Forum Post: How do you actually change things in OWS?
Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 20, 2011, 4:40 p.m. EST by RedJazz43
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I've seen all kinds of well meaning and not so well meaning people with all kinds of good, bad and indifferent ideas about what OWS should or should not do? Basically, they are shoulding all over OWS. But so far, at least, I haven't seen a single idea about how to actually get OWS to change direction and do whatever it is you would like it to do. Without that, it seems to me, any suggestion, no matter how brilliant, is just pissing into the wind. I'd really like to know what people think of that.
For me, well, like anybody else I have ideas regarding what way the movement should go, but mostly I don't expect much in terms of my ideas being taken seriously and I'm along for the ride, which so far has been terrific. I do go to GAs when I can and I raise ideas when I think it appropriate and when I think I'll get a fair hearing. Mostly I follow the beatitude of the great Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs when he said:
"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be disappointed."
I will listen to you RedJazz, I have seen a lot of good ideas, and an equal amount of judgmental egotistical attacks on these Ideas, no matter the stand point. Its sort of ridiculous to think that if we continue going this way anything is going to happen. Delusions of grandeur.
I looked at what Egypt did, how effective it was and how unified the people are. Then I look here in the US and see the exact opposite, save for the singing and music. It took Egypt a while to get there demand met but it surely happened.
Why cant we do the same? Why can't we get out there as one group all at the same time and shout exactly what we want, over and over and over again until those we are shouting to acknowledge us. To not give up until there is some head way.
I feel that this is whats needed, right now there isn't enough.
But that will never happen so long as there are as many demands as there are people within the 99%.
First of all it's important not to romanticize the Egyptian movement. We are not down there in the trenches with them. We cannot see what goes on in their movement on a day to day basis. Indeed, most people who spend an inordinate amount of time on a website like this don't even really know what's going on in the American movement. The point is to get out in the streets as much as possible. I know people have physical disabilities, but I've seen lots of people at Zuccotti Square in wheel chairs. I know people have to work for a living, but few people work 14 hours a days a week. Nearly everybody could find an hour or two a week to attend an occupation. It's especially important, if you can, to go to a GA. And I know people have family obligations. So bring the kids on a Saturday afternoon!
Finally, it is most important to note that OWS, officially, has not raised a single demand. The only official political document that OWS has produced is the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City and there is not a single demand in it, although there are 20 or so grievances. Most of these grievances could be reformulated into demands, but depending on who was doing it, not necessarily the same demand. It's important to note to whom the Declaration is addressed. It's addressed to the People of the World and it would hardly be appropriate to make demands of them. It's an organizing tool and if we get enough people organized we won't need to make demands of anyone. We can begin to reoganize society ourselves, democratically, from below. Long live the revolution! Solidarity forever!
The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
OK, I have been hanging around in here for just a week or so.And I really wantt to see this movement work. I'm not near as educated as most of you guys but I have been living life for over half a century and I have developed a bit of common sense. Sounds like you are taking on the whole world. Don't you think you should start with your country,first? All your grievances are the responsibility of our government which according to the constitution has a legal obligation to protect it's citizens from all forms of abuse from all entities. That is what a government for the people by the people does. But that is not what we have today.We have a government for corporate big money by corporate big money. Which means our government is looking out for the corporations and not the citizens. So the corporations are making meals out of the population because they are more powerful than us as individuals and our government is allowing them to do it. This what the OWS should be protesting . The Government of the United States of America is failing to meet it's obligations to it's citizens.
Turn your declaration of grievances into a rough draft declaration of demands. Post this list of demands on this site for a few weeks and have them critiqued by everyone. From all that constructive criticism produce a final draft that pleases everyone. Present the finished Declaration of Demands to the entire population of the United States of America. Now Americans can see a list of demands worth fighting for.it could tun out quite a large number.When a nation of unified pissed off Americans starts telling its government what it's demands are that force will get those demands. If a show of force is needed, crush a financial institution or two with an organized unified national boycott. They deserve it.
Where, exactly, have you been "hanging around?" Have you ever been to an occupation anywhere? If so, have you spent a significant amount of time there, I'd say 24 hours or so? Have you ever been to a GA anywhere?
I do not mean to be judgemental about this, but this is not about people kibbitzing on their computers. This is an active movement of people in the streets. Of course, I understand that people have lives to live. They have jobs to go to an families to raise. But I think nearly everyone could take just one day out of there entire busy lives and spend that day at an occupation if they are at all interested in the movement and what it is all about. It is also really important to go to a GA which is how occupations govern themselves.
If you are within commuting distance of an occupation try to bloc out at least an hour or two every week when you can be there, especially during a GA when all the decisions are made. If you are not within commuting distance of a GA, when you get home use twitter, face books, old fashioned friendship networks and other social networks to call people together and start your own GA. Start a web site. Announce your meetings. People will come. Look in a mirror. We are all leaders.
