Archive for #occupywallst

New Leadership Urgently Needed For The US, Canada and Britain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2015 by jtoddring

Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr., Tommy Douglas and Tony Benn were President of the US, and Prime Ministers of Canada and Britain, respectively. The world would certainly be a far better, more just, freer, more peaceful, and safer place. But we do not.

In all three of these “leading” nations we have neoliberal corporate oligarchy. Some may not realize it yet, but this is the case. A change in leadership is urgently needed. And that is up to the people, ironically, for only they can bring that about.

I would be happy to see Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth May and Jeremy Corbyn as President of the US, and Prime Ministers of Canada and Britain. Bernie Sanders has a real chance of doing just that in the United States. In Canada and Britain, we have a long way to go.

The US leads the Western nations in the race to the bottom, frankly, and quite clearly, in terms of the destruction of democracy, civil liberties and freedom, constitutional rule and human rights, the “third-worldization” of the nation, as Chomsky put it, soaring poverty and inequality, the destruction of the middle class, and in the creation of a neo-feudal, crypto-fascist rule by Wall Street and a democracy-loathing corporate oligarchy. The UK is a close second, while Canada seems intent on closing the gap, and catching up in that dire and dreadful race to oblivion – or return to the feudal age.

But while the US has gone the furthest of any “developed” nation down that dark path, it has also gone the furthest, at least among super-powers, in terms of a popular movement arising to resist and overturn the corporate oligarchy, and to restore democracy, constitutional law, civil liberties, and the rule of the people, by the people, for the people.

Canada and the UK, once again, have a long way to go to catch up in this positive regard as well. The popular movements are there, but they lack focus, boldness, vision, and broad popular support.

In Britain, Jeremy Corbyn has to get his party, the Labour Party, to move away from its relatively recent adoption of neoliberalism and corporate globalization, and its betrayal of the people in favour of submission to the banking elite and the corporate powers. He needs, in short, to get the party behind him, or with him, or else leave it, and create a new and bolder party – one with some basic integrity to it, and some greater courage than Labour has shown for a very long time, ever since Tony “the poodle” Blair took it in a disastrous and quite diabolical direction.

In Canada, we have the triumphalism of a Liberal Party win, with the media portraying Justin Trudeau as the new messiah. But the Liberal Party has been a party of neoliberal corporate patronage for more than thirty years now, ever since Trudeau Jr.’s father left the office of Prime Minister: so the jubilation is misplaced, to put it mildly.

Saviour, Trudeau Jr. is not. He is not even a leader. He is a cheerleader for the corporate powers. Mulcair is no different. The support for the agenda of big oil, pipelines, tar sands, free trade and CETA, prove this case beyond any doubt, with regards to both the Liberal and New Democratic Parties, as well as the Conservative Party – at least in their current incarnation.

Harper may have been an eager, even zealous servant of big oil and corporate powers, but Trudeau Jr. and Mulcair offer nothing of any great difference, nor do they offer any genuine alternative.

Harper set the bar very low. Ousting him was a good thing, but it does not mean that we have anything approaching an ideal government, or even a sane or responsible government. We have a government in service to trans-national corporations, and nothing more, all fanfare and hyperbole aside.

What would it take for Elizabeth May and the Green Party to come to power? Probably a popular uprising, and nothing less. We certainly cannot wait another four or five years, or longer, considering the pace of environmental destruction, and in view of the Liberal support for the tar sands and the Keystone pipeline.

But once again, in all three countries, what will determine the outcome, is not the presence or absence of leadership, but the presence or absence of strong popular movements which will force a change in government.

As always, it is up to the people. And once again, we must acknowledge, time is running out.

J. Todd Ring,
October 22, 2015

For further reading, and concrete ideas for social change, please see my recent book:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium – available on Amazon now.

Rising prices, falling wages, and the emerging economic trends: Currency wars, hyper-inflation, currency devaluation, and how to prepare for the coming storm

Posted in economic collapse, economics, economy with tags , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by jtoddring

120% of the wealth created since the economic crisis began in 2007 has gone to the top 1% – meaning, the bottom 99% have fallen and have lost real income to the richest 1%. (Turn off “the news” and watch the Keiser Report for the real facts, or see Gerald Celente or Michael Hudson.)

