Why We Occupy?

by The North Star on January 27, 2012

What I’ve learned about the occupation movement is that there are three groups of people:

One group is solely interested in occupying public space and making that public space a community within a community, regardless how organized or chaotic that community may appear to others. This is all they want to do: occupy public space. Occupying public space is critical because it’s a place where we can establish the commons and create a true democracy, and setup all the social systems needed to support a fully human society.

However, I’d say that we are operating on limited information. The people who are well informed about how to properly setup encampments aren’t helping us. They are leaving us to our own creativity and ignorance, which could be nonproductive. For the most part, we act and react on limited information.

Just imagine if technicians and social engineers came to our encampment at Military Park located in Newark, New Jersey (Occupy Newark) and taught us and participated with setting up a fully sustainable encampment with today’s knowledge. This would create a totally different environment. Then people who are well informed in social psychology and social management would teach us how environment shapes behavior and how to manage our resources. This too would create a different environment. If all of this would happen attitudes and this movement would change drastically. We would be able to evolve into a resource-based society where money isn’t needed for survival.

Dr. Wayne Dyer stated that “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” I agree with him. Our society needs to undergo a serious rehabilitation. I see encampments as a way for people to remove the labels that have been placed on them by society and a means to become rehabilitated from our addiction with money and the negative effects of the monetary system. Andrew Lo, Professor and Director for MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, stated in the award winning documentary Inside Job directed by Charles Ferguson that “recently, neuroscientists have done experiments where they’ve taken individuals and put them into an MRI machine. And they have them play a game where the prize is money. And they noticed that when these subjects earn money, the part of the brain that gets stimulated is the same part that cocaine stimulates.” We are living in a sick society.

So encampments could be this rehabilitation process. It could be the start of a new society, a community within a community, a subculture that gradually becomes the dominant culture. But the people who are well informed are not working with us because they are working for the 1%, or should I say, enslaved by the 1%.

Then there’s the second group, people who respect the symbolism of occupying public space, but is more concerned with operating as a working group that bring awareness about our society and work collectively with others to create tangible solutions. This allows this group to meet and organize any and everywhere.

For instance, one solution that I’m developing with others is a global public school system that’s nonaffiliated with any political or religious organization: Alinkage Public School System (APS). Our goal is to update our education system with today’s knowledge. Albert Einstein stated that technology has far exceeded our humanity. For the most part, our education system is stuck in the Industrial Revolution. We have people living in space, but we still have billions of people living in poverty, millions dying unnecessarily from starvation.

Police officers are paid through the taxation of the working class, but they protect an establishment that doesn’t pay taxes. This is because they are simply instructed to follow orders. They aren’t trained to be think tanks. And just like most working people, they want to keep their job. Well, if APS has anything to do with it, all correctional officers and police officers will be sent back to school, free of charge, to learn more about social psychology and social management, so they can become think tanks. We would do the same with soldiers, who are simply designed to be killing machines.

The truth of the matter is as long as we continue to support this system it will continue to exist. We can complain about gas prices but as long as we are filling up our tanks nothing of any significance will change. The 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott should’ve taught us that much.

Lastly, there’s a third group, the agitators who just want to stir things up, piss the 1% off, and show how ugly this system really is through civil disobedience. The people in this group are willing to give up their lives and freedom for this movement.

And we have to respect all three roles, but we also have to determine what is being effective and what isn’t, and how we can make them all more effective because each group compliments the other. Each group is needed.

This is the moment where we can create the “golden age” for all life on this planet. This is our opportunity to make the history books.

Let’s continue to lead the way……

Peace and Solidarity,

Tobias A. Fox
Alinkage Public School, A Holistic Approach to Learning

“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle and try to change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. That, in essence, is the higher service to which we are all being called.” —Buckminster Fuller

“The paradox of education is precisely this: that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.”
—James A. Baldwin

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laughing Fish February 1, 2012 at 1:00 am

Good article. I think the best idea in here, which was brushed against but not really consciously articulated, would be a coordinated nationwide boycott of gasoline. That sounds impossible at first right? Well, but think about it. The idea that the environment is really screwed by fossil fuels, and that gas is too high, is something a lot of workers are really keen on. You wouldn't have to get everyone to stop buying gas, but if you had 2 or three people carpooling per car to each workplace, and you got a lot of workplaces involved, you'd create an impact of millions of dollars against the oil companies. People who can walk or bike could do that, but many people have to use cars because of distance, so we'd really need people to carpool.

What else is good about that is that it would re-introduce the idea of working together at the work place, and that coworkers can be a source of strength, to many of us.

The first demand would be obvious: lower gas prices.

A second, I would argue for: We're not going to pay for you to supply us with a polluting fuel. We need to see a significant percentage of your profits be invested into a renewable transportation grid, and we need to see a plan with a timetable for an oil free national transportation network.

That would be pretty awesome if it happened.


Tobias Fox of Occupy Newark February 6, 2012 at 2:08 am

I believe all that you’ve expressed is on point and will occur, but it will have to take oil prices to increase to the point where people are no longer able to afford the prices. Unfortunately, many of us wait until a crisis occur before moving into action. Thanks for the reply.




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