If money is one of the one forces that unites us all – people, corporations, and governments – how would money express a world of equality?
Money, in its current expression, creates extremes like war and peace, riches and poverty. Perhaps the current protests in Hong Kong signify that as a population is given the privilege of money – seen in its infrastructure and quality of life – people will naturally expect something more, more than living comfortably by ourselves at home, a community that expresses and shares forms of equality. The social experiment being drawn in Hong Kong with Occupy Central clearly shows a want for something more, without a clear plan of how to obtain that something more as a society.
In simplicity, we do something that is low risk and does not incur costs or prices or consequences in our minds. Sit on a government (or society?) owned piece of land of roads. This pattern of expressing single goals with inconsequential actions concurs with other trends repeating this same pattern = the ALS ice bucket challenge, Earth day, turn-off-air-conditioning day in Hong Kong. With the example of Hong Kong’s protest by sitting on the streets, at once we see how we are already so interconnected with each other without realizing it. Our transportation, waste disposal, consumption, changes.
It has been proven an effective way to bring attention of *something* to an entire population in a country. But here are my thoughts about how to obtain that something. Call it freedom, democracy, equality.
What we have already obtained of inequality, social classes, and an elite-run government/policies is with money. With each purchase we make for various products we support the corporation/business behind it, which in some cases creates one with political influence through money. We know this – we purchase products from organizations we support to support them further by giving them capital. Causes we do not support or support sufficiently suffer in proportion. The Community Chest in Hong Kong – an organization that attempts to give a living way, a living wage to those systemically trapped in poverty – comes to mind as an organization with not enough resources/support from us to fulfill its aim (eradicate the lower class), which would change our social, financial class situation from unequal to something more resembling of an equal society.
Could we create another such an organization to rally everyone to a single goal (McDonalds does this artfully – rally everyone to an equal understanding of their product launches), through an equal understanding, such as the equal understanding brought about through Occupy Central, that miraculously yet simply directed a good proportion of the population to do one thing? At the moment we are rallied by an oligarchy of organizations through consumerism to a single goal of prosperity. How would we rally ourselves with our money, as effectively as the oligarchy of corporations, to demand things like democracy, as money is also the power giving corporations such weight and power in the political arena?
The way I see democracy, even if Hong Kong changed into a shining example of democracy like in USA, there is not true democracy with corporations dictating policy. The money flows do not reflect that of a democracy, they reflect that of a corporation-run society – one where policy is the exclusive place for corporate interests. Policy should be the inclusive place for all. Could we vote 1 dollar for each policy suggestion, and the one with the majority gets the pooled-up money as its capital to implement that policy, with the money from the other minority votes? I wonder how money should flow in a democracy.
Whatever happens, one thing is clear: money is the omnipresent force that gives its recipient power individually – as I, me – and collectively – as a business, corporation. So what we do should be an expression through our patterns of consumption. We really should be giving some weight to our opinions by giving them money, similar to how we willingly give money for the latest phone, various products – which give weight to the corporations behind them.
EDIT (04/12/2014: USA is an example of how democracy is not true democracy with the money and power still in the hands of corporations, maybe more so than in Hong Kong where the government decides/dictates in various ways, like how the policy for $2 wage for elderly people over 65 for all public transport)