A Better World not a New World

I am often ask what the Occupy Movement wants. The Movement has clearly made its intentions and demands known, for those who wish to hear or read. For those who do not wish to know, nothing I write here will convince them. Their own realization will come with time, especially for poor, middle class and even upper middle class people who continue voting against their own economic and social interests.  I do not speak for the movement. I support it fully, and believe in it, but I can only speak for myself.

A recent conversation brought up a crucial point, and what I feel is a fundamental misunderstanding with regards to the movement, at least as I see things. The conversation began regarding so-called anarchists, agent provocateurs, and others who might foment violence within the group, and how that might alienate people who are on the fence regarding whether to support or not support the movement. My immediate reaction, was that if they could “go either way,” they didn’t really understand, and were unlikely to understand what the movement is about. These people are reeds of grass, and inclined to blow  where the wind is blowing, which is hardly a character of people who stand by their ideals. I stand by that.

I was then asked how these people “will fit into your new world?” New world? The media has carefully crafted a narrative on how the Occupy movement is violent and out of control. It would have their hostage audiences believe the “Occupiers” hate success, want hand outs from the government which are ultimately stolen from the wealthy, that it wants banks eradicated and corporations dismantled. In that narrative are shades of Pol Pot’s pogroms in Cambodia, or resetting the social and economic clock to year zero as with the French Revolution, and overt comparisons to Stalinist Russia. Nothing, nothing could be further from the truth.

Last night, at a general assembly, I witnessed an intervention between two members that nearly came to blows in a fight. The intervention was carried out in parliamentary fashion, with strict rules of oder. Grievances and views were offered freely and honestly. To the credit of those involved in the actual altercation, their respect for the movement had them willingly compliant with the judgement of the whole body at the GA. Ultimately, both parties were suspended from any Occupy activities and locations for a week.  

No one in the movement that I know whats to outlaw banks, eliminate corporations and confiscate the wealth of the so-called 1%. What I want, and what I hear from many, many in the movement, and which is consistent with the movement’s demands and actions is a vision of a better world.

Funny that too few in this nation question the idea of a draft for the military in a time of war. It is the responsibility of every citizen, we are told, to defend the nation in a national emergency. A few years a go I witnessed a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens to this country. Women, old men and grandmothers, their right hand raise, repeated the oath administered by a judge, that in a time of crisis, they too could be called to serve their nation. Yet, somehow the rich and powerful in this country now assert that when called to do their part, and that they have a responsibility to the nation, they are absolved, and that any mention of their responsibility to the nation and their neighbor is immoral or communist.

I will speak for myself here. I am not against corporations. I am against corporate greed, and power that eclipses, undermine or extinguishes that of individuals. I am for responsible corporations, who pay their fair share and profit and succeed morally and ethically. I am not against banks. I am against the religion of money, and the invention of scams like derivatives and credit default swaps that were just a way of stealing money, without calling it  theft(Explain to me that inventing a scheme to market risk investments of$700trillion based upon barely $23trillion in actual realestate is not theft). http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-700-trillion-elephant-room-theres

I am not for taking money from the wealthy and giving it to the “poor.” I am for a society that does not allow corporations-profitable corporations to siphon money from the treasury that could otherwise benefit fellow citizens in need.  I am for those who are lucky enough or blessed enough to be wealthy, that they also contribute their fair share to sustaining a peaceful, respectful and progressive society equal in the dispensation of justice and opportunity, rather than a stastus quo, wink-and-a-nod defacto caste society. 

I am not anti-media. I am against a media that acts and has become a marketing wing of corporations to the detriment of free discourse, dissent and the unvarnished reporting of wrong doing, wherever it may occur. I am against any media that acts as a mafia lawyer with the intention of allowing, rationalizing or whitewashing the undermining of this republic, and I am against a media that plays to the lowest common denominators in society by describing itself as a business first. We have seen the results of that alibi for at least the last two decades. Free and unbiased factual news is imperative to the survival of this nation and to the world. remember, marketing is nothing more than the controlling the message. If it is necessary to control the perception of something, that implies something needs to be hidden.

