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Forum Post: ❂❃✿✾ Improving Occupy Anarchism With the Old Switcharoo Technique Taken From the Republic ✾✿❃❂

Posted 10 years ago on Jan. 26, 2012, 5:51 a.m. EST by Cephalus (146)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Let's not kid ourselves. Occupy is not a leaderless anarchy. It is a hierarchy much like the republic it denounces as a flawed system. The only difference is that the hierarchic levels and representatives are not clearly defined.

The mother ship is the NYCGA. Decisions made in this general assembly trump all the others. They control the donations, the official press releases, the official news articles published on this website, this website's forum, the printing of important posters, etc... They are on a plan of power higher than the other general assemblies around the country.

In addition, only a tiny fraction of Occupy protesters regularly attend the NYCGA. Ironically, this percentage is most likely below 1%. Attending a GA day after day is hard. You need a lot of time and dedication. Only the hardcore anarchists who started this movement are regulars. This means they have much more power than most other protesters. They decide which port to occupy next, and what other strategies and tactics will define Occupy.

It's also important to note that those in control of this website, of news reports, of press releases, of the donations, etc... do not change. As an example, the moderators and programmers of this website have been the same since the very beginning of Occupy. Furthermore. most remain nameless. We only know the username of one moderator, and have no idea who pens the news reports.

I propose we look at the republic for help. Representatives have a term limit. This is good as it brings new blood at the helm from time to time. We can also take the example of the jury from the Canadian Arts Council which is responsible of choosing which artists will receive government grants. This jury changes every six months. This ensures that it's not made up of friends helping friends.

I strongly suggest that Occupy adopt this switcharoo technique. The mother GA should be switched around from time to time. Now that there are Occupy factions all around the country, there's no reason for the NYCGA to be the only one with true official power. Why not let Philly or LA control the donations, official press releases, or this website for a while? I also suggest that the people in charge like the moderators of this site, the programmers of this site, the writers of official news reports, the ones in charge of handling donations, etc... be switched around every few months. The names of those in important positions like the writers of official news reports and the moderators of this site should also be made clear. I think this is very important if Occupy wants to have a truly leaderless and thus healthy anarchy.

Are you a protester in Oakland? Do you feel like you're part of the 99.9% of protesters looking to NYC's anarchists to know what's going to happen next? Are you one of the many protesters who proposed making demands but were shut down at the NYCGA? Why do you accept this? Occupy is meant as a movement for the 99%. It should not be led by a small clique. You must demand the rotation and naming of personnel, and the rotation of Occupy's mother base. You must do this for the betterment of Occupy. For the betterment of manmind.

It's time for more transparency.

It's time for the old switcharoo.



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[-] 2 points by NKVD (55) 10 years ago

Interesting ideas. Don't know if it would work.

[-] -1 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

As per jart's answer below, that would be a resounding no. It seems my ideas are ignorant and childish. Go figure. I guess it's important to keep the government in check, but when it comes to Occupy we should just keep quiet on the sidelines and let the anarchists run the show from behind the curtains. Nice.

[-] 2 points by NKVD (55) 10 years ago

I guess I'm surprised that you need to state it. It's been obvious to me for a while now. Anarchists talk a big game but they will end up adopting the standard hierarchical methods everyone uses.

[-] -2 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

True. I guess my posting is childish due to its obviousness. To be precise, I don't think it's the standard hierarchy. I think it's much more dangerous because the representatives are hidden and have no term limit.

I wish Occupy would have gone all out anarchy without any type of permanent organization. Just ad hoc discussion groups and protests here and there. Some Occupy factions would have made demands, some would have been non-violent, some would have been violent, etc... Just a complete mess to confuse the government.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

That would have left a whole lot of anarchists feeling happy and vindicated in their prison cells (and possibly on death row) and provided the pretext for things like the EEA to get through, leading to the possibility of an actual outright police state. At best we'd probably have one or two Kent state incidents, and at worst we'd have an escalating race to the bottom between the violent factions of OWS and the government. Should that escalate into outright civil war we would go from living in Chechnya or the West Bank to living in modern Somalia or 2006 Iraq.

Given the degree to which the country is polarized on so many issues, you'd wind up with 50-50 neighbor-on-neighbor violence involving two evenly matched sides. You wouldn't get Bull Run or Gettysburg, you'd get Watts. In every city and every community in this country. In a situation like that there is no real winner; the losers get wiped out but the winners inherit a bloody mess that nobody in their right mind would want to have to put back together. Even when you have defined geographical entities with tradtional armies, war (especially civil war) is quite an ugly and destructive business. Now strip away the defined nature of two armies going at it and just have every man for himself running around with guns and knives and all-kinds of what-have-you. There's precedent for that... Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia, just to name a few.

