The revolution has already started. It has actually been going on for about 1,000 years but we just need to make it official.
I’m open to suggestions but I think we should call it the Occupy the World Movement.
What is the Occupy The World Movement?
The Occupy the World movment is a global movement to radically transform the world.
It is not a new movement. It’s origins go back thousands of years. They go back to ancient Greece and Jerusulem. They go back to ancient India and China. And to everywhere where human beings have ever existed. Anywhere where humans have called for justice there was the occupy movment.
But I think we can point to the beginning of the modern period of history and the European Enlightenment as the most recent and continuous push for justice.
The enlightenment began a social and political transformation the effects of which are still reverberating across the globe to this day. All across Europe there was a shift from monarchy and aristocracy to democracy. People demanded their rights. People protested and waged revolution in the name of equality. They fought against the 1% of their time. And the monarchies and aristocracies were overthrown. Liberal, in the classical sense of protecting individual liberties, governments were established all across Europe.
However the next phase of history, as Marx pointed out, brought with it new forms of oppression. Capitalism while securing basic liberties for the citizens of Europe unleashed hell upon the global South. Africa was colonzied and Africans were brought as slaves to work in the new world growing commodities for those in Europe and America. Indigenous civilizations were ruthlessly destroyed all accross North and South America. Their land and gold plundered and monopolized by their colonial powers. And even in Europe the poorest of the poor were not really better off than they were under the monarchical regimes. Children labored in factories and coal mines, much as they do now in “3rd world” countries. But there were philosophers, social theorists, and social activists worked to confront these new forms of inequality. Slavery in the United States was abolished, although its legacy more than lives on today. We’ve undeniably made a lot progress, but we’ve also had setbacks. And while those setbacks are terrible tragedies when we consider the individual lives that have been destroyed we have to take solice in the fact that there has been progress.
The United States, the country that I’m from and where I live, was a fairly decent place to live in the middle of the 20th century (for white people), although much of our prosperity was at the expense of the rest of the world. But eventually economic interests of the elite corrupted the political process and wealth and income in the United States became terribly unequal (even for white people).
This lead to the Occupy Wall Street protests which aimed their anger at the 1%. Without meaning to they protestors had aligned themselves with the basic political movments of the enlightment which organized to overthrow the monarchies and aristocracies of their time and to established governments that served the interests of the people governed rather than the interests of those governing.
Call me an optimist but I think with another 500 years or maybe 1,000 we could radically transform society.
But fortunately, we don’t have that much time. Global warming has created a race against the clock, which is ultimately great because it means we have to transform and we can’t wait for a hundreds of generations to come and go under the yoke of oppression and injustice.
What we need now is a global movement (in every city in every country!!!) to radically transform the world.
There have already been thousands of Occupy protests on every continent of the world. What we need now is to continue this momentum and unify the protest movements of the world.
What Occupy The World Stands for? What is its platform?
The Occupy Wall Street movement was criticized for failing to stand for anything in particular.
Here’s my suggestions. No more war, no more poverty, no more fossil fuels.
Or peace, justice, and sustainability.
The OTW movment opposes the use of violence, except in cases of self-defense as an absolute last resort. Pre-emptive strikes, regime changes, and wars on terror do not count as self-defense! There is a huge difference between (percieved) self-interest and self-defense. If you attempt to kill me, like you literally have a weapon and are going to use it on me, I may respond with violence. If I fear that you may use violence against me at some point in the future I may not pre-emptively kill you. International law should be no different.
The OTW movement’s second aim or principle the the elimination of extreme poverty. No child should ever go hungry, die of a preventable disease, or lack the opportunity to be as successful as their genetic potential allows. As a general principle the OTW movement is in favor of progressive taxation and government action to reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty.