20% of homes in Detroit now have no indoor plumbing, and 19% of Americans now rely on food stamps to eat – up from 14% in 2006. This is a recovery? No, the bottom 99% are sinking while the richest 1% get more and more wealthy.

Again, 120% of all wealth creation since 2007 has gone to the richest 1% – meaning the other 99% actually lost ground and lost wealth – to the top 1%. The figures are clear. The 1% are eating the rest of us alive. It is that simple and that stark. And the politicians are aiding and abetting the feeding frenzy of the wealthy few upon the many. How much longer are people going to put up with this?

Prices have fallen over the past decades, leading to a flood of cheap food and consumer goods, which has masked the fact that wages and incomes for most people have stayed flat or fallen; but that trend is now reversing, and prices are now rising – and unless there is a revolution, don’t expect wages to rise in North America or Europe to compensate for the price increases: they have been falling and will continue to fall as the top 1% pushes the 99% further down.

Given the trends, it would be wise to stock up on tools, seeds (non-hybridized, non-GMO heritage seeds), solar panels and used clothes now, before hyper-inflation and currency devaluation kick into overdrive – as they are about to do – and purchasing power plummets while prices soar.

Oh, and buy gold and silver, of course, as well as land for a garden if you can, and some form of shelter that you own outright, and do not rent or have a mortgage on.

The “fix the debt” and “balance the budget” propaganda is just that – propaganda. There is a real debt crisis, to be sure, but it’s not caused by spending on social programs, such as old age security, help for the poor, or education: it’s caused by massive spending on the war machine, the military-industrial-security complex, along with banker bailouts totalling trillions, corporate tax cuts and massive subsidies to the already super-rich and the corporate giants. Nevertheless, while the debt issue is being used to foist austerity measures on the people, while the richest 0.01% continue to feed voraciously off the government purse and the other 99.99%, the bursting of the debt bubble is definitely going to happen. It will simply happen for the opposite reasons of what the people are being told.

Personal debt and government debt have been inflated to unsupportable and extreme levels. Worse yet, printing trillions of dollars in paper money to “stimulate the economy” (by giving it to the banking elite) guarantees the devaluation of the currency and its eventual collapse– and Europe, Britain, the US, China and Japan are all doing it, with unrelenting zeal.

Printing great mountains of paper money is, in essence, creating a credit and debt bubble – or further inflating it – because all paper money is, is a promissory note: a note of a promise to pay in the future; and you can only inflate a credit and debt bubble for so long, before it bursts. You can only print so much money, or print so many promissory notes, before your promises and your money become worthless. Printing money to pay your debts is what the Weimar Republic did – and that worked well. The currency collapsed, and it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread, as the German mark lost 99.9% of its value. The wheelbarrow was worth more than the money in it, which had become essentially worthless.

There will be a time of reckoning, and a time of radical devaluation of currency is fast approaching, as the market can only be manipulated for so long, before it finally corrects itself – and in this case, in a massive, tectonic shift, otherwise known as a depression; or as Gerald Celente calls it, The Greater Depression, since it will in all likelihood dwarf that last Great Depression.

The entire credit and debt bubble is about to burst, and when it does, the bond market and the fiat currencies will collapse – and when that happens, the poorest 99% will be hit severely hard, as a global economic depression hits, and paper money becomes radically devalued and virtually worthless.

The Shoot-Out at the OK Currency War Corral is on, by the way, as Stacey Herbert, Max Keiser and others have said – and now everybody wants to devalue their currency! Smart! A race to the bottom! How so very intelligent! Print it, glut it, quantitatively ease it, flood it! Churn and burn until it collapses! And the global currency war is heating up. Blam, blam! Who ends up gunned down? Everyone holding mere paper money (such as the G7, and also, the vast majority of the people) – not the ones holding gold and other real, hard assets (Russia and China, and a handful of people who are paying attention to what is going on).

