Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: NGA and the 99% Declaration..,

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 26, 2012, 8:18 a.m. EST by jph (2652)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The "99% declaration" group is a splinter group and not the Occupy movement. Often splinter groups are created and manipulated by the entrenched powers to subvert social movements and as the name "splinter" implies divide people. The declaration is difficult to criticize, if you leave process out, However you will notice that even though the most of the goals seem on point, the main focus of the group is to go down that same representative road. Elect representatives as the process of the group itself, and to reform election laws in the current power structure as its main goal. I wish them well, but don't call it Occupy as it is not.

The way in which the decision is made is as important as the resulting decision.



Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

Unless you are gunning for a bloody revolution, The 99% Declaration is the only way forward in my humble Canadian opinion.

[-] 1 points by DCInsider (54) 2 years ago

Check out the video for the 99% Spring Event, we would love our Canadien neighbors to join us from the north.


[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

Thanks for the invite :)

[-] 0 points by blinxwang (25) from Johns Creek, GA 2 years ago

The only way forward is if Occupy adopts the General Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists. As written by the revolutionary Anarchist Nestor Makhno.

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

if the only way forward it to elect representatives to go to our already elected representatives and ask for change then there truly is no point in bothering at all.

[-] 3 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

The people behind 99 Declaration say they are going to field candidates against the establishment parties if their demands aren't met. That sounds to me like a plan and the only way forward.

Protesting is wonderful, it brings awareness about issues. But to actually change things in the middle, you have to compete in the given system whereever you find an opening. Gandhi did that to achieve freedom for India, his Congress party used to field candidates in the British run unfair parliament - eventually Gandhi still got his demand for freedom of India as he was respected as a representative of the people of India by the British.

What matters is that the people behind 99 Declaration appear to be sincere. They will avoid the mistakes that the Republicans and Democrats made in allowing money in electoral politics.

I agree with you though that the 99D people shouldn't identify themselves as Occupy, and they aren't doing that. But they WERE born out of Occupy and should be respected, if not embraced, by their brothers at OWS. They just chose a different method to protest.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

like i posted, I wish them well. everything done with good intentions really does help. Thing is, if you are made to adopt the methods of the broken system, then you will change nothing. The problem I see is electing representatives, as this breaks with consensus democracy who can represent my view better than me? they are not only choosing to vote among themselves for leaders to represent, but they are proposing reforms to the current unfixable representative republic, as if a change of paint will help.
You don't fix a broken system by becoming it. Realize, a lot of the structure is build into the system intentionally for these reasons. They retard change as they are on the good end of a tilted-table game. the 0.1% have been playing a game of hungry-hungry-hippo with the table tilted into their fat mouths., well fat egos really as no one needs as much as they take.
what ever you take you take away from everyone else.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

Good point, I do agree with you. But I hope that if 99D do not abandon revolutionary proposals like reform of the Fed, they will indeed be successful in delivering change.

When the house comes crashing down economically, people will need to rally around someone or there will just be chaos. If the 99D produces representatives that genuinely represent the common American's hopes and aspirations for the current system, then the people will rally behind them and bring change through the ballot instead of bullet.

What I don't understand in your suggestion is how:

a) You can satisfy satisfy EVERYONE in consensus democracy? b) Can consensus democracy be efficient?

But your suggestion that elected representatives do not represent your views transparently, and can be bought and sold no matter what, does have merit. Thanks for enlightening me.

Perhaps instead of consensus democracy, direct democracy (majority votes by EVERYONE on every issue) can still be efficient on the national level, like you could use the internet to gauge people's opinions on matters and put them to an online secure vote.

If you want to avoid representative democracy then Occupy needs to come up with an alternative form of governance nationally to what 99D people are suggesting. Why hasn't this already happened? I mean why doesn't Occupy form a shadow government nationally.

I think you are correct in suggesting that modern communication methods may have outdated representative democracy. I have seen how political parties attract corrupt power hungry folk and bullies like moth to a fire, so I thank you for clarifying the weakness of representative democracy.

What are your thoughts on having a shadow government run through direct democracy (majority voting as you can't make everyone happy on every issue)?

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

I do like some of your thoughts here, especially "why doesn't Occupy form a shadow government nationally". I think that is the point of the General Assemblies, providing a local connection to the world wide movement, with all the GA communicating and following the activities of the others. The thing is if we, as the '99D' group is doing, impose some structure, like elected representatives, then how does this not become just like what we have? eventually the representatives begin to self-identify with the power they hold on our behalf, and that is when the corruption begins. it is like the one-ring from middle-earth, you use it, out of an intention to do good, however the very nature of the organisational structure will eventually always provide the same results. a power elite, and disenfranchised people.

