Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

AK Press Tactical Media: Downloadable “Democracy Is Direct” Zine

AK Press is currently releasing a series of pamphlets for the “occupy everything” movement–all downloadable as zines on the AK Press Web site at http://www.revolutionbythebook.akpress.org/ak-tactical-media/. My essay “Democracy Is Direct” is the second zine in this series, available at http://www.revolutionbythebook.akpress.org/ak-tactical-media/pamphlet-no-2/.

As AK Press writes:

There’s a lot of serious, strategic decisions to be made in the coming weeks and months, and as movement publishers, it’s our job to try and provide the resources we need to make those sorts of difficult decisions.

In that spirit we have prepared Cindy Milstein’s essay “Democracy is Direct” in this handy format. This essay first appeared in the Spring of 2000—as a contribution to the Bringing Democracy Home booklet, which was distributed at the A16 demonstrations against the IMF and World Bank in DC—and most recently in an updated form, in Cindy’s book Anarchism and Its Aspirations in 2010.

As the Occupy movement continues to grow and pull in new recruits, it’s worth reflecting on the centrality of the General Assemblies. If massive social transformation is a process, let’s let it unfold—sometimes it will need a push, other times it will stumble and get back up, and it will at some point need to be aggressively defended against its enemies. Most of all let’s keep planting seeds. We know they’ll eventually bloom.

AK Press Tactical Media

Things are getting really weird around here. In hundreds of cities people are finding their voice. And we are all listening. Has the inequality gap just become too intolerable—especially to those 99% who see only a future of mindless toil and crippling debt? Is the democratic system as we know it “broken”? Is it time to repeal corporate personhood as codified into law? Are taxing the rich and dismantling portions of the financial services sector enough to help restore dignity in our lives? Or do we want the works…?
It’s times like these that put ideas to the test. The radically egalitarian veneer of the Occupy movement makes us anarchists a bit giddy. General Assemblies coast to coast, and not a vanguard party in sight. (And on the 125th Anniversary of the Haymarket Affair!) Strangers meet as equals, work on common goals, and pursue tough discussions about issues that distance allows to fester. It’s like a national teach-in on capitalist economics, governance, class, and other vital topics not usually uttered in polite society. It’s also gritty and frustrating at times, but it all feels REAL, doesn’t it?
There’s a lot of serious, strategic decisions to be made in the coming weeks and months, and as movement publishers, it’s our job to try and provide the resources we need to make those sorts of difficult decisions. So we reached out to friends far and wide and assembled the reflections that will make up the pamphlets produced by the AK Press Tactical Media Squad. They’re intended to help us expand our intellectual horizons as we collectively ponder the fate of this country’s people and those outside its borders, and to catalyse conversations about a self-managed society, unburdened by capitalism and financiers. Perhaps you do want the works. We sure do.
AK Press Tactical Media is available to you to download and distribute as you see fit. Have fun. Change the world.

One comment on “AK Press Tactical Media: Downloadable “Democracy Is Direct” Zine

  1. Jeff Keith
    November 18, 2011

    Sorry about the insulting Daily News story. However, one good thing did come out of it. I am a local sympathizer (Quaker from Central Phila. who sometimes helps cut up veges in the afternoon) and this was the first time I came across your name, Cindy. So I started googl’ing it and came across all of your great blogs. Sorry that I have so many local things keeping me busy that I can’t do more with Occupy. I love your blog posts.— Jeff Keith, South Philly

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2011 by in Dispatches from Occupy Philly.
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