No 381 Posted by fw, December 27, 2011
This series is based on Tim Gee’s Counterpower: Making Change Happen. Gee conceives of Counterpower as the ability of the powerless to remove or neutralize the power of the powerful. He posits three types of Counterpower – Idea Counterpower, Economic Counterpower and Physical Counterpower.
Part 2, drew from history to provide numerous instructive examples of Idea Counterpower excerpted from Chapter 1, How Counterpower helps movements win.
This post, Part 3, returns to Chapter 1 to consider the primary sources of elitists’ economic power, and offers a selection of examples from the past to illustrate how determined citizen activists can offset elitist economic power by effectively deploying Economic Counterpower.
“Economic power is derived from wealth, money, labor and land. It is most clearly seen as the ability to pay people to do things they would not otherwise do. Economic Counterpower is the refusal to work or the refusal to pay. The building of alternative economic power bases – such as trade unions, co-ops, progressive businesses, NGOs and publicly owned services – can also be seen as a form of Economic Counterpower.”
Economic Counterpower examples from the past –