At a forum sponsored by The Nation on Thursday 10 November on Occupy Wall Street with Michael Moore, Naomi Klein, and others. Naomi Klein addressed the issue of “What are the real barriers to democracy in the United States?” She listed four such barriers:
- Concentrated Media
- Corporate Personhood
- Campaign Finance
When I mentioned these to some students, they were surprised. The students told me that all they’ve heard Occupy Wall Street was about was relieving student loans – it was about “entitlement.”
I’ve already discussed the goals of OWS on this blog. Yet, people still seem confused about the goals. Yes, some people — and I have myself — have mentioned the relief of student loan debt. To focus on those claims — as many major news media do — is to miss the overall aims of OWS — the end of corporate control of everyday human life. In the political picture, this goal entails breaking up media conglomerates (and, of course, The Media know this and so resist reporting about the truth behind OWS), changing the way politicians advertise for offices, the rights corporations claim — especially in regards to “free speech” — and the ways campaigns are financed.
Most of these goals I have just listed are state, national, and international objectives. Yet, to achieve any one of them can go to some extent in protecting the local communities which I discuss often. At the level of the local community we can break the control of corporations and bureaucracy on our every day lives. This might mean, however, working on some of these larger goals when we can
The reason to resist, however, enunciating such goals is because they are too easily manipulated. If we began a movement for campaign finance reform, it too easily distracts from what we can do at the local level and too easily is manipulated by the media conglomerates to serve larger interests.
Does that mean we do not try — no. It means we try, but we always keep our eye focused on the end game.
And the end game is the complete fulfillment of each and every individual human being on earth, which is a political goal in the original sense of politics. One most worthy of being human.