Jerome Roos on alternative to the current economic crisis

I heard Jerome Roos speak at a radical conference at an Athens University in May 2016. He believes we’re facing a “systemic crisis of the social order” due to the failures of various efforts to fix capitalism after the 2008 recession. Since states depend on capital, governments are also in crisis. The class struggle is not over; the new proletariat is the precariat, the un-or underemployed in temporary jobs who are striking or taking over factories around the world. I asked Roos about the Scandinavian government model that seems to be the most humane and successful. Roos said the Nordic countries have the same problems with debt loads and control by neoliberal capitalism and that liberal parties fail to provide real alternatives to capitalism.
Roos characterizes the latest cycle of struggles to change the system as led by the precariat in urban areas, as when Occupy Oakland took over the port of Oakland and Black Lives Matter took over highways. They emphasize using the commons such as public squares and using horizontal organizing in General Assemblies. He believes the age of collective bargaining by unions and mass political parties is past. As to what will fill the vacuum, he turns to history and the Paris commune of 1871 when workers used direct democracy, to build autonomous federations of communes in our time. He recognizes that change is slow.


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