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Forum Post: Damn, this is a HUGE DISCOVERY that has shaken so many people awake -- SO, WHAT WOKE YOU UP?

Posted 5 years ago on Dec. 2, 2012, 7:54 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Underdog on this forum lamented how man people "relentlessly advocate rugged John Wayne individualism as some sacred cow of ideology, as if testosterone were the only basis for survival." He called that "delusional" and suggested that "our problems are now so great that they can only be solved. . . through deep cooperation. Rugged individualism is a concept for simpler and more primitive times."

I think this discovery of the power of a community perspective is a crucial understanding. If more people understood this in their bones and used it as a template for problem solving (no matter what the front), we'd be in a great position to beat back so many of the challenges that are preventing us humans from reaching our potential. Even out of blind patriotism, this would be the arrest course of action for Americans.

So how to we get this word to sink in? We all have a story of how we discovered this truth. Read the quotes at the bottom of this by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dostoevsky and they may remind you of what originally shook you from your from the individualistic slumber most of us were born into.

* If you are so inclined, please share a sentence or two about what woke you up. I'd like to ask a lot of people on this forum that question. Imagine what that example could do to awaken others. *

My short version is this: I read James Baldwin's book "Another Country". I was never the same after that. I looked at the world with new eyes. It confirmed / uncovered experiences and intuitions whose significance had apparently laid dormant for years.

This doesn't mean the book did it, of course. But it does mean that this book turned a key to unlock a whole different perspective. Reading King and Gandhi soon after that sealed the deal. It felt natural and familiar ---- meaning that it felt human. So, by the time I got the the paragraphs above in Dostevsky's "Brothers Karamazov", I was sort of nodding my head.

I'm not suggesting books are the vehicle of awakening for all. That was just my experience. What was yours? What woke you up from the dream of blind faith to individualism / mindless sleepwalking in consumerism? Most of us were born into that world and something shook us awake to the deeper potential of further fulfilling ourselves in community with others.

I love Martin King, Jr's quote: I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. All of us are inextricably linked."

And this quote from Dostoevsky really gets at it and speaks to us today:

"Today, everyone asserts his own personality and strives to live a full life as an individual. But these efforts lead not to a full life but to suicide, because instead of realizing his personality, man only slips into total isolation. For in our age, man has been broken up into self-contained individuals, each of whom retreats into his lair, trying to stay away from the rest, hiding himself and his belongings from the rest of mankind, and finally isolating himself from people and people from him.

And while he accumulates material wealth in his isolation, he thinks with satisfaction how mighty and secure he has become, because he is mad and cannot see that the more goods he accumulates, the deeper he sinks into suicidal impotence. The reason for this is that he has become accustomed to relying only on himself; he has split off from the whole and become an isolated unit; he has trained his soul not to rely on human help, not to believe in man and mankind, and only to worry that the wealth and privileges he has accumulated may get lost.

Everywhere men today are turning scornfully away from the truth that the security of the individual cannot be achieved by his isolated efforts but only by mankind as a whole.

BUT AN END to this fearful isolation is bound to come and all men will understand how unnatural it was for them to have isolated themselves from one another. This will be the spirit of the new era and people will look in amazement at the past when they sat in darkness and refused to see the light. . . . . . Until that day, we must keep hope alive, and now and then a man must set an example, even if only an isolated one, by trying to lift his soul out of its isolation and offering it up in an act of brotherly communion, even if he is taken for one of God's fools.

This is necessary to keep the great idea alive."

What a great discovery. We need to uncover ways to spread that wisdom of a community perspective. It has so many real benefits for us as individuals. And it doesn't preclude us also fulfilling ourselves individually. It's not "either or". It's "both and". What a great and transformative discovery this is for us as individuals and for us as Americans and citizens of the world.

* If you are so inclined, please share a sentence or two about what woke you up to the power of community. I'd like to ask a lot of people on this forum that question. Imagine what that example could do to awaken others. *



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[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22858) 5 years ago

The ills of our society has been evident to me since I was a small child. I always found fairness, ethics and how human beings treat one another of great interest and have always been a humanitarian first and foremost. But, I did read Dostoyevsky, all of his novels, as a teenager and they certainly contributed to solidifying my views that humans must support one another, and that, to go it alone is unnatural. So, thank you for that wonderful excerpt from "The Brothers Karamazov."

Also, I totally agree with Underdog that America's ethos of rugged individualism is now killing us.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

So are there any methods you've found that work to help others awaken out of that dream of individualism (either individually or in groups)? Is this an "each one teach one" situation or can alternative media, direct nonviolent action or other circumstances or efforts do the trick on a larger scale?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22858) 5 years ago

I think we need a multi-faceted effort here to bring about sweeping societal change. Shifting the ethos of the nation from being a fear-based one, and, hence, individualized, to a love-based one, and therefore, community oriented, is a huge undertaking that won't happen overnight.

Education and getting the word out is key. Getting people to even begin to think along these lines is huge and I think we have done that in the last year.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

That's true. I'm just hopeful that the awakening that occurred beginning last fall can spread even further. Unfortunately on the education front, much of it is indoctrination instead of education. We as a society need to help our young people to think critically, to think for themselves. We both know quite well that is the last damn thing the 1% want. The jig would be up for them ruling over the othe 99%. If only we knew how much power we wield collectively :)

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22858) 5 years ago

Yes. I am not talking about education within the education system. I'm talking about getting the word out to all people that their lives can be better, that their society can be structured more fairly and with more meaning, that things can be very different.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

I'm all for that -- and I think you're right on target with suggesting shift away from fear based individualistic national ethos and towards a love based community. In that love based community, mutual benefits result from being part of a collective. That really sums it up.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22858) 5 years ago

Thanks, therising, for the kind words, and for all you do here on the forum.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3141) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 5 years ago

As we teach the power of love will grow among the next generation and the power will shift, as is happening here in WA war on drugs being reversed by people's votes, as has happened in recycling, Young people will vote in their career choices as young adults, what they think is important, and it is happening now.

