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Forum Post: Occupy's ultimate challenge -- Human Nature

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 24, 2012, 7:23 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

People frequently debate whether or not basic human nature can be changed for the better. This brings to mind an old story I heard years ago, supposedly backed up by some type of psychological/scientific study (which I tried to find online but failed to do so). 

Take 100 people at random from any given society. Remove them from that society and put them all on a remote, uninhabited island somewhere. Give them only food, water, and shelter -- but no laws, money, or any other advantage or disadvantage to distinguish themselves one from another. In other words, they all will begin this microcosm society on an equal footing. The study I can't find asserts that in seven years the micro society will appear exactly as it did prior to the 100 being removed from their original society.  That is to say,  the powerful few will emerge to rule over the average many. The slave owners, in one form or another, will rule over their slaves. They will enact laws to protect their interests and the means (police, military, etc.) to ensure it. 

The above hypothetical seems plausible when one looks at all of human history. There have always been the haves and the have-nots; the powerful few and the powerless many. This unfortunate truth seems to be an undeniable and unalterable fact. 

In an ideal society, if people could construct it, how would steps be taken to ensure a truly egalitarian structure? How would/could it be "power-proofed" to prevent a recurrence of what we now see and are battling against, e.g. enormous wealth inequality and power/control of the whole world by "the secret society".

125 Comments

125 Comments


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[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Wow, what a profound question you bring up here. I think in the end it all comes down to duality, and the fact that we are all trapped in duality. We are in a plain of paradox, in some middle-ground between good and evil, life and death, light and darkness . . . the list could go on endlessly, and we are governed by free will.

We need to come to a truely cosmic understanding of the human expierence I think, rather than a purely material, scientific understanding, and I think the key to it is self-understanding and a willingness to seek and promote the truth and the intellectual and spiritual light above all other things; both a refusal to lie to ourselves and to others.

This contradicts social norms. Most of us are broken by our confrontation with material existance and its suffering, and the question is can we overcome that confrontation with our totality of spirit, our wholeness, in tact.

The only way to do so is to cling to those beacons we can see of a higher order, the permanence of truth, of love, or justice that point to at higher order, or do we descend to the level of selfishness and the mere force of Darwinian survival? We have that choice, and I think it goes beyond the significance of earthly existance. We create the world in our image, and it reflects our belief in our own potential, or our own sense of self-debasement, and as we do so we forge our soul, for better or worse.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

That is a really beautiful and inspiring response. You know, I actually do believe (or want to believe) that most average people have such tendencies; the desire to choose good over evil, light over dark, etc., as most people i have gotten to know in my lifetime at least appear to be decent thinkers and desirous of a better world for all. But THE problem continues to be the very small minority who are hell-bent on power and control -- the egomaniacal narcissists. Unless we figure out some way to structure society to "clip their wings" permanently, they will be an eternal scourge on humanity, always seeking to enslave the rest of us. They are an enormous evil, and I find it hard to understand how thousands of years of their domination has not yet resulted in the millions (now billions) of the rest of us rising up and putting a PERMANENT end to their alpha-dominant Top-Down rule. Must humans be forever subject to the Top-Down paradigm? THAT is the real question, perhaps THE most important question that needs answering, because it is this powerful-few versus powerless-many model that is driving the planet toward obvious destruction. Humans are very creative in all kinds of problem solving. Why can't we solve this one? Society would be so much better off if we could permanently rid ourselves of these maniacs.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I believe we approach a solution when everyone gets involved and " Then " Stays involved.

Our problem with representative government is that it has not been representative.

Why Not?

Well because we have said good job fine election now lets "watch" (?) them do the job.

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hell most people do not even watch.

Now things have gotten so bad - so out of step with the common good. That the population "must" ask WTH is going on?

Now the population is beginning to realize that our elected representatives need guidance. "OUR" guidance. THE PEOPLES GUIDANCE!!!

