FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s All We’ve Got

“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.

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
June 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Divest From the Business of Incarceration
W. T. Whitney
Angola in Louisiana: Proving Ground for Racialized Capitalism
Susan Babbitt
Assange and Truth: the Deeper (Harder) Issue
Kenn Orphan
Humanity vs. the Rule of Law
Mateo Pimentel
Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?
Michael T. Klare
The Pentagon’s Provocative Encirclement of China
Howard Lisnoff
The Outrageous Level of Intolerance is Happening Everywhere!
Vijay Prashad
The People of India Stand With Palestine
RS Ahthion
Internment Camps for Child Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Rocking the G7: Trump Stomps His Allies
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Lawrence Wittner
Getting Ready for Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Women Protest After Being Told by Turkish-Backed Militias to Wear the Hijab
Dean Baker
When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?
Bruce Lerro
Big Brother Facebook: Drawing Down the Iron Curtain on Yankeedom
June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail