Austin’s Picks: Pre-figurative Politics? from Kloncke

I have been thinking about dual power, working for the political change that I want as one means of seizing power and living the daily politics of the world that I dream about as the second means of demonstrating the power of a different political vision.  Austin sent along a posting from Katie Loncke from March 2011 that is thinking on similar lines.  I like the term that Kloncke uses, pre-figurative politics, to identify the immediate implementation of a political system.

Here is the piece from Kloncke.  If you want to know more about her ideas, jump to her website.

 

Revolutionary and Pre-Figurative Politics

Katie Loncke MARCH 17, 2011

How do the two fit together?

This question’s been yelling itself in my face for the past couple of days. (Weeks?) Not only in theoretical terms, but in practical ways. Touched on by elders, peers, friends, strangers.

Roughly (and this is my own attempt, for which I’ll accept blame but not credit):

Some groups are great at building and exemplifying models of anti-oppressive ways of being. (Pre-figurative politics, as I understand it, means practicing now the kind of society you want to build in the future.) Enacting horizontal group dynamics, confronting white supremacist and racist behavior, challenging and transforming sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism, etc. in myriad ways, and continually developing sophisticated, intersectional analyses of these lived oppressions. Honoring and valuing healing; promoting literacy around dealing with trauma and mental wellness. Developing healthy sex-positive cultures grounded in consent. Practicing conscientious methods for dealing with intimate violence and abuse. Giving and receiving criticism with humility, generosity, bravery, and kindness. Doing very practical things like organizing childcare collectives, artmaking groups, and food distribution programs; infusing them with liberatory values. Transforming estranged relationship with our bodies, the earth, and nature. Theorizing these and more practices, and sharing them.

At the same time, some groups are great at developing people’s revolutionary class consciousness. Examining the material processes of history with an eye toward figuring out the best ways to intervene in those historical processes, and change things for the better. Get rid of classes altogether. Put an end to imperialism. Employ practice and theory, in current conditions, to avoid the pitfall of reformism and move militantly and decisively toward a world of “freely associating producers” — a world where violent compulsion is no longer ambient, as it is under capitalism and has been under all forms of class society (to stake a claim against what I learned about Foucault, in college). I’m impressed and inspired by groups that maintain a keen focus on this goal, and whose work reflects the urgency of building the class power necessary for exploited people to liberate themselves/ourselves from the yoke (and rod) of capital.

Now. Is there overlap between these ‘types’ of groups?

Yes.

A lot?

In the Bay Area? In the US?

IIIIIIII dunno. What do you think? What are you finding?

That’s all for now; more questions than answers.

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