News - What follows

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26 Dec
Published by Erin Hofteig

On Friday CBS News posted an opinion post on their website that takes a look at the Occupy movement and what has been achieved as what as what could follow. It's an interesting read, that may have gotten lost in the shuffle of the weekend. Here is a small excerpt:

Then Occupy arrived and, as if swept by some strange pandemic, a contagious virus of truth-telling, everyone was suddenly obliged to call things by their real names and talk about actual problems. The blather about the deficit was replaced by acknowledgments of grotesque economic inequality. Greed was called greed, and once it had its true name, it became intolerable, as had racism when the Civil Rights Movement named it and made it evident to those who weren’t suffering from it directly. The vast scale of suffering around student debt and tuition hikes, foreclosures, unemployment, wage stagnation, medical costs, and the other afflictions of the normal American suddenly moved to the top of the news, and once exposed to the light, these, too, became intolerable.

If the solutions to the nightmares being named are neither near nor easy, naming things, describing reality with some accuracy, is at least a crucial first step.  Informing ourselves as citizens is another.  Aspects of our not-quite-democracy that were once almost invisible are now on the table for discussion -- and for opposition, notably corporate personhood, the legal status that gives corporations the rights, but not the obligations and vulnerabilities, of citizens. (One oft-repeated Occupier sign says, “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas puts one to death.”)

You can read the entire article here.