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

Sure. I agree. I'm only saying this in view of Occupy's main goal which is to create a revolution and replace the republic with a general assembly on each street corner. Let's not kid ourselves, the current government is not going to step down without a fight whether Occupy does it the way it's doing it now, or uses a more chaotic approach. I just think that if you want a revolution, might as well go for it directly instead of tiptoeing around the bush.

On a purely personal level, I think the best system is a republic democracy using capitalism. What's currently missing are the correct laws to keep corruption at bay. I think representatives are fine if they are kept in check. I much prefer named representatives with clear term limits than what OWS is offering which is theoretically anarchism, but practically unnamed representatives without term limits. I think that's a major step in the wrong direction.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

I agree almost completely with your second paragraph, but what I can't understand for the life of me is why in the flying fuck anyone would think that straight revolution is going to work. There is zero history of that happening; the only actual revolution we had was the Civil War and we all know how that ended. I'm sorry, but I don't see the logic of eschewing the same plan of action that dragged our country slowly but surely all the way to the right, when our goal is to do the same thing, only in the opposite direction.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 10 years ago

Bravo ARod! The idea of violent revolution is insanity, plane and simple stark raving madness!


[-] 2 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 10 years ago

That sounds like protest for protests' sake. Would never have accomplished a thing, though I can't say the present approach is earning many victories.

[-] 1 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 10 years ago

Do you have any idea how many of these positions you want to rotate are PAID positions? If they are would be interested in where the money comes from and how much. Not saying it's unreasonable to get paid if one's involvement w movement is a 'full time job', Just askin. When the master GA moves to Oakland, etc , do the funds go with it? I just gotta believe the pushback you are getting has money at the root of it.

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

I don't know anything about the money. I don't think it's too important for my argument. If there's a will, there's a way. The money issue is just a question of logistics. There are many jobs throughout society that have term limits. This is not a new concept. However, I think most of the jobs in Occupy are volunteer work. Not sure.

[-] 1 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 10 years ago

And this is different from any other 'people's revolution'? Shades of Animal Farm.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

You could always join an Occupy.

This is just a lowly forum, mostly run by trolls.

There's really nothing they can do for you.

[-] -1 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

I can't join an Occupy because I'm in Indonesia. If I move back to Canada, I'll join one at that point if it's no longer the totalitarian type of protest it is now.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

Have you tried to join the official forum?

Or even contacted them?

[-] -1 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

No. I'm not an American citizen. Do you think I can still join? I'll try.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

The movement is World wide, if they won't accept you, I don't see why they wouldn't help you find a group you could work with.

If you're honest, I do believe they'll help you.

This forum is different from other political forums on the web, only in it's focus on OWS.

It's more open than most of them, and it's detractors, are pretty determined.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

It's definately a good idea but I don't see it happening.

You're right about how it's really a small minority that seems to be controlling things through the GA. I never really thought of it that way. The org structure is alot more hiearchical than I thought when I think about it this way. It's not so much a traditional hiearchy, like a pyramid. It's more like a spaghetti bowl mess with a meatball on the top making all the decisions.

I don't think the average person wants to be that involved. I think it's because there is not enough mainstream support, so there's not enough people to get involved on a regular basis.

The one's making the most noise and are truly dissatisfied are the anarchists. Or else they wouldn't have started this movement. They happened to capture the attention of others because of general discontent about the economy mainly. But there's just not enough mainstream involvement.

Besides, any type of leadership or organizational change is so sixty seconds ago. I don't think anyone cares anymore. Most people that thought that leadership and organization structure was important for the movement are gone. They gave up. The rest seem to have come to accept the movement as it is.

I don't know. I think alot more people would have to join the movement and make this movement alot bigger for this to happen. Rotating different people through the GA and Working Groups. It's a circular problem. To get bigger, the movement needs better PR and more diverse representation at the GA and Working Group level. To get better PR and more diverse representation, it needs more people.

[-] 3 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Please don't listen to this childish ignorant critique of the movement and anarchist thought. Comparing the NYCGA to the government is completely hyperbolic. Furthermore anarchism is perfectly compatible with leadership and organizational structure, so long as there's egalitarianism and freedom of association. We mostly make a fuss about not having leaders to keep it grassroots so organizations like MoveOn or SEIU don't co-opt the movement. The message also encourages people to question authority and resist rulers.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I see what you mean. I think it's just a matter of trying to get a better understanding. This is new territory, a different way of thinking that alot of us aren't used to and still learning about. What may seem perfectly clear, and a natural way of approaching things for you and others in the movement, is not so natural to others. So I'm glad you jumped in to talk and share your thoughts!

OWS has done alot of good things. I think its good that all of us try to make it be the best it can be. If this is the best and most effective structure, is really dependent on what the end goal is. If it's to create a "general assembly in every backyard", then I guess I would agree.

