I haven’t written about what I think the Occupy Wall Street protesters policy demands should or shouldn’t be because I don’t feel it is my place. Yet as I see more and more people tell the Occupy Wall Street people what they should demand, I feel there is simply one piece of advice I must offer: aim big.
I don’t know if the occupy movement will achieve anything. I don’t know if some or any of its eventual demands will be met, but I can say with near 100 percent certainty, our political/financial system will never give the movement more than what they ask for. This is why I was extremely depressed to read writers like Matt Tabbi suggest the movement demand only tiny concessions.
While I agree with Tabbi that things such as a modest financial transaction tax and a ban on lobbying by bailout companies are good ideas, they are very modest tweaks around the edges. They are minor compromises and concessions that even our extremely corrupt Congress almost approved. Even if all five of Tabbi proposals were adopted it would not change the fact that our government system is totally corrupted, they would not provide immediate help with the jobs crisis, nor would they reverse the middle class’s decades long wage stagnation. If you want to fix the destructive fact that all the money and political power is rapidly becoming concentrated with the top 1 percent, major change is needed, not a few small adjustments.
You are a popular movement, not some minor party parliamentary partner in a coalition government. You don’t need to start by accepting pre-compromises. As a popular movement, aim big and bold. Don’t be afraid to lay out a vision for a radically better world and demand what is need to achieve it. Don’t start by asking for something from the limit window of the “possible.” Ask for the ideal. Demand everything that is needed.
I can’t promise you that you will get big change if you demand it, but I can promise you will never get the major reform we need if you don’t first ask for it. The corrupt system will never give up a single inch more than it feels it must.