21 November 2011

How can the Occupy Movement transition from protest to action? (Part I)

There is ‘buzz’ over several online sources about the transition of the Occupy Movement to the arena of real politics.  At first, the major theme of the Occupy Movement was awareness of the domination of the minority (the 1% or the plutocracy) over the majority (the 99%.)  This was not a widely known phenomena or ‘rallying cry’ before the Movement.  However, now one can say the vast majority of citizens in the U.S. and the world understand this undisputable fact and are behind significant reform and transformation of the global political and economic environment. . The  winds of change are in the air in New York, Los Angeles London, Madrid, Cairo, Tunis City, Damascus, Sydney and other numerous locations around the world. The global population is fervently watching  the Movement and hoping that it will blossom into one that will result in a more just world where the Majority (the 99%) are participating and determining decisions affecting their lives, not the Minority (the 1%.)

The struggle will not be an easy one as already seen in Egypt, Tunisian, and Syria.  The plutocracy will not give up easy, but ultimately and predictably, their hold over the world will dissipate.  The problem for the Occupy Movement is going from this initial point to becoming an integral factor in shaping future events.

Contrast the hope that is being generated by the Occupy Movement with the overall chaos and confusion that are besetting the governments of the world as they attempt to bolster up a system  that is faltering and are rushing towards another economic crisis, perhaps worse than the initial crisis of 2008. The U.S. Congress Super Committee is presently debating spending cuts mostly in social programs (Medicare, Social Security), while not addressing spending on infrastructure, education, housing forgiveness for housing mortgages or student loans or other credit, revising the tax code for higher income brackets/higher taxes for the One Percent, eliminating loopholes that subsidize multi-nationals and special interest groups and not undertaking significant reform of financial institutions. Of course, a discussion of creating a sustainable economy, decreasing the gap between rich and poor and environment are not even on the agenda; neither are significant cuts in defense.  The Super Bi-Partisan Committee is presently primarily stalled due to the refusal of the Republicans to budge on any kind of revenue increases including closing the loop holes for the high income bracket, non-renewal of the Bush tax cuts (mostly favoring the top income brackets.)  Behind this refusal to increase taxes is Grover Norquist, a lobbyist, not a Representative of Congress, who has had Republican Members of Congress sign a commitment to no new taxes.  This ‘speaks’ clearly of the corruption that the Republicans are entwined.  It is tragically evident that the very structure of politics in the U.S. is being controlled by lobbyists and special interests. There is a high likelihood that there will not be an agreement, argument will pursue over defense spending cuts, and further conflict with erupt over the automatic cuts with the end result being deadlock. This is all politically motivated particularly on the side of the Republicans to malign the Democratic Party and to set a rallying call for change in administrations for the upcoming elections.  All of these discussions on both sides are political posturing without any attempt to address the underlying problems.

It is clear to most that the plutocracy is calling the shots.  Is there little question that the plutocracy would not support decreases in defense spending when the military-industrial complex is intimately entwined with it?.  A large majority portion of the U.S. budget is spent on inflated military equipment that is mostly over-budget and not needed for modern warfare.  This has nothing to do with actual defense for the U.S., but everything to do with transferring tax revenue to the wealthy.  Our ‘war on terror’ is another deception brought to the U.S. public by the plutocracy to gain access to resources and to nation-build to put these countries in the sphere on U.S. control.  The economic crisis is actually beneficial to the war machine as young men and ladies are going into the military due to the poor economic situation and decreasing benefits for workers. Likewise, it is apparent that no reform in the financial institutions which caused this problem will be subject to necessary reforms to protect the consumer from gambling with their money.  It is evident by very knowledgeable economists, including those at the IMF, that draconian cuts without these other measures such as investment will lead to another recession and those who are unemployed or under-employed being without necessary services for health, housing and support.  It should be noted that the extension of unemployment benefits is not be considered by the Super Committee.  The next step is automatic cuts of which fifty percent would be in defense spending.  There will be skillful maneuvering by the U.S. Congress to weasel out of this, causing delay and a stalemate. Their masters, the plutocracy, will not allow this to happen.  U.S. Congress and even the President must obey them, because the plutocracy puts the money into the Congressional campaigns.  (It should be noted that a large amount of money goes into media, which they control, so get immediately get some of their money back.) The dog will not bite the hand of the person who feeds it. Meanwhile in the European Union, there are talks of austerity measures, increasing financial assistance to the economies of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, often referred to as PIGS.  On both sides of the Atlantic, legislatures are failing to see the overall deteriorating condition of the public and focusing on financial manipulations which will be ineffective. While the situation has been building for years, it is now coming to a crux in the last couple of months.  There is an ever increasing gap between the public and the political institution around the world.  Tragedy and promise are spiraling in an interconnected vortex leading to collapse or rejuvenation.  You can almost hear a cosmic roulette croupier exclaiming, “round and round she goes and where she stops nobody knows.” 

In the next blog entry, I will discuss my suggestion to the Occupy Movement to transform into a more solidified movement capable of action.   Also, I will give the references that I used, which come from reliable and well-respected journalists and experts.  In the blogs after this, I want to proceed back to how some of the perceived agenda of the Occupy Movement can be implemented in cities.  This will be somewhat a reformulation of an earlier ‘thread’ that I had introduced concerning how cities can lead  an economic and political up-turn.   While this is somewhat disjointed, I think that the Occupy Movemnt has opened up a new paradigm that will be a better format to understand the role of cities in this a transformative process.  Although the number that presently read my blog are few, I am hopeful that they will understand the logic behind the shift.

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