How radical municipalism can go beyond the local
Fighting for more affordable, accessible places to live means fighting for a less carbon-intensive future
Throughout this series, we’ve argued that the best way to address today’s ecological, social, and political crises is to get people together where they live and work to provide resources that people need – eventually building up an alternative political and economic system that can replace the present, failing system. We need to build a democratic, just, and ecological world in the shell of the old.
In the previous installment, we argued that organising on the level of the neighborhood, town, and city is the most strategic approach to this today.
The rise of loneliness worldwide, the centrality of real estate speculation for global economic growth, and the breakdown of many large-scale factories that helped to bring workers together mean that we have to rethink the ways we demand change.
We can build community and force elites to listen to our demands at the same time. Radical municipalism is a project to take direct democratic control over the places where we live.
When we talk to people about this strategy, the same kinds of questions often come up. In this article, we highlight three common criticisms. Each one of them revolves around the complaint that radical municipalism is too local: it can’t deal with the ‘big stuff’.
1. Because of climate change, we don’t have time
Any call for a long-term vision for social change begs the response: the urgency of the present moment means we don’t have the time for the slow work of neighbourhood-level organising.
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