I heard on the news this morning that Occupy Wall Street protests have spread to 1600 cities worldwide. Part of me wants to click the Like button. Part of me is worried.
On one hand, I’m glad that the masses are finally rising up against their oppressors, seeing the financial charade for what it is, and demanding change. I’m hopeful that this will lead to real and lasting change. And I’m optimistic that this could lead to a better world where we have more support in the local community and less reliance on megacorporations for our security.
On the other hand, I’m worried. I’m worried because a bunch of angry people are demanding that the government clamp down on a minority and take their freedoms away because they want revenge on this minority that controls the banking system and makes everyone’s lives miserable. I’m worried because that’s pretty much how the Nazis got their start in Germany.
I’m not trying to call the Wall Street protesters “Nazis.” I’m just saying that their message has similar elements to Hitler’s message from 80 years ago. And it also appears that, instead of trying to bring more power to the local community, these protesters are talking way too much about giving the government more power and responsibility. Yes, this government that they say is corrupt and catering to Wall Street, is also the government that the protesters want to give more power to.
Revolutions are never very clean or orderly. This one on Wall Street is pretty messy. Messy in many ways. Hundreds of campers with no washroom facilities except the ones they borrow from the very corporations that they are trying to bring down, for example. But also messy in the sense that they have no real coherent message for what they want to build – only what they want to tear down. They are mad as hell at the corporations, but at the same time they want the corporations to give them jobs and take care of them.
Okay. All that is as it is. I’m not saying we should stop protesting and go home. I think that we are living at a time of unprecedented opportunity, when these protests can lead to a major shake-up of the powers that have taken so much power away from us. The previously unshakeable has begun to show cracks in the foundation. We have the opportunity to take back our power and build something new.
But what do we build? If Wall Street should crumble and the government go down with it, what do we do then?
I’d like to see more power focused in local community groups, where we can take care of each other on a more humane level. Many protesters want the government to take care of the people, but governments only know bureaucracy. Governments don’t know anything about compassion. If we want compassionate communities where people are taken care of, then we will need to build those for ourselves.
We have to do it.
What do you think?