This is the info blog for Dual-Power.org, a project dedicated to promoting the concept of ‘dual power’ from an Anarchist, Libertarian Socialist, Post-Marxist (Council Communist), and Syndicalist perspective. Before anything else, people should understand what Dual Power really means.
The simple version is that we wish to create a new society by building ‘Alternative Institutions’ which functionally replace existing institutions (Police, Fire, Social Welfare, Public Utilities) with our own more egalitarian alternatives to these institutions, moving from a mono-centric to a poly-centric political system. These alternative institutions would further the cause of gradual revolution by building the new society in the bones of the old.
This is an inherently Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Authoritarian, and Egalitarian Peer based approach to organizing a new society,
This site will be updated periodically as improvements are to be made.
Also, we have a social network in place. It is experimental. We dont know if we will keep it. We may ditch it for Diaspora if that project develops OpenID/WebID or some kind of functional “groups” option, similar to Facebook. In the meantime, feel free to make a profile. In the future these profiles MAY become interactive with other portions of our sites.
Also, from Wikipedia….A pretty good analysis actually.
Dual power is a method of struggle for the revolutionary transformation of society. It presupposes a pre-existing, fundamentally flawed social order. Within that society, those who envision a different future create alternative institutions (AIs) that embody their vision. AIs are places for experimentation with new social forms as well as places for liberation for those who are oppressed within the larger society. As AIs spread and diversify, they take on more and more of the functions of a larger social system: creating over time an “alternative social infrastructure” that fulfills economic, political, social, and cultural needs. In addition to their direct functions, AIs demonstrate the viability of new ways of organizing society, and attract interest to the ideals behind them.
As the ideological monopoly of dominant institutions is broken and people increasingly rely on AIs, those who benefited from existing arrangements may seek to dismantle their upstart competitors. At the same time, those who seek fundamental changes in society or who find the alternative ways of organizing it valuable may seek to enlarge and strengthen the alternative infrastructure. Counter institutions (XIs) are created both to defend the AIs and to promote their growth. These work to challenge and attack the status quo while creating, defending, and securing space for opposition and alternative institutions. They do this with everything from political protests, to direct appropriation (of plantations, government buildings, factories, etc.) for the use of alternative institutions, to civil disobedience or armed resistance. The line between AIs and XIs is seldom entirely clear as many alternative institutions are also self-promoting or defending. Together the AIs and XIs form an alternative source of power in society which is “necessarily autonomous from, and competitive with, the dominant system, seeking to encroach upon the latter’s domain, and, eventually, to replace it.”
During the process of building the alternative institutions and the ideology that supports them, the advantage of dual power is the creation of real, and not merely political, momentum towards the revolutionary transformation of society. Actual changes are ongoing, rather than postponed to a revolutionary moment, so needs unmet by the pre-existing order are being met during the struggle and no sector of society is told that its concerns can only be dealt with after victory is achieved. That is, creation of AIs and the political space for them has intrinsic benefits, apart from the advancement of the revolutionary project. Over the course of building AIs, the society at large is empowered, committed to change, and skilled in running society. Simultaneously, the credibility of a revolutionary vision is increased immensely by putting it into practice and by refining and improving it over time. It is also conceivable that factional splits between revolutionaries and reformers (and all the shades in between) could be reduced by having a common project that both find useful. Those forces that would be sent to suppress a revolutionary movement find themselves confronting people who have taken control over their own lives, rather than armed cadre attempting to impose a vision on the country, potentially obviating military conflict or at least reducing its severity.
Successful dual power rebellions end with the acceptance of the new social forms by much of the populace and the realization by the old rulers that they are no longer capable of using their systems of force against the revolutionary movement. This can occur because noncooperation has crippled the old structures of power, because too few people remain loyal to the old rulers to enforce their will, or because the rulers themselves undergo an ideological conversion. At this point, there is not general confusion. The disappearance of old leaders and structures of power is accommodated by the expansion of the alternative system. The alleged “necessity” for a revolutionary vanguard to guide the revolutionary impulse is shown to have no basis: because the people have already learned how to govern their own affairs, they need no tutelage from above. The possibility of co-option is minimized: “When the people recognize their true power, it cannot be taken away by rhetoric or […] imposition.”
Dual power is a strategy, rather than an ideology, and it could plausibly be used to advance a variety of forms of social change. However, the advantages of the strategy make it most compatible with perspectives that emphasize the exercise of power at the community level, that seek to make the revolutionary movement accountable to the people, that see the capability to revision and transform society as common rather than rare, and that seek decentralized forms of power. Call this version of the strategy grassroots dual power, the bottom-up transformation and replacement of the mechanisms of society.
Types of dual power institutions
- Worker cooperatives
- Worker councils
- Cooperative federations
- Intentional communities
- Egalitarian communities
- Temporary autonomous zones
- Permanent autonomous zones
- Libertarian municipalism“