The newspaper Trouw (which translates Faithful) invited me to write an article on ‘The Year of the Protester’ for their Podium section, to be published in the paper of December 29, 2011. Although an integral publication was promised, some bits had to be left out (again) :-).
In 2011 the American magazine Time elected The Protester to be Person of the Year, which was both spectacular and to the point. Spectacular, as the protester had been socially marginalised for the last twenty years. To the point as the protester has yet again become ‘a force to be reckoned with’ (Time). Perhaps even more important: the protester is a messenger of a new era.
Time and time again the media will tell you that the Occupy movement lacks a sense of direction, provides no clarity, and has no solutions to offer for the global problems. From the point of view of the vested way of thinking this scepticism by the establishment is all too understandable. A certain way of looking at the world has dominated for centuries, and has come to a climax the past few decades. The protester embodies the values and norms of a new era. What we have here is a clash of mentalities.
The Occupy movement is everything which the establishment is not. The movement does not want to establish a political party, refuses to be cornered, will not go for the kill, refuses to have one voice that is dedicated to one theme. This enormous group is therefore no longer a malleable horde, but a free minded group spirit, made up of individuals, each with their own personal vision. With a common sense of urgency that everything must change, without, however, having the proper answers at hand.
Occupy is alive in 1.500 cities across the world! That has never happened before in the history of mankind. Not to mention the Arab Spring, that set everything in motion, and where protesters made their voices heard at the risk of their lives. The genie has escaped the lamp, and can never be put back in.
-As Albert Einstein said: ‘We can not solve the problems with the same manner of thought that has created these problems in the first place.’ The old thought excludes, polarises, and goes to war. Within the new thought everything and everybody will get their space, and peace will be here. The environment, the treatment of minorities, the climate, nature, culture, the poor, the economy, the 1%, the 99%, social justice, peace, and equality. All of it in one fell sweep, as it must. We will not get a second chance.
Much like the Arab Spring, Occupy is mainly a movement towards awareness: to wake up, witness the great injustice in the world, the unjustifiable distribution of wealth! Look at the economical money mentality, and the shameful travesty of the world it has brought forth! Hundreds of thousands of deaths daily, people dying of hunger and poverty. Nor is it defensible that a small minority of people own 50% of all wealth. This incredible injustice has triggered the protester in a great number of people. Coupled with the growing sensitivity among people, and their progressing insights (the internet plays its part in that as well), and the direction of the changes becomes absolutely clear.
Not just communism, but capitalism has turned out to be a utopia as well. It has a number of fundamental errors woven into it: the obsession with growth, the unequal distribution of resources in the world, the unequal access to markets, the lack of focus on the common interest, the absence of morality and responsibility, the destructive forces of the marketplace, and so forth. As it is a product of the flat earth mentality, much is overlooked. As a banner at Occupy Wall Street red: The system isn’t broken, it was built this way!
These errors are not just woven into the financial world. The entire society is contaminated with a materialistic way of thinking: only the tangible is taken into account, such as money, goods, and resources. This limited way of thinking is rooted in our ego, our personality. The ego reasons materialistically, and more importantly from a secluded point of view: the I versus the other. This leads to competitiveness and jealousy, resulting in an ever more hostile world in which distrust replaces trust. Alas the world religions have not brought us brotherhood either, but has rather strengthened the us and them dichotomy. (This last sentence had been edited out by this ‘Christian’ newspaper :-)
Competitiveness, separation, and commercialisation are the great poisons of the world. They have purged the world of its soul, and brought it to the brink of damnation. Humanity therefore does not have an economical, logistical, or social problem, humanity has a deep spiritual problem: we do not know who we are, where we come from, or where we are heading. Our scope of thought is way too limited, so we must look beyond our personality and let our soul speak. We are still the same flat earth rationalists, and that is why we are in such an existential crisis. We still don’t know what the true purpose of life is. No surprise there, as contrary to the soul, our personality can never determine that.
So the protester is right! We should actually wake up now. It’s all about the interrelatedness of everything. What is the purpose and goal of life? That is all decisive! If we can get our minds around that, we will shape the world very differently, and the economy will once more serve the common purpose in stead of the other way around, as it is today.
(Very interesting, but the next paragraph was also edited out by this religious newspaper :-) The purpose of life, life after death, the spiritual evolution that we undertake as a human being, the servitude – is what we will gain insight into in the new age. Not as a faith, but as a form of ‘knowing’. As a science, available to every individual, from a broader consciousness. Everything is energy, we are all connected to each other. Therefore: if there is anything that the spirit of the protests in the new age embodies, it is this awareness: we must come together and solve our present problems, as spiritually we are one large family.