Monday, November 21, 2011

What Kind of Country Do We Want?

The editors of Adbuster magazine (where the Occupy movement was first conceived) published an article about the future of the movement in the Washington Post last weekend, "Why Occupy Wall Street Will Keep Up the Fight":
Occupy was born because we the people feel that our country and our economy are moving precipitously in the wrong direction; that America has evolved into a kind of corporate oligarchic state, a “corporatocracy”; and yes, that what is needed is a regime change — a Tahrir moment of truth in America.
This winter, they suggest, will be a time for the movement to regroup, network, and brainstorm. In my experience talking to people there is a hunger out here among the older generation who want to be part but can’t, for various reasons, be part of an occupation group. What are we hungry for? I think the people of this country want to have a conversation about what sort of country we want to be.

Do we want to be a plutocracy, a nation run by and for the one percent?

Do we want to be the world’s merchant of death, selling weapons to the world? With a military that dwarfs the rest of world's forces combined? A country that maintains enough nuclear weapons on alert to kill the entire human race? That spends half of its budget on the military instead education, infrastructure, and research to improve the lives of its citizens?

Do we want to be the country with the highest percentage of its citizens in jail? Do we want to be a country that imprisons people so that corporations can make a profit on their imprisonment?

Do we want to be the country with the worst health care outcomes in the world because the medical-industrial complex likes it that way?

Do we want to be the country with the lowest living standards for the developed world?

Do we want to be the country with the most limited social mobility?

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