Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy is not equality, it is Equality.

Read Occupy London is a nursery for the mind by Madeleine Bunting at the Guardian. Think this through. 

Let's be clear. The Occupy movement is not about equality. Sure, they talk of "the 99%", but this is more a description of the world around them, rather than who should act. 

It is not about forcing a one-size-fits-all, globally-empowering solution, but about the personal ability to build a better world where you are. The most important message coming out of the Occupy movement is that there is no global solution. There is only what you can do.

Those striving for equality rely on some kind of Universal Right - but such Rights always require a centralised and authoritative power to maintain that equality. Capitalism "fought" against communism with this very tenet in mind - that the network is more sustainable and more adaptable than a single viewpoint.

Now maybe history is being repeated - the New Network is flexing its strength around an old one that has crystallised. The old market has laid out its flaws for all to see (imbalance, resource exploitation, workforce exploitation, future exploitation), and challenges the centralised authorities (the State) to fix them. The enemy and the saviour are on the same side.

The Occupy movement is not about equality as we understand it because requires effort, and responsibility, and right now, the motivation to employ this effort scattered between individuals. Instead, t is about inspiration. The idea of "equality" is shifted fundamentally, from a notion of identicality - in terms of living arrangements, in terms of spending power, in terms of life expectancy - to a notion of potential.

The difference is huge. It almost seems to speak more to traditional market values than those who defend the markets as they stand. The idea that you get out what you put in, and that if you create true value then you will be valued. Be smart. Be authentic. Be happy. Be hard-working. Be connected. Be helpful. All of these are network values.

And all of these are values inherent to each and every one of us, not "skills" that we "choose" to get "taught".

Commonality is the new equality. Everything else - how you live, how you die - is just what you do with it.

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