Aug 6, 2012
I’m an active Occupier, and a big question among Occupiers is about voting. Should people vote at all and thus support our decrepit two-party system? Don’t Republicans and Democrats both line up at the same trough? Don’t the corporations already “own” both parties by virtue of their money and their willingness to corrupt others with their money? Is there a material difference between the parties? All good questions.
Occupy Inspires me to Vote, Voting Inspires me to Occupy (excerpt)
Spend a few years with any small, particular trench of the big progressive struggle and you soon find how much of the oppressive apparatus of the 1% is inter-connected and inter-dependent.
It was a sense of relief, even “arrival” that I felt. We had finally “put it together.”
The only surprise I could register on any of our faces and even today when I review the transcripts of my interviews from those first few hours was that there were in fact so many of us, from so many different walks of life, who were aware of just how inter-connected our struggles were.
I’ve learned quite a few positive (what to do) and negative (what not to do) lessons from my individual experience at Occupy–but none more important than the power, meaning and value of connecting our struggles.
Our best mechanism for change, our solidarity, demands that we find ways to rebind our struggles together towards larger shared goals. The best way to do that is not to wait around until your own community is under the gun by some colonizing corporation and then to go around looking for solidarity. Quite the opposite. We must constantly, and as an imperative of our power, morals and politics, move to a position of solidarity with communities that are being oppressed. Time after time, and forever, if we want to live in a free world, we have to make that leap of faith for each others’ communities.
These are the two pistons that drive us forward. Dramatic community action. Purposeful political participation.
The choice has never been either popular democracy or institutional change–the choice has always been do both or get neither.
To read this important article in its entirety–something I recommend whether you are an Occupier or not, please click here.