I truly admire the Occupiers. I do everything I can to support them. They are the beginning of a new movement of historical proportion much like the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace and Justice Movement. They will bring great changes to the way this society works if they hang in there and find the tactics that will work to change they way people think. Previously I have written about the four things Elizabeth Warren proposes to change the financial structure of this country. A structure that has failed 99% of us miserably. There is one thing I would add.
I have read George Orwell’s “Why I Write” a book recommended to me by Lisa Bunker at WMPG when she stayed with me for the Grassroots Media Conference in September (thanks Lisa). Not an easy book to come by in the inter-library loan system but my Sweetheart was persistent and it finally arrived last week. Mr. Orwell is writing just at the start of WWII about how he felt that the war would (he hoped) become a revolution and lead to the forming of a socialist society in England. It is a bit dated (obviously) and not everything he envisioned came to pass but England is closer to a socialist society than the US by far. He did, however, make some good points. “The difference between Socialism and capitalism is not primarily the a difference of technique. One cannot simply change from one system to the other as one might install a piece of machinery in a factory, then carry on as before, with the same people in positions of control. Obviously there is also needed a complete shift of power. New blood, new men, new ideas – in the true sense of the word, a revolution.”
I could not agree more. We need to add a 5th item to our “to do” list. Campaign finance reform. Real reform. A federal version of the Maine Clean Elections Law. Stop making our lawmakers spend so much of their time raising re-election funds. Stop letting the 1% buy our government on Senator or Representative at a time. Obama has challenged us to “hold his feet to the fire” when it comes to radical reform. This is the one item that will change the way government works. Financial reform is important, vital even, to making life better for everyone. Healthcare reform will help a great deal. But we will not get either of these things until we throw the bums out and choose people who really have the best interest of the 99% at the core of all of their actions.