Act 4 radical Europe: manifesto for a transnational sociopolitical movement

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 8-10-03
Dec 20 2006 14:53
Act 4 radical Europe: manifesto for a transnational sociopolitical movement

DISCLAIMER: I don't agree with the following manifesto. I post it as it is a big current debate within radical politics in europe by people who have had alot of influence (i.e. EuroMayday). It comes from a strand of neo-autonomist thinking around negri though his views on Europe as being a potential radical space diverges somewhat from whats been proposed here. You might also like to note that Negri is going to be speaking in London in Feb 2007. As for those into Italian autonomist politico's, Mario Tronti spoke last week at the Historical Materialism conference.


manifesto for a transnational sociopolitical movement


The early 21st century is dark and barbaric, as war, inequality,
irrationality, xenophobia, and ecological collapse spread unchecked
over the planet, and over our troubled region of the world, Europe,
governed by the EU and the nation-states, i.e. by the present
(dis)Union of euro and non-euro states, of old and new member

Bushism and political islamism are reshaping world politics, India and
China are reshaping the global economy. South America has broken free
of the Monroe Doctrine, but political Europe is in shambles: the
french-dutch no has left it shaken and hollow at its core, while
rising social conflict and disillusion are questioning its
sustainability as a political entity, traversed by powerful capital
and migration flows (the former set free in the Single Market, the
latter differentially discriminated and persecuted), and
conservatively governed by a neoliberal technocracy and national
governments sharing feeble if not negative legitimacy.

The old Spinelli-inspired and Monnet-initiated federalist project of
catholic/socialist orientation has become a spent force in the 21st
century, but a new European cosmopolitanism of radically democratic
orientation must take its place, with horizontal federalism, social
action, green politics and gay rights at its
core. Strong-armed nationalists and right-wing populists are present
dangers in many countries of Europe, while either the socialdemocratic
or the communist left are generally unable to find new solutions to
the gigantic challenges posed by geopolitical and economic
instability, the full spread of networking and digitalization, climate
change and environmental damage, accelerating biotechnological
innovation and its societal consequences.


Over the last 20 years, precarity and inequality have broken the
christian/social democratic political bargain of the postwar period --
rising incomes for employees and rising power for their unions in
exchange for acceptance of capitalist system-- on which modern Europe
was founded, and left in its wake the rise of immense corporate and
private wealth next to escalating exclusion and social angst. Acting
for radical Europe means mobilizing decisively against social
inequality, labor recarization and the arrogance of the elites and
their privileges, as millions have recently done in France and

The limitations against freedom of expression online and on the
streets are on the increase, in a climate of state-induced fear and
paranoia inviting ever more draconian securitarian regimes:
libertarian principles in information and communication must be
constantly asserted online and offline and freedom of movement and
protest constantly practiced and defended. Queer activism is rising,
but gender rights are under unprecedented threat by reactionary
catholic and muslim clerical establishments. In spite of the
achievements of feminism, women are still intimidated, abused and
killed in native and immigrant families, and discriminated in the
public sphere and at the workplace. The persecution of immigrants and
refugees at the gates of and within Europe is a burning shame for all
demoradicals of Europe: transnational solidarity and transethnic
alliances are moral duties for an enlarged idea of Europe which
includes also people once subjected to rapacious European imperial

Europe's multiethnic youth is economically discriminated and
increasingly alienated. The European younger generation is caught
between unemployment and labor precarization, and unattainable basic
social goods (home, higher education, welfare). Gerontocracy of the
elites and consequent privileges for the rentier classes are killing
Europe 's future by unfairly burdening European young families and
excluding the creative class from economic and political decisions.

Financial and corporate power is still formidable in Europe, and
tenaciously defended by monetarist Trichet and freemarketeer Barroso,
but has lost the aura of credibility and indeed invincibility it had
in the 1990s, thanks to the manifold pressures of the
antiglobalization movement. The global movement for social and
environmental justice which developed in Europe with the huge protests
at Prague, Goteborg, Genoa, peaked on Feb 15, 2003 with the truly
giant demonstrations against the invasion of Irak in Europe's major
cities, but has been declining since, although new, less ideological,
social movements seem to have taken the relay over the course of 2006.


