We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who will occupy Wall Street on September 17?

Click here to access article by Nathan Schneider Waging Nonviolence. 
Something...is definitely going to be happening. A lot of people are definitely going to be there, though 20,000 seems pretty optimistic. Some will know what they’re doing more than others, and all will learn. Not only will this weekend be a test of Americans’ readiness to resist, but of whether an idea lobbed into the internet by Adbusters, then grabbed by artists, students, Twitter hashtags, and a shadowy network of hackers (and hacker wannabes), can really turn into a “flood,” a show of meaningful political force, a new way forward.
If the level of political consciousness of US activists is represented in this article, then I fear for US activism. Assuming that this website is representative of the thinking of US activists, just the name of this website suggests that the only thing they can agree upon is to be non-violent in their actions. 

I have seen this call for non-violence emphasized in nearly every activist organization in the US. One might easily think that it was a basic principle of activism rather than simply a tactic for the present when one is faced with an overwhelmingly armed opponent: the organized security services of the global ruling class who have absolutely no hesitation about their use of violence against political dissenters. 

All humans feel an innate sense of the need to protect themselves from assault; and if they must use violence to protect themselves, they will do so. Given the present circumstances, it just doesn't make much sense to do use violence offensively. There are other ways to thwart our oppressors, and these must be identified and used aggressively.

And they seem wary of ideology as if they hadn't been subject to capitalist ideology all of their lives. It seems that citizens in the US have been swimming in the waters of capitalism for so long that they find it difficult to imagine any other form. Worker history has been expunged from history books by their capitalist masters. Thus, it seems that all the worker struggles for emancipation from capitalists over the past 200 years plus has no relevance for them. It seems like they feel the necessity to start over in the first school grade of political understanding. God, I hope I am wrong!

Of one thing I am certain: we, the people, must learn quickly how to resist this capitalist juggernaut and replace it with something that serves all of humanity; because, if we fail, the consequences will be horrific.