Adbusters

Why Are We Striking?

Or to put it another way – what’s wrong with the world?

DANIEL GOODMAN

Why are we striking? Or to put it another way – what’s wrong with the world?

Of course, most of us know what’s wrong with the world. We know about the poverty, war, violence and disease. We’re conscious of the injustice, but not fully conscious of it, because frankly, we have enough to worry about in our own lives. As such, we’ve come to accept these injustices as simple facts of life – prepackaged side effects of the human condition, as natural and intertwined with our existence as water to a stream, beyond our capacity to effect in any significant way. This collective sense of powerlessness and default apathy is why we’re striking.

Our growing sense of isolation and disconnection, whether from ourselves, from those next door to us, or from those producing our food and products halfway across the globe, is why we’re striking. Our forced support of perpetual war waged for and by the 1% - whether explicitly with speech, or implicitly with inaction and tax dollars - without ever paying mind to the true causes and motives behind it, is why we’re striking. Our failure uptil now to connect the dots and realize that the benefits of a cheap iPod, lovely as it may be, would be far outweighed by the benefits of a truly just world free of exploitation, is why we’re striking.

The fact that most of us are too busy being exploited to realize we’re being exploited – too busy greasing the cogs of our economic system to notice how the fruits of our labor never fail to float up and out of our reach - is why we’re striking, as is the fact that most aren’t able to do anything about this exploitation even when we do notice it. While some of us are lucky enough to have jobs and careers that give real meaning to our lives, allowing us to take full advantage of our talents and fulfill our destiny, most of us have jobs devoid of meaning and dignity, yet full of the feeling that we are fulfilling someone else’s destiny. Our recognition that the ruling class’s seat at the top of the pyramid is prepared and propped up by the working class is why we’re striking. Our knowledge that it’s actually the CEO who is the most dependent among us, and that the ones truly indispensable to our society are not bankers, lobbyists and politicians, but workers, teachers and engineers, is why we’re striking.

Indeed, the fact that we have an economic system which functions in the same manner as a virus is why we’re striking. Just as a virus’s only reason for existence is to expand, without regard or awareness of the effect of its expansion on its host body, our economic system pursues its infinite expansion without regard or awareness of its effect on human welfare or the environment. Though the earth is finite, it is sustainable, so we reject, in the words of Michael Nagler, “the inherent contradiction of an economy based on indefinitely increasing wants – instead of on human needs that the planet has ample resources to fulfill.”

We’re striking because we also reject the notion that selfishness must be the driving force in our world. We believe, contrary to propaganda, that most people in our world are not selfish, and would rather work together than constantly compete against each other. We believe that the only people who really care about things like power, corporate monopolies and global dominance only make up, say, 1% of the population, making it seem only logical that we should have an economic system which reflects the values of the 99% of us who don’t care about such things. The fact that most of the decisions which have a profound impact on how we go about our daily lives are made by folks in Washington or Wall Street, rather than in our communities by the people actually affected by those decisions, is why we’re striking. The fact that power rests only with those who lust after it is why we’re striking.

We’re striking because another notion we don’t buy into is the presumption that the profit motive can have no outcome other than the best possible one. We understand that the success of McDonald’s has nothing to do with having the best burger, and everything to do with having the most cutthroat business plan. We understand that building prisons, waging wars, polluting the environment, and paying employees inadequate wages are actually quite profitable. Sustainability, economic justice and true equality? Not so much. We understand that being ruthless and unscrupulous is an economic advantage, and being truthful and virtuous is an economic disadvantage. We understand that money is treated as more natural and inviolable as nature itself, and that too often our place and perceived value in society is determined solely by how much of it we make, or how much of it we make for someone else. We understand that, whether or not you believe in climate change, our ability to adequately address it or any other pressing issue is greatly compromised when our shortsighted need for profit skews our vision of the whole. We’re striking to suggest new motives and new values going forward.

The fact that you might not have known why we’re striking, and you didn’t get and maybe still don’t get what Occupy Wall Street is about, is why we’re striking. And who can blame you? Just like you don’t have the time or energy to really do anything about the world’s problems, you probably don’t have the time or energy to do the deep digging required to get your news from any source other than the corporate outlets conveniently floating on the surface. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t see the inherent conflict of interest of a handful of for-profit corporations with their own interests telling the world’s story to the majority of people in this country. The fact that it’s so hard to be truly informed, and that it’s in the 1%’s interest for the majority of us to be uninformed, is why we’re striking. The fact that it’s entirely possible you could go about your day today and not hear a thing about the general strike, is why we’re striking.

