E51: Celebrating six years of DiEM25: Where did we come from, and where will we go next?

[Mehran] Hello, hello, hello
and welcome. I'm Mehran Kahlili and we are DiEM25,
a radical political movement for Europe, and this is our regular live
coordinating call except this call is something quite special
because it's our birthday. Yes, DiEM25 turns six today
and over the next hour, 90 minutes, or so we're going to take
a look back with our panel here at the last six years of the movement's
campaigns and activities, its successes and failures,
and crucially, what we've learned from them. Then we're going to have a look
forward at our future plans from DiEM25's radical new manifesto
and positioning, to elections we're going to be
competing in and everything in between. And of course, since this is live, you
out there watching us on YouTube, please put your questions, comments,
rants, concerns anything you want to throw at us in the YouTube chat
and we'll get to it.

But first, unlike our regular call,
we're going to start out with something quite different. We're going to hear from the people
who power DiEM25, who fund DiEM25, who take the key decisions at DiEM25
and of course, I'm talking about our members. That's over 130,000 people
across the world offering their time, resources,
energy and passion to join our rebellion against Europe's oligarchy and our mission
to put the 'demos' back in democracy. So what we did was, we sent out a call
to ask our members what do they hope DiEM25 could achieve
in 2022 for their countries and beyond. Here's a compilation of some of
the videos that we received. So grab yourself a beverage, sit back
and hear what our members have to say for the next few minutes: [ Music ] Great, and thank you to all the DiEM25
members who sent in their videos.

That was fantastic and some very
important messages there. Okay, let's jump straight
into our retrospective. Srećko is going to kick us off,
setting the scene, listing the political challenges
over the last couple of years. Over to you Srećko. [Srećko] Sretan Rođendan!
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Happy Birthday, DiEMers
and not only DiEMers, but also Ivana among us,
from the Coordinating Collective, also has a birthday today. It's a big day today and I won't speak
about the things which you perhaps expect me to speak of, so I will
first say that life is beautiful. Of course, you could say,
it comes from a privileged position, but I'm really happy today that
for the last six years, we have been building
this movement.

I was thinking about it today. Almost half of our life age was
characterized now by the pandemic. I think it's a big success that
after two years of organizing mainly online, we are
more powerful than ever, that we are coming back to the streets,
coming back to theaters, joining protests, developing further campaigns,
policy papers. We entered one parliament. We will enter hopefully
more parliaments. I think it's a big, big day today. It's also, if you think about it,
the age when children start to go to school,
which is also very important. Also, in that perspective,
it shows that, although these six years have been
a long period for us, it really passed very quickly,
in a blink of an eye, as they say in Star Trek
and we are still here. As I said, we are
more powerful than ever. Unfortunately, most of our
predictions came true. Things are even worse
than we predicted. Remember that at the launch of DiEM
at Volksbühne in Berlin in 2016, we were warning that unless
there is more democracy, unless there is more transparency,
unless there is more investment into public infrastructure,
Europe will continue to implode.

Unless there is a different
immigration policy, Europe will continue to slide towards
more fascism and authoritarianism. If you look at Europe today,
you will see that, unfortunately, we are in that situation. Also the situation in the rest
of the world doesn't look better, but luckily, in the meantime we have also
founded the Progressive International. One of the first attempts
in the 21st century I would say, which is not just trying to build
something like the World Social Forum or the usual gatherings
of the usual suspects, but also build an infrastructure
which I think is the most important thing DiEM25 has built
in the last six years. Besides the friendships,
besides the love, the joy and the struggle which we are
taking together, we have built a very powerful,
resistant infrastructure. I think this is the
most important thing. You have seen it in
the introductory videos, how many languages
our people speak. How many members
we have across Europe, how important it is actually
that in this time, when everyone is returning to
the nation state, that we are fighting for
transnationalism, which was the beginning of DiEM,
which I still think is one of the most important ideas,
that across Europe we work together.

Let me end and then open the floor
to my dear comrades, with a quote, which Jean-Paul Sartre
gave in 1944 when he wrote after the Second World War
for the newspaper, Atlantic. He said: 'Never were we freer,
than during the occupation.' It's an interesting quote. I think he's completely right,
for instance, the citizens of Sarajevo under another siege, the longest
siege in modern history were also never happier
than under the occupation. I mean, it's enough to read about
how theater was recreating resistance during the occupation of Sarajevo. I think luckily, today we are not
under an occupation, but never have we been luckier than
during the last six years in DiEM. I know maybe for some people
it wasn't like that. We also had our troubles. We had our failures. We will speak about it tonight
very openly, but I think what is important is
precisely this togetherness, this collective organizing,
which I think under a new occupation which is coming, which in some parts
of the world is already there, is so important. So, Sretan Rođendan,
Happy Birthday and thanks everyone
for being with us today.

[Mehran] Thanks Srećko. For any of you out there who want to
add your comments into the chat, I'm told that the chat is now open. Sorry, it wasn't open earlier. Okay, Erik Edman go for it. [Erik) Thank you Mehran
and thank you Srećko. Hello, from a very cold Yetebori
in Sweden, where I've just arrived after being to Rome,
which makes it even colder. I'll be meeting a few of our local members
here in half an hour.

So, I apologize If you can hear
a bossa nova soundtrack in the background, that's because
I'm basically in a public space. What I would like to talk about a bit
stepping on what Srećko was saying You know this quote,
you know what people say that: 'If you think back to your past,
and you don't realize what an idiot you were, that probably means
you're still an idiot.' Maybe we weren't
idiots in the past. Maybe that's too strong a word,
but I think it's equally important for us to look back and take note
of our successes, to take heart and at the same time talk
about the things that didn't work as well so that we can learn from those
well, let's call them mistakes. So I'd like to latch on to
a couple of those really basic cornerstones of the DiEM25 project. One of them, is this idea of uniting
progressives, of uniting the left. Now, when we went in that direction,
we realized with hindsight that we put the cart
in front of the horse.

What do I mean by that? The idea of uniting progressives
is not something that will happen by uniting sort of
progressive institutions. It's not something that will
happen by uniting political parties. That part of the political spectrum
is not united because it doesn't
want to be united. Everybody has their own political
program, their own supporters. First and foremost, their focus is
based on those people. So, if we really want to
unite progressives, we need to unite
progressive people. We need to unite the people
that make up the left, and once we have that critical mass
of members, of people with us, convinced by our program and the
direction that we want to take our project, then we will
realize that we have been uniting progressives and
uniting the left from the ground up. This is one of the important lessons
to learn from the past. Another point is that we have had
many European campaigns. You know, we've been supporting
Julian Assange from a time when supporting Julian was not
the most popular thing one could do.

