November 17, 2011

Revolution in the Air?

I've been a lefty all my life; I believe in democracy and the social safety net. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is how I live. But I don't really understand how the Occupy movement works.

We should increase the tax on the rich and put a cap on how much a CEO can pull in. Multinational corporations shouldn't be allowed to form and focus should be placed back on small businesses. Banking practices should be changed.

It seems to me that the Occupy movement should be focused on changing systems of taxation and banking regulations. But how can you shift the power away from the 1% without making changes at Federal level? On their own the banks and the bosses aren't going to say, 'Hey you're right, here's half a billion." There is no Bastille to storm.

I'm glad Occupy is out there making us aware of the inequalities. Undoubtedly Occupy has raised the awareness of those in the House of Commons too. The "underrepresented who represent the 99%" should get out and vote and be represented. Vote in Members of Parliament, or vote in representatives on all levels, who get bills passed to change banking regulations and taxation. Bills passed to forgive the debts of 3rd world countries.

Write a treatise. Get the NDP to present it in Parliament. Get the New Democrats to put forth a bill with your concerns. Again and again and again. Capitalism won't dissolve but it's worth a try. When the next election comes around, it'll be an issue, a plank in someone's platform. In Canada we live in a democracy but less than 60% of the eligible population bother to vote. Unfortunately voter apathy has left us with a majority Conservative government for at least 4 more years.

 It seems the Occupy movement is turning into an "us versus them" movement of the marginalized or under-employed who seem more pissed at the cops right now than the banks. I have to say that the Occupy website says more about who they are than what they want. There is "music in the cafes and night and revolution in the air" it just seems to be better focused.


Giulia said...

Yes, but this is how large movements begin. At least it's not like the Tea Party in the States...that was begun by right-wing corporate dudes. This will meander about but I think it's been worth it just to get people talking. I've been driven mad for 30 years that Americans weren't marching in the streets over economic issues...we'll see how it goes. I've been watching it from the beginning (via Twitter) & it's been very interesting. The mainstream media, of which I was a part & know well, has been particularly obnoxious about it & has not reported it well - at all. I'm very disappointed that they are missing a big story.

It's not up to Occupiers to give solutions to problems. It's up to legislators to craft policy to solve those problems. Those are a few thoughts. Major computer problems...xoxo

Alistair said...

I'm much like you in my views. If we don't look after others how can we expect anyone to care about us if the time comes that's needed. The gap between have and have not is unecessarly wide {widening}. Society as a whole is poorer because of such inequality.

Democracy and personal responsibility is the key. Voter apathy is a huge threat as was shown last year when a fundamentalist Moslem group came within a hairsbreadth of taking control of one of the London local councils where voter turnout was most disenfranchised. They avowed to make changes to education and housing bylaws to reflect Moslem views and create an enclave of Moslem believers by fostering an atmosphere of fear of outsiders and a belief that Moslems are actively legislated against in England. Once this had been achieved it would have become increasingly radicalised in its attitudes.

Those who pose the biggest threat to our freedoms are those who would use those very freedoms to promote an agenda where those priciples would be removed. While I agree the occupy movement doesn't seem very focused I think it is concerning and illuminating that the establishment is taking similar steps at the same time to remove the right to protest where these groups have congregated.

What point protest when moved to convenient locations where their 'voice' can be completely marginalised.

Jenny Woolf said...

I fear that Occupy is a bit of a rent-a-crowd situation, which is a shame becuase I think we could use some serious opposition to capitalism and our present economic model.

Von said...

Isn't it enough to direct attention towards things that are not right, towards greed and inequity? Why is it that when a group of people stand up to be counted others start talking about rent-a-crowd and much bigger goals? What did you do today to oppose capitalism and your present economic model?

The Clever Pup said...

Stand up to be counted but tell us what it is you want and how you want it.

Kate Hanley said...

Great post. I agree that Occupy needs to move forward and hopefully it will. Have you heard about the Cocktail Party? A new group has formed in the south to return dignity to politics. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it, as long as people stick to one cocktail!

Giulia said...

Again, Hazel, the movement has published quite clear statements. This is a media meme, the "no one knows what they want."

There are statements published by the Washington Post, WSJ, etc. I'm having major computer problems or I'd send you links. They are all over Twitter. You don't have to be a member of Twitter to do a search.

And to the person who says rent-a-crowd...wth? No, not at all.

Nancy said...

I've been watching the Occupy Movement here and I feel like more and more people are starting to realise they have some say. I can't go stand in front of our city hall because of health but I can and will start handing out voter registration cards on campus(I have a class) and just making them available anywhere I can. I can speak up.