With regard to how big our ambitions are look at the top of this page, right under Occupy Wall Street. It says The revolution continues worldwide! Those are our ambitions. Look at who the Declaration of the Occupation is addressed to. It is not addressed to any government, any government agency or any corporation. It is addressed to the people of the world. It is an organizing vehicle. The point is, if we are sufficiently well organized we will not have to make any demands of anyone. We will be in a position to begin to reorganize society ourselves, democratically, from below. One of the best signs I ever saw at an occupation said, Demands puts somebody else in charge of your happiness. But if you don't like it that's fine. Make your own sign. We love it.
In a sense, the occupations are a tiny model of that reorganizations. In them we are learning how to run a truely just and democratic society.
But if your own ambitions are more modest, that's ok too. We welcome all the 99% the chronic homeless as well as the genteel displaced middle class. That's what it will take to build a truely loving, just and democratic society. It will take all of us loving each other and working together.
If you think we are too far out for you. That's ok too. Suspend your disbelief long enough to join us. If you think our point of view is too far out. that's ok too. Join a Working Group. Go to a GA and try to get them to adopt your ideas and your point of view, but keep and open mind. This is a learning experience for all of us.
No, I have not had the opportunity to attend a GA. What does GA stand for? I've been reading all the chatter on this site and putting in my two cents worth. I must say that my assumption of the OWS's agenda was different than what I am getting from you. I am starting to have flashbacks from the sixties.The description says "the movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia." I must not be watching the news close enough,because I thought these countries and a few others were protesting and demanding changes in their governments. I'm open minded but saving the world with love,peace and passiveness has already been tried. There is that aggressive moralless segment of the human population,throughout the world, that thrives on the domination of the weaker of the species. If they will not rise up and defend themselves they will be slaves.
GAs are General Assemblies. They are the governing bodies of the occupations and often start before an occupation starts and help plan an occupation. Some places have GAs that have not yet developed occupations and perhaps never plan to develop occupations. Most occupations have at least one GA a day. Everyone who is there may participate. It doesn't matter if you are 2 or 102, deaf, blind or legless, a citizen of Sheboygan or Minsk, a drug addict, a psychotic, a felon or just an ordinary displaced middle class person. Everyone in the 99% is welcome and equal.
OWS has no agenda. It's only political document is the Declaration of the Occupation. It is not perfect, but it is the most transparent entity I've ever seen in my 68 years and that includes two marriages. Like OWS the Egyptians really had no demands of Mubarak. They didn't want him to do anything except leave. Watch what is happening in Egypt right now as I write this. They are back in Tahrir Square by the thousands. And they again are not demanding anything but that the military government step down. The response is that they can't because there is nothing to replace them with. As with the 1% in America, they ask, "what are your demands" to which the Egyptian people resond, "we have no demands, just leave!" Egyptian revolutionaries have visited us in Zuccotti Square and they have invited OWS to send representatives to visit their revolution.
I really think if you spent 24 hours in a relatively large occupation it would change your life. I'm 68 years old and as cynical as the next guy, but it really is astonishing. Of course it's grungy, who wouldn't be after spending several weeks in a tent without regular showers. And it certainly isn't conflict free. Trying to integrate homeless people, including psycotic and drug addicts into a community that is trying to be the most genuinely democratic experiment ever intended is no easy task. But the love you feel and the lack of fear (except from the surrounding cops) is really astonishing. Total strangers walk up to you and become literal intimate friends in a matter of seconds and it is really democratic. There is no deference or preference for age, education, race, gender or any other category. The food is great and costs whatever you can pay for it. Free if you have no money. Every occupation I have been to has a really spectacular free library. Take a book. Keep it for as long as you want. Forever if you want. Bring it back or give it to somebody else.
I gives tactics that is how i change things.
The solution is to convince those involved in OWS (and specifically those who speak at the GAs) of what specifically are the philosophical roots of the current problems, the implementations of those philosophical roots, and the effects of those implementations, then to propose different philosophical roots, implementations, and explain the expected effects stemming from the implementations and why these effects are expected. Failing to convince others that a particular idea is correct will never get them to unify and take whatever action is required to implement the political measures in accordance with the philosophical roots. Politics is an aspect of philosophy. We will not see new politics until we see new philosophy. You and I seem to accept different philosophical systems, but what I have said above is the only way we will convince others that either of us is right.
How do you propose to convince anybody at OWS or at a GA of anything. I've gone to several. I think they're great and they are great places to have really great conversations and if you keep and open mind to really learn stuff, but I can't say I've ever been able to convince anybody of anything there and I'm 68 years old. I've spent most of my life in labor unions and other organizations and I'm fairly good at convincing people of things. But that doesn't strike me that's what OWS is all about. Meanwhile I'm along for the ride and I think it's great. Which doesn't mean I don't try to convince people of things. I just don't have high expectations in that regard and it doesn't bother me because basically I agree with Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein and Michael Moore that the movement is doing great and what it needs to do is keep on doing what its doing.
But what exactly is it doing? If it's opening dialogues that would otherwise not occur between people who would otherwise not even be interested in such conversations, I agree that it's a great thing. Perhaps a different movement is required in order to create and support new political parties and ideas. I can't say for sure. But what I do know is that reason is what those of us who wish for change must appeal to. There are those who will judge the effectiveness of proposed measures in creating the change desired based on reason and those who will judge based solely on who proposes the ideas. The ones who will base their decisions on reason are the ones that must be found and convinced. They will lead the rest. If the change is accomplished through means other than reason (i.e. by force), we will have accomplished nothing.
