Members of Tent City University
November 5, 2011
The Occupy Movement has already changed the debate. Whereas previously systems such as capitalism or two-party democracy were taken as unquestioned “goods”, now the very essence of our political-economy is up for mainstream discussion. In many ways, this was precisely our goal.
For too long, neoliberal doctrine reigned unchallenged. Success or failure were seen as solely the responsibility of the individual; state regulation constructed as a hindrance to be curtailed and reduced to a minimum; the unfettered ‘market’ a wand that would always and everywhere optimise output and distribution. To publicly question these ideas was unthinkable. But no longer.
This is crucial; even in terms set by the liberal-democratic establishment. Few would deny the importance of free flows of information to a well functioning democracy. Yet under neoliberalism, precisely those flows were impeded, as public media became concentrated in the hands of a very wealthy few and universities found their funding slashed. Dominant ideologies were consequently re-hashed and the space for alternatives was closed. We are redressing that balance.
And we’re not stopping there. If we really want to engage the 99% and shake up the system we see as unjust, un-democratic and unsustainable, we must keep moving forward, provoking thought and forcing debate. At Tent City University, Occupy London’s educational arm, we’re doing just that. Every day we host speakers ranging from world-renowned economists to mothers analysing the devastation that austerity has visited on their communities. Every day a few more people gather here and go home asking questions they previously wouldn’t have asked. Eyes are opening and the shackles of apathy are loosening.
This article was posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 10:23 am