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Sunday, October 09, 2011

We are the 99%: the people fight back against neoliberalism

In the U.S.

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, let all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge that
- the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members;
- our system must protect our rights, and upon its corruption it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights and of their neighbors;
- a democratic government derives its just power from the people, no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.

We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.
- They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
- They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

More here.  hat tip: Media Lens message board.
Meanwhile, exciting things are happening in Chile too.

What a great quote from Camila Vallejo, the young student leader (photo above) at the forefront of Chile's anti-neoliberal protests:

"For years, Chilean youth have been consumed by a neo-liberal model that highlights personal achievement and consumerism; it is all about mine, mine, mine. There is not a lot of empathy for the other,"

All over the world, people are fighting back this ultra-selfish economic model, which only benefits the tiny minority. Whether its end will come in 2011, 2012 or 2013, the days of neoliberalism are well and truly numbered.

UPDATE: Protests in London too over our neoliberal government's appalling NHS plans.


Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Clark,

I like the way you emphasize the moral dimension of the protests. Yes, this ultimately is about values such as selfishness, greed and lack of empathy for your fellow human beings. That is why there is such a diverse array of people joining various anti-neoliberal movements across the globe.

Many people, including many on the Left, have criticized the “Occupy” movement for being too amorphous. However, I think the lack of political dogma may be a good thing.

Apparently, a lot of folks have a sense that neo-liberalism has made life worse. The fact that many of these people are not explaining their concerns in dogmatic lectures should not be seen as problematic.

Hard Leftist dogmatism will only scare away people who would otherwise be attracted to the economic ideas of the Left but are often taken aback by some of the more aggressive and doctrinaire left-wingers.

Neil Clark said...

Hi John- many thanks.

I think that Camila Vallejo's quote says it all : "a neo-liberal model that highlights personal achievement and consumerism; it is all about mine, mine, mine. There is not a lot of empathy for the other,"

Neoliberalism destroys solidarity as it encourages us to regard 'the other' not as as a comrade but as a rival and competitor in an ultra-competitive 'market place'. Genuine solidarity and friendship dies, and faux-friendship thrives.

Douglas said...

I make no claim to know how the Occupy movement is doing outside of America, but here's how I see it in America...

Some of the American Occupiers are trying to make a mirror image of the Tea Party, the popular uprising that resulted in the historically large Republican victory in the 2010 Congressional elections. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi floated that idea recently

Some of the Occupiers are reasonably well-meaning people who do not (for whatever reason) see the strong connections and tender solicitude between the Obama administration and Wall Street.

Some of the Occupiers are people who have gone $100,000 into non-dischargable debt for a college degree in Womyn's Studies or Justice and Peace Studies or some other rubbish degree, and are taking out their anger over their foolish decisions on Wall Street.

Some of the occupiers are hippie hangers-on, there for sex, drugs, rebellion and Radiohead.

The fact that a civil rights hero was silenced during Occupy Atlanta, or that a raving anti-semite thug is hitching his wagon to the Occupy star, or that an all-white mob attacked black guards at the Smithsonian institution, doesn't help.

Robert said...

Camila Vallejo, with looks like that, could probably sell snowmobiles to Bangladesh!

With John's remarks about the moral content of the protests I agree entirely, of course.

jack said...

Problem is that private multi-national corporations have become more powerful than countries themselves even the USA who through private multi-national banking firms, political finance, control of the mass media, thinks tanks and funding of Universities and scholarships/grants who also have ties to the intelligence services (George Soros is the perfect example of this) essentially controlling most of the planet with the objective of trying to control the entire planet.

Even the military is mostly private enterprise with US private military contractors to stay behind in Iraq while US troops withdraw and fighting “Al Qaeda” terrorist in this phoney 1984 style war on terror who themselves were previously largely trained in private US/British intelligence/government linked security firms with most of the jihadists from Europe transiting through Bosnia used as a base to send arms and fighters to Iraq.