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Revolution, Radical Democracy and the Coming Flood.

Why Intelligence Agencies are raising alarm about activists.

Here we stand, at the shore of anticipation.

In this moment of unknowing, we look toward that ocean as though it were singularity itself — the initiation into a future unpredictable.

What we face is a confluence of crisis, those forces centrifugal that will dissolve every illusion and accept only what survives with us.

Or doesn’t.

Illustration by Akime — from Everyday Scenes from a Parallel World

The Urgency

The Global Resource Observatory (GRO) — a project funded by the U.K. government — recently published a striking study that concluded through its scientific modelling that based on current linear trends global industrial civilization may collapse by the mid-2030s to 2040; they report:

“We ran the model forward to the year 2040, along a business-as-usual trajectory based on ‘do-nothing’ trends — that is, without any feedback loops that would change the underlying trend.

The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots. In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”

As is the usual with such scientific bodies, this report and its conclusions are conservative compared to the individual findings of an increasing contingency of scientists globally, who now assert that the planet is experiencing abrupt climate change; the exponential collapse of the biosphere, including human-habitat.

It took 250 years — since the start of the industrial revolution in 1750 — for the global average temperature to rise to 1 degree C in late 2015.

By 2016, the global average temperature had risen to an average of 1.57°C (and even temporarily touched the Paris Climate Accord’s limit of 2 degrees C in February 2016); the evidence is clear, what originally took centuries is now happening in months.

The bottom red line indicates Arctic ice area in 2016.

Others — including Dr. Peter Wadhams, the world’s foremost expert on arctic ice — cite record-breaking loss of arctic sea ice, even projecting the first ever Blue Ocean Event in human history (no ice in the Arctic during summer time) happening as soon as the 2020/2021 melt season.

This could trigger a massive burst of arctic methane — up to 50 gigatonnes trapped under the surface — leading to exponential warming.

Methane — which is up to 100 times more powerful than Carbon-dioxide in a short enough time-span — would warm the globe radically beyond Climate-Accord thresholds within one year of its circulation around the globe.

As a best case, such warming is enough to spark a worldwide crisis of resources, at worst leading to an immediate global agricultural collapse.

As outlined by the aforementioned U.K. study, the collapse of agriculture translates to the collapse of civilization.

Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of species that are now going extinct every year, defining our time as that of the 6th-Mass Extinction event. This includes much of insect life, and the many pollinators that are a primary component of the Earth’s ecosystems and Human habitat.

Before we can solve such global challenges, this context of urgency calls on us all to lay a foundation of survival, whereby the default state of global society in a collapse scenario is not violence, but collaboration.

But what tools can we utilize to accomplish such a task?

Concept art by Alberto Mielgo

Power-in-Outcome

We must impart unto ourselves the participation of a new era. Only then, may we solve global challenges, and equip ourselves with ultimate victory.

This insight, finds an unlikely source — the intelligence community:

“The most powerful actors of the future will be states, groups, and individuals who can leverage material capabilities, relationships, and information in a more rapid, integrated, and adaptive mode than in generations past. They will use material capabilities to create influence and in some instances to secure or deny outcomes.

They will demonstrate “power in outcome,” however, by mobilizing large-scale constituencies of support, using information to persuade or manipulate societies and states to their causes.”

— Global Trends: Paradox of Progress, National Intelligence Council

This conclusion, as prognosticated by the National Intelligence Council — a strategic think-tank of the United States Intelligence community — points to a startling new possibility for how the 99% may gain political power.

It elucidates the weakening influence of material force wielded by governments and corporations, and the newfound capacity of “weaker but well-connected actors to have an outsized impact.”

In this way, by mobilizing an active citizenry on a large-scale to our cause, the People can demonstrate a “power-in-outcome” over our elites.

It makes sense. Today, governments and even elite actors — those duty-bound by a social contract to ensure their citizen’s survival — are faced with threats existential; challenges whose solution will require the mobilization of the whole of humanity as well as the total suspension of the status-quo.

Such unprecedented mobilization however, the kind on the scale of billions, can only be galvanized by the People themselves.

In a time when the “material capabilities” of state power are weakening, only activists and the grassroots can achieve a large enough active engagement of the citizenry towards solving global challenges.

As such, we must build our capacities around those functions of legislative and executive power that will train the People on a global scale in the art of governing, and therefore self-governance.

