Monday, November 07, 2011

OWS progress report: the sound of one hand clapping

David Seaton's News Links
Hope where there was cynicism; solidarity where there had been suspicion. The occupations are more effective as a launch pad than a destination. Nobody knows where this is going. It's just great to be on the move. Gary Younge - The Guardian
Winter is coming and the bitter cold of the island of Manhattan and the NYPD may finally empty Zuccotti park. What has been accomplished by the occupation of Wall Street?

Some people would say little or nothing.

They are totally wrong.

Implanting in the broad public consciousness the idea, in slogan form, of "we are the 99% facing the one percent who own everything", is the major and perhaps the most enduring achievement of the Occupy movement and its importance is capital and should not be underestimated for a minute.

The slogan, "we are the 99%" is like one of those Zen Buddhist "koans", similar to "does a dog have Buddha nature?" or "what is the sound of one hand clapping?": they are riddles that if meditated upon long and hard enough will produce the flash of intuitive understanding the Zen masters call "Satori". In this case meditating on "99%" will soon produce a complete and instantaneous intuition as to the nature of society and the firm dedication to changing it.

The idea of the 99% versus a tiny minority that dominates them is at the heart of every popular revolution that ever was. If this simple idea illuminated the consciousness of enough people it would be possible to unravel the system like pulling on a loose yarn of a sweater.

"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" still resonate as much at this moment as they did the day they were first pronounced, just as "the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God" does.

There are 7,000,000,000 of us now and we will survive or perish together

The idea of equality is based on our common humanity. I admit I haven't done any field work on this, but I imagine that when Her Majesty, the Queen of England, Defender of the Faith, goes to stool, the aroma of her efforts differs little from that of a humble barmaid and the most expert coprologist would have trouble telling the difference between them. And if you cared to take the trouble to make a similar analysis of Lloyd Blankfein and the person who cleans his office, you would probably obtain the same result. At bottom, people are people.
The idea of gross and exploitative inequality offends the most basic, intuitive, understanding of our species.

An entire new situation will be created by spontaneous generation if the slogan "we are the 99%" continues to resonate.

That the American middle class now support this concept is truly new and if it continues, revolutionary in every sense.

The American Dream has received an indefinite rain check and Americans don't seem prepared to tolerate that.

No-one should ever underestimate the importance of "we are the 99%". DS

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