But there is alot of change that has to happen to get from here to there. Lots of in between steps that have to happen. I think some protesters are thinking step one of change. Which might mean something like ending corporate personhood, or something along those lines. I know there was a declaration about this that came from the GA. While others, see very clearly farther down the road, the "general assembly in every backyard". And others, just don't want a general assembly in every backyard. They just want step one, end corporate personhood. Ya know?

Since, like you say, the message also encourages people to question things - hope you can appreciate the kinds of questions we're having trying to figure things out .

[-] 1 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

I hope you're not implying that all points of view are inherently equal.

And others, just don't want a general assembly in every backyard. They just want step one, end corporate personhood. Ya know?

If I had a backyard I certainly wouldn't want a GA in it >_>

But seriously, why would someone not want communities to get organized? Do they want to be told what to do? How can we choose to make grassroots change happen if we don't have a process outside the power structures for deciding how to allocate our time and resources? We advocate starting GAs because it's something we all have the power to do, because we can use them to start making a real difference in our lives today. We're the true pragmatists because getting organized is step 1.

If you think abolishing corporate personhood is step 1 to change then it's you who's the dreamer. I'd love to see personhood go away too, but the government would never do it. You might as well demand an end to capitalism.

There are better targets if you want to focus solely on national reform activism. Like if I decided to do that I'd probably try to get the government to enforce the laws already on the books like anti-trust to break up big corporations, especially the banks. I'd love to see Chase and BoA crumble like a cookie as AT&T did in the 80's.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Communities are already organized. Cities, towns, counties. Grassroots change can happen by working with government too.

The government abolishing corp personhood/campaign finance reform - I'm not sure it would never happen. I think it could happen. There has never been a large mobilized effort before to make it happen. With the right kind of focused effort that could gain alot of mainstream support, I believe it will happen.

OWS has made a real difference. But really, the main criticism has been, you must recognize, the methods of the movement. The anarchist methods, which are very non-traditional and causes concern for alot of people. And honestly, it turns alot of people off. Maybe some of the methods served a purpose in getting the movement started. But now it seems that while people might believe in the messages coming out of the protest, many are simply turned off by the structure and methods.

Many people do not see anarchist methods as an effective way for making change with and through government. I understand that this is not necessarily the goal of OWS. So many people will move on to other avenues to make changes with and through government.

The concerns of being co-opted and the methods put in place to prevent that and/or build and reorganize society, are the very things that prevent the movement from gaining more support.

I guess it's really up to the GA's.

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

You're much too nice and patient.

Occupy wants transparency in the government, but they don't sign their news articles or tell us who moderates this site, etc... Jart claims the want to encourage questioning authority and rulers, but when I question Occupy's authority and rulers my questions are brushed off as being ignorant and childish. Occupy keeps repeating it doesn't want leaders, but now jart is saying that leaders are no big deal for Occupy.

In all honesty and seriousness, without holding back even though this means I will most likely be banned, Occupy looks to me like a totalitarian protest more than an anarchic protest. This is what I see when I read the types of answers I'm getting from the anarchists in charge. It's like they go out of their way to make Occupy non-transparent one ad hominem at a time. It's like talking to Chinese communists. Nothing is ever clear. There always seems to be something hidden behind the curtain.

What would have been nice is if jart told us why it's a bad idea to change up those who are in charge, and why it's a bad idea to sign the names of those writing the news articles. This would have gone a little further than simply saying that my posting is childish and ignorant. If I'm ignorant, I would have hoped that she could have taught me something. Instead, she chose not to and to brush off the questions with ad hominem. To top it off, she finishes her comment by saying that her methods are encouraging the questioning of authority and rulers. To me her answer was absolutely and utterly unsatisfactory.

[-] -1 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

I don't see the point of coining this critique as being ignorant and childish since this doesn't constitute a proper counter-argument. I think it's important to debate like adults, especially for those who represent OWS. I know most people on this website use logical fallacies left and right, but I don't think this is a good example to emulate. Using logical fallacies like ad hominem only weaken one's position. They should only be used as a last resort when winning an argument at all cost is necessary.

The message also encourages people to question authority and resist rulers.

This whole critique is a questioning of Occupy's authority and ruling structure. It seems ironic that you claim to promote this type of questioning, but, when it's brought up regarding Occupy, you coin it as being childish and ignorant.

My critique doesn't compare OWS to the government. It simply takes the idea of term limits from the government, which I think is a very good idea, and proposes them for Occupy. In my honest opinion, it would only be a positive step if the people in charge of Occupy's important operations were changed once in awhile. This is an important idea that can be used in any type of organization. It helps to breathe in new ideas and keeps corruption at bay.

