[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: Globalizations Editorial by Barry Gills on the Covid-19 crisis

Ashish Kothari ashishkothari at riseup.net
Sun Apr 5 18:46:39 CEST 2020

Barry requested me to post his responses to Patrick Bond's and Dunu 
Roy's comment below.

(Sorry folks but I won't be able to do any more such posting!).


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Barry Gills <bkeithgills at gmail.com <mailto:bkeithgills at gmail.com>>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2020, 16:02
Subject: Re: Barry, wonderful article - but residual quandaries
To: Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za <mailto:pbond at mail.ngo.za>>
Dear Patrick
  Sincere thanks for this response.
Elites are exploiting the crisis to pursue even worse agendas than the 
status quo while vast numbers of tbe most poor and oppressed are already 
suffering greatly. Radical mobilisation and campaigning...by and with 
mass social forces will be the only way to counter these elites. Mass 
demands for universal free health care; universal right to housing, 
food, and an adequate income; for drastic cuts in military spending and 
a new.era.of peace agreements internationally; for free integrated 
public transport; for free renewable electricity and a massive programme 
to reducd GHGs by 2030....these and other demands must in my view be 
made everywhere in the world...and fought for.
On mutual aid: in UK we have set up a vast number of these: all over tbe 
Yours ever

On Sun, 5 Apr 2020, 12:26 Patrick Bond, <pbond at mail.ngo.za 
<mailto:pbond at mail.ngo.za>> wrote:

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Barry, wonderful article - but residual quandaries
Date: 	Sun, 5 Apr 2020 12:58:24 +0200
From: 	Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za> <mailto:pbond at mail.ngo.za>
To: 	barry gills <Barry.Gills at helsinki.fi> <mailto:Barry.Gills at helsinki.fi>

Barry, it's great to have your article, but may I put some critical 
questions to you? I really do agree with 99% but these questions are 
also bugging me, since I am not sure where to go with them.

> The combination of all three crises brings the hitherto accelerating 
> linear time of modernity into deceleration, into a pause.
The danger of this line of argument, is that for many of us who have 
comfortable middle-class hideaway sites (as do I in Joburg), we may 
pause. The problem, though, is a huge devalorisation of both fixed and 
variable capital now underway. So the 'pause' is a luxury. The defense 
against being devalorised - the frenetic appeals to feed children who 
are going hungry in South African townships, as one example, or the 
increase in unemployment that will wipe out the precariat - can't be 
described as a "pause." It's a massive crisis:

  * https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/03/covid-19-attacks-the-down-and-out-in-ultra-unequal-south-africa/
  * https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-04-01-our-childrens-cries-of-hunger-are-forcing-us-to-violate-lockdown-rules-informal-settlement-residents/

Also, neoliberal ideologues are not pausing, not in South Africa anyhow. 
They have ramped up the "hallelujah!" chorus for even deeper state cuts. 

> This space provides a time of awakening … to the deep malaise of our 
> civilization. This awakening will generate a realization of common 
> interests, producing social compassion and mutual aid. The crisis is 
> producing a realization that a different social reality is possible. 
> Where the experience of collective being starts to take precedence 
> over egoistic individualism.
So far in South Africa, we have found this particular question - /how to 
do mutual aid during a period of social panic and personal distancing - 
/extremely difficult. What are your models??

> ... New forms of social solidarity and global solidarity and 
> internationalism are emerging: we must move now rapidly towards a post 
> nationalist mentality, based on our common human interests.
Barry, it would be great to have you list what you think these are!

It's thorny; I am working hard with comrades on the international 
financial system, and all I see right now is an awful combination of the 
world's left thinkers (see attached) /endorsing a much much larger IMF. 
/(One guy from Ecuador says it should grow by $4.09 trillion, as you see 

But here is where I'm with you:

> A deep restoration of the idea and practices of the Commons: 
> strengthening the principle of collective interests to take full 
> precedence over egoistic individualism. The idea of the commons in the 
> ‘economy’ and in society will bring into being a new form of economy, 
> embedding greater equality and democracy, with decentralized 
> democratic decision making, and post-patriarchal equality throughout 
> society.
Still, the vital question is to consider how to make Commoning genuinely 
anti-capitalist - as opposed to an Elinor Ostrom-style small-scale 
add-on (see below). From South Africa, I try to argue in the attached 
essays, we have some good and some bad experiences with commoning. The 
greatest example was commoning AIDS medicines, which had this impact...


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Barry Gills <bkeithgills at gmail.com <mailto:bkeithgills at gmail.com>>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2020, 15:35
Subject: Re: Fwd: Globalizations Editorial by Barry Gills on the 
Covid-19 crisis
To: Dunu Roy <qadeeroy at gmail.com <mailto:qadeeroy at gmail.com>>

Dear Dunu
    I agree that the social forces that can or will organise to realise 
radical social change need to be discussed.
Movements are arising...and a serious discussion of how to bring radical 
forces together in some new international/ transnational alliance or 
organisation is on-going...
Vast numbers of the most poor amd oppressed are already suffering 
greatly while many elites are exploiting the crisis to advance their own 
The situation is ever more intense...
The world seems to.be <http://to.be> at a " 1929 moment" .


On 05/04/20 6:02 pm, Dunu Roy via WSM-Discuss wrote:

LATEST! Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary (thepluriverse.org)
and www.globaltapestryofalternatives.org

Ashish Kothari
Apt 5 Shree Datta Krupa
908 Deccan Gymkhana
Pune 411004, India
Tel: 91-20-25654239; 91-20-25675450
Twitter: @chikikothari

> I have my usual appreciation, and criticism, of such a piece.
> The analysis is good, deep, and comprehensive bringing together three 
> streams into one.
> The problem is the "we". Who exactly is this "we" who is going to 
> change the world. Unless _agency_ is spelt out, the argument remains 
> idealistic.
> On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 1:34 PM Ashish Kothari 
> <ashishkothari at riseup.net <mailto:ashishkothari at riseup.net>> wrote:
>     this piece by Barry may be of interest,
>     ashish
>     https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2020.1748364
>     -------- Forwarded Message --------
>     Subject: 	Fwd: Globalizations Editorial by Barry Gills on the
>     Covid-19 crisis
>     Date: 	Fri, 3 Apr 2020 10:20:36 +0100
>     From: 	Barry Gills <bkeithgills at gmail.com>
>     <mailto:bkeithgills at gmail.com>
>     To: 	Ashish Kothari <chikikothari at gmail.com>
>     <mailto:chikikothari at gmail.com>
>     Dear Ashish
>      I hope you may share this essay with your contacts. If it is
>     possible to translate it into local languages please let me know
>     of this.
>     Please stay safe and well.
>     Yours faithfully
>     Barry
>     Radical change is Realism: Not Fantasy or Illusion
>     "When we cease to produce for profit, we will have achieved the
>     liberation of the world. This in turn will be the liberation of
>     humanity and life itself."
>     Abdullah Ocalan
>     "Liberating Life: Woman's Revolution"
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