Crosby and Nash appeared on Keith Olberman Show Nov 8 2011, after singing at Zucotti Park: The Park is theSpark, where they witnessed the voice of the people, putting themselves on the line. http://current.com/shows/countdown/videos/occupy-wall-street-david-crosby-and-graham-nash-perform-live-on-countdown-discuss-the-movement

Teach Your Children Well: Crosby Stills Nash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVaqZajq-I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The circle continues, as my early memories include attending events of the George McGovern Campaign. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/us/politics/george-mcgovern-a-democratic-presidential-nominee-and-liberal-stalwart-dies-at-90.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

That's a great way to look at it. Thanks for the video link. Will check it out.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33480) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Each one - Teach - one. I like it. This is also how I see it:

The "Thought" that we use and should continue expanding upon ( Teach one - one Teach ) - I see it expanded as Teach/Reach 1 to 1001 - 1 to 1001 Teach/Reach 1001 to 100100 or more. As this includes being able to communicate/reach/teach around the world over the internet.

Example In action of spreading knowledge to act upon : Awareness of existing alternatives to fossil fuel must be presented. This knowledge must spread and become part of the conversation. This will feed the demands for change.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

So how did Occupy movement get so big so fast last fall? Understanding that may help people who care to spread the message even further.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33480) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Word of mouth - that is how it keeps happening - one sharing with another - in a continuous cycle. This also includes word of internet - one sharing with all who see and those continuing the circulation/sharing - exponentially.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

I'm speechless!

This is new to you?

Better late than never, I guess.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22858) 5 years ago

What is new to me? Nothing I said in that comment is new to me. Speechless, good grief.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

I woke up in the 1980's when I saw the conservatives implement trickle down, bust unions, & create stagnant wages for the 99%.

When they further continued their destruction of the progressive movement by successfully labeling them weak on defense, peacenicks, drug adled hippies, tax & spend.

I woke up when that conservative attack pushed the dems to the right & to create the 'Dem Leadership council' (Clinron, Gore), A less liberal, more moderate, more right wing dem party.

I woke up then & started fighting then. We have made so little progress. But some. We've had so many setbacks but I can see success.

I am still awake and I have found in the lastyear that the awoken is growing! Occupy has arrived. There is no stopping us now!

The power of the people is vastly greater than the people in power.

Stay awake, Wake others up, Stay positive, Support all efforts and celebrate all victories, however small. Denounce all who stand with the1% against the 99%. Do not lose sight of the finish line. Keep your eyes on the prize.


[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Right on. It's cool to read how and when others woke up to the reality of our hijacked republic. It's also fascinating to see that there is a kind of love of country and humanity that is present in all these stories. People who are speaking out arent attacking our country. They're defending it.

Cheers to your vigilance and the vigilance of so many through the times when it seemed like no one was paying attention to this stuff. It's good to now realize what a huge percentage of the population feels the same way. Now we just need to tap into that more and spread the word even further.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

"So let it be written, So let it be done" YB

[-] -1 points by janus2 (-387) 5 years ago

yb spoke lines written for him by dorothy clark wilson,j.h. ingraham,a.e. southon,aeneas mackenzie,jessie lasky jr,jack gariss and frederic m. frank.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Rock n Roll.

[-] -2 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

I woke up one day during the Christmas season not having enough money to buy my wife a Christmas present. So, I sold my graduation ring to a person at Sears who was buying gold.

I told myself after that that I would never be broke again - and I never have.

And since that happened, I have always been satisfied and always content.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

I'm glad you found a way to rise above. That's admirable and I'm genuinely glad for you. But you do know of course that there's more to life than money. There's freedom too. And community. Both are important. You l Ike having neighbors and a nice town right? Schools and roads and bridges? A nice theater and farmers market? Churches and other houses of worship. Parks? Libraries? National defense? Food safety? Protections for safety in the work place? Courts and the rule of law? That all comes from community man!

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

What you fail to recognize is that it wasn't about money - it was recognizing that I will never let myself be put in that position again - being broke!.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

OK - I think that's great. Thanks for clarifying. But don't you want the same opportunity to be there for others? Are those opportunities systematically dwindling?

[-] -3 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

The opportunity is there for others - they just have to have a plan to succede. And no, opportunities are not dwindiling - people just don't have the knowledge and drive as to how to become successful.

[-] 4 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

The statistics imply otherwise. There are macro trends here and they show clearly that the game is rigged. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. The middle class is dwindling. Is that the middle class folks fault? http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-the-wealthy-really-fear-the-truth/ . Congress is in the pocket of corporations. The game is rigged. How long are you going to insist we all stand at this half assed back alley Atlantic City roulette table where the guy spinning the ball has a foot pedal allowing him to stop the spinning? How long would you play blackjack at a table where the cards are marked and only the dealer can read them?

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

Let me ask.

If you have one person who starts up a business and another person who works for a company, whom do you think will make the most money over their lifetime if both are successful?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Before I answer that question, I need to know your definition of successful. Because if successful to you is walled up in some gated community with a couple of Cadillacs in your cul de sac, then we're wasting our time discussing this. Real success is taking care of yourself but also taking care of others, being responsible to them too and better yet living in community with them. As soon as you so-called conservatives wake the fuck up and realize that only half a life can be had on your own, you'll be a lot happier and the rest of the country won't have to suffer from your delusion.