We've been under attack
in the past and still are in many cases
for supporting Julian. It's heartening to see how the
discourse has changed in later years around this topic. We've had other European level
campaigns on a variety of issues, from refugees and migrants
to transparency and so on. However, tackling political topics
from a European perspective means that we fall for the usual
European trap, which is that not that many people
care about Europe. So, when you frame a political topic
through the European spectrum, that means that you are talking
about a political issue that a lot of people
don't identify with. Even if what you're trying to achieve
is something that many, many people would like to see. In order to be able to convince people
about our European ideas, our European policies,
our European projects, we first need to become a political
voice that feels relevant to their day-to-day life,
to the things that make up their understanding of politics,
which is very often local, national,
municipal and so on.

Before we can have a relevant voice
in those terms, people will not be ready to listen to what we
have to say about things that are further removed from that reality,
because we just will sound like we're out of touch with what
they're going through. So that's another
important lesson I think. That also has to do with something
that we've often had, this academic and intellectual identity. A lot of focus on policy,
speaking a certain academic language that sometimes might
put some people off or attract a certain subgroup of society
that doesn't represent the social whole. So, at the same time, when you look
at our past, you will see that our greatest successes have come from
those cases where we really focused like Srećko was saying, on our members,
on our infrastructure, on our local groups, on our organizers
and we invested in them and gave them what they needed
in order to to push the DiEM ideas and push the DiEM vision
into their own communities, into their own societies.

I think that really summarizes
the main area in which I hope we will continue to work in 2022,
and in many more years from today onward. [Mehran] Thank you Erik. Julia, Julia Moore,
from the UK. [Julia] Hi. Thank you, Mehran,
Happy Birthday, everybody. Is my microphone okay, Mehran? [Mehran] Yeah! We hear you
loud and clear. [Julia] Thank you.
Hi, hello, hello, everybody! We wanted to flag up for our
celebratory video this evening, our live stream this evening,
the fact that DiEM25 mainly UK, but from the central team as well,
have been involved in a very successful 'Your NHS Needs You' campaign,
which hit the the digital sphere just before Christmas. It's focused and highlighted
what we will know is the final stage of the breaking up of
the national health system. Now, I'm aware that we have
non-UK viewers this evening. Without wishing to turn this
into a lecture, in simplicity, we have a national health system
in this country, which is free at the point of delivery based on
health need alone, and that has been under attack
systematically since the 1970s, since the Thatcher era. We're all aware of those politics.

The first attempt at breaking up
was in 2012 when, to their shame, many Labour MPs voted for the
systematic breaking up of the NHS. The bill that is going through Parliament
at the moment is what we know to be the final stage when the NHS
will be handed over to the private sector and run as a not-for-profit service. DiEM25 have leapt upon this
opportunity as a case study for policy going through government
by stealth, by lack of scrutiny by MPs being admitted to us
and to many agencies that the bill is so complex that they'll probably
vote it through anyway. So DiEM25 put together
an impressive campaign. Please catch it. It's still a live campaign. It's on our website. We should be giving you
a link fairly soon. The bill was not prevented at the end
of last year from going to the Lords. That means it goes to our unelected
chamber, but the pressure that we have applied by this
has been legion. The campaign team reports that
Labour MPs and the front bench of Labour MPs were impressed
and influenced by the work that the team put in.

So it's had an impact and we'd like to
flag up the activism. This is the important aspect
of this campaign. Over a hundred thousand petition
signatures went to into the government website which,
has an impact, because MPs have to
take notice of that. We had a membership increase of
over 1500 members during the process of the first phase of the campaign. A considerable amount of money
raised as a result of the campaign.

A celebrity video profile, which is
impressive, is not the right word. Again, please take a look at those
head and shoulder shots from many, many actors, musicians,
influencers many that will be recognized internationally,
not just from the UK. So please, have a look
at those videos. There will be names that you recognize all
in defense of the National Health Service. Over 30,000 emails to MPs
targeted at the point when they were taking the vote. So this is impressive digital activism. The IT team need to be complemented
on specifically the template letter that they designed, which made it
incredibly easy for anybody to be able to trace who their MP is
and then to be able to send a letter depending on their track of voting.

So, this is digital activism in process
and was impressive. Please take a look at the
ongoing NHS campaign. The bill is now at the Lord's,
our unelected chamber, and we are applying continuing pressure
to stop the bill or at least to ameliorate and modify some of
the technical points of it. So, in short, for the UK, this has been
a fantastic case study of partnership working with leading unions
and health lobbying agencies, raising the profile of the
parliamentary processes, its weaknesses as far as
democracy is concerned, and crucially, for the NHS,
watching asset stripping in motion and where will DiEM25 UK be
placing itself in the future for a clear steer on renationalizing
and bringing the NHS back into a governance
which is not run for profit. Is that okay Mehran? [Mehran] Great! Thank you Julia
for giving us a showcase of the NHS campaign. I'm just referencing some celebrity
videos that we've received from that; from people like Russell Brand,
Stephen Fry. So please, please go check that out
if you're interested. The website address is:
https://www.yournhsneedsyou.com one word. [Mehran] Judith Meyer. [Judith] Yeah, hello. I would like to elaborate a bit more
on our digital tools.

We have the capacity at DiEM25
to develop these really specific tools for one particular campaign like
for the NHS campaign, the ability to email a random
member of the House of Lords or even one's personal MP,
integrated with their track record, specialized letter for each member
of Parliament, and so on and so on. To code this kind of tool,
but also in general, DiEM25 has been at the avant-garde of
creating its own custom tools for activists and for
our policy development. It was basically inevitable for us
to do it this way, rather than just rely on ready-made tools that often
sell activist data to the US, and that cannot really
be adapted very much. We had to do it differently
because of our need to support many languages. It's simply not possible to reach
a lot of people on the street in Europe if all the information we provide
is in English.

In DiEM, we don't just have a website
that's available in 12 languages. We also make all ongoing newsletters
and all internal democracy available In seven languages,
and we try to subtitle and translate as many videos as we can. Of course, this ongoing work
is only possible do to a large number of volunteer
translators and I think they're really amazing and a
really really good team. Since I'm the IT coordinator,
let's look a bit more closely at the tools that we use. When DiEM started out in 2010,
I did a survey of all the available tools that allow a large number of people
to securely vote in online referenda such as we wanted to have in DiEM25,
and none of the tools that I looked at were able to support referenda texts
in more than one language. They were all built for
monolingual communities, but we weren't going to be a
monolingual community.

So, at that point, having already
five years of experience as a Ruby on Rails developer, I decided
to create our own voting platform, a bespoke tool for DiEM25,
and we use this platform in order to make all major policy decisions. The principle here is a transnational,
one member, one vote. It doesn't matter
where you live. You don't have to bring
your concerns to the local level, to some local group and then
work up to the regional level and the national level until they get
heard by the international level.

Instead, we all interact directly
with each other transnationally and with the various organs
of the organization, and all members can suggest
policy issues that we should have a vote on. For example, nuclear power
is the latest one. Is it green, like the EU claims,
or is there something more? The discussion will yield one
or several proposed texts and that's after some attempts to
create some kind of consensus to bridge some of the divides. All members will cast their votes on
what our common stance should be. We do this even
for national topics. For example, DiEM25 has some
MPs in the Greek parliament and they wanted to know what
our stance should be on marijuana. So clearly, they cannot have
one stance in Greece, while the international
stance is different.

