The Real Democracy Movement is working with others to create a free online political education course that people can do in their own time.
We consulted on an initial outline and below are the revised units that take on board the proposals and comments made by respondents.
The next step is to develop the units, together with an introduction, in greater depth and detail. Then we will work with experts and advisors to put the course online in 2021.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a cruel, unjust and unequal economic and political system and compelled many people to consider alternatives. Our course will contribute to learning about how to bring about revolutionary system change.
If you want to help with the next stage, please get in touch!
1. Composting capitalism
This unit will help you understand capitalism as an historically developing, globalising, but now outdated system of crisis, dependent on a widening gulf of inequality. We will explore how and why its drive for growth is the primary cause of the ecological crisis.
will examine the class relations that lie behind the economic system,
especially the recent trend towards precarious forms of employment; explore
the way in which corporations seek to
commodify everything for private profit including our health and our
identities; how they manipulate Big Data in sophisticated marketing designed to
convert us into eager consumers.
We will analyse the role of profit, money, credit, finance and debt in sustaining the neoliberal system. You will explore our relationship with work, the products we make and consume and how these can be revolutionised.
We will look critically at new ideas for tackling the ecological crisis, including “de-growth” and technological fixes.
We will seek lessons from the successes and failures of attempts to supersede capitalist society in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Finally, we will ask how mobilising for a post-capitalist global and local economy could replace the gigantism of corporate/transnational wealth extraction, eliminate poverty while protecting and restoring the ecosystem.
2. The state and democracy
This part will discuss alternative theoretical underpinnings of what the ‘state’ is and its relationship to conventional ‘politics’ both in the UK and other countries.
You will get the chance to
discuss the Corbyn project and examine the role of parties and representation
in the Parliamentary system. We will explore the relationship between the
present state, social and gender inequality and racial injustice.
You will develop an understanding of how the state is a barrier to action on climate change, analysing how corporations and lobbyists distort science to influence policy decisions.
The course will examine the concept of ‘power’ and how that relates to everyday activity. We will review ways in which the state relates to constitutions and how we can identify the physical embodiment of the modern state.
The meaning of the rule of law will also be discussed along with the concept of hegemony in sustaining the authority of the state.
We will examine alternative anarchist and other ideas on democracy and organising. The course will discuss direct action, protest suppression and state infiltration. We will investigate the concept of democratic institutions as the underpinning for an open society.
Finally, we will discuss the potential for revolutionary system change, leading to self-determination in the workplace, our communities and nations.
3. From theory to practice, to changing
This part presents knowledge as an individual and collective practice. It will consider what is meant by a theory of knowledge and why it matters.
We will examine a range of philosophies and belief systems, past and present, including the post-modern challenge to grand narratives and enlightenment concepts of “progress”.
Together, we will look at how to discover the essence of things and take the fear out of contradictions and dialectics. We will get to grips with the concepts of identity and difference and discuss how we discover and test the essence and truth of things and processes.
We will focus on how understanding things involves both formal, analytical and non-linear, holistic forms of thought. We will consider how, as “thinking things”, we are not pre-programmed in advance but are able to react and change ourselves and the world around us.
You will explore who we are as social
and individual human beings, shaped by and shaping nature, society, culture,
history and thought.
We will explore the importance of an inclusive, dialectical approach, foregrounding concepts of whole and parts and unity in diversity.
We will examine the role of education, the media, organised religion and patriarchy in creating and normalising thinking and behaviour that perpetuates the neoliberal agenda.
We will look at the role of culture, art and ideals and moving from theory to changing the world in practice. The unit will examine how we can achieve self-determination and fulfilment both as individuals and members of a social collective.