What is success Steve? I can't answer your question until you answer mine. I'm trying to get at the heart of this and you keep measuring life by what the computer screen says under the word "balance" when you punch in your account number. They're just blips on a screen in the end man. Blips on a screen.

It matters. It matters to take care of you and your own. I couldn't agree more. But why do you stop there? Why? Life could be so much larger if we unseated the hijackers and I rigged the game so we could live full lives and engage as citizens instead of frittering away this precious gift of life as consumers, consumers measuring our lives by what the blips on the screen say.

I believe measure of a person is what's in their heart. And that heart only grows whole when its goodness is shared, not hoarded.

Oddly enough, the Occupiers are the True conservatives here as Chris Hedges out it so well. It's the Occupiers that want to restore the rule of law and remove the radical corporatists who have hijacked our great republic.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

Did I make mention of anyone living in a gated community - I made an equal comparison - the only difference is one is working for a company and the other has started their own business.

Lets add a little more info to make it more realistic - both have a degree in business and accounting and neither have a job after graduating from college.

The only difference is - one decides to go down the path to work for a corporation and the other decides to go down the path to start up, manage and operate their own business.

Neither have a bank roll and each have to figure out what they need to do to become successful in their endevour and in the end both do.

So, with this additional info tell me - whom do you think will make more money over their lifetime if both are successful?

This question has nothing to do with being greedy just two people going in different directions to provide income for themselves so that they can retire in comfort according to their requirements.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Who cares? This has nothing to do with the original post. Seriously. You're ignoring the entire point and taking us off on some tangent. Please get to the heart of the matter.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

Sorry but it has all to do about the original post - when you stat in your post "And while he accumulates material wealth in his isolation, he thinks with satisfaction how mighty and secure he has become, because he is mad and cannot see that the more goods he accumulates, the deeper he sinks into suicidal impotence.

The reason for this is that he has become accustomed to relying only on himself; he has split off from the whole and become an isolated unit; he has trained his soul not to rely on human help, not to believe in man and mankind, and only to worry that the wealth and privileges he has accumulated may get lost

Well, I don't know what world you are living in to post such nonsence I know a lot of successful businessness people who wouldn't know what the hell you were refering to by making such a statement.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Well, they'd be asleep then.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Does the worker have a family and friends that love her, & the owner become a greedy, selfish paranoid recluse who has alienated everyone around him because he thinks they are out for his money.?

If so then I'd have to say the worker.

I mean since we're makin up hypothetical.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Because you've always been able to buy gifts?

Wow, try waking up hungry with no food and no way to get it. Try being sick with no healthcare, Try not being to pay rent.

At least you had gold to sell.

"a person at Sears"? What does that mean? A sears employee or some black market guy in the parking lot? Not an image you usually see.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

Let me respond by saying - I grew up poor - I used to pick coal and if I wanted to buy toys I had to take soda pop bottles down to the local store for the 5 cents and save until I had enough money.

Never had healthcare insurance when I was growing up - as a matter of fact I used to work in a grocery store so that I could make enough money to pay for my dental work.

So don't preach to me about "being sick with no healthcare" and don't preach to me about not being able to pay rent - I've been throught it all

And as far as Sears they had a company come in to purchase what people called "old gold" and would give you a few bucks for it.

Well, I haven't looked back since because I knew I didn't want to be in that position again and never have - I had plans and a goal to better myself and my financial situation.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

You ain't alone. millions of Americans have similar stories. Millions have fought their way out of poverty. Others don't win that fight.

No one wants to live in poverty, and deprivation.

I hope you aren't one of those "I got out, anyone could do it. They must be lazy" people. I don't adhere to the "blame the victim" mentality because my experience with poverty showed me that the vast majority of people in the projects worked hard to provide for their families, hated being on welfare, and were truly embarrassed being on govt assistance..

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 5 years ago

So money is it for you? Your focus is individualistic selfishness to provide for you and perhaps immediate family, and nothing more? Do you not feel an obligation larger than that, given the serious state of the world today on so many fronts? This post is about individualism vs. the needs of collective humanity, and how to expand efforts to benefit humanity as a whole, in which case individualism must be subordinated. It can all be summed up thusly:

The greatest good for the greatest number


The greatest good for the smallest number.

Which do you advocate?

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 5 years ago

What you and a lot of others don't realize is that your first obligation is to take care of yourself or your family when it comes to needs and not excesses.

As far as my focus and obligation to others, I have over the years, on many occasions given $20, $40 or even $100 to individuals who were in need never knowing their name, or where they were from or where they were going - They asked and I gave because I could tell in their heart and see that they were really in need.

You know it's easy to preach about "greatest good for the greatest number" when it involves using other peoples money.

How many here who belong to OWS have really given their time and own money to help others over the years not since the conception of OWS.

I will be willing to be that there may be a few, but not many

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Responsibility? You mean like how Wall Street took care of itself when it came begging for bailouts for having gambled all our money away? Corporate Welfare? Big Fossil tax breaks and subsidies? On and hypocritically on?

That's one of the oldest RW BS fables in the RepubliCon Dirty Tricks BOOK!!

[-] 0 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Thanks for posing this question so clearly.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

I was never asleep nor would I make such an assumption for others.

No one who chooses to remain in a community and isn't a business owner with no workers or partners truly believes in individualism.

If individualism is just another way of expressing being self-reliant, it is a result of communities failing to do what is expected of them thereby forcing people to become self-reliant.

