Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 3 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (3 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Happy Birthday Occupy

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (105 fans)
Source: Robert Reich Website


Two years ago the "Occupy" movement roared into view, summoning the energies and attention of large numbers of people who felt the economic system had got out of whack and were determined to do something about it.

Occupy put the issue of the nation's savage inequality on the front pages, and focused America's attention on what that inequality was doing to our democracy. To that extent, it was a stirring success.

But Occupy eschewed political organization, discipline, and strategy. It wanted to remain outside politics, and outside any hierarchical structure that might begin to replicate the hierarchies of American society it was opposing.

So when mayors, other public officials, and university administrators cleared the Occupy encampments by force -- encampments that had become the symbol of the movement -- nothing seemed to remain behind. Some Occupiers made plans for further actions, but a movement without structure, discipline, and strategy proved incapable of sustaining itself. 

All major social-change movements in American history that widened opportunity and made this a more just society -- women's suffrage, the labor union movement, the civil rights movement, the anti Vietnam War movement, the environmental movement, the gay rights movement -- have depended, to some extent, on leaders who helped guide them, and decision-making structures that provided discipline and strategy for those who joined.

These movements could sustain themselves over many years, sometimes many decades, because they consciously maintained hope on the basis of small but concrete victories, built their numbers by choosing their battles carefully, and kept their eyes on the big prizes. They educated the public about what was at stake, and then used public pressure to push elected representatives. 



Occupy served an important purpose, but lacking these essentials it couldn't do more. Inequality is worse now than it was then, and our democracy in as much if not more peril. So what's the next step?

 

http://robertreich.org/

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

The Minimum Wage, Guns, Healthcare, and the Meaning of a Decent Society

Why the Right-Wing Bullies Will Hold The Nation Hostage Again and Again

The Gas Wars

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

But it is disappointing to realize that 2 years la... by lvtfan on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 4:18:36 PM
I want to thank Robert for giving voice to insight... by Stephen Dvorak on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 5:50:41 PM