This is a difficult post to write, especially since I am so partial to the whole notion of a human-centered movement that brings about a more sustainable approach to civilization. However, I feel it is time for the gadflies to begin flying around our upcoming Occupy Season to arouse the kind of introspection that will help Occupy Wall Street evolve, because we cannot simply recreate what happened last summer, we must develop, and show that our months of working together has yielded something palpable.
So, in my effort to donate to this process I will lay out a few things I’ve learned from being active in both the New York City Occupation and in my local one.
1. - The absence of demands was a wonderful way to create openness, but now many in the movement are painfully aware that the ‘diversity of methods’ is not bound by any universal ends, so we are easily dominated by those in ‘the movement’ who are action-oriented, even if these actions have no methodological character.
1.1 – I do not support any type of minor legal or political demand, like the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, as a primary locus of our ‘movement’…i prefer something far more expansive, spiritual and philosophically powerful. As I’ve said many times, I think we ought to demand love and wisdom, something that addresses the problem culturally, but that these demands ought to be on both ourselves and this 1%.
2. - The problems of the 1% are manifestations of ubiquitous social corruption. We are complicit in the excesses of Wall Street by our own excesses, by our own activities aimed toward gross consumption. I admit to this myself, and am working on it. Scapegoating causes a sort of righteousness that is blind and frantic.
3. - There are a lot of idiots and addicts among us. We have to get clear about this, as a society. We cannot both argue for the value of educational resources while ignoring the consequences of years of educational neglect. As I’ve organized locally, and participated in New York City, I’ve seen the way we ignore glaring psychological and educational deficits, sweeping them under the social rug, in order to maintain appearances, in a way not unlike our government officials.
3. 1 – We must hold ourselves to the same doctrines of restraint and good judgment as we are reprimanding those in power for their excesses. Political discipline must be a part of any future organizing. This demands that we begin speaking to habitual intoxication and its sometimes related cousins, logical inconsistency and dominance.
4. - This is not yet a movement. We call it a movement, but because we lack universal principles, or ethical guidelines that deal directly with anything but our most basic immediate needs, we have no means to measure wise thinking, and are subject then to the dominance of those who are most willing to launch into action, and this cannot be our long-term primary virtue.
5. - If we are worrying about the cold weather in 6 months then we have not been successful as a movement.
5.1 – Fighting with the cops is so 2011. It is time for us to get to work.
The ABC’s of a Real Movement.
A. Develop a Sustainable Culture
B. Speak to discipline and good self-care
C. Say goodbye to Scapegoating. Challenge the 99%.
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