At least everyday at least once a day OWS is engaged in some kind of solidarity struggle somewhere. Sometimes its a labor struggle or a picket line. Sometimes its a protest against stop and frisk or some other community issue. Sometimes its a solidarity march to some embassy or consulate. All kinds of things. Typically there are at least two solidarity demonstrations every day that OWS is active in.
At least a couple of times a week there are teach ins and various kinds of educational panels where occupiers can educate themselves. The library is quite impressive. There are of course, GAs everyday and various Working Groups meet every day. There is a lot of activity just keeping a community running. Working in the kitchen, cleaning up. Working with the media, etc. This is very important because the occupations, among other things, are the models of the kind of society we want to build. We will learn how to democratically run a city, a state, a nation and the world by first learning how to govern our own communities democratically. This is no simple task. It involves for example, integrating the homeless, psycotics, drug addicts and other social categories that the 1% consider undesirable into our community. That is not easy especially when these folks do not share our values. But we are all part of the 99%. It's not just about making things comfortable for the genteel but disposessed middle class.
Perhaps changing to daily protests rather than occupations would help improve public opinion. If you think 99% of America is in favor of occupations you are in for a real surprise. Public support is declining daily.
You need to remember that most people have jobs and when you disrupt commerce you threaten their livelihood. Public opinion will go down not up. Daily organized peaceful demonstrations with a clear message on what is wrong and some ideas to fix things.
I understand the desire to have every person petition expressed but picking a few important issues and driving them home will be more successful than just the current process. It is the number one thing I hear from the public. “I am not sure what they are looking for. I don’t think they even know.”
It is extremely important to occupy a visible public space 24/7. It is a place that people can go to 24 hours a day to find out about the movement. It is a place where the homeless can find a welcoming community. Occupations are all over the place and they are wonderful. One can go nearly anywhere in the nation now and find a place to sleep, something to eat for free, a wonderful library, and most of all a community of welcoming like minded people. I think nothing like it has existed in the United States since the days of the Populist Party more than a century ago.
What happened at Zuccatti was not positive. Everything went downhill, the park became fractured, and public opinion of the movement decreased daily.
The internet can be used to creat flash mobs in minutes it can certainly be used to bring people together daily for protests, marches, assemblies...
What evidence do you have that the park became fractured? Were you there? Tell me about it. That is not what I saw. How in the world was public opinion about the Zuccotti occupation measured? I didn't see any polls. Can you direct me to them or are you just making that stuff up. I'm telling you about my personal experience at several occupations including Zuccotti Park as well as long conversations with Zuccotti Park occupants who had also been to other occupations which I have not had the good fortune to visit yet. I am not suggesting that Zuccotti Park is a utopia or a paradise or a heaven on Earth or that there were not profound problems there that it was working through, which is the case at virtually all the occupations.
One of the great problems is that of urban homelessness which was fairly well hidden until the occupations were established. Because they offerred a coherent community and good food they are a natural magnet for the homeless, which is an embarrassment for city administrations as we made the problem of homelessness ,more visible. It is true that of course there were problems in integrating the homeless into our community. But this is something we were learning about as we were doing it and at the same time we were also learning survival skills from the homeless as they were integrated into our community.
Finally, I think the issue of a visible public 24/7 occupation where people can come to to learn about the movement. I literally had conversations with the curious at Zuccotti Park every hour of the day and night whether it was 2 in the afternoon or 5 in the morning. Also, the network of occupations is extremely important. Again, for the first time in more than a century it's possible to travel to virtually any large city, find the occupation, find a place to get settled for the night, find something good to eat for whatever you care to pay, find something facinating to read, and find dozens of facinating people to talk and who will show you real openness and love even though you just met.
Maybe this should be spread around :
It is a declaration with a lot of good points seems to me. At another topic you stated it was "antithetical" to OWS's agenda. But as I stated in a reply, it covers a lot of my complaints with our present political situation.you also mentioned the fact that it is copy righted. I don't know a lot about copy right laws, but if that means OWS hangs their hat on the " 99PercentDeclaration" is that unexceptable? This, in my opinion, could be what OWS is looking for and I think that every participant should at least read it if for no other reason to give them an idea of what they need to make themselves understood. Many people are turned off because they cannot see a concrete list of what OWS wants.
Far from "hanging its hat on the 99% Declaration" the NYC GA has very specifically rejected it on many many occasions. As I said OWS has its own document, the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, to which I directed you. Superficially it may look something like the 99% Declaration but a careful reading would reveal that it is quite different. If you want to talk about it read it and I'd be glad to.
You continue to avoid the issue that the 99% Declaration specifically rejects the represention of minors and noncitizens as delegates to its proposed assembly, Of all the nutty, stupid and reactionary things in the 99% Declaration (buried in a handful of good things) that, by far is the worst an most offensive. And I didn't say it was antithetical to OWS's agenda. OWS has no agenda. What I said was that it was antithetical to OWS's values and ethics which are quite strong and well articulated.