So we are here today and in similar groups across the country and around the world with a real fight on our hands. We are starting to make a difference. We have not yet been acknowledged but we can see the attempts ( weak so far ) at appeasement.

Now we must continue and never let-up on the pressure if we are to be truly successful. We must own the process and then never leave the store unattended again.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, we must never again forget that a democracy requires never ending vigilance on the part of its citizens. Unfortunately a free, truth seeking, vibrant press which our Forefathers deemed so necessary for a healthy democracy is not going to be in the cards anytime soon, so it should be our job to convince people to turn to other alternative news sources for the truth.

Recently...actually in the wee hours this morning I sent a scathing letter off to my local newspaper, The Asbury Park Press condemning them for their lack of investigative journalism in covering the discontent of the people of the world, and of course that no so little world-wide movement called OCCUPY! The letter was sent to six departments within the paper including the Editor and, the President and Publisher. I also told them that great journalists, like Edward R. Murrow (who was instrumental in crushing Joe McCarthy and all the ugliness that he propagated) would be turning in his grave if he could see the condition of journalism today. I was thinking about making that letter a post here. hmmm

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Everyone should do this. To the Print media as well as broadcast.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Thanks I agree...we should all be doing this, as well as letters to the editor, which i have also done in defense of OWS. There are many great writers here on this forum who articulate our vision, and reasoning for being here very well....hint DK...hint.. Many of their posts...even some of their comments could easily be letters to the editor. Unless you are criticizing the enormous amount of newspaper.... that is not so easily degradable as people once thought,...you can easily get your letter in the paper, if you live in the boonies, or the 'burbs, anyway. 'Coon Rapids!' Did you make that up DK? :-)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Nope not made-up. I do believe that they named the town after raccoons. Anoka County Minnesota. That is my story and I'm stick'in to it. If you are hinting at me you are very kind, you are also welcome to use anything I've written here as I would not know where to start. I believe the others would feel the same.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

OK thanks, but i would never sign my name to anything that someone else wrote. It is easy to email these letters into the newspapers, but i can understand if you live in a small town where people are not as open-minded as you, it can be difficult I know, as I've lived in the country.

There are a lot of Sandinavians up in Minnesota as you know, I'm sure. Back in the 30s some of them left to go to Alaska, under a program Roosevelt initiated to colonize the Matanuska Valley. Each family got 40 acres from the government if they built homes, and farmed the land. Every year in Palmer, Ak...where one of my daughters lives...they celebrate Colony Day which celebrates that migration of people from the mid-west to AK, and many of them were of Scandinavian descent from MN. It's amazing...some of them that came there as kids are still alive, and ride down the parade route in convertibles....Then after that they have all kinds of other events including a huge, great, free barbecue/picnic, sponsored by the church...Lutheran of course.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes DK, eternal vigilance is required (what you have called guidance). But the "Eternal Pyramid" remains. Battling those at the top of the pyramid requires so much of our precious time and energy, it would seem worthwhile for us to use our intelligence to try to craft a different model. Top-Down is a remnant from our animalistic past. We see Alpha-Dominance displayed in the animal kingdom everywhere. But taken to its logical extreme, which is what we are seeing now, will result in planetary ruin. 

But they don't care, or they would use their power and influence to make real and effective changes for the betterment of society and the planet, instead of for their own personal power and control.

And I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill CEOs, politicians, and presidents. I'm talking about the true owners, the Power-Elite bent on world domination. The puppet-masters behind the government puppets. The Bilderberg Club, CFR, Trilateral Commission, Atlantic Council, and all the other small Ivy League power-brokers that serve the International Banksters like Rothschilds, Rockefellers, etc. 

We need to invert the pyramid. Or use a different model. Perhaps a rectangle? I don't know. But I do know that if we don't do something soon, before they finish their plan for world enslavement, it will be too late. They have already largely accomplished their goal of global financial control by way of the global economy and the international banking system. All that remains is global political control via the UN. And that day IS coming. I don't know if it will be in our lifetime or not, but that is their plan. 