This division into national silos
is precisely what DiEM was created to avoid. Because it's the default
among so many parties and movements of the left. They cannot achieve anything
on the European or international level, because so many of their national
stances contradict each other. So all members of DiEM25,
independent of nationality, independent of country of residence,
even members outside of Europe, voted on our stance
on marijuana and then our Greek MPs represented
the stance in the Greek parliament. This is how it shall be
wherever we create parties. Of course, we cannot have
international votes on every single bill that
enters the Greek parliament. That would be way too many
and too fast, and it would also be too hard for everyone to
inform themselves adequately. It would lead to a tyranny
of those who have a lot of free time and disadvantage those who
have to work two jobs, something I didn't like
in the German Pirate Party.

It had votes, upon votes,
upon votes. Each line of each text was voted. In DiEM25, we don't have votes
every week, but we have votes on all the things that matter
like Brexit, Israel and Palestine, nuclear power and so on,
but also political alliances and endorsements must all
be approved by all member vote. We elect our leaders and
representatives in the same way. The coordinating collective is
elected transnationally through our digital platform,
with one member one vote and any member
can be a candidate. But our digital platform
is not just for voting. It was built to empower
our activists in many ways. For example, our members
can host petitions on there so we're independent of
evil companies like change.org and the like, which
only promote you, if you pay. Members can have surveys
and questionnaires. They can host and promote events. They can use the platform to
crowdfund for their local projects. They can find members nearby. They can send their own newsletters
to everyone in their city and so on. The most recent addition
to this set of tools is something we call:
'crowd editing'.

In a lot of cases, DiEM's manifesto
already provides a basic moral compass,
but the devil is in the details. So it's not enough to give
members a yes or no vote on a particular text. We want to include their ideas
in the details of the text and for this, we first had
questionnaires, calls and forum discussions. Once there is a draft, we use
a crowd editing tool in order to do the final work. So, with this tool, every member
can edit the text, just as if it was in Word
adding a sentence here, removing some words there
and then the tool creates a section by section summary
of all the all the changes that were proposed this way,
sometimes by thousands of members. Our policy team can easily
work through all of these suggested changes and produce
a final draft for voting.

If you want to experience this,
we're currently crowd editing two of the core texts
of the movement, the new Manifesto and the
updated Organizing Principles. Just log into the members area
and you should see an invitation to participate. I really think you'll like it. Now, not all of this was available
from the start, and especially in the early years, we had too few
coordinators and tools to enable everyone to
contribute to the fullest. But by now I think, there's
no other movement that has such a large array of bespoke
tools for activists. [Mehran] Thank you Judith.
Couldn't agree more.

Yanis! [Yanis] Let me cast your mind, your thought back to
the Volksbühne Theater, where, six years to this moment
we inaugurated the DiEM25. It was a momentous event,
at least for those of us who were there and for many who followed us
from home. Europe was in the midst of a
massive crisis of legitimation, economic crisis, millions and
millions of Europeans were confined to the dustbin of history. Their homes were repossessed
in Barcelona, in Athens in Ireland. An air of discontent was poisoning
the lungs of all Europeans, almost all Europeans, with the exception
of the very, very few. it was in the midst of that gigantic
manifestation of the crisis. The crisis has been ongoing,
but this was the moment when everybody felt it;
from Sweden to Portugal, from Ireland to Cyprus. DiEM25 stood up and confronted
with our manifesto, with the very transnationality
that Judith just mentioned, we confronted the lazy account
that many had of what was going on.

Remember the account was that
there was a clash between the north and the south,
the Germanies of Europe and the Greeces of Europe,
the Hollands of Europe and the Italys of Europe. And you could see the wave of
euroskepticism on the one hand and fascism, just completely
overwhelming the defenses of any progressive kind of thinking. There was a lot of lazy thinking and the worst enemy of civilization at that time,
and to this day, was this view that this was a clash
between different people, between different nationalities, between the ants of the north
and the grasshoppers of the south.

It was at that time
that our manifesto, the one that we put our
seal of approval on six years ago, at the Volksbuhne Theater, began with a completely different
narrative, a liberating narrative, a narrative of hope
and the narrative of activism. I shall read a few lines, right from the top
of the manifesto: 'For all their concerns
with global competitiveness, migration and terrorism,' (Today we would put in there,
the pandemic.) only one prospect truly terrifies
the powers of Europe – democracy! They speak in democracy's name, but only to deny, exorcise
and suppress it in practice.

For rule, by Europe's peoples
– for rule, by Europe's peoples – government by the demos,
is their nightmare.' This is how we began
and we continued: (And I think that was
an important analysis.) 'At the heart of our disintegrating
European Union, there lies a guilty deceit. A highly political top-down, opaque
decision-making process is presented as apolitical, technical,
procedural and neutral. Their purpose is to prevent Europeans
from exercising democratic control over their money, finance,
working conditions and environment.' You see, what we did six years ago today,
with our manifesto, with DiEM25. What we did was to
just stop on our tracks. As Greeks, Germans, Italians, Brits
French men and women and to realize that the bankers,
after the 2008 financial crash, were uniting across borders
to secure more bailouts: more bailouts from the weak,
from the precariate, from the proletariat, and Europe's political rulers
were conspiring. They were in cahoots with one another. The Greek ones and the Germans,
and the British ones and the French ones, they were conspiring to make the many
pay for the bailouts of the very very few.

Fascists were rearing their ugly heads
because they were the only, – if you think about it –
the only real opposition to this concentrated power
of the bourgeoisie across Europe. The left had simply disappeared, as a result of the surrender of Syriza
in the summer of 2015. And it was clear to us
that what was named: The European Party of the Left
in the European Parliament, was all over the place! They were our comrades, our friends,
but they disagreed with one another on everything! And none of them were interested in doing that which the fascists
and the bankers did which is: to transnationalize,
to internationalize, to unite across borders. This is why we created DiEM25. At first, comrades, let me remind you
that we invited all of them. We had representatives from Podemos,
of die Linke, of the French communists, the Greens, the social democrats,
the Social Democratic Party in Germany, as well as members of the Social Democratic Party in Germany who were sitting on the boards
of trade unions, like AEG Metall.

We tried to bring them all together,
to say to them: This is the moment in history when,
we have to come up with a pan-European manifesto
which is the opposite, both of the troikas, and of the fascists. They paid lip service to this. You will recall that six years ago,
we did not set up political parties. We invited political parties,
we invited trade unions. We invited all sorts of civil society
organizations, individuals, people representing their neighborhoods,
activists to join us, to put together a manifesto
for a progressive Europe. We called it
The Green New Deal for Europe. They paid lip service to them. A lot of them came around
and they contributed their ideas and we produced after
one and a half year's of very hard work, a magnificent document:
The Green New Deal for Europe.

Anybody who hasn't read it,
take a look at it. It inspires with its radicality
and its common sense and its technocratic efficiency,
all wrapped up in one. But, let me also remind those
who remember, or who knew the process at the time
and inform those who don't that, as we were moving towards 2018, a year before the European
parliament election, all those comrades and colleagues of ours,
from die Linke, from Podemos and so on, disappeared! They were not interested
in a common agenda.