In an age of intellectual obscurantism and global dimming, we want to
go back to the radical spirit of the Enlightenment and the radical
birth of democracy. In Europe, through the centuries, the very idea of
political philosophy and thus the form the state should take has been
decisively shaped and altered by collective action and social
conflict. Our idea of radical Europe takes inspiration from the great
moments in Europe's history of democratic mobilization and social
liberation, which we summarize here below.

The French Revolution, as interpreted by a girondist like Thomas Paine
or a jacobin like Gracchus Babeuf and his follower, the sworn enemy of
the Holy Alliance Filippo Buonarroti; the Chartist movement pushing
for universal suffrage in England and the rise of trade unionism;
revolutionary 1848 and the idea of a non-dynastic Young Europe; 1870
and the communards' brave experiment with self-governing urban
democracy of elected officials; the 1890-1920 period that saw great
hopes and major defeats for the radical democratic left in a Continent
torn by general strikes, rocked by women's suffrage movement, sucked
dry by the ghastly trenches, traumatized by revolutions and
counterevolutions, with the socialist second international and
revolutionary syndicalism holding the scene before the Great War,
replaced after 1917 by the more sectarian communist third
international and revolutionary leninism (which soon turned into
totalitarian stalinism); 1936 was the year of the social and electoral
victory of the french popular front and of franco's aggression against
the republican, socialist and anarchist spanish popular front; it was
the year when european and international fascism unleashed genocidal
war in Europe and Asia: only a global popular front could manage to
finally defeat nazis and fascists in 1945, after immense suffering and
civil wars of liberation. From the ashes of fascist defeat and the
horrors of total war, the political idea of Europe first emerged out
of European resistance movements, whose ideas where distilled in the
Ventotene Manifesto for a federal and peaceful Europe. As Hannah
Arendt wrote in the 1940s on the Partisan Review:

"The underground movements…were the immediate product of the collapse
first of the national state, which was replaced by quisling
governments and second of nationalism itself as the driving force of
nations. Those who emerged to wage war fought against fascism and
nothing else. (But) all these movements at once found a positive
political slogan which plainly indicated the non-national though very
popular slogan which was simply EUROPE."

After the war, European economic, and then political, institutions
started to consolidate. 1956 was the decisive starting point, since it
proclaimed the end of European imperialism and the birth of European
federalism after Suez, revealed Stalin's crimes, thus unleashing
Eastern Europe's democratic anti-Soviet rebellion. In 1968,
simultaneously, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Prague rebelled, setting off the
explosion of identity politics in the 70s (hippies, students, women,
gays, punks, oppressed ethnic groups and peoples), and ultimately
defeating the two-bloc partition of Europe with the 1989 democratic
uprising in Berlin, prepared by the antinuclear movements of that
decade. The Fall of the Wall led to the implosion of Russian communism
and its geopolitical bloc and thus prepared the scene for the launch
for the Single Currency in Western Europe and enlargement to the east
for the whole of the EU.

We are proud inheritors of the history of radical Europe. We have
absorbed Europe's traditions of democratic politics and critical
philosophy. We are descendants of the secular approach to reason and
nature, of all the strands in socialist thinking and progressive
politics that have invariably opposed all forms of authoritarianism
and totalitarianism. We are the children of ecological and
post-patriarchal Europe and it is from this radical heritage that we
want to build a shared rad-dem political culture that can make people
experience meaning and purpose back again in their lives and

We declare ourselves radical europeans. We want to fight to assert the
fundamental human, civil, social, gender, information rights of the
multitudes living in or coming to Europe. We will work toward a
rebirth of the European project on principles of radical democratic
participation: from intellectual dissent to social protest, from civil
disobedience to labor picketing, from consumer boycott to media
campaigning. We declare nationalism and fundamentalism our foes and
enemies. We denounce political neoconservatism and economic
neoliberalism as untenable and immoral philosophies and ways of
government. We are fierce enemies of private monopoly in technology
and knowledge industries and enraged by unprecedented levels of
economic concentration in all sectors of the economy. Nevertheless, we
are not unqualified anticapitalists. We strenuosly oppose the economic
interests that are accomplices in the reactionary and ecodestructive
turn the world has taken, but not the market and private enterprise as
such, which in our view can either have progressive or regressive
effects according to the periodically shifting balance of social and
ideological forces among capital and labor, state and society. More
strategically, we think the magnitude of the historical challenge
before us --staving off environmental and social disaster-- is such,
and the risk of a malignant social mutations and political
bifurcations so great, that we cannot afford not to speak to and
enlist, not only the creative and service classes we intend to give
voice and articulation first and foremost, but also the middle-classes
and the enlightened sectors of capitalism.

