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Forum Post: From Adults to Infants: A Direction Reversal Caused By The OWS Inability to Solve

Posted 3 years ago on July 20, 2014, 9:47 a.m. EST by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

An extremely strange phenomenon has been created from the realization that OWS is incapable of solving today's extremely serious problems. The complexity of these issues (Global Warming, wealth inequality, etc...) is absolutely overwhelming. OWS created hope, but it quickly became clear to most that solutions were not happening. Three years later and the problems have not been solved, they are indeed getting worse.

The few OWS supporters that remain are suffering a type of mental breakdown from this realization, even if unconscious.

Not being able to solve today's most serious problems, OWS supporters have recoiled in the opposite direction. Not being able to offer the serious solutions these most serious problems deserve, they are offering the most ridiculous solutions possible.

On this site you will find adults, even old adults, fighting over the most trivial matters as if they were infants in the playground. This has become OWS response to the world's most serious problems.

Perhaps this type of clownish reaction is a way to protect themselves. Like the abused child who covers his ears and turns to a world of self created imaginative fantasy in order to deal with his harsh reality.

You are paralyzed by the most serious problems in history, so you do the most ridicule possible; you act like a immature infant.



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[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 3 years ago

''Three years later and the problems have not been solved, they are indeed getting worse.'' You're right but it took 40 years (from Nixon - tho' I'd argue more like 80 since The New Deal) for The U$A and The World at large to get into this pickle & it'll take a generation or more to get out of it. There is no 'switch to flick' - it is 'Change Over Time'. All Revolutions are about Evolution ! Rapid Evolution = 'R:Evolution' !! All things spiral and 'revolve' ... & so we are all spiralling in a 'quickening to a reckoning' now perhaps !!!

''As we unlearn imperialist myths and reconnect with the histories and traditional knowledge that have been made invisible and systematically targeted, we also gain a voice for the future. As we shift the stories we tell ourselves, we can move ahead with our heads held high, armed with anecdotes that restore confidence both in ourselves and in the communities that birthed us. This is a crucial step as we speak of our experiences, moving forward with awakened imagination and faith that another world is indeed possible — one that can be just and fulfilling for all peoples.''

Resistance Is Fertile.



[-] 0 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

I think it is a sort of self consolation - a delusion we create to protect ourselves - when we say that it will take a long time to solve the problems. It is a protection we use because we cannot find the solutions.

The truth is we don't know what we need to do. We have reached a sort of impasse. We are not on a path towards solving the problems because we have not found the solutions yet.

If we had found the solutions, and could tell that they would need a long time to implement, then what you say would make sense. But, the fact is we have not found the solutions yet so we have no idea if it is even possible to solve the problems.

Note: It is a logical fallacy to say that because the problems were slowly created over 40 years - also your 40 years is kind of arbitrary here - that the solutions will thus take a long time to be implemented also. There is no relation in fact. We have no idea how long it will take to implement solutions because we have not found them yet. If we knew what they were, perhaps they could be implemented very quickly.

We need to be honest with ourselves. Certainly, self delusion is a problem we need to address.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

I believe that any solution requires numbers of people to be involved, at some capacity, and that is something that as an individual one can attempt to generate, but it is very tough, exhausting and time consuming.

Personally I'm studying for a test this upcoming Friday, and have a hard time staring at the computer, so here I am. I'm not sure if this is a lack of solutions problem we have, here on this site, or just how it goes on internet chat rooms for political discussion.

This is the only site I really go to, have been since late 2011, and even it tends to be filled with the same nonsense as other ones, despite it all.

[-] 0 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

The solution(s) can be found by one person or more, but we certainly need many for the implementation.

If we had some idea of what the solution(s) entailed, then we could work together towards it/them. Everyone would contribute something on the path towards the solution(s).

The tragedy is that after 3 years we are no closer to figuring out what this path is to some or all the solutions might be.

Some will say the government is stopping us, or some higher unknown forces, this is what conspiracy theorists love to do, but stopping us from what? The fact is we don't even know what needs to be done.

The others recoil into this kind of fetus position for protection. They can't find solutions so they panic. They go from adults to infants. They offer the most ridiculous solution(s), that of acting like infants on a forum. It is an unconscious reaction, and a very Freudian one; to offer the complete opposite (ridiculous solutions instead of serious ones) of what needs to be offered because what needs to be offered cannot be found.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Personally I liked hearing Sawant declare that the workers didnt need Boeing, that they can do it all themselves.

