Occupy – a Revolution of Love!

In this blogpost we reflect on the ideas of Charles Eisenstein’s “Occupy Wall Street: No Demand is Big Enough”. All quotes below are from his essay. Emphasis is added.

“Can we really applaud a new oil field, when the atmosphere is past the limit of how much waste it can absorb? Is more stuff really what the world needs right now? Or can we envision a world instead with more play and less work, more sharing and less buying, more public space and less indoors, more nature and less product?”

Beyond the bleakness of the American Dream where ‘the wealth of one must be the debt of another’, Eisenstein highlights that Occupy are instituting something totally new, borne out of a different kind of revolution – a revolution of love. In large part this will be achieved by stepping outside of the boxed in market-state system which remains enraptured and doomed by its unsustainable fix on the profit motive.

“Too many revolutions before us have succeeded only to institute a different but more horrible version of the very thing they overthrew. We look to a different kind of revolution. At risk of revealing the stars in my eyes, let me call it a revolution of love. What else but love would motivate any person to abandon the quest to maximize rational self-interest? Love, the felt experience of connection to other beings, contradicts the laws of economics as we know them.”

“Let us never mortgage a greater to a lesser. The means of the movement, more than the ends, will be the genesis of what comes after the debt pyramid collapses. Occupy Wall Street is practicing new forms of non-hierarchical collaboration, peer-to-peer organization, and playful action that someday, maybe, we can build a world on.

What does the movement teach us about the world we want to live in? The “someday” is today. If the Movement is to succeed, it needs to keep embodying the new social practices of education, collaborative thinking and decision-making, empowerment, resource allocation, so that it can step up to its epic role and become the seed of the new society.

“We must learn the lessons of Egypt, where the protestors went home without creating any lasting structures of people power, and, while some things changed, the basic political and economic infrastructure of Egypt did not… We could make lists of demands for new public policies: tax the wealthy, raise the minimum wage, protect the environment, end the wars, regulate the banks. While we know these are positive steps, they aren’t quite what motivated people to occupy Wall Street. What needs attention is something deeper: the power structures, ideologies, and institutions that prevented these steps from being taken years ago; indeed, that made these steps even necessary.”

The lasting structures of people power, the permanent People’s Assemblies and the Commons, the communal management and stewardship of jointly created resources, seem to be the next frontier on the road to victory. As we tread the choiceless path, we do so as Eisenstein highlights, with open arms, welcoming those that are waking up and finding the courage to step outside of the market-state box, into a new yet-to-be-formulated world that is co-created with joy.

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Categories: Identity & Strategy


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6 Comments on “Occupy – a Revolution of Love!”

  1. November 19, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Listen to Charles Eisenstein in this beautiful video ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRtc-k6dhgs ~ directed by Ian MacKenzie. See more at http://www.occupylove.org

    “Love is the expansion of the self to include the other, and that’s a different kind of revolution. There’s no one to fight, no evil to fight, there is no other in this revolution”

    ~ Charles Eisenstein

  2. November 19, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    > “There’s no one to fight, no evil to fight, there is no other in this revolution”

    Well, that’s a bit more nuanced than that. While we don’t fight *people* bur for people, I wouldn’t hesitate to call evil an obsolete *system* that causes that much suffering in world and doing everything it can to perpetuate itself.

    Of course, fighting it is less efficient than creating the new social practices and institutions bypassing the old that outlived their historical usefulness. That approach is more creative and that’s what started being exercised in the the assemblies. That doesn’t mean we should avoid fighting for the new when the old wants to extinguish it. But we can fight with love in our heart, which is spacious enough to include people in the 1%…

    • November 19, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      > While we don’t fight *people* bur for people

      Yes! Our fight is non-violent and creative, rather than the usual ‘rebellious’ way that is violent and destructive. We hold awareness of the challenges presented by those who oppose genuine change for the common good, and we overcome those challenges by creating new ways to live together, from the bottom up, where everyone who is attracted to this, is welcome.

      > creating the new social practices and institutions bypassing the old that outlived their historical usefulness

      We should also include in these new practices that are emerging, all of human discovery and innovation of the past & present that can now serve the people, augmenting our creativity.

  3. January 15, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    “…bypassing the old that outlived their historical usefulness…”

    This is not a universally feasible strategy.
    The “old” fights back—often viciously—to preserve its dominance and suppress*—often to exterminate—challenges to its dominance.
    So, we also have to find ways and strategies that help an anachronistic system to accept the need for a peaceful euthanasia.

    *There are several case histories chronicling how promising world-wide movements for radical, socio-evolotionary change have been fought by the existing system for decades and succeeding, finally, to bury the challenge.
    I hope that this time, thanks to the internet, the Occupation movement will achieve a transformation and lead to a society worthy of the potential for good that is inherent—but undeveloped as yet—in the human race.


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