Building Education for the Commons
As different struggles for justice emerge around the world today, what’s intrinsic about them is that they are more than the material event per se. There is a surplus to democratic struggles and insurrections. A march, a demonstration, a sit-in, occupy, a strike and so forth are comprised of people taking the courage to speak, and sometimes without words, but with simple deeds. These deeds give rise to raising levels of consciousness far beyond the geographically limited areas in which struggles happen.
One difficult task for democratic struggles is identifying and characterizing the opposition which seeks to undermine the ability of people coming together for the greater good of people, workers, intellectuals, writers, artists, the unemployed and the marginalized. And because of how we have all been trapped into conformity with seemingly no exists, hope itself seems to be dashed. This is why these insurrectionary acts are essential for hope, for the raising of consciousness, and for the courage to not only envision a better world but to bring that world into a reality. Hope is thus intertwined with courage–the courage to act brings hope, and hope is needed in order to act.
Hope is perhaps the most rare gift that one could possess. It is easy to be negative, cynical and suspicious especially when placed into a competitive neoliberal environment in which the default stance is constantly reduced to self survival. This is the irony of some leftists. They are cynical, which is often a by-product of capitalist relations. Hope certainly doesn’t belong to the right either, as they are conditioned to fear above all–the conservative mindset fears stepping out of the comfort zone for the sake of a greater cause beyond the ego. Thus, the true leftist position in which equality, democracy and solidarity are the watchwords cannot exist without the perennial insistence of hope.
So long as we have resistance to neoliberalism and how it’s logic attacks and undermines the people’s ability to determine their own lives, we have hope. Hope is the necessary start to building the networks needed to join forces that far exceed the resources of neoliberalism. Hope, it’s never too late.