America at Christmas 2011 is a society of mass poverty, on the one hand, and vast wealth accumulation, on the other—tens of millions of people are poor and desperate, while a relative handful enjoy riches undreamt of by the Egyptian pharaohs or the aristocracy of Louis XIV.I know that "tis the season to be jolly", but this year I simply can't manage it, can't fake it. No, I think tis the season to advance the Occupy movement into something which has a chance of liberating us from the capitalist foot that is crushing down on all our necks and killing what human dignity we still have, crushing the hopes of our young people for a bright future, and destroying the planet that supports us all. It is a time for us all to renew the spirit of Patrick Henry who in his oft quoted phrase, "Give me liberty, or give me death", refused to be placed in indefinite servitude to the British Crown. We must refuse to be placed in perpetual servitude to the current ruling capitalist class.
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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up