The first thing we can do is call for a radical re-think of our global economic system. Unbridled neocon capitalism has been riding the back of humankind without opposition for nearly two generations now. It has provided no answer yet and it has no answer for the most pressing threat of the future, namely climate change. Economics students and heterodox economists must rise up in universities everywhere and demand a shift in the theoretical foundations of economic science. We have to abandon almost everything we thought we knew about the gods of progress, happiness and growth. We have to re-imagine industry, nutrition, communication, transportation, housing and money and pioneer a new kind of economics, a bionomics, a psychonomics, an ecological economics that is up to the job of managing our planetary household.
The second thing we can do is usher in a new era of radical transparency … to add the right to live in a transparent world as a new human right in the constitution of nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Current events in Syria are a perfect example of how secrecy by the major powers of the world leads to confusion and the possibility of catastrophic failure. Assad may get away with a type of murderous appetite not seen since WWII, for no reason other than the fact that America can no longer be trusted to tell the truth. Radical transparency is the only path towards a viable global democracy of the future.
The third thing we can do is take inspiration and learn lessons from a new tactical breakthrough in global activism – the revolution algorithm. The internet has reversed a centuries-old power dynamic. The street now has unprecedented power. Through hacking, rhizomatic organizing, viral memes, it can paralyze cities, bring whole countries to a standstill … protests and uprisings can spook stock markets into plunging 10% in a single day, as happened recently in Turkey, and, if we the people are angry and fired up enough, we can force even the most arrogant presidents and prime ministers to the democratic table.
In the 21st century, democracy could look like this: a dynamic, visceral, never-ending feedback loop between entrenched power structures and the street. In this new model, corporate power will be forever blunted by sustained and clearly articulated demands for new economic, political and environmental policies, for visceral debates and referendums on critical issues, for the revocation of the charters of corporations that break the public trust and for new laws and constitutional amendments on democratic fundamentals like secrecy, corporate personhood and the rules by which nations go to war. Every government department, every minister and the whole political establishment, right down to the think tanks, media pundits and CEOs, will be under the gun, on an almost daily basis, to bend to the ever changing pulse of the people.
As this second anniversary of Occupy passes, perhaps with raging flames, perhaps with only a few sparks, we can take solace in one thing: Our current global system – capitalism – is in terminal decline … and while its corpse is still twitching, our jobs, yours, mine, all of us, are to stay vigilant and to keep working on our own lives … We shy away from the megacorporations, we refuse to buy heavily advertised products, we meticulously seek out toxin-free information, we eat, travel, socialize and live as lightly as we can … we fight for our happiness … we build trust with each other and play the #killcap game at least once every day … and most important, we focus our eyes on the horizon and wait for our next moment to come.