The human race must make a concerted effort to stop them at all costs, or else we will face a new dark age under their complete control.

I'm really hoping that the Occupy movement worldwide realizes this, the magnitude of it all, and will focus its energies on the root of the problem and not just the surface manifestations like bank bailouts, wealth inequities, etc. If you don't attack the Beast at its heart, but instead focus on it's tentacles, the effort is ultimately wasted.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Wow, another great question!!!

You are really asking the big ones, and if not now, when?!!

You are right - regarding the question of why to this day the billions have not risen-up and put a permanent end to their rule - that genuinely seems inexplicable to me, given that we all have free will. All I know is that ony when we do, when everyone of us sane and healthy people refuses to be dominated, while at the same time having the discipline to live within a minimal set of laws, can we really BEGIN to expolore our full potential as a species.

What DKA says below also speaks dirrectly to the problem I think, so I won't add to that.

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

Darwin had misunderstood the nature of the living organisms. To put it simply he thought that selfishness,rudeness vulgarity,ferocity etc are the essential tools of survival.Nature does not work that way(rather evolution is led by the transfer of information through multiple channels ) .Early in human history muscle power was valued but nowadays it has lost the luster.Now knowledge plays the key role therefore time has come for the all rulers to surrender before the humanity or vanish.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The problem with that study is, the people who were displaced to the isolated island, were already immersed and indoctrinated in our current culture (so I'm not sure how this would be a valid test case)?

When I read and listen to anarchist thinkers, like say Emma Goldman, there is a tendency to romanticize human nature. I think maybe Goldman and Berkman had sort of a rude awakening when they witnessed, first hand, how the Bolsheviks betrayed the ideals of their revolution, and turned against the people. But I think their experience and disillusionment with Lenin also reinforced the core ideas of anarchism, and I think also served to bolster some of the ideas of early anarchists, like Pierre Proudhon (who believed in peaceful protest, and challenging all power structures).

I guess if I had to give my opinion on this, I would say speculation regarding human nature isn't as important as many people seem to believe. Obviously it's good to know about the biochemical factors that influence our behavior and thinking, it's good to understand our evolutionary origins, but trying to match up a social theory with speculative assumptions regarding our underlying animal instincts, seems to be a huge exercise in missing the point (and it can quickly begin to sound like naive idealism).

How do we know at least some aspects of direct democracy can work very effectively? Because they exist today. If I was a citizen of Wisconsin, I would love the fact that I get a chance to recall Walker. While I don't have many complaints with Cuomo (our NY governor), I still believe the people ought to have the right to recall elected officials (no speculation regarding human nature required, besides the well documented fact that some humans don't turn out to be as good as we first assumed). I like the idea of employee owned companies, but I don't need to wonder whether or not this corresponds more closely with human nature, I need only look at the thousands of employee owned companies in the United States, which are more productive, survive longer, innovate better, and where its workers are more satisfied.

Similarly, I don't need to speculate with regard to the social utility of voluntary associations. We have a tradition of voluntary associations in this country, and they've achieved incredible things throughout the course of our history.

We contrive our virtues with our INTELLIGENCE, not our lower animal instincts. After all, just to list some aspects of our basal instincts that we do understand: a propensity for pattern seeking (while useful in many circumstances, can also be a very poor guide to reality), group think, sexual jealousy, etc. So we KNOW humans are not magically endowed with goodness (and to say otherwise, is more akin to a religious claim).

We have a great propensity for good, altruism, language, higher thinking, etc., and I think we'd want a society that promotes those aspects of our nature. To quote Carl Sagan: "We humans are capable of greatness." But remember, his optimism notwithstanding, Sagan had no delusions with respect to the dark side of human nature, and we shouldn't either.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Good comments. Enjoyed reading it.

