OCCUPY

21 01 2012

Well Dear World, sometimes I fear

The Turning of The Wheel.

Time’s ill.

As science puts on Moses moral garb

And leaps towards the stars,

I hear again the hideous squeak

Of high and polished boots

Gain strength beneath blue business serge.

Love lives by name and dies by deed,

While madmen, holding scapels

In their bloody hands

Divide and re-divide

Their kingdoms made of mud.

I hear the turning of the wheel

Pause brief on young and tender bone.

I grow afraid, with a child’s fear

Of the long and silent falling

Through the night to come.

(excerpted from my poetry book ‘Glimpses’)

With my news hound’s muzzle, Dear World I was foraging around the garbage bins of the media when I came upon this tasty morsel. “Millionaires and billionaires urge Congress to tax them more” it said! Well, I could scarce believe my eyes and ears. Was this a clerical error or a practical joke, I wondered. I mean, these gentlemen probably have the highest I.Q. for a group in our world and all of them have dedicated their lifetimes to the science of wringing pennies from the poor. So I was—what word can I use, Dear World? Perplexed, perhaps. That’s it. I was thoroughly and utterly perplexed!

I got to wondering—what on earth could be going through the minds of these kings of finance, that induced them, collectively, to run to the castle battlements and throw a few chickens to the astonished hoi polloi standing there, gape mouthed, on the other side of the moat. And then it came to me—I could faintly hear, from the deep keeps of the castle mortuary, the sinister rumblings of the ghosts of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin having a party with the Egyptians in Tahir Square, the Libyans the Syrians, the Tunisians and there were faint shouts from the 99 percent from Wall St and Oakland, and nasty uncultured Cockney voices muttering “We are the Cultural Revolution. Send ‘em to the paddy fields.” And “America! Vote Communist for the freedom and safety of our country.”

But , if we can, for a brief spell , wrench our imaginations from the Monty Pythonesque vision of the Occupiers sheltering under umbrellas against a hail storm of Kentucky Fried Chickens, a rather somber vision emerges. For if Congress needs the permission of a cadre of billionaires to increase their taxes, there can remain little doubt about which way the power is flowing. The most venerated, guarded, discussed, legislative institution in our world, our ideological darling, DEMOCRACY, that has been rammed down the throats of Islam at gunpoint (not to mention ours) needs the permission of the wealthy elite to tax them more fairly! Does that not in fact mean that our Democracy is really a Plutocracy? Governance by the Rich. If so, in the light of that understanding, isn’t the Occupy dream of closing the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, a bit like standing waist-high in the Niagara River wondering how to make some of the water flow the other way? Is there nothing short of the guillotine capable of bringing equity to our faltering economies world-wide? And I use the words ‘world-wide’ because the Occupy movement has already gone global.

Then lets us think strategically for a moment. Occupy has made a point of respecting non violence in their Occupyings, and this has served the purpose of temporarily de-fanging the police. Being violent is what police are trained for these days but with all those cell-phone cameras the sights of armed cops beating up on pacifists in the crowds, really does not look as acceptable as they would like themselves to appear in their role of protecting society. In a parallel manner, the act of having no appointed leaders also de-fangs the media, who have been trained to display the lead feet of Mob Gods. The Occupy movement cannot thus be stigmatized by some alert snoop on Fleet Street discovering for example that the demotic leader was sexually reprehensible.

However from a chess strategy point of view, the positions of the two sides—the 1 and the 99, is that of stalemate. The great gentle cows on the local farm when I was a kid came and waited at the gate, each evening, to be led into the dairy to be milked, and to munch on the hay in the racks. One must ask this difficult question. Since Occupy is a pacifistic movement and has therefore forbidden itself the leverage of violent insurrection and mayhem, how long will it take the capitalist system to compensate for disruptions by, perhaps, taking out more insurance, and simply carrying on as before? Will Occupier’s roles come to resemble those of the cows who according to the farmer, liked being milked? One could almost hear them saying “ I like my job.” “A hundred thousand years of human evolution has climaxed in my adroitness in sewing zippers on Levi jeans eight or nine hours a day.”And in fact I once heard an interview on C.B.C.by Peter Gzoski of a woman who had worked 35 years in a sardine factory putting the little fish in those neat packings. She told him she loved her job and would do it all again and wouldn’t know what to do without it. God bless human adaptation!

At present the global nature of Occupy can also be seen as a primitive random poll of the vaguely politically disaffected. For it to earn serious consideration therefore it will have to show its colours, its intentions and its causes. Which is to say that at some juncture the Occupiers will have to say what they want, which will lead inevitably to discussions of the potential means of satisfying those requests; or refusals to even countenance them. And here lies the rub that makes calamity of long life. Because we are all, every single one of us who ever uses any amount of money, complicit in the mayhem, that is resulting from the tendency of money to polarize, thus creating the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. It was Aristotle who said that the problem with money was people’s belief that it multiplied on its own, so that if for example, you lent someone a cow you expected a cow and a calf in return. But that is precisely what we have created in contemporary capitalism. Even if billionaires did absolutely nothing whatever in the way of work, they would still get richer and richer every day. The poor, in some cases can literally work themselves to death and get poorer every day on their way to the grave. And it is this disparity that lies at the root of some of the discontent among the 99%.

