Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Subservient Syndrome

Do you know why I supported Occupy amongst all other protests? Because it was doing something different. Protests come and go but Occupy, well that had a real shot at a change deeper than I think really anyone could even imagine. Of course that change was promptly snuffed out, and Occupy has now been reduced to nothing more than a brandname for protesting economic inequity. The real Occupy, the one I saw die in November; I don't think it's coming back, and that's sad as it leaves few outcomes for the global scenario in the people's favour.

What I have to say here I really want my readers to take to heart. Really think about this and don't form an opinion now, or maybe don't form an opinion about it ever. Our society has a bad case of subserviant syndrome. We have literally lost the capacity to care for ourselves. This is both by design, and of our own doing for the temptation to take the easier route is often quite strong. If this route is made available, many without thinking will take it, myself included.

I haven't written about Occupy since November. I'm not linking it as what I wrote then isn't relevant to this post. When Occupy was going strong with it's encampments, it represented independence. What emerged from that random gathering of people was in essence a small society, the birth of a new way to 'do business'. I'm not saying it was perfect, it was an infant model for self-governance - made possible with huge advancements in technology. For what may have been the first time in human history, multiple smaller societies were organizing on a global scale. To my knowledge, this has never happened in history yet was written off as some nussance. A joke with the funny hand signals and whatnot.

Journalists completely missed what could have been a most historic story. But the tents were destroyed, the governments and corporations saw to that, for these are the two entities that least admire independence. Occupy has been reduced in to a roaming protest, lobbying the corporations for bread crumbs. Right where they want you.

The tent was threatening, protests are not. Within their meager capabilities and state imposed limits the Occupy societies thrived. They probably could have thrived a hell of a lot more. OccupyNYC wanted to start a garden for food production. You can bet they wouldn't be using Monsanto's terminator seeds.

This is what excited me about Occupy, I never thought they could change a system that is fundamentally flawed. I did however think there was a chance, albeit a small chance, that they would in fact eventually supercede the current status quo. There was a chance that perhaps workers running power plants, etc, would join Occupy. If no one supports the government, then there is no government. If no one supports the currency, there is no currency. There is nothing stopping the people from replacing these entities at will, other than the belief that they cannot. It is our support, our demands, our wants which we expect them to deliver which keep them in power. Nothing more.

Occupy for a brief moment superceded the top-down control structure. Instead of begging the government for so-called demands, they just did it themselves. The long lost people the governments and the rest of society had swept under the rug finally had a new home, and new-found support. They were accepted for what was probably the first time in a long time, as people, by just regular other people. If that isn't evolution in our society, what is?

Now we've gone back to begging when we should instead be going the other way. We can not change this system; it is collapsing under infintie growth and the monetary debt that brings. We can in fact create any system we want. I'm not talking socialism, or capitalism, or anything like that here. We can do better, we were doing better, and quite frankly it scared the shit out of the system like I have never seen before.

If Occupy is to be reborn, then set up your tents, hold your ground and I'll stand with you. Don't let it fall in to the same trap as so many movements before it, and if you must give a demand then my suggestion would be to make the demand: Occupy.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.


  1. Richard,

    I question whether the Occupy movement is (or was, depending on your point of view)really all that novel.

    While my memory is somewhat dusty, didn't Karl Marx say essentially the same thing, that under capitalism the rich will get richer and "ownership of the means of production" will continue to grow more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands?

    And the public will be held in place through vehicles such as religion - the so called "opiate of the masses".

    The more things change the more they stay the same!

  2. Many have said that, but tha's not really what I saw occuring between October and November. What I am advocating here is not "an end to capitalism", I have no problems with capitalism.

    The limits to growth are present whether socialism or capitalism is used. What I saw was people taking care of people, taking responsiblity, and thinking for themselves and their own needs. It was the complete opposite of a welfare state.

    What I am saying is that a reset in the people's favour is possible. The people can replace our system with whatever they want, perhaps even a new version of the same system!

    The Occupy group accomplished something no movement has before, global decentralized coordination, over the internet. Socities evolve, they are not planned and briefly for a small small moment, I saw something fresh taking shape.

    Any true attempt to restructure, any true attempt to fix the problems in this crony capitalist system (the great banking shell game) will have to come from the bottom - and will come from the bottom. Already violent protests sweep the globe. It's coming whether we like it or not, are ready for it or not. We can either help shape whats happening into something positive, or stick our heads in the sand - but it's happening, none-the-less.

  3. Addendum

    To provide some context of my position, I wrote this post here: http://canadiantrends.blogspot.ca/2012/04/this-response-is-important-enough-to-be.html - in response to another blogger's marxist arguments.