Friday, 17 February 2012

A Positive Approach

I have found myself getting more and more out of step with the way things are developing on the international Occupy scene, as expressed on the Squares and other international email lists. I see a multiplicity of proposed protests, demos and 'actions', with the probability of confrontation and violence escalating, as they are in Greece, and few voices, if any, expressing the possibility of responding with more positive passion to the situation. Not to deny the anger and frustration, but to explore using the energy constructively, to build the alternative system we all want, pointing to a view of humanity as one family, rather than espousing the values of the industrial growth economic system we now have, which separate us from each other and the earth.
I know that there are others who want a more constructive way to connect. Perhaps it is possible to form a different approach, based on acknowledging the work we have to do on ourselves, in order to free ourselves from the value system we have grown up with, and recognising also how destructive the expression of self righteous anger can be, however valid the justification, as when the violence is perpetrated by a government against its own people.

  • Anger allows us to feel powerful, even if only for a short time. As a reaction to feelings of impotency and frustration it gives us for a limited time a feeling that we can achieve what we want, that we are strong, and can impose our will.
  • There is at the moment very little acknowledgement within Occupy of the need to work on ourselves, 'be the change we want to see'. Paulo Friere wrote of how easy it is for revolutionaries to re-enact the oppressive methods of the ruling elites. We have been brought up with this stuff, it pervades our every thought and action, unless we consciously work to overcome these barriers.
  • Unfortunately ANGER shouts louder than 'love' (using that as a shorthand to describe the alternative), and it is easy to become intimidated, so that it feels heretical to express a different viewpoint, and certainly in comparison, it seems weak and ineffective.
Would you be interested in helping to formulate some alternatives to the multiplicity of protests and actions which are being planne?

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