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Forum Post: THE GREAT IDEA: Walmart strikers, occupiers, WTO protesters & civil rights marchers are part of a long proud tradition

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 18, 2012, 8:38 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Dostoevsky's words below about the disease that grips the 1% and the effort of others to promote community is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it -- let's keep the great idea alive!

Think about the Walton family (who hold as much wealth as the poorest 40% of U.S. citizens combined) and think about the brave souls on the Walmart picket lines as you read this:

"Today, everyone asserts his own personality and strives to live a full life as an individual. But these efforts lead not to a full life but to suicide, because instead of realizing his personality, man only slips into total isolation. For in our age, man has been broken up into self-contained individuals, each of whom retreats into his lair, trying to stay away from the rest, hiding himself and his belongings from the rest of mankind, and finally isolating himself from people and people from him.

And while he accumulates material wealth in his isolation, he thinks with satisfaction how mighty and secure he has become, because he is mad and cannot see that the more goods he accumulates, the deeper he sinks into suicidal impotence. The reason for this is that he has become accustomed to relying only on himself; he has split off from the whole and become an isolated unit; he has trained his soul not to rely on human help, not to believe in man and mankind, and only to worry that the wealth and privileges he has accumulated may get lost.

Everywhere men today are turning scornfully away from the truth that the security of the individual cannot be achieved by his isolated efforts but only by mankind as a whole.

BUT AN END to this fearful isolation is bound to come and all men will understand how unnatural it was for them to have isolated themselves from one another. This will be the spirit of the new era and people will look in amazement at the past when they sat in darkness and refused to see the light. . . . . . Until that day, we must keep hope alive, and now and then a man must set an example, even if only an isolated one, by trying to lift his soul out of its isolation and offering it up in an act of brotherly communion, even if he is taken for one of God's fools.

This is necessary to keep the great idea alive." [end of Dostoevsky quote]

Seems like momentum is picking up again. This strike is a very big deal.

I have to laugh when I hear cynics occasionally ask "What the hell did Occupy achieve?" TO THOSE CYNICS, I say "Ha. First of all, Occupy isn't past tense. It's still very much with us. Just because the volcano isn't currently erupting in your neck of the woods doesn't mean there aren't millions of tons of glowing magma just beneath the surface of the earth. Right underneath you man... Shhhh... If you listen close, you can hear it bubbling and feel it rumbling.

Secondly, to those cycnics, I'd say: "Do you really think one of the largest corporations in the world would be shaking in its boots right now if millions of people around the world hadn't voiced solidarity with Occupy in the last 14 months? When people speak up, others feel safe speaking up. This is no small thing. In fact, it is the very thing the 1% are most afraid of: citizens around the world feeling their oats, feeling a sense of community with one another, feeling solidarity. People are waking up and realizing they don't have to be afraid to speak up. Others hear that and realize they feel the same way...and this helps them feel the confidence to raise their voice too. This growing energy has the power to decimate the calculated divisions that have kept the 99% powerless for so long.

Once we realize that we are the 99%, once we realize that what we have in common is far more powerful than that which divides us, we'll be able to make decisions from a position of unified power rather than make demands from a position of divided weakness.



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[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Hey - long time no see - how ya doin?

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

Great. How about yourself? Seems like momentum is building again :)

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Good - you have been missed.

Me? Still sitting up and taking nourishment. {:-])

Yep - the conversation has changed world wide - people are waking-up and are starting to come together. A lot of progress has been made in this last year - reaching a critical mass so to speak - now I think we can start making change going forward as we have been. A solidly insane corpoRATist was kept out of the white house. Now time to make headway with the issues. Like Move to Amend - and so much more.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

The to do list is long. So much for all of us to pull together and accomplish. But the hunger is strong too. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

And It Is Time.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

Hopefully lots of folks will avoid Walmart on Friday.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

The workers issues have gotten some air time - it would be awesome to see people not attend the sales.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

In the scheme of things it's a small thing obviously. The important part is its newsworthiness because many Americans are going to see this and hear some of the reasons why workers are striking and it's going to plant a little seed. Over time, these little seeds get watered and grow.... Ideas and perceptions matter. Building consciousness matters. It's not the blip on the Walmart income statement on Friday that excited me. It's the news that comes from that and what then becomes possible. Every increase in consciousness, no matter how small or momentary matters.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Yep - it is like watching a heart monitor - Dr we have no pulse - charge to 200 - Clear - chuchum - Dr there is a pulse - monitor..................

