Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Direct Action

Published: December 17, 2008, Author: JayTaber

Autonomy as a Value

I was reading an article on Zapatista autonomous centers, and I thought about the social centers of Italy and Argentina, where marginalized people give and receive services in health and education neglected by the state and market. While organizing self-help by and for those excluded from employment, healthcare, and education in market economies is not entirely new, it is a relatively new concept in the United States, where mostly religious charities have attempted but fallen far short of filling the gap.

Similar to the direct action concept employed in battling the globalization of poverty, the autonomous zone movement circumvents the ineffective conventional philanthropic system, directing resources to those in need without the parasitic intercession of professional poverty pimps.

As a rejection of the entrenched system of philanthropic paternalism and official corruption that maintains poverty worldwide, autonomy as a value provides the opportunity to struggle with dignity, while at the same time acquiring skills and resources needed to survive and endure the breakdown of modern states.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

access here