2012: 5 Day Intensive on Direct Democracy and Strategic Movement Building: March 11-15 (NYC)



Social Ecology: From Theory to Practice

Dan Chodorkoff — Sunday and Monday 11:00 – 1:00

This afternoon workshop will begin with an overview of key philosophical, political, and strategic issues that surface in the theory and practice of social ecology. Social ecology advocates a reconstructive and transformative outlook on social and environmental issues, and promotes a directly democratic, confederal politics. As a body of ideas, social ecology envisions a moral economy that moves beyond scarcity and hierarchy, toward a world that reharmonizes human communities with the natural world, while celebrating diversity, creativity and freedom.

Building Dual Power

Chaia Heller — Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 2:00 – 4:00

This class explores what direct democracy looks like when practiced within movements as well as how a revolutionary movement could lead us to create a directly democratic society.  Central to our discussion will be questions of movement building, dual power, and organizations that speak to both general freedoms as well as the particular forms of oppression and liberation within movements and a free society.

Direct Democracy and the Revolutionary Tradition 

Peter Staudenmaier — Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 4:30 – 6:30

Many radical movements at various points in history and in different parts of the world have created and implemented visions of direct democracy, a grassroots and participatory approach to constructing a genuinely democratic society. These models of direct democracy often differ sharply from standard assumptions about ‘democracy’ built around elections and the state. We will explore the rich legacy of direct democracy and its role in revolutionary situations from a range of perspectives, engaging with challenging questions about politics and economics, the culture of radical movements and the impact of decision-making procedures, and the difficult relationship between the strategic choices we face today and the world we envision for tomorrow.

Building Strategic Mass Movements

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11:00 – 1:00

We find our selves in a truly rare moment in history.  If seized strategically, we have the potential to build a movement capable of transforming our political, economic and social realities.  How can we build movement structures that allow for broad based participation and active strategic engagement from the ground up. How can we build movements capable of integrating direct action, education, reform work, and alternative building in a way that moves us self-consciously and explicitly towards revolutionary change.

Solidarity, Accountability, and the Political Strategy of Care

Hilary Moore Sunday 8:00 – 10:00, Tuesday 2:00 – 4:00. Thursday 4:30 – 6:30
The occupy movement has given us the “99%” frame, encouraging participation from a diversity of people en masse. The truth is that though we are all negatively impacted by the current economic system, we are not impacted equally. This course will explore the useful and often misunderstood concepts of solidarity, accountability, and self-interest. Through  popular education, participants will engage organizing frameworks to align with frontline communities, develop their own relationship to this political moment, and articulate what the “long haul” means as it relates to collective practices and structures of care.
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11 – 1 Dan Dan Beatrice Beatrice Beatrice
2 – 4 Chaia Chaia Hilary Chaia Chaia
4:30 – 6:30 Peter Peter Peter Peter Hilary
8 – 10 Hilary

Please join us!


What Is the ISE?

For more than thirty years, the Institute for Social Ecology has been offering educational programs on radical social and ecological transformation. The ISE views the penetration of systems of domination and homogenization of culture as impediments to human freedom and as the root causes of the ecological crisis.  It is the ISE’s core belief that humans have the potential to foster vibrant, self-governing communities free from hierarchy, social inequity, and ecological degradation.

Dates: March 11th– 15th, 2012

Location: The Brecht Forum 451 West Street @ Bathune St. in NYC  http://brechtforum.org/about

Tuition Cost: $50 – $100 Sliding Scale for the whole Intensive (5 classes) or $15 a class

Scholarships: Available upon request and no one turned away for lack of funding

Host Organizations: This Course is brought to you by the ISE, The Watershed Center, and the Brecht Forum

Application: Required and below


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.