Thursday, October 20, 2011

Builders of the Future

Political movements are fickle things; individuals within it are akin to water in a river. Sometimes they diverge, sometimes they converge, sometimes they become life-sustaining groundwater, sometimes they become a destructive flood. However, one thing remains constant: they are all on a journey to the same place, the sea. Unlike water though, people have choices. Water does not decide where it goes, it just follows the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, this same effect happens with people sometimes, especially in situations where their free will has be subjugated by those that wish to limit individual freedoms, and seek to ensure that the status quo is preserved for their own gains, and seek to actively convert others to this philosophy of self-fulfillment, regardless of the welfare of others. This is the paradigm that has dominated for the last century; its effects can be seen everywhere from Wall Street to Wal-mart, from Woodrow Wilson's fateful signature on the Federal Reserve Act to the World Wars that followed. We have seen the ills of the current system, and its cancerous effects on ordinary people, it tells them that greed is good, that those blessed with less are lower than them, and that they must consume more in order to be effective human beings. However, as the current financial paradigm crumbles, exposing the malaise that it has hidden for so long, the people that are its foundation are seeing the true nature of this beast, and are refusing to bear it further along. To these people, I bring you the following message: Because we see the system for what it is, we also bear the burden to change it.

In order to change a system, one must fully break free of the shackles of that system; one must be transformed from a brick in its monolithic walls to the builder that creates the roads to the future with the bricks from the self-inflicted implosion of the institutions of the past. Now, one may ask “How is it possible for a brick to be transformed into a builder? One is just a functional object, while the other capable of utilizing other bricks to create new things.” In order to understand this, one must realize that the inherent dualism in the fact that the builder is still in fact a brick, and that a builder's job is only to enlighten other bricks to the fact that they themselves are builders, and that they may choose where to place themselves in the road that leads to the future.

To bring this full circle, back from the realm of analogy to the reality we exist in, I would like to inform you all that there exists an unlikely opportunity within the 99% Movement today. It exists in an unlikely place, a place dominated both by physical bricks and mortar and by the proverbial bricks above, that form a bastion of greed and self-interest that matches few others. I am referring to the City and Occupy of Dallas. The city, in breaking from the failings of the other occupied cities, has given the 99% Occupiers here the legitimate opportunity to show that we are not just voices of dissent, bricks under too much strain, but are capable of creating answers, the chance to become builders, and that is exactly what we intend to. We, the 99% of Dallas, intend to start to build the road to the future. We will begin to focus on transforming bricks into builders by developing a professional activist training center, right on the grounds of Dallas City Hall, as to empower other 99%ers, to hone themselves into effective voices of change, to emphasize that when given the opportunity, that Mankind can rise to the occasion, just as our forebearers.

Occupy Dallas currently has 56 days in which to demonstrate our ability to create solutions, so 99%ers in other cities, send us your best and brightest, so that they can become the most effective activists they can be, in preparation for taking the message to the pulpit of power, Washington, DC to let our collective voices ring against the walls of the buildings that have failed us in their most sacred oath, a government for, of, and by the people.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Monumental Choice

"A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practice perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice."
-- Mohandas Gandhi

Perfection is not a state, it is a process. That process is marked by sacrifice for the greater good, no matter what one's individual desires are but what is better for the community, and by living by the virtues of self-suffering, showing empathy, character, and civic responsibility. A flexible branch does not break, yet the strongest brick wall crumbles in an earthquake

Today, the City of Dallas offered Occupy Dallas the opportunity to compromise. They said that they will be willing to let us occupy a lot behind the city hall where we can spread our message with peace, and it is my opinion is that this is a good thing rather than bad. When we demonstrate that we are mature enough of a society to embrace the hallmarks of a civilized society, and that is that compromise creates legitimacy and shows organizational maturity, and that cooler heads can prevail.

Now, I certianly understand and empathize with the viewpoint that we have been oppressed and it is wrong. However, it takes a bigger person to sacrifice ones personal feelings for the benefits of everyone else, especially the children that will live with the consequences of our collective actions. It is better to turn the other cheek, it is better to be the suffering servant, and it is divine to forgive.

On a practical note, what will be the consequences of the historic issue that is to be decided here today. Lets look at potential ramifications of each If we choose to comprimise, we actually have an opportunity to demonstrate that we can do better than the powers that be, that we, the people, know how to take care of the people, and that is a powerful message. We will have the opportunity to demonstrate the ideals we represent, that every person has a voice, and that by allowing us to learn from each other and make the historic decisions about how society should be improved, and then actually live that example. On a simpler note, we will be able to have hygiene facilities  and other amenities that make for a happier, healthier society, both physically and mentally. If we choose to not compromise, we do not know the results of our actions. It is for this reason, cooler heads must prevail.

Friends, we have a chance here, a chance to promote all the lofty ideals we represent. Please, please, please make the right decision. May peace guide you.

None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.