Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Response to Patrick Hayes

 Last night there was a debate about Occupy London and an observer (about whom I know nothing) wrote this piece: 

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/11369

So here is my response.  

Dear Patrick,

Did you notice that you called the words honesty, justice and equality "banal and platitudinous" in your piece?

You say the camp has no point because it has no specific agenda, yet to me the point of the camp is a kind of liberation from the tragic idea that words like honesty, justice and equality are just banal and platitudinous words with no meaning and no effect. 

What I see at the camp is the beginning of an understanding that honesty, justice and equality are in fact sacred words that have been trampled so much by getting and spending that you, an observer in good faith, can simply call them banal and platitudinous, as if they could never be real.

As a person who has made five trips to the camp, and who daily hears criticisms of the vagueness of the movement, may I point out that Occupy is not an event primarily for the media.  This is an authentic awakening of hearts and minds not really susceptible to an Outlook calendar. There is not a brand or a message,  it's not a movie premiere or a product launch or anything that is in our current lexicon of experience.  It is not interested in a political party:  just putting another horse in the same corrupt race.  To me it has been a kind of transformation just to imagine what authentic democracy could look like. 

So the Occupation has a lot going on. And it is enough now, to think and to stand and to begin.  I think it is enough for now that people essentially wake up and realize that the institutions we have created to serve people are just not fit for service.  For those institutions have dulled our imaginations and robbed us of our virtue to the point where we think equality, honesty and justice are simply banal and platitudinous words.   

If you are looking for an agenda,  let me suggest with all affection and respect that you spend some time considering - just considering - the idea that equality, honesty and justice are important, meaningful words that could reflect our human endeavors.  Let that idea take root in your heart and in your life and see what happens. 

Kind regards

Rachel Mariner

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