The whole point of my post had to do with the Power-Elite that have always existed and whether it is reasonable to hope that someday this quest for power over others can be replaced with more noble traits or ways for humans to organize society other than alpha-dominance. I am not talking about Utopia, but I regret that I do not see a way (under current and foreseeable conditions) for a fairer system to emerge, as I believe the human animal, en masse, is still too primitive to create a more egalitarian structure that would ever abandon the Top-Down dominance paradigm. I want to be proven wrong, as I must admit to being too much of an idealist, despite decades of pragmatism being slapped in my face. I was hoping the Original Post would generate comments and some light on possible ways that society can be transformed in ways that it has not been for thousands of years (perhaps technology being a contributor in some way????...idk). Without such transformation in the way societies are structured, I can only envision more of the same, and that Occupy and other similar movements merely take their place amongst countless others down through history, that perhaps bring about "momentary" change, but do nothing to transform society from that of being ruled by the Power-Elite to that of the Egalitarian ideal.

Translation: "We have met the enemy, and He is Us."

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

It's really about how we understand anarchism. If we take it as something that has an end, then yes, it may sound like naive idealism, unrealistic, etc. But if we view it as simply a way of thinking, then the paradigm shifts.

Can society evolve past the need for power based relationships? Maybe, but maybe not (but we don't have to answer this question to be anarchists). We can see better ways of doing things that are more voluntary, more participatory, and less coercive, right in front of us. So we know the trajectory we should move in. Once we arrive there, I have no doubt that there will still be power struggles, and people will still be asking these same questions. But anarchism will continue to identify and challenge power structures, always hoping for something better.

It's funny, anarchists do tend to romanticize human nature, but it's also based on the assumption that power structures can always emerge, and so it's a never ending thing. Some people (probably most people) don't like the idea of "never ending" ... but we don't even need to study the anarchist intellectual tradition to know that plain old fashioned democracy requires eternal vigilance.

Anarchism is simply a well defined method of eternal vigilance.

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

their is no human nature but the fact that we are in flux, a kid in an abusive childhood will have a completely different nature from a kid in a good family.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Do we really have to change human nature, or just the rules we govern ourselves with !

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

There have always been rules. The problem is, there will always be the tiny minority of Power-Elite who will gain control of the "rule-making" body (e.g. Legislatures) or Dictatorships, or else figure out some way to get around the rules whether legal or otherwise. For them, it isn't about playing by the rules -- it is about winning at any and all costs -- otherwise known as power and control. I'm not talking about politicians and presidents. They are the puppets. I'm talking about the puppet-masters -- the true Owners of the world.

How to get rid of this scourge on humanity is THE question. This "Eternal Pyramid" of Alpha-Dominant, Top-Down rule over humanity has existed for thousands of years. It almost seems hard-wired into the human animal. But taken to its logical (or illogical) conclusion will result in what we are now seeing globally -- environmental destruction on an immense scale (unsustainable) and massive species extinction. All because we millions/billions of regular sane folks can't figure out how to permanently rid ourselves of these maniacs.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Underdog, we the people have been divided and conquered by the minority. To overthrow this destructive system we " must unite and conquer them.

When I look at history, I see many gainful steps for human rights ( the unknown citizen ). Freedom of speech and democracy the most recent. We have come a long way towards freedom , and breaking free of the chains the " top " has placed upon us. We will one day gain full control of worldly decisions.

I wanted to compliment another post you had written. It was refreshing to stand back and look at the big picture.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks for the compliment, and I truly hope you are right; that we will one day "break free."

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Thank you, and I truly believe we (mankind ) are on the precipice of a world makeover !

