From Plan C: Radical Municipalism, or how ambitious projects strengthen citizens
We have been tracking the rise of radical localism and "municipalism" since the start of A/UK (see theme here). This post on "Radical Municipalism and Directional Demands" comes from Plan C - a new political platform inspired by left-anarchism and the works of Negri & Hardt (previously blogged about here).
The nub of this (often dense) article is simple: "That the ‘municipal’ – whether we’re talking about towns, cities or city-regions – might be a fundamentally important scale at which, and through which, to generate progressive movements towards post-capitalism".
And "directional demands" are "demands that, in their fulfillment and/or the struggle for their fulfillment, have a concrete effect on how we think about what is possible". Meaning, in essence, that ambitious local projects, once embarked on, can profoundly empower and inspire citizens.
The article has a useful section on global examples of a "radical municipalism, shaped by directional demands":
Jackson, MI – the American city where predominantly black working-class communities are looking to create a cooperative solidarity economy through a combination of direct action and electoral strategies under the banner of Cooperation Jackson
Naples, Italy – where in 2016 the radicalized mayor De Magistris established a “Department of the Commons”, part of a process of protecting seven properties that had been reclaimed by social initiatives
Rosario, Argentina – where the social movement Ciudad Futura, which has its roots in a network of different types of social reproduction, have also successfully listed a number of candidates for election to the city council
Barcelona, Spain – alongside a number of Spanish cities with similar projects, Barcelona is seen as a ‘flagship’ of this new radical municipalist strategy, where the citizens platform Barcelona en Comú has implemented a number of progressive policies, not least promoting direct citizen involvement in policy development, and a participatory budgeting system to redistribute the excessive politicians wages to activist and community groups.