Prefigurative politics


Prefigurative politics

The term prefigurative politics is widespread within various activist movements, and in short, it describes modes of organization and tactics undertaken that accurately reflect the future society being sought.

The I.W.W. and other anarchist activists refer to this as "building a new world in the shell of the old." If a group is aiming to eliminate class distinctions, prefigurative politics demands that there be no class distinctions within that group. The same principle applies to hierarchy: if a group is fighting to abolish some or all forms of hierarchy in larger society, prefigurative politics demands they do the same within their group.

Perspectives on prefigurative politics

Anthropologist David Graeber in "Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology" described the prefigurative politics of those at the 1999 Seattle WTO protest:

When protesters in Seattle chanted "this is what democracy looks like," they meant to be taken literally. In the best tradition of direct action, they not only confronted a certain form of power, exposing its mechanisms and attempting literally to stop it in its tracks: they did it in a way which demonstrated why the kind of social relations on which it is based were unnecessary. This is why all the condescending remarks about the movement being dominated by a bunch of dumb kids with no coherent ideology completely missed the mark. The diversity was a function of the decentralized form of organization, and this organization "was" the movement’s ideology. (p. 84)

Examples of prefigurative political programs

The Black Panther Party in the United States was responsible for creating what members referred to as survival programs, including the well-known Free Breakfast for Children Program. These programs were designed to provide food, education, medical care and clothing for individuals outside of traditional capitalist relations as well as state social programs.

ee also

*Worker Self-Management
*Consensus
*Food Not Bombs
*Squatting


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anarchist communism — Not to be confused with Libertarian communism or Libertarian Communism (journal) . Part of a series on Anarcho C …   Wikipedia

  • Dual power — Part of a series on Libertarian socialism …   Wikipedia

  • Libertarian socialism — Part of a series on Libertarian socialism …   Wikipedia

  • Noam Chomsky — Chomsky redirects here. For other topics with the same name, see Chomsky (disambiguation). Noam Chomsky Noam Chomsky visiting Vancouver, Canada in 2004 …   Wikipedia

  • Mikhail Bakunin — This article is about the Russian anarchist. For the television character, see Characters of Lost. Mikhail Bakunin Born Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin May 30, 1814(1814 05 30) Pryamukhino (near …   Wikipedia

  • Social anarchism — Not to be confused with Social Anarchism (journal). Part of the Politics series on Anarchism …   Wikipedia

  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon — Portrait by Gustave Courbet, 1865 Full name Pierre Joseph Proudhon Born 15 January 1809(1809 01 15) …   Wikipedia

  • Nestor Makhno — Free Territory In office January 5, 1919 – August 28, 1921 Personal details Born October 26, 1888 …   Wikipedia

  • Mutualism (economic theory) — This article is about the economic theory. For the biological term and other uses, see Mutualism (disambiguation). Part of the Politics series on Anarchism …   Wikipedia

  • Platformism — Part of the Politics series on Anarchism …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.