Just some thoughts to pass along to the general world… Hopefully they will be heard by some. Tools, solar panels, a garden, a root cellar, a woodstove and a woodlot will be infinitely more valuable than a new X Box, cell phone or wardrobe very shortly – and many people will be blind-sided and completely unprepared. Kind of like walking out in front of a bus, lost in absorption on your phone, playing a video game or reading facebook posts or surfing the virtual world while the real world races toward you and is about to splatter you across the street – to put it in a perhaps compelling visual metaphor. Perhaps.

But the majority of people are clinging to their illusions still, and that bubble is about to burst – and painfully so for those who have insisted on maintaining their cozy state of denial; and I fear for them.

Remember, if this scenario sounds unlikely, that I predicted the crash of 2007 while virtually everyone was saying things are just rosy. A much bigger economic tsunami is coming folks. We have only felt the first tremors. And as Gerald Celente has said, those who are prepared will do well; while most of those who do not prepared will be wiped out.

Just sayin’. This is a head’s up for all those who would rather live in the real world, and not in a bubble of fantasy. I’m sure there are at least a few out there. Good luck and God bless.

For those who are brave enough to deal with reality, please note also: many people are going to need help. If the more alert among us make the effort to cut their costs and prepare well for the coming difficulties, they will not only be better able to help themselves, but others as well.

Preparation, compassion and mutual aid always make sense – and now more than ever.

J. Todd Ring,
February 21, 2013

Why Occupy Wall Street does NOT need the Democratic party

Posted in alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, elite, empire, empowerment, people's movements, political economy, politics, the world's other superpower, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by jtoddring

Some people are now calling for Obama and the Democratic Party to get behind (or is that take over or co-opt) the Occupy Wall Street movement; this at best a strategically unwise misdirection of energies, I would argue, and at worst, a dangerously naive idea. The focus on petitioning and lobbying or even emphasizing at all such a party establishment, seems to me both a waste of time and also a very serious danger to the extremely hopeful pro-democracy populist movement that has sprung up around the globe, and which is being called the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the 99% movement. Obama’s campaign contributions from Wall Street this year exceed all Wall Street contributions to all Republican candidates combined. Follow the money. It is time to see through the veil, and time to get money out of politics. Occupy everywhere. The major political parties have failed us. Leadership must now come from the streets – again, as it always has.

It is a wonderful thought, that the Democratic Party machine could be convinced to start siding with the people and disavow it’s long-standing servility toward, and service to the ruling corporate elite and richest 1% that funds them and puts them in office, and stand honestly and sincerely with the Occupy Wall Street movement which is pressing for true democracy and real power to the people; and I can sympathize, but I am extremely sceptical of both major parties now, and highly wary of the present rapidly growing global pro-democracy movement being co-opted by a few lapdogs who will say the right words, then continue to sell us all out to the same corporate elite – after we have acquiesced, out of a naive false hope, and laid down our metaphorical arms and become once again complacent and disenfranchised spectators.

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. We are too close to a genuine second wave of democratic revolutions to have some tepid and highly dubious politicians play saviours and messiahs and water down or simply dissolve the peoples’ movement into a charade. Leadership must now come from below – from the streets. The “leaders” of the Democratic Party (sic) have already chosen their path. Their path is not our path. We need a grassroots coalition of the people now, not the attempted resurrection of the long-dead Democratic Party. Vive le revolution! The people will lead themselves!

Sincerely and respectfully,
J. Todd Ring
aka @prajnaseek

> Obama and Wall Street: follow the money | Campaign 2012 http://bit.ly/npS7Gu

Occupy Wall Street: The emerging global pro-democracy movement, where it stands, what it means, and where we go from here

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, civil liberties, class, common ground, consciousness, conservative, conservatives, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, currency, democracy, democratic deficit, ecological crisis, ecology, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, human rights, imperialism, inspiration, labour, left, liberal, libertarian, libertarianism, Media, media analysis, money, must-read, oil, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, political theory, politics, politics of oil, psychology, resources, right, right wing, social theory, sociology, sovereignty, sustainability, the right, the world's other superpower, Uncategorized, war, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by jtoddring

