This clip (below) is outstanding, and Professor Jeffrey Sachs is absolutely right about young people - we want our world back, and we want it back now. His words paint a powerful picture of who we are, what we want, and how we intend to change things. I have come to realize that Occupy is not just about the United States. The issues that these young people are raising in the U.S. resonate with others across the globe. That's why no one has a handle on it. Everyone is befuddled (I'm referring to those on the right and the so-called "left" in the U.S). They can't make heads or tails of this growing, powerful, and peaceful thing. That's because they are used to authoritarianism and casino capitalism (as Henry Giroux calls it). They think they have gotten away with implementing a cruel and amoral neoliberal system. But you know what? They are wrong. We're on to their tactics. And now we're mobilizing, and we are not fond of Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek (and we despise Thatcher and Reagan). We're through with this cruel, greedy, nasty system. More importantly, we are no longer engaged in the politics of hate.
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Someone told me that 100 rich people mean more than 100,000 protesting poor proletariat. You know what? They are, with all due respect, damned wrong. Those who diminish the accomplishments of the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the ACT up protests, etc. (not to mention the brave folks who protested earlier in the century and fought hard enough to give us fair working hours and so forth), are broken or scared or misanthropic.
Youth across the world are realizing that they are good. That they can change things. And that this is their world. Youth are reclaiming their identities, and realizing their capabilities. They are doing this together. And it's not just youth. They are finding solidarity with the elderly. The youth are uniting, and they are using social media tools to succeed in crushing authoritarianism. More than that, they are on the streets. They are on the streets in cities across the globe.
For instance, I have been exchanging tweets with a woman in Egypt. She is a young professional, and took part in the protests that led to overthrowing the Mubarak regime. This woman continues to be involved in protests, but things are not good there. The military has become brutal, as she has explained, and she worries about their future. But she let me know that she is watching occupy very closely here, and that she hopes that we have better results than they have had. This young woman has been in dangerous, life-threatening situations. We might find ourselves up against similar things. We have already been witness to police brutality. But our people here are insisting that the police are not the enemy - that is powerful to affirm. Indeed, the police are part of the 99%. It must be painful for many of them to condemn the protests. While some may find pleasure in brutalizing people, most of them have to be struggling with the situation. After all, they are facing pay cuts, layoffs, etc. They are also worried about putting food on the table for their kids. They also are worried about the cost of higher education for their children. They are, like us, scared.
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Getting back to the Egyptian woman's remarks, I was struck by them, and realized that is precisely why we must continue to occupy in every community across the country. The decisions our leaders make here do not just affect us. Their decisions affect millions and millions of people across the globe. And at this moment, we are more interested (at least our leaders are) in bombing, dominating, and killing civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan (and soon Somalia) than investing in good things . . . good things like, oh, I don't know, education.
Here's a difference between those here who are protesting and those in Europe and elsewhere who are protesting: millions and millions of our young people are drowning in STUDENT LOAN DEBT.
Today, outstanding student loan debt hit $948 BILLION. Think about the MILLIONS of people who are drowning in student loan debt! Think about the co-signers!
The attacks against me and my work have intensified. But you know what? That means we're getting LOUDER and LOUDER and LOUDER.
And those who say we are lazy are proven wrong. Every time I receive a hateful tweet or a nasty email, I respond with this: "many of us debtors have full-time jobs, are going to school, have families, and are trying our hardest to make ends meet. I run a small business (AEM), and am also a freelance writer. That means I work 6-7 days a week. On average, my work day is 12-14 hours a day. So, let me ask you this? Is that lazy? Should I be working 20 hours a day? Should I have 3 or 4 jobs? Is this example not enough for you?!?"
That generally shuts them up.
Sachs explains that young people across the world are fed up. Amen. Amen to that. We are, and we're uniting every second. This is OUR world. We want it back. And I think we'll be better stewards of it. So that said, the crazies, the fascists, the sell-outs, the blamers, ALL YOU PEOPLE . . . guess what?!? It's time to MOVE OVER. It's time to get OUT OF OUR WAY. Not tomorrow. Not in the future. NOW. NOW, I say. And I am not howling that alone. There are MILLIONS of us howling that. MOVE OVER! MOVE OVER! MOVE OVER! MOVE OVER NOW!!!!
