Occupy Everywhere Lecture Naomi Klein Michael Moore The New School

 

And to disenfranchise people of color, that then ultimately always, to always, always bleed out to affect everybody else.

 

 

Crowd:  (claps & cheers)

 

 

Richard Kim:  Thank you.  So Bill you, you study US history in the long view and a lot of people have been throwing around, sort of historical comparisons of Occupy Wall Street and say the 1930′s radicalism, where people just sort of prevented foreclosures from happening.

 

Uhm or the 1960′s, there’s a lot of worrying I think from some Liberals that, Occupy Wall Street’s gonna will try to recapitulate the extremism of the, of the 1960′s.

 

You have a different historical comparison you were making to me the other day.  And so I wonder if you can talk about that a little bit?

 

 

(William) Bill Greider:  Well, first I have to say (coughs) I have a personal stake in the success of this movement and it goes like this.

 

I spent the ah, the last 25 – 30 years of my life, basically writing about what happened to democracy and the failure of our representative system.

 

But beyond that our money, uhm the Global Trading System, the Federal Reserve, the Bank, the mechanisms by which this happened.

 

And some, somewhat wishful ideas about how we might reclaim our birthright.

 

Some of you may have noticed, who read this books that, the more I wrote about democracy the worse it got.

 

 

Crowd:  (laughs)

 

 

(William) Bill Greider:  And I was not unaware of that myself, and yet I kept doing it.

 

And I, and I did it for a pretty obvious reason.  It made me feel good to tell the story.  And I thought it might help some people.

 

But I developed a more complicated historical theory about what I was doing, and it goes like this.

 

Uhm the American calls for democracy, the, the thirst for equality, for, for freedom…  is little like an underground river that is run underneath the surfaces of American history from the beginning.

 

And it’s, it rarely is visible to the established powers.  It gets mislead, deflected, stymied in different ways. (coughs)

 

But it continues these ideals, that the original promise of what this country could be.  And I told myself okay,  I don’t know if anything changes now.  Doesn’t seem to be happening.

 

But I’m gonna, but I’m gonna be in that stream with the others.  The historic stream and do what I can at least to keep the candle lit in the loft.  And that’s, that’s a good thing to do with your life

 

 

Crowd:  (claps)

 

 

(William) Bill Greider:  Then… sometime, often unpredictably this underground river gathers force and it breaks through the surface, and everything is changed.

 

And you can read American history and find those moments which changed everything and opened the vista of a different country.

 

I think that’s what we’re experiencing right now.  I literally mean that.

 

 

Crowd:  (claps & cheers)

 

 

(William) Bill Greider:  Uhm…  And I think it’s ah.  We know it’s a high risked enterprise to try to build an authentic social movement.  Many arise and fail, or get crushed.  And the ideas are literally pushed back out of the public square.

 

But they go back and they continue somehow.  And, and maybe come back a generation or two generations later.

 

So we have to, I think we have to take that sort of long view of what we’re doing.  I feel because, because I know a bit of lot of that history.

 

I see ah, an ironic resemblance between what’s happening right and the populous movement of the late 19th century.  1870′s, 1880′s, 1890′s.  And I tell you some of why I feel that?

 

These were farmers in the South, in Midwest mostly who were being crushed. I mean literally striped of their property and turned into peasants.  Ah by pretty much the same interest we’re up against today.

 

The rise of Industrial Capitalism, The Money Trust, the Bankers and just the hard prejudices of American society.

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