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which has already become a global grassroots populist pro-democracy movement, if we have eyes to see, has clearly already won a broad and growing base of support. What is needed now, I believe, is to further clarify and crystallize the issues – and I would say that many people now realize that the central issue is the question of whether we live in a plutocracy or a democracy, whether we have rule of the people, by the people, for the people, or rule by the super-rich 1% and the corporate elite. The second urgent task is to further broaden and build the emerging world-wide pro-democracy movement, and create a popular coalition that can reclaim democracy from the ruling corporate masters who are looting and pillaging at will, and who have usurped far too much power, politically, economically, and in the media. To this second aim, this brief reflection is geared. Unite the people now.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, or more accurately, the fast-growing global pro-democracy movement, has broad support from progressives, the left and labour, considerable support from students, youth, the environmental and peace movements and the liberal centre, and also, although it may be surprising to some, considerable support from the grassroots right.

What many do not understand is that the grassroots right is increasingly wary of and outraged by the same ruling corporate elite that the left has fought against for generations. A growing number of people who consider themselves conservatives are now highly aware that big business and the super-rich have taken over the political process as well as the economy and the media. They are not happy about this fact, to say the least.

There is common ground here, between left and right, liberal, conservative and progressive, and we should not be fooled by the corporate-dominated and corporate-owned media who always want to spin and sow division among the people. The power-hungry have always known that divide and conquer is the best and first line of defence of their vested interests and imperial powers. We should not be surprised when the corporate-run media both inflames and also inflates and exaggerates the divisions which do exist, and severely downplays the common ground that could unite the people. When the people unite, democracy will rule, and the ruling elite will be deposed from power – the elite know this very well, and therefore do everything they can to sow division and discord among the people. Do not let them win!

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At the level of the grassroots, many people are fiscal conservatives, and many fiscal conservatives realize that spending $1.5 trillion a year on imperial wars, the military-industrial complex and CIA black ops – and this is the figure that has been acknowledged by the U.S. government, by the way – is completely unsustainable, and is in fact, economic suicide. While there are major differences of opinion and views between right and left, there is also strong common ground – common ground that is routinely overlooked, and that is vital that we acknowledge and come to realize. Many fiscal conservatives realize that the vast sums spent on war and empire are leading to a collapse of the currency and a bankrupting of the nation. Many also realize that it is the vested interests of the corporate elite – the big oil companies and military-industrial contractors, for example – that drive the wars and the imperial hubris and sheer insanity.

The grassroots right and conservatives are not as out to lunch as most liberals, progressives and people on the left tend to believe. Neither right nor left has a monopoly on truth, on intelligence, or on moral high ground. The sooner we realize that none of us are infallible, that we can learn from one another, and most importantly, that we have a strong basis of unity in common ground, the better.

If the left and progressives and liberals can get over their long-standing self-righteousness and presumed superior moral high ground and intelligence, they will find that they have allies in surprising places. If the right will overcome their habitual paranoia and rabid, overly zealous partisan hatred and hostility toward the left, and realize that the vast majority of people on the left today are neither Stalinists nor statist authoritarians, they too will realize that they have allies in surprising places. We need to realize this now: there is common ground; and unless we find it, we are all in for a very dark time ahead. Divided we will fall – make no mistake about it.

The right and the left may forever disagree, and disagree strongly, on many major issues; but when it comes to the core issues, the most central and fundamental of issues, most people on both right and left are in favour of constitutional democracy, limited powers of the state, civil liberties, freedom and authentic democracy, and are opposed to any form of elite rule. This fact, and this common ground, is critically important for us all to realize now.

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On another line, many on the grassroots right and many who would call themselves conservatives, are libertarians. Traditionally, libertarianism has been a term that has been co-opted by the libertarian right. The libertarian right has traditionally been wary – rightly so – of excessive powers of the state; and it has also traditionally been laissez-faire, or willfully ignorant, as to the dangers of excessive powers in the economic realm. But this has been changing over the past two to three decades, and libertarians that were or are conservatives or rightist, have begun to realize what Thomas Jefferson knew very well two hundred years ago: excessive concentrations of either economic or political powers will result in tyranny.

