OWS or: What is the sound of 300 million hand signals?
OWS is not your new bicycle.
OWS is not a cute white killer bunny.
OWS is not a Christmas wish list.
It is a zen koan.
This seems like a point worth making, because people are getting confused. The issue at hand is not when to issue demands (if not now, … now?) nor how (with a smile or a menace) nor what demands to make.
This is not a negotiation.
A square is not a hostage.
Air time is not a concession.
And The People are not terrorists: they are the sovereign.
The occupation is a zen koan. A koan presented by the Ninety Nine to … occupy the One. It is a riddle without any particular right answer, but by One’s answer One shows whether or not One is on the way.
The young saffron-robed monk Timmy (or Timmeh for Coloradans) piped up first. “Handsignals must be deregulated, because high frequency hand-signals are good for liquidity”. Ah Timmy, you must meditate some more.
Then came the neophyte Barry, so full of promise. He understood the need to think things over and consider the big picture, as it were, to answer with obliquity:
“To look for hair on the back of a tortoise,
Or hunt for horns on the head of a rabbit,
Or seek redress for financial crimes,
All these things are futile, born of errant desire which is but suffering.”
Barry, you must think not just with your intellect and your financial backers in mind. The entire personality, mind and body, must be thrown into the solution. Only thus the solution shall you find.
Then the novice David o’ the Brooks, after day-and-night concentration, undergoing an increasing mental strain, thought he had unfolded the mystery and reproduced the state of consciousness of the Master:
“True enlightenment is cutting entitlement and freeing the entrepreneurial spirit from regulation and income taxes. Only thus will we be free of the suffering of deficits and market inefficiencies holding back growth.”
Young David, you show dedication to the task at hand, but you must move beyond the world of beltway budgetary illusion. Deficits in a liquidity trap are but fleeting figments of our imagination. Growth, efficiency, synergy, productivity, corporate profits, these things have no grip on reality when their fruits accrue to no one, but obtain merely as digital representations in a file folder in numbered Swiss accounts.
Then there was Orszag of the omb, who threw up his hands and responded, “There is no answer, no matter how many hands give the signal. Because greater than them all is the invisible hand signal that transfers income from labor to capital. It is thus, and always will be, as long as we don’t change the text books.”
Oh Orzag of the omb, despair not. Text books were made to be rewritten. And money need not always and only flow upwards.
And Koans were not made to be resolved in a day. It takes time and effort. And dear One, it is the Master’s role to ensure that the psychic tension induced by the Koan is neither too little nor too great. The Master cannot give you the answer, the Master is the questioner, and the sanzen – the process – will be arduous and unpleasant and surprising for the One. Since the Koan is impossible to explain – it is not a claim or a proposition, it is an understanding – the Master must resort to unusual practices to guide the student towards enlightenment, most notably through the innen – the incidents: the Master will be forced to tweak, shout, pummel the student with blows, or even cut off a finger or two. The innen, this variety of antics, are necessary in order to provide the final shock that releases the baffled mind caught in a state of psychic tension and lead to satori.
So dear One, persevere and ask not for our demands.
Our demands, like Truth, are both infinite and one.
(crossposted at kgblogz)