Forum Post: PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN: How NONVIOLENT ACTION can restore our republic. PER CITIBANK 1 person 1 vote is total game changer.
Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 18, 2013, 3:17 a.m. EST by therising
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Here is my view on one way we can make real progress for real people on the ground AND grow the movement exponentially at the same time: http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-could-do-this-the-easy-way-or-the-hard-way/ . At that link, I not only list the goals but 2 methods of achieving them. Both are nonviolent and nonviolence is something we need to adhere to across the board without question. If the 8 goals were achieved, it would not be the end all be all, but it would get the corporate foot off our neck long enough to allow us to focus on the even deeper issues.
The post below assumes you have read the info at the link above.
It's time to create some nonviolent TENSION.
What I am talking about here is healthy nonviolent protest as described by Martin Luther King, Jr.
King said we can't be afraid of the word tension and described the use of active non-violent resistance as follows in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”:
"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. . . The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”
Under "the hard way" described at the link at the top of this post, legislators will feel nonviolent tension on multiple fronts:
A) They and their staff will not be able to get past the nonviolent protests in order to get to their offices.
B) They would also feel the tension of patriotic peaceful Americans interrupting business as usual in a way that is a national and world headline, thereby forcing them to answer a lot of difficult questions.. 800,000 people peacefully gathered and nonviolently blocking the entrances to the Capitol complex in DC is a huge news story. And with that news story, comes questions about why people are doing this. And when people answer the why and list the 8 things and explain that Congress didn't respond to the easy way (petition w/ millions of signatures, letters etc), it will be clear to those watching that:
The 8 legislative demands are actually common sense and have wide support among American public
Those patriotic everyday Americans who are protesting nonviolently in DC are doing so because they tried the easy way and it didn't work. They're here because their voices weren't being heard at all.
Then you have yourself a virtuous cycle and people are openly debating the list of 8 around water coolers, break rooms, board rooms, union halls, schools, senior centers and dinner tables across the country. These millions and millions and millions of folks who are paying attention and discussing these issues VOTE and, the last time I checked, 99 votes for a politician beats 1 vote for a politician. . . And a politician is likely to pay attention to those who are getting him or her elected (just like they do now in a different way with the corporations and rich people who are getting them elected).
People get that money has corrupted politics and this large protest and resulting national and world press will bring endless discussion of that. This discussion will reveal that we, the 99% have more in common than we have separating us. And once we realize that, we are then in a position to make decisions from a position of unified strenfth rather than demands from a position of divided weakness.
Now, think about that. As the virtuous cycle raises awareness, the 99% begin to unify and focus on issues like those provided at the link above. And because of that "pesky 1 person 1 vote thing" that that famous senior Citibank analyst was lamenting a few years back in a message to its wealthiest clients ( http://our99angrypercent.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/download-citigroup-plutonomy-memos/ AND http://politicalgates.blogspot.com/2011/12/citigroup-plutonomy-memos-two-bombshell.html?m=1 ), for every one vote the powerful corporatists have, there are 99 for the people.
I like those odds.
Think, then, about how a protest that is, on the face of it, about 8 pieces of legislation ends up helping in its own small way to unify the 99% and transfer political power from the 99% to the 1%. Read at the link 2 paragraphs above about what Citibank said rich people need to be afraid of. Read the whole thing, but here are a few lines just to wet your whistle:
"Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting power with the rich. . . A third threat comes from the potential social backlash. To use Rawls-ian analysis, the invisible hand stops working. Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Pluto-participant. Why kill it off, if you can join it? In a sense this is the embodiment of the “American dream”. But if voters feel they cannot participate, they are more likely to divide up the wealth pie, rather than aspire to being truly rich. Could the plutonomies die because the dream is dead, because enough of society does not believe they can participate? The answer is of course yes. But we suspect this is a threat more clearly felt during recessions, and periods of falling wealth, than when average citizens feel that they are better off. There are signs around the world that society is unhappy with plutonomy - judging by how tight electoral races are."
That 1 person 1 vote thing is what the 1% is most afraid of. They know that they're screwed if we ever figure out that we have the power and that we the 99% are all in the same boat. That's when the 1 person 1 vote thing makes them powerless.
That's when we get to reenact the fabulous scene from the Wizard of Oz, where the curtain is pulled back to reveal that the entity so feared all along was just a little guy barking into a microphone. (here's 1 minute video clip of that scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE&feature=youtube_gdata_player ).
We have the power in our hands to pull back that curtain for all to see and turn off what George Saunders called "the brain dead megaphone".
Let's do it.