Why? Because they were in
disagreement with one another,
within their own parties. In die Linke they
were completely split. Half of them wanted to leave
the euro the others didn't. They didn't want a
common European agenda. Podemos had a policy of not
having a policy on Europe, which was catastrophic. The reason why Podemos
is becoming irrelevant, is because they refused to take us up
on the offer of providing them with the machinery that was necessary to come up with a
Podemos policy on Europe.

At that point, we realized that
without a progressive left-wing, socialist, green, liberal,
in the good sense of liberal, of [inaudible] freedom, liberational
agenda for Europe, the left simply disappeared. Which is exactly what happened in
the European parliament elections. So, in the end, at the last moment
we decided: okay, we will throw caution to the wind
and we will run in the elections, and we created the European Spring, together with very small parties,
around Europe, that saw the importance
of what we were attempting.

And, we ran in seven, eight countries
under the banner of the European Spring. It was a DiEM25 initiative. In the end, we gathered around one-and-
a-half million votes which is very small, in one sense, compared to the size
of the European electorate. But on the other hand,
it's a major achievement. Think of the fact that we… I think the total budget we had, for
running the European parliament elections
was something like 60,000 euros. Less than what a candidate for a local
government election usually spends.

We spent that across Europe
and we got one-and- a-half million votes. So yes, it's a double-edged sword. It's a glass which is half full,
half empty. It was a failure and a major
success, at once. A month later, we managed to enter, with Mera25, our political party,
here in Greece, Greece's parliament. But the one message, I think,
that the last six years is sending to each one of us and to Europeans
at large, is this: Our policy of constructive disobedience
and transnationalism is the only way forward. Transnationalism,
Judth explained it perfectly. We ran in local elections,
in regional elections, national elections, in European elections,
but we ran as one across Europe.

We do not have a Greek party,
and an Italian party, and a German party. We have one movement
that has parties, in order to contest these elections and together, whether we're Germans,
Slovaks, Swedes, Irish, Brits and we care about Brexit. By the way,
small parenthesis here. We fought very hard and very well,
across Britain, against Brexit, but without falling prey to the divisions
between Remainers and Brexiteers. We were the ones, we were
the voice of reason, in that attempt to stop, on the one hand,
the Hard Remainers, the Blairites, from portraying Europe as the best thing
since sliced bread, and of the Brexiteers who wanted
to weaponize racism and nativism and Trumpism in the United Kingdom, who claimed that the European Union
was the worst thing in the world, and independent from the European Union, Britain would be the best thing
in the world.

We ran a fantastic campaign
across Britain and we played a very unifying role
after we lost the referendum. I close the parenthesis. So, transnationalism
and constructive disobedience… What does constructive disobedience mean? And, this is how I end. Constructive disobedience, means:
to say, no to the oligarchy. It means to say, no to the troika. It means to say, no to big business, to big tech, to the powers that be,
in Brussels, in Frankfurt, in Berlin, in Paris and in Athens, and so on, who are conspiring to keep
bailing out the very few, by exploiting the very, very many. To keep saying, no to them,
but at the same time, to present realistic alternatives
to what policies are being introduced.

Policies and alternatives that could
be introduced tomorrow morning, under the existing system. Not because we believe that
the existing system is reformable, but because, in order to be able to
grab the attention of apolitical people out there,
who are too desperate and too apathetic
to care about politics, because politics has been emptied
of all meaning for them. The way to grab
their attention, is to say: Look, this is what you're worried about,
you're about to lose your home, right. Your home is about to be repossessed
by some bank. You're about to lose your job. You're about to suffer badly, within
a badly funded national health service. This is what we could
do tomorrow morning. This is what would happen within
the existing structures and institutions of the European Union. It could happen, it's legal. They could do it,
but they're not doing it because they only do things
on behalf of the very, very few.

This is how to
attract their attention. We're not putting forward these proposals,
not even the Green New Deal for Europe, did we put forward, because we believed
that the power of our arguments would convince the oligarchy and Brussels
and Frankfurt and so on, to adopt it. No, we wanted to show what could be done
in order to radicalize people, by pointing out to them that
there is an alternative. Astonishingly, there is an alternative! Which the ruling class,
the united ruling class, without frontiers here in Europe,
are choosing not to adopt because they only bail out their very own. This is how you radicalize Europeans. So far, we have failed. But we succeeded in existing, in being
the candle that maintains the fire that maintains the spark so that, when the inevitable re-animation
of the crisis comes, it can catch fire. The fire of progress,
the fire of rational, radical, rebellious politics that only
DiEM25 can provide across Europe. [Mehran] Thank you, Yanis. Okay, let's open the floor now
and take a couple of questions from the chat. Well, a comment first: Huckleberry Palmer says: 'Watching this stuff
is my version of church.' Thank you for that,
Huckleberry.

And George Turner
has a question for us: 'Winning reforms is good,'
says George, 'but why waste time with elections
within oligarchic systems?' Julijana, would you like to
have a stab at responding to George? Yes, thank you, Mehran. First of all, of course,
Happy Birthday to DiEM and to its members
and to all of you and to Ivana,
especially. I think that partly Yanis
just answered the question, but I think there's a bit to add to it.

First of all, it was never
in DiEM's initial thought to have electoral wings. But, I think it comes from
the experience that if there is no party anywhere
that would take policies that change something, there is also nobody to convince
for us as a movement. There comes a thought that people still need to have a choice
in elections to choose the right thing,
over the same thing. This is, I think, a very,
very important step to take if you see that the other way
isn't working. So, I think it's an evolutionary step,
in a way. But also it's totally true
that people, many people, and especially those who suffer
the most under the system are not engaged in politics and they don't have the time
to engage in movements and parties and so on.

So their attention span for politics
is mostly active during elections and before elections, in the time period of
one or two months where they can process
what's happening. If we don't exist in this period, then we don't exist for the people. This is why it's so important
that we are engaging in local elections if we can,
and if it would make sense for us, and if we have the prospect of
helping locally with ideas that we have. I mean I will talk about it a bit later,
about also MERA25 in Germany and so on. But, this is a part of it, and the last thing
I want to add is that it's also about
empowering people locally. So, there are many examples of little changes that were made
through petitions locally. People can change something
in their area if they engage together in their community,
in solidarity. But solidarity is really rare
in these times, because everyone is so loaded
with their own problems.

So I think it's it's also a way for us
to be there as an alternative, as a party,but also to help people to understand
that there are solutions which they can choose
and we can offer and which can help them locally
or nationally and so on. [Mehran] Thanks Julijana. A quick question from Joe: 'Does DiEM25 have any plans in Norway?' Eric is doing a tour of Scandinavia now but he's just had to go
for a member meeting. Johannes perhaps? Would you like to respond? [Joahnnes] I can quickly jump in. Not very prepared for Norway. I've recently heard of a small,
exciting party that is called 'Red' or 'Rødt'
that entered parliament there.

pexels photo 5198239

A nice little example also
to look into what other little forces are doing
around the continent. For us, I think we had active
local groups in Norway before and we would be happy for everyone
watching us from Norway to join DiEM25,
reach out to us, and set up a local group,
maybe starting in Oslo, and then take it from there
as we are always doing in DiEM25: building from the ground.

