the groups of the victims of the internationalised market economy and so on). However, as I mentioned above, the ID project does offer a common paradigm consisting of an analysis of the  causes of the present multidimensional crisis in terms of the present structures that secure the unequal distribution of power and the corresponding values, as well as  the  ends and  means that would lead us to an alternative society.       


A long-term strategy for a confederal Inclusive Democracy


What is the rationale behind the proposed transitional strategy? This rationale is based on the lessons History has taught us. In fact, if there is one lesson History taught us, this is that the basic cause of failure of previous attempts aiming at a systemic change was exactly the significant unevenness in the level of consciousness, in other words, the fact that all past revolutions had taken place in an environment where only a minority of the population had broken with the dominant social paradigm. This gave the golden opportunity to various elites to turn one section of the people against another (e.g. Chile), or led to the development of authoritarian structures for the self-protection of the revolution (e.g. French or Russian revolutions), frustrating any attempt for the creation of structures of equal distribution of power. However, for a revolution to be truly successful, a rupture with the past is presupposed, both at the subjective level of consciousness and at the institutional level. Still, when a revolution in the past was “from above,” it had a good chance to achieve its first aim, to abolish state power and establish its own power, but, exactly because it was a revolution from above, with its own hierarchical structures etc, it had no chance to change the dominant social paradigm but only formally, i.e. at the level of the official (compulsory) ideology. On the other hand, although the revolution from below has always been the correct approach to convert people democratically to the new social paradigm, it suffered in the past from the fact that the uneven development of consciousness among the population did not allow revolutionaries to achieve even their very first aim: abolishing state power. Therefore, the major problem with systemic change has always been how it could be brought about from below, but by a majority of the population, so that a democratic abolition of power structures could become feasible. The ID strategy aspires to offer a solution to this crucial problem.


So, the main aim of the ID transition strategy is the rupture of the socialisation process and therefore the creation of a democratic majority “from below,” which will legitimise the new structures of Inclusive Democracy, in other words, the aim is to convert the project for an ID into a hegemonic ideology BEFORE the creation of an ID society, so that, for the first time in History, the majority of the population will be in favor of a revolutionary change in society in advance of its actual change! However, for a new culture to become hegemonic, even before the transition to an Inclusive Democracy, the necessary condition is the parallel building of new political and economic institutions at a significant social scale. In other words, it is only through action to build the new institutions that a mass political movement with a democratic consciousness can be built.


Given this aim, it is obvious that participation in national elections is a singularly inappropriate means to this end, since, even if the movement for an Inclusive Democracy does win a national election, this will inevitably set in motion a process of “revolution from above”. This is because the rupture in the socialisation process can only be gradual and in continuous interaction with the phased implementation of the program for the Inclusive Democracy, which should always start at the local level, as the basic unit of political and economic decision-making is the demos, the citizen body in an area (neighborhood of a city, a town, a number of villages etc) of around 30,000- 50,000 people. On the other hand, an attempt to implement the new project through the conquest of power at the national level does not offer any opportunity for such an interaction between theory and practice and for the required homogenisation of consciousness with respect to the need for systemic change.


Thus, the ID strategy involves the building of a mass programmatic libertarian political movement, like the old socialist movement, with an unashamedly universalist goal to change society along genuine democratic lines, beginning here and now. Therefore, such a movement should explicitly aim at a systemic change, as well as at a parallel change in our value systems. This strategy would entail the gradual involvement of increasing numbers of people in a new kind of politics and the parallel shifting of economic resources (labour, capital, land) away from the market economy. The aim of such a strategy should be to create changes in the institutional framework, as well as to value systems, which, after a period of tension between the new institutions and the state, would, at some stage, replace the market economy, representative “democracy,” and the social paradigm “justifying” them, with an Inclusive Democracy and a new democratic paradigm respectively.


