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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why Are We Striking?

Or to Put it Another Way – What’s Wrong with the World?

By Mike David
Information Clearing House
Thursday, May 03, 2012

Of course, most of us know what’s wrong with the world. We
know about the poverty, war, violence and disease.

We’re conscious of the injustice, but not fully conscious of it,
because frankly, we have enough to worry about in our own lives.

As such, we’ve come to accept these injustices as simple facts of
life – prepackaged side effects of the human condition, as natural
and intertwined with our existence as water to a stream, beyond
our capacity to effect in any significant way.

This collective sense of powerlessness and default apathy is why
we’re striking.

Our growing sense of isolation and disconnection, whether from
ourselves, from those next door to us, or from those producing our
food and products halfway across the globe, is why we’re striking.

Our forced support of perpetual war waged for and by the 1% -
whether explicitly with speech, or implicitly with inaction and tax
dollars - without ever paying mind to the true causes and motives
behind it, is why we’re striking.

Our failure up til now to connect the dots and realize that
the benefits of a cheap iPod, lovely as it may be, would be
far outweighed by the benefits of a truly just world free of
exploitation, is why we’re striking.

The fact that most of us are too busy being exploited to realize
we’re being exploited – too busy greasing the cogs of our economic
system to notice how the fruits of our labor never fail to float up
and out of our reach - is why we’re striking, as is the fact that most
aren’t able to do anything about this exploitation even when we do
notice it.

While some of us are lucky enough to have jobs and careers that
give real meaning to our lives, allowing us to take full advantage
of our talents and fulfill our destiny, most of us have jobs devoid
of meaning and dignity, yet full of the feeling that we are fulfilling
someone else’s destiny.

Our recognition that the ruling class’s seat at the top of the
pyramid is prepared and propped up by the working class is
why we’re striking.

Our knowledge that it’s actually the CEO who is the most
dependent among us, and that the ones truly indispensable
to our society are not bankers, lobbyists and politicians,
but workers, teachers and engineers, is why we’re striking.

Indeed, the fact that we have an economic system which
functions in the same manner as a virus is why we’re striking.

Just as a virus’s only reason for existence is to expand, without
regard or awareness of the effect of its expansion on its host body,
our economic system pursues its infinite expansion without regard
or awareness of its effect on human welfare or the environment.

Though the earth is finite, it is sustainable, so we reject, in
the words of Michael Nagler, “the inherent contradiction of an
economy based on indefinitely increasing wants – instead of on
human needs that the planet has ample resources to fulfill.”

We’re striking because we also reject the notion that selfishness
must be the driving force in our world.

We believe, contrary to propaganda, that most people in our world
are not selfish, and would rather work together than constantly
compete against each other.

We believe that the only people who really care about things like
power, corporate monopolies and global dominance only make up,
say, 1% of the population, making it seem only logical that we
should have an economic system which reflects the values of the
99% of us who don’t care about such things.

The fact that most of the decisions which have a profound impact
on how we go about our daily lives are made by folks in Washington
or Wall Street, rather than in our communities by the people
actually affected by those decisions, is why we’re striking.

The fact that power rests only with those who lust after it is
why we’re striking.

We’re striking because another notion we don’t buy into is the
presumption that the profit motive can have no outcome other
than the best possible one.

We understand that the success of McDonald’s has nothing to do
with having the best burger, and everything to do with having the
most cutthroat business plan.

We understand that building prisons, waging wars, polluting the
environment, and paying employees inadequate wages are actually
quite profitable.

Sustainability, economic justice and true equality? Not so much.

We understand that being ruthless and unscrupulous is an
economic advantage, and being truthful and virtuous is an
economic disadvantage.

We understand that money is treated as more natural and
inviolable as nature itself, and that too often our place and
perceived value in society is determined solely by how much
of it we make, or how much of it we make for someone else.

We understand that, whether or not you believe in climate
change, our ability to adequately address it or any other
pressing issue is greatly compromised when our shortsighted
need for profit skews our vision of the whole.

We’re striking to suggest new motives and new values going
forward.

The fact that you might not have known why we’re striking,
and you didn’t get and maybe still don’t get what Occupy
Wall Street is about, is why we’re striking.

And who can blame you?

Just like you don’t have the time or energy to really do anything
about the world’s problems, you probably don’t have the time or
energy to do the deep digging required to get your news from any
source other than the corporate outlets conveniently floating on
the surface.

It’s understandable that you wouldn’t see the inherent conflict
of interest of a handful of for-profit corporations with their own
interests telling the world’s story to the majority of people in
this country.

The fact that it’s so hard to be truly informed, and that it’s in the
1%’s interest for the majority of us to be uninformed, is why we’re
striking.

The fact that it’s entirely possible you could go about your day
today and not hear a thing about the general strike, is why we’re
striking.

To counter the charge that it’s unrealistic, and overly idealistic, to
want to bring about real change in our world, as well as the trusty
“life isn’t fair” rationale always used to justify injustice, is why
we’re striking.

We didn’t accept that line of reasoning during the civil rights
movement, and we don’t accept it now.

We think it’s far more unrealistic to think that a small cadre of
elites will be able to keep up their never-ending pursuit of power
consolidation and mass manipulation without waking us up in the
process.

We think it’s far more unlikely that in 1000 years, humanity will
still be playing this game of perpetual one-upmanship, instead
of picking up the far more efficient and beneficial manner of
interacting with each other in honesty, cooperation and genuine
respect.

Perhaps the biggest reason we’re striking is to simply exercise
that ever-cherished American value of freedom.

Just as our business leaders are free to use every means at their
disposal to maximize profit, we are free to use every means at
our disposal to maximize the realization of whatever objective
we feel is worth pursuing.

And by the way, even if you don’t support the Occupy movement,
whatever you think the Occupy movement is about, we respect
your view, because another reason we’re striking has to do
with our political system – the way it thrives and prospers
by pitting us against ourselves, encouraging us to demonize
each other while discouraging us from disagreeing civilly.

The fact that this post is completely and utterly inadequate in
expressing why we’re striking, is why we’re striking.

But that’s OK, because like May 1st, this post is just the beginning.


Mike David is an occupier in San Francisco. He blogs at www.primitivetimes.com

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31215.htm

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