This is from ZNet:
The interim International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS) was launched in 2012 with the aim of propelling activism for winning a new world. IOPS is structured as a bottom-up, international organization, based on self-managing interconnected national branches and local chapters. Currently, IOPS is in an interim stage, and by joining IOPS you become an interim member. A convention, or series of conventions, will be planned within the next year, for membership to determine the organization’s definition in more detail.
The IOPS Interim Organizational Description consists of the following key documents:
IOPS is open for anyone wishing to join who shares the goals, values and visionary commitments laid out in the organizational description. Please read more about Membership. To become an interim member, Join IOPS (http://www.iopsociety.org/about).
The International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS) is a revolutionary organization that aims to win a better world through flexibly exploring and advocating long term vision, building the seeds of the future in the present, empowering the lives of its members, organizing in an internally classless and self-managing way, and winning changes in society that better the situations of suffering constituencies while also laying the ground work for more changes, and construction, to come.
Key Goals & Priorities
- IOPS is anti capitalist, anti racist, anti sexist, and anti authoritarian. It centrally addresses economics/class, politics, culture/race, kinship/gender, ecology, and international relations without privileging any one focus above the rest.
- IOPS seeks to transcend 20th Century market and centrally planned socialism with a new participatory society - or participatory socialism - that combines classless participatory economy, feminist participatory kinship, inter-communalist participatory culture, and self managing participatory polity.
- IOPS flexibly explores and advocates long term vision sufficiently to inspire and orient current activity but does not advocate or seek to implement detailed blueprints that transcend movement needs and knowledge.
- IOPS sees social strategy and especially tactics as largely contingent on place and time and therefore continually revises shared views in light of new evidence including regularly updating analysis, vision, and strategy.
Decision making influence in proportion to the degree you are affected by a decision.
Distribution of circumstances and benefits in accord with duration, intensity, and onerousness of socially valued labor, or comparable factors in other aspects of life.
Creation of conditions that foster mutual aid and empathy.
Respect for dissent and difference, including making room for minority and dissident positions to develop and revisit earlier commitments.
- Ecological Husbandry
Care for natural habits and environment in accord with sustainability and the thriving of diversity for species and humans.
Applying the above mentioned values not merely to a society, but to the community of all societies.
IOPS seeks new political/governmental relations that:
- facilitate all citizens deliberating sufficiently to effectively participate in decision-making.
- utilize transparent mechanisms to carry out and evaluate decisions.
- convey to all citizens a self managing say in legislative decisions proportionate to effects on them.
- utilize grassroots assemblies, councils or communes, and direct participation or representation and delegation, and/or voting options such as majority rule, some other voting algorithm, or consensus, all as needed to attain self management.
- offer maximum civil liberties to all, including freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and organizing political parties and facilitates and protects dissent.
- promote diversity so individuals and groups can pursue their own goals consistent with not interfering with the same rights for others.
- builds solidarity and fairly, peacefully, and constructively adjudicates disputes and violations of norms and laws, seeking both justice and rehabilitation.
- support all community members contributing to solving problems and exploring possibilities to ensure that there are no political hierarchies that privilege some citizens over others.
IOPS seeks new economic relations such that:
- no individuals or groups own resources, factories, etc., so ownership doesn’t affect anyone’s decision making influence or share of income.
- there is no payment according to property, bargaining power, or the value of personal output.
- workers who work longer or harder or at more onerous conditions doing socially valued labor (including training) earn proportionately more for doing.
- those unable to work receive income nonetheless.
- workers have a say in decisions to the extent possible, proportionate to effects on them, sometimes best attained by majority rule, sometimes by consensus or other arrangements.
- there is no corporate division of labor giving about a fifth of workers predominantly empowering tasks and four fifths mainly rote, repetitive, and obedient tasks.
- each worker enjoys conditions suitable to be sufficiently confident and informed to participate effectively in decision making, including having a socially average share of empowering tasks via suitable new designs of work.
- there is neither market competition nor top-down planning, but instead decentralized cooperative negotiation of inputs and outputs, whether accomplished by workers and consumers councils or some other suitable method.
Gender and Kin
IOPS seeks new gender and kin relations that:
- do not privilege certain types of family formation over others but instead actively support all types of families consistent with society’s other broad norms and practices.
- promote children’s well-being and affirm society’s responsibility for all its children, including affirming the right of diverse types of families to have children and to provide them with love and a sense of rootedness and belonging.
- minimize or eliminate age-based permissions, preferring non-arbitrary means for determining when an individual is old or young enough, to participate in economic, political or other activities, or to receive benefits/privileges.
