Michael Moore plants spring seeds for Occupy: "We're not leaving until you give us our country back!"

I never thought I’d be more radical than Michael Moore. But in reading through this rousing piece, I notice that he takes what I would call a “Saturn/Pluto” approach. This is in contrast to my own, more “Uranus/Pluto” attitude. Moore thinks we can pump enough real energy (Pluto) into the existing system (Saturn) to make it work (through electing good people, etc.). I don’t.

As an astrologer, I think that the current squeezing square between revolutionary Uranus and primal Pluto (search for many posts with “Uranus square Pluto” in the title on this site) is going to break up the system. That the relentless turbulence within this tense 90° geometric angle will do its greatest restructuring job during the next three years, when these two planets will pass back and forth to make seven (count ’em!) exact squares.

And, I sense that Uranus/Pluto will restructure not just the financial system, but the entire Illuminati system of competing, warring nation states, especially this one. The so-called American Dream was always about conquest and freedom and independence. It worked fine so long as the space to roam was infinite. But then we bumped up against the edge of our world, the Pacific Coast, and had to double back, learn how to inhabit all the many ecosystems that live within this vast continent and to let go of our rough frontier mentality as we learned how to negotiate life in common. Even on a local level, we are still learning how. (Check out the TV series “Deadwood,” for a fascinating, somewhat cynical take on competing pressures to “civilize” one small western town.)

And still we collectively assume we can continue to cobble all these localities together through increasingly frayed, complex and corrupt “federal” transportation, communication, education, medical, legal, political and “security” systems, all in the pretense that all these complex bioregions where we actually live are inside one “nation” that is “the leader of the free world” and must be “defended” against its (manufactured) “enemies.”

Just think of this variegated land. About all of it, its many, distinctive, disjunctive parts. The South (racism and gentility), cowboy Texas, independent Vermont, leafy New England, the Washington/Boston/New York megalopolis corridor. The Deep Mountain West (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado), mystic New Mexico, gambling and deserts (Nevada), Northern California and Oregon (Ecotopia), Southern California (Hollywood and sunglasses). Arizona (cacti and bad ass sheriffs). The depressed ex-industrial mid-west. The ex-industrializing agricultural heartland. All these various states of mind and more spreading out over an almost incomprehensibly enormous area pretending they are “one nation, under God, the United States of America.” No, we’re not.

Release the notion of the nation state with its artificial borders gained through conquest, and you let go of the need for war and national security. The stupendous creative human energy that’s locked up in the military mind-set and weapons and the soldiers and contractors on thousands of bases both here and across the globe can be set free for real work in local areas to create resilience and sustainability here, at home, everywhere, first. Networking with the entire globe is easy, compared to this supposedly simple job of starting in our own household, and with our own neighbors, and in our own communities, to recreate the commons, to not just occupy, but inhabit.

So. Even though his approach is too Saturn/Pluto for my evolving taste, I always love reading Michael Moore. He speaks with simple words and clear sentences that anyone, but anyone, can understand.

He knows that the Occupy movement has transformed the national conversation. He knows that it is magic. He espouses true intergenerational harmony, with elders supporting and applauding the gifts, talents, and opportunities of the young.

So very grateful. We are all so very grateful — to Michael Moore, to the youngsters, to the birds calling in each new dawn.

Thanks to The Nation.

The Purpose of Occupy Wall Street Is to Occupy Wall Street

March 15, 2012

Occupy Wall Street. What other political movement in modern times has won the sympathy and/or support of the majority of the American public—in less than two months? How did this happen? I think it was a revolt that has been percolating across the country since Reagan fired the first air traffic controller. Then, on September 17, 2011, a group of (mostly) young adults decided to take direct action. And this action struck a raw nerve, sending a shock wave throughout the United States, because what these kids were doing was what tens of millions of people wished they could do. The people who have lost their jobs, their homes, their “American dream”—they cathartically cheered on this ragtag bunch who got right in the face of Wall Street and said, “We’re not leaving until you give us our country back!”