Volunteer at
https://diem25.org If someone is in need of help
on how to do that, let's do it! [Mehran] Great, thanks! So, Joe, write to volunteer@diem25.org
and we can move it forward. Okay, lots of other questions
coming in, but we'll come back to them
at the end of the next section. Ivana Nenadović,
whose birthday it also is today, is going to have a few words
to close this section. Go on, Ivana! [Ivana] Thank you
and happy anniversary, and thank you for the birthday wishes, which was one of the reasons
why I paid attention when DiEM was founded
on my birthday at the theater – and I'm coming from
a theater background – and when I read the manifesto,
I thought: 'this is like somebody wrote
what I always thought!' And because I'm coming from Serbia,
a non-EU country, this gave me a perspective that if potentially by 2025, there were many DiEM parties
in EU parliament, now that would be the EU
to join, versus the dysfunctional
European Union that we have now, and this transnationality in DiEM's DNA
is something that drew me to it.

Since I was there from the beginning, first as a grassroots member
from the Belgrade local collective, and then I started to navigate
my way through DiEM's organizational
and democratic structure, I think that one of the lessons learned that we were talking about
at the beginning was that DiEM was a little bit difficult
to navigate when once you enter, and you want to to get engaged
and volunteer. So over the past year, especially,
we have simplified the ways that our members can get engaged, that can join areas of work
that are now well supported and coordinated by the pan-European team. We have amazing volunteers
that are helping us with all of translations
to European languages that we use in DiEM. People like forum moderators,
translators, graphic designers, IT team,
and so on. We are also organizing and supporting
campaigns that you can join, or you can come up with your own: some local issue that outrages you and apply for our Campaign Accelerator,
for example, and we would support your campaign.

So as our procedures to get engaged
are being simplified, we are also being or wanting to be
more active on the ground. So I would invite you all
to figure out how you can make an impact
on the ground. What is it that you can do
to help us bring the hope and vision with the compassion
that DiEM is offering. Carpe DiEM! [Mehran] Thanks Ivana! Okay, let's move to the next part
of this now where we're going to look forward, and see what's happening
over the coming year and what our goals are now.

We'll kick off with Amir Kiyaei,
our policy coordinator. Go for it Amir! [Amir] Thanks, so much Mehran. Quite inspiring already this past
hour or so of talks and looking back on
where we've come from, and how we're going to move forward
from here on. Transnational policy development is,
of course, is part of our core infrastructure
of the movement, and it provides the support towards
mobilization and organization of our members
and the general public in seeing the systematic alternatives
that do exist out there. So we are in a sense fighting
on a day-to-day basis the notion of 'there is no alternative.' So TINA does not exist. According to us,
of course. And these policy proposals
and policy documents are a composition of stances
that are developed from a grassroots point of view by the members
and of course we have some experts that create the blueprint towards
the just and radical transformation of our society.

The public has already seen our
social environmental program – the Green New Deal for Europe – as well as our proposals
to fight the technological oligopoly and loss of privacy
in our technological sovereignty papers. And adding to this.
this year will be our policies on migration, peace,
and international policy, which also deals with disarmament
and colonialism, as well as a liberating narrative
on our post-capitalist future. So do look out for that. Hopefully, if all works,
goes out according to our plans, and thousands of hours of labor
taken by our volunteers team, and that's always thanks to them
that this is all happening. But these are not the only topics
that we are working on as a policy team. These other topics include
gender, health, education, arts and culture, etc. And to get involved, members as a very first step
are encouraged to complete the short form and there'll be a link
as well coming to you thanks to Davide
and the rest of the team here. And as Erik mentioned, certain issues hold weight more at the national and regional
and municipal levels and, once again, using
a grassroots-based approach, we've developed
the People's Gathering projects.

And everyone is invited to participate
on this platform, to imagine and organize new ways
of dealing with housing shortages, local service delivery,
child welfare issues, student debt, etc. The outcomes from these gatherings
are then used to create national programs and, of course,
they inform the transnational program wherever possible. There's also link coming for you now. As Judith mentioned, we're in the midst of deciding
our stance on nuclear energy. In fact, tonight, after this call
we're hosting an internal meeting and debate on nuclear energy
and if it's green, as the European Commission
believes it to be. And as we determine our stances, it helps pave the way for
our campaign team to push for the changes that the movement has made a decision on.

Maybe that's a good segue to Dušan,
perhaps, Mehran. [Mehran] Great,
thank you, Amir. Yes, Dušan Pajović,
our campaigns coordinator. Go for it. [Dušan] Thank you both. First, let me be clear. Yes, DiEM has incredible policies,
but we are not a think tank. Yes, we have electoral wings,
but we are not a party. Before everything else,
we are a grassroots movement. That's why we need you
who are listening to this, our members, our supporters,
our comrades, to join us in our fight
to bring down European oligarchy.

We need you to join us
in the campaigning, of course, through digital activism,
but also on the streets. There are various ways in which
you can get involved and we expect you
to do that, actually! Ranging from the community work,
to leafleting, and our new concept
called DiEM's Activist Circle, all the way through
the local and international campaigning with concrete goals.

If you have something that outrages
you in your local or national community, reach out to us, and we are going to help you
to set up a campaign with our
Campaign Accelerator process. In the near future, we will do
that with our comrades in the Netherlands to form
an anti-fascist campaign and with our comrades in Portugal to form an
Anti-green Receipts campaign. As you heard twice before,
when Amir said that and when Judith said that when it comes to international
and pan-European campaigning, we are preparing something big. The European Commission wants
to claim gas and nuclear as green energy sources – and I'm deeply against that –
but we need to hear your voice and your vote.

Are we going to campaign
just against gas or against both,
nuclear and gas? That's why we are having a debate
on nuclear today after this call with our internal members
and next week on our live stream and please join us and then decide
through our All Member Vote. Bottom line: if you are truly an activist who wants
to do some grassroots work, join us and help us bring down
the oligarchy. We have monthly activist calls
on first Wednesday of the month, and campaigning calls
on the last Wednesday of the month, and I truly hope
to see you there. Also, let me just send big regards
to the members of the team that's behind me,
the campaigning team: Amir and Lucas,
who are already here, but also Antonia, Defne,
and Michal.

We definitely couldn't have done this
without them and without our volunteers, who appear on regular calls like
Zoe, Hugo, George, and many others. Sorry for those who I didn't name. We don't have time for that,
but we are with you in our hearts! Happy anniversary all
and Ivana Happy Birthday once again! [Mehran] Thanks Dušan! Julijana, our
German electoral bid on what we're going to be up to.

