Hi, my name is (such and such) and I’m with the Socialist Alliance and… Hi, my name is (such and such) and I’m also with the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Alternative and… Hi everyone, my name is (also such and such), and I’m a Marxist Leninist and i think that Zionists, capitalist pigs, these greedy fucking corporations (insert other various predictable rantings here) … Hi, my name is (such and such) and I’m with the Revolutionary Socialist Party.. Have i lost you already? (I know this is sufficient explanation but please, let me expand)..
I too could have been lost at this stage (this is actually how everybody introduced themselves at Occupy Brisbane’s organisational meeting, (just) one week prior to the actual worldwide ‘occupation’ date) – with almost every single person (all but 3, if i remember correctly) choosing to affiliate themselves with the dead and dying of the left (and it was well bandied – a more formal term would be flattery – that the group was ‘apolitical’), but i chose to go on, fighting for what i believed in, emboldened by the power of the collective conscience.
Boy was i wrong. These people do not speak for the 99%. They are just the typical ‘the system has failed us (me)’, ‘down with the corporations that are doing us (me) wrong’, blame-filled, hopeless philistines who you might expect at such a meeting. Especially in the sleepy (suffocated) little town of Brisbane. Quite simply, I was foolish to consider the fact that there might be anything other than skilless, unambitious, lazy, inactive, rich-slandering, small-minded, shit-talkers. The kind of people who love a conspiracy theory, to strengthen their spines. Or should i say need, rather than love?
They are hypocrites. Even the ‘staunch’, older participants, who say things like “Ive been trying to do something about this ‘system’ for years: these ‘greedy fucking corporations’ and their ‘cronies’, and these ‘corrupt fucking politicians” – ranting at you, while they munch down some Hungry Jacks and sip on Coca-Cola, incessantly checking their bank balance (Commonwealth) on their smartphone, made by the biggest corporation of them all. And that’s in the breath before they tell someone passing by that “we want to form a political party”. Yeah, fuck politics.
They get up on their high horse (because they’re part of the organisational committe – i think their horse too, is actually high) and tell you about how many cops they know, the time they went to jail for protesting, and the fact that they haven’t paid tax or a fine, or voted for years even though the week prior, they were boasting about how they were ‘a company director’ (pretty sure that not paying company tax is highly fraudulent – or impossibly hard – under ASIC’s company laws) and how they haven’t voted for a major party ever before (implying that they do in fact, vote), and that they only had to pay a fine to get out of jail (although he hasn’t paid one in years. Perhaps i was looking at – and talking to – his astrally projected spirit-self?).
I’d like to hear him show me the proof that he really didn’t pay tax. Then he’d truly be able to join the ‘greedy corporations’ that they all so readily attack. Did i mention hypocrite?
You start to wonder how foolish they are that they can even kid themselves. Completely. And how foolish those they’ve been spending the last ‘years’ fighting ‘the system’ with are that they didn’t notice how full of shit they were. Misery loves company, i suppose.
I know it sounds like I’m making this up. These are factual recollections. I’m literally just recalling what i experienced.
Its a game of blame. And when you suggest to them that they have the choice to actually not buy from these companies (the very ones that they lay their misinformed blame on) their typical response is: “but we’re trapped in this system. We dont even have the choice!” Right. So the very system that you oppose has succeeded in brainwashing you also. You’re so against it, i can tell.
Trust me, i dont support the corps either, or politics, or the state. But id rather take action against not supporting them, every day of the year
– and not just when the bandwagon pulls up and promises to drive me to a park in a public place where i can share conspiracy theories with everyone who’ll only confirm them, then piss on the street and eat and ‘camp’ for free, as we all wave signs and chant slogans at the ‘rich’ who are to blame for all of our problems.
Sure, the corporations are mindlessly, needlessly raping the earth; sure, our governments are failing to represent the people – they’re not even listening, in fact; and sure, there are some ‘rich’ people around the world who have more money than anyone could know what to do with (sometimes, more money than an entire continent) but these are people problems, and the people i came across at Occupy Brisbane, arent even willing to start with applying their beliefs to those who they can most easily access, influence and change – themselves.
They are just as obsessed with ‘money’ and ‘success’ as ‘the rich’ (it must be ‘the system’s’ fault that they want these things though, right?) – they just have none, and no answer, ambition, skill, ability or hope to acquire it.
