Published on October 18th, 2011 | by Beth Buczynski1
What Occupy Wall Street Can Learn From The Slow Money Movement
The Occupy Wall Street movement turned one month old yesterday. Despite the exponential growth of this international protest, there are some who still say that the action is doomed because it doesn’t have a leader or a succinct list of demands.
Personally, I love the fact that #OWS has resisted pressure from the media and political critics, and allowed the movement to remain as inclusive as possible. What’s most important right now is that Occupy Wall Street participants continue spreading the word and the message of the 99% in all its forms. Over the weekend there were 1,500 protests in 82 countries, but the numbers need to be bigger–especially in the United States–if the Government and the 1% are going to start taking the movement seriously.
Assuming that protests continue growing both in size and number, there will come a time when they will take the movement seriously. And in that moment, Occupy Wall Street better be ready to clearly articulate what it wants–from the Man and from itself.
I don’t presume to know what’s best for the thousands of disenfranchised people now sleeping in parks and plazas all around the country (or the millions that wish they could join them), but in researching principles of the Slow Money Movement, I found ideas that definitely overlap.
Basically, the Slow Money Alliance is an organization for those who are tired of watching banks invest millions of tax-payer dollars into companies and politicians that work for profit rather than “We the People.” Sounds familiar, right?
Slow Money focuses a lot on investing money into sustainable food systems and communities, which has become a common rallying cry in the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric lately.
Here are some more Slow Money principles that I think might serve well as a framework for creating a workable, practical list of goals for Occupy Wall Street:
I. We must bring money back down to earth.
II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down — not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.
III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.
V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living.
The best thing about incorporating Slow Money principles into the Occupy Wall Street list of demands is that it provides a way for those with disposable income to get involved and catalyze change. Occupy Wall Street is more inclusive than you might think, but other than carrying a sign that says “Tax Me” and donating to progressive causes, it can be hard for the upper classes to see how they can get involved.
One of the main missions of Slow Money is connecting slow food entrepreneurs and investors from across the country, as well as incubating intermediaries and investment products offer ways for investors to begin slowing their money down.
What do you think?
Do the principles of Slow Money and Occupy Wall Street align? How can these two movements work together to bring about food and financial systems that are people-centered?
Share your ideas in a comment!
Image Credit: Snail on Money via Shutterstock