[Julijana] Yes, thank you. So the the party in Germany
is MERA25, founded since last November. But it actually wasn't the first party
in Germany because we already participated in the European elections, 2019. And Yanis has already explained
that we had the European Spring back then, but now this is a completely
new chapter. And, of course, after three months
there is still a foundation that needs to be built. I think we've almost finished that, but there are still structures
that we need to build. We are well welcoming new members
every month, slowly but surely. I'm very excited because I think the really important news
for everyone is that we all see that once people
get in contact with us, once they they see content
from us, or they meet us on the street, most people are very, very positive.

Of course, there's always
this question of: 'Does it really make sense?' Because small parties have little chances. But I think that with a lot of motivation
we can convince other people and we can convince
also each other and ourselves that there has to be a way where
we can start to change something and that's what democracy is for. So, if I'm not able to change something
in the area I live, then there's something wrong. And we know that in DiEM as well. That's why DiEM exists, is that democracy at this point
doesn't work well for the many. And so it's really about
getting the power back and empowering people
who join the party.

This is, I think,
as a group, we decided that we want this
to be our DNA, to be a party about having
a great program and great policies, but not being disconnected
from the reason why we exist and from the reason
why these policies exist. So now, for us, the biggest task
is really to to get to people who are really tired of politics and who don't believe
either in movements or in elections, who think we are just doomed
to suffer forever. And it's a lot of work that has much
more to do with being a human being and understanding that
there are ways where we can fight for our own struggle. Which is also a big part of
what we're trying to do with our first little campaign
in Northern Westphalia.

In the next weeks we're trying
to really find local issues where we can help
also to change something locally with the people
that have the issues and not just, you know,
as Dušan said, we are not a think tank that just thinks we know better
what's what's good for the people locally, but we're really trying to find ways
to make it possible for people to join the party,
to be candidates, and to fight for their own struggle. So, ideally, we invite everyone,
of course, in DiEM, but also to join the electoral structures
and to not be scared of it. None of us are professional politicians. What we all want in the party
is to really to have the foot in the door to be able to show that there are people
who care about what's going wrong, especially in Germany,
politically. And this will be a huge task for us, is to convince people much more
than to build the structures.

Of course, we are not very resourceful,
we are very small. Also an area where we need
lots of help and also part of why we at some point
need to win at small elections is also our financial reasons, to be able to build the party, to be able to include many more people, and to build a party
that is democratic and that it's not top-down, and not just, you know,
any other party that exists out there, who's just led by a few people and the rest is just doing
what gets produced top-down.

It's a slow process but hopefully
we have a few campaigns that we are preparing this year and it's really about getting
to know people. It's really about spreading
the message that MERA25 is also existing in Germany, and that people have a vehicle
if they're interested to get active politically. And, if also for them,
there isn't any other party out there that is of interest. I mean it's safe to say for me, still after three or four years
after I joined, I would still join DiEM25. This is still the only option
for me out there. The only organization I believe
has the right tools and the right mindset to really
change something, because I think European identity
is something that's missing all over the place in Europe. Many people are very much
about their own country, very much about their own little universe, but we have many common struggles and with the electoral wings
– on the pan European level – we're trying to identify
the common struggles, but we also have different struggles. This is what we as MERA25
are doing, is to identify also
the individual struggles and to bring that all together.

This is what we're trying
to explain to people out there and to give them hope. I can say that I have the feeling
that we are reaching that goal already from the reactions of people
who get to know us. Also to add: We have good news on the side
that we will have a third MERA25, hopefully very very soon. We will have an election
for a coordination team in Italy. Italy has done a lot of work
in the past years to build towards having a party, and I think we're very close
to the goal, and now it's really
about wrapping up what comrades have already done
amazingly in Italy. Then we have also
their own electoral wing and then it's about building up
also in Italy. I don't know how many
electrical wings we will have in the next few years, but I think there's three now,
we have a lot of work, and I'm very excited
and I'm happy to see new members joining every day.

Hopefully, next year we will have
even more news to share! [Mehran] Thanks Julijana! And for anyone who's confused
with the acronyms and buzzwords that are flying around,
if you're new to all this: MERA25 is the name of
what we call our 'electoral wings.' In other words, our electoral structures
that become parties as they have in Greece. After the Italian party is founded we will have three: in Greece,
in Germany and in Italy. And if you are in Germany, especially,
and like what you hear and looking for a political home
and think that this could be it, then please get to mera25.de
and sign up. If you'd like to be a candidate
or be involved in making that party
a success. Okay, next we've got David Adler
from our sister organization, the Progressive International.

But, David,
are you in India at the moment? [David] I am it's 11.40 p.m,
and I'm tuning in, and I'm delighted to be here
in part because, as you will remember, as Luis will remember in particular, I think my first assignment for DiEM 25
was writing up accomplishments and prospects at our
Two Year Anniversary, so it feels relevant to be tuning in four
years later, on this momentous occasion – and I celebrate you all in all the parts
of the continent and beyond for the many accomplishments
in the electoral wings, and building the movement, and seeing
The Green New Deal for Europe flourish. It was, of course, not long after the
celebration of that two year anniversary that Yanis and I found ourselves
in the bitter cold of a November night in Vermont, huddling up and thinking
together about, how in the world, we were going to move from the ambition
of organizing a transnational movement, a transnational party, to building a global
movement and a global infrastructure, to facilitate transformation,
democratization at the global scale.

And yet, in the time since,
in those three and a half years, we've seen the Progressive International
flourish alongside DiEM25, moving from just a crazy idea
to over 120 members, representing over 200 million people
around the world, with a tremendous advisory council
of 80 intellectuals, political figures, representatives, trade unionists, who represent incredible movements
and parties, trade unions across all continents around the world. I think, we've done so many
exciting things together in the past, whether that's defending
Julian Assange, whether that's launching
shared delegations to observe court in a horrendous
political persecution in Erdogan's Turkey, to ensuring of free and fair elections
across Latin America. It's that work that we're taking
into this new year, 2022, together, where we have a lot of
exciting work between DiEM25 and
Progressive International. Campaigns that we'll be rolling out
in the coming days and weeks, I don't want to
get ahead of ourselves, but campaigns that are deeply relevant
to some of the core priorities in DiEM25, whether that's defending
the rights of refugees and ending the genocide
on the Mediterranean, to ensuring that these issues
of democratization and authoritarianism inside the European Union
are confronted head on.

Not solely from inside the Brussels bubble
but by people across the continent, with the support of so many millions
around the world. So, I feel very lucky and fortunate
myself and very proud of what we've built together. We're very excited about what DiEM
represents around the world. In part of my capacity working
as general coordinator of the PI, I have a chance to be here in India
and other places around the world, where I get asked really often about,
what is DiEM and how they can learn from this really innovative
transnational movement. So many of these actors we work with
have deep experience, organizing at local levels,
at state levels and national levels, but there's deep inexperience
and a kind of fear of what it might mean, to go beyond the nation state,
to think courageously, to build a kind of internationalist vision
and plan of action that come so naturally to this incredible group here
in the CC and all the people who are watching
on our live stream.