In this period of urgency, we will make ourselves invaluable to the reigning powers in mobilizing the largest swaths of humanity around tasks such as mitigating abrupt-climate-change; while using their resources to equip the People with the tools for revolution.

We must accept the possibility of catastrophe already occurred and our demise already procured; the science indicating no more than 5–7 years left until full actuation of exponential warming that renders civilization inert.

But it is this urgency that offers itself to us like a fire to a forge. It is here where we build the institutions of revolution, here where lies the seeds of the People’s overthrow.

From Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second

Suspension of the Status-Quo

Imagine, if you will, a total transformation, a broken mundane, a new reality emerging on every street, through every person, in every gaze.

What might it look like? What might achieve it?

For this, must be understood two realities: the first, that of history, where radical shifts decided new trajectories for whole peoples of which we are progeny; the second, that of unfolding future, in which exponential climate-disruption will almost certainly upheave the anchors of civilization completely from their position, resulting in the undoing of every routine.

The U.S. entry into World War II offers an inspiring case study in rapid mobilization. Mobilizing to save civilization both parallels and contrasts with this earlier mobilization. For the war, the United States underwent a massive economic restructuring, but it was only intended to be temporary. Mobilizing to save civilization, in contrast, requires an economic restructuring that will endure.

In his State of the Union address on January 6, 1942, one month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the country’s arms production goals. The United States, he said, was planning to produce 45,000 tanks, 60,000 planes, 20,000 anti-aircraft guns, and several thousand ships. He added, “Let no man say it cannot be done.”

After his State of the Union address, Roosevelt met with auto industry leaders and told them that the country would rely heavily on them to reach these arms production goals. What they did not yet know was that the sale of new cars would soon be banned. From early February 1942 through the end of 1944, nearly three years, essentially no cars were produced in the United States.

In addition to a ban on the production and sale of cars for private use, residential and highway construction was halted, and driving for pleasure was banned.

— Lester R. Brown, Time for Plan B

This case study in mobilization is further affirmed it in its implications by Roosevelt’s post-war mobilization, where he convened in 1944 the Bretton Woods Conference that redesigned the global post-war economy and ushered in a new age for the world that lasted decades.

Today, however, material force is no longer sufficient in enabling mobilization on the scale required for our moment. What is needed, is our own spirit.

For millennia, activists have unleashed the creative spirit of Humanity — the oldest record of revolution goes back to Ancient Egypt almost 5 thousand years — and galvanized the masses to reclaim sovereignty.

Aided by technology, activists in the last couple decades have rallied the whole world simultaneously; starting with the global march against the Iraq War in 2003, to Occupy Wall Street which spread to 82 countries and saw a thousand encampments, to the Women’s March in which almost 5 million people participated.

This capability to leverage networks and spread contagious moods that reorient millions of people toward collective behaviours is the key to our salvation.

As outlined in the recent activist manifesto by Occupy Wall Street Co-Creator Micah White, PhD, soon, activists will marshal this power by working with elite interests in order to mobilize billions to accomplish necessary tasks such as planting a trillion trees and prohibiting emission activity by 50% in ten years.

The 2020s will be defined by the collective race to drastically reduce global carbon emissions.

The scale of the reduction necessary — a 7.6 per cent decrease each year for 10 years — is unachievable without an unprecedented global social mobilization for massive climate reduction efforts, such as planting one trillion trees.

The mobilization will involve hundreds of millions of people spread across 195 countries. It will require the periodic suspension of everyday work, life, and travel.

— Micah White, The activist manifesto I pitched at Davos

Hidden within mobilization however, we will forge the tools for liberation.

Concept art by Mukesh Singh

Universal Legislation

In the last piece of this series, was discussed what a new method of Universal Legislation — the ability to make complex decisions collectively — could look like:

We will offer the People a way to actualize their interests and declare their General Will universally, exercising direct legislative power.

We will employ Semasiography — a form of language that communicates not speech or ideology but meaning — to create a literal Language of Democracy.

A language of glyphs; each one representing inclusive actions to organize around, calling into being the demos itself, mobilizing the People to win sovereignty by offering a direct experience of it.

Activists around the world will create new protest tactics and deploy them spontaneously; galvanizing actions to solve abrupt climate change wherever our glyphs appear as a signal of mobilization.

