Building Education for the Commons
We are all too familiar with how Hegel frames The Master/Slave Dialectic in his Phenomenology of Spirit in which the slaves collective realizes their power is non-dependent on the Master, but not conversely. This realization infuses the slaves with a power that reaches far beyond the Master’s contingent power that arises from the slaves through fear. However to arrive at this infinite power slaves must unite together through the bond created and sustained as their immanent collectivity. And yet, as this wasn’t difficult enough, they cannot simply theorize an infinite power, they must become that power. The slaves must, in short, act collectively. Any attempt by a single slave to act out and break with this collectivity in a moment to prematurely seize power will short-circuit this immanent empowering process.
There are times in history where slaves, workers, the oppressed have had enough of being dehumanized. The bonds, chains and prisons of slavery have limits no matter how much concrete and iron the Master applies. And when pushed to the limit a revolution alights, the order of things irrupts, giving birth to freedom and an infinite power to create new and empowering worlds.
We cannot say when the limit of bondage has arrived, but the signs for reaching such limits are clear to any rational person within the horizon of capitalism and neoliberalism where work and the future look dim and the twilight of democracy is fading. What should we do? What is to be done? We can sit around and theorize all day and well into the night. But at a certain point even theorizing has limits.
What is to be done is to take action that inextricably binds up theorizing a new world of inclusion, freedom, solidarity and love.
We need spaces in which to express our frustration, but also to articulate a way forward. In short we need to organize democracy rising. This is why The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) has organized a conference, “Democracy Rising” in which we can come together in solidarity for the Greeks and others who have suffered long enough under the dehumanizing conditions of neoliberalism in which Banks and the 1% decide and not the people, the workers themselves. It’s time we organized the rising of a new world, a different world. The conference features hundreds of theorists, academics, professors, organizers, unionizers, activists, filmmakers, artists, visionaries, novelists, writers, and journalists. And the conference is free and open to the public. Let’s join together and turn our frustrations into action, our impotence into power, our silence into a cry for justice. The time for action is now, democracy is rising.
We invite you to be part of this free conference and help forge a new and positive democratic future decided by us, by the people.