First off, I think that attitude HAS to be there. There has to be responsibility of "we created this mess, so we can fix it". Without that kind of confidence, its never goign to work. As the saying goes "If you think you can, you may be right. If you think you can't, you are definitely right".

So with that being said, imo- and I catch a lot of flack for this- I think there has to be a mass decentralization in order for people to really have any control of things. Organizations can grow too big- corporate or government, and become simply toomuch to control, too many layers. Quality suffers, and enthusiasm wains.

So, playing the "how" game, how do I/we get decentralization. Well, the current system is so entrenched, and so interwound, its extremly difficult to envision a scenario where that happens by choice. Its most likely a result of collapse and reset.

In the meantime, we can practice putting things in place, which I always loved about Occupy. The gathering of everyone and anyone, and lets work together to put together goals and plans. Whose running food, whose running finance, etc. Basically buidling a shadow system.

Did it do anything? No, not really. But as another saying goes "You can be right, but if your timing is off, then it doesnt matter". So basically we are playing with luck here. opportunity and preparation meet , if you will.

Kind of my entire theory there, in a nutshell. Not the most well thought out one, but a semblance of a plan if you will, that seemed to resonate with a lot of people a couple years ago.

[-] 1 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

Essentially you have chosen the cynical approach.

We have created a system, but now it has become too complex to fix, and so we can only be like observing victims waiting for the system to collapse naturally when it will have reached a point of overload. In the meantime, we play on the side creating shadow structures that might or might not work.

I find this too negative for my taste. Too passive. I think we must keep searching for solutions even if it is only to keep hope alive. It's extremely dangerous to wait for the system to collapse by itself because we have no idea how much damage could be caused by then, for example, how much environmental damage the planet can endure before it collapses.

So, we have identified these 3 unwanted reactions:

  1. The system itself is too complex. We can only observe like victims and wait for its natural collapse. Only then will we be able to do something.

  2. The system is controlled by shadowy people, thus, before we can do anything, we need to figure out who is behind this massive conspiracy. (This is the conspiracy theorist way of dealing with the issue).

  3. I tried to solve the problem, but just can't. This has created mental pressure inside me, and I react in the clownish method of offering the opposite of what needs to be offered; ridiculous solutions instead of serious ones. (These are the adults becoming infants like we see on this site.)

I believe what we must do is continue to brainstorm in a serious way in order to find solution(s). I find the 3 reactions listed above absolutely worthless, and even scary to be honest.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Fair enough. I would ask you what you propose as a counter, for I too can look at what I posted and pick them apart. Hind sight is always 20/20, and backseat drivers are abundant in political/social change.

Anyone who is well versed in this stuff enough can tear apart just about any proposal in a multitude of ways. Certainly anyone who has been involved in actual implementation of strategies can tear them apart even quicker.

So with that I would ask, if these are unacceptable, what do you propose?

Go back to the drawing board is an acceptable response, but at some point you have to come back with something. Otherwise, its just another form of "can't be done".

Back to the drawing board or something to consider?


Edit: I would also add that strategy planning needs to have a time limit, as time is precious, and energy for change is not everlasting. A planning session with no timetable turns into never ending planning, as we saw in Occupy. That doesnt apply to just occupy, but with most organizing efforts and kind of life in general.

[-] 2 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

As a side note: The worst thing an occupier can do is to follow "the way of shooz", i.e to become like the shooz character on this site.

Embarking on the quest to solve the world's most complicated problems is not an easy one. It is a dangerous quest. To succumb like shooz when solution(s) cannot be found quickly is not uncommon. We are all like Frodo, putting on the ring is tempting. We must beware of that.

shooz has reacted like a conspiracy theorist. He protects himself from the concept of "not being able to find a solution" by blaming others. Those who use bots, puppets, etc... are the reason why OWS cannot solve the world's problems (not because finding solutions to complex problems is actually very hard).

shooz has also regressed into the infant mind in order to protect himself further. Being in the child world is another excuse to not try to find real solutions to real problems. Children play, they don't solve adult level problems. That is why you always see him play on this site (the way he attacks others is a type of kindergarten playground game) instead of really trying to make a difference in an adult-like manner.

[-] 1 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

I proposed my counter above, I'll reiterate.

We need to keep brain storming in a serious manner in order to find solution(s), or, in other words, a path towards solution(s).