Every little thing ads up - the sum of the whole being greater then it's parts.

The public consciousness is stirring.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

I think you're right. The magma beneath the surface is bubbling....

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

I can feel the earth tremors building.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

I really hope this strike breaks a new piece loose. Little by little, what seemed so permanent cracks...

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

And then the dam breaks....in a good way.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Just for this Friday?

Is that all you hope for?

Really? Such high expectations......

And from a local, too. Amazing, really.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

I expect and work for much more, but am referring above to the fact that we have to start somewhere.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago


[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23285) 7 years ago

Dostoyevsky wrote in the mid-19th century yet he saw clearly where capitalism, individualism and materialism were headed. Let's hope the spirit of the new era that he talks about is now.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

Cheers to that. It feels like there's real momentum in this direction. Solid pull from the anti-community "every man for himself" crowd too but I think the community pull is stronger in this tog-o-war match :)

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

It's about letting go.

There's a lot of misconception about how our lives should be.

We've been conditioned to expect certain things and chattels and conditions.

It's all a load of bollocks fed to us by our would-be masters.

Free yourselves by freeing your minds.

We are not what we own. Our possessions end up owning us.

We can never be truly free, until we realise that we don't need anything but freedom of choice.

Free your minds.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

I completely agree.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Dang it, Builder. There is a stupid song that contains the words Free your minds. It's the only line I remember. Now, it's stuck in my head. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Good post tho.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago
[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Don't. If it's going to be stuck in my head then I'm going to need a few more lines. :)


[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Don't tell me that's the one?

I do like it though.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

That is the one. I haven't heard it in a very long time. I saw that line and it imploded in my head. Free your minds and something something something.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Transference. Never heard that song in my life.

Way down the list in the g search. Cue xfile muzak. LOL

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

You are good!

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Enjoy. It's late here.

Gotta actually build stuff tomoz.


[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 7 years ago

Great post!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

The question is, how can the message of the good reasons behind Walmart strike break through to a wider audience. To me that's always the question....because the implications of widespread support are huge in all kinds of ways, obviously...not just on this issue.

I see a real opportunity here. This issue with Walmart really helps illuminate the larger situation.

Any thoughts?

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 7 years ago

I've been trying to talk my friends into boycotting Wal-Mart for a couple years now.

I've gotten 2 people to boycott and one is my mom.

If you find a way to break through to a bigger audience, let me know.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Demos.org (on news shows this morning) has a rpt tomorrow indicating the ramifications of raising wages to $13.25 amongst big retail corps.

And costco, fairway are able to pay as listed above and continue to make profits and provide low cost products.

Walmart, Target are just greedy corps that must be shown the way of generosity through people power demonstrations.

Support the Walmart black friday strike!

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

Right on!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Excellent progressive organization.


[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

Hadn't seen that before. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

yeah man. no prob.

[-] 1 points by WiccanRevolutionary (63) from South Charleston, OH 7 years ago

Win, win, win! Solidarity to these brave workers. may you succeed, and this be a story for the ages (in a good way)!

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 7 years ago

therising! Nice to see you friend.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

You too. Cheers Nevada!

[-] 1 points by Newid (8) 7 years ago

This statement would seem contrary to current sentiment that one does not grow wealth in isolation; that in fact it requires tremendous networking - literally, a contract with each and every individual from whom one extracts wealth.

Once one has acquired that wealth through networking - through some "concerted" effort - he and all allies are forced to retreat from the Dostoevskys.

So I see this merely as a declaration of war, an attempt to incite, through falsehood by those who foster hatred; is that hatred justified?

And so, class warfare... based entirely on created fictions.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Oh, hey, therising. Good to see you.

I love Dostoevsky and this is just as valid today. Good call.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 7 years ago

Cheers GirlFriday!