The fact that the document is copyrighted is pretty offensive. It's not what is typically done with collective documents, but not my primary issue here. The fact is the whole thing stinks and should be avoided by honorable people once they figure it out, more or less like what the Communist Party was like in the 1930s. Superficially it looked like it was fighting for good things, but what it really was was a shill for Stalin's totalitarian foreign policy. If you are an honorable person, get away from this shit. I'm not saying don't continue to examine it, but it's healthier to do so from afar and not as a dupe.
Meanwhile my suggestion is go to the nearest occupation. Spend 24 hours there on a week end. Most people have week ends off or a couple of days off during the week. Go to at least one complete GA and see how it works. Then go home and if you are not within commuting distance of a GA use twitter, face book, other social networks and old fashioned friendship networks and start your own GA. Set up a web site. You'll have a lot of people quickly. Look in a mirror. We are all leaders.
Regarding what OWS wants, again, take a look at the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. It contains more than 20 specific grienvances. Then tell me why that's not concrete enough for you.
a paradigm shift is a well understood phenomenon studied in science.
Giving me lots of new and some old web links to check out is fun and interesting but it doesn't do a dam thing in terms of explaining how one might go about getting OWS to adopt principles, ideas, slogans, demands or anything else you might think interesting, important, or even essential.
you failing to go look at whats been linked to is your problem. The core essentials of how to bring this movement to focus HAVE been posted. Either you are a troll, or you aren't, the test in this is whether or not you bother to LOOK. "Demands" are for terrorists. The REAL solutions are now on the table.
Your failure to bother to click the links is your problem, not mine.
I've looked at all the links and I may be being dense, but I don't see anything in any of them explaining exactly how to get OWS to adopt the ideas they have, which was my original question.
I am not a troll. I have some medical problems, and I live more than 100 miles from NYC, but I try to get to Zuccotti Plaza as often as I can, especially for GAs. I've also been to Philly GAs several times and to GAs in DC a couple of times.
That said, again forgive my denseness but I would very much appreciate it if you you point directly to me to exactly where, in any of these links it explains how to get any of their ideas adopted by OWS. Or perhaps you might write a brief note explaining it. Failing that, I'd like to get back to the material as we used to say in vaudeville and actually try to grapple with the question of how one might go about getting OWS to adopt ideas, plans, slogans, demands, etc. that it thinks are good.
A Paradigm is defined as a system of ideas, generally, any specific set of ideas in a bundle. All philosophies, Sciences, Religions, Cults, Social Movements, and even Cultural Identities are Paradigms. In logic and linguistics and game theory and systems theory, all Paradigms have been shown to evolve according to systemic rules which are more or less universal cross Paradigm. For instance, Memes are created in a sort of detailing order after core Axioms, and Core Axioms compose every given Paradigm and Any given Paradigm has 100- 1000 Core Axioms. An Axiom is a single statement which is considered a self evident truth from inside of a given Paradigm.
In the Normal flow of Paradigm Evolution outside of a controlled society, Memes stack inside of paradigms until critical mass is achieved and then new paradigms in essence splice out and away from old paradigms as new knowledge is discovered. In a Controlled and Dumble Downed and Propaganda and Cultur warring oligarchy such as yours, Paradigms are more or less put on ice; frozen back in time, in order to prevent social and civil progress and natural evolution.
In short the core factual truth about both the republican party and the democrat party is that both exist as one mental cage to prevent the public from even knowing the truth by con scamming everyone with a very noisy but very insane false public dialog. In short, they drown out all signal and replace it with pure noise. Both Parties abolutely rely upon mass ignorance or their policies and assorted shenanigans would never fly with the public. Both parties are in short keeping the public as stupid as possible in order to exploit people and prevent science truths from being implemented to solve problems.
While this is not generally obvious from the point of view of a person without an advanced degree, it is quite obvious to Sociologists everywhere. Political Scientists who aren't propaganda warriors have been admitting for a long time now that the USA is a patent oligarchy; NOT a democratic republic. How information is treated in this society and how the truth is bludgeoned to death by BOTH parties is an absolute proof of this, but you have to have esoteric knowledge to see it. Game theorists, Systems Theorists, Energy Scientists, Formal Conversational Logic Linguists, ... Civil Engineers... Any one of these professions leads one to dynamic knowledge which transcends the grand con scam.
A Paradigm Shift can change everything. And for 60 or 70 years, they have been preventing those paradigms from shifting by lying to the public, mis teaching our children, "
When you tell me that you have looked at the links but fail to SEE that the solution has been multiply presented, that makes you look a whole lot more than just suspicious.
Either you are being lazy, or you are playing games.
I have read your whole posting several times. I could be missing something or I could just be being dense, but I don't see anything in it that even refers to OWS much less explains how one might get OWS to adopt this or that position. Please point to exactly where that is explained.
READING the post won't help much, you'd have to CLICK the link. Stop playing lazy and stupid. I will spell it out for you shortly. The way to get ows to adopt anything is to get to the wiki, create a good long treatment of the issue, and then get back to the noisy places like this and get people working on it. While that may not be how things are moving NOW, its THE ONLY way to create meaningful long term organization across the country.