All the slanderous comments about ‘hippies’ and ‘fools’ and ‘uneducated sheeple’ are true. I’m not saying that out of spite, I’m saying that as a portrayal of what i observed. I was there. A 15 year old stoner, with an already developed taste for cheap booze (again, observations, not assumptions), who didn’t even graduate from primary school, hitched a ride up from Nimbin (his admission) and then headed over with his friends to an anti coal seam gas rally to scream abuse through a megaphone at Mr Drew Hutton (a staunch anti CSG supporter) while Mr Hutton was interviewed for television, isn’t really worth much respect. His own mother probably doesn’t even respect him. I bet ‘the 99%’ are happy to be represented by such people. He certainly spoke for me. NOT!
Ok. Maybe that was a bit bitter. But try this for bitter: While explaining to a possible capitalism-deserter just what is exactly wrong with ‘the system‘ (a favored term, thrown around with malice, as though they aren’t even a part of it, with their ipads and Macdonalds and instant Coles lunches) an ‘occupier’ was overheard saying: “All i want is to earn 60 grand a year, and own my own house! – I’m not asking for much” … I was enraged.
I would have liked to have asked him firstly: Why? Why do you even need 60 grand a year? And why do you need to own your own house? Why are any of these clearly capitalist consumerist mores even important to you (as you go on attacking them)? And secondly, what would you be paid ’60 grand a year’ for? Wanking? Looking like a fool? Reading books to children? What skills do you have? A well qualified head of department at a decent school would be on about 60k in this country. Maybe not. The police arent. I’m sure ‘the system’ is to blame for that though, right?
Their great idol, Mr Karl Marx was the one who said: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution“. I fail, as hard as i look, to see what exactly these people are contributing. Sure, they’re contributing to some collective consciousness (i doubt that 99% of the 99% even know what that is, or have learned to tap into theirs) and their voices (however misguided and uneducated and blame-ridden they are) are making some people take notice of them (and now that ive noticed them, you’re reading my conclusion) but that’s it.
It’s ‘the system’s‘ fault that they only have a TAFE degree in basket weaving, are forced to drink coke, don’t have enough initiative to find work that will pay them enough to adequately house themselves, were forced into having children that they can’t support. Sure it is.
The hardest people to be critical of are ourselves. These people are simply too caught up in blaming everybody else, and making sweeping generalisations about ‘the rich’ and ‘the corporations’ and ‘the banks’ to even realise that they too are well and truly entrenched in the system. And not because they don’t have a choice. May i repeat that: NOT BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE! (thought i’d put it in red, since its your favourite colour).
It is your choice to lust for 60grand a year and a ‘house you own’. It is your choice to not educate yourself (and before you say you ‘can’t afford university’ – or school – LIBRARIES ARE FREE!) It is your choice to have children you can’t afford, drink coke, buy from Coles, drink unfiltered water, own a car, not own a car. What’s that you say? We are free? Yes, we are… The hypocrisy is mindblowing, blatant and all-too-0bvious to even be mildly tolerable.
So I left. It only took me 48 hours to become disenfranchised with the ‘disenfranchised’. What’s worse, is that there is no directive, no aim (that’s what they say, and won’t be the case if the socialists have their way). It’s all well and good to let this process ‘grow organically’, but would you want to eat food grown out of misguided, ill-informed anger and hostility? I don’t imagine it’d taste too good.
When referring to this movement ‘grow organically’ seems to be a term for ‘we have no idea and we cant agree, because we aren’t actually intelligent or educated enough to form a solution’. Like i said, they all still suckle from the tits of the very beast they say is poisoned and poisoning us, even though severance from that particular ‘system’ would be the most profound and lasting protest they could actually make. But they’re trapped, aren’t they. Oh yes indeed they are – in themselves…
I would love to see them handed the wheels of the world. How quickly would their numbers dwindle. Hell, the population might decrease to a level our earth can actually manage, as she breathes a sigh of relief. These people can’t even afford to nourish themselves enough to prevent their skin from peeling away from their body in protest of the vessel that is carrying it. Who will save the rest of us? I suppose i deserve to die anyway, because I’m ‘rich’. Rich with perspective…
I will continue to fight for my beliefs, write for my beliefs and live in my beliefs. Slowly but surely, i am accumulating enough experience, skill and wealth (as little as it may be, and as little as is necessary), and enough of a like-minded community, to truly detach myself from our world’s failing system, on a remote tract of loved land, when i can finally live in peace, truly at one with and respecting to the utmost, the earth that is sustaining all life as we know it, for there is no beauty that matches life and its profound complexities.
And until then, i wish you a speedy journey to your slow and painful death.
Please note: I really really really hope it isn’t like this in every city, and that this is just a reflection of the city where i made these observations...