You are viewing the NationofChange archives. For the latest news and actions, visit the new www.NationofChange.org.
Friday, October 31, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
Get Email Updates | Log In | Register

Article image
George Lakoff
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 20 October 2011
“It’s a general principle: Unless you frame yourself, others will frame you — the media, your enemies, your competitors, your well-meaning friends.”

A Framing Memo for Occupy Wall Street

Article image

I was asked weeks ago by some in the Occupy Wall Street movement to make suggestions for how to frame the movement. I have hesitated so far, because I think the movement should be framing itself. It’s a general principle: Unless you frame yourself, others will frame you — the media, your enemies, your competitors, your well-meaning friends. I have so far hesitated to offer suggestions. But the movement appears to maturing and entering a critical time when small framing errors could have large negative consequences. So I thought it might be helpful to accept the invitation and start a discussion of how the movement might think about framing itself.

About framing: It’s normal. Everybody engages in it all the time. Frames are just structures of thought that we use every day. All words in all languages are defined in terms of frame-circuits in the brain. But, ultimately, framing is about ideas, about how we see the world, which determines how we act.

In politics, frames are part of competing moral systems that are used in political discourse and in charting political action. In short, framing is a moral enterprise: it says what the character of a movement is. All politics is moral. Political figures and movements always make policy recommendations claiming they are the right things to do. No political figure ever says, do what I say because it’s wrong! Or because it doesn’t matter! Some moral principles or other lie behind every political policy agenda.

Two Moral Framing Systems in Politics

Conservatives have figured out their moral basis and you see it on Wall Street: It includes: The primacy of self-interest. Individual responsibility, but not social responsibility. Hierarchical authority based on wealth or other forms of power. A moral hierarchy of who is “deserving,” defined by success. And the highest principle is the primacy of this moral system itself, which goes beyond Wall Street and the economy to other arenas: family life, social life, religion, foreign policy, and especially government. Conservative “democracy” is seen as a system of governance and elections that fits this model.

Though OWS concerns go well beyond financial issues, your target is right: the application of these principles in Wall Street is central, since that is where the money comes from for elections, for media, and for right-wing policy-making institutions of all sorts on all issues.

The alternative view of democracy is progressive: Democracy starts with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly on that sense of care, taking responsibility both for oneself and for one’s family, community, country, people in general, and the planet. The role of government is to protect and empower all citizens equally via The Public: public infrastructure, laws and enforcement, health, education, scientific research, protection, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, and on and on. Nobody makes it one their own. If you got wealthy, you depended on The Public, and you have a responsibility to contribute significantly to The Public so that others can benefit in the future. Moreover, the wealthy depend on those who work, and who deserve a fair return for their contribution to our national life. Corporations exist to make life better for most people. Their reason for existing is as public as it is private.

A disproportionate distribution of wealth robs most citizens of access to the resources controlled by the wealthy. Immense wealth is a thief. It takes resources from the rest of the population — the best places to live, the best food, the best educations, the best health facilities, access to the best in nature and culture, the best professionals, and on and on. Resources are limited, and great wealth greatly limits access to resources for most people.

It appears to me that OWS has a progressive moral vision and view of democracy, and that what it is protesting is the disastrous effects that have come from operating with a conservative moral, economic, and political worldview. I see OWS as primarily a moral movement, seeking economic and political changes to carry out that moral movement — whatever those particular changes might be.

A Moral Focus for Occupy Wall Street

I think it is a good thing that the occupation movement is not making specific policy demands. If it did, the movement would become about those demands. If the demands were not met, the movement would be seen as having failed.

It seems to me that the OWS movement is moral in nature, that occupiers want the country to change its moral focus. It is easy to find useful policies; hundreds have been suggested. It is harder to find a moral focus and stick to it. If the movement is to frame itself, it should be on the basis of its moral focus, not a particular agenda or list of policy demands. If the moral focus of America changes, new people will be elected and the policies will follow. Without a change of moral focus, the conservative worldview that has brought us to the present disastrous and dangerous moment will continue to prevail.

We Love America. We’re Here to Fix It

I see OWS as a patriotic movement, based on a deep and abiding love of country — a patriotism that it is not just about the self-interests of individuals, but about what the country is and is to be. Do Americans care about other citizens, or mainly just about themselves? That’s what love of America is about. I therefore think it is important to be positive, to be clear about loving America, seeing it in need of fixing, and not just being willing to fix it, but being willing to take to the streets to fix it. A populist movement starts with the people seeing that they are all in the same boat and being ready to come together to fix the leaks.

Publicize the Public

Tell the truth about The Public, that nobody makes it purely on their own without The Public, that is, without public infrastructure, the justice system, health, education, scientific research, protections of all sorts, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, … That is a truth to be told day after day. It is an idea that must take hold in public discourse. It must go beyond what I and others have written about it and beyond what Elizabeth Warren has said in her famous video. The Public is not opposed to The Private. The Public is what makes The Private possible. And it is what makes freedom possible. Wall Street exists only through public support. It has a moral obligation to direct itself to public needs.

All OWS approaches to policy follow from such a moral focus. Here are a handful examples.

Democracy should be about the 99%

Money directs our politics. In a democracy, that must end. We need publicly supported elections, however that is to be arranged.

Strong Wages Make a Strong America

Middle-class wages have not gone up significantly in 30 years, and there is conservative pressure to lower them. But when most people get more money, they spend it and spur the economy, making the economy and the country stronger, as well as making their individual lives better. This truth needs to be central to public economic discourse.

