Is DiEM25 a grassroots movement?

This post only expresses the opinion of the author

One of our colleagues in DiD recently asked herself if we are not being naif expecting to find grassroots democracy in DiEM25. As she rightly points out there is nothing in the manifesto about grassroots or direct democracy. As far as the movement goes, establishing democracy in Europe refers to having all decision power centres respond to the mandate of the European parliament. The question of how that parliament is elected, and if that parliament is the result of a truly democratic exercise or it is just the democracy lookalike we are used to today is nowhere to be found in the founding principles of DiEM25. Furthermore, the nature of internal democracy in DiEM25 is not questioned either. With respect to my own idea of democracy, DiEM25 organization still needs to improve its organisation and communication methods, even accepting this is not a grassroots movement.

She is probably right thinking “have we just interpreted our hopes of «authentic grassroots democracy» into DiEM25” and we are probably naif thinking that DiEM25 as a movement will actually fight to achieve high standards of internal democracy, never mind grassroots democracy. (NOTE from June 20th 2017: DiEM25 has now taken a very clear direction towards the grassroots movement DiD originally dreamed of. May be it was always the case but our perception was not accurate. However, may this post remain here to remind us how, one way or another I have felt that the work of DiD has changed from demanding internal democracy to actually help to build it with the help of all other existing institutions like the CC and AP)

She is probably right, but I see it in another way. I agree with her on her observation, I just prefer to dream on.

Because Europe is not democratic, to the point that the President of the EU helps organising legal schemes for the powerful to still taxes from us, the powerless, DiEM25 stands up to change that, and we are naif enough to think we are going to change things. We who are not satisfied with the nature of democracy in DiEM25 are naif enough to think we can change that. Or not?

We, in DiD, must reach out to other diemers. We must find out what they think of the nature of democracy in DiEM25, we must find out if they are happy with the OP, we must find out if they are interested in a truly grassroots movement. May be they are not. May be the majority of DiEM25 is happy with the way things are. May be the majority of the Europeans is happy with corporate tax evasion (Believe it or not many Irish people will defend the government helping Apple legally and illegally stealing tax money from the European and Irish people). If such is the case we will have to accept we are a minority who have an idea of democracy which does not correspond to the world we are living in. We may have to accept that diemers do not want grassroots democracy.

However, if we find out that most of the them agree with us, then we are not naif. Then I do not care less what the OPs say about internal organization: I only care about how the DiEM25 members actually want to organize themselves, and if that is in a truly grassroots democratic movement, then that is what DiEM25 must be. And shall be. If we manage to make the people of Europe understand that their future and the future of the continent may be in their hands and they do not need to relay on the political elites, then, that is the way it will be. Call me naif, but I shall not stop until a reach the conclusion that I cannot change the world. And that is not going to be tomorrow.

Salud, Paz y Democracia



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