American Nomads on Wall Street

There is a growing discussion about the future of Occupy Wall Street. Since the protesters’ campsites have been taken down, some speculate that the movement will fade away. So far, the protesters are determined to continue. Everyone agrees that in order to be effective they must stay in the public eye. Actually, that may not be a problem. It’s beginning to look like this particular organization will have no trouble staying relevant. I never thought I would see Americans of all ages and occupations confronting the lobbies in Washington D.C. If Occupy Wall Street (this time with help from the Service Employees’ International Union) managed to do nothing else, this protest would have to go down in history as a proud legacy. But the protesters have managed to do more. For example, they were named in a New York Times article as part of the reason that Governor Cuomo decided to reform New York’s tax code.

Participation by the opposition in this conversation continues in the form of authoritarian contempt and violence. At least they have been consistent. The government’s answers before the appearance of Occupy Wall Street were no better. These answers would include the decision to go through with the bank bailouts despite opposition from voters, the passing of the disputed healthcare reform bill, the refusal to end tax breaks for the wealthy, and the tailoring of estate tax policy to suit large farmers and landowners. At this point the powers-that-be look like the true radicals in this confrontation.

I’ve considered joining in the speculation about Occupy Wall Street’s future and I’ve tried to imagine how they might be involved in the long term process of cultural change. I have no doubt they will continue to be influential if they choose to be, but I’ve started to think that maybe this site takes a slightly different approach, although with many of the same assumptions. I’ve written these [intlink id=”35″ type=”post”]posts[/intlink] with the idea that much of the planning for the future will take place out of the public eye and that it must continue for generations. The organizers of Occupy Wall Street have been invaluable in their ability to address immediate problems and promote change–an important development because the country’s current problems are too urgent to be left to future generations.

As for our similarities, the protests have served as a reminder that the country belongs to the people. The Occupy camps have actually made it impossible to ignore the people who have been harmed the most by the economic crisis. I agree that the focus on the wishes of corporations, together with the undo influence of money in politics is entirely backward. It will only continue to erode the well-being of the country as a whole. Real strength and confidence are created by human communities under conditions of peace and economic security, never by the activities of a privileged class, nor by military might.

In the end, I’ve decided Occupy Wall Street is doing just fine. These posts will continue talking about basic principles and the corresponding view of political events. At the least, these ideas can serve as starting points for other conversations.

The first thing that comes to mind on the subject of community building is the nomadic life. Nomadic principles have been mentioned in [intlink id=”226″ type=”post”]previous[/intlink] posts. The next article will go into more detail about the importance of the nomadic stage in human communities. Some say nomadic principles lead to the truest, highest form of society. Perhaps the Occupy camps represent a nomadic beginning for America.

See also:

[intlink id=”658″ type=”post”]Wall Street Protesters Join the American Conversation[/intlink] and [intlink id=”802″ type=”post”]The Conversation with OWS[/intlink]


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