Tuesday, May 08, 2012

In Defense Of Occupation: Dealing With Skeptics

A great write up with real-world arguments for what the author calls skeptics; I just refer to them as people on auto-pilot.

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” –Bob Dylan

So, you took off from work on May 1 but opted to not explain about May Day to any of your co-workers. Little did you know that you’d be recognized in footage on the evening news and find yourself face-to-face with a skeptical colleague, who ponders: I don’t get it. What do the occupiers want? Why is there no clear agenda?
You: Um, have you heard of a little something called theDeclaration of the Occupation of New York City?
ColleagueYeah, maybe, kinda… but still, everyone says they lack a coherent message.
Mic Check: Pardon us, but all the comprehensive and meaningful agendas like “Yes We Can” and “Hope and Change” and “Shock and Awe” were already taken.
ColleagueI read in the papers and saw on TV that…
You: Whether you label them liberal or conservative, most major media outlets are large corporations owned by or aligned with even larger corporations, and they share a common goal: to make a profit by selling a product — an affluent audience — to a given market: advertisers. Therefore, we shouldn’t find it too shocking that the image of the world being presented by a corporate-owned press very much reflects the biased interests of the elite players involved in this sordid little love triangle.
As they ponder this unexpected dose of reality, up walks a second co-worker, who asks: But who are the leaders? Why don’t they have any leaders?
Possible first reaction: How’s the whole leaders/hierarchy/top-down concept exactly worked out for us — or any life form? Why would a movement for change replicate relics from the omnicidal system we are seeking to replace as soon as possible?
More accessible reply: Go to your local occupation, participate, communicate, listen, and learn because (as usual) the reality is diametrically opposed to the conventional wisdom: Everyone at Occupy is a “leader.” It is a movement comprised of thousands of “leaders” from all walks of life — working collectively and sharing skills — without the spirit-crushing hierarchies and chains of command.

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