Justice, or social justice, ecompasses much more than the elimination of poverty. It includes all issues of basic civil liberties and human rights. Individual communities and nations have their particular social justice issues that they need to address. In the United States, for example, we have the legacy of slavery and everything that entails to deal with . However as a focus and to make things as simple as possible the focus is on eliminating extreme poverty and ultimately erradicating poverty altogether, which is absolutely doable at this point in time. We are producing enough stuff to feed, clothe, and house everyone in the world. It just needs to be distributed fairly.
The OTW movement’s third principle is “No more fossil fuels.” We absolutely must transition to sustainable energy sources for all of our energy needs as quickly as possible. We have the technology already to do this. On a sunny sumer day in June Germany generated over half of its electrical needs from solar power. To put that in perspective, Germany slightly more sun than Anchorage Alaska.
If you’re reading this you probably know something about the terrible math of global warming. Here is a summary: we need to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees celsius to prevent catastrophic climate change. Global temperatures have gone up .8 degrees celsius. It is estimated that we can emited 565 gigatons more of carbon into the atmosphere before we reach the 2 degree threshold. There are 2,795 gigatons of identified carbon in the ground. This is fossil fuel reserves that companies own and are planning to extract. It is also four times the amount required to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Fossil fuel companies are the enemy. If we don’t stop them fossil fuel companies will destroy the world as we know it.
We can’t let that happen.
If you’re reading this I’m probably preaching to the choir here. The point of this essay is not to argue for the policy issues mentioned above. The point is to move this revolution forward to the next stage.
What we need is a movement that everyone who gets this stuff can be a part of. And I mean everyone!
We need a movement involvingevery journalist, political activist, politician, comedian, celebrity, scholar, and person on the planet who cares about politics and social justice. We need the entire global activist community (economic inequality, war, nuclear disarmament, climate change, gay rights, women’s rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech, privacy, drug decriminalization, prison reform, and everything else) all united together on these basic issues. And working together to demand change across the globe at all levels of government.
What You Should Do
Identify yourself on social media as a member of the #OTW movement. Use the hashtags #OTW and #OCCUPYTHEWORLD. Talk about the OTW movement on social media. Talk about it with your friends.
Organize with Friends and Community Members into Small Groups
Invite your friends to start a OTW group with you. Or talk to some local activist groups about working with them to start a local OTW group. The OTW doesn’t even have to necessarily do anything to be effective. If there are local activists working on X, Y, and Z they don’t have to stop. It is really just about identifying with the cause and strength in numbers. I believe the goal of the OTW movement should first and foremost unify all the amazing movements that are already going on around the world.
There have been a number of Occupy movment encampments and there strength and determination exposed the weakness of political power structures when the people are united. The next step is to make our presence known continually. For this we don’t need to set up a semi-permanent camp but we need to be out there demanding our rights.
I am envisioning a worldwide day of protest every week! Everyweek, maybe friday evening, maybe Sunday OTW groups gather in every city around the world at the steps of city hall or at the local university or downtown to demand a government that is for the people, by the people, and of the people.
Change will happend when elected officials see a world wide movement that doesn’t go away. A movement that will hold them accountable to serving the public interest. And those that refuse to go along with the movement will be replaced.
Organize Poltical Actions
This can be anything from voter education and registration to ballot measures to fielding candidates in local and national elections. The Republicans in the united states won majorities in the both the house and the senate on the strength or record lows in voter turnouts. We shouldn’t let that happen ever again.
There are so many amazing people, politicians, journalists, comedians, activists, filmmakers, intellectuals, and academics doing so much around the world. There is so much awesomeness in the world and so many people get. I think almost everyone except the super rich and American conservative evangelical Christians. Well, that is a slight overexaggeration but not by much. So many people get it. There are people living and dying for a better world all around the planet. And so many people have lived and died for a better world throughout history. Now, at this moment in history, we need to transform all this amazing energy into one movement. The time is now. Social media can make a global revolution possible.
The one thing that is missing that is desparately needed is a right now global movement.
At this point it would be great to start the movement with few coordinated OTW protests and grow the movement from there. From there this movement can grow exponenetially very quickly.
If you’re interested let me know!
(Originally posted on medium.com)