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Whatever comes out of our efforts here in our struggle, we need to have a system of accountability, with clear consequences for bad behavior which even the best of us are capable of. We need to find a way...not sure how of getting our sense of outrage back when our public trust has been broken. The lack of this anger is a relatively new phenomena, as at one time there was a much more healthy skepticism of the government and their cronies in this country. We have seemed to have been put to sleep and rendered helpless by a very sophisticated corporate owned media campaign, which Chomsky talks about in his book, Media Control. For far too long there has been platinum citizenships for the financial, and political elite. Rather than put these people in jail for causing immeasurable harm...we continue to incarcerate mostly young people to long sentences for non-violent drug abuse. This has all got to come to an end.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I think you have made some very astute observations. When I read your comment "The lack of this anger..." I immediately wondered to what degree the "spirit of the people" may already be broken, i.e., they no longer possess the will to rise up. I'm not saying everyone has been broken, but one of my fears is that a sufficiently large number may be thinking "Why bother...it is too late...I'm too busy/tired, etc. to get involved...etc...". I am not saying this has happened, in fact the opposite may be occurring, but if it IS true, then we are in a LOT of trouble.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes I too worry if we can awaken these people out of their apathy now, or whether we have to wait until there is another even bigger crisis. We should have the answer by this summer.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

This is our job - everyone's job - to communicate the issues, point out the corruption and crime with the noting of laws already in place that are being ignored and the Departments in existence that is their job to confront these issue's and their their current failure to do so. The follow-up of asking why? The continuance of communication and spreading of awareness - and this should kindle righteous outrage and action.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree DK, that "this is our job - to communicate the issues" in the hope of "spreading awareness" to them, and then of course bringing about "righteous outrage and action." The only way things change for the better is by confronting the issues...head first, no holes barred as unpleasant as the facts sometimes are.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The truth hurts but must be faced to be able to affect success - healthy success.

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

Good Human values give society power not the muscle one.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

From your article:

"But if these things are huge parts of our nature, why don´t we see a lot more of this in our society today? Well, the problem is that today these things are being suppressed. In today´s (especially Western) societies things like greed and consumption are being encouraged. In fact, capitalism requires corporations f.ex. to only think about the "bottom line". If they don´t, they´re out of business, and corporations that do think profits and greed replace them. A society like this will of course produce a lot of greedy individuals. Capitalism encourages greed, and since human nature allows for some molding of the mind, the system we have manages to suppress many individuals´ core characteristics. Take advertisement f.ex: Private tyrannies spend huge amounts of money on this. We´re being pumped full of this garbage almost everywhere we look, whether it´s TV, radio, internet, newspapers etc etc, day in and day out. It is a highly unnatural phenomenon, it´s been a part of human history for an extremely small amount of time, yet it affects us, many of us in a huge way."

From a pragmatic point of view, what's the fix? Please see my other discussion below about this with Richard Gates. How do we, or can we, eliminate this narcissistic scourge that is destroying the planet? Planetary Corporatocracy and/or these narcissists are just plowing right ahead with their agenda regardless of the eventual and almost assured negative outcome that everyone can see on the horizon.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

There are a whole host of ego-destroying substances, all of which are illegal. If that ever changes, I think the world will be a better place.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks for your article. You have obviously given the long-term plan a lot of thought. My response is below. It is not meant as a critique, only my reaction to some of the things I read which I respectfully submit for your consideration.

1) LABOR UNIONS --- The Labor movement in this country is way too weak to rise up as you have put forth. Many, perhaps even a majority, of states have right-to-work laws that effectively reduce union power in those states to almost zero. At a minimum, for labor to bounce back, all states (or at least almost all) need to repeal right-to-work laws so that the true power of strike to impact corporations in this country is effectively restored.

2) VIOLENCE --- This will not succeed and may be counter-productive to the effort. I say it may be counter-productive because you never really know what kind of impact it might have or how it may be perceived by the majority of "wait and see" masses of people who will probably just go along with whatever happens regardless (the sheeple). If it is negatively perceived, then the effort will suffer a great setback, possibly unrecoverable. If it is positively perceived, it may awaken the masses to the reality of the suppression efforts on the part of the power-elite and inspire them to join in the cause and to rise up and throw their oppressors off their backs in true revolution. Either way, violence is a real risky way to go, and stands virtually no chance against modern militarys of the world. Shotguns, rifles, and pistols are a poor match against tanks, planes, missiles, and yes, even tactical nukes. The USSR should provide inspiration as it was ready to fall and indeed was overthrown without violence as everyone realized within the country that it's economic model was unsustainable. If things get that bad in the US, people will also realize that the status quo is unsustainable and will be able to throw it off without violence. But conditions have to be at an unacceptable level for masses of people before that will happen.

