Sunday, September 25, 2011

Occupying Main Street

It is evident that across our nation, people are frustrated and angry. Democrat or Republican—it makes nary a difference which corporate puppet is elected. Our nation will continually be at war to make money off far-away natural resources. In these hard times of the Great Recession, the rich continue to get richer, and it’s no surprise where that wealth has trickled up from. Many people are out of jobs and unable to find work. They are losing their homes and gathering impossible debt. They are figuring out how to cope as they no longer have access to the money economy.

The protests in Egypt earlier this year were more widely reported in mainstream American news than the protests on Wall Street. It is a challenge to find news reporting on what is going on in my own country, and I imagine if I was not seeking it out, I may never know that people were protesting on my behalf. They call themselves the 99%--those who can’t afford lobbyists, who don’t have influence in politics. They are the unemployed, often over-educated—those who listened to talk of the American dream, pursued it vigorously, and found it dissipated once they arrived prepared and ready on the scene. They are often young, wondering why no one bothered to fix the broken system they are inheriting. (I should note, I am nearly 40, and I’ve wondered the same thing the last 20 years.)

It comes as no surprise that our government is heavily influenced by those who hold the purse strings. We all know this. It comes as no surprise that our media is heavily influenced by those who hold the purse strings. We all know this. Does it surprise us that a handful of tea party protests are heavily covered in the media while a massive peoples’ demonstration in the heart of the beast is largely ignored? It’s disgusting, but no surprise.

We look at those who profit from the actions of corporations—those who continue to benefit. It seems they feel themselves invincible, and that is an incredible weakness and shortcoming. Traditionally, when revolution is imminent, those in power capitulate in order not to lose total control. The New Deal is a good example. In the 1930s, the Wobblies and the anarchists were growing in numbers, as were the poor and unemployed. Massive protests encouraged lawmakers to parcel out funds to provide jobs and food in order to quell uprising. Our nation can no longer afford that route, as the tea partiers constantly remind us.

What can our government do? They have merely the illusion of control, as we find out, the more of us that step up and speak out. There is not enough in the way of resources to control us all. As more of us drift away from our brainwashing/upbringing as Patriotic Americans(tm), we find ourselves more aware of our actual circumstances. We find ourselves operating in an economy based on what we have in abundance—our time and our willingness to share what we have. This is the basis of the economy of the community.

We stop listening to the rules and regulations of the corporate government that benefits from controlling our actions with the threat of violence (whether this violence is mace in the eyes during a peaceful protest, or an eviction from a home we could afford if only access to the money economy—jobs—were available) and instead listen to our consciences. There is a large number of surplus homes as the numbers of homeless swell. Any person with a bit of common sense can hook together this supply and demand conundrum that those on Wall Street can’t seem to figure out. This is a mere drop in the bucket of common sense measures that our government can’t seem to grasp. (Whoever started buying up debt because debt is an asset deserves a $100 billion bonus, heh.)

We demand honesty from those in our circles of interaction, especially from ourselves. Our way of life is disintegrating in front of our eyes. We welcome this, knowing that this crisis will give birth to something more meaningful. As we look around what was formerly the most wealthy nation in the world, and see utter poverty while also seeing those who benefit from the control of corporations sipping champagne and smirking while protected by the public police, something is stirred deep within us.

I do indeed consider myself a patriotic American, though not in the way of throwing more money after unjust wars and standing up for the rights of corporations to throw money at politicians because that’s all free speech means anymore. I have always rooted for the underdog, and to me, that is what America is about. We ourselves are freedom fighters, throwing off our blinders and blazing trails anew. This opportunity arises on occasion, and the invitation is extended to us. We can see through the illusion of control, and disregard it. We can find out for ourselves what freedom means—not relying on tea partiers to define it for us. We can take it upon ourselves to develop the responsibility to each other that makes our near-useless government completely so. We find security in our freedom and responsibility to each other—way more than Social Security could ever give us. We can realize what it is like to have our nation for, by, and of us, not for, by and of those who benefit from corporate profits.

Yes, I’m a revolution cheerleader, and I’m not the only one. I am eight months pregnant ,and it is my hope my child will be born free and raised in a new paradigm. I am doing what I can to enable this to happen, and I invite you to join me and the other 99% in reclaiming ourselves and our country, creating together lives worth the effort of living. We may not have much in the way of money, but we have each other, and that is enough.

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