Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Boston and Anarchy

Occupy Boston is said to be organized by anarchists. It has been a peaceful protest so far, and its tendrils have grown to include Tufts and Harvard students, along with the Nurses' Union. When I think of anarchy I think of young men in black ski masks smashing shop windows, but that's not what Occupy Boston anarchists seem like so far.

I think capitalism works, but disenfranchised people have to find creative ways to make it work for them. In his book Let Justice Roll Down, John Perkins talks about organizing cooperatives in the South. These are faith-based, partly educational and partly economic. Such cooperatives seem to work congruently with capitalism. When churches and community groups work toward bettering people by developing their education and broadening their opportunities, it can be powerful.

We are at a crossroads in terms of jobs. It's going to freeze everything over if more and more people can't find work. Putting pressure on the powers that be is good, but in addition we have more power as consumers. I'm not really one for punishing other workers in other countries who produce our goods, but maybe it is time to buy local. This way we form a type of cooperative by supporting the merchants and artisans within our own towns. The most brilliant creators like Steve Jobs will always find an eager international market, but there's really nothing special or brilliant about name brand banks, is there?

Is that modern anarchy? I still don't know. I'm watching the tweets and trying to figure it out.

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