What Must Happen to "Occupy Everything"

Glen T. Martin

The Occupy Wall Street movement has rightly claimed all mass protest movements around the world as its own. The recent protests of 100,000 people to the fraudulent reelection of Vladimir Putin and the massive turnout of women in Egypt against the military government are both claimed as examples of the revolt of the 99%. For Christmas, Occupy Seattle carolers walked into Bank of America’s Seattle headquarters singing "you deserve jail not a bonus" to the music of Deck the Halls. In Atlanta, Brooklyn, and elsewhere, Occupy members are protesting at homes being foreclosed on by the big banks. It is a wonderful process: disrupting business as usual everywhere.

The Occupy Wall Street website announces that "The Only Solution is World Revolution," and Jeff Smith in Reader Supported News Team’s December 28 release rightly declares that money has completely corrupted the political process in the US. The Occupy movement has much energy, significant attention from the press, and much determination, but ultimately the worldwide Wall Street movement will take the people of Earth just this side of nowhere.

None of this will make the movement successful on behalf of the 99% who inhabit our planet. We live within a huge global economic system run by giant corporations and a powerful system of militarized sovereign nation-states that together control nearly all the power on Earth. Both the corporations and the governments of the sovereign nations represent the 1%. The 1% own or control the corporations, of course, but they also increasingly own the assets within sovereign nations as well as the politicians in charge of each and every national government.

The result of this is that the big fish, both politicians and the wealthy, are above the law. They do whatever they want in a process described by Greg Palast in Vultures’ Picnic as "power, crime, and mystification." When the laws get in their way, they change or abolish them, a process that Palast shows going on world-wide with the big oil companies, financiers, and banks. Small governments are economically raped, the environment is trashed, and the perpetrators rake in billions in private profit.

Any laws governments might have to protect their citizens are being wiped out by the international bankers and WTO. The devastation of "austerity" now being forced upon Greece is part of this global system of victimization: "Greece," Palast says, "is a crime scene." This systematic scorn of the law and avoidance of prosecution is described in detail within the US system by Glenn Greenwald in With Liberty and Justice for Some. "Courtrooms, indictments, and prisons are there for ordinary Americans," Greenwald writes, "and virtually never for our highest political leaders."

The Occupy movement is in the process of discussing how to organize for effective changes in the system itself. Protests alone, and going to jail after being assaulted by brutal police repression, will not change the system. Occupy articles discuss getting out the vote in Ohio, how and where to camp, how to seek and send alternative information, techniques of civil disobedience, etc. Much energy, but little vision of how to take back the government of the most powerful nation on Earth with an industrial-military complex that makes the Occupy movement look like lice on an elephant’s toenail.

But even decolonizing the US government (per impossible with these tactics) will not address the problem since the multinational corporations and banks are bigger than the US government. The US government bends over at their command, not vice versa. Just look at Obama as a case in point. The rules for their criminal plunder of the planet and its peoples embodied in the World Trade Organization, IMF, World Bank, and Bank for International Settlements are made by and for them, not by any governments, even the most powerful. They use the governments as their instruments for eliminating restraints on their gang rape of the planet and for militarily crushing resistance to their crimes whenever necessary.

Greg Palast is not wrong when he declares "The Big Problem with government is that we don’t have enough of it." Clearly that only thing that can deal with corporate criminals is enforceable laws that come from democratic government representing the 99%. But Palast, like the Occupy movement, does not think big enough and that is why throughout his new book he repeatedly asks why he risks so much to expose the criminals (and keeps drowning his sorrows in drink), since the criminals just keep operating with impunity.

The OWS website shouts out correctly "the only solution is world revolution," but without a vision of how this might be accomplished. Palast says truly (although politically incorrectly for the American left) that "the only solution is big government." But their vision remains miniscule, parochial, pitiful. Their pitiful idea of "big government" (i.e., taking back the government of the US for the 99% within the US only) would have no power to protect human rights worldwide, no power to eliminate war and disarm nations worldwide, no power to eliminate the terrible curse of global poverty, no power to stop human trafficking, no real power to control the transnational corporations and banks, and no power to protect the global environment.

These writers speak of the "historical amnesia" of the US mass media, but they appear to have no clue about the immense history of this idea whose time had come by the end of World War Two. Already in the Montreux Declaration of August 23, 1947 hundreds of world citizens meeting in Switzerland declared that the new United Nations could never end war, poverty, or international lawlessness. These writers appear to have no awareness of the Ellsworth Declaration of September 4, 1953 that became a focal point for the movement within the United States. They appear to have no awareness of the huge convention that signed the first draft of the Earth Constitution in Innsbruck, Austria, in June of 1977.

Most progressives within the US share the narrow ethnocentrism of their fellow citizens on the right. Everything is about the US, about the 5% of the world’s population who think they are somehow the vanguard of the other 95% of the world. To Occupy Everything means we must occupy our planet – take it back for everybody. That means the same rights, the same protections, the same duties, and the same laws for everyone. No more third world debt, no more private banks holding small nations hostage, no more pilotless drones murdering people without due process of law. Ellen Hodgson Brown details our global, criminalized monetary nightmare in her book Web of Debt.

Since even before the Second World War, tens of thousands of world citizens have promoted a truly revolutionary vision that is the only cogent option for a world being pillaged by immense power-centers beyond the rule of law as well as by the imperial lawlessness of nation-states themselves. That vision centered on "one world democracy," enforceable, democratically legislated world law involving a world parliament, world courts, and civilian world police truly representing the 99%. Several thousand of these world citizens wrote (through a process of four constituent assemblies over a period of 33 years) the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, available in many languages and many locations on the internet.

There is a worldwide movement behind the Earth Constitution already in existence. These activists in nearly every country on Earth comprise the true vanguard of the Occupy Everything movement. They alone have a practical, doable vision of how it could really be different, how the 99% could really occupy the world through the force of law protecting their interests. The only way the people of Earth can control the 1% and put them in jail where they belong is through democratic global government, enforceable law under a Constitution that truly unites the people of Earth in a common global social contract.

This is the true meaning and logical implication of the Occupy Movement. When the Occupy Wall Street website declares "the only solution is through world revolution," surely this does not mean violent revolutions in some 192 countries worldwide, which would be a nightmare for the people of Earth, even if it were possible. The solution is World Revolution through World Law, which happens to be the title of one of my books. Think about it. Check out the Constitution. Do it. Let’s occupy everything in the only way that is possible, legitimate, nonviolent, and effective – by ratifying the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

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