Occupying the mind 7

Wednesday 2nd November 2011

DAMN. I’d been intending to take a day off, but am too pre-occupied.

Too swift the dance of this revolving sphere,
More nimble than our steps can heed or tread;
This merry caper under moonlight clear
Doth beckon warming sun: Rise from thy bed!

No idea where that came from: bad case of logorrhoea; better make an appointment to see somebody; but whom? Must go spend a night in a tent on the West Courtyard of St Paul’s.

What we are witnessing is the beginning of the end of the hegemony of banks, media, lawyers, churches and politicians. Unless they start donning their wellies, they’ll be left floundering in a squidgy mud. Fortunately for them, occupiers are a forgiving bunch.

Each morning volunteers clean the cathedral steps. They are not paid to do this. It’s a relatively new idea called ‘taking personal responsibility’. It also makes them feel good.

Each day working groups and General Assemblies are crafting a process that makes previous paradigms obsolete. The language of institutions – with their insistence on the belligerent ‘strategies’, ‘aims’, ‘missions’ and ‘targets’ (all set down, would you believe, in ‘bullet points’) – is being quietly replaced with words like ‘assent’, ‘feeling’ and ‘consensus’.

Every minute of every day, people in camps across the world are living together, working things out together and sharing resources. To dismiss these truths as ‘hippy bullshit’ is to turn a blind ear to the morality of this tale.

As a banner at Occupy London explains, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Dig out Hegel, dear reader.

There is a subtle shift in the global axis happening here. Process is already overtaking what was first misinterpreted as protest.

They started out as camps, but will soon become settlements: places where seeds are planted in the good earth, where the hearth of the camp-fire becomes the heart of the community, and where differences are not seen as difficulties but end in peaceful settlements.


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2 Responses to Occupying the mind 7

  1. Hey Marcus, I’ve been really enjoying reading your blogs regarding the Occupy Movement. You’re very right, this isn’t “hippy bullshit” (although some “hippies” may argue that they’ve been talking about this for years), this is about finding a new way of doing things. In my experiences the Occupiers have really begun to attempt to practice what they preach, in showing a high degree of responsibility, and in general it seems to be working – this is perhaps a bigger threat to the “system” than any normal protest could ever hope for. Look forward to reading more blogs, and if you get the time, take a look at one I’ve recently started: http://standingstonesblog.blogspot.com/

  2. rickvick1 says:

    Beautifully and simply stated. May I take this opportunity to steer you, the reader, to George Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’. the following is taken from that potent essay.

    ….one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin, where it belongs.

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