Global Citizenship

America has been a moral beacon to the world. It can function as such only if it sets an example of what a nation should be.

Do we have to spend more on the military that all other nations combined? Do we really need hundreds of military bases abroad?

Nature

We are part of nature. Nature makes us, and all that we love, possible. Yet we are destroying Nature through global warming and other forms of ecological destruction, like fracking and deep-water drilling.

At a global scale, nature is systemic: its effects are neither local nor linear. Global warming is causing the ferocity of the monster storms, tornados, floods, blizzards, heat waves, and fires that have devastated huge areas of our country. The hotter the atmosphere, the more evaporated water and the more energy going into storms, tornados, and blizzards. Global warming cannot be shown to cause any particular storm, but when a storm system forms, global warming will ramp up the power of the storm and the amount of water it carries. In winter, evaporated water from the overly heated Pacific will go into the atmosphere, blow northeast over the arctic, and fall as record snows.

We depend on nature — on clean air, water, food, and a livable climate. And we find beauty and grandeur in nature, and a sense of awe that makes life worth living. A love of country requires a love of nature. And a fair and thriving economy requires the preservation of nature as we have known it.

Summary

OWS is a moral and patriotic movement. It sees Democracy as flowing from citizens caring about one another as well as themselves, and acting with both personal and social responsibility. Democratic governance is about The Public, and the liberty that The Public provides for a thriving Private Sphere. From such a democracy flows fairness, which is incompatible with a hugely disproportionate distribution of wealth. And from the sense of care implicit in such a democracy flows a commitment to the preservation of nature.

From what I have seen of most members of OWS, your individual concerns all flow from one moral focus.

Elections

The Tea Party solidified the power of the conservative worldview via elections. OWS will have no long-term effect unless it too brings its moral focus to the 2012 elections. Insist on supporting candidates that have your overall moral views, no matter what the local issues are.

A Warning

This movement could be destroyed by negativity, by calls for revenge, by chaos, or by having nothing positive to say. Be positive about all things and state the moral basis of all suggestions. Positive and moral in calling for debt relief. Positive and moral in upholding laws, as they apply to finances. Positive and moral in calling for fairness in acquiring needed revenue. Positive and moral in calling for clean elections. To be effective, your movement must be seen by all of the 99% as positive and moral. To get positive press, you must stress the positive and the moral.

Remember: The Tea Party sees itself as stressing only individual responsibility. The Occupation Movement is stressing both individual and social responsibility.

I believe, and I think you believe, that most Americans care about their fellow citizens as well as themselves. Let’s find out! Shout your moral and patriotic views out loud, regularly. Put them on your signs. Repeat them to the media. Tweet them. And tell everyone you know to do the same. You have to use your own language with your own framing and you have to repeat it over and over for the ideas to sink in.

Occupy elections: voter registration drives, town hall meetings, talk radio airtime, party organizations, nomination campaigns, election campaigns, and voting booths.

Above all: Frame yourselves before others frame you.



Author pic
ABOUT George Lakoff

George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. He previously taught at Harvard (1965-69) and the University of Michigan (1969-1972). He graduated from MIT in 1962 (in Mathematics and Literature) and received his PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University in 1966.

 

MA26wS rqvaeunaiflg

MA26wS rqvaeunaiflg

yig00f ,

yig00f , [url=http://ifhsidpkxiec.com/]ifhsidpkxiec[/url], [link=http://ojucpqlzsuii.com/]ojucpqlzsuii[/link], http://pjlzeztsakbp.com/

a8svWi bnizxrmwolfq

a8svWi bnizxrmwolfq

Heck yeah bay-bee keep them

Heck yeah bay-bee keep them cmonig!

Lakoff says: "Democracy

Lakoff says: "Democracy starts with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly on that sense of care, taking responsibility both for oneself and for one’s family, community, country, people in general, and the planet."

This is true, which teaches us that we get democracy only by an integration of our vast and wonderful diversity, which does not come naturally or easy, but only by the pursuit of wisdom. Therein lies the untold story, the most difficult aspect of forming a democratic Union of the whole people, is to become master of the Circles of Interlinked Dialogue that is absolutely necessary, but not a word is mentioned here by the good professor about this need and the way forward (although he has, indeed, begun to address this need elsewhere).

Lovers of Democracy must learn how to become masters of the democratic dialogue, which alone can set us free. GOOGLE: LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY (1st in the Google list of millions of pages that are relevant to LoD)

Here is A plan for our

Here is A plan for our collective future. It’s in chronological order: if we accomplish #1 we can do #2; if we accomplish #2 we can do #3, and so on.
1. Outlaw political contributions to congress and presidents by industry groups (under all their guises).
2. Stop spending on war. Afghanistan is worse than Iraq. It will never end. It has never ended.
3. Redirect taxes we already pay toward creating the absolute best educational infrastructure on the planet. Pre-K through life.
4. Put tax money to use for science/engineering/math targeted toward quantum changes in our infrastructure (transportation, renewable energy, waste mgmt, water supply mgmt)
5. Use the intellectual output from above toward executing projects at ground level (electricity grid, railways, tunnels, bridges, roads, upgrades to buildings, museums and libraries and Internet accessible to all). These upgrades are desperately needed AND will provide good jobs.
6. Go after the industries that deliver illness to the population and limit their tactics and their access to politicians –AND—TAX their products. The industries include: tobacco, alcohol, firearms, agribusiness. sugared beverage companies.
Make it possible, but expensive, to buy “Fritos™ and a Coke™.” Example: find some level of sugar/sugar equivalent as we do for alcohol and many other products; exceeding this level in a product should triple the tax.
7. Make health care available to all and make it universal/single-payer (e.g. having a social security card means you get high quality efficient health care for life).
We can do all this and more with our existing tax money. There is plenty of money it's all a matter of which way it flows. Does it flow to the already rich and powerful or does it flow back to those who paid taxes to start with and who, as citizens, have a right to equal representation and the basic human right to live?
Our species, Homo sapiens, has about 25-30 years within which we can be brave and take truly enlightened action. If we do that, we might also save the planet.

