Non-governmental organization

organization independent of any government, usually created to aid those in need

Organizations which are independent of government involvement are known as non-governmental organizations or NGOs or non-government organizations.

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  • Going into this system means you cannot be against it. It's good to keep a non-governmental free organisation without money from the government, and without having to play the political games. Just to be free and to have the possibility to discuss and control each decision of the political system from the streets... It's the best and most powerful place to be.
  • While some NGOs may be quite involved with and appreciated by the people whom they purport to serve, ultimately NGOs, by their very nature, derive not only their sustenance but also their legitimacy from the donor-community. In the current international conjuncture, even political elites located in the state or political parties seek legitimacy from so-called ‘development-partners’, rather than from their own people. Not surprisingly, there is a fair amount of circulation of the elite between government and non-governmental sectors.
  • NGO activism is presented and based on the ‘act now, think later’ mantra. Theory, and particularly grand theory, is dismissed as academicism, unworthy of activists. Yet, we know, that every practice gives rise to theory and that every action is based on some theoretical or philosophical premise or outlook. NGO action is also based on certain theoretical premises and philosophical outlooks. In their case however, theory is written off as ‘common sense’ and therefore not interrogated. [...] The ‘common sense’ theoretical assumption of the current period underpinning NGO roles and actions is neoliberalism in the interest of global imperialism. It is fundamentally contrary to the interests of the large majority of the people.
  • The separation between politics and economics, between state and civil society is how the bourgeois society appears and presents itself. But it is not its real essence. In reality, politics is the quintessence, or the concentrated form of economics. The political sphere is built on the sphere of production, and there is a close relationship between those who command production and those who wield power. Yet the NGO sector, which according to its own proclamations stands for change, accepts the ideological myth that it is the third sector: non-political, not-for-profit, having nothing to do with power or production. This bourgeois mythology mystifies the reality of capitalist production and power, thus contributing to its legitimisation. NGOs by accepting the myth of being non-political contribute to the process of mystification, and therefore objectively side with the status quo, contrary to their expressed stand for change.

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