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Forum Post: How We Win: One Perspective on Where We Go From Here (paragraphing corrected in this version)

Posted 6 years ago on Oct. 11, 2011, 5:05 a.m. EST by aswewalk (104)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Many are hungry for community and they're enjoying the process. Others are absolutely convinced that we need official lists of goals right now. To those who insist upon specifics at this juncture, let me offer the following:

You're asking what we want? I once was asking the same question from afar so I truly understand your frustration. Let me give you an honest answer to your sincere question. I'm no expert and I don't speak for the whole, but I'll at least attempt to give you a real response. Others can feel free to join in and correct me.

First of all, we want to change your mind about what's possible. We want you to discover what you have in common with 99% of your fellow citizens including me. Next we want you to help others do the same. Then, we'll all be able to imagine a real and authentic community and a stronger more prosperous nation. More importantly, by rediscovering what we have in common and the power of human community, we'll have the means to do much more than just imagine a better nation. We'll also have the means to achieve it. Because we'll no longer be demanding individually from a position of weakness. Instead we'll be deciding democratically from a position of collective strength.

Deciding instead of demanding. Discovering what's possible and having the power achieve it. Thriving as an individual in a dynamic community rather than paddling furiously as an isolated powerless individual in a divided and decaying country. Once we get there, then we can start talking specifics about what we all want. Until then, until you're here with us, it would be presumptuous to discuss specifics. We can and should do that once everyone (including you) realizes they have a seat at the table. We need you to realize that you have the right and the power to help answer the very question you're posing.

Once we all wake up and realize our common ground and our collective power, once we realize that we hold the power, not the 1% who've been hoarding and exploiting all the resources, then we'll be in a position to shape the future. We won't be begging or demanding. We'll be deciding. Together.

Where you may currently see divisions, you may discover connections and common ground. That's what we want. And once we get there, everything will be possible. To paraphrase James Baldwin, none of us knows the precise shape of our future, but we're waking up to the fact that the future is ours.

61 Comments

61 Comments


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[-] 2 points by thoreau42 (595) 6 years ago

In it to Win it.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Please pass the above post link along to others to encourage patience and non-violence.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 6 years ago

Oh shit here he is again, thoreau42. I agree with that. Ditto thoreau.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Damn straight Thoreau. This is the real deal. This is a revolution.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 6 years ago

Yes a revolution.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

It feels good to use that word in a literal sense rather than hypothetical. It's been hypothetical for way too long.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 6 years ago

...and it is probably gonna get us in trouble. Cheers!

I am old. I cannot come to NY. The best I can do is talk and send creature comforts. The media says that the movement is flaky, unfocused. All revolutions start this way. Disorganized. One to Two to Four to Eight... That is the real power. 99.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

PS - You are definitely not old. You have one of the youngest freshest minds I've encountered on this forum.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

This is the right kind of trouble to be in. Because once this gets to the tipping point, it will be the 1% trying to make the demands.

Keep spreading the good word and I'll do the same. That is just as important as being here in the park or marching. People from all across America need to hear all of us speaking about this calmly and confidently without fear. It makes it safe for others to speak out. In some ways I think that's what this is all about, Americans and people across the world speaking out loud what we've been feeling for so long. When that happens, we realize we're not alone. And we realize we have the power. This is a chilling thought for those in the board rooms and country clubs. The corridors of power don't know how to handle a non-violent movement. It absolutely befuddles them. And in the era social networking, they're even more afraid. Because they don't control the media any longer. This is a real revolution.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 6 years ago

I will. I just bitched out a Vet who thinks the occupiers are all over-privileged punks. I busted a posting earlier where some assholes had created a page on blogspot and was asking for donations. The page is still up but they took down the PayPal button.

Yeah, this is important. Hey As, this will get ugly once the 1%ers decide they cannot make money from it. I predict about 10-14 days.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

I think you're exactly right on your timing of the big push back. It's being planned now, probably by private security firms, not police. They're praying for violence because then they win. So they'll place people and try to provoke it. If that happens, we need to sit down, announce we're non-violent and that this person is not part of the group. Make them look silly.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 6 years ago

the more people come and longer this goes on the more internal violence we will see. When does a group become a mob? Mob behavior is power. Individuals gain a power from the group. Cops are trained to deal with this. Unfortunately, tear gas will be deployed and heads will get cracked. I have seen it personally. Hopefully it will be more tazers and rubber slugs then in my day. Damn I wish I could be there.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 6 years ago

Yeah this will happen. They will send in some shills and they will try to start fights. They will be easy to spot. a) they will be fit b) they will stay close together as they move around the compound c) they will not move until they have overwhelming cop presence, else they be asswhooped by the occupiers - so they worry.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Exactly.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Got it

[-] 2 points by RichardGates (1529) 6 years ago

i really like this post. keep it up:)

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Thanks. Please help pass the word.

