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
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Occupy Oakland: Are We Being Childish?
In numerous places across the US Occupier activists are in the process of fighting back against the policies and agents of the One Percent. The process necessarily includes a review of strategies and tactics so that future actions can be more effective in the war against the One Percent. This writer critically examines recent actions in Oakland, California and comes up with some useful insights that, I think, ought to be considered by all activists.
It is clear that many young people feel justifiable rage, but rage if not channeled into thoughtful, controlled aggression can lead to defeats. It may be more emotionally satisfying to attack authorities and symbols of authority, but the hard work of organizing communities to furnish a powerful base for future controlled aggressive actions can in the long run be far more productive.
It's possible that activism can be considered to be in its infancy in the US, but infants normally grow up to be highly functioning adults. Let us nourish and protect this infant so that he/she will grow up to threaten the bully that is harming us all.