7 POINT PLAN Here is a

7 POINT PLAN Here is a suggested plan for our collective future. It’s in chronological order: if we accomplish

I want to call attention to

I want to call attention to the need for a shift from the prevalent adversarial, fragmenting political paradigm to a paradigm of collabortion and convergence. This paradigm has three features.
1. Stakeholder engagement from all sectors in the collaborative effort to find a solution that is effective, robust in the face of uncertainty, and enjoys consensus support.
2. A path of solution-discovery that builds consensus incrementally: inclusively articulating stakeholder interests, defining the qualities every stakeholder wants in a successful solution, agreeing on how to generate candidate solutions, agreeing on how to evaluate candidates to mediate conflicting interests and select the best, then proceeding collaboratively with the solution-discovery process that has been set up.
3. Leadership that orchestrates the collaborative team in carrying out the process, facilitates inclusive stakeholder engagement, DOES NOT dictate the solution, advocate for any particular faction, or be the hero-genius who produces the anaswe to the amazement of lesser folk.
For an example, from the transportation field, look up Context Sensitive Solutions, NCHRP Report 480, pages 11 - 22.

Some very interesting points

Some very interesting points presented. Thanks.I'm wondering about how to fit into the OWS movement the belief in the spiritual/internal realities of our existence here on this side? That our Higher Power is the One calling the shots in our growth as connected brothers and sisters. And that the job of each of us, individually and together, is to figure out how to follow that Guidance. ?? In this sense, to protest Against someone/corporations is really protesting against no-one-is-there, but our own projections. As in my body's right hand being mad at and protesting Against my left foot.I wonder how I/we could re-vision the 1% - 99% mess from a viewpoint that we are really all one in our Spirit selves?Any ideas?Thank you. jsshepherd

palsimon's picture

My friend, we need remember

My friend, we need remember only 2 things: The Golden Rule to do under others as you would have them do unto you. The other is that the world over needs "Love, sweet love, it's the only thing that there is too little of." With those two personal goals in mind, it doesn't matter what religion you follow, and there is no need to impose or encourage , or even oppose any religion. Any religion that does not follow these 2 precepts in all ways might be evil conspiracies.

INDEED! I AGREE TOTALLY!

INDEED! I AGREE TOTALLY! THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS.

Response to 60SALUM: Nowhere

Response to 60SALUM: Nowhere in Mr. Lakoff's article does he advocate support for Democratic Party candidates.I tend to think Italians can love Italy, Americans can love America, Lithuanians can love Lithuania, and they can all still love each other's nations.

The other night I watch a

The other night I watch a story on the history of "Dr Bonners Miracle Soap". If you are old enough you may remember this product used to clean almost anything.
Dr. Bonner was a German Immigrant who arrived in America in 1929, not the best time to start a business!! His Grandchildren run the business today and it is a $6 million dollar operation.
Since the beginning of this operation the label of the product has had not only directions for the soap but also "siritual" messages about how to use our lives. Now check this out! The owners have capped their salaries at no more than 5 times the amount of the lowest paid employee. Last year more than seventy percent of the net profit was donated to charity. The remainder was paid as bonuses to ALL the employees equally. Everyone benefits equally from their labor. Corporate and personal greed hiding under a responsibility to shareholders of the corporation is fraud. The advertising of the good deeds and better lives provided by corporations and their consumer products is also not a true story but propaganda in disguise as advertising.
We the people can no longer trust our leaders to protect us from the corporate "elite" who have unlimited resources to buy whatever they want from our Senate, Congress, The Supreme Court and even the President.

Dear George From an outside

Dear George

From an outside observer, Americans seem so caught up in right wing rhetoric that statements about how no one made it on their own seem unconvincing. Wealth is a collective effort, and as you say wages have not risen in 30 years despite the increase in the countries wealth - created by the efforts of employees. Yet working people can't afford health care, pay their mortgage, get enough time off, put their kids through school. These things are basic rights, and are being denied by the unfairly low wages.

Wealth cannot trickle down particularly when investment in manufacturing is going overseas. This is where taxes on profits and wealth provide benefits to the wage earners of America.

If you made your money in America, then American society helped make your wealth - employees, customers, business partners, law and order, public infrastructure, military, etc. It should be a win-win but currently is a win-lose, a rip off.

From an interview with an ex Australian Prime Minister :

"For Keating, the malaise in US politics is the problem. He says: "The most compelling thing I've seen in years is that in the great burst of American productivity between 1990 and 2008, of that massive increment to national income, none of it went to wages. By contrast, in Australia real wages over the same period had risen by 30 per cent." Keating sees this "as the breakdown of America's national compact", the shattering of its prosperity deal. He says American conservatives abandoned the middle ground represented by Republican presidents such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Bush Sr and became radicals. The derailment, he argues, began under Ronald Reagan and reached its zenith under George W. Bush.