3) POWER-ELITE HAVE NO ALLEGIENCE TO BORDERS --- Overthrow of the entrenced Corporatocracy must be global, and this is extremely difficult to accomplish since you have to deal with many nations rather than just the US. The power-elite and/or their corporations can take up residence and/or business in Europe, Australia, or anywhere else in the world they so choose. So making things tough on them in the US will only cause them to flee to where they can operate unhindered or less hindered. So this important fact must be included in any plan for eradication of global wealth inequality.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No, there´s not much criticism in what you write.I think we agree on most issues.

1) Thats why convincing and educating - changing the the public mind so to speak - is so important. We have to work for convincing people to build a better community, including of course working for better conditions for workers.

2) Yes, violence is risky. It should only be used if necessary for self defense.

3) I agree. What I advocated in the article should be worked for all over the world, but it must be up to the people who live in the specific area to decide what to do in their own community/society. But a global workers ´ solidarity and cooperation is important in order to crush corporate tyranny on the global scale (which I touched upon in the end of my article)

Thanks for your thoughts. sff

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

the problem with violence in the present climate is that the perpetrators would immediately be labeled terrorists, then the whole movement. it would be open season on ows and anyone who has shown any support for it.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Agree. I think its important to use non-violent action as long as the Occupy movement has not yet become the dominant force in society, with overwhelming majority support. Only when the movement has grown huge (which ot will at some point) where the vast majority supports and have joined it can we start some form of self defense (when necessary).

[-] 1 points by randart (498) 2 years ago

You cite a study you can't find or remember where it came from to use for your argument.

There are many examples of societies that were fairly egalitarian in our human history. The Native Americans had a pretty good system that worked well for them until the Europeans showed up to introduce them to, smallpox, land ownership, guns and God.

There was a society, I think it was in the south pacific islands somewhere, that had these huge stone disks and nobody could lift them. The people all knew who owned which disk and they were consequently the rich guys on the island but they had to spend their stone disk at times and when they did there would be a different rich guy. I kinda like this idea.

The Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest would throw potlatches with neighboring tribes. The chief would give away all of his possessions during this ceremony and if the other chiefs couldn't match the give away then they would be shamed. Talk about redistribution of wealth. All the tribe became recipients of their chiefs wealth and the tribe's status would be elevated among neighboring tribes.

The only real way to ensure an egalitarian society is to put anyone who wants to run for office in stocks in the town square where everyone else can let that person know trying to control the rest of the group is unacceptable. Just kidding.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I'm sorry I couldn't find the study. I really tried. I know it is legit, I just couldn't find it. I think I heard about it in a class I was taking at the time.

Your examples are encouraging, but all of them pretty small and/or primitive. I'm concerned about what we can do about our maniacs.

[-] 1 points by randart (498) 2 years ago

I think we will all find that there will be little that can actually be done until the proverbial "THEY" self destruct. Their excesses are reflected in what the conservatives do when they hold too much power and begin to impose their religious beliefs and morals on regular people and then the real backlash begins.

I say let them keep pushing to force women to undergo vaginal probes as a "medical procedure" and thinking with their small minds that this isn't a form of rape. Just look at how they are bringing normal people together on multiple issues. They have over stepped the social boundaries of acceptance and they are now fully exposed. Just a matter of time now.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Inspirational words, and I truly do hope it is just a matter of time. My concern is that we may be involved in a race against time to stop them before their reckless narcissism pushes the planet beyond the tipping point where we have runaway global warming, mass species extinction, etc. That's really the biggest concern I have always nagging me in the back of my mind.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

The concept of rights must be understood to be different than privileges (or political/constitutional rights as they are sometimes called). Until that happens no one will be free. And even then, every person wishing to be free must recognize his or her rights and know the law which protects them.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

So you are talking about inherent or inate rights that are somehow derived from natural human concepts of right and wrong versus artificially created "rights" brought about by legislative action or rules to govern how a society operates? If so, I love the concept of the first, but don't think it's grounded in the reality of the world we see around us. By that view, the cat violates the "right" of the mouse, the dog violates the "right" of the cat, the crocodile violates the "right" of the dog, etc...So what exactly is an inate or inherent right if it's preservation cannot be ensured?

