Most idiosyncratic. It is a fight-back website.
I am happy to be here. When I first heard that this was happening. It was the day after the first tent went up. I was bewildered.
It was a little chaotic initially. Basically, I have been waiting for this thing to happen forever.
It is inconceivable that we can live in such barbaric inequality, and barbaric miltarism. And that we can take it sitting down. THe right is out there doing its bizarre kind of politics. And all human beings are being silenced.
This is not a surprise to me. I was extremely glad that there were no demands. We have so many grievances. The reason is that we have so many grievances. There should be time for airing the million things that are wrong. Somebody doesn’t like injection, somebody is angry about starvation.
So what i decided to do was to travel to the different occupy sites. And to interview them: why are you here? why did you come? what brought you here?
(2:07) I have learned surprising things. I have learned lots of things. Every single occupy site has a different focus. For instance, in New haven, homelessness. This is not the first time that the green has been occupied on the issue of homelessness. That green has been occupied in 2002, 1992. Twice in the 1980s on the issue of homelessness.
In Hartford, the central issue is starvation. You may not know that Hartford has an official unemployment rate of 33.5%. One of the poorest cities in the nation. There the question is starvation.
Here the question is — as you would expect — student debt. I have walked around, i’ve done a few interviews. Within half an hour, I learned from six people the principal issue bringing them here is student debt.
It clocked past 1 trillion last week. THe $1T threshold. We have a crazy society. $2.4 trillion in personal debt held by ordinary people.$1T in student debt.
Basically, the imagination is cut off. I get students coming in, first year. The only thing that they can think about, is what can i study that I can get a job so that I can pay back these student loans.
There is no time to develop an imagination. There is no time to develop logic. There is no time to breath. There is no time to read Moby Dick. Which I learned from teh NYT that every American should read. How can they read Moby Dick when they have to be functionaries in these buildings. If you want to be a functionary, there is no reason to read Moby Dick.
Moby Dick is going to make you want to not be a functionary. In a sense, it is a book about rebellion.
So, we get young people — $80K.$70K. They leave school, they need to pay that debt back.
(4:27) Their lives have already been indentured.
To be educated, is to be indentured.
TO be educated, is to not be free.
To be educated, is to put your brain into somebody else’s pocket.
It is no longer your brain. You have no autonomy.
THat is one great vulgarity in our society.
That is going to kill everything that people think that we stand for.
It is making us cogs to fill these buildings where there are in fact, no jobs. This is a Potemkin Village. These are empty buildings.
They have laid off everybody. They have lights in there, but nobody is to work there.
But it is not creating anything of value.
(5:10) In the last 10 years, we have spent $7.^T — supplemental wars — COlombia, Libya, Uganda. Maintaining bases in over 100 countries in the world.
Taking care of vetereans when they return. During Vietnam, the mortality rates were much higher.
So … not killed during the wra. but who lost limbs. When you add all that stuff together.
That is the crazy system that we live in. Ordinary people
What kind of society is that? In my opinion, that is not 99% . It is 100% wrong. Guess what, even the 1% are miserable.
more Vijay — ‘The Costs of War’ in counterpunch, July 30, 2011
The most dazzling fact is not this decline. It is what is to come. The National Urban League Policy Institute’s latest study finds that unemployment for Blacks with four-year college degrees has tripled since 1992, and overall unemployment is near 1982 levels, namely 20%. Such numbers have not been seen since the Depression. Langston Hughes wrote that the 1930s “brought everybody down a peg or two,” but that those on the darker side of the Color Curtain had not much to lose. That is no longer the case. The thirty years since 1965 provided a boost to the Black and Latino middle class, largely thanks to employment at the various levels of government (and salutations to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for its battles to hold public sector wages). With unemployment on the rise, it will be difficult to build back those assets.