We are not a political party and we are not a union, although some of
our members could run for office or be union delegates. We intend to
be a Pan-European association giving expression to a demoradical
social and political movement. We want to go beyond anarchist
spontaneity and communist nostalgia. Horizontalism and egalitarianism
are not sectarian totems, but ideals than need to be transformed into
common practice and legal protection. On the other hand, queer,
ecologist, cyber subjectivities need to find a larger social and
political horizon to truly challenge established state power. In this
respect, we naturally look onto the European Greens and the European
Left as the political forces that need to be prodded to come up with
demoradical solutions to the current historical impasse. But our
social action and political advocacy will be free of any reverence
with respect to parties or unions, and totally independent in its
intellectual elaborations.

We are the generation the tore down Berlin's wall and went illegal
when Thatcher, Wojtyla and Reagan tried to restore family values (for
Deng, it was party values). We are the harbingers of the Internet
revolution and market globalization. We are
the low-cost generation, still dominated by cold-war elites who would
rather turn Europe into a giant Switzerland, where shady dictators and
mafia bosses can safely put their money and immigrants, even those
born in Europe, are excluded
from citizenship. Against the liberal-democratic, or worse
national-democratic, policies for Europe that promote inequality and
subservience to US militarism, we propose a new radical-democratic
horizon for Europe capable of creating a new
political culture and social landscape. We proclaim ourselves wobbly
and queer, peace-loving, tree-hugging and computer-savvy,
democratically active radicals of Europe.


To create a peer-to-peer radical and ecological democracy in Europe.
To affirm the secular, feminist, solidaristic identity of Europe.
To open the borders of Europe to all cultures and peoples.
To promote stronger European political integration and horizontal
federalism and regionalism around these values.
To render the Commission an expression of the European
Parliament, accountable to and petitionable by the European public.
To drastically reform the statutes and policies of the European Central Bank.
To levy a European corporate tax and a European carbon tax to endow
the EU with autonomous fiscal resources.
To returntto keynesian, expansionary fiscal and monetary policies,
thus abrogating the stability pact and its provisions.
To promote pan-European referenda on constitutional issues, EU
directives and legislation.
To reform the European Court, so that it can be directly addressed in
lieu of national justice in case of the violation of European
fundamental rights.
To promote a new global trade system, in alliance with the progressive
forces in South America and India.
To get Europe out of NATO, so that it can projects its international
weight in favor of just peace and international justice, such as the
protection of people from genocide.
To protest against all human rights violations, and promote solidarity
with democratic movements facing repression worldwide.
To expand the role for public health, public education, public space.
To protect immigrants from persecution and discrimination.
To secure a European basic income as the keystone a truly European
welfare system.
To set a European minimum wage, defend unionization rights and the
right to strike, as the only re-equalizing forces on the European
labor market today.
To ensure freedom of expression and communication and protect the free
exchange of knowledge.
To ensure neurochemical freedom and the legalization of THC.
To assert gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, and the
rights of all unmarried couplesb to family life and social benefits.
To work toward greener, bike-oriented and kid-friendly cities, by
adopting alternatives to fossil fuels and the internal combustion
engine in private and public tranportation.
To promote informed and democratic discussion around science and
technology, in order to build a strong demoradical position on
bioethics and other scientific issues affecting society.
To decrease the material, i.e energy, content of consumption and
wealth as the only viable way to survive as a cosmopolitan, digital
civilization on a planet with limited land
and water resources and fast-heating atmosphere and oceans.


