FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s All We’ve Got

by MISSY BEATTIE

“I like good strong words that mean something.”

~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women 

Good strong words are essential.  Not merely during a debate but, also, in selecting a label, slogan, or to frame a mission.

Take the words “left” and “right,” for example.  They’re not good. Instead, they’re divisive, extreme, and can be exploited by elites who use the “left” interchangeably with “socialism” and “liberals” and, also, use the “right” to characterize “ultraconservatism” or “fundamentalism.”

This is why “the 99 percent” is a brilliant choice. “We are the 99 percent.” Who but the 1 percent can’t identify?  A vast mosaic, the 99 percent encompass people with a wide range of values. All residing within the number can get behind an indictment of those who criminally plunged our economy into a depression.

This is why it’s important to support the Occupy Movement or Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and admit that old methods of protests have been ineffective.  That we peaceniks, who’ve marched, lobbied Congress, signed petition after petition, risked arrest, and have been arrested, have accomplished little against a powerful, organized crime ring.  And that each of us among the many peace and justice organizations must discuss OWS and offer whatever we can to help.

Being just for peace means dialoguing with the system, asking it to stop the drone attacks and end war.  The challenge is lost before it’s begun, because an attempt to negotiate with the system fails 99 percent of the population.

For now, OWS is ignoring the system.  The leaderless group understands the corruption of politics, owned by Wall Street. And it, also, grasps that elections are meaningless. Voting for the lesser of two evils extends the status quo and guarantees that the men and women who say they represent us continue to take their goody bags to the bank, plumping their accounts with contributions from uber-moneyed, filthy-wealthy donors that profit from war and murder, from polluting our planet with radiation and petroleum leaks, from poisons in our food supply, and from drugs that are often more harmful than the diseases they treat.

But let’s back up a second and scrutinize the word “war.”  We’re really not at war. We’re at genocide.  As Bill Hicks said, a war requires two opposing armies. What we execute is the testing of new weaponry on people who have sticks and stones and improvised explosive devices.

I’ve heard the criticisms leveled at OWS.  I’m unconcerned by complaints that the many groups in cities and communities across the country may be unfocused. I care that OWS is viable, surging, and that it isn’t co-opted.  Right now, it’s all we’ve got.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  She can be reached at:missybeat@gmail.com.

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
Margaret Kimberley
Liberal Hate for the Green Party
John Davis
Lost Peoples of the Lake
Alex Richardson-Price
The Fight for a Six Hour Workday
John Wight
Why Palestine Matters, Even on the Pitch
Brian Cloughley
Hillary Clinton’s War Policy
Patrick Cockburn
A Battle to the Death in Syria
David Rosen
The Great Fear: Miscegenation, Race “Pollution” and the 2016 Election
Ben Debney
Worthy and Unworthy Victims of Child Abuse
David Barouh
Liberal Myths: Would Al Gore Have Invaded Iraq?
Graham Peebles
Democratic Revolution Sweeps Ethiopia
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran’s Economy Into a Case of Casino Capitalism
David Swanson
The Unbearable Awesomeness of the U.S. Military
Robert Fantina
The Olympics: Nationalism at its Worst
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail