Thursday, September 29, 2011

Revolting Development

Something that first caught my interest, now has me getting involved...
Occupy Together (occupytogether.org) will provide you a list of places, dates and states that have gotten organized and are getting organized

Revolting Development

hactivism is a great use of this otherwise self serving social networking technology,
but when you overstate your case or senselessly exaggerate even the slightest of wrongs, you begin to become as corrupt as those you protest against.
in short, tread carefully, lest you become just another version of the man.
it’s trite to say that power leads to corruption, but that’s because it’s so true.
many of the dictators in the world came to power in idealistic revolutions.
the prevailing force in many ‘revolutions’ end up often worse than those they are replacing.

then came occupywallstreet, which seems both inspired and muddled. the lack of a coherent strategy hurt them with respect to public opinion.
even though i’m on their side, watching some of it did feel like a lot of people wanting to play the parts of protestor and activist, but not having the lines to speak. individually the people make a lot of sense, but outwardly they seemed confused, at least at first. i don’t think it was the fault of the protesters themselves, but just poor marketing and management, as silly as that sounds.
still, occupywallstreet has inspired similar ‘occupy’ movements in several cities. ‘day of rage’ movements have popped up as well, which i think are unfortunately named. i think they are taking the name from the arab spring protests, but it seems like that sends a wrong message to americans. howard beale was great fiction, but in this day and age he’s bill o’reilly or rachel meadow. he ain’t reaching anyone who doesn’t already share his views. being mad as hell is only entertaining, it doesn’t open minds.
i think everyone has the right intentions. but the point of the protests isn’t to pat ourselves on the back for caring but to reach out to the rest of the country to try to effect some kind of real, tangible change.
what i’m getting at is that we have to know who we are, what we are about and we cannot let the power of our movement be invested in any one person or group. i think this is key. i think it is possible to arrive at a simple framework of ideals that is attainable, non-violent, inclusive of everyone and dare i say it, moral.

the most important aspect of this movement would be careful consideration of your words. they will be used either to tear us down or show our rightness. you have the control over which it is. so many of the tweets and blogs i read about some of the occupy(fill in the blank) protests and the opbart (and opfullerton re: the kelly thomas death where the policeman was charged with murder) were so heavy with angry rhetoric as to sound crazy. it doesn’t have to be us vs them. we are them. they are us.
we don’t have to use the same rhetoric to decry those who would denounce as they use against us. this just makes for a noisy mess where no one is challenged to change their minds or consider our point of view. there is a way of answering criticism not by replying with the same but by demonstrating knowledge, caring and benevolent determination. that sounds soft but i swear it will work. doing the opposite is just an argument, and no one ever wins an argument.
i don’t think our ‘enemy’ is other people. it’s corrupt systems. it’s unjust (or just too many laws). it’s any police force that has more power than the people they are ‘protecting’. it’s the greed of an unchecked segment of society that chokes the economic opportunity of everyone else below it. it’s unchecked military aggression around the world. it’s a hawkish foreign policy that has been a huge contributor to the near-bankrupting of our nation. it’s a corporate climate wherein it pays businesses to send jobs to other countries. it’s a relentless diet of foreign oil. it’s a denial of even the simplest national environmentalism, whether or not you believe in climate change.
it’s an unjust and unintelligible tax code. it’s the loss of our sense of community. it’s the mired mess of how laws are written and passed in washington with cynical political dodges and lobbyists helping to write the laws in the first place. it’s allowing conglomerates like monsanto using the most cynical of means to control the future of farming, the landscape of our nation and the price of food itself.
it’s the unfettered ability of our government to surveil us because they are purportedly trying to find terrorists. it’s declaring wars on ‘things’ like drugs or terrorism: silly, endless wars that can never be ‘won’. it’s using nonsense and emotion to get people to argue against things that are in their better judgement, which is what all of politics on both sides seems to be anymore. it’s the government of our country having a globalist outlook. it’s putting people to death in prisons, something very few 1st world western nations do. it’s taking people’s land by force when they won’t sell it otherwise in order to hand it off to a big corporation that will pay more in taxes. it’s corporations that aren’t owned by the employees. it’s a corporate pay climate which ensures corruption and job elimination if it’ll mean a larger bonus for a handful of men who happen to be sitting on a board of directors. it’s the astronomical inflation seen in the cost of higher education.
it’s a stock market that has been reduced to nothing more than a handful of interests essentially gambling with our economy and taking a nice percentage for themselves, whether they win or lose. it’s the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor. it’s the shrinking of the middle class. it’s the death of main streets all over this country. it’s mindless political rhetoric that separates people and distracts the nation while the ‘leaders’ gerrymander themselves into perpetual wealth. it’s allowing factions to put forth moral issues as political ones which clouds the mind and emotions and causes the average person to lose sight of the real problem: that those doing the distracting are walking away with our futures.
damn, we have a lot of enemies. but they can call be beaten.

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