#OccupyEducated Primer Reading List: The Essentials

This is an emergency response to the destruction of the library at Occupy Wall Street, a clear attempt to destroy the education of passionate people who are tired of living in a deeply flawed system.  Razing libraries and burning books has historically failed every time; thiis will be the most colossal failure to repress education in history, because this time, the education will not be centralized.

Just as the library was a collection of donated books, OccupyEducated.org will be a place where you can have your say as to what books are important reading for understanding the occupation.  For pre-launch, here is a list brought to you by the Practical Change Working Group.

The only thing no one can ever take away from you is your education.

If you are curious about why Occupy Wall Street has turned into Occupy Everywhere, if you want a basic understanding of the problems in the system that make this stand necessary, we believe these are the books to start with, in no particular order.* The links go to a description, video, and ways to borrow or buy.

The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein
This book explores our species’s tendency to allow decisions to be made for us when shocked – a sense of desperate disorientation searching for whatever leadership comes first. This biological phenomenon has now been turned into a philosophy of obtaining and maintaining power over the masses. Find Out More…

Debt: The First 5000 Years – David Graeber
This book shows how living in a debt-based economy, with interest that can only be paid back by putting another person deeper into debt, is one of the larger roots of our problems. Find Out More…

The End of Growth – Richard Heinberg
As obvious as it may seem, though it rarely discussed on television, you can not sustain an growth-based economy on a finite planet. Our current system is entirely dependent on a growing economy, which requires infinite oil, infinite energy availability, infinite soil, infinite potable water… too bad there’s only so much oil, so much cheap energy, so much fertile soil and so much water that can keep this train charging. Find Out More…

In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
As the food supply grows, nutrient levels have dropped, leading Big Ag to genetically manipulate their crops in an attempt to protect them from new super pests they’ve created, and to keep their customers alive as the quality of the food is leaving the population undernourished. This book explores the history of “nutritionism” in the US, how corporations have bought your health, and how to get your family healthy again. Find Out More…

Griftopia – Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia argues that the story of the crisis is actually the result of a marriage between Washington and Wall Street, colluding to change market regulations so that money and power can be transferred to the .01% “grifter class”. Taibbi claims that people at all ends of the political spectrum are being bled dry by a tiny class of grifters who are all too willing to reward the powers who helped them rise to power. Find Out More…

Democracy Matters – Cornell West
West argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Find Out More…

Find the books at your local library, via WorldCat.org

These #ows primer books have been selected because they

  1. give a basic yet rarely-discussed understanding of the structural problems that need to change
  2. are often-requested books at the Occupy Wall Street Library
  3. are relatively objective, even though that complete objectivity is impossible, as trolls and certain media will profess

#Occupy has spread from Wall Street to the entire globe, and occupiers everywhere are proving that tools of the system cannot break a movement simply by tearing down a few tents and beating up your fellow 99% citizens. It’s time you empower yourself, occupy everywhere; stop your contributions to the system and move to fix it.

Many excellent, pertinent books will be added to the various more specialized lists, but we feel this is the minimum education to understanding the state of your current world.

*These primer books, of course, do not represent all there is to know, nor does it represent the opinion of 99% of the country or 99% of the movement; a six-book list can never reach this level of consensus, which is a good thing, as debate is vital. The content of the site is subject to change, based on your participation, so please start posting!

Know Any Great Books, Films, Videos, or Resources You Think Should Be Promoted?

Please post them in The Recommended Books & Films section of The Discussion Forums.

We are currently cataloging all recommendations posted in The Discussion Forums and in a few weeks we will present them all on the site so The Public can vote on, discuss, sort, and view by topic to easily find the highest ranked educational resources available! We will also be synthesizing these resources and working with various authors to create definitive, original, free educational material in the form of Articles, Videos, and Online Classes. See you in The Forums!