To counter the charge that it’s unrealistic, and overly idealistic, to want to bring about real change in our world, as well as the trusty “life isn’t fair” rationale always used to justify injustice, is why we’re striking. We didn’t accept that line of reasoning during the civil rights movement, and we don’t accept it now. We think it’s far more unrealistic to think that a small cadre of elites will be able to keep up their never-ending pursuit of power consolidation and mass manipulation without waking us up in the process. We think it’s far more unlikely that in 1000 years, humanity will still be playing this game of perpetual one-upmanship, instead of picking up the far more efficient and beneficial manner of interacting with each other in honesty, cooperation and genuine respect.

Perhaps the biggest reason we’re striking is to simply exercise that ever-cherished American value of freedom. Just as our business leaders are free to use every means at their disposal to maximize profit, we are free to use every means at our disposal to maximize the realization of whatever objective we feel is worth pursuing. And by the way, even if you don’t support the Occupy movement, whatever you think the Occupy movement is about, we respect your view, because another reason we’re striking has to do with our political system – the way it thrives and prospers by pitting us against ourselves, encouraging us to demonize each other while discouraging us from disagreeing civilly.

The fact that this post is completely and utterly inadequate in expressing why we’re striking, is why we’re striking. But that’s OK, because like May 1st, this post is just the beginning.

Happy striking!

Mike David is an occupier in San Francisco. He blogs at www.primitivetimes.com.

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

129 comments on the article “Why Are We Striking?”

Displaying 121 - 129 of 129

Page 13 of 13

Anonymous

You've been taken over by the unions! Someday, when you work and own a home, you'll get to see where your tax money goes. Public unions give huge bribe money to DEMOCRATS and get big salaries, big pensions, and Cadillac Health benefits...all paid for by taxpayers. NY, CA, IL and more are all BROKE because of union pensions that were so generous that they can't be met.
Unions DO NOT create jobs! They raise costs and make businesses uncompetitive, especially in a global economy. Your glorious leaders in the White House hav NO business ownership or management experience, and VERY LITTLE work history. Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board is filled with academia, wall street financiers, and unionists. His appointments to NLRB are radical unionists. No wonder thare are no jobs. No experience or leadership! Obama wants a government/union run economy, like France.
Lastly, RICH people did not put us $15 Trillion in debt. POLITICIANS did. The same group you seem to support. They will say & do anything to stay in power! Big Government& Entitlement nation do not work! Everything it touches goes to shit. They have no incentive to do well, and no punishment for failure.It was bad government housing policy that collapsed the housing market. Fannie & Freddie went bust independently of Wall Street, and Wall street only did what Congress allowed them to do, by passing banking laws that allowed low lending standards and variable rate, interest only, and balloon mortgages.

one upmanship

Hard to tell what you are ranting against. Or for. The status quo? Rich people? France? Or are you insinuating that you are the only person who has ever worked? Or do you just like the sound of your self-righteous pronouncements that you have figured it all out?

You haven't. Has it ever occurred to you that people have a moral responsibilty to behave as if they had some?

Anonymous

人类发展到今天,已经陷入到迷惘与混乱,不否定资本主义是没有出路的。要否定资本主义就必须是一次世界性运动,要全世界人民的广泛参与,否则是很难取得胜利的。

st.just

Let's say we do something about the pigs bashing our heads before we start worrying about
all that. Wow, fancy talk and everything. In Japanese, no less.

Anonymous

A bunch of meaningless platitudes. One day we'll look back at this age and wonder why did we ever give that much attention to these blogger who are very skilled with words, but incapable of exercising rigorous, sober reasoning - that's what will solve our problems, not romantic musings about "workers and teachers" - f-ing cliche.

vbfdk8dsa9

welcome to: www netetrader com

The website wholesale for many kinds of
fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,****, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time.

free shipping

competitive price

any size available

accept the paypal

www scnshop com

chfsda8a

welcome to: www netetrade com

The website wholesale for many kinds of
fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,****, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time.

free shipping

competitive price

any size available

accept the paypal

www scnshop com

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.