Monday, May 14, 2012

Richard Lang, Noam Chomsky, Michel Bauwens and David Graeber: Occupy 2.0 (Peer Produced Politics)

Episode #594 - Occupy 2.0 (Peer Produced Politics)
Unwelcome Guests

We start the show with some reflections of the various Occupy battles as symptoms of society's auto-immune disease. In this context, we hear a November 2011 open letter from Occupier, Reverend Richard Lang to the Seattle Police Department. Encouraging them to work with, not against the occupiers, he notes their common interest, and that the police who accept their orders to brutalize and provoke protestors are no longer serving humanity or their own interests.

Then we hear an interview of Noam Chomsky about the meaning of the Occupy Movement in the context of US politics. He highlights the need for direct civic engagement by the occupiers to transform their wide mandate of support from a habitually inactive populace into a broad active engagement -- which is the best defense against brutal police. Chomsky notes that the established US political parties will try to coopt Occupy to meet their own ends. He recalls David Hume's observation that "Power is in the hands of the governed" and that the only way that an elite can maintain control is through an enormous and ongoing campaign to shape public opinion. Occupy threatens that control to the extent that it presents a counter narrative independent of commercially controlled media.

Our first hour concludes with a recent interview of Michel Bauwens about the significance of Occupy. He highlights the emerging phenomenon of peer production, which substitutes traditional top down hierarchies such as corporations with a pattern of more amicable and egalitarian interrelationships. Bauwens suggests that Occupy is a manifestation of the same, decentralized spirit in the political arena. This continues into the second hour and we conclude with another half hour of Chapter 7 of David Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years.

Music: Welcome To The Occupation by REM

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