This is my first post for Occupyduniya. Originally from the USA, I’ve been watching the Occupy movement from the sidelines, apart from one day when we demonstrated in Vienna. I’ve been studying it along with some of my university students. They’re media students, and as everyone knows, it interacts in unique ways with old and new media.
I want to float two rather dissimilar thoughts in case anyone is inspired to respond to them.
1. The violence directed against occupiers seems to me roughly proportional to the movement’s own talk of revolution. It seems disingenuous to proclaim an intention to tear down the system and then complain that the system isn’t all sweetness and light with you. There are plenty of people in the USA among the 99 percent who would not welcome a revolution under the current circumstances. The historical track record of revolutions in improving living conditions is spotty. If you want a revolution, expect and accept that you may be lined up against a wall and shot, possibly after being tortured. If you don’t want to be a martyr, think about whether you really need to be talking about revolutions. If you still want to be a revolutionary, please come up with a better system to replace the current one and exhaust all possibilities for creative, nonviolent change before picking up a gun.
2. I was talking the other evening with another US expat about the last few national elections, and we got into the eternal discussion about whether it was better to have voted for Gore or for Nader. He was a Nader voter, I was a Gore voter. Both of us would have preferred a Nader presidency, but … you know the arguments. I remembered something I read on one of the Occupy websites, that some hackers are planning to develop a social networking platform that would enable thousands of people to coordinate a debt strike. It seemed to me that it might be possible to do the same thing with an election, whether locally, regionally or nationally. Maybe it’s a Facebook app, maybe something else entirely. Voters would commit to support a third party candidate on the condition that there were enough of them to win. If they reached critical mass, they would go ahead and vote for the third party candidate. If not, they would switch to whatever their Plan B was.