I am for human rights. Iam not for picking and choosing human rights, nor do I subscribe to a tiered application of human rights. Whether by god, birth, default or inheritance, human rights  are invioble to each person regardless of gender, orientation, religion, race, age, status or wealth. And I assert to the last breath in my body that corporations are not people, but are entities, made up of autonomous people, for business only, and that they are entitled to profit within the context of human-centered society and within the context of human-centered laws. The rights of the corporation reside in the indiviuals, and not as a collective that unfairly outweighs others.

This is what I believe, and what I find within the movement, which is why I have and many others have sacrificed mightily for the movement. No sane person wishes to tear down the world as it exists. We want a better world not a new world? Do you?

About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

4 responses to “A Better World not a New World

  • Jeno

    Mr. Turck, thank you for your post. I recently discovered it while searching for reporting on the allegations of Marines urinating on corpses. You write with a passion seldom seen in these times. I applaud you for this and I hope you never lose either it or the desire to share it.

    I cannot say that I agree with your positions. Of what I know of the occupy movement, I am troubled by many of the actions and reject outright the violence brought forth by some of the participants. Ideally, I would like to see this movement cease its illegal activities (such as trespassing, its civil disobedience purposes notwithstanding) and instead become engaged in the political process. may call me a pawn of the establishment, yet I would argue that the Occupy Movement will find both a welcoming audience and a vehicle to move (some) of their agenda PROVIDED violence and lawlessness is forsaken within a number of third parties and perhaps even in the Democratic Party.

    In any event, I enjoy your posts and look forward to reading them. I do my best to seek out opposing opinions and consider myself fortunate to have friends and colleagues across the political spectrum, as well as know folks who do not follow current events closely, yet are blessed with incredible compassion and common sense.

    As an aside, when I read your initial post and learned you had done correspondence work in Bosnia, I immediately thought of Anthony Loyd’s book, “My War Gone By, I Miss it So.” I picked it up in a place not totally unlike the setting of Mr. Loyd’s book. It was a gripping, heart-breaking, at a few times funny, and overall remarkable book. That was a particularly ugly time in modern history and I hope we never forget it,…all of it.

    • 900poundgorilla

      Jeno,

      Thank you, and thank you for the respectful and civil disagreement. I am happy for all arguments and perspectives, particularly those that might show me flaws in my argument and views. Very sincerely, your thoughts are valuable to me. My latest novel, available March 1st at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com, The Last Man, by W.C. Turck is a prophetic vision of the world if Occupy, or more accurately, citizens and people fail to reassert the individual as pre-eminent in society, with both government and industry as tools to humanity and freedom. Incidentally all the proceeds of the book go to the Occupy Movement.

      I understand the criticism of the leaderless movement not getting directly involved in politics, but in fact they are. Last summer the discourse was entirely about the national debt, driven by hardly grassroots interests, such as Karl Rove, Newscorp, Dick Armey and the Heritage Foundation-millionaire Tea Partiers framing self-serving interests paraded as the interest of the average American. Within a month, that caucaphonic monologue was extinguished and replaced entirely about disparity and injustice in this society. That leaderless movement has managed to frighten the hell out of both parties. In assigning or co-opting themselves to one side or the other, they merely would solidify the stark and illusionary divide between Republican and Democrat, Liberal and Conservative.

      The novel, The Last Man has a movement that might be viewed as the Occupy Movement, but it becomes co-opted by a leader who drives intention and action as a perversion of that larger society, and who ultimately leads to its destruction. The Occupy movement is its own weight. It is another way not beholden to eithjer party, and indeed is the first credible threat to that bipolar alighnment of our political process. Working to produce a critically acclaimed play, and now a novel in support of the movement, I will concede it can be a bit frustrating at times, rather like embracing a cloud. But it works. It works.

      As for the book on Bosnia, my own war memoir “Everything For Love” chronicles the siege intimately, and offers veiws of the war, from within the city, on all sides of the conflict and in the trenches in a way very few journalists were privy to. What it does detail is the missed opportunity the world had in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and its 5 decades long realignment between East and West following the Second World War. That lost alighnment opened the door for ethnic, racial and civil dissoltion and the ensuing exploitation of those divisions in a sort of international looting of resources and markets. The world had a chance to arrest the subdivision of nations along those lines where it began in Yugoslavia and in Central Africa. When it did not, or looked aside as those crumbling and fractured nations were exploited economically, the door was opened for a domino effect as nation after nation dissolved and terrorism gained a foothold throughout the world. But that is history, and nothing remains but our willingness or unwillingness to learn from it.

