Chinese Activists and Academics in Support of Occupy Wall Street
message from Chinese activists and academics in support of Occupy Wall Street
This letter of solidarity, signed over by 50 intellectuals and activists in China, was posted to Utopia yesterday. Thanks to everyone for the translation and editing work!
From the middle of September, a great “Wall Street Revolution” has broken out in the United States. This street revolution, going by the name of “Occupy Wall Street,” has already expanded to over 70 cities and countries in North America, Europe, and other areas. In their statement on “The Wall Street Revolution,” the American people have sworn that this demand for “a democratic country, not a corporate kingdom” mass democratic revolution must spread to every part of the world, and they will not rest until this goal is met. From the anti-capitalist demonstrations that began after the 2008 financial crisis, and which this year have spread across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South America, this magnificent global mass democratic movement has finally spread to the center of capitalism’s financial empire–Wall Street.
The eruption of the “Wall Street Revolution” is an historical indicator that the popular democratic revolution that will soon sweep the world is set to begin. It is an especially significant and important event for this movement. Before this most recent action, street protests had virtually been exclusively used as a tool by US elite groups to subvert other countries. Now, however, the “Wall Street Revolution” – with its goals of shared prosperity and popular democracy – has launched protests in the country that is the self-proclaimed defender of democracy. This will inevitably strike a hard blow against the US elite group, itself responsible for the plunder and oppression of people all over the world, and the group that pushed the world into crisis and instability. The protests ring the death knell of the rule of capital. Popular democracy will replace elite democracy in the 21st Century, and the curtain has lifted on the movement from elite politics to popular politics. Using the language of the “Wall Street Revolution,” this is a struggle of the popular 99% against the corrupt 1%, a struggle of the popular 99% against the elite 1%,and is the final struggle of the popular forces against elite capitalist rule.
The world belongs to all of the people of the world. Countries belong to the entire people of those countries. Even moreso, wealth is produced by the entire people, and therefore should be shared by the entire people, it cannot be monopolized by the 1% – or even less than 1% – that is made up of an extremely small number of elites. The demand for common prosperity in economics, and popular democracy in politics has become an unstoppable historical trend! The rapid expansion of a fictitious economy and the massive flow of social wealth has created an amply reliable material foundation for the realization of the common wealth of all people. The development of internet technology and political civilization has created the conditions for human society to make the transition from capitalist democracy to popular democracy. Human society is fully capable of transforming, on the foundation of the past democracy of slaveholders, the democracy of feudal lords, and the democracy of the capitalist class, to make the fundamental shift from the democracy of the elites to real popular democracy. Common prosperity and popular democracy will become the main content of the historical transformation of the 21stCentury. No matter how brutally the American riot police will attempt to suppress the participants in the Wall Street revolution, no matter how much the global elites – especially those in the U.S. and China –try to suppress news of the Wall Street revolution, they cannot stop the vigorous growth and ultimate victory of the democratic revolution of the people of the world.
The violent repression and virtual blockade of news about the “Wall Street Revolution” by elite groups led by the US proves that the fate of oppressed people around the world is the same, regardless of whether they are from developed or developing countries, whether they are from so-called democracies or authoritarian countries. The international elite was the first class to link-up internationally via globalization. Their plunder of public wealth and repression of popular democratic movements is cruel and far-reaching, and utterly lacking in freedom and democracy. So-called freedom and democracy in modern society is nothing more than democracy for capitalism, an elite democracy. Freedom is another word for the elite to plunder, oppress and violently suppress others. Popular forces have been completely excluded from the freedoms and democracy of modern society, and the extent of democratic rights is to choose between presidential candidates that have already been vetted by capital. You can vote once every four years, but you have no way of affecting the people above you who directly determine your fate: your boss or superior. And there is no way of constraining the capitalistoligarchs who can take away the wealth of the majority of the population with the slight of hand of fictitious capital. Freedom and democracy have become a virtual game, nothing more than a tool to subvert other countries. Now the popular and democratic world revolution – symbolized by the “Wall Street Revolution”- demands an end to this political game, and that freedom and democracy be returned to the people. Democracy is not just a check on the president, but a check on government officials; democracy is not just a check on power, but a check on capital. If the rights and privileges of feudal and absolute rulers are understood to be a sin and abomination, then giving those rights to capital is also a travesty.
Securities and computer networks should have been two crucial elements of our shift from an industrial society to an information society, from a material economy to a virtual economy, from capitalism to a human-centered economic system, and from elite politics to popular politics. But the elite class has turned securities into a tool of appropriation akin to the ‘indulgences’ issued by middle-age church functionaries in Europe. In the new securitized economy, all the public’s wealth can easily melt into thin air – including their houses, wages, labor power and even their hope for the future. All these things have become the targets of appropriation by a tiny elite minority. Both the white-collar middle classes in developed countries – owners of fictitious property, and the blue-collar workers in developing countries who cannot afford housing or health care, belong in point of fact to the same class: modern proletariat. When the people protest the unprecedented plunder and vast income gap perpetrated by fictitious capital, they are met with violent repression – both in so-called democracy countries that claim to be defenders of human rights such as the US, and in authoritarian countries that are said to lack freedom and democracy. Faced with street protests erupting from the Balkans to North Africa, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have repeated over and over, “The rights of peaceful protest and the occupation of public space should be respected at all times.” Yet when US citizens attempt to exercise this right they immediately are faced with violent repression by armed police, and a blockade by the news media. If this is reaction of the US – the self-proclaimed leader in human rights – then we can imagine what the reaction will be in other capitalist countries. Rule by the capitalist elite is just as described by the “Wall Street Revolution” – everywhere. There is nowhere left were we can live and die as people.
The eruption of the “Wall Street Revolution” in the heart of the world’s financial empire shows that 99% of the world’s people remain exploited and oppressed – regardless of whether they are from developed or developing countries. People throughout the world see their wealth being plundered, and their rights being taken away. Economic polarization is now a common threat to all of us. The conflict between popular and elite rule is also found in all countries. Now, however, the popular democratic revolution meets repression not just from its own ruling class, but also from the world elite that has formed through globalization. The “Wall Street Revolution” has met with repression from US police, but also suffers from a media blackout organized by the Chinese elite.
The same fate, the same pain, the same problems, the same conflict. Faced with a common enemy in an elite global class that has already linked-up, the people of the world have only one option: to unite and in a unified and shared struggle overturn the rule of the capitalist elite, to ensure that everyone enjoys the basic human rights of work, housing, health care, education, and a secure old-age. But we must go further if we are to realize shared prosperity and popular democracy in a new socialist world historical framework, If we are to fully escape and neutralize the crises and disasters that capitalism has brought the human race, and realize harmonious social development.
The great “Wall Street Revolution” and the great popular “Chilean Winter” that preceded it signal that the day when we realize shared prosperity and popular democracy is approaching. It signals that worldwide popular and democratic socialist movement – dormant since the 1970s – is waking up again. But this time, it will be the final battle to put capitalism in its grave. The victory of popular democracy and death of elite rule are inevitable! The embers of revolt are scattered amongst us all, waiting to burn with the slightest breeze. The great era of popular democracy, set to change history, has arrived again!
Resolutely support the American people in the “Wall Street Revolution”!
Resolutely support all street protests pushing for shared prosperity and popular demoracy!
Long live the “Wall Street Revolution”!
Long live the global movement for popular democracy!