Deciding for Ourselves: The Promise of Direct Democracy

Regular price $ 19.00

by Cindy Milstein

AK Press

4/21/2020, paperback

SKU: 9781849353731


In a time of social and ecological crises, people everywhere are looking for solutions. States and capitalism, rather than providing them, only make matters worse. There's a growing sense that we'll have to fix this mess on our own. But how?

Deciding for Ourselves, in the spirit of the Zapatistas, demonstrates that "the impossible is possible." A better world through self-determination and self-governance is not only achievable. It is already happening in urban and rural communities around the world--from Mexico to Rojava, Denmark to Greece--as an implicit or explicit replacement for nations, police, and other forms of hierarchical social control. This anthology explores this "sense of freedom in the air," as one piece puts it, by looking at contemporary examples of autonomous, directly democratic spaces and the real-world dilemmas they experience, all the while underscoring the egalitarian ways of life that are collectively generated in them.


"Deciding for Ourselves is the perfect book for our times. Each inspiring essay traces the possibilities (and even offers up some road maps) on how to survive our current situation with dignity and autonomy. The essays, beautifully curated by Cindy Milstein, point to a nuanced version of direct democracy that isn't just a utopian idea but instead something that is already happening amid our complex social systems. Read this exciting book with your friends and community for inspiration and hope, and then get busy enacting radical social change, together!" --carla bergman, coauthor of Joyful Militancy: Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times

"Deciding for Ourselves: The Promise of Direct Democracy represents what we need more of: the collective. Considering the promise of what's already been offered allows us to both imagine and implement new possibilities. That's why texts like this one are important. We can't neglect the significance of our ability to organize, whether that happens in person or on paper. This anthology is about what we can do, and there's enough perspective here to help us see that we have firm examples of inspiration already around us." --William C. Anderson, coauthor of As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation

"This collection of essays, curated by Cindy Milstein with author/militants from around the globe, mightily contributes to an understanding of how we might create and live in a liberatory world. A must read for all who dream and work for collective liberation." --Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

About the Author:

Cindy Milstein is author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations, coauthor of Paths toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism, and editor of the anthologies Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism and Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief. Cindy co-organizes the Institute for Advanced Troublemaking's Anarchist Summer School in Worcester, MA, and is also honored, when called on, to do death doula and grief care