An open space for global conversation
A group hosted by Rex Bonney, focused on the ways in which Occupy can expand inclusively and in a non-partisan way.
Latest Activity: Jan 5, 2012
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Correct me if I'm way off base in my perception of your intentions but I think what we are faced with now is the challenge of working on two different levels here, and hopefully with a vision to the same ultimate goals. When we start talking about micro vs macro change, it becomes confusing to bounce back and forth between tactics, process and goals or demands. Process often opens our eyes to new vision and the refinement of goals.Tactics are the means to educate each other, to spread our message and to engender the support and ideas that other people can offer. I think, and this is just my opinion, that we are now at the point where we need to be very creative and thoughtful as we plan actions and create communities that can provide a firm foundation upon which to work toward out larger, more global goals.
i am sad to say that i won't be able to participate in the conversaiton later today as i have been scheduled to work, but i would like to weigh in on what's been said already.
as far as it relates to global issues i think we should be looking at an end to war(!), fair trade policies, preservation of natural spaces and sustainable energy/clean air and water. truth be told, i am not an expert in international affairs, but as an American i feel that our foreign policy has the most massive effect on global issues and other countries' reactionary policies....i am interested in cleaning up shop herein the US with the hope that other nations would see that we won't abuse them for doing the 'right' thing....that's as far as i am with it.
IN THE US:
i agree with Mr. Blue to a large extent although i think a more comprehensive plan should be drafted (and regularly edited in response to circumstance and the political climate) that prioritizes potential demands. that may be a more ambitious undertaking than i could accomplish alone but i am planning a discussion-style, web-based show to talk in more detail about these issues.
the list may look something like this:
broad support general thought of as non-partisan issues
-an end to corporate personhood (through a constitutional amendment?)
-campaign finance reform (possibly through constitutional amendment? possibly publically funded? possibly privately funded with caps on donation amounts?)
-reinstatement of glass-steagel act (so clearly tied to the "too big to fail" situation, so tied to current economic situation, i don't think that most right leaning people automatically assume that effectively regulated capitalism is the same as socialism?)
-higher transparency (blah blah)
second tier demands (a little more contentious)
-tax reform (broad support that something needs to be done but a lot of debate as to what...more progressive/more flat...broad support that corporations and the wealthy need to "pay their share")
-health care reform (seems widely agreed that something needs to be done, reformed medicare for all? private insurance more effectively regulated? blah blah)
-end of the irresponsible use of our armed services (blah blah)
third tier (things that would currently be really difficult or impossible to reach consensus or broad support on in the general public either because opinion is divided or people don't really understand the subject well)
all the question marks are points that i have some uncertainty about, but what i'm really talking about is having an organization of demands and trying to attain critical mass by working together on what we all agree on. people could "get off the ride" anytime but come help us work on, saaaay, ending corporate personhood....or whatever the agreed upon, policy-specific demands are.
i know it sounds like im talking about opinion polls here, and maybe on some level i am, but i just feel that if A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE refuse to budge on a more narrow list of issues....well, then we would feel really empowered to continue uniting on subsequent issues and really mold the society we live in as a continual way of life.
am i out in deep space 9 here? please comment.
see what i'm getting at here?
Is this a conversation where the effects of the moment on the rest of the world can be had? Im from Dunedin Aotearoa/New Zealand, we followed the O15 global occupation day and now are wondering where things are going on the global level. We are just starting to formulate or national vision statement but because this is a global occupy, we are wanting to know where the global movement will be going.
We are running out of people to occupy 3 of our 4 locations across the country and are having the what happens next conversation now.
To find the least partisan demands, let's look at some things most people, whatever their political leaning, might agree is pressing problem:
1) Return control of political system to We, The People - After the whole "debt" farce, when practically everyone was screaming "jobs," the American people realized that politicians, Democrat and Republican, don't represent their interests. Unfortunately, I don't think they quite realize yet that's because our politicians are working for the 1%, thanks to corporate money in politics. That’s our job to point out over and over again until it sinks in.
2) Reforming the tax code – there’s fairly broad agreement that the rich ought to pay their share.
3) Reforming the financial sector, so it can no longer single handedly destroy the economy. I think people understand that Wall Street gambled with our money and wrecked the economy. They also understand Wall Street was bailed out with sweetheart deals from our elected representatives with no assurances/guarantees for Main Street. Which leads to the next item...
4) Jobs - in poll after poll, that is the overwhelming concern of citizens.
There may be more areas of broad agreement, but I couldn't think of any. But that's enough.
Provided you agree with those broad areas though, a wonderful thing happens. Demands magically emerge:
1) Return control of political system to We, The People – Since control by the 1% comes virtue of unlimited corporate money in politics, the solution is to take money out of politics. But because money has been deemed to equal free speech by the Supreme Court because “corporations are people,” any legislative attempt at campaign finance reform will be ruled as unconstitutional. Therefore, the demand is: “Pass a constitutional amendment that eliminates corporate personhood (along with all supposed rights) and makes all public elections publicly financed.”
2) Reforming the tax code – this is a tough one, because I don’t think there is broad enough agreement to make the necessary changes. The demand: I would argue for a 70% top rate, a 1% speculation tax, an end to tax havens, making the capital gains tax the same percentage as the income tax, and lifting the caps on the Social Security Tax so rich people pay on ALL their income, but I rather doubt this would have broad agreement. If someone has ideas on where to get money for jobs and infrastructure that a broad-based coalition could agree on, I’d love to hear it. Another way to get the money would be to end all foreign wars and cut the military budget in half, but I don’t think there is broad-based agreement on that either.
3) Reforming the financial sector, so it can no longer single handedly destroy the economy. – The reason Wall Street was able to screw around was because of deregulation (e.g. the Glass-Steagle Act) and lack of enforcement (e.g. the Sherman Anti-Trust Act). The demand: Reinstate Glass-Steagle and enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, fully funding all regulatory agencies.
4) Jobs – there are two paths I can think of help on the jobs front. The demand: One is a WPA style work program to repair our crumbling infrastructure. The other is a major investment in green technology along with training. The only trouble is, how do you pay for it? See 2) above. Unfortunately, that isn’t a slam dunk by any means. Another method is to borrow the money, the way the Fed secretly lent billions to the banking industry. Again, I don’t see broad-based agreement forthcoming on that one, either.
Given the realities, I suspect only 1) and 3) are achievable for now. But that’s a great start!
If politicians become accountable to The People instead of corporations, our elected representatives will magically become orders of magnitude more progressive. I think then that it would be much easier to get 2) and 4) done.
The movement is changing, growing, evolving and we have the ability to actively participate in new incarnations of the movement. camping is not the central theme but the so far most noticeable form of direct action. we need a way to evaluate the most non-partisan, and most non-alienating and most effective demands of our growing demands lists......we need way of educating people as to what we're about and why specific change is need.
the reclamation of public spaces in my heart as it is in many of yours, but the questions remain:
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