Re: [OPE-L] the state, self-defense, and power

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri May 27 2005 - 07:56:46 EDT

>      In relation to your question, the significant word in the
> title of the book (Change the World without taking Power) is
> "taking". The power of the zapatistas or of the soviets is a power
> that can be constructed, but not a power that can be taken. In other
> words, it is a radically different type of power, what I call a power-to
>  rather than a power-over.


Well, I see your point ... sort of.  I'm sure you are not opposed in
principle to the tactic of factory occupations -- also called factory
_take_-overs -- or student occupations, also known as _take_-overs -- or
squatters _taking_ possession of abandoned buildings or landless peasants
_taking_ possession of (dare I say -- seizing?) land.  It's hard for me
to see how 'power-to' isn't, or doesn't become, 'power- over'.  The
squatters that I know would certainly say that they have 'power-over' --
their own lives (at least to some degree).  If workers occupy factories
they also, at least temporarily and to a limited degree,  have some
'power-over'  capitalists.  When workers resist  speed-up they build
'power-to' and 'power-over' -- just as the 'power- over'  workers is
enhanced when capital succeeds in speed-up.  Etc.  Workers fight both
_for_ themselves and _against_ capital: hence, I think that 'power-to' and
'power-over'  are inter-related and inter-connected.

In solidarity, Jerry

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