The best and, IMHO, only way to break free of the cycle corruption is to build social organisation that does not have in-build positions of power. In fact I believe we should be attacking power structures where ever they are found. In my view the problem is largely cultural and we know culture can be changed, (watch an episode of Mad Men and marvel at how different culture was only a few decades ago)

I see many possible ways to organize a consensus-based democratic world, will it satisfy everyone? we all know that is unlikely, however that is the basis of such systems, they are process based, meaning that the WAY we choose to organize is as, or even more, important than what is actually achieved, as this chosen organisation is what the culture will grow from.

"When the house comes crashing down economically, people will need to rally around someone" What if instead of rallying around a corruptible 'leader' we rally around our own voices, and a solid organisational process (consensus, GAs, inclusiveness, working locally and networking globally, etc) Not only do we avoid the pitfalls of a power structure, we get better more refined results as we are using the ideas of all interested and knowledgeable minds available.

I do not expect a vote on every little issue. I would expect to see the politicians replaced with 'facilitators' who are tasked with collecting and implementing the will of the community. If they fail to be transparent or to react to changes in social will, then they can be removed, at any time, by some mechanism (like a snap recall vote). They are not to impost their own ideas they are to hold the collective will as their goal.

For me the issue is not making everyone vote on issues they care little about. it is about the system being transparent, and encouraging interested people to add ideas and participate in improving the world we share.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

"eventually the representatives begin to self-identify with the power they hold on our behalf, and that is when the corruption begins".

Good point! You have probably managed to convince me of the unsuitability of representative democracy. But I am not convinced that consensus democracy can work or be efficient. Lets say 90% people wanted a road built, but 10% opposed it as they wanted to build something else; consensus democracy would not build the road but majority voting would. I believe that the rights of the many must outweigh the rights of the few; in a scarce world you can't make everyone happy. If you find yourself in the corner of the few, then it is your duty to communicate your stance with the majority that oppose you and try to change their opinion - instead of demanding consensus democracy.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

If "the rights of the many must outweigh the rights of the few" then there are no minority rights at all?

The world is madly abundant, not scarce at all! "it is your duty to communicate your stance with the majority that oppose you and try to change their opinion" well that is exactly right, only in the current system where is the oportunity to communicate those objections???

Consensus process comes WAY closer to 'making everyone happy', it is about creating a consensus, not just taking one. The process allows all those in the minority that are opposed to the 'new road' to make their case. To convince the rest that their reasoning has taken more into account or solves some other issue, if they are not able to convince the rest to stop 'the road', then provisions are made to 'the road' to take into account the minority objections, you will be supervised how often opposition turns into support once some small issue every one agrees with is publicly acknowledged.

People seem confused by consensus, in that they believe it to be a straight up replacement for taking a vote, it is not a simple procedure it is a process. The process involves the best ideas eventually being adopted due to the best ideas appealing to the most people, the democratic ideal. Not the ideas coming in from ALEC, not being debated, and just sighed into law by payed representatives of the corporations.

I have never written down my full imagining of what a world-wide consensus democracy organised world could look like,. perhaps I will just to get it nice and organized in my own mind. But there are plenty of works along these lines.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

I will research consensus democracy more, I have very limited knowledge about it. I agree with you that there is quite alot of abundance in the world. But I don't understand how consensus democracy can overcome deadlocks. Perhaps a leader should indeed be elected but he should be recallable at all times, that way he will be forced to implement the decisions of the GA.

Minority rights are not necessarily sacrificed in majority governance. I am living in Canada, and enjoy equal rights to all other Canadian citizens inspite of belonging to a minority. The issue is communication, as long as you are able to communicate your grievances to general public, you are able to protect your rights as people are generally empathetic.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

So why do we need this 'leader' again? I still don't see a need. How does the current system over come deadlocks? not very well, looking at congress!!

You what the minority to communicate their grievance to who? the people or the 'elected representatives'? I agree with spreading awareness to the people, however it is the requirement to convince an 'elect', who it mathematically more likely to not be of the minority group, why should we need to do this? this is the step where the corruption comes it, as this person has the power to decide for more than themselves, they start to sell their decisions.

My model of how a consensus based system could work is a bit more developed than what most people seem to conceptualize it as; there can be any desired level of structure in place to facilitate the consensus, we can have net based discussions, open self-moderated AND moderated, but all public. Every part of the 'self-government' must be fully transparent, and open to input from all concerned parties. There could be working groups with large and narrow focuses, and varying levels of autonomy at local, regional, world levels. and so forth and so on.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

Aren't working groups also appointed or elected? In the same vein you can have a leader, or facilitator or whatever you wanna call him.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

Can you inform me of the process of how a working group comes to being and how its decisions are implemented. I think they just announce themselves at the GA, and then come up with proposals which are against presented to the GA for approval. To implement those proposals you need to appoint someone, that could be the working group as well.

