Archive for pro-democracy movement

Reflections on democracy

Posted in analysis with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2013 by jtoddring

There is a global war on democracy underway, and if it is not addressed, our future will be bleak. But let us start with the ground work of democracy, and follow from there.

Simple majority rule is accurately described as the tyranny of the majority; hence the need for constitutional democracy, where the rights and freedoms of the individuals are enshrined in constitutional law, and hopefully also, in custom and in practice.

And it is constitutional democracy that the vast majority of people mean when they talk about democracy. The term democracy, therefore, can be used as a short-hand for constitutional democracy, since that is what most people mean by the term, and what most people want; so long as we remember that democracy requires constitutionally-enshrined human rights and civil liberties for it to be a desirable system for human society. If we look at other, immediately possible forms of human society, I would say, constitutional democracy is far and away the best that is available, and we should defend it, and protect it, as we protect and defend our own lives. The alternative, at present, is one or another form of tyranny.

To elaborate further, unity and diversity; freedom and collective, cooperative action, are often taken to be mutual exclusive, but they are not. We can have a deeply valued sense of freedom and diversity, and at the same time, a sense of the value and underlying reality of unity within diversity; and an awareness that we, as human beings, have always been stronger, more creative and more adaptable when we work together and pool our resources and talents.

For this reason, a radically democratic, grass-roots, populist and participatory constitutional democracy which might be called libertarian socialism, to put a label on it, is the most intelligent form of human society of which I am aware, with the exception of libertarian communalism, which is probably too far of a stretch for human beings at this time, given the level of fear and mistrust that exists, and the illusions which rule our world. Again, liberty and collective action are not necessarily at odds, as simple reason would clearly indicate; nor are diversity and unity. Whether we realize these facts or not, will shape our future; and at this time of great crisis for human kind, it may be definitive, and decisive.

But again, to speak of the immediate task at hand, we must re-invigorate, and indeed, recapture and reclaim democracy, simply – constitutional democracy, of course, with human rights and freedom for all – or we will almost certainly have tyranny, and we will regret our passivity and complacency in the face of great danger, in the deepest of ways.

And what does this mean, in practice, at this particular time in history? It means, now as always, that we defend constitutional democracy and freedom from any threat, foreign or domestic, which seeks to usurp the power of the democratic process, and to gather unto itself unwarranted and tyrannical powers.

And what powers now threaten freedom and democracy, world-wide? It is no longer the church, the aristocracy or the monarchy. The threat now is from the merchant class, from the now globally hegemonic and overwhelmingly dominant business or corporate elite, who have effectively taken over the global economy, the governments, the electoral system, the political process and the media world-wide.

To defend freedom and democracy now, therefore, means to question, to challenge, to resist and to rebel against, and to overthrow, the corporate elite who have now become the ruling powers in the world. That is the task at hand, and nothing less will do.

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As to the term socialism, there is much fear in many quarters relating to it, and it has become a dirty word, and a terrifying word for many, particularly in the United States, where the levels of political literacy are among the lowest in the world. But socialism need not be feared. Socialism has become synonymous in the United States with Karl Marx, and even with Stalin. But this is sheer idiocy, and the link is made out of ignorance. There is a profound lack of understanding there of the history of the left, and the various threads of it. The left was certainly not homogeneous then, two hundred years ago; nor has it been since; and nor is it now. Nevertheless, it is widely unknown that there was a major divide within the left, from the beginning, which was the Enlightenment thinking of the 18th century.

From the beginning, there was a spilt in the left between Marx and his acolytes, who sought to gain control of the powers of society, and in particular, the powers of the state, in order to carry out a revolution which would, supposedly, free all humanity; and those who questioned the idea of a few self-proclaimed intellectual elites taking over all power; as Bakunin in particular challenged, and rightly questioned.

The short history is that the wing led by Marx temporarily triumphed among the left, and the libertarian socialists were marginalized – and so much so, that socialism became synonymous in many people’s minds with absolute power held in the hands of the few, a la Stalin.

To be wary of, and even hostile to Stalinism, or any form of tyranny by a self-professed vanguard, is simply sane, and intelligent; but to dismiss socialism, or to equate it with these pathologies of social theory and political action, is a grand act of blindness and ignorance, if not self-delusion, or sheer deceit.