People don't need to be woken up with mere words. People need the opportunity to participate in alternative ways. Words mean nothing when you have medical expenses you can't afford. Words mean nothing when you have no chioce but to work for some low wage private business. Until an organized alternative exists to the economic conditions people are forced to accept, people aren't going to have time for supposedly being awakened.

Hey, here's an idea http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-the-wealthy-really-fear-the-truth/#comment-886673

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

C'mon there must have been a time when you were unaware of the societal problems we face. As a teenager perhaps?

Something wakes each of us up to the realities we face.

When & what was it for you.?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

Not knowing who I am or what my past has been, why would you insist on making such an assumption for me or anyone else?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Because no one is born aware of the problems we face?

Not really assuming anything about you specifically, rather simply acknowledging the reality of human learning.

I certainly am not trying to offend you.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

Children becoming aware of the conditions in which they live as they grow older is not an awakening. It's simply apart of their lives that others may not have to experience or know about until they are informed of it.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Right. And they are not awake/aware to those life conditions until somethin/someone wakes them up to it.

I think we agree.

Cool. Thx

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 5 years ago

May I suggest reading "Civilization and its Discontents" by Sigmund Freud. He talks about the necessity for man to work together as a community, but it is "individualism" which enlivens the spirit. i.e. man with common sense and discipline knows enough to work together with others as a society, but at the same time man can only be totally be happy when he is free from society. Needless to say that causes a lot of problems.

The most dangerous aspect today is that many of the richest among us feel they need not be part of society, but are apart from it.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

You said: "The most dangerous aspect today is that many of the richest among us.". That's a good point. That separation makes them even more blind to the impact of thir actions and this system.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Except they want/strive/contrive to be above society, even Kings of it! And all the spoils that go with it!!!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

I just can't believe we've let it go for so long and haven't risen up nonviolently to insist on the system benefitting human beings instead of corporations.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

That is what I have been fighting to reverse/shatter for 30+ years. It is the source, the door left open, the catalyst of all our problems. Indifference, complacence, disengagement, denial, prejudice, ignorance, delusion, unicorn chasers, anarchy, brainwashing, on and on. Corporations step up, we don't. Together, united, we'll never be defeated. Unite and win!

"Individualism" is the poison pill in American mythology, the Manchurian chip in the John Wayne/Marlboro Man head, the Power (1%) Elite's secret weapon against our Unity. Because United we (99%) can never be defeated/exploited/rapped and pillaged/made to pay WS bailouts, etc.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Hopefully more and more people will speak up.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Don't count on it. I'm not waiting for nuthin!

People reelected Nixon, Raygun and W!!! People dutifully went to fight in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and the War on Terror.

Hoping for other people to speak up will get us all killed or enslaved.

We are speaking up! Incite others!

[-] 2 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 5 years ago

Individualism is fine up to the critical point of a civilization: the End of Growth. Then a 180degree shift is required from expansion to interconnectedness and collaboration. It was a shift anticipated with the Jews and one that our present economic and political crisiis is shoving forward.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

What's your sense of where we Americans are in this process?

[-] 3 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 5 years ago

Well, as an American myself, I include it in part of the journey of what it means to created a "more perfect union". But that journey had to shift once the West ran out -- a point not anticipated by the Founders of America.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

So just beginning to shrug off the notion that individualism alone can fulfill and sustain us? Or not quite there yet?

[-] 3 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 5 years ago

No, no, I made that shift decades ago. I'm still waiting for anyone to notice the solution.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Sorry - I wasn't clear. What I meant to say is: Is the U.S. as a nation beginning to shrug off the notion that individualism along can fulfill and sustain us? Or is America not even that far yet?

[-] 3 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 5 years ago

Ah, I have not seen any evidence that the U.S. as a nation has begun to understand this, but yet, strangely, I continue to hold out the hope, in futility(?), that such notion is emerging.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

I think it's beginning to happen. I think the civil rights movement and Occupy (plus other key moments) represent serious rumblings ..... And that an incredible amount of water has built up behind what is truly a week damn. After all, how sustainable is it for 1% of the population to rule over 99% and perpetrate environmental destruction, economic destruction and war in the people's name. It's an absurd setup for a society. If you took the concept to a book publisher, they'd said it was too fanciful to be believed. That's how outrageous it is while at the same time being hidden in plain sight.

[-] 2 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 5 years ago

The problem is that it could very well simply collapse into a "Dark Age" rather than Transition into a sustainable planet.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

We can make the difference. We have the power collectively to move it in the right direction. We need to be nonviolent, direct, forceful and persistent. We must insist on the change we want to see and push on all fronts. It sure beats sitting on the sofa and watching the corporate agenda unfold without pushback.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

LOl; I love that answer.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Ok I might not be awake exactly. I have some trust issues, but let me say a few things.

We have to be careful with adopting new models without looking at them closely. For instance I see many people throw lables around and notice at the same time they don't have many lables. In other words they are thinking very simply ...not intellectually or with spirit often times.

Think of the word Communism. Apparently there are many kinds of communism ... you have to separate out marxism, leninism & Moaism.

Collectivitism or communityism should be separated from goup think and mob mentality. Lynch mobs are pretty base level in spiritual terms and in intellectual terms.

Remember what they say about Japan and how the people might have been after WWII needing leaders ...perhaps even the corrupt corporate leaders to lead them to economic success and a democratic country. The idea was out there that ...many Japanese were great followers, but lacked individualism and self motovation or some kind of leadership. (sorry if this is a stereotype that is offensive, but it is 65 year old idea from a different era)

I'm guessing that in the Americas there are tons of leaders and individualist. Perhaps a model your are trying to pin down is community with Individualism, but without the swagger of cowboys and military Officers and their minions ready to go to war...