Whatever the case, a working group composed of one person hypothetically could be referred to as a leader, not "the" leader. Perhaps leader is too heavy a word, I mean an activist who takes the lead in doing something.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

yes, working groups form around issues the participants are interested in, they work on the chosen issue and report back to the GA where their info. is added to the debate. 'A working group of one' is in fact what each person is! some times however it is beneficial (and more fun) to pool efforts on larger general issues.

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

Direct Democracy is not a solution. Not in any way, shape or form.

The system has become corrupted because of money in the political process. The political process needs to be changed. Not our form of government.

“It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.” -Alexander Hamilton

“Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either [aristocracy or monarchy]. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” John Adams

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”-Plato

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”-Plato Xlnt quote.

Having fewer numbers in a representative Democracy still does not guarantee a good decision.

I would prefer a wise king over any democracy.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

"Direct Democracy is not a solution" perhaps the way you have it formulated in your own mind, however in many others minds it is the only, and a rather simple, solution.

Your quotes offer no reasoning only cloudy poetics.

The reason the system is corrupted is because of the representative power structure, you offer no change to the element we have identified as the broken element of the system. Simple regime change is not enough, structural change is required.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

But I agree that to change things initially we may need 99D, but in the long run an alternative model than representative democracy - which is inherently corruptible - needs to come out. It is natural that if the interest of the representative is at odds with your interest, he would likely become corrupted.

[-] 1 points by forbetter (54) 2 years ago

April I need a solid argument why direct democracy wouldn't work, instead of demonizing quotes.

I imagine a website where people can themselves vote on every issue that concerns them. We're not in the middle ages, representative democracy is outdated.

[-] 0 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

You quote Alexander Hamilton, who has been identified as one of the major authors of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays promoting representative government; then you quote John Adams, second President of the United States, the primary representative of Americans at the time; all to refute the idea of direct democracy. That's like quoting Osama Bin Ladin to characterize American foreign policy.

Personally, I like this quotation from John Adams: "The balance of power in a society accompanies the balance of property in land." Care to guess who owns the balance of property and the balance of power? The history of humans has clearly indicated that representative government always ends in class divisions, regardless of the ideals on which the representative government is based.

Direct democracy based on the premises of the anarcho-syndicalists offers the most promise for a just society that doesn't eventually degenerate into the old, familiar class divisions.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

why are we electing people to hold office for 20 - 30 years? That's what breads corruption - we get what we deserve. If you are voting for someone who has served more than 2- 3 terms you are perpetuating the problem.

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

Good post. Because there has been alot of confusion regarding 99%Decl.

I'm glad they aren't part of OWS anymore. This will allow them to move forward rather than be held back through the OWS undecision consensus model that is completely bogged down in endless circles of undecision, which requires inordinate amounts of time and attention to maintaining process rather than actually achieving results.

The way decisions are made affects the results. Hierarchical or leadership models are results oriented. Non-hiearchical or consensus models are process oriented, easily manipulated (especially when attempted on a large scale), and highly susceptible to group think. Any resulting decisions will be directly affected by the decision making process used. The process itself affects the outcome.

[-] 2 points by TruthSlinger (3) 2 years ago

Don't forget the 99 Declaration is having their National General Assembly in May. If you want to be a delegate check out the link here: http://www.thenationalgeneralassembly.org/delegate-candidate-registration/

Register, represent, and recharge America. Spread the word!

[-] 1 points by DCInsider (54) 2 years ago

Why would anyone dislike this? It is clearly a step forward to moving the movement forward.


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago



The practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.


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

Group think - consensus building through group manipulation towards a predetermined outcome.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Group think was a disaster in Egypt. Wishful thinking took over - "the people and the army are one" - the army hadn't even released the arrested (and tortured) protesters. Total lack of judgement - no realization that a caretaker government had to be installed (at a minimum).

It should be noted that voting is a dissension resolution device.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

A fan Base would have a common nick name like muffins, monsters, freaks , posers or heroes And part of the indoctrination of the transformation would be the inclusion into the group. If a person interacts with the group, they are given the label.


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


[-] 1 points by idontexist (24) 2 years ago

dual power and agorism is the way forward, have the occupations declare themselves to the legitimate local governments, pass laws, and create police forces.

