Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Keeping my mind occupied.

I enjoy watching the media try to box the Occupation Movement into the normal societal lines that have been imposed on the voting public for so long. They usually just end up ranting about how the movement "lacks a cohesive message" or even more telling, maligns it as "a bunch of hippies or bums".

What they are doing is running up against the inherent flaw of the lop sided political system in america that is designed to hand down political ideals from a centralized pulpit. In this system you are forced to choose "good" or "bad" in a them vs us way. There is no "them" or "us" only a "We". (This might come as a shock...) I self identify as a progressive, but I do not agree with many of the ideals of the democratic party, so where do I fit in?

Occupy is decentralized and multilateral, the direction of the movement is based on group consensus, but it is also based on participatory action. It cannot be defined by; "conservative", "liberal", "anarchist", "socialist", "libertarian", "labor", or the host of descriptors we have for so long taken as necessary for a political group to exist. It is all of these and more. It is an open forum where anyone who shows up has an equal voice, where ideas and ideology meet to share concepts in the open.

The participatory nature of the movement also means that if a cause is unworthy, than you can choose to abstain, without judgement. Right now, those who are choosing to participate, are not different from those who are not,  participants are simply waiting for everyone who are choosing to abstain to decide to voice their opinions and effect the direction of the movement. If someone drives by and chalks the movement up to a bunch of dirty hippies and bums in a park, it is because THEY are choosing to allow it to be that way.

Nobody is qualified to speak from a position of authority on Occupy who hasn't actually participated. Even if all they do is show up to a general assembly, eat a snack and listen, they are as much of the movement as anyone else. No longer is it acceptable for us as a nation to be divided into voting base and turned on one another, nor is it acceptable for us to be made to feel as though our voice in determining the direction of our country is invalid or only partially right. Why does it have to be determined without our consent?

This is about empowering the people, the vast majority of citizens, who for far too long have been forced to play second fiddle to the self interested elites that garner the lion share of political influence. Unplug your television and never plug it back in again the next time you felt pidgin-holed into an ideal you don't agree with by the political party you lend your allegiance too. The enemy of good isn't perfection, its disenfranchisement.

2 comments:

  1. I think that is why Occupy doesn't even like to be called a "movement". To box it in, delineate it, label it, try to read into the action "what is it they really want", etc. is to weaken and gradually split apart the human wave of action. It will morph into its own shape, in its own way, with huge amounts of people participating in their individual, unique way. And we will be better for it.

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    1. It shouldn't even be constrained at all, it should be called America. I believe if the founding fathers of our nation could visit today, they would prefer to attend general assemblies over getting stuck in the nosebleed seats in house of representatives.

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