“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
We are thrilled that you have arrived at the last chapter of Occupy Finance, but we are somewhat concerned that you, like us, might be suffering from “well-informed futility syndrome”. We learned about this syndrome from Sandra Steingraber on Moyers and Company. Her response to this is as follows:
“I try to take well-informed futility as my starting point and let people know that there is a way out of this. But because we can’t — I can’t honestly tell you that the problem is less bad than it is — the response has to be that we scale up our actions. So the problem is huge. And so our actions have to be huge as well.”
Huge actions can be composed of millions of small actions, but rather than a small group, we need a large one. We need you! Small actions can not only have an effect on their own, but, more importantly, they inspire others to take action. This book is one of our small actions — not enough, but a step in the right direction.
We in the Occupy Wall Street Alternative Banking Group — the authors of this book — believe that change is possible but that it will not come from within the system. We have been told this by people who were themselves within the system, like Sheila Bair of the FDIC and Neil Barofsky, former prosecutor and head of the Federal government office in charge of monitoring bailout funds. Much to our surprise, when they spoke to us at meetings of the Alternative Banking Group, they looked to us as the agents of redress and renewal! We recognize that many people across the political spectrum share our outrage. We are not alone in thinking that our current form of crony capitalism is corrupt and failing. There is even agreement on many of the specific issues like “Too-big-to-fail” banks.
Because our outrage is shared and our cause is just, we are confident that we will ultimately succeed. Though we recognize that fundamental reform will, of necessity, take years, we know it is imperative to start now. The financial system will only change if we change it. If not us, who? If not now, when?
We meet every Sunday from 3-5pm at Columbia University.
International Affairs Building, 420 W118th Street, Room 409
Email Alt.Banking.OWS (at) gmail (dot) com to join our mailing list.
“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”