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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Occupy South Africa: “we are all kings and queens!”

Click here to access article by Joe Hani from Reflections on a Revolution. (Note: Jacob Zuma and Hellen Zille referred to in the article are leaders of the two main political parties.)

The author brings us up-to-date on affairs in South Africa:
Suffering from the highest income divide and the worst violence in the world, the time has come for the people of S-Africa to rise up and reclaim their country.
In 1994 US media made much of the overturning of the regime of apartheid in South Africa. But, isn't it once again so amazing how "the more things change the more they remain the same". We in the US and many others in the world have experienced the same phenomenon. Our ancestors in the US felt that with the American Revolution they had achieved liberty and some real democracy only to discover that there was only a change in the names of their oppressors. 

Because of the ease of the new electronic communications, ideas now spread at the speed of light across the world with the result that people everywhere are encountering new ideas about social-economic arrangements and their effects on societies. People are becoming aware of the real source of their oppression--a social-economic arrangement called capitalism which allows private individuals to "own" wealth that is socially produced, and the overwhelming power that this arrangement gives to the "owners".
Corporations from America to Europe through Israel and Saudi Arabia and all the way East to Japan, China and Australia have a dominant control of our countries resources and property while we the people who were already poor are becoming even poorer.
Probably the most revolutionary new idea is that we, all of us, are, or must be, kings and queens. Which means that we must all take responsibility for our lives and our societies. It means that we all, collectively, possess those many qualities that are needed to make a healthy, just society: skills, creativity, initiative, endurance, patience, mental and physical strength, empathy, intelligence, etc. We must no longer allow the fiction of private ownership over socially produced wealth to rule our societies.