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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beneath the Pavement – The Historical Struggle of the Commons

Click here to access article by Robin Banks from Portland (Oregon) Occupier. 

The author writes about the historical struggle over the control of physical space especially since the rise of the capitalist class who are always interested in using space to increase their profits. Nowadays, they want to control public spaces to suppress protest. But, resistance activists are learning and growing, and they are becoming aware of new kinds of "spaces" that could cause the downfall of capitalism.
The threat to the system is two fold. By actively participating in reshaping the commons, those engaged in resistance have opened up space, both in thought and action, that encourages others to do the same, challenging people’s roles as spectators, and helping to develop their capacity to become actors in the public sphere and the social struggle. The more serious threat is the fear of disruption, the break to the monotonous routine that is vital to the functioning of the machine.