With the goodwill gone the US "is not able to produce a medium-term credible fiscal trajectory or get agreement on rebuilding its infrastructure". This paralysis "is significant not just for the US but for the world."

Keating links the collapse of this "prosperity compact" to the financial crisis. Too many Americans were unable to sustain themselves from wages and salaries.

How did they get by? They used the easy credit of the banking system, thereby feeding the frenzy that ended in bad loans and meltdown."

Bravo, it’s time for morality

Bravo, it’s time for morality in government policies and not just in name.

thank you, mr lakoff, for

thank you, mr lakoff, for your view. a dignified, clear message well worth the time spent reading.may your message be read world round and may many many of us 99% join in with courage, conviction, and understanding.

Well! I guess that's what

Well! I guess that's what happens when you have a Phd in Linguistics; clarity. My grandmother used to say ..." now matter where you are in life, you got there by standing on someone's shoulders." The 1% need to make account of this simple fact. The message I'm getting from OWS is that there is inherent strength in the collective effort that is simply not available to the individual no matter how well meaning. This nation must redefine who and what we are and it's emphatically clear that the authors of this new definition cannot be the 1%. They are the ones who are responsible for the current definition which is undemocratic, irresponsible and infantile. Grown ups know how to share and have the foresight to know WHY we share. The squalling brats that make up the brain trust on Wall St. seem to be of the impression that they were elevated to their present status by the hand of God and bear no responsibility to anyone but themselves and their bank accounts, the off shore, tax exempt ones of course. (Having worked with serious drug abusers in the past, I can tell you that the character of our well moneyed elites is very similar to hard core junkies. If they have $400m, they NEED $500m. Once they have their $500m, they NEED $600m. It's not even keeping up with the Joneses, it's keeping up with their own endorphins and its completely infantile in it's nature). The soul-less, bottom line driven mentality of Wall St. cannot be the guiding principal of any definition of the American ethic. The founders, who the tea baggers love to invoke so often, were justly suspicious of corporate power. They'd been screwed by British corporations more than once. It was in fact the products of the British East India Corp. that the original tea party was tossing into Boston Harbor. The target was not a random choice. But irony has never been the strong suit of conservatives in this country. ..... A moral redefinition of The United States of America is long overdue. OWS has the best shot at making that a reality. Our progeny will be better served and I would hope, grateful for the things we do today to steer a new course. I will be with OWS next week in San Francisco. Care to join me?

Mr. Lakoff's concept of

Mr. Lakoff's concept of "framing" is, it seems to me, just another way of saying "spin" (or PR). And his recommendations of how the movement should spin itself demonstrate the limits of his liberalism. Two examples: (1) He says the OWS should cast itself as a patriotic, pro-American movement. Actually, one of the most promising things about this burgeoning rebellion is its growing international character. How would you feel if the participants in Italy, for example, put forth this new movement as one that is based on love for Italy? Wouldn't this, to put it mildly, limit its appeal? (2) Lakoff's recommendation to support Democratic Party candidates. Sure, line up behind one of the two American political parties that are bought and paid for by the very financial and corporate (and *international*) interests we're fighting against!

No thanks, Mr. Lakoff. As the movement grows, its strength and potential will be, in part, measured by its political *independence*, not by how well it sells itself to the highest bidder among the representatives of those who currently own and control the world and its resources.

thank you, mr lakoff, for

thank you, mr lakoff, for your view. a dignified, clear message well worth the time spent reading.may your message be read world round and may many many of us 99% join in with courage, conviction, and understanding.

We are part of nature. Nature

We are part of nature. Nature makes us, and all that we love, possible. Yet we are destroying Nature through global warming and other forms of ecological destruction, like fracking and deep-water drilling.so let us go back to chasing dinner with a pointed sticki care about grasshopper joe having a hard time so i will rob ant art

I haven't seen any

I haven't seen any politician, pundit or commenter who says it as well as a new protest song I heard recently from progressive comedian and singer Roy Zimmerman. I saw him in person when he debuted this song and was struck by how much OWS needs this as their anthem. It's up on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je6y2kFoPs8
If the URL gets garbled, etc., just search YouTube for "Hope, Struggle and Change" or "Roy Zimmerman".

wszykitka's picture

Okay, that's a good

Okay, that's a good description of the difference between the moral frameworks of conservatives and progressives. But if the progressives are to succeed in advancing their moral framework it will not be by trying to improve capitalism or our peculiar version of democracy. The only path to real success is to follow the example of the design and engineering project that resulted in sending a manned spacecraft to the moon and back. We must do the same for spaceship Earth. Check out the announcement of plans for The Whole Earth Design Projecct at www.thecoalescence.net/wedp

The need is for more than a

The need is for more than a series of complaints and long discussions like this article. A series of demands to congress in simple language so that everyone can understand the facts.
1/ Eqiutabile taxation. Make the wealthy pay their portion. The 30% Tax to the middle class effects their lives in a way that even 60% would not effect the wealthy.
2/Banks. Create a national banking system that offers loans and services to the client that provide the institutions a 'reasonable' profit.
The entire Banking Industry would become truly competitive if there was real competition which national banks do provide in other nations like Germany.
3/ The Stock Exchanges. All sales and purchases of stocks be charged a Federal tax.
4/ Close the tax loopholes for the wealthy.
5/ Eliminate the incorrect influence on Congress by forbidding any gifts to their campaigns by Corporations or individuals. Note that the various TV networks should provide free time for debates.
6/ All the questionable benefits to congresspersons be removed.
7/ Make sure that the questionable privatization of many areas such as running private prisons be eliminated.
8/ Education for everyone.
9/ Eliminate the Electoral College, we are one nation, one person one vote.

