OCCUPY EVERYTHING

Glen T. Martin

November 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread around the world. It has not only spread rapidly to cities and universities all around the US, there have been Occupy demonstrations and movements in Toronto, Athens, Sydney, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Milan, and elsewhere. With the bailouts and immunities from responsibility of the big banks worldwide, with huge military budgets draining most nations of the world, and with debt restructuring being forced on nations around the world by a global economic system that transcends all nations, people everywhere are becoming directly aware of the domination of the world-system by the 1% at the expense of the 99%.

In these protests, unemployed persons join with discharged veterans, heavily indebted students, and politically aware citizens to occupy public places in protest of this global system of domination and exploitation. Police, like the politicians and governments they serve, have been colonized to do the bidding of the 1%, as is so painfully clear from the systematic violence and brutality they have shown in the repression of unarmed and peaceful citizens within the Occupy movement.

If the new sense of solidarity and political awareness of the Occupy movement are to have a real effect on this global system, it will have to become a planetary political awareness and bind itself in solidarity with all of humanity. Half the world’s population lives on less than two US dollars per day. One sixth the world’s people lack access to clean water. One third lack basic sanitation. Worldwide, the richest 1% have as much wealth as the bottom 60% combined. These figures are not new, but they are all getting worse. Global poverty is growing. Global water scarcity is growing. The richest 1% are getting rapidly richer relative to the bottom 99% who are getting rapidly poorer. We need to occupy everything.

Traditionally, the name given to societies within which there was a working equality and general opportunity for all was "democracy." It is democracy that is being destroyed in the US and worldwide. When a tiny elite has that much wealth, it brings immense political power to them – power to colonize governments, police forces, and social institutions. Democracy, however, involves a set of political and legal institutions that protect civil rights, represent the interests of the population, and embody laws regulating economic activity so that many people, not just a few, benefit economically. Not only do the US and most countries lack true democracy, but everything, from economics to communications, has been globalized, everything except democracy.

Whatever else the Occupy Movement may eventually demand, this movement involves most fundamentally a demand for democracy. Economics has globalized, but not a democratic means of regulating economics. Every recession or depression for decades has been worldwide in scope, and the suck-up of wealth from perpetual wars, from the exploitation of global resources, and from the labor exploitation of poor people has also been worldwide. The industrial base of the US has been exported to the third world. How do the 99% place controls on a global system of corporations, banking, and militarized imperial nations? An Occupy movement within any one country clearly will not do it. The only real alternative is to create a global social democracy.

Effective democracy must be constitutional. It must truly be representative of the interests of the 99%, and it must protect freedom and human rights worldwide. A brilliantly designed Constitution for the Federation of Earth was written by hundreds of world citizens over a period of 23 years and completed in 1991. It is available in many places on the worldwide web, and it is supported by a worldwide organization (the World Constitution and Parliament Association, WCPA) that has translated it into 23 major languages and published it in many venues.

The Earth Constitution is the key to a transformed world system predicated on peace (carefully disarming the nations), economic and social justice (with two articles on enforceable rights for all citizens of the Earth Federation), and ecological sustainability (preserving the fresh water, forests, and agricultural lands needed by the 99%). The entire central meaning of the Occupy Wall Street movement is focused like a laser beam within these carefully written thirty pages.

Affirming the Earth Federation Movement (EFM) does not mean giving up local action or Occupy Everything initiatives. Quite the reverse. The maxim "think globally, act locally" still applies across the board. However, our local struggles will be so much more empowered if they are joined to a meaningful and practical vision of how it could be different, if we really see that it needs to be different on a global level and not simply within our own country, whatever country that happens to be.

We are one world, one humanity, one finite planet – and right now our irrational world disorder is destroying all of these. The only rational world system is one of planetary social democracy: planetary freedom for all, planetary justice for all, and planetary environmental sustainability for all. We need to embrace the Earth Federation Movement and ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. If we are to survive much longer on this planet, we need to create global democracy and occupy everything.