As spring arrives and the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City returns to public visibility many people will be asking the self-proclaimed ‘occupiers’ what their point is. U.S. media reports suggest that America’s economic situation is turning around. Mitt Romney recently said in a speech that the “economy is coming back.” And in a cryptic statement, the Federal Reserve -- the cabal of U.S. bankers and economists who exist to give free money to banks -- seemed to suggest that the global economic outlook is improving.
All one needs to do is read Matt Taibbi’s hilarious and heartbreaking piece about Bank of America to understand exactly what Occupy Wall Street is all about. As Taibbi says,
“At this point, the rescue effort is so sweeping and elaborate that it goes far beyond simply gouging the tax dollars of millions of struggling families, many of whom have already been ripped off by the bank – it's making the government, and by extension all of us, full-blown accomplices to the fraud.”
There comes a point in time when people must abandon hope for a broken system to repair itself. As Taibbi so skillfully points out, there is no chance that the U.S. government, so deeply enmeshed within this culture of financial fraud, will be able or willing to dig Americans out. This abandonment of reliance on traditional power structures unites the many people who work together to create new economic, political, and social structures in Occupy Wall Street ‘working groups.’
As participants and supporters of Occupy Wall Street understand, there is only option for Americans to avoid being “full-blown accomplices to the fraud”: Americans must create new, parallel economic systems outside of the traditional economy.
In order to create an economy based on empathy and gratitude -- as opposed to an economy based on “stupidity, incompetence and meanness,” as Taibbi puts it -- Americans will need to create new barter systems and new currencies. They will have to gradually stop using existing U.S. currency -- this means cash, checks, credit cards, PayPal, and all other types of U.S. dollar-backed transactions -- in favor of new means of exchange. They will also need to buy less ‘stuff’ and find other uses for their time and energy.
Now is the time to think in a revolutionary way. Americans must wean themselves off of the old economy while building and participating in a new economy. This transition may take many years, perhaps generations. But it must start now.
Image credit: Reiulf Grønnevik/Shutterstock.com
What should these new barter systems and unofficial currencies look like? Can you recommend existing resources? I will share them here. Please let us know in the comments!