POLITICAL
ORGANISATION
AOTEAROA

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.