Henry David Thoreau - "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

Thoreau spoke to me about how silly we are in the USA.

I had a friend in the army in 1985 that meditated in the office area, so I tooks some lessons and tried to learn about it. Then I watched Gandhi the 3 hour movie (1982) with a high school friend & his wife who both went to bed leaving me watching the whole thing alone. Well maybe I am just different from a lot of Americans....

Gandhi was an individual, but he didn't protest alone. 10s of thousands of Indians protested with Gandhi. Maybe this was the most powerful era of protests the world has seen. Of course, Pakistan and Bangladesh split off from India later on in their own Independence movements.

Last year I read some Cliff Notes from James Loewen's book "Lies my teacher told me", and I learned that US Activism was key to Womens Rights, Civil Rights, Black Voting, Worker Rights and Safety, and ... Ending the Vietnam War. There is no nice guy government out there that does good things because they are the right thing to do ... US Rights were won by activism.

But the USA has plenty of war mongers and people ready to form Lynch mobs IMHO. Community starts with people getting together and exchaning stories, honesty, and ideas. And even a 12 Step Program meeting has a lot of power from my experience (back in 1992). In my case I find that communication in all forms can be powerful and life changing in some ways ... if there is a safe, supportive, community evironment.

I have to think more about CO-OPs and Community ... maybe I still have to learn. It is kind of like Mideast Peace talks with socialists on one side and capitalist on the other.

Some Quote from someone roughly says "man didn't have so many problems till he starting thinking he was separate from God or Spirit".

Why Do we go to War or Make war as a nation? Is it a collective agreement. Why do nations have revolutions. Certainly that is a collective agreement.

Someone else says the idea of world progress is wrong. He says we are actually getting further away from a past were there was a better civilization with Laws, Equal Rights, Agriculure, Animal Husbandry, Roads, Good Trading, Writing, Story Telling, High Culture, Records of History and Property Transactions, Ship building, Metal Works, Etc.

The EGO of the USA since becoming a Superpower is out of control. How do you tone down a national psyche like ours?

1) We deny all our Philosophy and Ideology come from those Europeans who many openly have contempt for.
2) We take no interest in Learning Languages of Europe to look again at our own history and where our ideas and laws come from.
3) We claim to own the one Truth about everything. We have the best medicine, best science, best history, best constitution, best government, best corporations, ...and we know little about Asia or Asian culture and have no interest in deeper understanding.
4) We are above Reproach. AAA rating, eat it dude. Financial Instruements from the USA are above scrutiny. Financial Instituations are the Best. Everyone has crashes.
5) Bearded men in the USA may get social rejection and Investigations.
6) All them Eastern religions are the same in the USA. Nothing worth looking at.
7) Social Control is just as strong as it was in the 1960s without the extreme violence of police, state troopers, or sherrifs. You should fit in, be Christian, speak english, don't bop your head in public, don't act loose or dance in public either, shave your face, have a good hair cut, wear nice conservative clothes, look like you have a job, be able to prove you are not a vagrant or an immigrant, don't talk to strangers either especially if you have face hair or look off, etc.
8) By the way we wanna send a couple of boys down to talk to you about putting a new US military base in your country....
9) You should get Loans for your country from the IMF & WB and you should belong to the WTO to be part of our financial and trade organizations...

Was that too much? LOL

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

That's awesome. I found the film Gandhi pretty transformative too. Kind of shows the value of both individualism and community. Shows how one person joining together with others can really make a difference and also gave us a real template for change. I think you're right on target about communication being one of the keys because once we get out into the world and communicate with others, we start realizing that we have more in common than we have separating us. Once that clicks, we'll realize that we actually ARE the 99% and that it's been absurd to have the system rigged to benefit just the top 1%. Once that realization sinks in, we'll be able to stand up together and make decisions from a position of united strength instead of making demands from a position of divided weakness. Here are the 8 interim goals I'd like you're us pursue. http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ They aren't the end all be all, but they'd be a good start to help unseat the corporate forces that have hijacked our political system. The trick is getting enough people behind them and pushing (perhaps using methods similar to those employed by King and Gandhi).

[-] 1 points by DiMiTri (134) 5 years ago

This is hands down the most mind blowing book you will ever read



We're all suffering from a form of collective brain damage.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Thanks, Tony seems like an interesting guy.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 5 years ago

Culture is about mutual recognition of needs, and willingness to work on meeting them. This requires free speech, particularly so when many people are involved.

Free speech is abridged.

If it were not, the simple psychology we all know intrinsically in our daily lives with our social interactions would allow us to resolve stereotypical dysfunctions like the over emphasis on "rugged individualism" that 60 year period of abridged free speech created.

Correcting our use of the word culture by conducting public discourse on needs, of all types, material and political is vital.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Great point. How do we resolve restrictions on free speech?

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 5 years ago

Chicken and egg situation. Article V and preparatory amendment will resolve the restrictions, but without free speech, citizens cannot easily create agreement upon what constitutional intent is or how to compel an Article V convention.

Logically, those of us that are uncompromisingly dedicated to preservation of the constitution need to realize what Lincolns words meant in 1859. "the people are the rightful masters of the congress and the courts" means that through free speech the people create such resolution in unity that the congress and courts do not dare oppose.