If you believe leaders can be part of an anarchic type of structure like OWS, I suggest you make this clear. From what Iv'e read, OWS keeps repeating how important it is to remain leaderless. You have leaders. I know it. You know it. You want more transparency in the government, so I think you should solve this problem with Occupy first. Your protest should be an example to follow. Transparency means signing news articles and being clear about who the moderators are. It means being clear about how things work, who's in charge, how often these people are switched around, etc...

I understand you might feel personally attacked by my critique, however, this is not why I wrote it. I truly believe OWS could be a much better protest if it took up some of the ideas I presented in this posting.

You can brush off questionings as being childish and ignorant, but, in the end, questions that are important will resurface again and again until they are properly answered. I believe these are such questions.

Of course, It's your protest. You may do as you wish.

[-] 2 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

It simply takes the idea of term limits from the government, which I think is a very good idea,

Term limits are a fail-safe, not a solution, It's also disruptive because you have to throw away people just as they've gained enough experience to do their job effectively.

The best solutions are the ones that target the actual problem. Can we agree that the problem is one person having too much power? In that case why not dilute that power through collective responsibility? We need to get people out of the mindset that there must always be a single person in charge, which is in essence patriarchy.

In my honest opinion, it would only be a positive step if the people in charge of Occupy's important operations were changed once in awhile.

Once again you're assuming that individuals are calling the shots. Everyone I know in this movement uses consensus within their affinity group, working group, or GA. If you wanted to change up decision makers then you'd have to replace like entire groups of people.

But trust me, we all desperately want relief. I've been searching far and wide for a tranarchists with my skillset and time available to take over a lot of the work I've been doing so I can start working more on new ideas.

Transparency means signing news articles

We're not trying to get famous off the movement. We've had a policy in place for a while that all articles are attributed to the website (posted as the OccupyWallSt user) unless we're like stealing an article from OWSJ or something.

From what Iv'e read, OWS keeps repeating how important it is to remain leaderless.

And mission accomplished as we've yet to be co-opted by any big organizations. This narrative has helped keep the movement open so people can participate on their own terms. Anyone can start their own occupation and organize under the OWS name without taking orders (so long as they don't rape solidarity with the movement).

You have leaders. I know it. You know it.

Sort of. We have:

  1. People who've earned the respect of their peers and are actively sought out for advice
  2. People who've more impact than others by virtue of working their asses off 24/7
  3. Occupiers with experience, like our little social clique in NYC of 'Day 1' occupiers :) I'm a day negative 2 month'er!
  4. People who have mad anarchist cred for dancing on a pile of broken barricades
  5. People who take visible roles with mad scrutiny even though they don't really have as much power as others think (like us and facilitation)
[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

Asking for a clear list of names has nothing to do with fame. It has to do with transparency. Using an umbrella such as "OWS collective" doesn't say much at all. Are we talking about a three or forty person collective? Are we talking about a flexible collective with a big turnaround in personnel? Are we talking about a collective made up of young twenty year olds, or of people in various age groups? Etc...

If your collectives were setup in small villages and the impact of their decisions were limited to the villages' bounds, then there would be no problem. This is how it works in Bali. Each community has a center where people meet and make decisions with consensus. It's not important to name names because everybody can see each other and understands how groups are structured and function.

In the case of OWS, the collectives in NYC make decisions that can potentially affect up to 300 million Americans. A decision taken in the NYCGA might affect an Occupy faction on the other side of the country. The NYCGA is seen as the mothership. This is why I think it is crucial that you operate with much more transparency. In my opinion, setting aside the "OWS collective" umbrella and stepping away from its protection of anonymity would be an extremely positive step which would help Occupy protesters from all over the country gain more trust in NYCGA. You should teach by example. If you want more transparency in the government, start by providing more transparency for Occupy.

I've been searching far and wide for a tranarchists with my skillset and time available to take over a lot of the work I've been doing so I can start working more on new ideas.

This is an interesting comment which opens a huge can of worms. I suggest you look towards Indonesia. The requirements of many employers are similar to yours.

I politely asked my wife that she quit her last job because the hotel where she worked refused to hire homosexuals. This is something all too common in Indonesia. Many times, employers will also limit their hiring to people of a certain religion. This creates a situation where people in minority groups often have difficulty finding work.

I'm not a transgendered myself, but I know some Indonesians who are. I could ask them if they know a transgendered computer programmer who has difficulty finding work in Indonesia. There must be tons. Who knows, there might even be one that's an anarchist as well.

Personally, I'm not too sure why you specifically need a tranarchist for this job. Would I be correct in assuming that other Occupy collectives also limit their hiring with such seemingly irrelevant criteria? Perhaps one must be a fat black straight male to be an Occupy cook? Perhaps one must be a white single mother under the age of forty in order to become a news article writer? Surely, the people working in your artistic department are required to be gay? Since Occupy is based on fairness and equality, I assume there's a counter-balance to the all-tranarchist collective you work for, i.e a collective that is limited to non-tranarchists, or, positively put, cisgendered hierarchists?

