Review: This Changes Everything

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Sarah van Geider et al.

4.0 out of 5 stars Annoying, But Recommended,November 18, 2011

As someone who has been following the Occupy movement since 17 September, and whose informal video (done by someone else) went viral from the front page of Reddit, I have a deep–very deep–interest in seeing Occupy achieve tangible results. I have intimately engaged with both the plethora of “demands” and the internal divisions among everyone from the anarchists to the free-riders.

This book is annoying because it is just a bit too slick and opportunistic for my taste. Use Inside the Book to see what you are getting. It is priced very reasonably (and cheaper if bought directly from YES Magazine) and it certainly deserves to be in any library intent on capturing as much about the Occupy movement as possible, but this is not a world-changing book nor does it actually help Occupy get anywhere specific.

In fairness, though, consider visiting the YES book sale site for paragraphs on each of the ten ways YES believes Occupy has changed everything; I will only list the ten blurbs without debating their merits.

1. It names the source of the crisis.
2. It provides a clear vision of the world we want.
3. It sets a new standard for public debate.
4. It presents a new narrative.
5. It creates a big tent.
6. It offers everyone a chance to create change.
7. It is a movement, not a list of demands.
8. It combines the local and the global.
9. It offers an ethic and practice of deep democracy and community.
10. We have reclaimed our power.

At best, this is a fine book for the casual observer who wants a taste of Occupy but not an immersion course, and while I see glimmers of the above ten “changes” the book is delusional in thinking they are anything beyond the first tri-mester of the baby that could still be aborted or die of its own weakness at breathing.

For that, go to Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog and soak in either of these two free long strings [searching for them on Google gets you right there)

#OWS Rolling Update + US Revolution RECAP

#OWS Directory (List/Library) Sorted in Categories

It is my personal view that Occupy is repeating most of the mistakes of the 1960’s, and that in particular, Occupy has failed to capitalize on national fund-raising and on embracing the one issue that really matters, that really addresses all that is toxic in our society (a corrupt two-party tyranny in Congress): the Electoral Reform Act of 2012. Occupy may have blown a sure thing: the change to confront every Senator and every Representative during the holiday recess when they are home fund-raising, to demand that they sponsor and vote for the Electoral Reform Act of 2012, or be recalled, impeached, or hounded out of office. This is a do-able do, still, starting with the Electoral Reform Summit of 2012 that the minor excluded parties and labor unions are NOT supporting — it turns out the minor parties are merely window-dressing–perhaps funded by the CIA–while the labor unions are so corrupt at the leadership level as to merit being flushed down the toilet with Congress.

This book is timely and interesting, but it does NOT change everything, nor is Occupy changing everything for a lack of focus. IMHO.

Here is my recommended Occupy reading list:
The Tao of Democracy: Using co-intelligence to create a world that works for all
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World
Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity
Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential
Escaping the Matrix: How We the People can change the world
All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents (Hardcover))
The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe
Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage (Critical Perspectives Series: A Book Series Dedicated to Paulo Freire)
Philosophy and the Social Problem: The Annotated Edition

I have read and reviewed all of the above, my reviews summarize each work. All of my reviews are more easily accessed across the 98 categories in which I read, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.

If YES were to do a fast book on Electoral Reform and Fund-Raising, THAT would be a world-changing contribution, in my view.

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