I recommend everyone get

I recommend everyone get behind the purpose of Congress changing the tax laws to what they were in the first 70 years of taxation, until Reagan's "Trickle Down" policy of the 80's. I propose "20 Brackets to $20million" and a top marginal rate of 50% or more. Belleville

I like the suggestions here.

I like the suggestions here. I just take issue with this common belief that wages haven;t increased in 30 years. Huh? Not increased? Stagnated? 30 years ago a college grad had a very good chance of a very well paying job with low cost of living and great benefits. Oh and most had gotten a free education at a public college. A high school grad could get a fantastic factory or construction job with good wages, low expense, and probably even better benefits. If you lost your job, you didn't worry, It wasn't hard to get another. Most of those same kids today are lucky to get any job. They get no benefits. Living expenses are astronomical. And if the lose that job they are SOL. And don;t forget their college debt. How is that wage stagnation? DO NOT TELL ME WAGES HAVE STAGNATED! Don't say they haven't risen. Tell the truth: the working class wage earner has seen his/her spending power decrease dramatically! Any study that says otherwise is seriously flawed.

"A love of country requires a

"A love of country requires a love of nature." A love of Nature requires the capitalization of its name. There is a reason why, in English, we write "nature" instead of Nature and "the earth, the sun, and the moon" instead of Earth, Sun, and Moon. We do this because of a long-standing Christian phobia of Pagan Nature worship. (We may write Mars and Jupiter instead of "the mars" and "the jupiter" because they are very small and very far away.) If we are truly to feel, and not just show, the respect and gratitude we owe Nature for its manifold blessings (and indeed for our very existence), we need to move beyond this ancient Christian prejudice and do Nature the courtesy of capitalizing its name.

it all comes down to the cost

it all comes down to the cost of labor

a lot of people make it on the back of cheap labor

The Philosophy of Good

The Philosophy of Good Intent.

Whatever you undertake to do ... if you pursue it with Good Intent - Good will surely follow. If you have No Good Intent .. nothing good will come of it (short term profits considered and discounted).

The simple laws of cause and effect (nothing complicated about them) are captured in the common expression: What goes around ... comes a round and so confirm the POGI. Q.E.D.

forget political

forget political parties----lets get with the common sence movement

From the Australian ABC

From the Australian ABC current affairs website

"Australians' relative wealth soars

The latest report from the World Bank has revealed Australian corporations rank among the top 15 in the world for ease of doing business. And according to investment firm, Credit Suisse the median wealth of Australians is the highest in the world"
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3344459.htm

Australia has
Compulsory voting
Free health care
(Public health care isn't perfect, far from it, but its good.)
Unions
Good schools
Decent wages
Decent minimum wage
Good working conditions and workers rights
4 weeks annual leave + public holidays
5% unemployment
Higher tax rates than the US
Gun restrictions
Access to university for all
Livable cities

( And a whole continent to dig up for minerals to sell to china LOL, but seriously)

Compulsory voting is a good thing as it means our politics tends to the middle ground, but what we regard as the middle ground would probably be lambasted as socialist in the US.

It seems a fair balance of left and right, that has been lost in the US.

What good will tax cuts to the big end of town do in the US when they are investing in overseas Jobs? Why shouldn't public servants like firefighters, teachers etc be paid a reasonably good remuneration? They take a risk too.

Is an educated and healthy country not stronger?

Go OWS

Well said, ASH002 - Americans

Well said, ASH002 - Americans know very little about other countries generally, and especially about the success of those that live by social models that are at variance with some American concepts.

Co-operation has been shown to outperform competition in all sorts of group dynamics studies, but Americans persist in the belief that you've got to do everything yourself, mustn't get help from anywhere, and if you have tough times it's always somehow your own fault. (This worldview reaches its height of craziness and insularity in the healthcare area, where an unexpected illness or injury is somehow "your responsibility").

I'd like to see similar descriptions of other countries' ways of life - Germany would be a good example. I'll start by pointing out that in this high-wage, extremely successful industrial powerhouse, corporations must by law have half the board of directors be drawn from the workforce. How about that, you smug interconnected clubs of the wealthy that make up corporate boards here?

OWS needs to be positive AND

OWS needs to be positive AND engage as many people as possible in an ongoing dialogue rather than a debate over a list of specific demands. Demands would be polarizing and offer people the opportunity to discount OWS without ever hearing its position. Spelling out clear areas of concern with an overriding goal or statement can foster positive dialogue and engage those who are possibly on the other side or are just not interested.

I would suggest "Gross National Happiness before Gross National Product" or "GNH before GNP" as a possible statement of principal or goal for OWS. It raises the question of people's welfare in relationship to profit and makes that the point that OWS sees happiness as more important than monetary gain. The idea of happiness comes from the Declaration of Independence statement that it is "the right of the people to institute new government......to effect their security and happiness." The government of Bhutan has used the principal of GNH in national planning for a number of years. GNH is an ideal that may mean different things to different cultures and nations but it can be used in any society.