A growing number of libertarians are now highly aware that in order to preserve constitutional democracy, civil liberties and freedom, the corporate elite must be pushed back, and firmly reigned in. Again, there is a good deal of common ground here between conservatives, liberals, progressives, right and left now, at least at the level of the grassroots.

Of course most politicians are partisan zealots: they have to uphold the charade that they represent widely differing views between widely differing political parties, and to mask the fact that both of the major political parties in the U.S., and most of the major political parties around the world, are bought and paid for by the same ruling corporate elite.  As George Carlin put it, “The politicians are there to give you the illusion that you have a choice. You don’t have a choice – you have owners. They own you. It’s a big club folks – and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the club. And by the way, it’s the same club they use to beat you over the head with every god-damn day, telling you what to think, what to believe.”

We are presented with a false set of choices, and asked to choose between corporate lap dogs A, B, or C. More and more, the people are aware that this is no choice at all, and that the entire system is failing us, and has been co-opted, high-jacked, by the same 1% who control and dominate the global economy and the major media, and are pillaging the earth and the people.

It is time for the people to fully see through the smoke screen, to recognize that the central question at hand is whether we have a plutocracy in which the richest 1% rule over the rest, or whether we have government of the people, by the people, for the people, and to reclaim our democracy, our lives, our world and our future.

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Environmentalists are coming to realize that there will be no serious action to protect our environment or save our collective asses until and unless we depose the ruling corporate powers from their dominance over the political process, the economy and the media – that is, until we the people take the power back and reclaim our democracy and our future.

The progressives and the left generally realize that there will be no justice and no authentic democracy until and unless the people reclaim their power, take back their democracy, and push the corporate elite to the side, reigning them in and allowing decisions to be made, as they should and must, by the people, and not by the super-rich.

The labour movement is coming to realize that perpetual rear-guard action is necessary, but entirely insufficient to create a just and equitable society – that the goals of jobs, decent working conditions and pay, and a decent life for all, are impossible to attain until and unless the people reclaim their power and their democracy from the corporate elite who have usurped these.

The peace movement is beginning to realize that imperial warfare will never end until the military-industrial complex and the big oil companies, and more broadly, the reigning corporate elite, are deposed from power, and the people reclaim their democracy.

The traditionally wishy-washy and banal centre is coming to realize that the middle class dream of a peaceful, reasonably just, free and democratic society in which they and their children can do well and prosper, is a dream that is systematically being destroyed, that the middle class is being eviscerated and is falling into the underclass, and that these goals and values briefly exposited above are by now an impossibility until and unless the people say no to the corporate giants and the financial elite who have overstepped their bounds and come to dominate the entire political process, the economy and the planet. The habitually somnambulent and deferential centre is beginning to awaken.

This is already a broad coalition of interests, people and movements, and it will be even broader when the grassroots left, right and centre realize that they have a common foe: and that is the super-rich 1% and the corporate elite who are destroying democracy, civil liberties, constitutional rights and freedoms, waging unending, murderous and economically bankrupting imperial wars, and endangering all our lives and futures by continuing to disregard the environment in the pursuit of short-term profits and rape and pillage economics.

On the right, there may be 10-20% of the population that is authoritarian and quasi- if not wholly fascist. On the left, there may be 10-20% that is naively, cynically or stubbornly elitist and authoritarian. The 60-80% of the people who are in between these two extremes of right and left prefer and strongly are in favour of constitutional democracy and the rule by the people – and opposed to rule by any kind of elite. This is the majority which we must now unite, and this majority which supports constitutional democracy and is opposed to any form of elite rule, spans both the left and right, liberals, conservatives and progressives. We can and must unite the majority now, and reclaim our democracy from the plutocrats and the – frankly speaking, and to put it plainly – crypto-fascists.

Act now. The time is late. And the time has come for a change.

Unite the people. It is time for the people to take back their democracy and to renew the world.

