While I've been spending so much time a) packing; b) transcribing and posting excerpts from "The Peril of Fascism," the world continues to turn.
The Occupy National Gathering concluded in Philadelphia on July 4th and a Vision Statement of Sorts was produced. It's basically a list of ideas and ideals to work toward; some might call it a list of "demands" but I would say there is no one, really, to make demands of in that Our Rulers long ago declared their divorce from the rest of us commoners. Our Rulers are on another plane, it would seem, unapproachable, unaccountable, distant, and indifferent to the pleadings of the People -- whether in the streets or not.
This is the first 20 items on the Vision Statement as it is being circulated now:
203 clean water, air, and food
186 free education for all
158 no war
116 sustainable human society
110 a culture of direct democracy
108 free universal healthcare
106 local food production, community gardens, & permaculture agriculture
104 economic equality
95 localized economies
93 a world where basic needs are met
92 military-industrial complex destroyed; military spending slashed
85 economic system based not on profits, but mutual aid and meeting all
85 housing for all
82 workplace democracy and worker-owned co-ops
79 freedom to live anywhere: no borders, no nations
77 a collective, horizontal, non-hierarchical society
73 corporate power and influence rejected
72 all cultures respected equally
The numbers refer to the number of instances these items were listed by participants in the "Visioning Process" on July 4.
This being Occupy, there's some criticism because it's "not really a Vision Statement," and because it is not tied to any course of action. Nevertheless, it is a step toward defining and clarifying the mutual vision of the many tens and hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been part of the Occupy Movement.
One person, I noted, complained that the "vision" wasn't, erm, revolutionary enough for her. Yes, well, that's a fact. Occupy is the strangest sort of revolutionary movement, organic rather than impulsive, based -- as can clearly be seen above -- in a biological conception of society rather than... well, even finding the right word for what we have now is daunting. It's not exactly civilization...
Occupy is unlike any revolution that has gone before, and in many fundamental ways -- though not necessarily obvious ways -- it's already a stunning success. The authoritarian display the Po-Po (I'm growing fond of that term for the police) put on in New York to welcome the 99 Mile Marchers -- which resulted in a handful of bizarre and brutal arrests (including a livestreamer, who got it all on video) and the terrorizing of a couple of (literally) old ladies was taken in stride. As Nate said over and over again as he was recording the events at Zuccotti/Liberty Plaza, "It's what the NYPD does; it's what the police do all over the country." It's who they are, an identity thing. Sorry to say. There were confrontations, but they have become so highly ritualized they are almost meaningless. People are learning to regard the police as a screwed up nuisance. In fact, all civic authority is falling into that category. How many thousands of Occupiers have been arrested? How many injured? How many banksters? There you are, then, the perfect image of completely screwed civil priorities.
So long as that's the case, "authority" will continue to be delegitimized. And the Revolution will continue, essentially on a parallel track rather than a confrontational one. It's a matter of replacement rather than reform.
I've been dealing with the resurgence of fascism and the eerie comparison of what's going on now with what was going on during the 1930's. But there's nothing comparable to the Leftist/labor/Socialist/Communist opposition to fascism now that was so very strong then. There's something else, something deeper that a political ideology. It's not even the kind of anarchism that I find myself attracted to; it's deeper than that.
This is a highly moral effort, and that, I think, is its chief strength. It's moral rather than material. People are not so much concerned with having stuff or necessarily improving their standard of living or holding on to something of the past. They are looking forward to a better future that they create themselves, sustainable, beautiful, filled with life and love and sunshine and music to be sure, but most of all, morally righteous. Doing what's right for one another; doing what's right for the planet; peace, love and harmony.
Dignity, Justice, Community, Peace.
In some sense, the point of the Visioning process is to cause this better world that possible to spontaneously arise.
It may not work, but then again...