Occupy starting to rebuild

Posted: 22/10/2011 in Finance, Struggle
Tags: , , ,

For me the exciting thing about Occupy is not just that so many people are joining Occupy globally, but that they are organising democratically – consensus democracy. With their seeking geniuine democracy, out of Occupy is coming the desire to live and earn differently. Firstly there were calls to join credit unions – as well as some people on demonstrations trying to close their bank accounts. This clearly demonstrates a recognition that the banks controlling their money is not acceptable. Secondly there is a talk of cooperative structures, this is Horizontalidad. For me this is not going far enough but that is easy to say bashing away on a keyboard.

Credit unions are positive. It means that money is initially being controlled by the people in the credit union, but if there were a run on the banks the first people to get their money would be the Rockefellers and by the time it came down to the credit union there would be none left – because most of the money that makes up the bank accounts of the Rockefellers is based on unsubtantiable credit. Put simply. The banks make profits by lending but they lend what they haven’t got. A bank has coverage, it keeps the cash it thinks it needs to cover expenditure on customer lending, staff expenditure etc. It then lends unreal money above that. This credit is what is causing the problems because they have lent so much. It caused the recession with the sub-prime loans being discovered in Mickey Mouse Hedge Funds closing some banks. Credit Unions will stop this sort of lending but ultimately they are still using the same currencies as the Rockefellers so when the Rockefellers empty their huge bank accounts there is not enough money to go round to the credit unions – to the people.

Cooperatives are a much better way of manufacturing removing the necessity of management, but in truth workforce problems are not usually caused in small manufacturing industries. They are caused when transnationals own the manufacturing companies and then move plant and workforce to reduce wage bills. Organising a cooperative does prevent this transnational exploitation. But where does the new cooperative trade? They trade in the same market-place as the transnationals using the same money as the Rockefellers. So once the cooperatives begin to trade they are subject to the market forces that the existing system controls. They are also using the same currency that the existing system controls. So a cooperative is only a step in the right direction as are the credit unions. Look at Horizontalidad. Those comrades have built up cooperative businesses that have saved Argentina’s economy, and now the vultures are returning to claim their plant destroying the businesses. If the government had stepped in early enough and told the owners that they have to cooperate with the workers in some way this problem could have been resolved, but the government was still part of the system that caused the problem. In Argentina the system had not been fixed, and whilst Horizontalidad saved the country the government is still turning on its own people. Having a cooperative does not step outside the unfixed system, it just solves one of the problems within it leaving the workers to face the system at a later stage after they have done all the work.

What is needed is alternative currencies which in general will bring alternative trade structures. Occupy can begin to do this because it is big. Occupy can setup its own community currency, a #OCCUPY, and people can buy and sell using #O. If this #O is a global currency usable within all OCCUPY groups then it starts to be workable. At present OCCUPY is being funded by donations. These goods can be bought and sold using #O. Occupy cooperatives could begin to manufacture items that can be bought and sold using #O. OCCUPY has the computer expertise to organise this. People can open OCCUPY accounts globally, and build up their accounts by donations. People can trade skills through OCCUPY so that teachers can teach children of OCCUPIERS for a salary in #O. If richer supporters (film stars etc.) of OCCUPY can donate land and plant to OCCUPY, then OCCUPY can farm and manufacture. OCCUPY can trade with organic farmers using #O once OCCUPIERS can manufacture items for trade. Or they can trade with items that have been donated. Once this alternative system has started it can grow with the enthusiasm of these young people and interact with ordinary people daily. Once the system builds more and more items can be traded using #O. It is ostensibly peaceful although the response wouldn’t be. They are trading and manufacturing but instead of trading and manufacturing using the broken system it is trading and manufacturing the way it was meant to be – barter and sustainable trade (trade based on some value standard like gold rather than on unsubtsantive credit).

This is MCN in action hopefully, away from my theoretical imagination.

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