      Peace

      • Jeno

        W.C., thank you for replying to my post. I appreciate your comments and am going to share your post with friends of good will who are clearly further to the right than I am. The more we learn from each other, the more we have to contribute to making our nation a better place.

        Thanks for mentioning both your books. I do not care that the proceeds are going to the Occupy cause. However, I am currently woefully behind on my reading and am committed to catching up on it. I would not be surprised if I end up getting both of these books. I am particularly interested in your book “Everything For Love.” I am currently reading “All In” about GEN Petraeus and I wish the book would have spent more time discussing his days in Bosnia.

        I like to think I am a solutions guy. To that end, I wonder how the Occupy Movement would feel about a national policy that would provide a way for those with student debt to retire that and/or have a “light at the end of the tunnel” payment schedule in exchange for national service. Although I think the new GI Bill is wonderful (and hats off to Paul Rieckhoff and his amazing team at IAVA for leading this charge) there should be a way for others to serve and receive education. I have been listening to “That Used to be Us” by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum and they plead the case for an immediate commitment to our educational system. It is a hard listen (have it on Audible.com) yet worth the time. I’d be curious as to your thoughts on this subject.

        I’ll look forward to reading your future posts and continuing our discussions.

        Best regards,
        Jeno

      • 900poundgorilla

        I have spent a lifetime around the militray in some capacity or other. After 4 years of Marine Corps ROTC I was half a signature from going in. Going to w ar, my wife who suffers PTSD from the siege, a brother in Afghanistan, and closefriends who I consuled through PTSD(My first novel was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Instututes for its subplot regarding PSTD. I have a great reverence for national service, and a deep respect for the honor and sacrifice the majority of our fighting men and women offer to this nation.I am a true believer in national responsibility to making this a better nation, for companies and citizens, and that make take shape in many forms. When I was growing up a teacher pointed out to me that what makes America unigue from the rest of the world, is that the predominance of statues and memorials in the US are to statesmen rather than warriors and soldiers. At times I fear we exalt the warrior too much, and minimize the statesman too much. As for education, I am fully in agreement with you and will allow Thomas Jefferson to speak perfectly to the subject. “Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of the day.” And finally, one last thought. I believe this conversation reaffirms something that I have always held about this nation, and that is most of us can find common ground on most things. And upon that wihich we adamantly disagree, thankfully there is a Constitution and Bill of Rightsto guide us. Too often we are dragged into uncompromising positions and squabbles under the influence of the din of extremists, fools, propagandists and political whores. Your reason, compromise and sanity are fully appreciated, and i hope you feel those same courtesiesexist on my account as well. Peace.

        New comment on your post “A Better World not a New World” Author : Jeno (IP: 173.22.102.193 , 173-22-102-193.client.mchsi.com) E-mail : jeno630@aol.com URL : Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/173.22.102.193 Comment: W.C., thank you for replying to my post. I appreciate your comments and am going to share your post with friends of good will who are clearly further to the right than I am. The more we learn from each other, the more we have to contribute to making our nation a better place.

        Thanks for mentioning both your books. I do not care that the proceeds are going to the Occupy cause. However, I am currently woefully behind on my reading and am committed to catching up on it. I would not be surprised if I end up getting both of these books. I am particularly interested in your book “Everything For Love.” I am currently reading “All In” about GEN Petraeus and I wish the book would have spent more time discussing his days in Bosnia.

        I like to think I am a solutions guy. To that end, I wonder how the Occupy Movement would feel about a national policy that would provide a way for those with student debt to retire that and/or have a “light at the end of the tunnel” payment schedule in exchange for national service. Although I think the new GI Bill is wonderful (and hats off to Paul Rieckhoff and his amazing team at IAVA for leading this charge) there should be a way for others to serve and receive education. I have been listening to “That Used to be Us” by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum and they plead the case for an immediate commitment to our educational system. It is a hard listen (have it on Audible.com) yet worth the time. I’d be curious as to your thoughts on this subject.

        I’ll look forward to reading your future posts and continuing our discussions.

        Best regards, Jeno

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