Centre of the Continent

Thoughts from the middle of North America

Archive for October, 2011

Occupy This …

OK 99%.  Get your act together, organize and actually do something already.

Occupations are cute, get great news coverage and are a great start but will actually change nothing.  All great movements started somewhere and evolved or died.  Guerrilla warriors are sometimes necessary but in the end there needs to be an organization to continue on with the work within the system. Lamenting that the system is broken and that you refuse to be a part of it are destined always to be on the outside looking in and to ultimately fail.

Contrary to popular belief, politics is not about money, It’s about votes. Money can procure votes but doesn’t have to.  I’m not in a fantasy land and I don’t believe that you can run a campaign with no money but you certainly can on a budget. I understand that the Occupy movement has collected well over $300,000 and so that begs the question — What to do with the new found wealth?  New tent’s perhaps? Lawyer’s fees? (Well, maybe keep some aside for that.) No. This will not affect any change.  Either join a political party you can live with and work with or create your own. Be the change in the world you wish to be, remember? Even Gandhi ended his hunger strike and began to work with the system that he had been fighting against. Be the change in the political structure that you claim to want. Systems and organizations are ultimately the sum of the people within them. I am a member of a political party. Those who know me at all or have read any of my other writings know what that party is but in my illustration it does not matter. Do I agree with every position and policy that my party puts forward? I do not but as a member I have an opportunity to make sure that my beliefs are a part of the overall make up of the party’s conscience.

We live in a society where we are allowed to voice our opinions. We are allowed to disagree loudly with the establishment and for all of the arrests and controls, we ultimately have the freedom to demand change. Yes there are abuses of power and bad things happen occationally to dissenters but here in this country (and our cousins’ to the south) the economic rebels will still be alive to disrupt the lives of the wealthy again — or at least try to. I doubt that any occupier will be whisked away in a dark van to some secret gulag, never to be heard from again. Rebellion in the west is pretty safe and tame compared to the truly oppressed in the world. I am in no way minimizing the plight of the economically marginalized majority in our society. The Occupy movement has legitimate complaints and has not only the right but the moral obligation to speak. I’m just saying they can at least be assure the worst that will the oppressors will be able to legally do to them is have them moved and perhaps charged with a relatively minor charge — trespassing, loitering, &c.

So again I say — Do something.

Pack up your tents. Turn you clever signs into an intelligent conversation. Fight the establishment by taking it over from within.  The Prime Minister has one vote. The CEO of the biggest company you can think of has one vote. That frustrated police officer that lost his temper with you last night, one vote. You have one vote.

If you really are the 99%. That’s a whole bunch of political power.

Use it.