In this sense, the ID strategy creates the conditions for the transition, both the ‘subjective’ ones, (in terms of developing a new democratic consciousness) and the “objective” ones, (in terms of creating the new institutions which will form the basis of an Inclusive Democracy). At the same time, the establishment of these new institutions will crucially assist here and now the victims of the concentration of power resulting from the present institutional framework and particularly the victims of neoliberal globalisation to deal with the problems created by it. In other words, people will be involved in a struggle for the establishment of the ID institutions not out of hunger for an abstract notion of self-management or democracy but because, through their own action, they will be able to see that the ultimate cause of all their problems (economic, social, ecological) is the fact that power has been concentrated in a few hands.


The objective therefore of an ID strategy is the creation, from below, of “popular bases of political and economic power,” that is, the establishment of local inclusive democracies, which, at a later stage, will confederate in order to create the conditions for the establishment of a new confederal Inclusive Democracy. Therefore, a crucial element of the ID strategy is that the political and economic institutions of Inclusive Democracy begin to be established immediately after a significant number of people in a particular area have formed a base for “democracy in action” ―something that, most probably, could only be achieved at the massive social scale required through winning in local elections under an ID program.


But, what sort of strategy can ensure the transition toward an Inclusive Democracy? A general guiding principle in selecting an appropriate transitional strategy is consistency between means and ends. Obviously, a strategy aiming at an Inclusive Democracy cannot be achieved through the use of non-democratic political practices, or individualistic activities. Furthermore, as we have seen above, the ID strategy should not be restricted to the fight against the present system but it should also ‘prefigure’ the future one.


Thus, as regards first the fight against the present system, I think there should be no hesitation in supporting all those struggles which can assist in making clear the repressive nature of statist democracy and the market economy, i.e. all types of collective action in the form of class conflicts between the victims of the internationalised market economy and the ruling local elites, or the transnational elite which “manages” the internationalised market economy. However, the systemic nature of the causes of such conflicts should be stressed at each step and this task can obviously not be left to the bureaucratic leaderships of trade unions and other traditional organisations. This is the task of workplace assemblies that form an integral part of a movement towards an Inclusive Democracy, which could confederate and take part in such struggles, as part of a broader democratic movement that is based on demoi and their confederal structures. Also, activists participating in the ID movement should obviously take part in direct action activities against neoliberal globalisation, or against the serious undermining of political freedoms that has been institutionalised under the pretext of the “war against terrorism,” in alliance with other radical antisystemic groups ―provided of course that, in doing so, they express the ID problematique and raise the demands which are consistent with it.


Similarly, as regards “prefiguring” the future system, activities like Community Economic Development projects, self-managed factories, housing associations, LETS schemes, communes, self-managed farms and so on should also be supported ―provided however, again, that they form part of a programmatic political movement with clear goals, means and strategies for systemic change, like the ID movement. If this condition is not met we simply talk about life-style activities!


The significance of local elections


Contesting local elections does provide the most effective means to massively publicise a programme for an Inclusive Democracy, as well as the opportunity to initiate its immediate implementation on a significant social scale. In other words, contesting local elections is not just an educational exercise but also an expression of the belief that it is only at the local level that direct and economic democracy can be founded today, although of course local Inclusive Democracies have to be confederated to ensure the transition to a confederal democracy. It is because the demos is the fundamental social and economic unit of a future democratic society that we have to start from the local level to change society. Therefore, participation in local elections is an important part of the strategy to gain power, in order to dismantle it immediately afterwards, by substituting the decision-taking role of the assemblies for that of the local authorities, the day after the election has been won. Furthermore, contesting local elections gives the chance to start changing society from below, something that is the only democratic strategy, as against the statist approaches that aim to change society from above through the conquest of state power, and the “civil society” approaches that do not aim at a systemic change at all.


This way, a dual power in tension with the statist forms of organisation will be created, which ultimately may or may not lead to confrontation with the ruling elites depending on the balance of power that would have developed by then. Clearly, the greater the appeal of the new institutions to citizens the smaller the chance that the ruling elites will resort to violence to restore the power of the state and the market economy institutions, on which their own power rests.