How! Media! Colonized! Human! Attention! (and the Art of Decolonization)

Such capacities to exercise legislative power and execute on it with immediacy — or patience — can be disseminated among the people as the method by which we accomplish through elites, our tasks of mobilization.

With such campaigns as the Trillion Tree Campaign now being endorsed by the highest echelons of economic and political power — first, the World Economic Forum, and in the last month President Trump, both endorsed the campaign — activists can now utilize this sympathetic disposition to make our own demands effectively.

We will capture legislative control of our cities to create a public-trust that guarantees to us all profits from any publicly-subsidized fossil-fuel companies in order to fund our mobilization through a UNIVERSAL CLIMATE DIVIDEND.

Yes, Your Classes are Meaningless. *Find our tactical call to activists here*

Imagine a scenario where all non-essential activities, work, and schooling are suspended for the climate mobilization.

Where capturing sovereignty of local legislatures gives mobilizers the political legitimacy to fund the citizenry in emission reduction projects such as tree-planting through a Climate Dividend.

Not only would this reorient whole cities toward solving abrupt-climate-change and provide economic security to citizens engaged in this effort, it would also provide precedence for the policy that can avert the forthcoming automation apocalypse.

A Universal Basic Dividend — not Income — that entitles to each person a portion of the profits of publicly subsidized innovations, thus democratizing the economy for a Star-Trek reminiscent future.

“…if a portion of the profits were to go automatically into the bank accounts of the workers as well, then this downward pressure on demand, sales, and prices would be alleviated, turning the whole of humanity into the beneficiary of the machines’ labor.”

Yanis Varoufakis, Talking to My Daughter About the Economy

With the economy restructured toward stabilization, and the citizenry trained in the art of governance, activists/mobilizers having achieved the goals of climate mitigation can now turn their focus on political revolution.

Painting by Eugène Delacroix

Revolution

Revolution — defined as a change in legal regime — transforms not only who is in power, but how power functions.

It does this by capturing sovereignty on the part of revolutionaries who then execute on that sovereign power to establish a new form of government.

One way to accomplish this would be through elections; for example, by creating a global movement-party that wins elections chronologically around the world through protest techniques, and asserts a unified global agenda of direct-democracy.

Another such method, however, could be in the newfound legitimacy of our mobilizations themselves.

If, activists were to accomplish the task of capturing local legislatures everywhere and create a network of rebel cities — as has been done in Spain — they could utilize the legal force of their executive power in substantial ways.

“THE moment the people is legitimately assembled as a sovereign body, the jurisdiction of the government wholly lapses, the executive power is suspended, and the person of the meanest citizen is as sacred and inviolable as that of the first magistrate; for in the presence of the person represented, representatives no longer exist.”

— Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

According to Rousseau, executive power can and must be employed to convene regular lawful assemblies of the citizenry where they exercise their inalienable right to legislative power (the right to make laws).

Such assemblages of the Sovereign (citizens) can also decide whether to maintain their current form of government or disperse power anew.

In 1841, for example the Dorr Rebellion through convening an extralegal People’s Convention in Rhode Island, of the United States, drafted an alternative state constitution that expanded voting rights and even galvanized the new electorate to vote in support of it and a new, alternative Governor.

While ultimately unsuccessful, this tactic reveals a fascinating affirmation of Rousseau’s ideas, whereby even an extralegal convention of engaged citizens could assert some degree of legislative influence.

Imagine then, a network of rebel cities that simultaneously assemble their entire populations using virtual-reality technology — which now makes it possible to assemble a multitude, regardless of number — in lawful assembly.

Suspending executive power, a social movement of such a kind could then convene a Global People’s Convention. One that ratifies a Universal Constitution of the People that supersedes any national authority in service of Universal Sovereignty, for direct-democracy on Earth and in space.

Thus, such a constitution can then act as the platform for a World Party that mundializes all nation-states into a universal government of the People, who take power ready to govern collectively on a global scale:

Such is the mission of our time, that it calls on us as culmination, to unleash an imagination so fucking dangerous that it resonates our very spirits; hatching Humanity’s evolution and exploding its realization.

Explore the rest of this series on Universal Sovereignty and achieving true Democracy, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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Project ALTER

Project ALTER

Project ALTER is a mobilization-design-collective that realizes methods for democratic transformation to actuate an alternative sustainable social order.