Taking action to change social circumstances, usually in an organized way.
By putting our ideas into practice, taking control of our lives, and learning to trust and be trusted in the important heat of the moment, direct action can help us actually start building the new society in the shell of the old. Direct action is central to confidence, which is essential to creating the culture of resistance, which is at the core of the new society we are building totally independently of the existing capitalist order. Solidarity, the idea that only through co-operation in society can human beings be liberated and free, is given practical meaning in direct action.
Through every direct action, people demonstrate to themselves that they are not merely dispensable wage slaves, working class cannon fodder or beasts of burden with little intellect. They gain confidence in their abilities, gain a sense of their own worth, and in so doing become more acutely aware of their own oppression and the need for an alternative to capitalism.
By changing the immediate irritant, direct action adherents avoid confrontation with the complex underlying causes of social injustice and suffering.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.