Friday, December 2, 2011

Eed...or the trouble with OWS

My oldest and dearest friend was often called Keed in our younger days, and since our bond hearkens to those days of rhymes and baseballs, it is with thoughts of him that I begin this post. I seldom tell him of my troubles because I don't believe he needs to be burdened with them, but I always remember his birthday. And while he has fallen prey to the Florida political mindset...a slow erosion due to time and family focus...I do love him, and do not begrudge him his float in the flow.

Which brings me to Occupy Wall Street...

While I am certain that I am going to paint them in incorrect colors (primarily because I don't know enough about them), and I am certain that their intentions are noble, their leap of awareness is clearly inadequate. That they embrace change within the current paradigm is, at least for me, the signpost of their downfall.

Those of you who follow my life understand that I am blessed to be a member of both 99s; the long term unemployed, and the have-nots. I am eternally grateful to those (my family, my friends; notably GB and PD, SL, DN, and the nun) who have generously sustained me with food, shelter and funds, and love. Yet, within my limited purview, I am compelled to view the root causes of humanity's woes as much larger than the currently demonized villains.

As evidenced by the pepper spraying of Walmart raiders, and the hindsight popularity of legislating that our political representatives be subject to the same investment rules as the rest of us, it should be clear to any right-minded human that the demise of capitalism should be at hand. Throwing a five dollar toy in a box does not absolve us of the guilt we should bear, for the gross and abject grEED we accept as the main necessity of living. Our economy is based entirely on offering the possibility of acquisition to the masses, while maintaining the actuality that only a small percentage acquire. We continue to insist that acquisition is the ultimate goal; acquisition of paper and coin that are as imaginary as judeo-christian principles. In a world where manufacturing and heavy industry are things of the past, we continue to believe that we can create new jobs within those sectors. If you really look at the basis of 'successful' national economies, you have to realize that they are based on creating the perception that we nEED things that we do not. Tell me. Whose need is greater...your child's need of an iPad for christmas, or a five year old African child's need for AIDS drugs that are actually effective? As a society, we offer token charity to groups in which we have, in the very least, a perceived, vested interest. We donate millions for the eradication of breast cancer because we suffer from it; we offer a pittance for the eradication of malaria because it does not occur here. Our generosity is based, at least in part, on the old adage-out of sight, out of mind (and heart). We have bought into (or perhaps, have been led like lemmings) the belief that what we produce (and hence is attainable) possesses some inherent value. We treat depression (as if on a global scale we have any right to be depressed) with for-huge-profit drugs whose main side effect is the onset of suicidal tendencies. Am I really the only one who sees the irony here? As long as we continue to perceive that we are depressed, despite only insignificant causes for our depression, we will produce anti-depression drugs that will result in profit and suicides. Americans no longer really believe that we are lucky to live in a country that offers freedom; we have become entitled. We continue to insist that our children die to protect our freedom. Our children die because we allow it. We allow the 1% to convince us, using exaggerated AND imaginary threats to the land of the free. The simple truth is that we are no longer really free, because our freedom is defined externally, by the 1% who do not really want us to think for ourselves. We have become a society that ignorantly, and blindly, believe what we are told to believe; and at the core, we believe that grEED is good.

Now I have always held that there are really no new ideas, but I am changing my mind. It is clear to me that as a species, it is time to move to an 'economy' that is based on the needs of the many. I am not advocating a communist approach, because communism has shown itself as merely another ideology that creates the same 1%. I am advocating, however, a communal approach, based on the needs of the many, actualized in small, direct-contact communities. This, of course, would require the dissolution of all nations and their governments. If nations and their governments have shown us anything, it is that the few cannot, or will not, do what is kind and right for the many; the many that they govern. There are reasons for this, primarily that humans cannot do big. Despite the popularity of facebook, and other social networks, actual connection is limited to small groups. No one, beyond people selling something, are friend-ed in large groups, and that only occurs because we foolishly believe that they have something we need. If the Senate, and the House of Representatives, have shown us anything, it is that small groups can take care of themselves.

So OWS. I like you, but it's time to bask in what you, as a small group, share. It's clear, that when you get right down to it, that you have nothing in 'common' with Goldman Sachs. Un-friend them today.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Hear hear! Something has surely got to happen but though I laud the idea of OWS and OEE (Occupy Eveywhere Else) I don't think they're making the impact that's necessary.

I wonder what it will take?