A friend was reflecting on the New Year and asked the question “where does the Occupy movement go from here”? If you ask around a lot of people believe that the Occupy movement has died. A lot of people believe the movement accomplished nothing and was just a temper tantrum thrown by a bunch of nobodies without any direction or purpose screaming “MIC CHECK”. I would disagree with that assessment.
The Occupy movement showed the world that we will not tolerate being misled and the demand for truth, justice, and human dignity will never go away. Some of the encampments may have physically been removed but the ideas created and discussed in them were affirmed and shared with millions of people around the world. To me those ideas are the Occupy movement and those ideas occupy us all.
The times and perspective have changed but in my opinion the message of Occupy is a familiar one. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Deep down we all know right from wrong no matter how much denial we consume. We all have our aspirations and our dreams. We all love someone whether it is our self or someone else. We all are shackled to the narrative that money is happiness so I should be prepared to do anything to get it. I believe the truth is that tragedy, suffering, and abuse don’t suck less just because it doesn’t happen to you or someone you care about and you make a profit.
By no means do I believe money isn’t important or a good thing. In my opinion it shouldn’t buy elections or be the sole purpose of our existence but earning a living and paying for the things you need and want is everyone’s right and responsibility. I didn’t quit my job nor give all my possessions away after the Occupy movement opened my eyes to the gross disparity of wealth distribution in this country. Success is a wonderful thing and I hope that everybody pursues their dreams and reaps the benefits of their hard work.
Sadly the pursuit of profit can go become too great and can leave us distracted and out of balance. We don’t pay attention to our loved ones or our community as much as we could. Some of us can’t afford to pay attention to anything because of having to work so many hours a week just to pay for the necessities of life. Everyone understands that life isn’t fair and sometimes you get the short end of the stick. Tragically building disadvantage into the fabric of our society, denying the obvious flaws in our society, perverting the truth about the obvious flaws in our society, and suppressing the mechanism designed to give everyone equal influence on our society is highly profitable.
We have let our leaders take us to war and keep us at war for over a decade while spending money we supposedly don’t have, we accept treating the only planet we live on as a garbage dump, we accept subsidizing the most profitable oil companies with tax payer money when they haven’t updated their spill response technology in 40 years, we accept stagnant income for longer work weeks and higher productivity demands, we accept our schools being ranked 27th in math and science, we accept crumbling infrastructure, we accept mass shootings with semiautomatic rifles and high capacity magazines, we accept paying more for healthcare than single payer systems to get worst results, and we accept paying politicians over 100K a year to say they can’t or shouldn’t do anything other than cut taxes or go to war for profit.
Where do we go from here? Since your reading this I think we are where we need to be. Demand the truth from and for yourself and follow the logic.