1) The icon of capitalism must surely be the ATM machine, which does nothing to help unemployment because it employs no one, thus contributing nothing, to the taxation that working people must pay as money passes through their hands. But not the hands of the ATM. Money passes through it, amorally. It doesn’t care how or where the money was made. All it asks is that money keeps moving so that it can siphon off some of it as it passes, and send it to the immensely wealthy. The immensely wealthy lend it to banks and corporations and thus facilitate the construction of the major material constructs of our civilization –hospitals, Opera houses, bridges, highways , airports, airplanes, railways and on and on-in short the things that we love about ‘civilization’. It is vital that big money can accumulate for big constructs. At that stage of its manifestation no one asks if it is legal or illegal money, drug money or armaments money. It’s just the good old dirty paper that the world runs on and everyone is happy to get a bit of it as the infrastructure grows.

2) But it also vital that hyper successful individuals do not accumulate so much money that they are capable of assembling instant private armies to do their biddings, as ex-prime minister Thaksin almost did in Thailand. When we have an ambient unemployment rate hovering around 8% it is plausible to imagine 6% of the most desperate and hungry being seduced by billionaires to privateer forces against us all. Since we live fairly comfortably with the existence of a minimum wage, how about a maximum wage above which all earnings will be redirected to distribution by the state? ( Did you notice the sneaky way the state sidled into this idea? THIS DISCUSSION IS COMPLICATED!) So while we have the state on the mat let’s also insist that its police forces be strictly limited on a per capita basis and the weaponry of those forces also strictly limited. Let us demand that there must always be independent reviews of all extra judiciary killings by police, unlike those of Canada who investigate their own killings in the style of a Mafia. As the rebellions in Syria have so cogently illustrated , it is all too easy to loose the dogs of war on pauperized civilians. We have enormous tasks to accomplish, possibly totally reconstructing constitutions, firing governments .Frankly the problems are mind boggling.

So merely for the sake of imagination, lets enumerate some of the problems that are appearing as the modern state adapts to new technology and general scientific advancement and examine some of the most problematic aspects. What would we want, Dear World and what would we not want? Let’s just make a little make-believe list.

3) . We want a final, absolute end to warfare, period. Since the beginnings of collectivism our “leaders” have involved us in murderous warfare that has slaughtered our young men by the millions and, as our technology evolved, killed more and more civilian men ,women and children as ‘collateral damage.’ We now recognize the munitions industries as the murderous juggernauts they are. We are totally disabused of the rationalization that manufacturing the means of murder is for our collective safety from the threatening ‘out there.’ We know that the threatening ‘out there’ is code for financial profit and that the danger is not out there it is ‘in here’, in our own domestic profiteering. Let us take a lesson from the Swiss all of whom have firearms and regular defensive exercises but have never had a war. Let us note that two of the most successful economies in the west –Switzerland and Germany have no standing armies and no national alliances with the U.S. It can be done; it must be done. We must learn to have good relations with all our global communities regardless of religions, and not permit oligarchs to sour our international relationships for their profits. I hereby declare in public that any legislation designed to force our children into warfare ipso facto alters our paternal relationship from that of defensive patriot to active anti-state terrorist. I invite everyone to join and to pass on the ideology if they feel it is appropriate. No more kids for Moloch.

It is vital that we don’t commit the mistakes of Communism by inhibiting entrepreneurialism. But it is equally important that every child has an equal and full access to as much education as it can use. We use the terms ‘natural resources’ to apply to metals, oil. lumber etc. But there is only one natural resource. That resource is young educated intelligence. We may be sitting on a gold mine, but it is useless without the young trained intelligence to show us how to use it. Intelligence does not equate with wealth. The most successful State is the one that most successfully accesses its human intelligence and facilitates its development regardless of gender or the wealth of parentage. It is vital that all education at every level should be free. This is an aspect of Communism that is more advanced and wiser than in capitalist countries. Should we not emulate this system?

So perhaps here is a starting point for the OWS movement. We need to tell the system that it is cruel, unfair and finally counter-productive to demand that our children surrender the golden years of childhood, in order to submit to educational indoctrination for the sake of a mythical piece of paper —a certificate–alleged at first to be an open sesame to success and wealth, and then, when achieved after twelve surrendered years, revealed as a prize that is useless without the addition of a university degree, which will necessitate the pupil submitting to deep and crippling debt during a further four years without the possibility of escape by bankruptcy from the indebtedness. Our laws permit financial institutions to declare bankruptcy of billions but students of nothing. This is what street con-men in the Morocco markets call ‘bait and switch’—now you see it, now you don’t: is it not utterly reprehensible, shocking, and counter-productive?

