The decentralized - autonomous concept of the Netzkraft Movement
Socially committed citizens and groups usually concentrate their work on a single, particularly important issue in ecological, social, political and spiritual fields - such as the fight against a plant endangering the environment; the defence of minorities' rights or actions against armament and war. In doing so, they definitely cause a growing awareness of these problems in society and politics.
Some problems have become so threatening - e.g. the increasing ecological destruction of our environment, the growing gap between rich and poor and the danger arising from devastating military conflicts - that rapid changes are necessary, if our children and grandchildren are to survive under humane conditions. Although socially committed people frequently find that their actions have little visible political effect for the sake of their ideals they often undertake commitments up to the limits of their energy or even beyond.
In view of our global problems the work of people prepared to act and influence public opinion is essential for our survival. We must prevent these people burning out of energy. Their work must be supported and, if possible, made even more efficient.
The Netzkraft Movement intends to achieve this with the help of a decentralized network in which the active persons and groups are autonomous: instead of creating a new organization or a central decision making body, the net participants act just as independently as they did before. They themselves decide themselves spontaneously and, according to their particular requirements, when and to what extent they look for partners for exchange and possible cooperation through the network. The only thing they have to know is who the other net participants are.
We can hope for any immediately apparent effect as there would be with centrally co-ordinated processes when for example an appeal to participate in a demonstration causes a visible effect on all groups involved. A decentralized-autonomous network is just as effective, but it relies less on short-term actions and more on long-term interactions. Their success cannot be attributed to the merit of one individual "originator", but to the initiative of the many people involved. By adding further active people to their personal network of contacts, the net participants make the network snowball so that it can develop into an international and comprehensive grassroots movement.
The Netzkraft Movement proceeds from four basic ideas:
Act within a network
Urgent global problems and threats, e.g. threats to peace, the environment and human rights do not exist independently of each other: they are closely connected and, frequently even interdependent.
Therefore, approaches to solutions must form a common integrated concept, even if the individuals or groups involved have to concentrate their strength on individual issues. And this is absolutely essential - this is the only way to attract public attention to the essential problems. To overcome these problems, however, we also have to realize that the different forms of social or political commitment are equally important, they are parts of a common objective and each of these problems can only be solved in connection with the other. So it makes sense to unite the great number of committed persons or groups in a network: Together we are stronger.
The elementary human rights of more and more people on our Earth are being restricted: the right to have enough to eat, the right to breath non-toxic air, to drink non-poisonous water and the right to live a life in dignity. These issues have become crucial for humanity.
Global problems cannot be solved only on a regional level, even if regional and national initiatives are imperative. There must be an authority that stands above individual national and economic interests and that is able to achieve a balance of all the interests involved, an authority that represents the interests of all people including those of future generations.
For this reason, in addition to its other common objectives, the Netzkraft Movement wants to contribute to the creation of a democratically legitimated UN authority that is asble to develop global solutions to crucial global problems and to enforce them by non-violent means.
Social commitment rarely has immediate effects. However, intellectual energy does not get lost when it is passed on to other people: Every idea, every action leaves its trace on those who receive it; it becomes part of their store of memories and experience. They will be able - often much later - to create new ideas which otherwise would not have been generated, or influence actions which otherwise would have developed differently. In cases where their commitment remains without a directly obvious result, nobody should, resign in view of the magnitude of the global problems or underestimate their own potential. All that matters is the long-term action of the many people involved in a variety of fields!
Just as in all the great citizens' movements in the past, these committed people have a pioneer role to play. Through a gradual process of networking, they will be able to initiate a broad fundamental movement. There are people who are able to move others so that things get moving.
If we don't act - who will?
Politicians and political parties alone are incapable of solving major global problems in the long run. They are too much engaged in the changing demands of daily politics, individual pressure groups and the national interests of their country. So they often don't act in the interest of future generations or the vast majority of people living on Earth.
On the other hand, parties and politicians who are democratically elected, which means they are influenced by the public, are the only ones who - in their function as managers - are able to put the necessary laws into effect and take other actions needed to guarantee our survival. Only if they can rely on the will and support of most of their voters - which means only in those cases where those people demand corresponding steps clearly and loudly - will they consider the public welfare more important than any short-term objectives or individual interests.
It is difficult for people in non-democratic countries to change bad political developments and contribute to the solution of global problems: There is often a high personal risk in political action. People in the poorer countries of our Earth often have to concentrate their energy on regional questions of survival. In addition, parties and politicians there have less worldwide influence than those of the rich states.
But also in the rich countries, most of the citizens are so busy with their personal interests or so discouraged due to the extent of global problems that they don't succeed in taking any actions to fight against them.
Many people who have not previously been active will join a broad movement which looks promising. The true challenge comes earlier, in the ability to work for the growth of a movement before it has come noticeable. It is encouraging to see how many people at numerous places on Earth are socially or politically active. It all depends on the readiness of those persons and groups who have already been active to combine forces. If we don't act together - who will?