If you accept that our social movements take two steps forward and one step back, then it looks like we’re on the threshold of another two steps forward lurch.

From the turn of the century, women’s Suffrage movement, the Worker’s revolutions in China and Russia set the ball in motion for the idea of workers’ power, but in those days human labor was the yoke that kept the people in check. People still had to slave away at mind numbing work in factories and farms to keep the economic wheels turning.

In America, one step back, we saw McCarthyism in the 1950s.

Two Steps forward. The 1960s saw the Civil Rights movement; The Womens’ Liberation Movement, The Sexual Revolution.

When AIDS hit in the 80’s it was perfect fuel for the Right. They could blame the sexual excesses of “Gay Men”, Liberal mores and the wrath of God. One step back.

Reagan’s election paved the way for the rise of the Neo Cons and the Bush administration.

The Arab Spring, The Occupy movement and all the uprisings across the globe – Spain, London, Greece etc. can all be seen as one movement, basically an uprising of the working classes against the 1% – the ruling class.  The difference now is that the yoke of required labor is lifting through the aid of ubiquitous technology.

Now, while computers are producing much of the wealth for the 1%;  they also allow much of the 99% to communicate via smart phones and computers  via email and  a variety of social networks.

So while wages have been flat for thirty years and the wealth of the 1% skyrocketing simultaneously, the 99% can easily communicate this disparity in real time. People all over the world are getting this message.

If Obama gets reelected, whether you agree with him or not, or find him too center right for your own taste, Obama is a symbol –“The First African American President”.

In the last days of the campaign, Sandy devastated much of the East coast from NYC to Toronto and focused the debate on Global Warming or Climate Change.  Storms don’t have political boundaries – they hit the rich, middle-class and poor alike.  Of course the rich have more options when it comes to rebuilding their lives as they emerge from the wreckage, but poor people can’t be blamed for the storm. One of the undeniable truths is that Governmental scale relief efforts must be unleashed to help the victims of the storm – the positive effects of taxation, everyone chips in a little to help those in need, and in helping those in need the whole society is lifted up.

Everything seems to be lining up. If wealth is generated increasingly by machines then why not share that wealth more equitably with all the people. How would that look? Single Payer Health Care for all, free education for all, shorter work week, a more nurturant society all around.

Two giant steps forward. We can do this.

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Comments
  1. Cass says:

    Nice one, David. Let’s talk Tuesday. A Republican victory would mean a giant step backwards for years to come — as has always been the case. And this one might just take us off the map.

  2. Jeff Nguyen says:

    I wonder if Martin Luther King would have accepted that we settle for the color of Obama’s skin over the content of his character?

  3. Jeff Nguyen says:

    “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
    Letter written from jail by King, 1963

  4. Jeff Nguyen says:

    True, I just have little faith that Obama or Romney will be the ones to lead to us to the promised land.

  5. […] If you accept that our social movements take two steps forward and one step back, then it looks like Source: Occupy Blogs […]

    • The next step forward might be the rethinking of several national boundaries. Look at history -borders change constantly & countries literally come & go.
      Regardless of the results of today’s election – it has been clear for a long time that the U.S. does not function coherently as one country.
      The larger the countries the more unresponsive their governments become to the people’s needs e.g. Soviet Union, Communist China, the British Empire etc…
      The most succesful countries are clearly the small Social-Democratic ones e.g. Sweden, Netherlands, New Zealand etc..
      We need a West Coast republic (that could be closely allied to a North- East republic as well as Canada) & let the old Confederate States & their Mid-Western proxies go their own way. Some marriages are bound to end in divorce!

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