By Matthew Rothschild on October 28, 2011

This Occupy Wall Street Movement is not going away, and it’s got the corporate establishment and their apologists freaked out.

But Pat Robertson telling all good Christians not to join the protests is not going to put a damper on them.

Neither is Fox News by making fun of them.

Nor Herman Cain by telling everyone to go get a job.

People in mass numbers continue to gather in city after city, large and small. This weekend there will be protests not only in New York but in places as tiny as Salida, Colorado.

And people are finally willing to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. In Tucson, more than 350 people have been arrested. In Chicago, more than 300.

This movement has real staying power.

And the reason it has staying power is because people understand, in their gut and in their wallet, that they’ve been ripped off.

They know the top 1% runs the show, and hogs the wealth and income.

It’s this lack of fairness, this lack of justice, and this lack of empowerment that fuels the indignation of Occupy Wall Street.

We don’t have representative democracy in America.

We have unrepresentative democracy here.

And that’s putting it nicely. Because what we really have is an oligarchy and a kleptocracy.

At some point, people wake up and yell, “Stop, thief!”

I believe we’ve reached that point now.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Poll Shows Americans Want to Redistribute the Wealth!"

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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