Finding Sustainability in Occupation

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Returning from a three-week absence from the US, I see the Occupy groups are still in place and growing. This incipient movement has surprised many with its staying and spreading power. Its cause has gotten some lip service from others expressing solidarity, but its voice still lacks punch and general appeal. Gus Speth penned a very timely and powerful charter for the Occupy participants. Others have also offered such proposals. Here is a link to Speth’s work.

Speth notes that the issues being aired focus on the symptoms of a deeply seated tangle of broken parts of our political economy. He, as do the protestors, focuses on the immediate issues that need attention and change, but he goes further to point out the need for change way down at the whole system level. The list of separate areas reflects the complexity of the social world and the need to address a long list of what appear to be distinct problem areass. Looked at as a connected set, however, the work ahead can be done only if this protest begins to draw in a much larger group of participants. Those who may not opt to join in them the streets may be willing to work to further the overall agenda Speth suggests. If the system is taken on a piece at a time, we risk an outcome that looks like a balloon filled with water. Punch it here and there, and it will only bulge out in some other unpredictable place.

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