So I think I'm here to transmit
the admiration and the hope of so many people around the world
who look at DiEM as an example, of what it might mean to to break free
from traditional shackles of political organizing and think
beyond the nation state, the scale at which we confront our crises, but also, to express them from
a personal capacity and, on behalf of Progressive International,
a real excitement, about the work that we can do,
that we need to do. Not only in Europe,
in the shared campaigns that we're planning to launch
in the coming weeks and days, but also, the importance of your
solidarities and DiEM's courage in standing up for the causes that
are important to our members, our partners, our allies and friends
in the global south, for whom, your tweets and statements,
banners and marches are really critical and mean a lot in their daily lives
and as well, to the struggles that are important in their parliaments
and on their streets.

So with that, I thank you personally
and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you all in,
not only inside DiEM25, but as a sister organization,
as Mehran mentioned, and express my
profound enthusiasm and excitement for
the days and weeks ahead when I think we'll be rolling out stuff
that is exciting for all DiEM25 members and a real opportunity to get even
more involved in the work of the PI as friends and members of both
of these sister organizations. So, congratulations on
the sixth anniversary and Carpe Diem! [Mehran] Thanks David
and if you're interested in the
Progressive International check it out:
https://progressive.international is the website address. Let's take some questions
from the chat now Arctic Taz has a question: 'I love the idea that art can be
an important part of activism, but how you do art that is
radically democratic?' Who would like to speak to this question? Perhaps someone who's connected
to DiEMVoice or meta to talk about how DiEM25
merges art and activism? Perhaps, no? Should I start
calling on people, Maja? Would you like to speak about that? [Maja] Yes, I would happily
speak a little bit, I'll be short.

Well, a good thing that happened
when we met when we had this Collective Coordination
meeting in Athens with the meta team, is that we decided, because DiEMVoice
was an arts and culture program, that focused on bringing arts
and politics together and we had a show called DiEMVoice
which has been running now, for I think a year, I'm not a good but Kit can maybe
tell me if it was longer than a year and we had a lot of interesting guests,
and now our vision is that meta would be in a way
as all the other things in DiEM, It would be transnational,
so we would have a program concerning arts and cultures
'artivism', as we like to call it, which would of course,
have their own little, as we can say, the parties will have
parts of it in their countries, but in the end it will be a thing
that will be international and during the next few months
we will do a merging of meta and Voice.

We will introduce a new show
which will be at the end of this month or the beginning of the next month,
where we will talk more about it, we will have a lot of
interesting programs, of course and maybe about meta
maybe Kit can say something more about the whole project?
No? Okay. Well, I think this can be enough
for the beginning, but we will talk a little bit more on our first meta show
which will be on, and you will, of course,
all be informed about it. [Mehran] Thanks Maja. Another question:
'Even if DiEM gets in office, the system has perfected
the art of neutralization. Why not focus on direct action,
strikes, building existing alternatives?' I think that's what we're doing,
but perhaps Dušan you want to take this,
campaign coordinator? [Dušan] Absolutely, Yeah,
the thing is that we see Electoral Wings only as one of our tools,
it's not THE tool that we are using. We will do all of the other actions
that you expect from us and we expect from our members.

So: civil disobedience, direct action,
people's assemblies, pressure campaigns and electoral fights. One doesn't go without the other. Of course, for that we need members,
as I said in my speech before. So, if you are willing to do such actions,
please join us and directly contact me and we will think of something. We are in the process of really developing our strategy and tactics
for effective activism. That counts civil disobedience and
that counts pressure campaign as well. We are closely collaborating between
the movement part of our movement of DiEM25
and our wings: MERA's.

So we are in some kind of synergy
going to produce the best result we can get. [Mehran] Thank you Dusan,
hope that answered your question. Oh okay! This is a bit,
this one's a bit technical. But why not? Let's go there,
It's our birthday! Skordo: 'Does DiEM25 embrace MMT
as an economic theoretical frame to support its political proposals? It's a reference there
to Modern Monetary Theory, a controversial school of thought. I can't think of anyone better
than Yanis to to answer this. Perhaps you'd like to take a stab at it. [Yanis] Happily man,
my answer to our friend is: I consider myself to be MMT friendly,
if you know what that means, It means that I sympathize a lot with some of their understanding of money.

We share the same understanding of money,
but MMT is very American-centric and it can't be anything other
than American-centric. It concerns only economies
where you have the exorbitant privilege of the American dollar,
which you can print without any concern regarding bankruptcy. I come from a place, Europe, where
we have given up on our central banks and we have a central bank in Frankfurt that has absolutely no correspondence
with any state. There is no such thing
as a Eurozone state. So to answer a technical question
politically and philosophically we are eclectic, we take the best
from Karl Marx from Keynes from MMT. We even borrow some of the good ideas
of libertarians like Hayek, and we press all these ideas
into the service of the many. [Mehran] Thanks Yanis. Okay, let me hand it over to Johannes
who wanted to say a couple of quick words.
Johannes? [Johannes] Yes, I very quickly wanted
to remind us all of the beginning of this call where
our members voiced their hopes and thoughts
for what's to come for DiEM25 and 2022, and to remind everyone
that you can also become a member like one of those members
and fight for our goals together.

For example, Michaela, was mentioning
that the fight for the rights, so hard won by the older generations,
should now be taken on by the younger generation. Ismail was speaking about
the democracy in the workplaces, David about decent housing
and workers rights. Valeria was speaking
about the systemic solution to bring all these things together
in one big proposal, which DiEM was always also about:
to not think about one single issue, although of course we care very much but to bring them together
in one common program, and then finally, Gabrielle
who was wishing that we were going to be
more rebellious every day and Federico who was saying
that we should come face to face with our opponents. I think those were some
really inspiring messages and those members have joined DiEM25,
and so can you on DiEM25.org/join and also our movement is
completely funded by our members and small donations from everyone.

So also a small donation can
make a difference. DiEM25.org/donate Sometimes we have to remind everyone
since money is very important, also to bring forward our causes, and it would be even helpful,
very helpful for us if someone can chip in like a
five euro donation a month, it already brings us forwards a lot.
Thank you. [Mehran] Thank you, Johannes. Yanis, If I can bring you back in
to say some closing words, these calls normally
last an hour, we've gone over
because it's a special birthday call but yeah, the floor is yours. [Yanis] Well thanks Mehran and thank you
for chairing so brilliantly, not just this meeting, but all the other,
the previous ones. A big thanks to everybody watching,
to our members, to our activists, who are
organizers over the years. The task has been enormous and you
have been magnificent in pursuing it. I will also like Johannes, encourage
those who think that what DiEM25 is striving for matters, to contribute. To contribute their work, their ideas,
but also financially, because we are a movement that accepts
euros, dollars, cents and so on from none of the enemies of the majority,
from the oligarchs.