Professor Lakoff's writing is

Professor Lakoff's writing is immaculate. Framing the OWS into a field in which the public can understand and pick up the concepts of the general public, can work! It is convincing the 1% to have some doubts in their minds about a system that is unworkable to the public, since it seems to work fine for them. It is from that understanding that the 1% fall in line and try to grasp what is happening to the rest of us? Truly, I think they already know, but will the sacrifice for a new system for the betterment of the whole or will the 1% fight to keep the old systems that have favored wealthy and provided a hedge over the working class?

So what is the positive direction that those who want to change this unworkable system do to convert the immoral? The suggestions are numerous. I am convinced that the dialogue has to stay away from the description of the wording of the political dialogue. The words have been far too stereotyped in the minds of all of us. When we see words like "liberal", "conservative", "left", or "right". Words like "socialism", "Marxism"; " fascism", "capitalism" have it's place in the dictionary of words used to describe our political state of being. However it is more apparent this is, and has, become the dialogue of an attack mentality that we have seen chosen on either side of the political spectrum to discredit the political discourse of the opponent. These words have lost their true meaning in context to society as an identifying source that is politically motivated. We rather ought to use words that aren't politically motivated by ideology. Instead we ought to format our choice of words and let it be known that those who have propagandized and orchestrated the predatory system has hurt the American people. That is the common man who care not about the ideologies that have been at battle, have been forced to choose out of knowledge, or ignorance that have created such a diverse disagreements. That is, in the beginning the public should know that the system is in failure and it is to their benefit that it would continue to fail because of it's unfair nature.

I believe the public are basically trusting Americans who have trusted the corporate system for a long time. The American public may not understand the full scope of how the political forces changed America and put us in dire jeopardy. The elites know that and we ought not to flame the fires of ideological bent. Rather it is much more understandable that the public know, regardless of how they have been propagandized to believe in accepting a system that is predatory in the first place. That knowledge will allow the public to know the truth of how our economy fell and not allow the propagandists to have their way.

I only say what I do because I live in the country, and much of what is happening is "over the head" of those affected by the predatory onslaught. Most locals are easily swayed by the populist conservative ideologies that exist and the writings of local editorials and much of their words have weight within small communities. Positive light can be shed to those who cannot accept something they can't understand. OWS is the first step, especially when questions are asked about it.

One thing that is critical,

One thing that is critical, is addressing the problems and not the symptoms. Most of what I have read of OWS's "demands" are around symptoms. One example: I don't care that people on Wall Street or CEOs make $3 mill/year. What I object to are the existing rules that allow that to happen at the expense of 50% of my 401k.
Democrats typically try and fix symptoms and Republicans don't even acknowledge there are problems.
We all (but particularly those trying to frame the movement) need to dig much deeper into the "what and why" things are the way they are. The problems are few but deeply rooted, ingrained in our society, with long reaching tentacles, truly like a cancer. And like a cancer, the symptoms are killing us.

Hey George!!!!Keeping it

Hey George!!!!Keeping it honest: Remember the Movie: So many news articles stating that American protesters have “no clear “agenda?

THE FRAME IS: It seems crystal clear to the middle class America that they are frustrated by the lack of concern that exists for the people in this country who need jobs and hope to support themselves and families.

Millions of unemployed people looking for work in this country are being ignored and slowly erased by mega-corporations whose only concern is for their obscene profits far exceed anyone’s understanding! The beauty and treasured tradition of America allows people the freedom to unite and speak out to draw attention to these huge social injustices. It’s about time that Americans did and said, “we are mad as hell and we are not going take it any longer!” For the record, “Greed is Not good”; it’s ugly, selfish, obscene and destructive for our society. After all, we are a still a democracy, not aristocracy, nor a Banana Republic! Just look around this great county! " It's no surprise that Congress are raising money from Wall Street by saying they want to repeal consumer protections sand allow Wall Street to write its own rules, AND the recipients of dollar tax payer bailout with no conditions and used it for non-performance bonuses!
Dylan Ratigan

It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics
We are using our ability to influence media outlets as a platform to force this issue to the center of the 2012 elections. We are using The Dylan Ratigan Show to build this digital wave, so join us. As the petition grows, the wave grows. Email, Facebook, Tweet — GET MONEY OUT.
"No non-citizen shall contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office. United States citizens shall be free to contribute no more than the equivalent of $100 to any federal candidate during any election cycle. Notwithstanding the limits construed to be part of the First Amendment, Congress shall have the power to limit, but not ban, independent political expenditures, so long as such limits are content and viewpoint neutral. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."
Go to: http://www.getmoneyout.com/

Keeping it honest: Remember

Keeping it honest: Remember the Movie: So many news articles stating that American protesters have “no clear “agenda? It seems crystal clear to the middle class America that they are frustrated by the lack of concern that exists for the people in this country who need jobs and hope to support themselves and families. Millions of unemployed people looking for work in this country are being ignored and slowly erased by mega-corporations whose only concern is for their obscene profits far exceed anyone’s understanding! The beauty and treasured tradition of America allows people the freedom to unite and speak out to draw attention to these huge social injustices. It’s about time that Americans did and said, “we are mad as hell and we are not going take it any longer!” For the record, “Greed is Not good”; it’s ugly, selfish, obscene and destructive for our society. After all, we are a still a democracy, not aristocracy, nor a Banana Republic! Just look around this great county! " It's no surprise that Congress are raising money from Wall Street by saying they want to repeal consumer protections sand allow Wall Street to write its own rules, AND the recipients of dollar tax payer bailout with no conditions and used it for non-performance bonuses!
Dylan Ratigan