Socialism, at its root, values human solidarity, human equality, and the well-being of all; and we would be unwise at the least, if not foolish or radically confused, to dismiss or reject it. Socialism, at its heart, has nothing to do with tyranny or the rule of the few over the many; and when it has devolved into this, it no longer deserves the name socialism.

Do we remember the motto of the French Revolution – which, by the way, was far more revolutionary than the American Revolution, which sought, to be honest and frank, to replace the tyranny of British elite rule, with a merely American elite rule? It was liberty, fraternity and solidarity, along with constitutional democracy. In short, the French revolution, in contrast to the much glorified, but highly faulted American revolution, sought freedom, equality, solidarity and constitutional democracy.

And if we strike out or eliminate equality and solidarity from the mix, then we are not only infinitely poorer, and also weaker for it, but we will find ourselves living, sooner or later, once more in a tyrannical state, for you cannot have freedom without equality; and you cannot have the safeguarding of any of these values – of freedom, of democracy, or of equality – without solidarity.

In short, socialism, when it is practiced intelligently and honestly, keeps us rooted in the real world, and keeps us held fast to the values of equality and solidarity which are the very underpinnings of both freedom and democracy. To disavow them is a form of slow and protracted suicide. To embrace them is the road to freedom – but again, only if these values are linked deeply and in practice to the values of freedom, and to the refusal of any form of elite rule.

*

As to the libertarian elements of this conversation, meditation or dialogue, it should be noted that libertarianism originally had a very different meaning than it has come to mean today, at least within the United States and North America. Originally, libertarianism came out of the Enlightenment thinking of the 18th C, and from the left side of that thinking. It was an extension, from reason and experience, of the democratic and freedom-loving thrust of the enlightenment, which sought to limit any undue powers in society which might be or become oppressive or tyrannical.

Libertarianism originally meant an opposition to any form of oppressive powers over humankind, or any excessive concentration of powers in human society which could easily become oppressive. That included the aristocracy, the monarchy, the church, the military, or any other power which could come to dominate the society as a whole, including the rising powers of the business class.

Now, two hundred and some years later, the monarchy is not the dominant power in most nations, nor is the aristocracy or the church. It is the business elite who now rule over all, and left libertarianism, or libertarianism in its original sense, addressed and also rejected that form of tyranny, along with all other forms and guises.

In the US recently, libertarianism has, by contrast, devolved into a mistrust of government, with a blind eye turned towards the powers of business and corporations. It has devolved into a political philosophy of limited government, combined with a naive and uncritical laissez faire capitalism. Fortunately, that is changing, and the libertarian right, as it should be called, has begun to recognize that corporate and other business powers can be as tyrannical as any government powers ever can be.

*

For us to live in the real world, in short, we must address any form of tyranny, as Jefferson, limited in awareness as he was, so passionately urged. It would mean that we would challenge any excessive powers of government or the state; and also, any excessive powers of the business or corporate elite – as Jefferson himself urged, fully two hundred years ago, and which warning we ignored, at our great peril.

That is what we need now. We need a fierce and undeterred defence of constitutional democracy and freedom, against any attacks or any threats, foreign or domestic. And to say it again, at this time, that means deposing the corporate elite who have taken over, and who have usurped far too great of powers. If we refuse this task, then both democracy and also freedom will be no more, and we will be no more than serfs and slaves.

Stand now.

J. Todd Ring,
February 25, 2013

Go Back To Sleep America, At Your Own Peril

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, civil liberties, class, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, ecological crisis, ecology, economy, election, elite, empire, empowerment, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, health, health care, human rights, imperialism, Iran, jobs, liberal, must-read, NDAA, neo-feudalism, Obama, oil, Patriot Act, peace, peak oil, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, politics, psychology, quotes, Republican, Republican Party, sustainability, the world's other superpower, truth, U.S., war, war crimes, war on democracy, wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by jtoddring

I never reprint other people’s writings, no matter how good – but I will make an exception for this. This article is a true must-read. Please, take the time to read it. Then act.

Good morning America. It’s time for a new day.

Kudos and warm thanks to Jill Dalton at recoveringarmybrat. I will definitely read your book, Is It Fascism Yet?

Sincerely,

Todd

Go Back To Sleep America.

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!

*

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.

*

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.

*

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

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

*

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