The Occupy Wall Street Movement

This is a goal the power elite cannot comprehend. They cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered. What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished.
– from Why the Elites are in Trouble, Grist Magazine.

I usually don’t write about politics, or really anything else than my own process (!), these days, but this one is too important to ignore. If our civilization is to survive and thrive, we need to restructure our society at all levels so what’s easy and attractive in the short term is life-sustaining in the long run (benefits ourselves, our families, society, ecosystems, and future generations). Removing power (especially political power) from corporations, and giving them a radically different context (laws, regulations, taxes, incentives) to operate within, is an essential piece.

World News: Occupy Wall Street
The Guardian

In Depth Spotlight: Occupy Wall Street
Al Jazeera

America’s Primal Scream
Nicolas Krystof : “It’S fascinating that many Americans intuitively understood the outrage and frustration that drove Egyptians to protest at Tahrir Square, but don’t comprehend similar resentments that drive disgruntled fellow citizens to ‘occupy Wall Street.'”

Demise of Crony Capitalism
Ravi Batra: “In 1978, to the laughter of many and the derision of a few, I wrote a book called, “The Downfall of Capitalism and Communism,” which predicted that Soviet communism would vanish around the end of the century, whereas crony or monopoly capitalism would create the worst-ever concentration of wealth in its history, so much so that a social revolution would start its demise around 2010.”

Protesters Against Wall Street
Editorial, New York Times. “The message — and the solutions — should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.”

Something’s Happening Here
Thomas Friedman: “When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all part of “The Big Shift.” You decide. ”

Confronting the Malefactors
Paul Krugman:  “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear, but we may, at long last, be seeing the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people.”

Panic of the Plutocrats
Paul Krugman: It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.”

Where the 99 Percent Get their Power
Sarah van Gelder:  “Powerful movements build not on a laundry list of policy demands, but on principles and values…. Powerful movements create their own spaces where they can shift the debate, and the culture, to one that better serves. That’s why showing up in person at the occupy sites is so critical to this movement’s success. In hundreds of communities around North America, people are showing up to make a statement and to listen to each other. They are also teaching one another to facilitate meetings, to take nonviolent direct action, to make their own media. They are taking care of each other, gathering food supplies, blankets, and clothes that can allow people to remain outdoors even as the weather gets wetter and colder.”

Ambiguous UpSparkles From the Heart of the Park
Eve Ensler

Occupying Wall Street: What Went Right?
J.A. Myerson: “Of all the criticisms being hurled at Occupy Wall Street, the most substantively interesting is the issue of scale. How large can the living-society portion of the occupation grow, dependent as it is on a reasonably small living space and an inspiringly simple if limited amplification system? Questions like this are worth pondering, and I’ll be taking some of them up here at Truthout in the coming weeks, but let us pause for a moment to consider how astonishing it is that this is a concern at all.”

Note:

Turnaround

We need to restructure our society at all levels so what’s easy and attractive in the short term is life-sustaining in the long run.

T: I need to restructure myself at all levels so what’s easy and attractive (in the short term) is life sustaining (in the long run).

Examples: Notice when I get caught up in a belief, notice how it constricts life, inquire and live from the turnarounds. Be more authentic with myself and others.

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If our civilization is to survive, we need a thorough restructuring at all levels – from lifestyle to how we organize ourselves as a society in terms of food, energy, transportation, money and politics. We need to create a political system for and by the people (as it largely is here in Scandinavia), an economic system that is aligned with ecological realities and social justice, and corporations that serve the Earth and future/present generations as much as they serve any shareholders. We need to restructure our society so what’s easy and attractive to do is aligned with the big picture realities and benefits ourselves, the larger whole and future generations. The Occupy Wall Street movement is one small piece of what’s needed to create this shift. I won’t go into details here, but there are many examples that this is possible, and it is what almost everyone wants (everyone if they were more clear). The way we organize ourselves will always change, it will be diverse across cultures and geographic areas, it will come from an interplay of necessity and desire. And we will need to align ourselves with the big picture ecological realities in a far more intentional way than we have so far.

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