It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics
We are using our ability to influence media outlets as a platform to force this issue to the center of the 2012 elections. We are using The Dylan Ratigan Show to build this digital wave, so join us. As the petition grows, the wave grows. Email, Facebook, Tweet — GET MONEY OUT.
"No non-citizen shall contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office. United States citizens shall be free to contribute no more than the equivalent of $100 to any federal candidate during any election cycle. Notwithstanding the limits construed to be part of the First Amendment, Congress shall have the power to limit, but not ban, independent political expenditures, so long as such limits are content and viewpoint neutral. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."
Go to: http://www.getmoneyout.com/

Well expressed contribution,

Well expressed contribution, but use of word MORAL is overused in this article in my opinion. While OWS has captured and lifted the "morale" and hearts of many citizens in our country, as part of the 99% majority movement, this is also about integrity, values and holding our government, and the majority parties of the Republicans and Democrats to higher standards. It's time to clean house in D.C. and OWS has given us a voice, which has frightened the Repugs into absurd namecalling by saying OWS is a mob and comparing it to the KKK.

The TARP bailout failed to hold banks and Wall Street accountable and almost any one with an ounce of common sense and a brain could have written agreements that would have held their feet to the fire. Instead, they all got a pass, rewarded themselves with bigger bonuses that even surpassed ones before the folly they had created in years past. So, the rich got richer. They apparently have no values or principles regarding being the 1% while ignoring the meldown THEY created and feel absolutely no responsibility about the foreclosures and job losses and financial havor on pensions, portfolios and IRAs. They continue to line their own pockets and rail against even a .05% increase in taxes as millionaires and billionaires (exeption of course, Warren Buffett and others of his ilk who do have a moral compass). The Supreme Court decision handed over the elections carte blanche to corporations to dramatically influence any candidate or issue they desire. So now it is OUR turn to make our voices and votes count!

Our biggest hope is to support OWS in any way possible by showing up in person, financially contributions, writing to newspaper editors, sending e-mails, posting on social media like Facebook, etc. This kind of energy will continue to give the movement steam and traction. The politicians and pundits are now paying attention, which means OWS has created an exciting and positive direction. It has made inroads that now makes national news every night and the next step is to get people to speak out, show up and VOTE!

I am concerned about the

I am concerned about the anti-semitic fringe in this movement as seen in this video:http://www.committeeforisrael.com/

Or read Israel Today: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/News/tabid/178/nid/22978/language/en-US/Def...

Note: "They" is in reference

Note: "They" is in reference to what has been called the "1%".

Over time, "they" have figured out how to raid wealth funds constructed by large groups of people over many decades. George Carlin and many others have warned us that "they" were trying and that "they" would eventually find a way to do it. "They" did it and got away with it by capturing the political system which is why none of the con artists have gone to jail. Nothing has changed that will prevent what has happened from happening again. The crisis will happen again and right now, it looks like the spark will originate in Europe. Regardless of when it happens, this time, the 99% (really it's only about 80% as about 19% are most likely wanna-be good doggies on the side of the 1% looking for favoritisms) will be prepared and positioned to make their demands with a significant amount of threat to back it up. Still have a little ways to go though.

Watch "Inside Job" if you want all the gory details of what and how it happened complete with names of some of the culprits.

Courtesy the U.S. Supreme

Courtesy the U.S. Supreme Court, we want to welcome for-profit corporations into our human family! You have been out there in the cold too long, in a every-man-for-himself world in which life is mean, brutish. and short.

Here in our human family, you will find life much more comfortable and enriching. Centuries of experience has taught us that we are by nature social and cooperation is the secret of success. It was through cooperation with one another and with nature that we successfully colonized the whole world and may some day colonize space.

Now that you are part of the human family, we expect you to abandon the mindless greed that has dominated your previous life. For us, ethics centers on the welfare of one another (including other creatures of nature) and the relief of suffering. Like the rest of us, you can best seek your own interests in a joint effort that enhances the health of the planet.

If, like the rest of us, if you cannot live within these ethical beliefs and the standards of nations, you will feel the lash of our laws.

In the embrace of your fellow humans you will work out your destiny. We know there will be great stress as you adjust to your new life in human skin. It is called growing up. If you have questions about your life as an adult, we recommend you consult the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, jr. They they best guides to success and happiness in this human world.

Glad to have you aboard! Welcome!

Stop playing the shill

Stop playing the shill please.

Infinite growth is not

Infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet.

What's hilarious about it?

What's hilarious about it?

Frame the movement

Frame the movement George?
Seriously thank you.
Okay then Wall Street...frame this!

Let’s wake up America!

The 1% of Piratical Capitalists are strangling the other 99% of Americans and the rest of the world to death!

I’m sick and tired of the Democrats, the Republicans, the tea party, and the news media!
I’m sick and tired of listening to incessant political nonsense while we the people, are losing everything!

Are we supposed to remain passive while we lose our jobs, our homes, our families, our health, our savings, our future, and our lives!? Are we…really!?!?! Do you people out there want to let this happen!?

Are we just supposed to lie down and die?! Sure, the elite rich would love that wouldn’t they? If we’re dead, then we can’t cause any trouble. If we’re dead, then we can’t come after them!