JTR,
October 19, 2011

The struggle is not between left and right – it’s between democracy and corporatism

Posted in activism, AFA, AFC, alternative, alternatives, American Freedom Agenda, American Freedom Campaign, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, civil liberties, class, collapse, common ground, consciousness, conservative, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, fascism, fascist, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, imperialism, inspiration, left, liberal, money, national democracies, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, Patrot Act, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, social theory, sovereignty, sustainability, the right, Uncategorized, war, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2011 by jtoddring

We must unite the people now, or the people and democracy both will lose

Not only are partisan loyalties and divisions increasingly irrelevant and out-moded, but divisions along ideological lines of left and right are also outmoded and largely obsolete. The major parties function as rubber-stamp agencies, spin doctors and propagandists for the same ruling corporate elite, as the majority of people are now very aware. Romney and Obama, the Republicans and the Democrats represent two wings of the same corporate-run machine. Obama’s record is clear. I cannot possibly support him. Handing billions to banking elites, pushing for immunity for banking elites, expanding war overseas, refusing to challenge the Patriot Act, supporting torture, renditions, the continued destruction of civil liberties…How much evil is too much to be considered acceptable as the lesser of two evils? He is not remotely supportable in good conscience. Supporting a lesser of two evils is no longer tenable or conscionable, if it ever was. But to return to the central point, partisan zealotry and ideological fixations hinder us, and obstruct the way forward. Likewise, ideological factions and ideological partisanship and divisions will only impede us from the task at hand. The task is to unite the people so that they can reclaim their democracy and their future. If we fail to understand this most crucial point, then we have lost before we have begun, and nothing of significance will be accomplished, save for the familiar chanting of “We’re in the right! You’re wrong! (Or evil, or stupid, etc.)” – while the world and our future continues to burn. On this most central point we must be perfectly clear, or we will see no change for the better, but only a continued accelerating slide into a dark age of neo-feudal corporatism, the complete and final destruction of democracy and human rights, further environmentally suicidal behaviour, and a two-tiered society of corporate rulers and pillaged underclass.

The wealthiest 1% of the population now controls more than 30% of the wealth of America – more than the bottom 50% of the people. The biggest six banks on Wall Street now control 60% of the wealth of the country. The people are being pillaged and looted. They must defend themselves and reclaim their future and their country.

We must stand now to reclaim our democracy. And standing we are. The central question now is not whether we are left or right, Democrats or Republicans, liberals, conservatives or progressives, but whether we are populist democrats, standing up for rule of the people, by the people, for the people, or whether we prefer a corporatocracy in which the richest 1% rules over the rest, and democracy and justice, the prosperity and well-being of the other 99%, the environment, human rights, our civil liberties and our future are systematically destroyed.

The old battle lines of right and left are no longer as relevant today as they once were. The primary struggle is not between right and left, but between the vast majority of the people who support and favour constitutional democracy, be they liberal, conservative or progressive, and the ruling corporate elite and super-rich one percent who have usurped far too much power, and have come to dominate the economy, the media and the political process. What is needed is for the people to reclaim their power and their democracy. In order for that to be achieved, it is absolutely necessary that the people unite.

Everyone who favours constitutional democracy over rule by the corporate elite, or any kind of elite, must unite now, in order that democracy can be reclaimed by the people. Once the people have reclaimed their democracy, then we can discuss and debate everything under the sun, democratically, and go from there. Until we have reclaimed our democracy from the corporate elite who now dominate economy, the media and the political process, the point is moot, for we are stone-walled.

If we wish for justice, for peace, for environmental sanity, for human rights and constitutionally protected civil liberties, or for prosperity and well-being for all, then we must above all, and before anything else, reclaim our democracy: and in order to do that, the people will have to unite.

What has been said before is entirely and extremely relevant now: “We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately. United we stand, divided we fall.” (Benjamin Franklin) If the people do not unite, they will be unable to reclaim their democracy from the corporate elite who have usurped it; and if the people do not reclaim their democracy, then there will be an even darker time ahead for the people and for the world. These are the simple facts which we now face.

It`s time for us to reclaim our democracy. Unite the people now.

JTR,
October 6, 2011

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

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2011 by jtoddring

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

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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