By John Ballard
Not only did US crony capitalism rip us off,
it is also killing us: http://youtu.be/rixyrCNVVGA
Nearly every time I catch a news item aboout the Occupy movement the report invariably wants to know "What is this about? What are the aims? The objectives? The demands???
Here in Atlanta the Occupy people have been able to find places to sleep at night through the good offices of SCLC, Dr. King's organization. But they have been told, politely I'm sure, that they can't expect to continue with that gesture of "support" without any coherent statement of purpose.
The SCLC has had several meetings with members of Occupy Atlanta to coach them on developing a better structure for the Occupy movement "As I've told them, what they're doing right now is giving our past efforts and those of activists in the 60s, they're giving us a black eye. And they're making it harder for future activists"
Occupy Atlanta is planning to reoccupy Woodruff Park this Saturday. Farris says that he doesn't see a point in the protestors getting arrested all over again. "But to go back to the park now on November 5th and get arrested arrested for what? What is your message at this point? What are your demands?"
Occupy Atlanta spokesperson Brittany Gondolfi says that with coming up with demands that encompass all the different viewpoints of the people in this movement takes time. "The intention is to create a dialog to create demands of the people and by the people."
So what has that to do with this video?
Robyn O'Brien's message is but one part of the larger challenge that John Robb put his finger on. She discovered that major multi-national companies -- she mentioned Coca-Cola, Kraft and Wal-mart -- are able to formulate, export and profitably sell food products in other countries in compliance with restrictive regulations torpedoed in America by what we call crony capitalism.
The Occupy phenomenon is bigger than any one list of demands or expectations. It is about a sea change in how we live, what we expect, not only from elected representatives but places where we eat, shop and rely on to look out for the best interests of us, our families and our communities. Circumstances vary widely from place to place. There is no single list or credo which will apply universally. And it is a bad mistake to argue that lots of folks hate capitalism. Some do, of course, and they will continue to argue and work for that end. But the most effective protection against that outcome is not name-calling or questioning motives. The best defense of capitalism is no more complicated that getting it right. If it can be done elsewhere, there is no reason it cannot be done right in America.
Occupy is a big conversation. And Robyn O'Brien is part of it, along with a multitude of what in the Sixties we called consciousness-raising movements. Those who overlook or trivialize them do so at their peril. And that is why I see her message through the lens of healthcare reform. Hence "HCR" in the post title.
If healthcare costs and results are gonna get better, nearly everybody is gonna have to think and behave differently.