There is something profoundly important and good going on in the World today and our political commentators simply do not understand it. Jeremy Paxman’s interview of Michael Moore on last nights’ Newsnight was a case in point. Gone are the days when mainstream political parties offered meaningful choice, as Moore pointed out, virtually all politicians have sold out to corporate interests, the greed of the richest 1% seems boundless and their indifference to the suffering of the 99% seems inhuman. The global media like the political parties are in hoc to the corporations.
2011 may go down in history as the year when citizens around the World “have gotton up off the sofa”, said “enough is enough” and got out on the streets. The Arab Spring with the toppling of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya may on one level appear to have little to do with the emergence of ‘the outraged’ or ‘los Indignados’ in Madrid, Athens and many other places in May or the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the City movements in New York, London and elsewhere in September and October. Everywhere the yearning for freedom, justice and fairness is palpable. This is an overwhelmingly and explicitly non-violent process for change.
Capitalism has protected the interests of the dictators, the rich elites and the privileged for far too long. The people are fed-up and want change. Governments around the world have failed in the challenge to do anything meaningful to address climate change.
Meanwhile the peoples of the world are becoming increasingly networked together, via the internet and mobile technology. Paul Hawken in Blessed Unrest suggests that there are between one and two million organisations around the world working for global social justice and ecological survival and renewal. Just one, Avaaz, has grown from 5 to 10 million members in the last few months, and it reflects the nature of this interlinked global movement better than perhaps any other organisation, and certainly better than any established political party. But the strength of this movement is in its diversity and in its solidarity. The opportunities to create a more ecologically sustainable and socially just world are almost infinite, and I will continue to advocate change through my writing, speaking and teaching, knowing that there are many millions, billions even, who share my hopes and aspirations, and who are working in their own ways to help bring about a better future. Exciting times to witness emergent, grassroots, bottom-up, non-violent, socially and ecologically conscious participatory democracy in the making. How truly historic a movement this is only time will tell.
The organisation Occupy Wall Street has a good website. http://occupywallst.org/
Paxman’s interview with Michael Moore: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9619110.stm