It's only from our members. So pitch in, join in
and have some fun with us, because it's been fun, it's been hard,
but it's been fun over the last six years. Now Mehran, let me wrap up by
reminding everyone of this slogan with which we launched
six years ago tonight, DiEM25. You'll recall the slogan was: 'Europe will either be democratized
or it will disintegrate.' Democracy for us was important
because it has been so so depleted as a meaning,
as a word. The whole point about democracy
is a government by the poor, because the poor are the majority
and we've had exactly the opposite. We've had oligarchy
with periodic elections.

So when we were talking about democracy,
we're not doing it in the way that Joe Biden does and the way
that Von der Leyen or Angela Merkel or Mario Draghi does. We meant democracy as a radical project. A radical project that has
never ever been realized and which is furthest away than
almost ever at the moment. Europe was in the clasps
of a major crisis of its own making, of the making of its own ruling class,
a crisis that continues to this very day, worsening and
manifesting itself in a variety of ways. The pandemic is going to be
a footnote in the history of Europe folks, it's going to be forgotten, but the crisis
that gave rise to DiEM25 is continuing
and will continue to continue. Our new manifesto, which is in the making,
must have a different slogan. The one that the CC is proposing is that: 'Europe will be democratized once
this oligarchy is overthrown.' It's already disintegrated.
We can see that. We used to have a
north – south divide. Now we have a
west – east divide, with divisions everywhere
within our own countries.

The important juxtaposition is between
democracy and the oligarchy. The oligarchy has been getting stronger. The fact that the left has completely
disappeared from the scene, the Greens have become brown. DiEM25 is here as a candle, but we have not lit up Europe yet. We have not succeeded in doing that. This is the sign of
the oligarchy's success, which of course means the success
of the bankers on the one hand, the fascists on the other. It's our responsibility,
has been from day one, to forge a transnational alliance
across Europe and beyond – the Progressive International – that
can potentially overthrow the oligarchy so to democratize Europe
we have to overthrow the oligarchy. The crisis is a crisis of the oligarchy
which the oligarchy weaponizes in order to enhance its own power,
extractive power over nature and over society. The European Central Bank
at the moment is the only thing that
keeps Europe together.

But it is a machine that simply cannot
provide European oligarchic capitalism, which I call techno feudalism,
doesn't really matter what we call it. It cannot provide it with the demand
for the goods and services that it could produce. You cannot provide it
with the investment in the things that Europe needs
either green energy or good quality jobs. It is simply a continent
that is falling behind China. It is falling behind the United States. The crisis that gave rise to DiEM25; don't let anyone tell you
that it is subsiding. It is getting worse and the result is
a combination of post-democracy
and post-fascism. I think that Italy
is a fantastic example. Look at Italy, Italy has a prime minister
that is simultaneously the most popular prime minister
in the history of Italy and somebody who, if he stood as prime minister tomorrow,
would not be elected. This is a contradiction that captures
the meaning of post democracy. In Germany, we have a new government
that is already unpopular.

Angela Merkel at least was a leader
with a certain degree of authority. Europe is completely leaderless. The only thing that leads Europe now
is the interest of an oligarchy whose interests are in complete opposition
to the viability of the European Union to the viability of European markets,
European societies, European communities. This is what we need to do. A Green New Deal for Europe was
indeed a fantastic program for transition. It would not save Europe,
it would be a stepping stone towards a progressive agenda,
towards a post capitalism We already live in post capitalist times. This what we have now
is really not capitalism, it depends on state money,
European Central Bank money and on platforms that have taken over
the markets like Amazon and so on, Deliveroo and Precariat, and all that,
so we already in post capitalism. The question is: can we present the world
with two projects, two plans, one: what we are striving for,
what kind of decentralized, post-capitalist cooperative participatory
economies we want, – because without democratizing
the economic grail, the workplace, there will be no democracy –
and a second plan for how to get there.

The Green New Deal
is a plan for getting there. It is not the plan for saving capitalism so that we can have more
capitalist crisis like the ones
that have jeopardized society and nature. Now, to do this,
DiEM25 is going to be very flexible. You can see that in countries
like the United Kingdom we're not setting up a political party,
but DiEM25 is bringing together progressives from within the Labour Party,
the ones who survive this awful leadership of Keir Starmer, with Labour members
that left the party, people who were never
in the Labour Party, the Green Party, socialists, ecologists,
feminists and so on. We are doing a remarkable job,
and Julia mentioned before the 'save the National
Health Service campaign'. Where we need to operate as a movement,
we shall operate only as a movement like in the United Kingdom. In other places, like Germany,
Greece, Italy, we are setting up political parties. In Greece we are very advanced in this. In Germany, we are advanced. in Italy we are getting there. These are the different tools
within our toolkit for creating an agenda,
both for the transition, – the Green New Deal –
and where the transition must lead to a kind of – let me put it this way,-
a liberal in the good sense of the word.

Liberal in the sense of freedom
combining freedom with sustainability, a green high investment in technologies
that liberate and not simply are used
for the purposes of creating very, very rich people
that are surveying everybody else. A kind of liberal, green socialism,
communism, call it what what you may. This must be our plan. We haven't developed it. We have developed a Green New Deal. We need to develop a plan for a seriously progressive, radical,
and rebellious, post capitalism. And remember comrades,
traditional parties of the left, the ones that exist today. Traditional green parties, especially
the ones who are in government in Germany, limit themselves to tampering with
the prevailing of the oligarchic system. The same way:
'we will make some improvements here and some improvements there
give a little bit more money to the pensioners here,
a little bit more money to the national health service.

But these formerly radical parties
– because they used to be radical parties – Even the German Greens were
a radical party once upon a time they are no longer there. Today these parties make a virtue
of avoiding grand visions like the one that I just referred to. The idea of a progressive, democratized
economic space, post capitalism. And they concentrate instead on providing,
of proving of offering themselves to the oligarchy
as better managers of the oligarchy.

Before they get into government,
you know what they need to do? They need to convince the oligarchy
that they are no threat to the oligarchy. DiEM25 we are not in this business. We are going to be the nightmare
of the oligarchy! So Carpe DiEM. [Mehran] Thank you Yanis. If you'd like to join us and be part
of the nightmare of the oligarchy, 'join us to be part of a nightmare',
that doesn't sound great, let's reframe: if you'd like to enjoy [Yanis] …It sounds pretty good to me, anything that gives the oligarchy
and the fascists a nightmare… It's a dream: it's a dream for humanity! [Mehran] Okay, if you'd like to join us
and be part of the… the nightmare and
the other side of the coin, the dream. Please join us,
DiEM25.org/join is the address and once again,
as Johannes and Yanis said, we're not in the pocket
of a shadowy group of oligarchs, we answer to no one, but our members
who fund us a hundred percent.

We're 100 percent funded by small donors, people giving us five euros a month
and upwards. So if you can't get involved, then please
help us that way, it goes a long way. The address in that case is
DiEM25.org/donate So we're going to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us. You guys out there and for all
your comments and questions. The next call will be on the 15th,
so that's next Tuesday, we'll be back to our Tuesday evening
schedule at 6 p.m. CET, where we'll be talking
about nuclear energy. Until then take care and
Carpe DiEM!.

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