Translation: Karen Smith
On the basis of modern Matriarchal Studies, we can develop the vision of a new matriarchal, egalitarian form of society. This is called “Matriarchal Politics”.
The path to such a society has to combine matriarchal spirituality with politics, to create another kind of economy and another society. How this can be achieved is clearly portrayed by traditional matriarchal societies. Their economy, politics, social life and spirituality are inseparably connected, to provide a good life for all – this is assured through their structure and conventions.
Of course, we can not go back and simply transfer historical patterns to the present. For example, the blood-relatedness of the clans or the sole dependence on agriculture. History and its social development can not be turned backwards. But for our own path into the new matriarchal, egalitarian society, we can gain much stimulation and great insights from these patterns which have been tried and tested for millennia.
Economically, we have arrived at a position where it is no longer possible to further increase large scale industrial production and Western living standard, without running the risk of totally annihilating the biosphere of the earth. A way out of this is subsistence-perspective, a style of economy for local and regional units. They work independently and self-sufficient, and the resulting quality of life is more important than producing a great quantity of goods. It is important to support the still existing subsistence economies the world over. Women are the main carriers of these economic structures and their societies. They need to be supported and helped to expand, rather then allow them to be sacrificed to the global market. This regionalisation, for the sake of women, is a matriarchal principle.
On the social level, it is important to rid ourselves of the successive “atomisation” of society. It drives people deeper and deeper into desperation and loneliness, making them ill and destructive, providing fertile ground for violence and war. What is necessary is the creation of affinity groups or “siblings by choice”, be they intentional communities of different kinds, neighbourhood associations or regional networks. These affinity groups do not merely form interest groups, which are quickly created, but also quickly disbanded. These groups are formed on the basis of a spiritual-philosophical rapport of its members. This is the basis for creating a symbolic clan. Here far more commitment is present than in a mere interest group.
As a matriarchal principle, such symbolic clans are generally initiated, borne by and directed by women. Right now women can instigate this, and many have already done so. The decisive factor are the needs of women and children, which are the future of humanity. Not men’s desires for power and dominion which have led to patriarchal extended families and political men’s clubs and associations which have contributed to oppression and exclusion of women. The new matri-clans, however, integrate men fully but according to a matriarchal set of values, which are based on mutual care and love instead of power. Men have a better life in this kind of society than in patriarchy. It would be a political aim to support the creation of such communities in every possible way.
On the level of political decision making, the matriarchal consensus principle is of utmost importance to reach a truly egalitarian society. This can be practiced in the here and now and everywhere. The consensus principle is the primary impulse for building matriarchal communities. At the same time, it prevents fractions, sub-groups or individuals from dominating the group. It brings about a balance between the genders and also the generations, for adolescence and older people have the same standing as everybody else. Furthermore, consensus is the genuine democratic principle, for it provides what formal democracy promises, but never delivers.
Following this principle, the small units of these new matri-clans are the true decision-makers, but this can only be practiced to the size of regions. According to the subsistence perspective, flourishing and self-sufficient regions are the political aim – not the big nation states, state unions and super powers which are merely serving to increase the power of the powerful and reduce individuals to “human resources”.
On the spiritual-cultural level, we are bound to bid farewell to all hierarchical religions with a transcendent view of the divine and a claim to the total truth. This has led to the vilification of creation, the environment, humankind and in particular that of women. Instead of this, the aim is a re-enchantment and sanctification of the world as a whole. For according to matriarchal values, everything in the world is divine. This leads to everything being honoured and celebrated in a free and creative way – nature in her manifold appearances and various beings, and the organisation of the human community. This happens by celebrating the women at one time, at another the men, another the young people, and another the older people. Celebrating them and honouring their special skills and abilities and their “dignities”.
Every step we take towards this aim of creating a new matriarchal, egalitarian society is worthy of a celebration. For each one of these steps is an act in the creation of a new her-story, which could provide an example of how all of humanity could live a happier life.
In this way, matriarchal spirituality can once again pervade everything and thus become a normal part of everyday life. At the same time, what again becomes apparent is matriarchal tolerance, for nobody has to “believe” anything. There is no dogma and no teaching, but the continuous, manifold celebration of life and the visible world.
(See Declaration on Matriarchal Politics at the Second World Congress on Matriarchal Studies, USA 2005, PDF)
Read more in:
The Way to an Egalitarian Society. Principles and Practice of Matriarchal Politics
Edition Hagia 2007, it can be ordered at Academy HAGIA.