Occupy Wall St. – Letters to friends and family, and an overview of what is unfolding now

What is happening is momentus. It could go wrong, it could fizzle out, or it could be co-opted, but at present, by all I can see, it is hopeful: here are a few letters I sent to friends and family on the subject, that aimed to clarify and also to empower and embolden – peace to all of you reading this, and I send you my love.

As an overview of the phenomenon, and to offer some thoughts to the movement as well, I would say this:

We need to be clear on not only what we’re against, but also what we’re for. We’re opposed to corporate greed, yes. We’re not anti-business, but we’re against the richest 1% dominating the economy, the media and the political process, and basically ruling the world. That is, we’re opposed to corporatism – to corporate rule, plutocracy or rule by the super-rich. We’re passionately in support of democracy, human rights and justice for all. This is not an anti-corporate movement: this is a pro-democracy movement! And it is about time! Let it roll. We need it.

Todd

*

Hi papa,

I hope you’re well. I had to write, `cause the uprising that’s going on is very interesting and very exciting, I think. I’m not sure if you’re following it. I wasn’t at all inititally, but over the past couple of days I’ve read and listened more, and it is momentus, I now think. It’s hard to say that it’s not. It gets dismissive treatment, and moreover, largely silence and a media black-out from the corporate-dominated (via advertising dollar dependency) and corporate-owned media, but that is no surprise.

Anyway, I love you very much, and miss the conversations. (It’s been too long since I’ve been by.) I’ve put up a bunch of “Tweets” on Twitter – which is an excellent news and analysis agreggator if you know how to choose your sources well (I have a few hundred news feeds coming into my Twitter account now) – tweets or posts of articles and videos that have very interesting content on the subject. You can find the feed on my blog if you want. I’d love to hear what you think.

I’m cautiously optomistic. This emerging pro-democracy movement in the U.S., which is rapidly spreading to cities across the U.S. and internationally, could be co-opted or derailed, or simply sputter out, but I think it has the potential to be the beach-head that drives forward a radical renewal of democracy, and a reclaiming of power by the people from the 1% corporate and financial elite who have usurped far too much power and have come to dominate the economy, media, culture and poltical process. (It’s not an anti-business movement – it’s anti-corporatist: meaning, business is fine, but big business should not, and cannot be allowed to rule our society or the world.) I hope this is the thin edge of the wedge to restore power to the people. I believe it very well may be.

As I see it, nothing is going to change for the better, and we will have no future at all, unless we retake power from the corporate elite who have usurped it. The people may be less than fully aware and fully enlightened, but the polls routinely show that what the people want is far better than what we have now. When the people want better than the status quo, on social as well as environmental issues, and by a wide margin, then we have to ask what is in the way – what is obstructing the peoples’ will? The answer of course are the vested interests that Ronald Wright spoke of, who are profiting highly from the present state of affairs, and who do not wish to see a change. The answer then is to restore power to the people, and to wrest power from the financial elite who have taken it without due legitimacy.

This is what is happening now with the Occupy Wall St. movement: it is the beginning of a revolt of the people, whereby the people retake their power and reclaim their democracy and their future. I am hopeful. There is much to be done, and all doors are open. It is up to us.

Comfort the suffering; discomfort the comfortable. Even the table and let us see a new day.

This is building so fast. It’s just three weeks in, and it’s spreading across the U.S. and around the world. The time was ripe; this is a tipping point. This has major potential. Everything is up in the air, everything is possible. It is rapidly becoming an exciting time – it is an exciting time. Shit is happening now. And the revolution will not be televised.

Paltry partisan politics function at such an abysmally lower level than this. This is the beginning of a revolution.

Love,
T

P.S.: The essay that I have attached has not been read by anyone. It was written September 14, three days before the Wall St. occupation, which I had not heard about until some days later. I hope you enjoy it.

Post, post-scrpit:

“Ideas that can be easily assimilated meet with responsiveness. Ideas that force us to re-think our views of the world tend to meet with hostility.”  (James Gleick) Although the present popular uprising which is demanding a renewal of democracy is in accord with the sentiment and views of the great majority of the people, the power elite, along with the timid, the fence-sitters and the infantile who long for a parental figure in government and society, and the stubbornly partisan loyalist zealots and ideologues, will rally in joint force with a hostility which has yet to be seen in its fullness. Be ready for it. We cannot expect this to be a peaceful transition to a genuine government “of the people, by the people, for the people” – the power elite and their loyal servants will defend the existing regime and order ferociously. We should be prepared. “Biting Through” is the I Ching hexagram which comes to mind: this is where we stand now. A beginning has been made. The future is up to us, as always.

Some people react with fury when their world view is challenged. We should not be surprised. It is a clinging to ideology, and to the illusion of security and comfort. Even when the ground is being swept out from underneath them, even when their future is clearly at risk, even when things are so undeniably going wrong, there are those who will rally to the defence of the dying – and killing – existing order. Many simply do not want to be bothered with having to think or make decisions, and wish desperately for someone to think and decide for them, and to take their power from them, as Dostoyevsky and Huxley, among others, described. Others react with rabid rage when their priviledge and power is threatened, being unafraid to take power, and rather, are eager for it. Likewise, we should not be surprised, nor dismayed, nor disuaded from our goal.

