People have been asking for a transcript of the little speech I gave at Occupy Wall Street on Wenesday November 9. It amounts to a one-page summary of my book Life Inc. (In other words, if you wonder how any of this could be true, read the book for the full story and documentation. I won’t argue it out here.)
My name is Douglas Rushkoff
I am humbled and honored to be amplified by your voices.
You are not fighting against people, but against a machine.
It was put in place over 500 years ago.
By a wealthy elite – trying to repress a booming peer to peer economy.
Those people are all dead, but their program lives on.
They invented an operating system called central currency.
People who used to trade directly,
were now forced to borrow money from the king’s bank.
The elite also invented software for that operating system.
It was called the chartered monopoly. Today we call it the corporation.
It is a program designed to extract value.
It has legal monopoly over its industries.
We are legally prohibited from creating and exchanging value
unless we do it through the corporation.
We cannot work unless we have a “job.”
We outsource our work, we outsource our savings, we outsource our borrowing, we outsource our investing – all instead of sourcing one another.
This 13th Century, printing-press era operating system
is incompatible with a 21st Century economy.
It is broken and dying. But it is still occupying our reality.
Too many are mistaking this operating system – for the way things are.
They see the Occupy Movement as the impediment.
We are not asking for wealth to be redistributed.
We are asking for the redistribution to STOP.
The Long Extraction is Over.
The peer to peer society is back.
We are ready to create and exchange value as people.
They say that the Occupy Movement has no leadership.
They are wrong.
You are the leaders
The rest of us are your followers.
What you do here – shows what we can do out there.
You are the classroom – we are the students
You are the experiment – we are the results.
You are the proposition – we are the resolution.
If you can sleep under tarps
the rest of us can tell your story to our children at bedtime
If you can resist the cops.
The rest of us can resist the market and the mall
If you can live on shared food
The rest of us can buy and grow local crops
If you can live with no money
The rest of us can start using alternative currencies
If you can stand firm in the streets
The rest of us can stand firm in our foreclosed homes
and stand with our neighbors in theirs.
If you can occupy Zucotti Park
The rest of us can occupy reality.
And by that same logic:
As the nights get colder,
as the Mayor grows less tolerant,
or as the police get more violent,
Remember that you have already won.
Whatever happens in this square,
the day you leave is not the day you have lost
it is not the day you have surrendered.
It is the day you have spread out.
It is the day you have declared a bigger battlefield.
It is the day you teachers and we students become the same.
It is the day we Occupy the World.