So, we need a new kind of politics, which has nothing to do with what passes as politics today, as well as a new kind of political organisation, which would not be the usual political party, but a form of “democracy in action,” which would undertake various forms of intervention at the local level, always as part of a comprehensive program for social transformation aiming at the eventual change of each local authority into an Inclusive Democracy. Therefore, unlike traditional organisations of the Left, the aim should not just be to take part in defensive struggles against the system to raise consciousness so that a takeover of power from above takes eventually place to build the new ID institutions. Instead, the main aim should be that the new organisation should function as the catalyst for building up the new institutions here and now, which would lead to the establishment of a New World Order based on an Inclusive Democracy, as a form of social organisation that re-integrates society with economy, polity and nature within an institutional framework that secures the necessary conditions for the equal distribution of all forms of power. This involves the creation of institutions for a political democracy (direct democracy), which are securing that all political decisions (including those relating to the formation and execution of laws) are taken by the citizen body (the demos) collectively and without representation; economic democracy, in which the demoi control the economic process, within an institutional framework of demotic ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, beyond the confines of the market economy and central planning; Democracy in the social realm, in which all public realm institutions where collective decisions can be taken (e.g. workplaces, educational places, cultural institutions et.c) are self-managed under the overall control of the demoi, whereas personal relations are based on a value system which is compatible with the  overall democratic institutions of society, i.e. a value system based on the principles of individual and social autonomy and solidarity that rules out any form of domination based on sex, race, ethnicity, cultural differences and so on ; and Ecological Democracy, in which the ID institutional framework and the value system which is compatible with it secure the necessary conditions for the reintegration of society and nature.


Transition to political democracy


This involves two main aims:


a) Developing an “alternative consciousness” as regards methods of solving the political, economic, social and ecological problems in a democratic way. This involves connecting today’s multidimensional crisis to the present socio-economic system and the need to replace it with a confederal Inclusive Democracy. So, the ID program should show that not only political alienation but also problems like unemployment, poverty and work alienation, as well as poor quality of life, pollution and environmental destruction, and problems of gender/race etc discrimination and cultural homogenisation are all connected to a system based on the concentration of political, economic and social power at the hands of elites, which represent a very small proportion of the population. Thus, citizens should realise that within an ID, for the first time in their lives, they will have a real power in determining the affairs of their own community. All this, in contrast to today's state of affairs when citizens supposedly have the power, every four years or so, to change the party in government but, in effect, they are given neither any real choice nor any way of imposing their will on professional politicians or economic elites.

b) Making proposals on how to start building the political, economic and social institutions themselves that would lead to an Inclusive Democracy. Measures should therefore be proposed that could lead both to greater political and economic self-reliance and to democratic procedures in taking decisions affecting the citizens’ life. This could involve:

  • The organisation of demotic assemblies to discuss important local issues. In large cities these assemblies could take the form of neighbourhood assemblies that would confederate and form the “city-confederal assembly” out of delegates from each neighbourhood assembly.

  • The election of a “shadow town/city council,” i.e. of a council that will ‘shadow’ the activities of the official town/city council and make alternative proposals on its agenda and, once it becomes possible, provide members to the actual town/city council.

  • The demand and fight for the greatest possible decentralisation of political power, as well as economic power (taxing/spending power etc) to the local level, given that decentralisation is the basis of organisation of an Inclusive Democracy.


Transition to economic democracy


As regards the aim of building alternative economic institutions leading to economic democracy, the programme should make clear why the taking over by the ID movement of several town/city councils could create the conditions for:

a) The drastic increase of the demos’ economic self-reliance;

b) The setting up of a demotic economic sector, i.e. a sector owned and controlled by the demos; and

c) The creation of a democratic mechanism for the confederal allocation of resources.

Steps in the direction of self-reliance could involve:

  • The drastic expansion of local financial power, through the creation of demotic credit unions (i.e., financial co-ops supported by the demos) to provide loans to their members for their personal and investment needs, as a first step in the creation of a demotic bank network; also LETS[30]  schemes could be introduced as a first step in the installation of a demotic credit card scheme, with the aim of covering the basic needs of all citizens through the use of locally produced goods and services.

