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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/6/11

A Reality Check; The Majority of the 99% are entrenched in the Status Quo

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At both the local and national level there is a growing sentiment
expressed among many "liberal" or "progressive" factions of our
populace that the Occupy movment is a distraction from the liberal or
progressive focus on challenging the Republican Right to keep political
power vested with entrenched "liberal" Democrats.

The entire
present political system is broken. The Occupy movement has faced that
hard fact. The Occupy movement is a very new post partisan evolution
that cannot be defined in the current political mental framework. It is
really easy to criticize what you do not understand, or perhaps have
only observed from a distance. To the best of my knowledge some of the
most vocal local critics of Occupy CR have never attended a single
Occupy General Assembly. We cannot understand an elephant by feeling
the trunk in the dark. Personally, I am a political free agent. I do
not condone every thing that Occupy does locally or nationally.... but
the fact is, this emerging movement is bringing about active citizen
discussion about core issues much more than any other movement in
decades. I do not embrace any ideology whole hog. I keep my critical
thinking and creative response active in all circumstances. However, I
do take the time to attend Occupy assemblies. In these open citizen
assemblies, it is clear that participants come from a very wide
political spectrum to work together for change. They are learning new
skills that are not offered in the current political system. These new
skills are necessary to build a new social and economic system.

The entrenched political class call on OWS to define a clear "platform"
in the traditional political form. OWS at this stage is mostly about
process; the main Occupy activity is learning the crucial skills of
non-violent direct action and group community decision making that are
very necessary to bring about deep systemic change. Many occupy
participants are now discussing how to form co-ops, local food
production, community enterprises and other key resources that will be
needed to take the Occupy movement into the next stage of real systemic
change. The actual "content" of this new movement may take a period of
time to rise up out of this open source process.

interesting thing in our local political scene is that the much of the
vocal criticism of Occupy Cr and Occupy Iowa comes from people who self
define themselves as "progressives". The OWS movement is not a
distraction from--but serves as an emerging alternative to--the
disingenuous theatrics staged by the two mainstream parties within our
present charade of a republic. Both parties are the instrument of elite
power to keep the economic status quo in place. The system of Politics
as Usual is so out of touch that its constant dysfunction will
eventually bring more outraged people into the streets and hasten it's
own downfall. We need to be ready with intelligent and peaceful

Arrogant power ruthlessly maintained by police
and military force, does not yield without a consistent long term
challenge. We need to find ways for as many citizens as possible to
become allies, rather than splinter into division and ineffective
bickering about each step. There are no perfect humans, so there are no
perfect social or political movements. Critics of the Occupy Movement
are welcome to participate and join in the open and transparent citizen
participation effort that Occupy has initiated. This movement is in its
very infancy, and it has a lot of room to learn and grow. I am sure
that many wrong steps will be taken as this infant movement grows.
Trial/error/improvement is the very nature of all learning, change and
progress. We learn by stepping out and doing something; we then
evaluate our results and continue the endless process. It is really
easy to be an armchair critic and not take the time to participate
directly. The Occupy movement is fluid and open to criticism and
change. If you want it to do better, come forward and help that process.

It is important to know that we should expect resistance from both the
1% and the 98% that are still addicted to the status quo of a compliant
consumer driven culture. It is important to realize that a huge portion
of the 99% will resist change along with the 1%. The status quo is more
comfortable to most people than real freedom and change. A huge number
of colonists in 1776 remained loyal Tories, subject to the Sacred
Status Quo. It is always a very small minority that work for systemic
change. The majority are bound by the strong but invisible chains of
entrenched social convention or fear of change.

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." -- Steve Biko

Most of the 99% are very loyal subjects of the present system. Since
birth, most of us have been programmed by the consumer state's mental
paradigm. Almost every daily act we engage in and psychological
attitude we internalize is in some way determined by the dictates of
the status quo. We are compliant subjects of the constant commercial
come-ons and political propaganda of the monolithic corporate state.
The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the empty entertainment we
consume are all determined by pervasive mass media saturation. The
majority of the 99% go deep into debt to try and maintain the consumer
illusion that they too can be counted among the elite 1%. Consumer
society is all about image. Real value in life is an internal process.

The 1% pioneers that are engaged in the Occupy Movement need a reality
check. The majority of their neighbors in the 99% serf class will not
come forward onto the path of change quickly pr easily -Unfortunately,
the real masses will not demand change until the entire economy
collapses in ruins around them... and an alternative economy and social
structure will then be required by necessity.

                      A revolution is impossible until a revolution is inevitable. -Trotsky


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Michael Richards is a life long innovator, entrepreneur and author. His most recent book is; SUSTAINABLE OPERATING SYSTEMS/The Post Petrol Paradigm (available on line at; Mr. Richards has presented as an author, speaker and (more...)
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