Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy's Declaration of Independence

Illustration by Peter Whitley
There's one thing I would really, really love to see under the tree this year -- under everyone's tree: Occupy the World.

For the first time in history, it seems that there might be enough momentum, enough communication, enough strength of individual convictions, and enough mass support to be able to have a world-wide, non-violent, revolution.

Taking the US as an example in this beautiful hope: imagine 2 or 3 million people showing up on the lawns of the US law-making machinery in Washington, D.C., issuing their declaration of independence and simply stating a fact: "Things are now going to change, we will not leave until we have the government that we want."

Far from mob rule, the 99 is intelligent, lucid, and a collection of THE overwhelming majority... regardless of old political parties. An enormous amount of discussion, insightful inspection, exploration of alternatives has been researched, written about, and promoted over the past 5 to 10 years, co-culminating in what we see around us today as the Occupy movement. I have the utmost faith in these thinkers (by which I mean everyone from Gar Alperovitz to my second cousins working in Detroit, MI automotive plants) and their (our!) ability to produce a new constitution that provides for the 99 fairly. Such a new system would stand in stark contrast to that of today's system: one that caters to policies driven by enormous, "legal" bribes or banking systems that continuously steal from the customers and shareholders, running off with the loot.

The 99 is saying it, and has been saying it for a while: "It's time for a change."

They've taken things further by showing an undeniable presence at the scenes of crimes (financial and governmental institutions). I say let's take the last logical step, and fix the problem: let's put a new system of government in place. Let's have radical, peaceful change. Let's do it with poise, grace, and while keeping the benefit of the entire planet foremost in our minds. Let's do it world-wide, and not stop until the job is done. Let's have a revolution.

Let's have the revolution.


Anonymous said...

I too support the Occupy movement, but I would say that the push for a world different from the kind of anti-democratic global capitalism we have today has been going on not for 5-10 years, but for at least 160 years or so. (I'm referencing here the intellectual legacy of Marxist socialism, which was misinterpreted and abused by a lot of thugs throughout the 20th century, but which I don't think has been exhausted.) I guess I'm just interested in more specifics about what you would like to see in that new constitution. For instance, I'd like it to include a guaranteed living wage, the (global) public ownership of investment capital, the end to alienated labor through the replacement of corporations with decentralized worker-run cooperatives, and the establishment of participatory global democracy. But I'm not sure how many people engaged in these occupations are thinking along these lines.

Duncan McGreggor said...

@spectralcat "But I'm not sure how many people engaged in these occupations are thinking along these lines."

Perhaps more than we might think!

As far as specifics, I think a great place to start would be the list of concerns that have been compiled by those who have spoken out on behalf of the 99.

There is a nice analysis on Nation of Change here:

I do love the graphic medium, and this is a wonderful source of pithy material:

Here are some demands that that a forum user posted 3 days ago:

But in answer to your question, I don't have specifics in mind. If this was something that ended up growing out of the Occupy movement, it would gel like the rest of it has: through the voices of many people combining to form a new vision...

Duncan McGreggor said...

Occupy -> constitutional convention?

Part 1
Part 2

iheartubuntu said...

I like the premise of occupy the world, but with all things, corruption moves in. In Los Angeles here on a campus there was an OWS poster saying "equality for all - socialism!" I personally dont want equality. I work hard. I get paid for my work deservingly so. I also dont think the 99% (which im one of) is very smart. They vote for anyone saying something they want to hear, as if they never graduated out of grammar school.

Case in point... Occupy Oakland. They had a vote and put their $20k donation into the local Wells Fargo even though they are protesting the banks. Are they stupid? It doesnt take much to find a credit union to belong to and its just as easy to open an account at a CU.

So why should I work harder for people plain old lazy to work?

Example 1 - brother has 4 lamps he is throwing out. I told him to have a yard sale... too much work. He was going to throw them in the trash. I know I can make $10 off of each one. $40 for me. None for him. My sister thinks I should do the yard sale and split the money with my brother since he GAVE me the lamps. What? He gave them to me. I dont owe him. I did the work. I cleaned the lamps. I bought a bulb for one of them. Why split the money? Entitlement? Equality? No thanks! I would have not taken the lamps if they were not free. Its called leverage. Dont Americans know how to horse trade and manage a deal anymore? Or are we all pussies? I think thats it frankly. Everyones lazy. Everyones on the dole whether it be social security, health care, school lunches, whatever. Its so much easier to do nothing.

Example 2 - I follow deals on slickdealsdotnet. If you use just a tiny piece of your brain, you can buy low and sell high. I make an easy $2k extra each month doing this (on top of my day job). I told my brother this deal... buy ten product X on sale at Staples, buy Staples coupon code on ebay, resell items on ebay for twice what you paid. This one deal of 10 items was a profit of $900. My brother is too lazy to do it. He has 3 kids and a wife who doesnt work. I do this sort of thing in my spare time. He plays computer games and Im supposed to work harder for him to enjoy his life? Nah. I dont think so.

I do agree to some extent people are waking up to the political corruption (its legal for congress to inside trade, but not for you or I) and to the many forms of bank corruption.

I thank the likes of Alex Jones, Gerald Celente, Max Keiser, etc, etc for trying to wake people up to the greed and corruption. The elite should be dealt with.

While I support the occupy principles, I dont have time to "occupy". Instead, I am preparing (old boy scout motto). Collapse will come and I'll be ready. If you dont believe me, talk to any Russian over the age of 30 what it was like. None of them thought their great system would collapse either. But it did. My wife is Russian and every single sign from the collapse of the Soviet Union is now happening here in America.

Please watch "The Philosophy of Liberty" on youtube. We dont have much time. Liberty to all! To hell with democracy!

With much sincerity,

Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: not a US citizen.

> "I have the utmost faith in these thinkers [...] and their (our!) ability to produce a new constitution that provides for the 99 fairly."

This video seems quite appropriate:

Alex said...

Although I agree to the underlying reason behind the occupy movement, the biggest problem with that movement is that there is no clear goal. No proposal for a clear solution. No clear and concise vision. Most of those in that movement use it to fullfill some kind of personnal agenda or feeling of distress.

IMO, the ONLY solution to the current world madness is to present a comprehensive model with a clear model of law, rules, policies and a fremework for a world society. Without that, this madness will continue.

See this website for such a tool :

GregP said...

Although I grew up on a steady stream of fairly revolutionary literature (Marx, Engels, Fanon, Newton, Seale, Cleaver, Malcolm X, etc.) and my heart is therefore with the movement -- for years I've been harping to people about, for example, the rapid acceleration of CEO-to-worker pay ratio over the past 30 years, i.e. the polarization of wealth in this country -- in recent years, as I've seen more, firsthand, of how our government and society operates....I have a really, really hard time not being entirely pessimistic about all these sit-ins. I just don't see how they actually have any potential to change anything. Do I have anything better to offer or suggest? No, which I why I refrain from being more vocally critical of the Occupy movement.

But the reality is, corporate and governmental America couldn't care less about a few hundred, or even thousand, people tearing up Manhattan and Oakland periodically. In the end, the confrontation comes down to little more than common man vs. common police officer, and it doesn't extend any further up the chain than that.

Real change, I think, would involve things like lawsuits, legal action, congressional lobbying, etc. In 2011 I just don't think there's much merit to trying to force change from outside the system. For better or for worse, you have to partake in the system in order to change the system.