The goal is the healing of this world, which requires, first and foremost, the reclaiming of democracy by the people. It shall be done. And it is in progress. The people have more courage, more heart, more intelligence, and more basic decency and common sense than is commonly ascribed to them. If we are to create a better world, it will be with the rising and the uniting and the solidarity of the people, and in no other way. The people are uniting and arising now. We should stand with democracy, and with the people. I trust you will. I have no choice.

******

(new letter, online friend)

I rly don’t know you well at all, and you barely know me, but I saw your disposition and views to some degree online, and you seem a good-hearted and intelligent person, so I am writing you now with a thought; a thought which would not be wasted on the selfish, the greedy or the paralytically closed-minded. Occupy Wall St.: the movement is on!

As far as I can see, this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world. Get behind it. Let me know your thoughts: I’d love to hear them. I’m just pumping the insurrection that is happening now, and that is MUCH needed. Take care, and talk to me anytime. Would love to know what you think.

******

Hi Anne. I hope you are well. I am writing because I am an unabashed hopeful, idealistic, and also brutally realistic politico: and shit is happening now. You’re probably following the occupation of Wall St. Here is my succinct view: this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world, which is much needed – urgently needed. It is nascient, but it is powerful, and gaining steam by the hour. I am unable to contain myself, and have to ask everyone I know to look into it; and if they feel it makes sense to them, to get behind it; or better, to get involved in it. Sorry Anne, I haven’t seen you since jr high, but I still trust in my instincts and my intuition, and you I know have a good and strong heart. Let me know what you think. I just had to put this out there. Forgive me if I’m in the wrong, but it seems to me that it just needs to happen.

******

Hi George. I hope you are well! You should write to me! Would love to hear from you.

I’ve got politics on the brain, as usual, and things are heating up! Holy fuck! Have you been following what is going on with the Wall St. occupation? Damn! I’m not going to write again what I’ve been writing all night: this shit needs and deserves support: this is the birth of a much-needed pro-democracy movement in the Western world. John Lennon would be proud.

Please, don’t be offended that I paste a short letter on the subject that I have now sent to a few people. I love you, frankly, as a human being and as a friend. I just cannot write the same thing to dozens of people. Please read what I have sent here. We need your help. Jump in. Up to you now.

*

Hi Anne. I hope you are well. I am writing because I am an unabashed hopeful, idealistic, and also brutally realistic politico: and shit is happening now. You’re probably following the occupation of Wall St. Here is my succinct view: this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world, which is much needed – urgently needed. It is nascient, but it is powerful, and gaining steam by the hour. I am unable to contain myself, and have to ask everyone I know to look into it; and if they feel it makes sense to them, to get behind it; or better, to get involved in it. Sorry Anne, I haven’t seen you since jr high, but I still trust in my instincts and my intuition, and you I know have a good and strong heart. Let me know what you think. I just had to put this out there. Forgive me if I’m in the wrong, but it seems to me that it just needs to happen.

*

Get in there George, pls. I respect you, whatever you decide. I am asking you now to jump in. Please do.

*****

Fuck Mike! Do you see what’s going on w occupy Wall St? Holy fucking shit!!! Mass unrest. People are pissed, and rightly so. Beginnings…. Tell me what you think. I think it is the beginning, possibly, of something very good. Argh!! Shit man, take the opening where you find it! This is an opening! Make some positive shit happen! I am rallying all the support I can find for this movement, which I sincerely believe is the beginning of a pro-democracy movement for the Western world. God help us, we need that!!! Get behind it, or in it, or with it – or simply let people know that the corporatocracy is no longer immune from popular revolt!

If you have any doubt as to what I mean, remember who I am: I do not bullshit. This is real. From my best analysis, on the fly, this looks to me like it has major fucking potential. We’ll see what happens when it happens. To me, you have to take the open doors when they open, or cry in vain that you let them close. Better to just jump, and see what happens, I would say. Compassion knows no fear – we should strive to embody that.

Todd

A few articles and videos on the occupation of Wall Street, along with tools and resources and important background information:

#OccupyWallStreet: There’s Something Happening Here, Mr. Jones | techPresident

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Remain Defiant After Brooklyn Bridge Arrests (PHOTOS)

WGA East Endorses Occupy Wall Street Protests (Exclusive) – The Hollywood Reporter

It’s the Inequality, Stupid | Mother Jones

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)”

Threat/Promise | Declaration of the Occupation of New York City As…

FreakOutNation » The Marines are coming to #OccupyWallStreet to Protect the Protesters

Nader, Ron Paul, Kucinich Speak to Occupy Wall Street – YouTube

Map: Occupy Wall Street Spreads Nationwide, Major Unions Sign On | Mother Jones

Occupy Wall Street-Inspired Protests Spring Up Around the Country, World – Democracy Now! | Headlines for October 04, 2011

Wall Street protests spread in U.S. and Canada

How to Support #Occupy Wall Street | The Nation

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