(Yes, cisgendered and hierarchist are neologisms.)

You're a good person jart, and you work hard. Believe me when I say this is not a personal attack in any way. My criticism is genuine. I believe it's important to criticize all groups which have an impact on society. This includes Occupy, governmental parties, and all types of other groups like GreenPeace, etc... It's healthy to keep such groups in check by questioning their authority and rulers. You might find my criticism childish and based on ignorance. That's fine by me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My opinion is that Occupy could be and should be much more transparent.

Now, excuse me, I have to update my résumé. I forgot to include my gender identity, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. In case you're wondering, I'm a atheist-ignostic (not agnostic) and anti-religious white straight male. How many jobs does that open up? I don't know. Might as well be a step ahead of the crowd by getting my résumé ready for Occupy. Who knows, I might volunteer for Occupy Montréal when I get back to Canada.

[-] 3 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

You're such a concern troll

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

Logical fallacies: ad hominem and appeal to motive.

If I'm concerned and spend a lot of time writing comments on this website, it's because I care. I don't criticize stuff I'm neutral about.

Sorry, but I'm absolutely against the idea of filtering employees based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, skin color, body weight, religious beliefs, or other unimportant criteria. I have too many gay friends who suffer from daily discrimination to take this issue lightly.

I also believe in transparency.

Like you, I fight for what I believe in with vehemence. I'm more of a socialist than an anarchist. So what. Occupy can be made up of all types of people. 99% of the population is not made up of anarchists.

As far as I'm concerned, name calling is what constitutes trolling. I have a problem with users who use ad hominem and appeal to motive by calling others trolls. I can read comments by myself. I don't need other users to judge for me who are and who aren't trolls. As for people posting criticism, I have no problem with them at all. I think that's healthy. To each is own.

[-] 2 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

It's called solidarity between marginalized people who share a common lived experience. If we don't look after each other first then no one else will.

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

No, it's called misuse of power in order to discriminate, and it is very dangerous.

I don't have a problem with marginalized people forming groups, organizations, businesses, etc... when their work directly relates to their marginality. An all lesbian group organizing a lesbian film festival is fine. An all hindu group organizing religious hindu ceremonies is fine. An all tranarchist collective devoted to ameliorating awareness vis-à-vis transgendered and anarchist people is fine.

The problem in your case is that Occupy's website has nothing to do with transgendered people. It's a website for the Occupy movement which claims to represent the 99% who are people from all walks of life. There are all types of protesters who would like a chance to invest their time and energy to help the movement. Refusing the help of a protester who wants to volunteer his time to improve or run this website simply because he is not a tranarchist makes little sense. It's discriminatory and has a negative impact on Occupy.

In addition, it opens up a big can of worms. Any type of business could use your argument to limit the types of employees they hire. A bank could hire only white females simply because they want to look after each other. An african-american owned hardware store could hire only african-americans simply because they want to look after each other. Etc...

I don't know how US works, but in Canada it's illegal to limit hiring in this way unless you have a very good reason to do so. In the case of Occupy's website, I see no good reason why only tranarchists should be considered for the task of computer programming.

What you describe happens all the time in Indonesia and it has a very negative impact on the whole community. Some hotels hire only muslims, others hire only hindus. Some restaurants hire only Javanese, while other hire only Balinese. Some like the hotel where my wife used to work refuse to hire homosexuals.

It's not because you favor a minority over a majority that it is not discrimination. In this case, it's discrimination pure and simple.

My suggestion is that you start a collective focused only on transgendered issues. You could create an Occupy transgendered magazine for example. All the people in this collective could be transgendered people like yourself. This would be fine, and it would be a positive way for you to look after one another.

The collective that runs this website and news articles should accept people of all cultures, sexual orientations, sexual identities, religious beliefs, etc...

[-] 2 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

You're overreacting. Affinity groups don't "hire" people, we're just random people who liked everyone else enough to decide to start spontaneously collaborating on grassroots activism. No one has the right to tell me how I pick my friends. Besides I never said I want to work exclusively with trans people. Like half of the 10+ people in our cadre are cis and I love them too. But trans nepotism still rocks and I love how shit like this scares straight white men.

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

Implying that I'm a scared white man because of your being transgendered is a red herring logical fallacy.

