Monday, February 13, 2012

Are the 99% and the Commoners the Same?

It seem that what the 99% are working for is to try to take back our rights to the time of the Commons, which are the parks, housing, jobs, living wages and social safety nets – all things that the 99% have in common. This is not a new idea.

Nature’s gifts have been the Commons’ property since the beginning. Thomas Paine declared that these gifts were the property of the human race and the land ordinance of the 1785 drafted by a committee of the Continental Congress that included Thomas Jefferson. They established a cooperative model for settlement of the West by setting aside one-square mile in every township as a Common property to be used to support a public school.

The New Deal gave us Social Security; the GI Bill was also our Commons. We, the 99%, Commoners are now under attack and we, at this time, are being denied our basic needs of food, housing, healthcare, daycare, education, transportation, job training, paid vacation, old age benefits and common dignity in our lives.

Also, in looking back in history this has been a struggle forever. The old IWW Wobblies fought for free speech and the right to assemble in towns. They were the Commoners, 99%. The unions got their inspiration from the Commoners and went on to get improvements in pensions, healthcare, good wages and safety laws.

These are Commons and they belong to all of us, even the 1%. It is what we all share, but the Commons are now under attack like never before. We need to understand what is at stake and what we are fighting for and what our rights are as 99%. Imagine what our world would be like with no healthcare, no Social Security, no pensions, no wage controls, no law, no firefighters, no parks, no libraries, no free schools, safe food, safe water, post office – all would be gone or privatized. Think about it.