By purposely not creating a formal, hierarchical organization with rules and dues and structure and charismatic leaders and spokespeople—all the things their parents told them they would need in order to get anything done—this new way allowed people from all over the country to feel like they were part of the rebellion by simply deciding that they were part of the rebellion. You want to occupy your local bank—do it! You want to occupy your college board of trustees—done! You want to occupy Oakland or Cincinnati or Grass Valley—be our guest! This is your movement, and you can make it what you want it to be.

In the old days, if you were starting a movement, you had to first educate the public about the problem you were trying to fix, and then you had to persuade them to join you. To move America toward a nonracist, nonsexist, nonhomophobic, peace-seeking nation took years—decades—and we’re still not there. But with Occupy Wall Street, you don’t have to convince the majority of Americans that greed rules Wall Street, that the banks have no one’s interests but their own at heart or that corporate America is out to squeeze every last bit of labor and wages out of everyone’s pocket. Everybody gets it. Even those who oppose it. The hardest part of this or any movement—building a majority—has already happened. The people are with us. So now what do we do?

Here’s what we don’t do: don’t turn Occupy Wall Street into another bureaucratic, top-down organization. That will certainly kill it. Baby boomers who grew up working within traditional organizations need to calm down and not shoehorn this movement into the old paradigm of “Let’s elect people to office and then lobby them to pass good laws!” Let Occupy take its natural course. The candidates for office that we need are in this movement. (Are you one of them? Why not? Someone has to do it, and it would be better if it was you!) The laws that must be enacted to make this a more just nation will come in due time. And not ten years from now; some of this will happen this year. The leading candidate for Congress from my hometown of Flint, Michigan, has already taken a pledge to make “getting money out of politics” his top goal once in office. Others have joined him. We need to vote for them and then hold them to it.

But right now, Occupy has to continue as a bold, in-your-face movement—occupying banks, corporate headquarters, board meetings, campuses and Wall Street itself. We need weekly—if not daily—nonviolent assaults right on Wall Street. You have no idea how many people across the country would come to New York City to participate in wave after wave of arrests as they/we attempt to shut down the murderous, thieving machine that is Wall Street. Forty-five thousand people a year die simply because they don’t have health insurance. Do you think they have any relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners who might be a little upset? How about the 4 million people losing their homes to the banks? Or the millions of students being crushed by debt? I think we could organize a few of them to shut down Wall Street.

And in town after town across America, people need to do similar things, but on a local level. Evictions of people who have been foreclosed upon must be met by citizens occupying the front door of the repossessed home and nonviolently blocking the bank from tossing the family out to the curb. When a neighbor can’t get the medical procedure she needs, people in town must occupy the hospital or the lobby of the insurance company. When a university raises students’ tuition for the umpteenth time, those students must occupy the administration’s office until the board of trustees relents.

It’s important to remember, though, that Occupy Wall Street is about occupying Wall Street. The other Occupies that have sprung up around the country are in solidarity, and while they attack the tentacles and the symptoms of the beast that exist locally everywhere, the head can be chopped off only in one place—and that place is in downtown Manhattan, where this movement started and must continue.

Our kids—the heart and soul of this movement—have watched us for years beating our heads against the walls of power, always marching on Washington, sending in checks to the environmental groups, giving up red meat—and what they got from this is that they are the first generation who will now be worse off than their parents. They still love us (which is remarkable when you think of the world we’ve handed them), but they are taking a different path from ours. Let them. The kids are all right. Do they know where their path will lead? Not necessarily—but that’s the beauty of Occupy Wall Street. The mystery of what’s ahead is the lure. Millions want in on that adventure because, deep down, they know they have no choice. And they know that there’s more of them than the men on Wall Street who currently occupy America. They have no choice but to win.

Click here to read this article in Spanish.

© 2012 The Nation
Michael Moore

Michael Moore is an activist, author, and filmmaker. See more of his work at his website MichaelMoore.com

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