Giving Thanks for the Collective, Loving Work to Save the World
by David Swanson
I’m thankful that a growing number of us reject the idea of a mysterious being to which we should be thankful, and for the concomitant growing assumption of responsibility for our own fate.
I’m thankful for the best family I can imagine. Scratch that. I’m thankful for a better family than I could merely imagine.
I’m thankful too for better employers than I could merely imagine.
I’m thankful that so many other people have families and friends and allies and bosses and colleagues that facilitate work that benefits us all.
I’m thankful to those who are alone and find the strength to push on productively.
I’m thankful that when friends and allies disagree they can reconcile.
I’m thankful that when activists burn out they can revive.
I’m thankful that there is finally a movement alive in the United States — in much of the world this is not new — a movement that uses all the tools of nonviolence; a movement that refuses to be subsumed by a political party, an elected official, a candidate, or any organization that itself obeys any of those things; a movement that does not separate domestic from foreign issues; a movement that does not self-censor, pre-compromise, condescend, appeal to the lowest common denominator, insult our intelligence, or avoid morality or intellectualism; a movement that has — contrary to a common misunderstanding present even within the movement — made such clear and popular demands that hostile media coverage has thus far failed to demonize it; a movement that continually surprises us all with its collective brilliance, innovation, integrity, courage, nonviolence, and — that rarest of characteristics — belief in democracy, belief even in something better than the ordinary understanding of democracy.
I’m thankful to the corporate television networks, without which nothing. They have given us a movement despite themselves. Soon may they perish.
I’m thankful to Officer Anthony Bologna, and to Mayor Bloomberg and all the tin pot robber barons exposing so colorfully the violence through which wealth and power are concentrated.
I’m thankful that what does not kill us makes us stronger, and that our mayors and chiefs of police do not know this.
I’m thankful to the climate destroyers for the grotesquely warm weather that is making resistance to the destroyers of our climate a little easier so far.
I’m thankful to those producing the new art and music of this moment and this movement.
I’m thankful for the impending failure of the Superconjob and the likely-as-not bumping of further attacks on our retirement and health security until after another election which will also mean bumping it off until after the fine weather of the spring and a massive national occupation of Washington.
I’m thankful to the mic-checking birddoggers of war criminals and pirates and booktouring banksters who have led to a trend of canceled speaking events.
I’m thankful to everyone who voted the right way in lots of referenda around the country this month.
I’m thankful to states pulling out of mortgage fraud settlement fraud.
I’m thankful to Obama for at least pretending to turn against the tar sands pipeline. I’m thankful to those unsatisfied who are wisely striving to increase rather than withdraw pressure.
I’m thankful to those supporting the Occupy Movement in every way.
Most of all, I’m thankful to those occupying public space, many at serious sacrifice to themselves, their lives, their relationships, their well-being, their wealth, and their liberty.
I’m thankful to those who have worked for this moment for many years without relenting who are now a part of it.
I’m thankful to those who are for the first time joining in.
I’m thankful to the homeless turned activist.
I’m thankful to the activists turned allies and assistants of the homeless.
I’m thankful to those police officers who have begun to refuse illegal orders.
I’m thankful to those journalists who refuse unconscionable scripts and restrictions.
I’m thankful to veterans who campaign against war.
I’m thankful to the propagandists for war on Iran for being so stunningly incompetent.
I’m thankful to the Congress for having put initial minor cuts to the military on the agenda despite its every effort.
I’m thankful to those managing to deal lovingly this holiday season with those closest to them, without retreating into the false comfort of private life but, on the contrary, working collectively — and also here, lovingly — for the salvation of our society and our natural environment.
Only we can save ourselves, and only together do we have a chance of pulling it off.
David Swanson is the author of War Is A Lie (from which this piece is excerpted) and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. He blogs at davidswanson.org and warisacrime.org, where this article originally appeared.