[-] 1 points by kuduDave (2) 6 years ago

I would get behind this hopeless move 100% if they were pushing:

  1. Term limits with 2 consecutive terms in the Senate and 2 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives. a. This would result in elected officials representing the people not the party leadership or heavy donors. There should be equivalent years of service Civil Service benefits upon leaving office and each support staff member should be limited to 8 years with the same affiliated party or level of government to prevent power from shifting from the former elite ruling class of representatives to the staffs. b. All typical laws should apply to Government Officials as to all citizens except those written to protect the sanctity of the governing process, i. Such as no Representative can be arrested when going to or from an official session so mischievous arrests can not effect voting, etc.

  2. Eliminate all funding sources to all elected officials other than directly from individual citizens at a reasonable annual fixed limit. a. Gives every voter equal voice, access and value to the candidates

  3. Lobbyists can not give anything in any form (zero token value) to an elected official other then intellectual ideas, expert testimony and information. a. Elected officials need the expertise provided by Lobbyists and special interest groups to create sound legislation, without owing anything in return since elected officials know absolutely nothing about anything so this is needed to help prevent unintended consequences.

If we did these 3 simple steps the Government would slowly but surely fix all that ails this country in about 2 to 3 election cycles. They would repeal dumb laws, excessive regulations, only regulate what's needed, stop wasting trillions of tax dollars, stop all but wars to preserve the Country, treat all citizens equally and govern to the peoples will with the consent of the governed

[-] 1 points by kuduDave (2) 6 years ago

I would get behind this hopeless move 100% if they were pushing:

  1. Term limits with 2 consecutive terms in the Senate and 2 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives. a. This would result in elected officials representing the people not the party leadership or heavy donors. There should be equivalent years of service Civil Service benefits upon leaving office and each support staff member should be limited to 8 years with the same affiliated party or level of government to prevent power from shifting from the former elite ruling class of representatives to the staffs. b. All typical laws should apply to Government Officials as to all citizens except those written to protect the sanctity of the governing process, i. Such as no Representative can be arrested when going to or from an official session so mischievous arrests can not effect voting, etc.

  2. Eliminate all funding sources to all elected officials other than directly from individual citizens at a reasonable annual fixed limit. a. Gives every voter equal voice, access and value to the candidates

  3. Lobbyists can not give anything in any form (zero token value) to an elected official other then intellectual ideas, expert testimony and information. a. Elected officials need the expertise provided by Lobbyists and special interest groups to create sound legislation, without owing anything in return since elected officials know absolutely nothing about anything so this is needed to help prevent unintended consequences.

If we did these 3 simple steps the Government would slowly but surely fix all that ails this country in about 2 to 3 election cycles. They would repeal dumb laws, excessive regulations, only regulate what's needed, stop wasting trillions of tax dollars, stop all but wars to preserve the Country, treat all citizens equally and govern to the peoples will with the consent of the governed

[-] 1 points by Mariannka (63) 6 years ago

I am amased at how Occupy works. Would like to have your input on the movement to understaqnd it better. It’s only couple of minutes to answer 10 questions. I only collect 100 answers and happy to send results if you are interested. Please, take some time for it: Thank you! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q3NF7QB http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q3NF7QB

[-] 1 points by theseaer (1) 6 years ago

I really admire you guys for starting this movement. The system we have today is not sustainable, it has to be abolished and replaced by direct participatory democracy. This is the beginning of something huge that`s gonna spread all over the US and eventually over the whole world - and you guys started it! Thanks! Yours S. http://www.kucuu.com

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

By the way, thank the plutocratic 1%. They're the ones that overplayed their hand and sparked this movement. And their repressive tactics (sure to come in the next few weeks) will help transform this non-violent movement into a non-violent revolution. The non-violent part is essential.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

It's getting exciting now. We may be only a few months away from the tipping point.

[-] 1 points by nursejean (1) from Whitehouse, TX 6 years ago

I applaud your efforts to restore some balance to this country and agree that greed has become the operating premise of many large companies. The middle class has become smaller as the working (or non-working) poor are growing, right along with millionaires and billionaires. It almost feels as though you can never get ahead even if you have a job, because prices are soaring for what used to be basics, such as: food, gas, medications, and even an occasional movie.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

I couldn't agree more. And now millions of Americans are realizing that they weren't alone in having this unease. Soon 308,682,000 (99%) of us will be awake to the fact that we're all in the same boat and we have the power. Once we get to that point, we will be able to make decisions from a position of unity and strength rather than demands from a position of weakness and division.

