by SARAH VAN GELDER, DAVID KORTEN, AND STEVE PIERSANTI
Many question whether this movement can really make a difference. The truth is that it is already changing everything. Here’s how.
1. It names the source of the crisis.
The problems of the 99% are caused by Wall Street greed, perverse financial incentives, and a corporate take-over of the political system.
2. It provides a vision of the world we want.
We can create a world that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest 1%.
3. It sets a new standard for public debate.
Those advocating policies and proposals must now demonstrate that their ideas will benefit the 99%. Serving only the 1% is no longer sufficient.
4. It presents a new narrative.
The solution is no longer to starve government, but to free society and government from corporate dominance.
5. It creates a big tent.
We, the 99%, are made up of people of all ages, races, occupations, and political beliefs, and we are learning to work together with respect.
6. It offers everyone a chance to create change.
No one is in charge. Anyone can get involved and make things happen.
7. It is a movement, not a list of demands.
The call for transformative structural change, not temporary fixes and single-issue reforms, is the movement’s sustaining power.
8. It combines the local and the global.
People are setting their own local agendas, tactics, and aims. But we also share solidarity, com- munication, and vision at the global level.
9. It offers an ethic and practice of deep democracy and community.
Patient decision-making translates into wisdom and common commitment when every voice is heard. Occupy sites are communities where anyone can discuss grievances, hopes, and dreams in an atmosphere of mutual support.
10. We have reclaimed our power.
Instead of looking to politicians and leaders to bring about change, we can see now that the power rests with us. Instead of being victims of the forces upending our lives, we are claiming our sovereign right to remake the world.
[See Eli Pariser's Commencement Address Simon’s Rock College Commemcement Address, 2005 ]
Sarah van Gelder and David Korten are co-founders of YES! Magazine and Steve Piersanti is publisher of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
This “10 Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything” list is excerpted from the book This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement edited by Sarah van Gelder and the staff of YES! Magazine and published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. This list is available for free copying and reproduction under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) license, which allows for re- distribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to its original publication in the book, This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011.
[check out this Creative commons license, which allows me to republish this on NMD Net]