Stop being dense and lazy and BOTHER to click the link. Of course you will never find any good answers if you are too fucking lazy to go LOOK beyond your near horizons.
I have pointed to exactly where that is explained. its is explained in the paradigm shift papers, it is explained by the very point of even HAVING a wiki.
You missing the point one way or the other probably on purpose is your problem.
I have gone to all of the links which you have posted. I have read them several times. Nowhere in any of them do I find any reference to OWS much less any discussion about how to influence the OWS decision making process or get OWS to adopt the ideas that they are advocationg. How, exactly do you "get people working on it." This seems like an organizing issue, but I wish you would be more concrete.
The problem with denseness, and I do apologize for it, is that it is not voluntary. I am trying to figure out exactly how you think OWS can be meaningfully influenced to change its direction and I see that you have forwarded me to a lot of interesting links with a lot of interesting ideas, but I still don't see anything about how to get OWS to change its direction.
The notion of getting "people working on it" is a start, but only very barely a start. How exactly do you propose to get people working on it and what exactly would they do that would change the course of OWS and why hasn't it happened yet?
i have been concrete. No, you have not been to the site and looked or you wouldn't be back this soon.
I don't want ows to change its direction, thats you. I want ows to fullfill its direction lucidly and wake up instead of sleepwalking, and thats as complicated as the zillion details its not bothering to bring up to the surface.
How exactly i propose to get people working on it... WTF? what more can be said? I'm the lone sane guy in all of this pointing out HOW to have a REAL revolution. Until everyone else stops being a fucking zombie and joins me, there isn't much there.
Why hasn't it happened yet? Denseness. People like you ask me 20 questions instead of signing up, signing in, and creating 10 new pages.
People are out en masse protesting and nobodies done their homework.
This forum is a mind crime of intentional disorganization because the agenda of the person who created it is to house a trollhatten, not a revolution.
The direction is not the problem. the strategy of protest and occupy without doing homework is the problem. meaningful change only comes from doing the homework, and then there are people like you- who are GIVEN the solution on a platter and yet who STILL demand to have it spelled out and spelled out and spelled out because you can't be BOTHERED to take REAL time or actually put in a personal investment. Quit telling other people to make a change and step up to take the personal responsibility FOR that. I have. Either you will, or you won't, in the latter case you are just wasting everyones time including your own.
Communication is a two way street. I know I am really trying and I hope you are too. When you think you have been concrete even when the person you are talking to doesn't think you have, then something is wrong and we have to work together to try and figure out what that is.
One of the things I would point out to you is, so far as I am aware none of the ideas you advocate or feel strongly about have found any particular resonance yet in any GA. That alone suggests to me that the problem of understanding is not mine alone but is almost universally shared at all occupations. That being the case, unless I am thinking about this wrong, and I am willing to be corrected, it seems to me that the problem of communication rests with you.
I think OWS is wonderful. When I am at an occupation not for one second do I feel like I am wasting my time, but I also don't particularly feel like I have any control over its direction. I feel like I'm along for the ride and really enjoying it, which is not to say I don't have suggestions. It's just that I don't invest so much in them that I'm disappointed when people choose to ignore them.
Aside from my own GA, and sooner or later, evolutionary time later, thats the direction it must go in. The problem of understanding? There is no problem of understanding. There is cognitive dissonance, and the work which we don't want to do because we want somebody else to do it for us. The problems of communication are quite complicated/ I don't just have to put the solutions on the table, i have to deal with the problem that you and everyone else will read them, gloss over them, and reject them, not because they aren't right or well communicated, but because you are all lazy propaganda zombots who aside from protesting aren't ready to wake up yet.
HOW we invest our time and energy is crucial. If you want to change the direction of things, (which is impossible really, because its not a change in direction its a change in actual movement you want. Right now its a giant log jam of unresolved issues which everyone runs away from in order to escape the complexities of personal responsibility.) Then you have to get out ahead of the path of the evolutionary direction and be a part of the Adult chorus thats pulling things along to break the log jam. The VERY long winded and detailed "how to have a paradigm shift" quite explicitly and concretely states how to do that. You either didn't read it, or you didn't get it. If you want your voice to be heard like soooo many other people that want their voices to be heard, you have to leave the giant con scam of this forum and get on a medium designed for collaboration instead of designed for message control.
ETC. Textbooks. Problem solving process and open source collaboration. Things i have written in depth about which i am NOT going to keep repeating over and over and over again just because people are too lazy to click a link.
The Evolutionary direction of things can't be stopped. It will creep along at a snails pace until it finally breaks past some tipping point. What you can do to make that snap happen is bother to take personal responsibility in the same manner that i have.
Nearly everybody, especially folks over 40, is convinced that if OWS doesn't follow its advice it will sooner or later be doomed. Fair enough. The important thing is in the meantime. Hope on and enjoy the ride. Feel free to give advice, but keep an open mind and listen to others and don't be too disappointed when people choose not to follow your advice.
