At this year’s celebration of the third anniversary of OWS, I conducted a small non-scientific one question survey. I asked a total of 33 people to say if they favored reform of our current system or if they believed reform was a waste of time and the system needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up (revolt). As usual with OWS, there was a wide diversity of responses. 16 people (48%) favored reform, 12 people (36%) favored revolt and 5 people (15%) refused to be categorized for a variety of reasons. Clearly the movement is unlikely to accomplish much until this fundamental question is better resolved.
This little survey turned out to be a great way to initiate dialogue and explore the various values and goals of the participants. The one thing everyone seems to have in common is a lack of apathy. Everyone I spoke with was motivated in some way to make this a better world. Most people I spoke with valued life and the environment. I found many of the people on the revolt side were motivated by the evils of capitalism, especially the way it encourages greed and exploitation. There was also a strong cynicism about reform especially in light of the Citizens United ruling.
Personally, I consider it unlikely that there will ever be a violent overthrow of the U.S. government or the capitalist system. That said, it is difficult to deny the negative effects of unchecked capitalism or the barriers to reform. As always, I see DT as being at the heart of the problem. We will never be without greed, but in a world where DT is considered subordinate to problem-solving, it will be much more difficult to glamorized greed the way it is done today. We will never be without exploitation, but in a world where DT is treated with a baseline degree of suspicion, it will be much more difficult to manipulate the vulnerable members of society. Finally, DT is the greatest barrier to organization, it cofounds most efforts at problem solving.