Say “Nope!” to hope and “Well, ok, maybe…” to real change.Posted: November 30, 2011
I was over at the Occupy Philly Media website; posting replies and engaging in discussion. I made some points that I wanted to re-post here:
This movement is based on liberal values: egalitarianism, inclusiveness, etc… ; and ideally liberal solutions: corporate accountability, enforced regulations, a general push back against neoliberalism.
If you believe in these things; especially here in the US, you are a minority- in every sense of the word. Ever been to a party where you’re the only _____ in a room full of _____?
“We” simply don’t have the numbers. I’d put the number of people who “truly” support liberal values and solutions within this country at around a maximum of 15% -20% of the total population.
So as you can see this puts us up against a whole barrage of opposition from people who “kinda-sorta understand and agree” to people who want to “straight destroy everything and everyone who aren’t them”.
The left has no power outside of people and we lack the numbers and all the cards are stacked against us- institutions, culture; and capital that flows through everything, are all controlled and arranged in a way to ensure that they are reproduced; which has ultimately resulted in our present day situation.
I think we’re just going to have to wait until people suffer more within this country and are forced to endure austerity measures and other restrictions to the material aspects of people’s lives. Then maybe culture will change and people will be more open to working towards “different” solutions to the problems of our times.
Never underestimate the power of stubborn, cynical, and selfish assholes to keep us stuck in the same shit generation after generation.
“Part of why the movement has been so important is that it has in some ways redefined what’s possible and actually opened up a visible conversation about how our political and economic systems don’t serve the vast majority of people in this country.”
I agree. We are talking; but, none of this is new…
Over the past few decades, social science research has routinely documented the trends that we are seeing and highlighting today; income and wealth inequality, increased amounts of neoliberal informed policy, stagnant wages, increased costs of higher education, etc…
“There’s definitely some kind of a political awakening going on in this country that’s neither liberal nor conservative (I certainly wouldn’t call myself a liberal, not to knock anybody who does). What we don’t know is how deep it runs and what kind of effect it will have in the long run.”
What brought people into the streets is directly related to the financial crisis and failed hope in Obama. The kicker is that even this was not enough to mobilize the left in a “mass” way… More suffering and hardship will probably be needed.
You are liberal by virtue of your interest in this movement; its just that the terms “liberal”/”progressive” have been so tarnished in the past few decades, due to the rise and dominance of neoconservatives and neoliberalism, that few want to take on the perceived liabilities associated with those terms. I imagine that the terms “liberal” / “progressive” will become more fashionable in the coming years as more and more people are unable to hold any identification with neoconservative or neoliberal policy- after all, you look silly talking about the health and interests of corporate America, especially considering their actions, when you have no money in your pockets, you can’t feed your kids or buy a house, etc…