  • The increase in local tax power, through tax decentralisation, i.e. the shift of taxing power from the national to the local level. Initially, new local taxes could be complementary to state taxes but the ID movement should fight for tax decentralisation and the parallel introduction of a new demotic tax system (i.e. a tax system controlled by the demos)

  • New institutions to create a power to determine local production, through, initially the provision of financial incentives to local producers/shops/citizens in order to induce them to produce/sell/buy locally produced goods with the aim of breaking the chains of big manufacturers/distributors. At a later stage, the creation of demotic enterprises (i.e. enterprises owned by the demos) would give the power to the demos to increasingly take over production.

  • New institutions to cover the welfare needs of local citizens through the creation of a demotic welfare system, i.e. a welfare system controlled by the demos that would provide important social services (education, health, housing, etc.) locally, or regionally in cooperation with other demoi in the area. Such a system would not only maximise the use of local productive resources but, also, drastically reduce outside dependence.


Coming next to (b), the creation of a demotic economic sector, this is a crucial step in the transition to an Inclusive Democracy, not only because of its importance with respect to economic democracy but also because the establishment of self-managed productive units constitutes the foundation for workplace democracy. A demotic sector would involve new collective forms of ownership that would ensure control of production, not only by those working in the production units, but also by the demos. This could be achieved through the creation of:

  • Demotic enterprises, i.e. productive units that could belong to the demos and be managed by the workers working in those units, while their technical management (marketing, planning, etc.) could be entrusted to specialised personnel. However, the overall control over such enterprises should belong to the demotic assemblies that would supervise their production, employment and environmental policies ensuring that the “general social interest” rather than the particular interest of each demotic enterprises’ employees is pursued.

  • A network of demotic bank co-operatives, similar, for example, to the Mondragon co-ops could be established before local power has been won. But once local elections have been successfully contested in a number of cities/towns, then, the possibility arises for the creation of demotic bank network owned and controlled by the demos. Thus, each city/town could have its own demotic bank that could be integrated into a regional and later a confederal network.


Finally, as regards (c), the transition to a Confederal Allocation of Resources, the fundamental problem that a strategy leading to a system of confederal allocation of resources faces is how to create such institutional arrangements for economic democracy that are compatible with an institutional framework that, in the transitional stage, is still a market economy. As the confederal allocation of resources was described in Towards An Inclusive Democracy,[31] the system involves two basic mechanisms for the allocation of resources:

a) A democratic planning mechanism for most of the macro-economic decisions, (social autonomy element) and

b) A voucher or credit card system for most of the micro-economic decisions, which, by replacing the real market with an artificial one, would create conditions of freedom of choice (individual autonomy element). 

It is obvious that a full system of allocation of resources cannot be introduced before a full economic democracy in the form of a confederation of demoi has been introduced, although steps in this direction could be taken earlier (e.g. the demotic credit card scheme mentioned above). However, a democratic planning system is feasible even in the transitional period although, obviously, its decision-making scope would be seriously constrained by the market economy. Still, such a system could play a useful role in educating people in economic democracy and at the same time in creating the preconditions for individual and social autonomy. 


But, for any democratic mechanism to be significant and to attract citizens in the decision-taking process, it is presupposed that the decisions themselves are important. It is therefore crucial that during the transition to an Inclusive Democracy the demos should be empowered with significant powers that would convert it into a coherent system of local taxation, spending and finance. Then, demotic assemblies could be empowered to make decisions affecting the economic life of the community, which would be implemented by the Town Council or some other relevant body, after it has been converted, formally or informally depending on the existing legal framework, into a body of recallable delegates.


Thus, the shift of tax power to the cities/towns, which should be a basic demand of an ID movement, would allow demotic assemblies to determine the amount of taxes and the way in which taxes would be charged on income, wealth, land and energy use, as well as on consumption. Demotic assemblies could, at annual intervals, meet and discuss various proposals about the level of taxation for the year to come, in relation to the way the money collected by the demos should be spent. This way, demotic assemblies would start taking over the fiscal powers of the state, as far as their demoi are concerned, although in the transitional period, until the confederation of demoi replaces the state, they would also be subject to the state fiscal powers.


