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An open letter To the Occupiers
October 15, 2011.
Stephen Adler

So, you have found a voice... Good for you... Now what are you going to do with it?...

Just as I saw in Egypt, and some what in Libya, there is a whole lotta heart in what they tried to do, (I mean a whole LOT OF HEART) but in the end, were their goals attained? Just the other day, I read a bit in the NY Times about how the army in Egypt was taking greater control(external link) thus endangering the move to a civilian government formed under a new constitution and cemented in democracy. Are we witnessing the seeds of a hijacked revolution? Over and over again I read on the web that these movements had no leaders, they didn't have a set of goals etc. And specifically in Egypt, I'm afraid the results of that lack of vision is coming to haunt the civil movement. It's a miracle what they attained, and it would be a shame to see a new dictatorial government spring right back up to replace Mubarak.

And so I see the same chatter on the web regarding the Occupy movement. No leader, no vision, just a bunch of people venting and camping out.

So, before this movement gets hijacked by some other force, what ever or whom ever it may be, (as has happened with the Tea Party) I think it's time for you guys to come up with a plan. Organizing the park takeovers and turning the movement into some kind of groovy camp out is cool, and something to e-mail your bbf about, but its time to set a goal for your movement to achieve. Call it a road map. Where do you want to go?

Let start by asking some pertinent questions... (These questions are specific to the US, but for others in Europe, Asia, Africa, Down under and the rest of the Americas, you can fill in and edit to your own specific situation.)

Is the constitution which sets the rules by which you are governed working for you? Can you use it to right what's wrong or does it need to be tossed out and replaced with a new one? (Constitution 2.0?)

What specifically needs to be fixed? (Fill in your long list of grips here...) How are you going to prioritize the list of "what needs to be fixed".

Now, lets assume that you can work with within the framework of the current constitution. And as it turns out, you can right what's wrong with the current constitution as it was written back in 1787. The constitution was written with the intent that the citizenry can make updates. But it takes some effort. What approach will you take to right the wrongs. Do you want to make a set of constitutional amendments? Do you want to enact some laws? Whatever you do, or whatever approach you take, you should focus on the mechanism which are spelled out in the constitution. (Or set your goal on re-writing and replacing the constitution from scratch.)

Quick question... how many of you have read the constitution from beginning to end? (Just for the record, I have...)

Let's take a specific example which will help shed light on what I'm getting at. Taxes. There is nothing in the constitution regarding how taxes should be collected(external link). The constitution, through the 16th amendment, gives the federal government the right to levy taxes directly from the citizenry, but does not specify the amount, or distribution. Not being a legal expert on taxes, it's fair to say that the details of how taxes are levied has been sorted out through laws enacted by congress. So the burning question here is, does the Occupy movement want to address the tax collection issue through laws or by a constitutional amendment?

Before one goes off and tries to set in motion the titanic effort needed to change legislation or amend the constitution, what does the Occupy movement consider to be a fair tax levy? Let me throw one out there for the sake of argument. A fair tax levy is one which appropriates based on the percentage on ones total income. Everyone has to pay X% on what they earned, no deductions allowed. Again, this just for argument sake, not a concrete proposal. (A concrete proposal is one which needs to be formulated and discussed amongst the Occupy movement and eventually agreed upon through a democratic process. And you can do this using the web)

So with your well formulated and agreed upon tax levy, you can take take it to your congressman or woman, and demand that they pass laws to enact the Occupy tax levy. You can farm out across the country, go to your congress-peoples offices and tell them face to face that if they don't pass the law, they will loose their seat and you'll vote for the other guy/gal who will enact such legislation. If you think a constitutional amendment is needed(external link), then push for that.

What I'm getting at is simple. If you have a concrete goal, then you will be able to put a rudder on your movement and steer it in a direction which will get something done, change your life. In essence, right the wrong. The Egyptians demanded Mubarak step down. The Libyan's demanded Gaddafi be arrested for his crimes against its citizens and his government be replaced. But beyond that I haven't read on any web site any specific list of goals or demands. At least the movement needs a proverbial dictator to topple. What's your dictator?

One thing the movement is clearly doing, is shining the light on a very important fact in the dynamics between government and its citizenry. The government and those who government within its structure derive their governing legitimacy from its citizens. It's the citizens as a whole who determine how and to what extent the government will rule our lives. It's not up to a small 1% subclass of citizens to determine the fate of a country, or in our case the world. For the past several decades, the citizenry has fallen asleep and the "1%" has hijacked the governing process. Well, the alarm clock has just sounded and its time to wakeup and take action to restore the natural dynamic of the government responding and protecting the majority.

Do not waste this movement. As of Oct 15th, you have organized demonstrations on which the sun has not set, literally! It's a world wide movement. Give it some teeth beyond placards, camp-ins, marches, livestream video feeds etc. Make it a movement which will actually change some laws or make some amendments to the constitution. Because the 1% has been doing exactly this for the past several decades and will beat you at this game over and over again until you start to fight back... fire with fire...

Good Luck and Gods Speed.