This does not deserve an answer, but I'll make it clear anyhow. I'm straight white male, but most of my friends are lesbians, gays, and transgendered people. I'm a fag hag. A big one. The reason is simple. I find most straight guys extremely boring. I studied classical music all my life and most of my friends are either musicians or visual artists. I love the works of people like Ryan Trecartin. Iv'e also had a few bouts as a Drag Queen here in Bali. I did three shows with some of my Drag Queen friends on the island. A person's gender identity, sexual preference, skin color, religious belief, etc.. does not bother me one bit. I'm a hard core atheist and my wife is a practicing muslim. It works because we don't step on each others toes. A transgendered and a straight white male can find points of commonality with which to interact. The world is not black and white like you paint it. It's full of colors. I promote diversity and equal rights for all. And, honestly, if you push away the white straight males that treat transgendered people like anyone else, you won't get very far with your cause.

It doesn't matter if you call your groups affinity groups, collectives or whatever else, in the end they are groups of Occupy protesters in important and powerful positions. Authoring official Occupy news articles, programming this website, moderating this website, etc... are all positions which offer much more power and control than what most other Occupy protesters have. Those positions should be open to anyone who has the will and capacity to fill them. They shouldn't be reserved for minorities unless one's minority group is directly related to the tasks that need to be done.

If you think I'm overreacting it's perhaps because you haven't lived in a country where employers are free to discriminate as much as they please. I don't know. I'm guessing. I'm honestly very surprised that you don't see the problem. If the tables were turned and Occupy computer programming positions were limited to the cisgendered, then I assume the problem would suddenly become very clear for you.

[-] 2 points by jart (1186) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Implying that I'm a scared white man because of your being transgendered is a red herring logical fallacy.

You misunderstood. It's the idea of marginalized communities practicing solidarity and thriving that scares privileged people. This is one of the reasons why so many people hate jews, because unlike protestants they actually look after each other, or why a lot of people hate affirmative action because they feel entitled to jobs, or political correctness which forces them to check their privilege.

I'm a fag hag. A big one. [...] Iv'e also had a few bouts as a Drag Queen here in Bali. [...] I'm a hard core atheist

Rock on!

And, honestly, if you push away the white straight males that treat transgendered people like anyone else, you won't get very far with your cause.

Being an ally means you support marginalized people. The key word here is support because it entails more than believing on an intellectual level that they are also human beings. It means you act in a supportive role. Telling people that they're wrong and that you know how to solve their problems better than they do is being a bad ally. I'm not afraid to call people out on this shit, even if it makes them fussy and start complaining about how I should be kissing their feet for not treating us like shit. This is a huge problem with men especially because they always like to feel in charge and get lots of credit for everything they do.

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

Like I said, I have no problem when marginalized people get together to form groups that deal with the particular issues they face in society because of their particular minority status. My problem resides with groups that deal with non-related issues.

Your group is in charge of Occupy's website which affects Occupy as a whole; meaning all protesters all over the country. For this reason, your doors should be open to all Occupy protesters that have the ability to program computers, not only for the transgendered which is an absolutely artificial criteria for this task.

I've been searching far and wide for a tranarchists with my skillset and time available to take over a lot of the work...

For the reason stated above, I find this kind of thinking extremely problematic. The same kind of thinking is used to discriminate against all types of minorities. The only thing one needs to do is change the word tranarchists, i.e. "I've been searching far and wide for white straight males with my skillset and time available to take over a lot of the work..."

Telling people that they're wrong and that you know how to solve their problems better than they do is being a bad ally

I'm not telling you I know how to solve your problems that stem from you being a transgendered. I'm telling you that the cadre you operate in as an Occupy computer programmer has absolutely nothing to do with your transgender issues, and that your type of thinking only promotes the very discrimination you wish to fight against.

If the government requested senators to be all white males it would be the same problem. If a bank requested all its employees to be Jews it would be the same problem. I see this in Indonesia all the time. It does not help in any way. It just creates a society which is more divisive, not more inclusive.

As an ally to your cause, I feel it's important that I remark the fact that you prolong the problem by creating artificial discriminatory situations yourself; the same situations you wish to avoid.

This is a huge problem with men especially because they always like to feel in charge and get lots of credit for everything they do.

If you want people to stop using lame absolutes and generalizations to define the transgendered, then you shouldn't use lame absolutes and generalizations to define men. There are all kinds of men, just like there are all kinds of transgendered. Ironically, some men are transgendered. In my opinion, the comment you make above works against your cause as it just continues to spread the disease.

We are past the beginnings of feminism when putting down men was the answer to equalizing the genders. This type of simple thinking solves nothing. It's based on a logical fallacy: two wrongs don't make a right. There comes a time when you have to turn the page of history and everybody has to work together to create a better society. Don't forget history, but don't repeat it in the opposite direction.

You don't fight misogyny with misandry.

You don't equalize genders in a patriarchal society by promoting a matriarchal society to take its place.

You don't fight discrimination by using reversed discrimination, i.e. all senators must now be african americans.

I feel you are using Occupy's Internet collective as a front to deal with transgendered issues. I think this is inappropriate. The work of your collective should be concentrated on creating technological solutions for Occupy, and you should limit your criteria for new recruits to qualifications in the field of technology. Their minority status in society should not be be in the cards.

