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Occupy Wall Street and the 99% -- The Painful Process of Awakening a Citizenry

Posted: 01/11/12 07:53 AM ET

The "We are the 99%" movement is not just about a group of individuals reacting to a sense if inequity, marching to protest Wall Street greed or camping in city parks. This movement is the result of a change in human consciousness that has been slowly developing in the world. This awakened awareness and vision is empowering people to change the status quo in response to a feudalistic and tyrannical system that at this time in history is taking the form of corporate greed and power, and governmental totalitarianism.

This shift in awareness expresses itself as a deeper democratic understanding similar in nature to the change in perspective that occurred during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. This deeper democratic understanding is still about gaining freedom from oppressive structures--but rather than being just a local change in consciousness, this shift is global and expresses itself differently in other parts of the world. Today, the issue in the US is corporate dictatorship, while the expression of the same thing in the Arab world is governmental dictatorship --both oppressive structures that serve to eliminate the power of the people.

Historically, times of change in human consciousness--when we re-evaluate the rights and responsibilities that we as people and as nations have to one another--have been complex periods when our core values are tested. This is such a moment in time.

I recall when my country of birth, Argentina, went through a shift in consciousness in the late 70's. I spent most of my youth living in a blurred reality imposed by a military government that maintained power by deceiving the population. The leaders filled our heads with lies and their pockets with the dollars they received from the US government. To make a long story short, the government in my country entered into years of war, first fought to free us from large numbers of supposed radicals (whose numbers turned out later to be minimal) and later, when people started to awaken to the truth of what was really going on, rallied our support by invading the Falkland Islands to give them an independence from Britain they never sought.

The awakening experienced by most Argentineans was sudden and brutal. We had been deceived. Some in power had been covering up the truth, molding and poisoning our minds with lies and manipulations, which included making us believe that questioning government actions was antipatriotic. These same people enriched themselves and left my country with one of the highest unaccounted for economic debts the world had known at the time. The media was also complicit -- keeping the lies alive purposely, unknowingly or by force. Thousands of people died and thousands of hearts were broken.

It was not the first time that the citizenry had been lied to and manipulated. But it was the first time the majority of the people saw it happening.

Loss of trust in the government, the institutions, the leaders, and each other grew and spread quickly. A veil had been removed, awakening the masses and bringing down many of the beliefs we had held as true. It was deeply painful, but our eyes opened.

So the moment I heard Bush speak about Iraq, I knew where it was going.
In many ways, it was as if I were watching a movie for the second time. The similarities were astounding -- there was the search for something that did not exist and then a changing of direction by trying to liberate a country no one had asked us to liberate. This situation in the US as in Argentina also included the questioning of patriotism of those who opposed the government's actions, and the role the media played in covering the truth--either by lack of investigation, fear, or choice. It was truly history repeating itself.

In this country a particular group within the media, became the voice of deceit, spewing misinformation and one-sided news, distorting reality and fogging our view. And while many recognized the beast of deception from the start, a good portion of the population only began to realize years later that they had been cheated; deceivers had impaired their vision.

Many Americans awoke to the reality of a country different to the one they thought they knew, one where their government was capable of manipulating the truth, where some in power were corrupted and bluntly corruptible. The result was thousands of wounded and dead American soldiers and an unaccounted for war debt of $1,000,000,000,000. Large numbers of Americans woke up to the realization that they had been trusting...and that their trust had been abused.

Distrust of the government, the institutions, our leaders, and of each other began to grow.... we are still in the process of uncovering truths and determining who to trust.

This was not the first time that some in power had manipulated our reality, but for some reason this time a majority of Americans saw it clearly.

Seeing a new reality is like seeing a new landscape. From the distance we have a general perspective of the site, but as we get closer, specifics come to light. The closer we get, the more we see. Becoming conscious is often painful.

In my country of birth, the chaos that arose from the people's sudden loss of innocence and sense of having been betrayed led to social unrest and disenchantment. The rule of law lost power and credibility because most people believed and continue to believe, that their leaders are corruptible and for sale. Recovery from this has been an up and down, ongoing process.


In the US, we have been walking a similar path of mass-discovery we have been awakened to "seeing" more clearly corporate power and greed. This willingness to see and act on what we see, has taken the form of the 99% movement.

There are forces trying hard to put us back to sleep. If those forces manage to turn us against each other, an opportunity may have been lost. However, there is hope that they won't be able to stop the process of awakening that has started and has taken root in the soul of our country. There is hope that the blindfold has fallen from our eyes now because we are mature enough to see and take responsibility for what we see. If that is so, there is no going back.