Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
Democracy Now: Women’s March sets the course of activism for the next four years. Listen to America Ferrera, a US-born daughter of immigrants from Honduras, and her declaration of the mission of the Women’s March and the direction of the movement. Ferrera makes many of the same claims that I did in “Now It’s All of Us.”
Critics of the Women’s March have said that it appears to have no unified goal or policy objective, that to be effective it must be ready to “seize power”, otherwise it is a failure.
What they don’t see is that the most important achievement of this March is not forcing demands from the Trump Regime, or obtaining political power in government. Its most important goal is building a broad-based, coalition movement that is based in love, mutual care and compassion for all marginalized people, a horizontal movement that is least-hierarchal and most cooperative. As Marina Sitrin says in Everyday Revolutions, the success of the movement is not measured in the achievement of conventional power, but in it’s capacity to build and maintain horizontalist relationships in the course of realizing its own goals. The success of an autonomist-horizonalist movement is in its power-sharing process rather than taking power over the rest of the nation.
In autonomist-horizonatlist politics, sustaining the process is more important than obtaining power, and love is more important than achievement, because it’s the egalitarian process and the loving-kindness that has been missing from many of our social justice movements of the past, and what is utterly vacant in our culture as a whole. What the Women’s March has achieved is far more profound than the ascent to power. It is the fundamental cultural shift from power over to power with. It is the fundamental cultural shift from rooting our society in competition, self-centredness, violence and exclusion to relationships of loving-kindness, mutual care and compassion. Shifting the culture from competition to compassion is the most profound and fundamental shift away from Capitalism to a cooperative society. It is this profound cultural shift that will sustain the relationships and the work that we need to do to finally end the inequities of racism, sexism, and class oppression. It is this profound cultural shift to a culture of love, mutual care and compassion that will empower us to save the biosphere of the planet from our own self-induced destruction. It is this profound cultural shift to a culture of love, mutual care and compassion that will empower us to establish life-giving and mutually supportive relationships with all human beings, and loving interconnection with all living beings on this planet. It is the process of loving, compassionate and mutually sustaining relationships that matters most.