1/11. Political Organisation Aotearoa is a collective experiment in political
thinking and organisation. It aims—during this period of economic,
political and cultural crisis—to reinvigorate politics and reactivate
the idea of equality.
2/11. Popular sovereignty and processes of collective decision-making define
democracy and politics. To stay faithful to such a definition requires
thinking beyond the limits set by the parliamentary system. This system
is showing advanced signs of ill-health, including frustration,
declining participation and the undue influence of money and media. The
time has come to seek political alternatives.
3/11. It is
necessary to explore alternative, participatory understandings of
economic life. We reject blind adherence to 'economic goods'—such as
growth, competition, profit-making and self-interest—at the expense
of what we hold in common. As things stand a small elite dominate
political decision making and popular forms of thought. We seek spaces
where people can develop and express their own expert judgments on the
issues that concern them.
4/11. There is no
clear boundary between society and nature. A reappraisal is needed of
how social life and the environment are intertwined. Neither the
fantasy of limitless growth nor the pessimistic certainty of impending
catastrophe will assist that reappraisal.
5/11. Our politics is one of hope and inclusiveness. The enormous polarisations of
ownership, control and status that mark our lives are not necessary,
and can be overcome. We recognise the role of creative collective
action in the making of history. Cooperation that acknowledges
difference will be opposed to any politics of resentment that targets
minorities and the poor.
6/11. Drawing on both historical precedent and original ideas, we intend to explore
alternative vehicles for political involvement and expression. In this,
we wish to help create opportunities for debate, alliance formation,
and the organisation of political interventions with others.
7/11. Ideas are
central to transforming how we live. Thoughts about the different
aspects of our everyday lives—culture, religion, sport, media,
nature, family—are hindered by conservative and liberal platitudes.
We seek to counter this with the production and circulation of ideas
that transport everyday life beyond the noise of those platitudes.
8/11. Our common capacity for intellectual autonomy and freedom should be celebrated.
Currently these freedoms are threatened by the imposition of
market-place models of organisation in public life, and the
colonisation of our thought by market-based metaphors.
9/11. We seek to challenge and reinvigorate public debate through creative and
experimental interventions in different kinds of media. On the one
hand, this means exposing the ways in which fundamental questions about
our society remain unthought, or even suppressed through power masked
as reasoned objectivity. On the other, we will seek alliances with
progressive media and journalistic identities that share our commitment
to critiquing the current order and imagining alternatives.
10/11. In recent
times, a number of important progressive social movements and
mobilisations have emerged worldwide. Critical analysis is needed of
their global and local significance, and their new modes of
organisation and communication. At the same time, analyses are required
of the reactive political movements that have also emerged,
understanding them as symptoms of crisis rather than solutions.
11/11. The apparent
dearth of alternatives forecloses on what could be. Prevailing
currents, ranging from dejected condemnation to thoughtless
celebration, normalise wealth and power. The point is to rethink the
world, to imagine change, and to act.