Sunday, October 23, 2011

#OWS Now In 1500 Cities/Towns In US--Will It Be Enough?

Incredibly, the Occupy Wall Street movement has now spread to some 1,500 cities and towns across the United States. Will that be enough to force meaningful change?

I think not. I support the movement, although I cannot do so actively, and I continue to believe that the Occupy movement is the best, perhaps last hope the people of the United States have to regain control not only of their own government, which sold itself out to the monied interests in this country decades ago, but also of their own society as a whole including their economy and the way information itself (perhaps the most priceless of all commodities) is disseminated in our society.

However, as I've stated in this blog before and will now state again, no entrenched, powerful socioeconomic and/or political system has ever in the history of the world succumbed to radical change from within or without unless it has been presented with no alternative, or else has been forcibly swept away; and it is inconceivable to me that the corporatocracy which has now governed through its bought-and-paid-for politicians for decades, and which has used its power during those decades to stack the proverbial deck to its own advantage in every imaginable way will be any different.

Yes, it is truly marvelous that there still exist enough clearheaded, patriotic Americans to have brought Occupy protests to the streets of 1,500 U.S. cities and towns. That in itself is something I never hoped to see and is an accomplishment of historic proportions. But even if every city and town in the country were "occupied," even if there were tens of millions of Americans protesting in the streets instead of the tens of thousands we sometimes see today, still the prevailing system would not change. It would not because it cannot.

Both of the major U.S. political parties have long since sold their souls to their corporate masters. Perhaps the advent of television made that sellout inevitable, given the power television at once assumed over U.S. federal, state, and local elections and the costs associated with political (as with all other forms of) advertising, but the two major parties' Faustian bargain has long since come due. Try as they might, they will not be able to escape the coils of their masters. It is also an historical fact that no third party has ever in U.S. history been able to make any lasting contribution for good or ill with the exception of being in a position to act as a spoiler from time to time.

Add to all of the above the facts that police departments across the country have been militarized and trained to see so-called "terrorists" lurking around every corner, that what once passed for journalism in the mass-media (also corporate-owned) has long since turned into little more than a propaganda machine touting the virtues of the status quo, and that it goes against human nature for those who hold power of any sort ever to relinquish it willingly, and it seems clear that even if the current "occupiers" manage to make it through the oncoming winter intact, even if some sort of national General Assembly can be formed and is permitted to meet and do its business (a highly questionable proposition at best, given the level of repression already being practiced against the movement across the country), the end result will still be an election as usual in 2012, for which the usual candidates will be selected in the usual way. These candidates, so-selected and both beholden to those who bought and paid for their nominations and who will also buy and pay for their campaigns, will then be presented to the American people as their only alternatives. The final outcome, no matter who wins the White House or which party controls the Congress, will leave the American people precisely where we are right now.

The Occupy movement is a great beginning. It has at least managed to get thousands of Americans out into the streets to protest the injustices being practiced against them by their own elected and appointed officials and by those officials' true bosses, and it has perhaps gotten millions of other Americans who are not as yet actively protesting to stop and think about where our country is headed. But that in itself will not be enough. If the Occupy movement remains what it is today, at best it will go down in history books a few decades from now as just another populist "revolt" which in the end came to nothing.

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