For the past few weeks I’ve been watching as the world slowly becomes aware of the Occupy movement. Of course news was getting around Twitter, Google Plus and other onlive media long before the Mainstream Media deigned to notice… But that hasn’t stopped the organisers from getting things off the ground in a big way.
Three weeks ago a bunch of people who were fed up with being lied to by politicians and exploited by bankers got together in Wall Street to protest. Police were called and the people legally gathered on a public street were pepper sprayed, beaten and arrested. Here’s an explanation, (with a language warning)
When the groups in the street became too large to ignore and the live feeds were all over the place, the media finally did decide to pay some attention. Predictably these dissenting voices were tarred as communists and anti-American and all the other stereotypical knee-jerk dog whistles. Until a couple of New York Times journalists were beaten and pepper-sprayed by the NYPD. Then we got a story supportive of the cause. This weekend the NYT published this opinion piece: Panic of the Plutocrats.
The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.
It’s worth having a read of that article in its entirety. It is a brilliant summary of the current situation and the forces that created it. Unfortunately it is too brief. It stops well short of observing how media organs have supported corporations and political parties subjugating the system for the benefit of very few at the expense of very many. As I’ve commented many times previously, the system referred to as capitalism stopped being constructive decades ago. It has been, for quite some time, more like a parasite or cannibalism. Nor is the only alternative a socialist/communist approach. “Pinko” is simply another smear term used by the propaganda organs to deride anyone who voices opposition or even question of the superiority of the Oligarchs.
Naomi Klein feels that people are seeking change on the street because it isn’t coming from the ballot box.
No, it really is a sick cultural ritual of, every time there is a new generation of politicized engaged young people who come forward, there is this ritual mocking of them; a kind of a hazing, and it’s such a corrupt and corrupting way to welcome a new generation into politics, and of course coming from a media culture that has worked so hard to dumb down this society. So, it’s just enormously ironic when they are mocking these very, very well-informed, educated…
The system in Australia is no less rigged and no less punitive toward anyone who differs from the enforced media views.
So what I’ll leave you with is a link to the tumblr We are the 99%. The voices and stories of ordinary people who have been trying to live their lives in this screwed up system and finally had enough. They’re not asking for hand outs. They’re not asking for the guillotine to be rolled out. They’re not asking for a conversion to some radical, crazy government system. They’re asking for the people who have been elected to represent them and manage the country for the benefit of its citizens to do simply that.
More power to them. If you’re in Australia, the Occupy movement is now organising marches for Melbourne, Sydney and other major cities. You can catch them via Twitter with the #occupy hashtag. Happy marching!