[URPE] Come off the cross, we can use the wood: the Occupy movement needs some basic economic education
chris.rude at ciper.org
Mon Feb 6 09:56:29 MST 2012
Hello fellow URPE members,
The Occupy movement is a democratic truth-event, a call for radical
equality. The movement has allowed those who previously had no voice in
formal political discourse to be heard on their own terms by breaking
with and dissolving the coerced orthodoxy that there are no alternatives
to capitalist democracy. By exposing and questioning the stupefying
inequity of existing social relationships, it has placed the possibility
of a radical transformation of capitalism on the agendas of the Left,
for progressives, radicals and revolutionaries of many tendencies.
That being said, the movement is in trouble. Various groups are vying
for control, trying to influence it in many, often reactionary, ways.
One of its major problems, a problem that makes this possible, is a lack
of a basic understanding of economics on the part of many of its most
active participants. People know that something is very wrong with our
economy but they do not know what it is. In their confusion, they turn
to the wildest ideas.
I can be concrete. I went to a meeting of the New York City General
Banking group for the first time yesterday and participated in
discussion about the Fed. I found two sorts of people there. One group
was naive and lacked an understanding of the most basic matters: they
did not know what fractional banking was but opposed it. The other
group, the one that was supplying the leadership for the whole working
group, were financial sector operatives, who did not want to use their
own names. The latter included the principal of a major Wall Street
What is my suggestion to URPE members? Join in the Occupation. Become
an an active member of any economics-related working group. There are
many. You will find it a painful but a rewarding experience. Be
patient and be prepared to struggle. Educate!
Gramsci said somewhere that intellectual battles need to be fought
differently than military battles: in the latter, one should attach the
enemy at his weakest point, but in an intellectual battle one needs to
attack his strongest point. Now more than ever, this is what we need to do.
URPE Steering Committee
PS For those who are curious, the phrase "Come off the cross, we can use
the wood" is a quote from a Tom Waits song. Here are two Youtube links:
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