BETWEEN AUGUST 23ND TO AUGUST 25TH, 2002, THIRTY ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN ORGANIZERS FROM AROUND THE U.S. CONVERGED on a farm in upstate New York to found a new political confederation: the Alliance for Freedom and Direct Democracy.
AFADD is a confederation of anti-authoritarians working toward the realization of a free society. We believe that there can be no justice without freedom, and no freedom without the power to participate directly and democratically in the decisions that affect our lives. This freedom is thwarted whenever one group of people assumes control over another. Thus, we resist not only the domination of the working classes by the ruling class, people of color by white people, women by men, and communities by the state; we struggle against all forms of domination, as they serve only to uphold the power of the privileged, further exploit the oppressed and the earth, and limit everyone’s ability to develop their individual and collective potentials.
We believe that domination, or hierarchy, is the fundamental cause of the current social and ecological crises. Hierarchy is systemic. It is deeply embedded within the ideologies and institutions that govern society. While we strive to transform our personal relationships, we recognize that the systems of power that generate hierarchical social relations must be dismantled and replaced with liberatory institutions of our own making if humanity is ever to be free to collectively determine its future.
Given this, AFADD commits itself to the following objectives:
—Popularizing a call for non-hierarchy, confederated direct democracies, communal economics, social freedom, and an ecological sensibility; —Helping to build revolutionary movements aimed at fundamental social transformation; —Confronting hierarchical institutions, including but not limited to capitalism and the state; —Challenging all systems of oppression, including but not limited to racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism—within society as well as our own movements;
—Demonstrating active solidarity with movements of oppressed peoples as well as other anti-authoritarians throughout the world via collaborative campaigns of mutual interest; —Further developing our own analyses and ability to think critically, as well as our reconstructive vision and strategies, and advancing them within social movements; and
—Creating a dual power of strong resistance movements and liberatory counter institutions that inspire and empower people to take directly democratic control over the decisions that affect their lives.
Why a Revolutionary Organization?
The vehicle that we believe offers us the greatest foundation from which to begin to actualize our vision is our revolutionary organization. AFADD is premised upon a shared analysis, vision and strategy; and can provide us with a framework to further develop our ideas, share resources, and unify our action in our struggle for a free society. We do not aspire to be “the movement,” but rather one tendency within it.
Alliance for Freedom and Direct Democracy is a membership-based organization, as opposed to collective or affinity group models of organization. We choose to organize around political affinity, rather than personality or lifestyle affinity, in order to remain politically coherent while keeping the organization as open as possible. We hope that our confederal organizational structure will allow us to act with a high degree of unity and coordination, without sacrificing the benefits of directly democratic decision-making and local autonomy.
Our full manifesto and by-laws can be found on-line at www.afadd.org. There are many other political approaches and organizations, and we encourage you to explore them all. However, if you find that the collection of ideas expressed in our manifesto resonates well with your own, we invite you to join us in our struggle for a free and democratic society.