The transgendered issue is important, but you should start a collective dedicated to this instead of one which is entirely unrelated.

I'm curious, does your misandry come from a bad relationship with your father? You might be suffering from issues which are not limited to you being a transgendered.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

Seems like I missed the party :(

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

You should contribute your point of view. I would be interested in reading your take on these issues, especially on the points I brought up with jart.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

Idk man. There are people in charge. They are in charge for some of the reasons laid out by Jart. That has been my experience since my "requirement of approval" lol(whatever) for the Commons project (shit doesn't even have Occupy in the name). But the leadership that is in place is only there by default because there really aren't enough intelligent and motivated people willing to lend their time to this cause. It's easier to sit and bitch I guess. It does seem sad that so many people have the time to troll forums and complain rather than spend the time making what they want of the movement. I was an IWG mod for a bit. Wasn't hard. But on the flip side, when my own freedom of speech was brought into question by one of the mods at Global, simply because I was looking for writers, I ended participation. Whats my point? As usual, I see both side. I see problems and opportunities.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I kind of agree with you about how there are not enough motivated people to change things. Seems like many people have come to accept things as they are, like things as they are, or moved on.

Understanding the underlying principles of the movement and how it operates is important I think. I see no reason not to talk about it.

Discussing the principles of the movement, or questioning how things are done and why they are done, is just as valid as any other disscussion here.

Maybe the movement will evolve to some other form at some point. Or, maybe it stays the same. Who knows. But there's absolutely no reason not to talk about it.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

well said

[-] 0 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

We differ on the way we define certain words. I don't consider criticism as being complaining, and I don't consider critiques as being trolls.

I also disagree that theoretical discussion is less important than practical participation. I think both are required for an organization to remain healthy and transparent. In my opinion, an investigative journalist who writes about the work of government representatives is just as important as those representatives themselves. Occupy needs protesters on the ground, it needs protesters in organizational positions like jart, and it needs critiques. If I choose to criticize Occupy it's because I care about Occupy, it's because I think criticism is of utmost importance, it's because I am better at criticizing than protesting, etc... Even if I were back in Canada, I would most likely write Occupy criticism instead of protesting on the ground.

It's normal that people like you and jart label critiques as trolls. That's only because it makes your jobs harder. It's something I'm willing to live with. It doesn't bother me in the least because I understand the importance of criticism. One of the reasons the American Republic is in such a mess is because of a lack of criticism. Like the Occupy anarchists are doing, the American government made it hard for investigative journalists to get to the bottom of what was going on.Dubious laws being were passed without being seen by the critiques. This is not good.

As usual, we can agree to disagree. I'll continue to criticize and you can continue to call me a troll. Nothing ever changes.

With that said, I offer a thumbs up to René Descartes. He was one of the cool guys. How radical is it invite the strongest intellectuals of your time to criticize your work, and then to publish their critiques in the next edition of your book! The passages of those critiques are just as important as the passages written by Descartes which constitute the content of his essays. He included criticism because he understood that it made his work even stronger. Now that's true radicalism. There's a lot to learn there.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

You totally spent the entire comment being needlessly defensive. I wasn't saying you talking about it was trolling. I was speaking of the people that come here purely to troll, have the free time to troll, waste effort on trolling, when in reality they are just as fed up with the gov and wallstreet as any of us yet they spend their time being truly counter productive. The need to keep conversation about leadership and responses to violence at the forefront is about the only thing you and I agree on. I may not always agree with your assessments but it is important.

[-] 1 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 10 years ago

It's not all bad. I have written several letters to my congressman about issues raised here.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Me too. I write more anyway. I also like to write snarky posts on his facebook page, which is really entertaining for me.



[-] 1 points by BackRider (83) 10 years ago

Do you feel changing the leadership of OWS will change the direction of this movement? what direction would you like to see OWS take, .. what purpose?

This website is jart's baby. To ask her to hand it over to a total stranger is a horribly mind shattering suggestion. But, if jart were to do as you suggest , what would happen ? ByThe third or fourth change of hands OWS would be in total ruins , the enemy would have infiltrated the movement. Unless that is your underlying scheme to begin with . Your sincereity " you must do this for the betterment of the movement" has wolf in sheeps clothing written all over it.

[-] 0 points by Socrate (28) 10 years ago

Who's talking about handing the website over to strangers?

You must be right. It's better if the people controlling this website and the news articles never change. It's probably better if they remain nameless too. We should ask the government to do the same. There's no need for term limits and to know who's doing what in office. Oh wait... That would be like a dictatorship. Is that what you favor?

Do you also think people bringing up these questions should be censored? I assume you're against investigative journalists criticizing the government?

