Revolution is not the goal. We don't want to turn all the way around and find ourselves right back where we started. We need to take a line of flight, go somewhere else entirely, like Bugs Bunny being chased by Elmer Fudd. He doesn't run; he shifts the conversation.
And this, I believe, is what #OWS wants: a fundamental change of structure and of behavior. They don't oppose; they multiply.
And this means radical openness, different voices and perspectives. This means moving beyond ideology and its implicit violence, its us vs. them dichotomies, its righteousness. Righteousness is unseemly in every way.
And so a new way of coalescing. A way that does not have one, fixed agenda but has multiple agendas or no agenda at all. This is a performative protest, practicing what it professes.
Is that enough? Well, of course not. A bunch of people sitting in the streets stirring up shit and talking in round tables is not the end state. It's the beginning state. And it's an essential element — collective, non-ideological discussion fueled by passion, anger, frustration, need, and desire.
Individually, a lot of changes need to be made. People need to refuse to work 60, 70, 80 hour weeks without proper compensation. People need to stop shopping at convenient behemoths and support local business. People need to stop driving like they're the only one on the road.
We have to claim dignity and civility on an individual basis.
But there are enormous, powerful structures in place that need to change, as well. The flow of capital needs to be re-engineered. Right now, the game is rigged by a coalition of government and police that enforces these flows, ensuring the capital flows towards the top of global corporations.
This is not about liberation. That is a red herring. This is about the structural engineering of capital flow.
And so change must begin with dismantling the privilege and power afforded corporations. This means:
- Taking away personhood from corporations. While this cannot happen overnight, it would be nice to have some economists begin mapping out how to do this without triggering a complete economic collapse.
- As incorporating is a privilege and not a right — a privilege granted by the government, which presumably is by the people — put certain mandates on corporations that re-engineer the flow of capital. Now, it all flows up. So mandate that it must flow down, too: profit sharing with all employees. Don't like that rule? Don't incorporate.