Once we begin the dialog, and it starts to expand with understanding, resolution to the dilema of not having free speech is overcome with our certainty about constitutional intent. That certainty, once witnessed by Americans with sympathies like ours, but as yet uninvolved, will quickly gain their position and get involved.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

You said"... through free speech the people create such resolution in unity that the congress and courts do not dare oppose.". That strikes me as the essence of what we have been doing, are doing and need to do. That really sums it up.

And the Lincoln quote you provided also says it all: "The people are the rightful masters of Congress and the courts."

The odd part is that, while the statements would be regarded almost as truisms by most of the American public, those same people don't realize that extent to which that is NOT happening right now.

I think most citizens, as a result of consumerism, feel like the system is either delivering for them or is at least designed to give them a chance at good results. I think many feel frustration that they don't have the access they'd like to the material rewards / comforts, but I'm not sure they realize that the system is in fact rigged to benefit corporations and the 1%. It's true that there's a general unease and it's increasing, but I'm not convinced people get the depths of the corruption, the broken promise, the ruse.

And if they do, they feel powerless to do anything about it. But last fall, I think, felt like a sunrise to many..... Speaking out loud - speaking truth to power - and seeing how many like minded people are out there. It gave a lot of people heart and still does.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 5 years ago

Yes, but it was not aligned with legal process.

therising wrote: "That strikes me as the essence of what we have been doing, are doing and need to do. That really sums it up."

Because it was not aligned, after the sensation of "demands" of protest made as widely as they were, it had no place meaningful to go.

Constitutional intent is aligned with legal process.

Some of the demands touched on Constitutional intent, but did so without saying so. If they said so and Article V had been addressed by the NYCGA, things would be very different now.

Yes, boiling frogs starts with warm comfort, like consumers demand. And when they get it, complacency sets in. See how this works out in the real word, with a dose of the comedic. View the video "The Job".


[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Thanks. Will check that video out. Here's a question for you: what are your thoughts on these goals?: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ . Would these fundamental changes help extricate corporations from our government and give us a fighting chance.

2nd question: what do you think it would take to get enough people behind those 8 goals to make a difference?

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 5 years ago

The goals are good. The process/method lacks legal process and basis.

"We should make the demands below very publicly at a press conference a few days after arriving in DC."

An overview of the nature of the goals needs to be implemented in order to develop efficient methods and process. The goals all require official governmental action. Either we grovel along begging officials to do their duty or we command them within legal process we invoke with our unity.

Article V is EXACTLY that process. It is a dream of thousands of generations of freedom loving people. All we need to do is agree on the real heirachy of values and principles which constitutional intent consist of.

Free speech is needed. Currently it is abridged. Freedom of the press is abridged.

The press conference, UGH, needs to be used to define the real problem (the reason the goals are stated in the conference), if we rely on "press conferences".

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

You said: "Command them within legal process we invoke with our unity.". Yeah, that. I like that. And, to tell you the truth, when I wrote the post of 8 goals above 15 months ago, I assumed we'd set it up the way you are suggesting with legal process (just as Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fellow leaders did), but I neglected to out that part in the doc. It's an important part obviously. There has to a very specific piece of legislation that we're advocating for, something very detailed and vetted by pros so that it can't be cast aside on procedural or legal grounds.. Beyond specifying that, what other things are you suggesting would be necessary ** , assuming for the moment that these were the 8 goals?

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 5 years ago

Realize, our agreement upon prime constitutional intent IS legal process when we are in an Article V convention. In fact, Article V cannot be excuted without it.

shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution,

Only the people can rightfully determine what is valid as Lincoln stated, "the people are the rightful masters of the congress and the courts". This works because the principles of the constitution serve ALL humanity including congress and the courts.

It is implied that IF there is the kind of problem that creates application for Article V by states, THEN the index of federal authority has become unconstitutional in some way.

What we do right now is necessary. (to those 8 goals)

Consider this.

We can make agreement consistent with the constitution in every way while stating "this IS constitutional intent", and if it is, people will know it. They will step forward and signify their understanding and agreement. They will participate in special state election and voting to see Article V amendments ALL have full constitutional intent.

But it has to be the real thing. No half assed, watered down perspectives can fly with this. I will demonstrate.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Q-How are those protected if the index of authority on the constitution is compromised?
A-They are protected with free speech as people share an understanding then, agree and accept information to participate in needed action for survival. I'm not saying maybe. I'm saying if that sharing and understanding does not occur, THEN, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not protected.

Ever notice how many people are dying in bizarre violence lately? Over some time, our disability to share information is costing us our ability to protect life, or even know how it is threatened!

It is necessary to understand that we need to be absolutely assured that the abridging of free speech is ended.

Understanding that first is vital so the unity is focused upon what empowers unity. When we identify principles that are of constitutional intent, and agree upon them openly acknowledging they are of our constitution then we INVOKE our unity upon the intent of the constitution.

All federal authority is ideally in service to the constitution which in turn serves our purposes. I don't see any reason to give up on seeing that be as real as can be made.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

What woke me up? The wisdom from Dennis Kucinich woke me up.

Goldman Sachs giving millions to campaigns, then gaining roles in the government, then getting those politicians they financed to tell the American people that giving Goldman Sachs 10 billion dollars in bailouts and billions more in loans will save the economy... yah that woke me up too.

The banks and Wall Street have a stranglehold on the economy and they run the government in regards to monetary policy.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly. Clearly the outcry isn't big enough yet though. So, how do we get more people who speak up?

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

Let me know when you find the answer to that question.

Maybe try getting financed by millions of dollars, buy tv advertising space, and then get on the News because you have money. That seems to work for the corrupt when it comes to taking power.