[-] 1 points by BogDog (15) 6 years ago

Well from looking at what I’ve seen people post on the OWS site and I’ve heard I think most could agree on one demand and that would be, change.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Well, that's probably true. I just wouldn't make it the official demand. We just don't need an official demand or set of demands yet. Our cake is still baking in a very good way. Don't pull cake out of oven too soon.

[-] 1 points by abundantmind (17) from Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do 6 years ago

Make the Money Supply a mathematical equation that is pegged to the human population of a society. Gold? C'mon...that's more scarcity-based thinking. We need to be thinking abundance-mentality. People are, and always will be, the only reason for money to exist in the first place, and so it only makes sense that money supply be tied to the population. The next evolution from there would be to somehow tie it to "good ideas" that require capital in order be realized.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

Intriguing

[-] 1 points by Justme (1) from Hoorn, NH 6 years ago

Anybody wants a Dutch translation?

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

However you can spread the word. We want to connect world-wide.

[-] 1 points by butterflyprincess37 (45) from Fort Collins, CO 6 years ago

wher we go from here? how to win? the words "general" and "strike" come to mind. for that though we need a clear cut list of demands we will not budge from. tell these fuckers, "look, we are not working anymore until you meet these demands, no negotiation"I would only include the most important items in the list of non-negotiable terms. things like ending corporate person hood. fair tax codes. public option health care. things like legislation regulating ceo to workers wage could be negotiated. you shut EVERYTHING down, they will either listen to us or attack us. they can't afford to attack us, especially if we remain peaceful. if they attack us, I would bet money there are people who would go the violent route, and people wouldn't blame them.

when peaceful revolution is made impossible, violent revolution is inevitable.

me, I think they would choose to attack us, and early on too. I'm all for an armed insurrection.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

I admire your passion and like some of your goals. I encourage you to discuss them with lots of people. I just recommend we wait a bit before we start issuing official demands and engaging in non-violent direct action. Let's grow the movement more, get to know each other better, listen to each other's ideas. We may hone our lists and tactics but more importantly we'll be a position to DECIDE from a strong position rather than demand from a week one.

[-] 1 points by butterflyprincess37 (45) from Fort Collins, CO 6 years ago

I agree we should let the movement grow, we need to come to an AGREEMENT on any demands before we can ISSUE any. I just see a general strike as the next logical step. but I also don't see the top 10% of society (I don't like targeting JUST the top 1%, the top 10% own something like 72% of all wealth. of course I understand the marketing aspect...) just giving up their wealth and power.

[-] 1 points by trustthefungus (7) 6 years ago

I think people want actionable steps; things they can do right now.

One thing I think about is how we spend our money. Every dollar we spend is, in a sense, a vote. I wonder how many protestors had a grande mocha latte that morning? How many are tweeting their experiences on their iPhone? Do they pay for all that with their Chase debit card? I think this is the reason why Wall St. doesn't want to budge. We're dependent on the companies they invest in and trade; we're feeding them our money.

So what do we do? We can't not take out loans to buy Kia Sorentos. If we stop spending, things will get worse. I think ONE actionable step is to seek out those companies are responsible and "vote" for those companies with our money.

For example, New Balance offers shoes that are American made so why not buy a pair of domestically made New Balances shoes instead of Nike? You say we need to know our power? We are the consumer and that is our power!! If we collectively put our money in companies that are responsible, that we respect, other companies/banks might follow suit. Many terrible things can be said about greed, but it's at least it's predictable...

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

I agree with your point about voting with our dollars. And certainly that can be both an interim and long term strategy, one among many. And I agree that people are hungry for steps they can take. We all are. My point (and the point of many others) is that, if we take the time to unify and allow the movement to mature a bit before having official goals and leaders, the results will be exponentially better because we'll be operating from a position of strength rather than demanding things from a position of weakness. Look how fast this movement has grown without official leaders and official goals so far. It's remarkable.

Many have already said it but I'll say it again. This movement may have already sputtered out if we'd given the 1% a stationary target (specific official leaders or demands lists). As it stands, the movement is growing in a big way and people are finding common ground. I'm all for voting with our dollars in the short and long term. And I think you should continue to spread the good word on this. I just don't think we're at a point yet where we need an official spokesperson listing an official policy on this, despite the hunger of many for this. Not saying you're in that camp but just making the point that many are.

