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Occupy Democracy + Get Up, Stand Up

Program #WESC005-MOOM004.

First Program: Cornel West - Occupy Democracy 

When language has been mutilated and drained of meaning how are we to understand democracy? Its mere invocation by politicians and their media echoers generates a chorus of hosannas. The reality is different. Democracy has been reduced to elections, awash in money, where there are marginal choices. Sometimes the candidates are so bad one can say: Pick your poison: cyanide or arsenic. The Great Recession has shaken things up. From the cradle of democracy: Greece, to the self-proclaimed beacon of it today: the U.S., people are asking fundamental questions. Democracy has been off-stage and in the wings for decades as corporations, enabled by political elites, have amassed unprecedented power. During elections democracy is trotted out to center stage and then disappears behind the curtains again. That could be changing. The Occupy movement is rocking the comfort zone of the 1%. 

Second Program: Michael Moore - Get Up, Stand Up

Bob Marley sang this song,

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights

Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight

You can fool some people sometimes

But you couldn't fool all the people all the time

And now you see the light, stand up for your right.

The Occupy movement is the most dynamic and extraordinary political development in decades. It may be the catalyst to effect fundamental change. Inspired by a call in the Canadian magazine “Adbusters,” citizens fed up with the abuses of the system went to Wall Street and pitched their tents and unrolled their sleeping bags. That small act proved to be the spark that launched a leaderless movement with people of various political tendencies brought together by anger at the inequities of capitalism and the politicians who sustain it.


Cornel West

Cornel West has taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale and the University of Paris. He is now teaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He has been called "the preeminent African American intellectual of his generation." With his preacher-like cadences and passionate delivery, he is much in demand as a speaker. Among his many books are Race Matters, The Rich and the Rest of Us and Black Prophetic Fire.

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