Similar measures can be taken as regards the present state powers with respect to the allocation of financial resources. The introduction of a demotic banking system, in combination with demotic currencies, will give significant power to demotic assemblies to determine the allocation of financial resources in the implementation of the demos’ objectives (creating new enterprises, meeting ecological targets etc.)


Finally, assemblies would have significant powers in determining the allocation of resources in the demoticised sector, namely, the demotic enterprises and the demotic welfare system. As a first step, demotic assemblies could introduce a credit card scheme with respect to social services, in which all residents in a demos will be credited with the necessary points to meet all their relevant needs, as determined by the demotic assembly. At a later stage, when a significant number of demoi have joined the confederation of inclusive democracies, demotic assemblies could expand this system to cover the basic needs of all citizens, initially in parallel with the market economy ―until the latter is phased out.


Transition to democracy in the social realm


As I mentioned above, the transitional strategy should involve steps in the development of institutions establishing a “democracy at the social realm” (self-managed institutions in the workplace, the place of education, the household etc) and the values corresponding to it. This implies that the ID groups, apart from participating in struggles for worker’s democracy, household democracy, democracy in the educational institutions and so on, should initiate moves for the establishment of alternative institutions like the demotic enterprises, demotic clinics, schools etc, which will be self-managed. Furthermore, they should take steps to enhance self-management in existing institutions.


The creation of an alternative culture plays a crucial role in the process of creating a democratic Paedeia, i.e. a system of all round education which forms the character of a democratic citizen and at the same time promotes the value system that is consistent with an Inclusive Democracy, so that it occupies a hegemonic position in society. This is a completely different system from today’s system of education that constitutes a basic part of the socialisation process that produces disciplined individuals rather than free citizens. Similarly, the free expression of artists ―free from market or bureaucratic considerations― should be enhanced, in place of the present elite-controlled art activities.


In this context, a system of alternative self-managed media should be established, even before local power has been won, with the aim to present the news from the people’s rather than from the elites’ point of view. The alternative media established as part of the ID program would play a crucial role in developing an “alternative consciousness,” as regards the methods of solving the economic and ecological problems in a democratic way. They should highlight the systemic nature of today's economic and ecological crisis and make proposals on how to start building the new society.  Once local power has been won, such alternative media  should be converted into demotic media that will be under the overall control of the demotic assemblies.


In sum, a new culture for a democratic society should be promoted that will be characterised by very different values than those of a market economy. The values of heteronomy, competition, individualism and consumerism which are dominant today have to be replaced in a democratic society by the values of individual and collective autonomy, co-operation, mutual aid, solidarity and sharing.


Transition to ecological democracy


Finally, the transitional strategy should involve steps in the development of institutions and values which aim at the reintegration of society with Nature and the elimination of any human attempt to dominate the natural world. This implies, apart from participating in struggles against the activities of the political and economic elites which have resulted in the present ecological crisis, the initiation of moves for the establishment of alternative “eco-friendly” institutions and renewable forms of energy. In fact, as I showed elsewhere,[32] the establishment of the new political and economic institutions itself and particularly the drastic decentralisation that the new institutions involve is a crucial step in this direction, as it allows the development of new lifestyles , new patterns of work, production, energy use and consumption, which are perfectly compatible with the aim of an ecological democracy.  


In conclusion, no one should have any illusions that the establishment of democracy will be a swift process, or that the implementation of a transitional strategy program will not have a hard time from the elites controlling the state machine and the market economy. This process is bound to be a long one involving a huge popular movement and will extend over an entire historical period. However, without underestimating the difficulties involved in the context of today’s perfected methods of brain control and economic violence, which, in fact, might prove more effective methods than pure state violence in suppressing a movement for an Inclusive Democracy, I think that the proposed strategy is a realistic strategy on the way to a new society.




[1] Anti-systemic social divisions are defined as those social  divisions which explicitly or implicitly challenge the legitimacy of a hierarchical system that creates and reproduces the unequal distribution of power see T. Fotopoulos, “Class Divisions Today-the Inclusive Democracy Approach,” Democracy & Nature, Vol. 6, No. 2 (July 2000), pp. 211-252.