[-] 1 points by trustthefungus (7) 6 years ago

I think your point is well taken. I don't think anyone quite understands what "this" is and what "it" will become. We already have organizations, advocates, etc. "This" is of a different essence in my opinion.

Suppose the movement is dying down and nothing tangible comes out of it. At the very least there is still heuristic value in what has happened/is happening. At least we know life sucks for a lot of people. More importantly, they (those with power) know we're not content, we're not sitting still, and the winds are changing.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

The beautiful part is that the winds aren't changing. The 99% are changing the winds.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

My friend, this is not dying down. This is spreading like wildfire and going nationwide. Fasten your seatbelt. Positive change, real change is coming and the rule of the oligarchs is coming to a certain end.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

PS - I'm sure we'll get around to the specifics and the official platform I think many among us are hungry for. But first we need to get together and discover our collective power. In the meantime, it's certainly great to debate and discuss lists of specific goals and the merits of certain changes, policies or pieces of legislation (so long as we don't brand them as "official" or representing the group). I think that discussion is very healthy and helpful because a) it will help us to get to know each other and realize common ground and b) we'll need those specific lists once we the 99% are all on the same team. I won't give you my specific dream list because right now I'm more interested in hearing yours, so I can listen and learn from you, and discover what common ground we may have.

[-] 1 points by cree8tor (2) 6 years ago

A few thoughts -

  1. If there is not a central idea or position, why would a person join the protest?

I can see a value in, as you said, "discover[ing] what you have in common with 99% of your fellow citizens" - the value being more people caring enough to DO something and actively participate in their government. I completely agree that for a government that is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people” doesn’t really feel like it’s functioning properly. But, the challenge with this protest is that everyone who is part of the 99% does not agree with each other about what should be done. It is a very simple thing to say “we have a problem”, it is quite another to have everyone agree on a solution. Once the solutions begin to be discussed, that is when the well-financed groups will push their message in very convincing ways (whether it is pro-corporate, pro-union, or whatever.)

  1. The representative government we have right now is not adequately representing the people.

The responsibility for this situation lies with those who buy off the representatives, the representatives who let it happen, AND the constituents who traditionally have not cared enough to DO anything about it. If Occupy helps to change this so that we all get involved, that is fantastic. But, it feels as though those who are in the Occupy protests and call themselves the 99% feel that they have no responsibility for the state we are in – it looks more like a blame fest than a tangible effort to change oneself and thereby the world.

  1. There is a danger in the mob mentality.

Individuals who are angry and frustrated can do irrational things. Masses of people without a leader or cause who are angry/frustrated can become unsafe, ugly, and destructive very quickly. Once the movement starts to coalesce around central ideas, I think the 99% will shift to the 30% who agree with those ideas/solutions, and the 70% who either don’t agree or just wanted to be part of the protests as a badge of honor with no determination to be involved long term.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

PS - You mention that politicians are bought and paid for. So, yes, legislation getting corporate money out of politics is important but it's only part of the solution because that legislation can be undone. The big push for legislative reform is important and must be well orchestrated. More importantly, it must come from a position of strength with support from tens of millions, hundreds of millions (rather than one group or another). Then it will stick. Then we're making decisions from position of unity and strength rather than making demands from a position of division and weakness.

[-] 1 points by aswewalk (104) 6 years ago

I think you misunderstand my point. I'm not at all against your or others or groups advocating for certain positions, viewpoints, goals or demands. Discuss them and advocate them by any and all means. What I'm saying is that we don't need official demands or official leaders for the movement at this juncture. I think what you're saying and what I'm saying are actually compatible. What we're talking about is timing here. We need our discussions to mature and this new found freedom to take root in our consciousness. We need to get comfortable with it. It's been a long time since we in this country felt comfortable speaking openly about these matters. The national media, as result of this movement, is discussing things now that they wouldn't have dreamed of discussing a month ago.

We also need to get comfortable with non-violent tactics. Has to be second nature.

Most importantly, we need to listen to each other. You and I each have our own pet list of demands which we share with others and that's good. In doing so, we learn new things and our list will get sharper. So will our standards for choosing a leader. The quality of demands and leadership if we pick them down the road will be FAR higher than if we jump in now. How could we even jump in now? The party's just started. Don't worry. Demands and action will certainly all happen and relatively soon. But right now is not the right time. Right now Americans are waking up from their long slumber and realizing they had the power all along. Let's act when we're fully awake rather than during the grogginess that occurs just after waking.