This is important for 2 reasons:

  1. We might actually find the solutions which would mean we could start implementing them right away.

  2. It keeps hope alive which is useful because it keeps us from falling into the 3 unwanted reactions I listed above; all 3 reactions caused by an abandoning of hope.

I say we must drop conspiracy theory type thinking (the idea that we can't do anything because shadowy figures control the show), I say we must stop with the idea that the problems are too complex so we must wait for the system to collapse naturally (cynical approach), and we must control ourselves to make sure we don't fall prey to mental pressure and offer the ridiculous instead of the proper (from adult to infant).

It is time to think.

"Go back to the drawing board is an acceptable response, but at some point you have to come back with something. Otherwise, its just another form of "can't be done".

We disagree here. Keeping the trying going but not finding solutions is not the same as giving up like you claim. In the case where we keep trying to find solution(s) even if we don't find them keeps hope alive. It is the doctrine of never giving up.

The problems are very complex, it is normal that solution(s) cannot be found so quickly.

I still have hope, I still believe it can be done.

But, solution(s) cannot be rushed. They need to be genuine. We can't "come up" with solutions just because we think it is taking a long time. That would be fooling ourselves.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

I agree, but the biggest obstacle to political organizing that I have encountered over the years is a perpetual state of planning. At some point you have to put something into action, or before you know it you are the only one at the planning table when it used to be filled.

Basically, I agree that having a plan instead of no plan is not necessarily better. A bad plan is just bad. But, like I said- and most organizers will tell you this- the constant state of planning is the Achilles heel of political organizing. At a certain point, it doesnt keep it alive, people just start going home because there is no concrete action in order to determine anything.

One only needed to watch and observe the frustration that groups go through as the planning for certain strategies- regardless of what they are- gets dragged out. Numbers dwindle, enthusiasm wains.

These are not my own opinions, these are traits of basic organizing with human beings. Nothing tends to destroy action like a perpetual state of planning in most cases. We all saw it with Occupy firsthand. The actions that took root had deadlines, days that were announced ahead of time.

So with all of that being said, how long would you estimate it will take you to have three proposals to submit to the group? They are getting antsy, times a ticking.

Edit: Assume you are standing in front of an assembly right now, with about 100 people in front of you, all looking to get involved. We currently do not know how to fix anything for certain, but a small handful have proposed a few things we can get started on.

How do you handle this? Keep in mind, we have short attention spans and no one is being paid to be here. But we are frustrated, and looking for something that might lead to some positive outcomes.

[-] 1 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

The problem is you want to organize before having a proper plan. It is not time for political organization yet, not until we have a seriously good plan. It is time to think.

Obviously, if you sit at the table with the other generals and you don't have a plan they will get tired and leave. Don't to that. You must think first. Create the plan. Only then do you summon all the generals around the table to show them what actions will be taken.

You must leave the political table for now. You shouldn't try to do political organizing until you are ready with proper solutions. Theory before practice. Thinking before action.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

FYI I appreciate the good dialogue. In the meantime, I would suggest that we all have different opinions, and different goals/thoughts, so I will leave it at my strategies are not any more correct/wrong than yours, as we can both find dozens of books written by highly successful people defending each one.

[-] 2 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

We could do that, fall into relativism saying certain thoughts are not better or worse than others, simply different. However, this is the soft approach of weak minds.

I believe in what I claim. I have thought things through. I believe it is fundamentally wrong to suggest, like you did, that we should (or can only) wait for the system to crumble by itself. Like I explained above, the danger is this kills all hope. Even if finding solution(s) is impossible, we must try because trying keeps hope alive.

So, I thank you for the dialog, but no, I can't fall into the relativist frame of mind of saying we all have different opinions and they are all each equal since we could find intellectuals defending whatever point of view...

I actually despise such weak thinking. I not only think it is wrong and weak, I think it is dangerous.

I appreciate a man that defends his position and opinons with tenacity.

This politically correct relativism thing of wanting to respect all points of view is absolute bunk.

In other words, I believe my opinions are better than yours and I will tenaciously use strong arguments to show you that they indeed are. And, I would have hoped you would have done the same. I don't believe this relativist crap leads anywhere. Good discussions can lead to real solution(s) and real insight, but good discussions can only be had by people who strongly believe their opinions are correct, not by soft minded weak thinkers too afraid to hold a position strongly.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Well, ultimately the proof is in the pudding, so while you are planning I will be out and doing my thing as usual.