If OWS was transparent, then changing leaders would not be a problem. General assemblies could be used to review what those in power are doing. If some abuse their power, they can be dropped. Right now, OWS is already corrupted by the anarchists.

[-] 1 points by BackRider (83) 10 years ago

Anarchists created ows. Corrupted is not the right word.

Dictatorship ..mmmh ? gives me an idea for our next role-playing session !

[-] 0 points by Socrate (28) 10 years ago

True, corrupted is not the right word. Perhaps deceived is better. They have created the illusion of an open protest, when in truth they are the masters behind the curtain.

[-] 2 points by BackRider (83) 10 years ago

well I don't know, if they were transparent and honest what would it really change ? their ideals would remain the same .. perhaps they would gain more support.. this disillusion does give doubt to followers supporting the cause , when the cause is unclear .. perhaps OWS has shot themselves in the foot . pretending to be leaderless is a foundational lie. OWS made a grave mistake when they thought they could pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. American principles are built on bravery and honesty . It takes courage to be honest and respected.

[-] 1 points by Socrate (28) 10 years ago

I can't define all the benefits that would befall Occupy were it to become honest and transparent. All I can say is that honesty and transparency are required attributes for any government, movement, or protest that wants to be seen as healthy. Occupy is currently less transparent than the government. They have created a totalitarian regime which is far inferior than any republic. If the leaders of Occupy don't want the protesters to create a revolution against them instead of the government like they want, they better hurry and clean their shop.

[-] 2 points by BackRider (83) 10 years ago

well , in all fairness , this is not so easily described as black and white. We don't know what it will take to bring the government around to providing the people with a fair equal system , and that is our true goal . As for transparency as you stated , the government may be far more transparent .. but this transparency doesn't ensure anything as we see and consider the reasons for protest in the first place. transparency and changing leadership is really not an issue OWS needs to deal with.They brought up a concern that has the world talking and thinking.. and the next step may be out of OWS hands , the next step is dealing with the concerns brought up. And while protests and revolution may be needed and effective in other nations, here in a civilized democracy where we have freedom of speech and press and the ability with democracy to direct our course of action by the vote of majority , the way OWS is going about this to make change .. seems "nimble". We do not need chanting or demonstrations .. we need well organized procedure and thought and simply go through the right channels to make change .. we already have the power to vote.. that was given to us by our ancestors many years ago .. what we need to vote on is where we should be focusing our attention on today .. basically my point is , what is going on over in the arab springs is nothing at all like the world we have here.and this style of protest used by OWS is .. inappropriate. We can do better.

[-] 0 points by Socrate (28) 10 years ago

Sure, I agree. I have been writing for months that Occupy needs to become a custom solution for the particular economic, social, and political problems of America.

Some of the comments in this posting by GypsyKing might interest you:


[-] 1 points by BackRider (83) 10 years ago

By what I see of occupy ..they are unable to develop much more than a chant or two .. placing your hope in them solving political or social problems will only disappoint any dreams you might have. As I said , they opened the dialogue , their purpose has been served.

edit: they are the carpenters that built this platform for the world to use, it is up to the world how we use it.

[-] 1 points by Socrate (28) 10 years ago

I have hope in the protesters as a whole, not in the anarchists which constitute the minority of occupiers, nor in their structure of direct democracy.

You're a fan of David Hasseloff I presume, BlackRider being a wink to Night Rider.

[-] 1 points by BackRider (83) 10 years ago

again , the anarchists are the carpenters that built this platform for the world to use. They opened the dance. Build it they will come .. the protestors came. with their grievences .. ideas and solutions ..

will the dance turn out to be a flop ?

I personally had hoped for some success .. but it is not over and far to early to tell.

Sharks are in the water and they are all around us.. as the battle rages on


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago


most "leader" are involved due to dedication and time

any may dedicate that time

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 10 years ago

A sophist obsessed with Plato. I don't know why but that really sticks in my craw. The problem is, you just aren't capable of understanding Plato.

[-] -1 points by CephaIus (34) 10 years ago

A meaningless ad hominem. By the way, Cephalus was not a Sophist. If you're going to say that I'm a Sophist just because I used the character name Thrasymaque, then you should also say that I'm not a Sophist just because I now use the character name Cephalus. If you're going to prone simple-minded thinking, at least be consistent.

[-] 1 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 10 years ago

"..if Occupy wants to have a truly leaderless and thus healthy anarchy."

WTF? You Can't be serious.

"..looking to NYC's anarchists to know what's going to happen next?"


[-] 0 points by ClaraSprings (91) 10 years ago

I like it!

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 10 years ago

Call to Action!

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You do NOT have to be a lawyer to file this petition, but the aid of attorneys is welcome!


[-] 0 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 10 years ago

In any group organization etc. 90% of the work is done by less than 10% of the people.Do not try to fix what is not broke.