"We are the 99 Percent Tumblr: 17-year-old Indentured Educated Girl," AEM (Oct. 11, 2011)
"Fox News: Poll About Wall Street (#OWS)," AEM (Oct. 10, 2011)
"Data and Ideology of the We are the 99% Tumblr," AEM (Oct. 9, 2011)
"Most Amazing Image Today: World War II Veteran Supports Occupy Wall Street," AEM (Oct. 9, 2011)
"Another Platform for the Indentured Educated Class: Seriously Subversive," AEM (Oct. 6. 2011)
"Heading to Austin and Raising More Funds," AEM (Oct. 6, 2011)
"[UPDATED] Latest: Cops Beating Protesters at Occupy Wall Street Protest," AEM (Oct. 5, 2011)
"Please Donate - Let Me Represent You," AEM (Oct. 4, 2011)
"Occupy Wall Street, the Obama Campaign, and Everybody Else on the Hill," AEM (Oct. 3, 2011)
"Gregory Warner at NPR's Marketplace Discusses Occupy Wall Street And Student Loan Debt," AEM (Oct. 3, 2011)
"The Simpsons: Capturing the Zeigeist (Plus some notes about Occupy America and AEM's Fall Itinerary)," AEM (Oct 2, 2011)
"Occupy Sallie Mae," AEM (Oct. 1, 2011)
"Occupy Wall Street Movement Gets Support of Cornel West, Russell Simmons, Lupe Fiasco," The Loop21.com (September 30, 2011)
"'Occupy Wall Street' Becomes Nationwide Movement," The Loop21.com (Sept. 27, 2011)
"Occupy Wall Street - Tweet About Student Loan Debt And Medical Debt," AEM (Sept. 25, 2011)
"Dustin Slaughter's Picture: 'In Debt? You're Not Alone,'" AEM (Sept. 19, 2011)
"Occupy Wall Street - Begins Tomorrow, Sept. 17th," AEM (Sept. 16, 2011)
Be wary of Jeffrey Sachs. This is the guy who made a great contribution to the ruination of Russia (as a consultant to the government, he advocated radical unfettered capitalist shock therapy). He seems to have "reformed" himself in the last year, but he's never explained (even minimally) this transformation.
I have no disagreements with the main import of what Cryn wrote here, however Jeffry Sachs reminds me of James Burnham, whom Orwell saw through:
"Youth across the world are realizing that they are good. That they can change things. And that this is their world. Youth are reclaiming their identities, and realizing their capabilities. They are doing this together. And it's not just youth. They are finding solidarity with the elderly."
Although I'm just midway through life's journey, I appreciate your remark about solidarity with the elderly.
I would go even farther, with a desideratum that this movement find solidarity not only with the elderly, but also with the dead and the yet unborn, ancestors and posterity. Thus, I would NOT say "this is THEIR (youth's) world"; rather, this world belongs to the dead and the unborn, and the living are not owners, but stewards with the present obligation to preserve and give new life to what the dead have given us, for the sake of posterity.
One of the most categorically evil aspects of neoliberalism is its myopic disregard for generations who are not presently alive. In this sense, even the bloody Communists were more decent than neoliberals, because at least the Communists were conscious of their deeds' effects upon posterity.
But then HERE is an example of how the OWS movement might commit suicide:
"Occupy Wall Street’s General Assembly operates under a revolutionary “progressive stack.” A normal “stack” means those who wish to speak get in line. A progressive stack encourages women and traditionally marginalized groups speak before men, especially white men."
"ESPECIALLY WHITE MEN" ought to "step back"? I say, to anyone who says so, go f--- yourself up the ass with a porcupine. Telling "White Men" to "step back" is DIVISIVE, and suicidal for this movement in light of the fact that the MAJORITY of impoverished Americans are White, and half of them are men.
What does this movement care more about? The "identity politics" theorised in the oligarchic halls of academia? Or the REALITY of PERSONALLY experiences of poverty and disenfranchisement, which have ALMOST NOTHING to do with "race" or "gender", but everything to do with money. And the majority of "White" Male Americans have very little political power or money.
Telling poor White Americans to "step back" and contemplate their "privileged" circumstances, is the equivalent of telling circa 1850 House Slaves (Black American butlers and maids) to "step back" and acknowledge how THEY have benefited from the oligarchy!
These are some of the reasons why this movement is on the edge of committing suicide. I fear it will commit suicide through mistakenly identifying social injustice with "race" and "gender" instead of with how money works.
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