Billionaires can get on tv just because they're billionaires. They can say all types of bullshit too just because they have money.

Sorry to be so cynical. I'm taking an ukulele break.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

The ukulele can be quite calming. But you're absolutely right on all points. My big question is, how did the Occupy movement spread across the nation and the world in only a matter of days? Once we understand that, we can find ways to spread it furthrer beyond existing audience. What clicked?

Also - a good portion of that word spread via means outside the mainstream media. And the portion that did go through mainstream media got there because of word first being spread by alternative means which resulted in large newsworthy gatherings.

Maybe we should pay attention to what the 1% despise most and do that:

  • gather in person in very large groups and speaking out against in justice (and organize this via alternative means)
[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Abe Lincoln.

Now that we are "awakened," let's get busy and unite, we've wasted a lot of time and effort. The 1%-Cons duchebags are working overtime in overdrive to divide and exploit us!!!

Unite and Win!

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago
  • If you are so inclined, please share a sentence or two about what woke you up to the power of community. I'd like to ask a lot of people on this forum that question. Imagine what that example could do to awaken others. **

Judging actions and not words.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Yep. That is a biggie.

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 5 years ago

Martn Luther King cheated on his wife at every level. Thats a hero?

No thank you. Romney is a million times more ethical than a serial philanderer. Why would anyone follow the nonsense of a man who pledged his infinite fidelity to one woman then fucked every whore he could?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Ad hominems are a sign of desperation.

[-] -1 points by Coyote88 (-24) 5 years ago

Collectivism? In historical terms not very successful. And most murderous.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

So - Martin King, Jr. advocating for community -- that was bad in your view I suppose?

[-] -2 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

The individuals you read of, do not read; they are possessed of no particular philosophy but the need of survival. They succeed because you cannot. These forces have ruled the world for 200,000 years; primitive? Hardly, it is an intelligence genetically advanced, biological, instinctive, ruthless... and it always wins.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 5 years ago

And your beloved "law of the jungle" mentality has culminated in what after those 200,000 years? Just take a good look around at the state of the world today. Do you call this "winning"? The entire planet is in crisis on all fronts. No. In today's post-modern world, the ancient "law of survival" that you preach MUST be replaced with the "law of cooperation" or there will be no survival for anything. Doesn't common sense dictate that, or are you devoid of any, and slavishly devoted to the individualistic, Darwinistic, animalistic Survival of the Fittist? Be a human being, and not an animal. Use your rational mind, and not your animalistic emotional instincts, and help to save this sick and dying world by devoting yourself to nobler pursuits than the mere acquisition of wealth and power. It will take a herculean effort on the part of ALL people working together to solve these massive problems we are facing. The individual may have had his place once, but individualism MUST be removed and absorbed into the collective efforts of ALL of humanity to save ourselves and the rest of the precious creatures that are now in peril of extinction. If you can't see the glaring truth of that, then I don't know what to make of such selfishness that insists on placing the individual above the needs of everyone and everything else on this planet.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Very well said. Thank you!!!!!

[-] -1 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Collective is just another word for totalitarianism, as in: do it my way or else.

The reality is that the world is overpopulated and sooner or later we're going to have to do something about that.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 5 years ago

Collective cooperation to solve enormously difficult problems facing humanity today is the only way. Your equating of collective efforts to approach those problems with totalitarianism is 1950s Red Scare brainwashing. The Cold War is over. Wake up to the realities of the world today.

If you are advocating mass reduction in world population via continuance of individualistic selfishness characterized by the economic institution of capitalism, then I don't think I've come across a colder human being in my life. Are you that devoted to yourself that you view the world as a battlefield, and seek/desire that millions die off, so that animalistic Darwinian principles can continue? Do you actually advocate individual selfishness as the supreme method of survival for human beings? Are you that psychopathic and freely admit to everyone on this forum that you place yourself supremely above all else?

Or are you just baiting people to get a rise out of them?

[-] 1 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

No I'm not, I'm equating it to Leninist communism and Hitlerist fascism.

I'm not advocating a reduction in world population via selfishness; I am acknowledging a reduction via guns, bombs, and very likely yet to be introduced weapons of war.

Animalistic Darwinian principles... are you suggesting that Darwinian principles are animalistic? You, the Left, who have for so long advocated for Darwin? You now wish to discard him?

It's all about the one state: happiness. When people are unhappy enough other people die; that's just the way it is - it's happening all over the world as we speak.

What I am doing is advocating for the individual; I am getting tired of people in this forum - who are, let's face it, just peons in the puddle like everybody else - decrying the individual; we are all individuals, therefore individualists - are you so narrow minded and insecure that you cannot abide and must therefore abate all opinion? And we're supposed to what, just applaud and up-vote everything that flows from your mouth? Get real.

This is my world; while you may be a source of some curiosity, you are nonetheless just a spectator in MY world. Come back when you've got an opinion; come back when you're ready to approach me like a man as an individual; who will present with some level of mutual respect; you won't have much luck transforming me into your tool.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 5 years ago

Your mentality, and all of the millions of others like you who hold the same views, are exactly the reason why the world is in the state that it is in today. Your sacred view of individualism and supreme selfishness will likely result in the world's destruction, and you seem to be applauding that, which is a supremely sick and twisted view of the world. It is hard for me to admit and acknowledge that I live on the same planet as someone like you. Of the two views discussed, yours or mine, which is closer to Lenin or Hitler? Have I advocated cooperation or selfishness? Have I advocated collective efforts to solve world problems or Darwinistic animalism? What upbringing produced such a hard and cold human being like yourself? Is such a view a constructive one, or destructive?