Ive already stated that Ive seen what people who perpetually plan accomplish, which is nothing, so there you have it. I don't need to defend this position aggressively, its common knowledge among organizers.

Nothing worse than someone who doesnt agree with someone, and yet has nothing to offer. One would think, if planning is your mo, and assuming you have given this a few years worth of thoughts, there would be at least one iota of actual strategy to suggest. Besides more thinking that is.

You can take my humoring of your position as a "soft minded weak thinker" but at the end of the day you are more than welcome to plan whatever is you want, and then propose it. The people will let you know whether it is a good plan, it either resonates with them or it doesnt.

Just remember, you cannot accomplish anything without them.

Good luck.

Edit: on a slightly sarcastic note, I would add that if more planning needs to be done, and that is how you feel, then it is ultimately up to you to create that planning platform to the best of your abilities if you feel it is important enough.

What is your "plan" to create "the planning"? These things dont just magically happen on their own, someone somewhere has to put things into "action".


[-] 1 points by Rollo (60) 3 years ago

We have no idea how long it will take to implement solutions.



[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Well, assume the generals are already there, as the circumstances have made it impossible to not be there. And Im not trying to be rude but the amount of people who showed up and told Occupy there were doing everything wrong, need to be doing XYZ, or for your stance, stop acting and lets keep planning (keeping in mind that Joe, Beth and Mary have already submitted plans of action).

The proper solution is an opinion. Its an opinion made by the group. If 80% think that action A is a great place to start, and 15% are not thrilled with it, and 5% block it, guess, what, back to the drawing board.

This goes on for about 4-5 cycles and you start to notice that the spots are getting thinner and thinner.

I understand what you are saying, but again we are not at a shortage in humanity of people who want to plan. We are at a shortage of action. A million great ideas get tossed around, very few put in place.

If we are at a table and I submit my plan, and you state that its no good, that you dont have one, we should continue to brainstorm, at a certain point the table will find the desire to take action. At which point either something is put into action, or they just get up and leave and either A) give up and drop out, or B) go and create their own table where they are the ones submitting the plans.

Plan, Organize, Lead and Critique afterwards. I like good plans, but at a certain point that group you are in front of is either going to leave or simply create their own action at which point you are the only one still planning. Its just how it is.

Shoot from the hip, figure it out as ya go. Messy but beautiful.

On a certain level its a bit unrealistic to ask a single individual what he/she would do to create world change, as the individual undoubtedly needs to leverage the power of the group, and therefore its no longer one person's plan. But at the end of the day, being active is the starting point. Your core activists will always be the ones there, and hopefully inspire more to come along, and keep the ones already there. No one can sit still forever, there comes a point where you have to take a stab at something.

At which point the group will ask you when you think you can come up with a plan of action?

[-] 2 points by payperview (8) from Secaucus, NJ 3 years ago

"But at the end of the day, being active is the starting point. "

This is where we fundamentally disagree. Like I said before, it is time to think (not time to act). A good Zizek video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgR6uaVqWsQ

The problem with OWS was that it gathered people for action, but then didn't know what to do. That is why it is now dead.

What should OWS have been is a gathering of minds, not of able bodies for war. A gathering only for thinking. For serious thinking. The whole GA process should have been streamlined not for actions, but for thinking.

It should have gathered fewer people, but gathered serious intellectuals.

The time is to think.







[-] 1 points by trashyharry (3082) from Waterville, NY 3 years ago

LOL-#OWS has been dealt-A pair of 2'S and a pair of 10's.OMG-does #OWS hold that Crazy 2 of Diamonds? Perhaps.Anyhow,you don't say what you think a Person should do.If stuck with an incredibly disastrous Turn of the Card..Make the best of it?Like anybody else? Americans now owe over 136k.Apiece..I hate to be the one to tell you this,but working class people in the US will NEVER be able to pay that debt.End of Story.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago





It's not that people aren't coming up with solutions, it's that most people aren't interested in doing anything other than protest. Protest is easy. Committing to change requires...well, commitment.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Good points. Follow through is something we as a nation are currently very bad at right now, extremely short attention spans combined with the need for immediate gratification.

Plus, its not like most people are getting paid for political involvement. If we are having a meeting, and someone just had a horrible or tiring day at work, its very understandable to not see them.