As for the intellectual development of OWS, it is the most intellectual social movement I've seen in my lifetime, going back to 1964. The student movement of the 1960s was in many respects anti-intellectual. Not OWS. Every occupation I've seen has a superb library. And the initiators of the movement are extremely articulate and are considerably influenced by the intellectual traditions of anarchism.
er. there is nothing intellectual about anarchism. there is nothing intellectual about assorted forums which exist in essence for the express purpose of dumbing down the conversation. The difference between me and anybody over 40 is that first, i'm only 39, and second, I have tons of actual hard science knowledge by the busload, So I know what i am talking about and most of them don't. I'm not concerned about ows being doomed, i am concerned about it failing to bring about real change inside of a realistic time scale. Civilization is running down, we could have a revolution in two months if everyone gets their head out of their ass... or we could have protests in the streets as civilization collapses and then civilization collapses.
its not ows thats doomed. its this civilization. The only option is to change and have a civilized civilization, which we don't have.
ows is an alternative to human extinction. Under such conditions, its hardly meaningful to imagine ows being doomed- its just one human institution and EVERY human institution is doomed unless a REAL revolution happens.
I was born in 1971, So i can't speak to previous and mostly failed social movements.
I can speak to the current situation, given a lens of understanding from game theory, systems theory, sociology, political science, Civil Engineering, formal conversational logic, and etc.
Again, simply put, either get on the wiki and start being part of the solution, or stay here and continue to be part of the problem.
I have answered your question, 3 or 5 times, and apparently its not good enough for you- i think mostly because you just didn't actually READ the link.
Well, as soon as you stop gaming and playing and telling me you have read stuff you haven't, and as soon as you read and grok that bit, things can change- at least for you. If you had some hope of a million person effort to evolve ows... I'm sorry. Its up to the lucid and awake people to create those doors and set it all into motion. Your not helping, you are one of the best examples i can think of for why it stalls out. while your busy waxing philosophic on the one hand and lying to me that you have bothered to read materials you haven't on the other, everything is moving along according to evolutionary and entropic forces which can't be stopped. Your question is the wrong question. Its not important how to change ows, its important how to change civilization, and if ows is a way to change civilization then it is useful and if it is not a way to change civilization then it is part of the problem.
I have a shelf full of books by anarchists. I wouldn't call them exactly anti-intellectual. What about Diderot, Malatesta, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, etc., etc. All professed anarchists and all quite literate and literary. And that doesn't even begin to include 20th century anarchist thought, most prominently the Spanish anarchists and the situationists.
Regarding my initial question. I do think you have answered it now in some detail but only really for me in this last posting where you clarify your attitude toward OWS and your feelings that ultimately it is not the future of OWS that is at stake but civilization. I suppose I'd agree but about the only thing that stands between us and doom is OWS which is admittedly a very slender reed to pin one's hopes on to mix metaphors.
Please don't be mean spirited. It is really not in the spirit of OWS, which is the best thing about it. I'm as cyncial as the next guy, but it's nearly impossible to spend any time at an occupation without feeling all that love. I really have read all the links you sent me. Sorry if I didn't understand them all or agree with some of the parts that I did understand, but that's the nature of democracy after all, isn't it?
In some respects you do seem rather Randian which, it seems to me is antithetical to the values of OWS. That is you seem to feel that you are smarter than most people, which may be true and people are stupid for not following your advice, which also may be true, but not exactly designed to win people over.
being literate and literary doesn't make you intellectual. Anarchism is a dumble down con scam, designed by the oligarchs to dupe fools into fighting for their own oppression by giving a face to their resistance which is patently absurd to the public. "Proffessional Anarchist" you do realize thats an oxymoron? I am sorry if you feel i am being mean. I never know whether some troll is trying to play me and esp once i have put the solutions on the table one starts to wonder, i think, very legitimately. if your just snarky game playing. I don't appreciate running around in circles, and i don't appreciate my time sucking into tunnels because other people think i owe them time when they can't give the situation the time it requires in the first place. I deal with this over and over and over again. And I'm beyond burnt out on it. Ayn Rand is an idiot, I have no interest in that and am nothing like that.
Its a catch 22. I have a 180 IQ and all the sciences under my belt. Either we hate me for being who i am and what i am or we understand that i'm just offering services and ,myself as utility to make something positive happen. I'm not going to make believe to be somebody ignorant or unclued just to be popular.
I took the time to know what i am talking about, most people don't. I don't have an opinion, i have factual understanding and there is a difference. If that seems egoic to you or anybody, thats their issue and in fact i am an aspie- i don't have a muggle ego.
The path of right action is well delineated on the wiki. If you want real change or evolutionary process or progress, thats where it is and how it moves. If you want to imagine that you have done all you can by coming here and making an issue of how its all log jammed and then walk away from the person whos explaining how to fix it... Look... to be truthful your psychology says your looking for excuses to opt out. So opt out already. Or opt in.
I don't know what else can be said. I'm not interested in discussing me, If you have a contribution to make to the evolutionary path of human awakening, do it on the wiki. even trying to converse here is silly because it proves you can't even be bothered to leave the trollhatten and get to the wiki. I have to keep my guard up on a trollhatten. I have to also bear in ,mind that long winded explanations on this forum only eat my time. You keep eating my time. You haven't don't anything on the wiki. I'm not getting the sense you will, you seem to be meandering off into veiled ad homs. No surprises there, glad i didn't waste a lot more time on this than i have already.
