Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2-months into the new revolution

Occupy Movement demonstrations went all-out on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the two-month anniversary of the start of the “new” revolution.  At the same time, cities have become more aggressive in cracking down on protesters, issuing ultimatums to disperse in some instances…or else.  As an example, 20 people were arrested in Los Angeles, in Chicago, they made historic Grant Park off-limits for encampments, and 17 people were arrested in Dallas.  But Oakland was relatively quiet.

A Berkeley student tried to explain why the occupiers continue to do what they do in the face of opposition that says the movement doesn’t know what it wants.  He quoted Robert Reich’s recent speech from Sproul Plaza: “Every social movement in the last half-century or more, it started with moral outrage…and the actual lessons, the specific demands for specific changes, came later.”  Kevin Gorman, a student writing in The Berkeley Daily Planet, says Occupy, with its explosive growth and no top-down direction, which he thinks is proper for the time being, needs no explicit goals now.

Business & Government greed
The question arises, is this “social movement,” as described by Reich, actually a social revolution of sorts that could change the business and political makeup of this country?  For the better.  Balance the economic inequity on the backs of big business CEOs and an incompetent government.  Wikipedia defines revolution as a “fundamental change in power or organizational structure that takes place in a relatively short period of time.”  Aristotle gives us two types:

·       1. Complete change from one constitution to another
·       2. Modification of an existing constitution

I don’t think anyone wants a new constitution, just some tweaks in the current one, reserving the major changes for the greedy ones who are presently running the corporate world and Washington.  Joel Hirshhorn says, “…the Occupy movement in the US offers the possibility of being seen, eventually, as the seed of a successful Second American Revolution…”  He goes on to indicate that many “…believe {it} is desperately needed to fix our corrupt, dysfunctional and unfair government, political and economic system.   

Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government.  His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, and Chicago Tribune, and he writes for several progressive websites such as The Progress Report.  The main point of his article emphasizes the fact that in the beginning of a “movement,” it is almost completely about what the demonstrators are against.  Fighting a tyranny that has been advanced against the common folk.

Part 2 next.