To achieve these aims, Act for Radical Europe (A4RE) is a federal,
transnational, umbrella organization operating at the urban and
European levels, taking the form of a card-carrying, fee-charging
European association composed of 4 autonomous but networked branches,
coordinated by electronically electable and removable delegates to be
drawn from the association's constituency. Any city in Europe and the
Mediterranean can join A4RE: it will be considered a hub, if features
the any or some of the following 4 departments, and a hub if if hosts
them all. Hubs and subhubs contribute federal delegates and resources
to A4RE for its actions of political and social pressures at the
Europen level, while networking autonomously on metropolitan and
transnational projects of their choosing.

Here are A4RE 's initial four deparments/subnetworks.

THE PRECARIOUS SYNDICATE: a social advocacy and media subvertising
group assisting temp workers and part-timers, pink collars and
networkers, in their struggles against governments and corporations.
Also provides legal counseling and political lobbying against
precarity at the Union and state levels.

EUROPEAN FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS GROUP: a civic and legal advocacy group
defeding, before the courts and public opinion, the right to protest
and civil disobedience, the rights of first-generation Europeans and
migrants, queer and women's rights, the cyber rights of free spech on
the Web and the cell phone.

ECOACTIVE CONSPIRACY: a network of direct action collectives
practicing urban ecology, permaculture, barefoot economics, guerrilla
gardening, environmental hacks and protests, and the like.

PINK PUNK HACKS YOUR THINK TANK: a hub of intellectual discussion and
social science research around demoradical europe: movements,
subcultures, conflicts,
policies, borders, cartographies and realities of power,
geopolitics,transnational alliances, creative+service class, and other
politically relevant issues and questions.

revol68's picture
Joined: 23-02-04
Dec 20 2006 14:55

and you accused people on here of talking in impenetratable ways.

This just looks like Social Democrat shite in some Euro-Activist lingo.

Joined: 26-05-04
Dec 20 2006 15:23

try saying that after a few beers...

Joined: 16-10-03
Dec 20 2006 15:26

Radical liberal bullshit.

revol68's picture
Joined: 23-02-04
Dec 20 2006 15:37

Nice tag raw i'm sure Zizek would approve.

madashell's picture
Joined: 19-06-06
Dec 20 2006 15:47

Raw: Google documents is your friend smile

That manifesto is truly appalling. Every time I read something like this, it makes me want to join the BNP, at least they have some understanding of how they appear to other people.

raw wrote:

The early 21st century is dark and barbaric, as war, inequality,
irrationality, xenophobia, and ecological collapse spread unchecked
over the planet, and over our troubled region of the world, Europe,
governed by the EU and the nation-states, i.e. by the present
(dis)Union of euro and non-euro states, of old and new member

This sort of ill-thought out melodrama does nothing but make the author look like a halfwit, and it undermines any serious attempt to talk about the very real problems of capitalism.


Claiming that Bush is a part of some entirely new political ideology that is "reshaping" world politics is even worse. It's simply not true. Bush is just doing what US presidents (and other heads of state, of course) have been doing for years.

The old Spinelli-inspired and Monnet-initiated federalist project of
catholic/socialist orientation has become a spent force in the 21st
century, but a new European cosmopolitanism of radically democratic
orientation must take its place, with horizontal federalism, social
action, green politics and gay rights at its
core. Strong-armed nationalists and right-wing populists are present
dangers in many countries of Europe, while either the socialdemocratic
or the communist left are generally unable to find new solutions to
the gigantic challenges posed by geopolitical and economic
instability, the full spread of networking and digitalization, climate
change and environmental damage, accelerating biotechnological
innovation and its societal consequences.

They're also deluding themselves if they think that the activist scene they live in is doing any better than the trad left.

Joined: 10-04-06
Dec 21 2006 02:22

It comes across as a social democratic manifesto. What do you think raw?

Joined: 8-10-03
Dec 21 2006 07:04

I'm still thinking it over. For sure its ultra reformist, thats clear, though how would such a movement outlined above emmerge, how likely is it. Thats my reason for posting it. We can all pick it apart and say which elements are reformist, problematic or not what "we" want. But I'm looking at it in real terms. Is such a movement more realistic than a mass Libertarian Communist Movement? Is such a movement really part of a polical genealogy traced back to pre-democratic movements?