[2] See Takis Fotopoulos, “Transitional strategies and the Inclusive Democracy project,” Democracy & Nature, Vol.8, No.1 (March 2002).

[3] See Takis Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy (London/NY: Cassell/Continuun, 1997), Chs 1 & 2 or Hacia Una Democracia Inclusiva (Montevideo: Nordan, 2002), cap. 1&2.

[4] Ibid., Chs 1 & 4 or Hacia Una Democracia Inclusiva, cap. 1&4.

[5] T. Fotopoulos, “Welfare state or economic democracy?,” Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 3 (November 1999), pp. 433-468.

[6] See Takis Fotopoulos, “The Myth of Postmodernity,” and “The end of traditional antisystemic movements”.

[7] See the “Interview with Murray Bookchin,” by David Vanek, Harbinger:  A Journal of Social Ecology, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2000) <>

[8] T. Fotopoulos, “Is degrowth compatible with a market economy?,” The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 3, No. 1 (January 2007).

[9] Declaration of the Paris 2008 De-Growth Conference

[10] See Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy, pp. 198-99

[11] Vladimir Lenin, What Is to Be Done? (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1967) cf. pp. 30-32.

[12] Βλ. Fotopoulos, “Class Divisions Today: The Inclusive Democracy Approach”.

[13] Pakulski and Malcolm Waters, The Death of Class (London: Sage, 1996), p. 86.

[14] Noam Chomsky, “Cognitive Science & Anarchism,” Znet (28/3/2010).

[15] See for instance  Murray Bookchin, “Libertarian Municipalism: An Overview,” Society and Nature, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1992), pp. 93-104; “The meaning of confederalism,” Society and Nature, Vol. 1, No. 3 (1993), pp. 41-54 and “Communalism: The Democratic Dimension of Anarchism,” Democracy and Nature (formerly Society and Nature) , Vol. 3, No. 2 (1996), pp. 1-17.

[16] Janet Biehl, The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism (Montreal: Black Rose Press, 1998).

[17] See Takis Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy, pp. 328-340; see also Takis Fotopoulos, “Social Ecology, Eco-Communitarianism and Inclusive Democracy,” Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 3 (November 1999), pp. 561-576.

[18] Biehl, The Politics of Social Ecology, ch. 7.

[19] Biehl, The Politics of Social Ecology, ch. 7.

[20] See for a detailed description of an Inclusive Democracy Takis Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy, chs 5-6 or Hacia Una Democracia Inclusiva, cap. 5-6.

[21] See Fotopoulos, “The End of Traditional Antisystemic Movements”.

[22] See T. Fotopoulos, “Class Divisions Today-the Inclusive Democracy Approach”.

[23] See e.g. Mao Tse-Tung, “Report of an investigation of the peasant movement in Hunan” (March 1927) in Selected Readings from the works of Mao Tse-Tung (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1967).

[24] See for instance Ernest Mandel, “The new vanguard” in Tariq Ali’s (ed) The New Revolutionaries (New York: William Morrow & Co, 1969).

[25] See Fotopoulos, “The End of Traditional Antisystemic Movements”.

[26] See, for instance, Anthony Giddens, The Third Way (Oxford: Polity Press, 1998).

[27] See e.g. Erik Olin Wright, Classes (London: Verso, 1985/1997) and, D. Ames Curtis, “On the Bookchin/Biehl resignations and the creation of a new liberatory project,” Democracy & Nature, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 163-74.

[28] Murray Bookchin, Post-scarcity anarchism (London: Wildwood House, 1974), p. 191.

[29] C. Castoriadis’ introductory interview in The Castoriadis Reader, edited by David Ames Curtis (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), pp.26-27.

[30] See for a description of the LETSystem, Ross V.G. Dobson, Bringing the Economy Home from the Market (Montreal: Black Rose, 1993).

[31] See ch. 6, pp. 255-274.

[32] Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy, pp. 213-16.