I do not advocate social Darwinism. Darwinian principles are applicable to biological evolution and create great harm if attempts are made to apply them socially (as has been done in times past with great destructiveness). Hitler held that the Aryan race was superior under the principle of social Darwinism and used that logic to exterminate the Jews. Such thinking is insanely dangerous.

If people are unhappy, why must they kill others? Will killing others make the world happier? Should not efforts be made at understanding and cooperation, thus increasing the possibility that by working together all may have a chance at the happiness you speak of? Which is the more sane approach? Do you advocate war as a means to bring happiness? Does it ever?

No I cannot abide points of view and advocacy that is inherently destructive. That is what is wrong with the world today. People do not challenge selfishness and greed that is the primary reason why the world is headed for destruction. Such must be oppossed by any good person of concious. You may call me narrow minded and insecure. You may call me any damn thing you please, because your opinion matters little to me. Quite frankly, I don't give a rats ass what you think about what I say, because you have revealed yourself to be a supremely selfish egotist intent on perpetuating the status quo that will bring all of us down. Quite frankly, the quicker you and your kind die off the better (and you should not be opposed to that since you seem to advocate death over life).

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Darwinian principles are not only applicable to biological evolution; in fact, there is much question as to the extent to which this may actually occur... but Natural Selection is very relevant in the sense that as humans of choice we actually DO select. This perhaps is where your spin on social Darwinism comes in - we do select.

And I understand your bias; Darwinism was used very effectively to impress upon people this view of both the African and the Irishman as biologically inferior. But truthfully, the English have never needed Darwin; in fact the Irish had been "scientifically proven" beyond all doubt to be the descendants of apes as early as the late 1500s. This predates those Victorian Era Darwinian attempts that are most often referenced by over two hundred years.

It's hard to say what's wrong with the world today; people are killing each other, everywhere. But they were killing each other yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and the day before that for as much as 200,000 years.

The problem, quite frankly, is that there is too little prosperity that emanates from America; if we produced more perhaps we could buy the poor of the world from under all those of greed who seek to violently oppress.

The gloom and doom antis are inciting those of lesser leveragable means to the last resort of violence. And in my opinion incidents of mass violence are likely to increase relative to population growth.


[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Are you in favor of instinctive, unthinking and ruthless and all the consequences that come with it? If so, I can't imagine why you'd visit this forum.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Nah, you want to know what I'm curious about? I'm curious about the etymology of the word ruthless... because it would seem quite apparent to me that the ruthless shall rue the day.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

With what end in mind? Ruthlessness for its own sake? Power for its own sake? Material objects? You can't be serious.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

I am serious. And I'm also getting very tired of the attacks on "individuals" here - every one of us is an individual, therefore an "individual-ist."

The Left needs to stop their personal attacks; could it be that you are so narrow minded, and so insecure, that you cannot abide and must therefore abate all personal opinion?

And you think you can grow "togetherness" by reducing people to carbon copies of your movement? We are what, your tools? Just the cogs of your wheel? Get real.

Maybe you should fall in line and follow them instead of expecting them to fall in line and follow you; do you really think any world was ever created in this manner, devoid of respect for the individual? It's just bizarre to think people actually think this way.

[+] -5 points by richardkentgates (3269) 5 years ago

This post is a great example of differences between the sterile, Impotent, office cubical liberals, and grass roots liberals. It doesn't matter what party is being plaid on this forum, it seems as though almost every comment is one born of naivety.

[-] 4 points by gsw (3141) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 5 years ago

When my first and second daughter were were born, then son, grandson and grandaughter, I realize it is on me to provide for them in all areas so they can Have opportunity to succeed, with education, healthy home, good schools, environment. Not just for them, for all people.

In College interest in anthropology, and months spents living abroad, taught me we're all important, interconnected.

And it all isn't about monetary success, but pursuit of happiness.

Probably seeds were there from wide reading of history, philosophy, Tolstoy, etc in youth with limited tv, and mom dad and grandparents.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 5 years ago

Exactly. You as an individual, took on the responsibility, did the work, and paved the way for your family. All individuals in a community take on challenges and responsibilities. The more individual strengths are utilized, the more a community benefits. A community without individuals is a community of zero.

[-] 3 points by gsw (3141) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 5 years ago

Yes. There must be a balance between individualism and community, which strengthens and promotes the community and individualism, which is also important. Each Individual has talents and interests, and the individual must be protected in every right, freedom from taxation is not a natural right. Even in hunter gatherer society, the kill was divided up --all shared

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 5 years ago

There is no balancing here. The community doesn't exist without the individual. Attempts to force individualism from community have resulted in every terrifying chapter of human history. Ignoring the individual is destroying cultural diversity in the most ethnically diverse country in the world, also a tragedy.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

So Martin Luther King, Jr. advocating for community, you disagree with that approach? You may recall that King said "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. We are all inextricably linked."

What you seem to be saying is that someone in the era of the Vietnam war who votes for hawkish leaders and works for a munitions factory and lives a very cozy life has no responsibility for and no connection to a 19 year old African American man who's sent to Vietnam to die. You're saying the idea of being responsible for each other and linked to each other is wrong?

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 5 years ago

"I" was used 3 times in that quote. I really didn't think this was that hard to get.

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 5 years ago

Wonder why MLK was an unrepentant philanderer, breaking his fidelity to Coretta at every chance? A kind of "Do as I say, not as I do," marital cheater. Why listen to a lying cheater?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

What's the matter? Did you skip logic class on the day taught ad hominems? :). It's a sign of desperation when you use them.