Michael Lerner on the #Occupy Movement
by Adam Robbert
Earlier today Tim Morton posted a statement written by rabbi Michael Lerner (also editor for Tikkun Magazine). This essay marks with increasing clarity that, far from being a movement that lacks clarity, OWS is emerging as a voice not just against the US bank bailouts of 2008, but a much needed corrective to the corruption of state governments, greed of international corporations, and the exponentiating gap between the global north and south — itself precipitated by the immoral linkages between big business and politics. I am in full support of the spirit of Lerner’s statements and have copied what I found to be the most powerful section below:
The media, trying to discredit us, says we don’t know what we are for, only what we are against. So I believe there is much to be gained were we to embrace the following 20 second sound byte for “what we are for.”
We want to replace a society based on selfishness and materialism with a society based on caring for each other and caring for the planet. We want a new bottom line so that institutions, corporations, government policies, and even personal behavior is judged rational or productive or efficient not only by how much money or power gets generated, but also by how much love and kindness, generosity and caring, environmental and ethical behavior, and how much we are able to respond to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement the grandeur and mystery of all Being. To take the first steps, we want to eliminate ban all money from elections except that supplied by government on an equal basis to all major candidates, require free and equal time for the candidates and prohibit buying other time or space, and require corporations to get a new corporate charter once every five years which they can only get if they can prove a satisfactory history of environmental and social responsibility to a jury of ordinary citizens. We call this the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the US Constitution (ESRA). We want to replace the mistaken notion that homeland security can be achieve through a strategy of world domination by our corporations suppoted by the US military and intelligence services with a strategy of generosity and caring for others in the world that will start by launching a Global Marshall Plan that dedicates 1-2% of our GMP ever year for the next twenty to once and for all eliminate global poverty homelessnes, hunger, inadequate education and inadequate health care–knowing that this, not an expanded military, is what will give us security. And we want a NEW New Deal that provides a job for everyone who wants to work, jobs that rebuild our environment and our infrastructre, and jobs that allow us to take better care of educating our youth and caring for the aged. That’s what we are for! And you can read more about them at http://www.spiritualprogressives.org
Ok, it was two minutes instead of 20 seconds, but we deserve that amount of time night after night on national media, and lots more space on print media.