At the same time theirs should be moves for alternatives to the corporatist economy of to day, opening worker run co-ops, mass quits from jobs for worker run employment, joining small local companies, take overs of colleges and stores that take government money

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

There are people doing all these things,. more people do need to just decide to make personal changes in anticipation of a coming free society, hopefully helping to bring it by doing so!

counter-economics is a great tactic; I am all for collectives (owners/operators) as the businesses model of choice, there is bit-coin and other new currencies,. could be useful for removing support from the current social structures (war/police state) that do not work for most people.

I do see the distinction between; entrepreneur, non-statist capitalist, and pro-statist capitalist, and I agree it is important.

[-] 1 points by idontexist (24) 2 years ago

wow an ancap, I' more a voluntary socialist, (VOLUNTARY being more important than socialist, as in I'd fight for the rights of ancaps)

[-] 1 points by Rebdem (71) 2 years ago

Are they a good force or a bad one in terms of moving this movement more public?

[-] 2 points by TruthSlinger (3) 2 years ago

I think they are good. Check out the National General Assembly, which will be a Continental Congress 2.0. http://www.thenationalgeneralassembly.org/

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

I think they are pushing in a good direction, so I wish them well,. however the process of electing representatives takes my input out of the politics and I will never support that. representative government is when you give your voice to another,. and hope they use it well. My observations are that given power many people are corrupted, perhaps it would be wiser to not give up our individual power in our collective decisions. I can imagine fully functional world wide consensus organised humanity, it looks quite nice actually. suppose i just think the means are the ends.

[-] 1 points by Rebdem (71) 2 years ago

ok so they are pushing for candidacy for congress cool actual work being done for this movement. If you know where and how they are doing i would love to know

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

you could always try their web site; http://www.the99declaration.org/

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

however the 99% Declaration.., was developed and implemented... it does not matter ... If We the Occupations wish to go this dirrection or support it as a spin off movement.. we have the power to take it over ... because we have the people.. the numbers .. and therefore the power ... the 99% Declaration as is.. has made progress in exposure and support ... it's up to us to decide if we want to run it ...

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Yes, fine just don't call yourselves the "Occupy Movement". it is clear from all the 99% Declaration and your comment that you just don't get the point. Claiming you have number and "power" is a clear sign of the way your group will go, right down the same dominator top-down road. Saying "we have the power" is not very inclusive and not consensus driven at all.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Since the "Occupy Movement" cannot articulate aims and demands, it is only natural that other 99%ers will step up.

Moreover, who are you to claim ownership of the term, "Occupy Movement"? The NYCGA and other GAs can talk for themselves but not squelch others' voices. Nobody owns movements.

Let's all follow David Graeber, spin our wheels, feel good about it, accomplish nothing. NOT.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

replace corporate government with democracy. seems rather simple and clear. what confuses you? Who is Graeber?

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

That's merely the broad tent that defines an OWSer, like building a society that responds to needs not greed. We need more specifics. If you are building an army you need to specify what you are fighting for.

On another issue, after reading more of your material I'm actually with you concerning your opinion of MoveOn and SEIU. Incidentally is it known what the head of SEIU makes? Unions which allow they're leadership to join the 1%ers are fraudulent.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

????? jph, please re-read my post... when I said "we" have the numbers & power ... I was referring to OWS having the power... not the 99% Declaration

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Stop hating and start proposing a better idea.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

I have and I do,. check my posts. There is no 'hating' here at all, I have a differing view about what needs to be done,. I wish them well, as they are taking little steps in the direction of a participatory democracy,. only I don't think they really get it. doing what the current system does,. taking the ability to shape the collective direction of the community and handing it to a 'representative' will always lead to corruption. There is no need to do this to begin with, as we can all participate in some level of debate on the issues that effect us, should we so choose. I see their premise as flawed and do not want people to over look the fact that you can not do bad with good intentions and expect a good result. it just don't work that way.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

When less than half will make time to visit a polling station every year or two (in local elections its closer to 20%).....

There isnt a system in place for an apathetic public that would work.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

people don't go to vote, because they are intelligent enough to recognize, the utter uselessness of participating in a rigged system, that only pretends to conform to the will of the people. This is easily proven; look at any good public opinion poll, and compare the results with the actions of our 'government'. Why are there such clear discrepancies between what people clearly state they want and what the elected 'representatives' are able to provide? People will participate in a system that welcomes their participation.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Just be prepared that direct democracy has some very bad downfalls for minority groups.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

why? are you a racist?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

No. But as is proved in California with the voting down of the gay marriage, the masses are asses.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

or the process was flawed. opinion poles show the majority of people are quite reasonable and support minority rights.

perhaps the current system is not working, and it needs an update of process. participatory consensus democracy is not votes on issues,. we do not want votes on issues, we want a new system that is not run from the top down but the bottom up,. a transparent and inclusive system that generates the best ideas for everyone and implements them without coercion, and oppression.