Occupy Movement: Next Step Convergence
Joel S. Hirschhorn
There is a growing convergence of thinking about where the US Occupy movement should go as a next step to turning its values, concerns and commitments into changing what most Americans see as broken government under control of corporate interests. When it comes to political and social movements, history shows us that they usually fail not because they disappear, but rather because they become marginalized, unimportant despite a core group of committed people and groups.
As recently presented, there is global respect for and use of the classic and brilliant work by Gene Sharp “From Dictatorship to Democracy.” It is credited for empowering many actions around the world to overthrow dictatorships, including recent actions in the Mideast. My thesis is that his ideas, strategies and tactics, a handbook for revolution, can and should be applied to the US where there is a form of corporate dictatorship operating.
The rise of the revolution in Egypt can be attributed in large part to social media:
After hundreds of arrests in Cairo Wednesday, some protest organizers have gone missing and are presumed jailed. Now activists are using Egypt’s oldest social medium to keep up the fight.
In the days leading up to this week’s street protests in Egypt, the largest the country has seen since the 1970s, Ahmed Salah was busy spreading the word around Cairo—“in every possible way,” as he put it. A veteran activist who said agitation is his genes, Salah, 45, tapped into his usual network, called family and friends, hit the streets, and posted updates on the Web. “On the 25th, we are trying to give people a bit of hope, and a chance to express themselves,” he said in a phone interview last week. But he said the regime would fight back.
As this Egyptian woman seems to be attesting to, it starts small and can build from there. And it was not without its risks:
The legitimate demands of the people everywhere have no color, nor do their revolutions. These are not the revolutions arising from staged events by the White House, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other meddlers. We are witnessing what Mark Levine called human nationalism. The people of Tunisia, now Egypt, are, "taking control of their politics, economy and identity away from foreign interests and local elites alike in a manner that has not been seen in more than half a century." (Image)
Somehow, we are supposed to believe that the English speaking peoples have a corner on democracy. The rest of the world is still learning. When the oppressed of a nation, particularly of the third world, stage an uprising, it is neatly packaged and color coded. That way it's easier to follow. The Western leaders and press assume an avuncular pose and pass judgment on how the various colors pass along the path to self-determination -- not too fast, not to0 rowdy, and certainly not to0 disruptive to first world markets, especially oil.
Has the revolution begun?!
A historic new ordinance bans natural gas drilling while elevating community decision making and the rights of nature over the "rights" associated with corporate personhood.
...The ordinance sponsor, Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields, led the charge to ban drilling, and was later joined by five co-sponsors. During the months leading up to today’s vote, Shields passionately advocated for the ordinance, saying that the city is “not a colony of the state and will not sit quietly by as our city gets drilled.” He sees this fight as about far more than drilling, saying “It’s about our authority as a community to decide, not corporations deciding for us.”
My anger has morphed into sadness, heartbreak actually. As the decade of zeros ends I see nothing but a tragic, historic and deadening American Disappointment, a terrible replacement for a once noble American Dream. The Great Recession was merely one symptom of the nation’s slide into slime, a quicksand created by the two-party plutocracy.
I confess. I believe there is a ruling class that sustains the two-party plutocracy running the nation for the benefit of the rich and corporate class. Their broad strategy is deception and delusion. Tactically, they use government, the mainstream media, the financial services sector, funding of politicians and the two major parties, and many other parts of the culture and economy to maintain their power and control.
Once upon a time when governments no longer served most of their citizens it was the most economically disadvantaged that could be counted on to rebel against tyranny and injustice. Times have changed, for the worse, despite the spread of democracy.
definitely intriguing! -- bumped, promoted cho
The Most Powerful People in America
Joel S. Hirschhorn
They are not the rich and superrich, nor the politically powerful running the two-party plutocracy, nor the greedy heads of banking and finance companies, and certainly not the media moguls and bloviating pundits.
The most powerful people are US, American consumers that account for over 70 percent of the economy. It is exactly now, when the economy is in the toilet, that consumers hold the maximum power. So why are we the people still deluding ourselves that the path to a better future rests on electing a new president?
The bell's inscription is a phrase from this verse (bold):
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. [Leviticus 25:10]