This looks like a good start:
The so-called 99% Declaration is something that was produced by a renegade which has been roundly rejected by the NYC GA. In many respects it is quite antithetical to the thinking and values of OWS. Among other things it is copyrighted, which is contrary to the sharing values of OWS especially for documents which are supposed to be collective enterprizes.
Leaving aside the idea of representative from every Congressional District which, while not antithetical to OWS values is wacky given that there are no GAs or Occupations in most CDs, the document also specifically excludes minors and noncitizens from representation. In my experience at OWS both minors and noncitizens have played key roles and I find the idea of excluding them from representation disgusting, repudgnant and totally antithetical to the universalist values of OWS. We are all part of the 99%. Long live the revolution! Solidarity forever!
Does OWS have something similar? I would like to see it if they do, if they don't they need to come up with a declaration. Because this one sure addresses a lot of my complaints with our present political situation.
The only official political document ever produced by OWS is called the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City and with a little effort you should be able to find it on this website. If you have difficulty finding it you can also do a web search under its whole title and it will pop up. For some people in the provinces they get the two confused as I think the Declaration of the 909% is consciously modelled after the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City in order to confuse people.
OK ,I was duped then. But it has some good points and if nothing else would make a good outline for a declaration for OWS because the lack of one seems to be causing people to turn away. And it would also give them direction.
The problem is, its good points, as you put it, are laced into a much more insidious narrative. Again OWS HAS a political document. It's called the Declaration of the Occupation of New York. Several times I have referred you to it. It is available on this website. If you have trouble finding it do a web search. You should find it. If you still have trouble finding it tell me and I will send it to you. Read it and then tell me precisely what it is that you see lacking. I personally think it is one of the greatest political documents ever produced in America.
Also, and again, the best thing for anyone to do who is interested in and supportive of the Occupation movement is to take the time to go to your nearest occupation. Unless you are in Montana or some really isolated place you should be able to find one within 200 miles which should be close enough to spend a week end day. Go to at least one complete GA. The go home and use twitter, face book, personal contacts and other social networks to find like minded people. Call a meeting. Start a GA. Set up a web site. People will come. Look in a mirror. We are all leaders. The revolution continues world wide! Solidarity forever!
OWS is not against corporate controlled government ?
Of course OWS is against corporate controlled government, but that's not what the phoney so-called 99% Declaration is all about. If you haven't figured that out yet you are either a dupe who needs to be educated of a shill trying to sell one of the most disruptive things anyone ever tried to foist on OWS.
If you are serious and still support the 99% Declaration then speak to the objections I've raised. I've raised them time and again on 99% lists only to have them either ignored or be kicked off the list or both.
How in the world do you expect to get delegates to a national GA from Congressional Districts where there are no occupations or even GAs?
And, most important please speak to the fact that the 99% Declaration specifically excludes minors and noncitizens from representation. Considering the universalist values of OWS as well as the practical crucial role that many minors and noncitizens have played in OWS I find such a proposition repulsive, disgusting and antithetical to OWS universalist values. Read the line at the top of this page. The world wide revolution continues! That doesn't exclude anybody. Long live the revolution! Solidarity forever!
I did wonder about the delegate deal and I missed the line about the minors and noncitizens.
It says something to the effect that delegate are to be U.S. citizens over the age of 18. Get it! Puke! The revolution continues world wide! Long live the revolution! Solidarity forever!
You bring up a good point. It seems then, that one of the first things we should do is to get some form of OWS representation into each Congressional District and have them coordinated on one of the websites. That might be a good step 1. What do you think?
I think you are avoiding the much more important issue of the exclusion of minors and noncitizens from representation. I actually tried to open this question up and was rebuffed, so I came to the conclusion that there was no point in working with this rigged, undemocratic outfit. I'm for OWS. There is also the issue of the copyright of the document, which I really find offensive.
The notion of representatives from every CD isn't so much antithetical to OWS principles as it is wacky. There are no GAs in most CDs and they are unlikely to materialize by the time of the projected national GA. Conversely there are a few CDs with more than one GA. It would make a lot more sense to have proportional representation based on the relative strength of various GAs, but that's not going to happen either and personally I'm not going to waste my time with any outfit that is profoundly undemocratic and in any event unlikely to put off what it wants anyway. I'm for OWS. The world wide revolution continues! Solidarity forever!
I wasn't speaking of the 99% Declaration per se because I agree there are problems with that document. And you are not alone in your concern about whether anything will ever get done with the present way things are being done. There's a growing number of people on this site that are beginning to wonder if there isn't a hidden agenda, something I've wondered about since Day 1. We want to take this thing to the next level. We're wondering whether we're wasting our time on this site but are hanging in out of sheer optimism and a belief in the underlying principle. Another thing: why do we even NEED the okay of the NYCGA to move things forward? What we need is to compile a list that includes the ideas most of us are already in agreement about, but what's needed is a way to coordinate all the occupy sites in the US so the people can vote on them, then decide on the next course of action. I don't know, I hope this doesn't sound like the ramblings of a madman, I've got a lot of thoughts about OWS and trying to get them all organized isn't always easy with all the distractions, both internal and external.