I try respond more anyway l8R


revol68's picture
Joined: 23-02-04
Dec 21 2006 11:53

In terms of being a movement of academics, proffesional activists, and perhaps a nice little landing zone for various Socialist politicians, yeah it's very likely to emerge. In terms of a movement lead by the working class in it's own interests, about as likely as me getting an employee of the month award.

Joined: 10-04-06
Dec 21 2006 12:04
Is such a movement more realistic than a mass Libertarian Communist Movement?

Yes, of course. In fact so is me becoming an active member of my local hockey team. Indeed washing my clothes is more likely to be achieved than a powerful libertarian communist movement. It's not comparing like with like tho.

pre-democratic movements?

what do you mean here raw? There doesn't appear anything new about it tho. The second international - which still meets and is still active - I'd imagine probably has a similar programme.

how would such a movement outlined above emmerge

A group like the SSP would call a meeting and invite contacts from various organisations, some of whom would attend a founding conference and they'd just start it and roll with it. In fact I'm sure that's how they founded their reformist European international (which has a similar objective to the one outlined above). Groups like this are always established by international conferences. Look at what the EZLN is up to with the Zezta International.

Joined: 10-04-06
Dec 21 2006 12:15

It's worth taking a wee look at that group I was talking about - the European Anticapitalist Left - coz it's a very similar and was formed in '05 by the SSP, SWP, LCR and others. The CWI attended with their British and Irish sections.

[edit] Members
 Bloco de Esquerda (Portugal)
 Enhedslisten (Denmark)
 Scottish Socialist Party (Scotland)
 Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (France)
 Socialist Workers Party (England and Wales)
 RESPECT (England and Wales)
 En Lucha (Spain)
 Espacio Alternativo (Spain)
 Bloque Nacionalista Galego (Galicia, Spain)
 Zutik (Basque Country)
 SolidaritéS (Switzerland)
 Mouvement pour le socialisme (Switzerland)
 Özgürlük ve Dayanisma Partisi (Turkey)
 Socialist Workers Party (Ireland)

[edit] Observers
 Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (Italy)
 Synaspismos (Greece)
 déi Lénk (Luxembourg)
 Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (Catalonia, Spain)
 Socialist Party (England and Wales)
 Socialist Party (Ireland)
 Kommunistische Partei Österreichs (Austria)
 German Communist Party (Germany)

[edit] External link
 European Anticapitalist Left Declaration, November 2005

Their founding statement is very similar to the one above:-

European Anticapitalist Left Declaration

28. november 2005
Af Enhedslisten

1) The results of the French and Dutch referendums on the European Constitution struck a major blow against the neo-liberal project of the European Union. The Draft EU constitution is dead and the EU itself is now in a crisis of legitimacy. The constitutional treaty was the summary of the neo-liberal agenda championed by European governments of both the centre right and centre left. It flows from the undemocratic way in which the EU has been built since the 1950s for the benefit of the corporations and their shareholders. Consequently the popular rejection of the treaty also means the popular rejection of the neo-liberal agenda both at a national and a European level. But we also recognise that the drive to implement free market policies will be sharpened as a result of the competition between European, US and Chinese capital. So we see further privatisation measures, attacks on pensions with the German, British and other governments proposing increasing the retirement age to 67 and more attacks on welfare, health and education. Yet this is also sparking resistance as demonstrated by recent strikes in Belgium, France and Italy plus the student protests and occupations also in Italy.

2) The radical left has continued to enjoy electoral success most recently in Denmark and England but above all with the success of the Left Party in the German federal elections. The success was the result of a united campaign of the German left. For the first time since World War 2 a broad alliance of nearly the complete left supported the new left party. There started a dialogue between the Left Party and the social movements to coordinate the parliamentarian and non-parliamentarian fight against neo-liberal policies. This is urgent because the new government has already announced new severe and painful cuts in the social system. The left forces in Germany are preparing a campaign against the policies and threats of the new neo-liberal government starting with a common day of action in March. They are preparing a broad alliance for actions of protest against the G8 in 2007 in Germany and are calling for a European mobilisation. The European Anti-Capitalist Left notes that a break in the most powerful and important European social democratic party is of major significance and marks a further development of the crisis of social democracy and a further advance in the construction of a left alternative.

3) The EU centres of power are determined to push ahead of their neo-liberal policies and the destruction of the social gains won by previous generations of working people. One of the attacks we face is on pensions and the attempt to increase the retirement age. Of fundamental importance to this clash between the popular classes and big business is the Services Directive (also known as the Bolkestein Directive) whose main purpose is to lower wages and to decrease rights at work across EU states. We reject a policy of divide and rule which seeks to pit workers from Eastern Europe against those of Western Europe. We reject the “race to the bottom” where we are asked to accept the worst conditions in Europe. We note that this Directive flows from the WTO/GATS agreement and from the Lisbon strategy for a neo-liberal Europe agreed by the EU Council in 2000 and revised in 2005. Workers in any country are entitled to the same rights and wages as citizens of that state no matter where they originate. We will argue for the worker’s movement across Europe to co-ordinate policies and action to secure work for all on living wages throughout the continent. United we can win gains for all, divided we all compete in the “race to the bottom”. Organisations, parties and movements involved in this EACL conference will actively participate in and promote the actions planned for the start of 2006 against the Services Directive/Bolkestein Directive when the European parliament meets to discuss this measure.

4) The results of the neo-liberal policies and attacks against social rights are increased unemployment and poverty as well as the increase in precariousness and poverty pay, particularly among young and women workers. Along with racial discrimination and the provocative behaviour of police against young people, this situation of poverty and the lack of hope is the background to the riots which exploded in the French suburbs this month. The only answer of the French government and the political establishment has been more repression including the institution of a state of emergency on the basis of a law passed in 1955 during the colonial war against Algerian people. This law allows the suspensions of civil liberties, the right for police ands prefects to ban demonstrations and meetings to impose curfews.

5) War against the poor and immigrants cannot be the answer to social questions. In recent months we have seen the further militarisation of Europe’s Mediterranean frontier with the clashes at Ceuta and Melilla and the detention of refugees in Lampedusa, Sicily and Malta. We reject a policy of deporting refugees to detention centres in Libya. In most EU countries new measures against civil liberties have been passed since 11 September 2001 using the “war on terrorism” as a pretext. In recent months we have seen a rash of laws passed in European states limiting our rights, the approval of torture by the CIA and the creation of illegal detention centres in Eastern Europe with US flights using airports in the EU to deliver hostages to these centres and to those in Bagram and Guantananmo. We reject the so-called “war on civilisation” and the Islamophobia underlying this policy. We renew our opposition to war and racism, our commitment to defending human rights and our rejection of “Fortress Europe”.

6) The European Anti-Capitalist Left is an integral part of the movement against the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Once again we renew our commitment to ending these occupations and resisting imperialism. Above all we oppose the growing role of European states in the occupation of Afghanistan under the umbrella of NATO. Once again we reaffirm our determination to scrap NATO and any similar military alliances.

7) The global justice movement is the driving force of the new global resistance. That is why we as participants in EACL will be present at the forthcoming World Social Forums in Mali and Venezuela. We will both to develop our links with the movements and the new left in both Africa and Latin America. In particular we salute the success of the people of Bolivia in resisting privatisation and the pillage of their natural resources demanding their nationalisation in the interest of the people, the developing revolution in Venezuela and the rise of a new left in Brazil. We will be present too at the forthcoming European Social Forum in Athens and will co-ordinate our actions there. We are committed not just too resisting attacks on our rights, our conditions and our future but to aiding the development of an alternative society based on peace not war, solidarity instead of competition, equality not repression and justice not exploitation. That is why we propose on the first anniversary of the French referendum vote to gather in Paris next year to discuss the creation of a Europe of social justice. This will be a seminar designed to encourage the maximum participation and involvement of all those who are exploited and oppressed.

London, the 28th of November

Signed by
Bloco de Esquerda (Portugal),
Deutsche Kommunistische Partei (Germany)
Espacio Alternativo (Spain)
Esquerra Unida i Alternativa, (Catalunya)
Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (France),
Red/Green Alliance (Denmark),
Respect (England and Wales),
Scottish Socialist Party (Scottland),
Socialist Party (England and Wales)
Socialist Workers Party (England and Wales),
SolidaritéS (Switzerland)