- respect marriage and other lasting relations among adults as religious, cultural, or social practices, but reject marriage as a way to gain financial benefits or social status.
- respect care giving as a valuable function including making care giving a part of every citizen’s social responsibilities, or other worthy means to ensure equitable burdens and benefits.
- affirm diverse expressions of sexual pleasure, personal identity, and mutual intimacy while ensuring that each person honors the autonomy, humanity, and rights of others.
- provide diverse, empowering sex education about sex, including legal prohibition against all non-consensual sex.
Culture and Community
IOPS seeks a new cultural and community system that:
- ensures that people can have multiple cultural and social identities, including providing the space and resources necessary for people to positively express their identities, while recognizing as well that which identity is most important to any particular person at any particular time will depend on that person’s situation and assessments.
- explicitly recognizes that rights and values exist regardless of cultural identity, so that all people deserve self management, equity, solidarity, and liberty, and so that while society protects all people’s right to affiliate freely and fosters diversity, its core values are universal.
- guarantees free entry and exit to and from all cultural communities in society including affirming that communities that do have free entry and exit can be under the complete self determination of their members, so long as their policies and actions don’t conflict with society’s laws.
The organization seeks new international relations such that:
- international institutions put an end to imperialism in all its forms including colonialism, neo colonialism, neo liberalism, etc.
- international institutions are internationalist in that they diminish economic disparities in countries’ relative wealth.
- international institutions protect cultural and social patterns interior to each country from external violation.
- international relations facilitate international entwinement and ties as people desire, and thus internationalist globalization in place of corporate globalization.
The organization seeks new ecological relations that:
- account for the full ecological (and social/personal) costs and benefits of both short and long term economic and social choices, so that future populations can make informed choices about levels of production and consumption, duration of work, self reliance, energy use and harvesting, husbandry, pollution, climate policies, conservation, consumption, and other aims and activities as part of their freely made decisions about future policy.
- foster a consciousness of ecological connection and responsibility so that future citizens are well prepared to decide policies regarding animal rights, vegetarianism, or other policies that transcend sustainability and even husbandry, consistently with their ecological preferences and their broader agendas for other social and economic functions.
Here is what Noam Chomsky, a member of the IOPS Interim Consultative Committee, has to say about IOPS:
“Hardly a day goes by when I do not hear appeals – often laments – from people deeply concerned about the travails of human existence and the fate of the world, desperately eager to do something about what they rightly perceive to be intolerable and ominous, feeling helpless because each individual effort, however dedicated, seems to merely chip away at a mountain, placing band-aids on a cancer, never reaching to the sources of needless suffering and the threats of much worse.
“It’s an understandable reaction, and can too often lead to despair and resignation. We all know the only answer, driven home by experience and history, and by simple reflection on the realities of the world: join together to construct and clarify long-term visions and goals, along with direct engagement and activism shaped by these guidelines and contributing to a deepening our understanding of what we hope to achieve.
“But the formula, while accurate enough, does not respond to the pleas. What is missing is concrete proposals as to how to proceed. IOPS strikes the right chords, and if the opportunities it opens are pursued with sufficient energy and participation, could carry us a long way towards unifying the many initiatives here and around the world and molding them into a powerful and effective force.”
Here is how Z writer Ezequiel Adamovsky from Argentina summed up his feelings on IOPS:
“In the past two decades we have seen many signs that new forms of resistance against capitalism are emerging. These new forms are still looking for their own political strategies and visions of the future, and trying to overcome the limitations of the traditional Left. By bringing together people and organizations that have been working in that direction for a long time, the International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS) has the potential to become a fundamental contribution to this process.
“Ever since the decadence of the Internationals, we have been looking for ways to connect local struggles globally. This is a great opportunity: the IOPS offers us the chance to rebuild the internationalist tradition of the Left by taking into account the lessons we have learned from history.”
Another Z writer, Justin Podur, also on the Interim Consultative Committee of IOPS, addressed some of the reasons for reticence:
“Activists and organizers know or sense that the diversity and multiplicity of our efforts and issues is worth celebrating, but we also know or sense that we somehow haven’t been able to add up to more than the sum of our parts. Any effort to do so can invoke fears - fears that some party line might be imposed from without, or that we’ll end up working in a group or organization whose values we don’t endorse. But those are things to be careful of while trying, not reasons not to try. If you think about it, you’ll see there is a need for something like IOPS. The only way to make it into what is needed is to do it.”