In the State of Victoria, local democracy is no longer local or particularly democratic. It is the plaything of soft-money politics and corporate control – where even the pretense of truly democratic values are no legally enshrined. It’s kind of like a Lilliputian version of America Votes 2012, where less charismatic versions of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama do battle but which ever candidate wins corporate control is victorious. And so voting closed on Friday October 26 2012 over an election campaign that history is likely to recycle again in four years. Continue reading
Tag Archives: #occupymelbourne
I had great fun yesterday during the @OccupyMelbourne protest running around in a chicken suit. Being a B-grade serial pest, I’ve been to a few protests and what not over the years but this one felt different. It wasn’t just that we were only one of 951 other occupations around the world. It wasn’t just the family friendly atmosphere with kids running around making signs (incidentally a good friend of mine’s daughter painted 99% Angry on a pink sign). It wasn’t just the food or diversity of different groups and people who showed up. It was that it felt like a beginning. It’s like we met, nervously at first, and decided we’d take a journey together.
Anyone who tells you they know what will happen as a result of these occupations is either a fool or deluded. One thing is certain though, things will be different if and when the Occupations end. And here’s why. Within this broad feeling of a new beginning lies the organising principles and methodology that is driving the Occupy Movement to build a better world.
Do you remember the Iraq War protests? I do. Millions of us around the world turned out on message for peace. We made our point loud and clear. Then we went home and the war started. With the occupation though we decided against going home. And if you’re going to hang around anywhere you need to find a way to make it work. And as media theorist Douglas Rushkoff points out, the occupation itself models an alternative economic system. It might well be the first large scale example of a real world wiki community. The occupation demonstrates “a post-market, collaborative approach to creating and exchanging value”. Appeals for assistance are sent out via Twitter. Participants donate their own time, resources and skills to building the occupation. Professors teach classes, tradespeople ply their craft and artists entertain. All for the good of the organic whole of the occupation that in turn supports the participants.
The building of a distinct alternative to the prevailing system of extreme corporate power based on solidarity is the operating meta-principle but there’s a number of ways in which this plays out across worldwide occupations. Continue reading