What a disgusting way to treat our children, England and Canada and America: to propagate a system that stultifies the development of our brightest in a welter of indebtedness. Here’s my advice to students. Don’t pay student loans. Before you begin your final studies incorporate yourself. The government owes you for twelve years unpaid wages for your first stages of education. To those who say “ But the education is the prize, the payment” may we not ask ”Why then is it not equally rewarded? And why compulsory?” If apprenticeship is not paid during education why is it paid in commerce? It is YOUR intelligence and ability that is needed by government to make this inequitable system work. It is not THEIR covert economic slavery that you need in order to be a happy and free individual. There are other modes of existence than the urban rat race. Cuba demands that graduates work for two years to pay for their ‘free’ education during which time their higher tax rate reimburses the State. It is not really free, but that doesn’t seem an onerous bargain. So here’s a beginning, Occupiers. FREE EDUCATION.

4) The tendency for ‘developed’ countries in the last century has been for the State to demand to know more and more about the lives, desires, ambitions and earnings of the people while insisting that the people know less and less about the policies and negotiations of the States. The incursions into the privacy of homes and communities has become far too intrusive. The prime example of this Police State aspect is, of course, London. Canada is racing towards the same anarchy. We in Canada are on the edge of a State totalitarianism. All that is required for the state to become utterly repressive of individual rights is for some ‘crisis’ real or imagined, to rationalize State terrorism and use legislation to justify police repression and imprisonment.

5) Parliaments and other constitutional bodies constantly make new laws without deleting obsolete ones that no longer have justification. Thus they enclose the citizens of their countries and communities in an ever-contracting noose of control that put citizens at mercy of police power. Any cop can find infractions with which to harass somebody whose face , race or attitude doesn’t please him or her. .The‘wisdom of the law’decrees that it is the citizens responsibility to acquaint themselves with all laws governing them- a task that is simply impossible.Even lawyers specialize.

6) Though the institution of the prosecutor’s office stands as a partial guard against misuse the fact is that arrest or charging immediately place a citizen at a disadvantage. The cumulative effect is that the citizenry is intimidated by the police and the growing numbers of extra judicial killings by police are both growing and un-addressed. A man living in a state where the legal structure is so comprehensive he cannot move either for good or bad unless permitted by the state is a man living in a Police State. To be free is to be able to act without restraint.

7) Canada is a good example of a deeply over-regulated society and although the majority of the laws are sold as safeguards protecting the lives of the citizens, in fact they are strangling the entire culture , justifying the adage “Canada is the Great White Mediocrity of the North. “ Working people trying to enjoy their inadequate two weeks annual holidays are hounded by police who pursue them even on lakes, searching boats for alcohol and at their camping sites by game wardens seeking a fish larger or smaller than that dictated by the Great Bureaucracy, or park wardens looking for a broken branch used to roast a wiener. Canadian politicians have the astonishing hide to get up on their hind legs and castigate the Chinese for the proscriptive nature of their governence when in many instances Canada is worse. We elected politicians to free the people, not to enchain them. SO,FREE THE PEOPLE!

8) So we need a radical lessening of the power of the state over the individual. We need regulation to force parliament to delete two old laws for one each new one proposed before the new one can be considerd by parliament: the object being a society that has the minimum possible number of restraints upon its constituents, consonant with efficient social interaction.

9) The Internet.

Governments such as the Harper government of Canada and the U.S.are moving to control and invade the internet and to make it legal for government and police and other ‘authorities’ to access the private internets of citizens and to force ISPs to open their customers computers to police and government. No! Mister Harper. No! No! No! No Obama! No,No,No! The internet is the growing World-Mind, the international cerebrum of an evolving species. It is intrinsically private and therefore international. Legislation by any government to invade the World-Mind privacy therefore instantly invades the privacy of the internet users of all countries and is therefore beyond he jurisdiction of any government. All snooping agencies such as the NSA are criminal violations of our superpsyche. All means of frustrating them,e.g.hacking, sabotage are legitimate and moral.

10 Family justice courts systematically rob children of their fathers by giving sole custody of houses, cars and even the family dog to the mothers. The overarching motivation is to enchain males into the work force doing the killing professions by state enforced financial obligations. The result of these policies, even ignoring their cruelties, and un-naturalness, is that in puberty kids combat Mums for power and almost invariably win, from which stage they are ripe for gangs and street crime. Two parents are needed to raise children. Parenting must be paid by the state and shared equally between genders. This is the only way that will reduce the global disgrace of our disenfranchised and alienated street people and homeless who break our car widows and steal for drugs. So, OWS, DISMANTLE THE FAMILY LAWS SYSTEM AND REWRITE IT . The objects of procreation are the miracle and joys of families, not the supply of indentured industrial work slaves nor the feed troughs of the legal profession..

Let me end this rant by pointing out that although the future may appear hopeless with people having no leverage against the hyperwealthy, IT IS OUR MONEY THEY ARE PLAYING WITH AND WE CAN ALWAYS WITHDRAW IT! The leverage the OWS has is the new power of instant global communication . A global withdrawal of money from banks is a very very powerful tool. But don’t forget our complicity. Things will stop happening when money stops moving—nasty things AND nice things. Be merciful and good, Dear World. But firm—for our childrens’ sakes—and ours.

Copyright by Laurie Payne. No reproduction permitted with the exception of short passages for quotation purposes or with the authors express permission.Thailand January 11th 2012.

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