One of the major concerns of the Occupy Wall Street Movement is being co-opted like the Tea Party was co-opted by the Republican Party and losing its political power. They claim to be making change in Congress, but all we have ended up with is a gridlocked Congress and no closer to solving the economic crisis.
Those in the Movement want to avoid the same pitfalls. Democrats have been favorable towards the Movement compared to Republicans.
“The message of the American people is that no longer will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause massive joblessness on Main Street.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
“If you read the newspapers today, I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town, have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
Mobs? With that type of language, I don’t think the Movement is the one pitting Americans against Americans. When they say the 99%, that means 99% of the people are welcome to join them if they choose. If they don’t, that’s alright too. It sounds like the Movement has hit a nerve with Mr. Cantor, which means he is part of the problems being identified by the Movement. When someone tries to demonize something in this manner it means that they have hit very close to home.
So where does the Movement go at this point? It is time to turn Passion into Political Power. Neither party will give them what they need to move forward because both parties are part of the problem. Formation of a third party takes time and with the 2012 elections coming up if this Movement is to have any chance of creating change, they must look at another alternative.
And there is one.
The Green Party.
The Green Party was formed in 1996. Their first Presidential nominee was Ralph Nadar in 2000. The Party supports the national and state level and has seen success in various areas of the country on local levels of office and has been steadily growing. It is a grassroots advocacy based party that is funded primarily on individual donations and volunteers. They do not accept corporate donations.
The Party has Ten Key Values:
- Grassroots Democracy– Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
- Social Justice and Equal Opportunity– All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
- Ecological Wisdom– Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
- Non-Violence– It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
- Decentralization– Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
- Community Based Economics and Economic Justice– We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a “living wage” which reflects the real value of a person’s work. Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers’ rights;broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our “quality of life.” We support independently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.
- Feminism and Gender Equality– We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
- Respect for Diversity– We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines. We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.
- Personal and Global Responsibility– We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
- Future Focus and Stability– Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or “unmaking” all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
Looking at the Ten Key Values and comparing them to what the Declaration of the Occupation of Wall Street is stating as grievances, there is a match in values, the biggest one being the lack of corporate influence over party politics. To eliminate corporate funding from the existing parties they must have an incentive to do so, and if people have an alternative to support that does not utilize that model, then the other parties will be forced to adapt or die.
It will be interesting to see what the Movement will do. If it is to have a lasting effect on the American landscape, it will have to find away to become a part of the political one.