From the very outset when Occupation Wall Street was first launched on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan it attracted a very diverse set of participants with an equally diverse portfolio of concerns including income inequality, poverty, greed, unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, student debt, health care, environmental degradation, racism, sexism, corruption, violence, and imperialism to mention only a few.
Within a few weeks the movement spread to hundreds of towns and cities in dozens of countries worldwide. The staying power of its revolt against Wall Street, Corporate America, and the American Empire has been truly remarkable.
However, OWS has been subjected to considerable criticism from the political establishment for its lack of focus and the absence of a political process for achieving its far-flung objectives.
Notwithstanding overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the vast majority of supporters of OWS behave as though they believe the U.S. Government is fixable. Most of them cling to the fantasy that some combination of campaign finance reform or laws banning corporate personhood will solve all of our problems. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
These OWS adherents fail to realize that our government is owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street, Corporate America, and various foreign interest groups, who like things just the way they are. Because of its sheer size, the United States is unsustainable, ungovernable, and, therefore, unfixable, just as was the case with the former Soviet Union. There are not going to be any constitutional or legal restrictions limiting the rights of corporations. Nor are there going to be any meaningful campaign finance reform laws. It’s not going to happen.
Thanks to two recent books, Why America Failed by Morris Berman and Deep Green Resistance by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen, a growing number of Occupy Wall Streeters are starting to see the light of day and question whether or not the Empire is truly fixable. They are beginning to note that neither President Barack Obama nor any of his wild-eyed Republican opponents has any real solutions to our endless list of problems.
But if the Empire is going down, which it surely is, and it is completely unfixable, then what is the point of Occupy Wall Street? To go down with the sinking ship.
The Occupy Wall Street movement just might create a window of opportunity for a new world disorder – a disorder that rejects cant and dogma; a disorder that fosters creativity, possibility, and seething human enterprise; a disorder, most importantly, that promotes the decentralization of governance.
The only morally defensible alternative to a failing evil empire is peaceful dissolution. Indeed, radical decentralization represents by far the most effective way to deal with the plethora of concerns expressed by Occupy Wall Streeters.
It’s high time the OWSers concentrate their efforts on the root cause of all of our problems, namely, a corrupt, ravenous empire. There is one and only one objective, the peaceful dissolution of the American Empire. Nothing else matters.
Thomas H. Naylor
February 13, 2012
Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the USA, and The Search for Meaning.