We’ve been blind and passive way too long. We keep dancing around the real solution here, while the rich pay off our politicians and the courts to stay free and so they can repeatedly rape us!

No-way, it’s time we put a stop to this! They need a lesson here. Unfortunately, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Russian Revolution were necessary because the royals and elite rich just never did get it. They didn’t care that millions of people were being hurt or dying because of them.

We have that same exact international situation right here…right now. We’re not dead yet, and there are millions and millions of us around the world. And that, is OUR POWER!

People, we are in the midst of a Global Revolution! It’s happening now and it’s time we pulled these arrogant royals off of their thrones. Yes people...
IT'S TIME THIS GOT UGLY!

This is why.

THE NEW AMERICAN PIRATES, ARE KILLING AMERICANS.

This is not about glamorized or fictional piracy. This is, “real piracy.”

Hundreds of our wealthiest leaders and most powerful corporations know that in the next few years, they will be able to siphon, skim, and steal, so much “NEW CASH,” that they and their progeny will be ultra-rich for generations to come.

Welcome to the modern “Piratical Capitalism” movement. And, welcome to WAR!
No, this is not funny, or fiction, or a conspiracy, it is just simple greed and simple theft.
The new pirates of America have launched an all-out siege on us…the 99%, in order to capture, amass, and hold many trillions of dollars for themselves.

All of the recent political power grabs and nonsensical debating is purely a slight-of-hand deflection. President Obama, Democrats, Republicans, the International Press, and even the Tea Party, are watching the tiny pea in the shell game…while the rich and powerful “Piratical Right” is stealing America right out from under us.

Consider that their combined total plunder from corporate flipping, downsizing, offshore labor, speculation, price fixing of oil and energy plus, corruption in defense, health care, banking, student loans, foreclosures, etc., etc., is a trillion dollar treasure for these pirates.
Go ahead, put your own calculator to it.

Are they smarter than we are? Yes, and they are laughing at us. I, we, you, and all of us, have not been able see the big picture of what is happening to our own country and to our own people. The rape and theft of America, has been cleverly packaged, promoted, and sold under the guise of “cost-cutting,” “deregulation,” and “free enterprise.”

The “Piratical Right” is directly responsible for millions of people dying, getting sick, losing their jobs and homes, losing their ability to fight, their spirit, and even losing their will to live. The sick smell of this carnage now permeates the air across America.

To us, this is all unimaginable, because we look for some sense or the morality of things. These modern-day American pirates however, have no moral compass. They are devoid of any conscience, humanity or soul, and are feeding on the flesh of the American people.

Don’t look to the President, the Senate, Congress, the press, or any political party to help. Sadly, they just don’t see it, don’t care, or are part of it. “We the people” are on our own. Start asking questions. Demand answers. If we don’t fight back America…who will!?

History has taught us how to stop piracy!

George's advise either went

George's advise either went over your head or you are a shill.

Thank you. You've framed

Thank you. You've framed this beautifully.

Oust the Republicrat

Oust the Republicrat Junta!The basis of the problem is that the Corporations only have spread their bribe money in two places - both of which institute the exact same policies. Moreover, the Republicrats have abrogated EVERY paragraph of our constitution, and are therefore NOT the legitimate government of the US, but rather, criminal usurpers thereof. Both parties must be outlawed, and their members tried for treason.http://RepublicratJunta.com

One thing is missing here -

One thing is missing here - the disproportionate influence that corporations have in our election process. Corporations only care about profits - it's what they were designed to do. They are manipulating our government for their own highest profits, at the expense of the health and welfare of people. They don't have to show their expenditures, and Congress doesn't have accountabilty for its votes. It's legalized bribery.

VERY articulate. In the same

VERY articulate. In the same vein, I saw a commenter saying the Occupants were Marxists, Socialists, etc., saying they wanted to destroy Capitalism. Another responded by saying something like, "No, corporations are destroying Capitalism by looting the staterooms after they ran the ship into an iceberg. Politicians are trying to bail it out. The protestors are trying to right the ship of Capitalism." Amen.

I completely agree with

I completely agree with Lakoff when it comes to Occupy Elections. We need to vote for candidates who share our moral views. Currently, the vast majority of Democratic Candidates hold these values. I think we need to have candidates who speak about the moral mission of government: that government's moral mission is to protect and empower the people. No one is free who is blocked from achieving their full potential by the concentration of wealth to the top 1%.Occupy Wall Street is a patriotic effort to set America on a course of shared responsibility for a stronger America.

Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories

comments powered by Disqus

NationofChange works to educate, inform, and fight power with people, corruption with community.

If you would like to stay up to date with the best in independent, filter-free journalism, updates on upcoming events to attend, and more, enter your email below:

7 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Support NationofChange

Our readers often tell us why they’ve decided to step up and become supporters. Here are some of the top reasons people are giving.

1. You’re keeping independent journalism alive
The corporate owned media has proven that it can’t be trusted. In a media landscape wrought with spin and corruption, NationofChange stands in very scarce company.

2. You’re sticking it to the rich, powerful, and corrupt
When you have money in this country you can get away with damn near anything, and they do. NationofChange isn’t afraid to expose these criminals no matter how powerful they are.

3. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible
NationofChange is a 501(c)3 charity. People tend to assume that many other organizations are (most nonprofits are NOT) but it’s that 501(c)3 status is a bit more rare than you think.

Read the rest...