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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creating community: Lessons from Occupy

Click here to access article by Shepherd Bliss from Transition Voice. 

This piece provides a very candid look at some of the initial strains within the Occupy movement. This is not at all surprising to me given the many years of disinformation and capitalist indoctrination which has produced generations of people with a false consciousness based on materialist values and extreme individualism. The first stage in any type of recovery is to recognize the problem, and they are doing this and more: they are making a concerted effort to overcome these problems.

Clearly, as one would expect, there are real racial, age, gender, and class related differences among activists that can cause problems and conflicts. And, we can expect that the political operatives of the One Percent, in addition to censoring the movement in mainstream media, will do everything they can to exploit these differences.
Occupy has just begun. Whether it’s able to deal effectively with the substantial external threats and internal obstacles is yet to be determined. It will depend partly on the capacity for self-reflection and compassionate listening, as well as the success of channeling anger and frustration into powerful, constructive action.