To the #Occupiers:
Folks, you won. It’s time to get out of the tents and move forward.
Seriously: you won. Prior to your movement, the only thing anyone talked about in American politics was austerity. About the need for budget cuts aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable parts of society. About the need to do whatever the “job creators” needed to get around to restarting the US and global economies.
But now the conversation has changed. Now people are talking about inequality. About the need to think about the role democratic citizens ought to play in shaping the economic and social worlds in which they live. About the exclusion of many voices from the political system.
This is a remarkable accomplishment. In the context of the neoliberal ideological triumphs of the last 30, post-Reagan years, in fact, it’s a miraculous accomplishment.
Now is the moment to seize this momentum and apply it to a political program. What steps need we take to correct the ills of crony capitalism? How can we ensure greater democratic participation in social and political decision-making? What can we—all of us—do to make sure the system does not remain rigged such that the elites reap most of the benefits while paying virtually no price for their status other than ever-lower taxes?
Pushing these goals will build on the legacy of the #Occupy movement and aim it towards changing the real world. It is crucial that this be done.
Unfortunately, the movement is coming dangerously close to being about the right to camp anywhere anyone wishes to. And that’s not really a big deal at all.
The time to mature and change and adapt is now. I’d be happy to help, but you have to decide what you want. And if all you want is the right to camp wherever you want, then, you are going to watch your accomplishments fade into dust.
I wish you the best.
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