Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Occupy Manifesto?

The following was written as part of a comment thread at,
"Bay Area Real Estate Trends"
under an article - "Occupy Oakland Jumps The Shark",
written by Greg Fielding, November 2, 2011


I appreciate your point of view, and yes there are examples of people profiting at the expense of a long foreclosure process - playing the pirate game back at the pirate system I suppose.

But when your talking about the invisible super-poor it's not about that anymore - it's about real life, desperate, homeless, couch-surfing, slow starvation ... such that your brain can't function, you fall into hopelessness, depression and despair.

OWS certainly is about helping the homeless. By your question ("Is this now about helping the homeless?") you seem to separate the homeless into a sub category of those hurt by the economic crisis. Perhaps into that place in our consciousness's where the myth,  that narrative thrives: 'Those people Want to be homeless' - exists. That view that writes-off those individuals - that inexplicable section of the population we will never understand, those 'Others' who do not deserve our caring any more. That (never said in so many words), sub human sub-culture among us who only perhaps (at a particular extreme) only understand a heel in the back, a club up the side of the head. Those "Bad Seeds", the un-reachable, the expendable. That slippery slope to extreme intolerance that waits down that road - yet it lurks just behind the thinking that created the homeless bi-laws that many cities passed in the 1990's. The out of view - out of mind, not in my back yard set of  laws. Ironically, the same laws being used by the security obsessed Mayors and City Councils to evict the Occupy Protesters and suppress the right of free assembly and the right of free speech.

The beautiful thing about OWS is that it includes ALL this - and much more.

It rails against the whole neo-liberal package, the export of good jobs out of the country to places that have no unions that don't pay a living wage - that prey on hopelessness, despair and fear; the service sector jobs that replaced them - at low wags and in many cases, on a contract basis; a shrinking of the middle class - and now with this latest austerity, the entitlement programs - that are supposed to be a bridge to recovery, a safety new for everyone - are being cut like they are wasteful --- at the exact moment we all really need them. For the poor, a work week at 2 or 3 different, part time jobs; for the youth a future life of crappy McDonald's type jobs that barely make the rent each month is the panorama our children see out in front of them.

This reality that is, and has been developing for some time, is now becoming a part of people's consciousness. They see it for what it is - a slow dismantling of the liberal-democratic-state, the dismantling a set of laws that guaranteed the rights of man: security from the cold and rain, hunger - human decency - happiness. It is essentially - for the majority - the End of the Enlightenment.

And not just that, but at the same time, a seeming collapse of democracy exemplified by President Obama's seeming absolute impotence at influencing the direction of this collapse in Washington - a stark relief to his great narratives during the election.

A disconnect not only exists - but seems to be widening between the elected representatives and the people who elected them. No matter who, or from what party, the representatives dither and dodge, and then pass laws that are essentially a slap in the face to the majority!

Everyone out at these Occupies - from Toronto to Oakland, to Madrid Spain, to Athens Greece - understands these things at one level or another. This is the message the mass media complain is not being articulated by the movement - perhaps because of the whole movements inability to grasp at this point, the whole, awesome, over-whelming gravitas of the situation. This is after all a global economic meltdown - like nothing we've ever seen, and like nothing we know from history since the Great Depression of 1929-1939!

But in everyone's subconscious, there is a little bird tweeting - that this is a fight for the future - and perhaps, it's the only chance we get.

(Sorry about the length Greg - got on a roll there.
A manifesto perhaps? Going to cross-publish at my blog, and at


Cross posted at (tag: business)

As a comment under Greg Fielding's article -


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