An open space for global conversation
So many terrific and provocative pieces are being written and recorded about #Occupy. Please Use this discussion to post your favorites. We can then convene conversations around specific ones that spark general interest, both here in the Occupy Cafe Forum and during our Cafe Calls.
Here is some background reading - how the "1%" works:
Dillon Read & The Aristocracy of Stock Profits.
It is not always easy reading but very, very informative. Good information for smart action.
Thanks you so much for bringing Catherine Fitts wonderful essay here. Her economic tapeworm analogy is so true .
We do make this economy we hate so much possible ourselves by craving what the tapeworm wants and choosing what will make the tapeworm grow..
Catherine,is a former banking and also fomer high level government insider. The voices and expereince of people like Catherine are among us is very valuable. This isn't just opinion. This is narrative from personal experience and witness. Wise people always and only speak from experience.
Wikilieaks got me into the habit of intentionally seeking out source documents. Michael Moor got me into the habit of reading source documents when he read that Citibank memo in his film Capitalism: A Love Story.
Its a good habit. Read what the 1% are saying to themselves, saying to each other, saying about occupy.
A background to where this phrase "we are the 99%" came from and what it means, I highly recommend Michael Moor'se film Capitalism A Love Story which is available as an instant view on Netflix and also an instant view at Amazon:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1232207/
Then try to track down and read the citibanl memo he speaks of in the fiilm. When I strated wrting about it it was available everwhere..now it's hard to find. Citicorp lawyers tracked it down site by site and had it removed.
I loved both of the pieces below, which tie OWS to the largest possible sphere of action and make the case that a focus on developing a specific list of demands misses the deeper potential of the movement:
Occupy Wall Street has been criticized for its lack of clear demands, but how do we issue demands, when what we really want is nothing less than the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible? No demand is big enough. We could make lists of demands for new public policies: tax the wealthy, raise the minimum wage, protect the environment, end the wars, regulate the banks. While we know these are positive steps, they aren't quite what motivated people to occupy Wall Street. What needs attention is something deeper: the power structures, ideologies, and institutions that prevented these steps from being taken years ago; indeed, that made these steps even necessary. Our leaders are beholden to impersonal forces, such as that of money, that compel them to do what no sane human being would choose. Disconnected from the actual effects of their policies, they live in a world of insincerity and pretense. It is time to bring a countervailing force to bear, and not just a force but a call. Our message is, "Stop pretending. You know what to do. Start doing it." Occupy Wall Street is about exposing the truth. We can trust its power. When a policeman pepper sprays helpless women, we don't beat him up and scare him into not doing it again; we show the world. Much worse than pepper spray is being perpetrated on our planet in service of money. Let us allow nothing happening on earth to be hidden
Meanwhile Lakoff writes:
I think it is a good thing that the occupation movement is not making specific policy demands. If it did, the movement would become about those demands. If the demands were not met, the movement would be seen as having failed.
It seems to me that the OWS movement is moral in nature, that occupiers want the country to change its moral focus. It is easy to find useful policies; hundreds have been suggested. It is harder to find a moral focus and stick to it. If the movement is to frame itself, it should be on the basis of its moral focus, not a particular agenda or list of policy demands. If the moral focus of America changes, new people will be elected and the policies will follow. Without a change of moral focus, the conservative worldview that has brought us to the present disastrous and dangerous moment will continue to prevail.
In meditation practice a mantra or centering phrase silences all the busy reactive narrative cluttering our thoughts and our brains..repeating the phrase whenever our thoughts stray calls us back to the uncluttered clear center of silence.
"we are the 99%" is such a mantra
The presence of occupiers all over the world saying only "we are the 99%" centers us within ourselves. Allows our hearts to awaken and starts to inform how we listen to others, what we say, what we choose. Spontaneous amazing things start to happen like the homeless man running into the circle yogis screaming "this isn't revolution" who ended up joining the circle and chanting with them.
Demands overshadow awareness with debate and in debate we are drawing on and speaking from within ideologic divisions which prevent us from living and witnessing as the 99%.
We must first get to thinking and being the 99% before we can envision and frame new relationships with government, with money, with each other.
When we get there, "demands" won't even be a meaningful word..it will be us the 99% living and leading wisely.
Te very word "demands" implies an acceptance that the 1% dominate and and control our lives,set all the terms and conditions for our lives. The word "demands" affirms that we have to ask the 1% for what we want. It implies a continuance of a 1% who rule and control and overshadow everyone else.
i <3 lakoff
<3 lakoff ... & the general semanticists ... david bourland, kellogg ... e-prime
The Crash Course by Chris Martenson, not a reflection of #Occupy, but a careful, comprehensive explanation of why the next 20 years will be unlike the last 20.
The documentary "2012 Time For Change" http://www.2012timeforchange.com/
Lynne Twist's book "The Soul of Money" http://www.soulofmoney.org/
"Sustainable World Sourcebook" http://swcoalition.org/sourcebook/sourcebook-info
Harvey Wasserman's "Solartopia" http://www.solartopia.org/
William McDonough's "Cradle to Cradle" http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm
I would like to recommend that people look into this free online college level training on principled nonviolence: www.mettacenter.org
Rebecca Solnit, This Land Is Your (Occupied) Land