The Occupation movement in the US started with the Occupy Wall Street demonstration on September 17. In many respects the intellectual leadership and key ideas of the movement are still coming out of New York, though the struggles in Oakland and other places are changing that a bit. The point is, there is no organizing center for OWS and there is no way to invent that hot house style or conjure something like that into existence, nor do I think it is particularly necessary. The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City is a great organizing tool and it can be used anywhere, not just New York.
In terms of having plans that you would want the whole movement to adopt nationally there really is no mechanism to do that but that doesn't mean its impossible. The best way to do that is to get your ideas passed in a GA and then try to get other GAs to adopt it. Doing it at the NYC GA has some cache because it was the first occupation. It could be done anywhere, and the bigger the GA the better, because the bigger the GA the more seriously the idea is likely to be taken at other GAs.
But ultimately I personally don't think anything needs to be moved forward or anywhere at this point. Our job is to organize organize organize and the best organizing vehicle we have is the Declaration of the Occupation. OWS is not even in its infancy. It's really still just in the womb. Suggesting that there needs to be a next stage now is like asking a baby who hasn't yet learned to crawl to go to graduate school.
I agree with Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein and Michael Moore that what OWS needs to do is keep doing what it's doing. Basically, I'm along for the ride and the ride is great. Of course I have ideas and suggestions, and I try to introduce them at the appropriate time and place, but I don't invest to much in them. People will either buy into them or not. It's no big deal. The important thing is the movement.
I don't think there is any hidden agenda anywhere. At the top of this page, right under Occupy Wall Street. It says The revolution continues worldwide! A lot of supporters think that is hyperbole, but if you go to any GA I think you would see that it isn't, that while perhaps most OWS supporters are fairly moderate in their political views or perhaps liberal, those most active in the movement really do see themselves and the movement as revolutionary. We do not see it as hyperbole. Beyond that, most of the moderates in the movement, unlike the radicals, can't even seem to agree among themselves. At the Demands Working Group of the NYC GA, which is where most of the moderates hang out, after several weeks of wrangling and nearly every meeting being contentious, they can't even agree among themselves about a common set of demands, much less convince the GA which is ultimately skeptical of any demands as a matter of principle. While they are probably a majority in the movement, I don't see the moderates in OWS anywhere in the nation being any more coherent than they are in New York.
Of course the vast majority of Americans are not revolutionary. The radicals in OWS understand this perfectly and ironically they are much more patient than are the moderates. We are perfectly aware that what we are after will take at least years, probably decades and perhaps several lifetimes. Patience is a revolutionary virtue.
All valid points. Thanks for the input. I guess many of us are too impatient and it probably would be wise to slow down a bit. Let's hope we have the time, it's a pretty tense situation we find ourselves in, politically speaking. And I'm 53. I sure would like to see what the US could be, and should be, before my time's up.
If you really want to see what the US could be and should be go to an occupation. Of course they are over crowded. They are sleeping in tents and it's hard not to become grungy when you have to struggle to get a shower. But the love and cooperation are a model of what a truely just and democratic society would look like.
The movement should create list of issues facing the nation. Then prioritize those issues. Mobilize these grass root movement to resolve one at a time. In my mind top most issue is recover democracy by getting the influence of money out of the system. Second would be somehow create a system where in the elected official is not constantly campaigning for next election by restricting term limits or some similar idea.
The movement should create list of issues facing the nation. Then prioritize those issues. Mobilize these grass root movement to resolve one at a time. In my mind top most issue is recover democracy by getting the influence of money out of the system. Second would be somehow create a system where in the elected official is not constantly campaigning for next election by restricting term limits or some similar idea.
To me this is more shoulding on the movement. The movement should do this, the movement should do that, blah, blah. But there is absolutely nothing here about how to get the movement to implement these great things you think it should do. I have to conclude that anybody without a plan for implementing there wonderful world shaking ideas is just a kibbitzer and not at all serious.
When Obama and then Unions got into OWS, Everything fell. I can be supportive of a few of your points of view. When Obama and his Unions got involved, OWS took a stab in the heart. Now I see OWS as on the Obama payroll, just like America knows the Unions are.
I see absolutely no evidence that Obama has anything at all to do with OWS. If anything quite the opposite is true. While it is true that some OWS activists will probably vote for Obama, but that is only because, by their lights, they see no alternative. Many OWSers will not vote at all. Some will vote Green or Socialist. I suspect that even a few might vote Republican. But the general attitude about Obama at OWS is almost universally hostile, so I don't see how anyone can say he "got into" OWS. That is pure fantasy so far as I can see. It is true that some Democratic Party institutions such as particularly MoveOn are trying to insinuate themselves into OWS, but OWSers are almost universally hostile to MoveOn and similar operation.
As for the unions an alliance was struck very early on between OWS and the unions largely because of very creative outreach on the part of OWS which extended its active solidarity to several local labor struggles without question and without condition. In return sectors of the labor movement have offerred various forms of solidarity from physical solidarity at one point which stood down a potential police raid to storage space to meeting space and even to showers at some locations.