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

The lower animals do no have rights, except the right to act as nature designed them. The cat exists by hunting the mouse. The dog exists by hunting the cat. The crocodile exists by hunting the dog (to use your examples). Humans, similarly, have the right only to act as nature designed them. Since nature designed humans to develop a rational faculty and use it in order to survive, humans have the right to exercise that rational faculty in order to survive. Recognition of this fact prevents one from claiming the right to interfere in the exercise of the rational faculty of another human being, for that would be a violation of the principle of rights. To violate the rights of another would be to assert that the right does not exist. How can one have a right where another of the same type of being does not?

The concept of rights is important only in a society. And even then, only in a society which exists for the purpose of improving the lives of its members.

Rights are not derived from human concepts of right and wrong, but from human nature (and by that I do not mean tendency to act a certain way in social situations, but those aspects of humanity which would exist in or outside of a society, held by all members of the species). Right and wrong are moral concepts, derived from a given code of ethics. Whatever is judged to be of value in that code will determine what is morally right or wrong. If a given code of ethics holds human life as its highest value, only those things which support human life are considered good and right. If a code of ethics holds only the lives of a particular class of humans as the good, then whatever supports that class at any expense is held to be good and right.

So to make a succinct argument, I would say that rights are moral principles derived from a given code of ethics. Rights, according to a code of ethics which holds human life as the good, are principles upon which one may or may not act based solely on one's own initiative, while not violating the similar rights of others, which are held by all people at all times.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I understand you now, and congratulate you on a well-reasoned and clearly articulated response.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

I practice a lot :)

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

"Which is better – to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?"

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I sense that is a quote from something, but I am unfamiliar with it. Source please.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I've never read LOTF. I did read a high-level summary of it earlier tonight after the first comment on this post was left.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 2 years ago

The Internet provides the balance of power that has never been available (or tried) before.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2440) 2 years ago

Telecom is working on dismantling net neutrality so we lose internet freedom see Save the Internet they have petitions as well

http://www.savetheinternet.com/frequently-asked-questions

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yeah, I heard about that, and it is very disturbing. I'll be willing to bet that the power-elite is behind that, because if they can't buy the Internet (because nobody owns it), then they will attempt to control it for their own purposes via their ownership of their legislative puppets.

Wanna bet who will win in the long run?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

How can/will it bring about the egalitarian society as mentioned in the OP? The source of the problem, i.e., the power-elite, still remains whether Internet or no. The beast just adapts to the new environment, and is relentlessly determined to win. How do you "sever the head of the beast" once and for all so the long-awaited dream can emerge?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx36.htm

Lack of empathy is linked to low intellect.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks for the link. As I was reading it, this popped out to me:

"Narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females, and is thought to occur in less than 1 percent in the general population."

Now isn't that interesting? Could we be talking about the same 1%? I wish there was some way to determine if there is a link between the < 1% of NPD and the top 1% that Occupy talks about (not that it really matters, but I have a great fascination in trying to understand the top 1% and what makes them tick).

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

lol, I noticed that too. Funny stuff. The actual number is much much higher. Being an ass doesn't promote most people to suggest a shrink. The most common tell is passive aggressive behavior such as emotional trapping when they are confronted with uncomfortable information or criticism, and impulsively making implied or veiled insults in everyday conversation with the few people they build relationships.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

So what's the fix? Is the whole human race just perpetually screwed for all time because these maniacs can't ever see they are not the center of the universe? If it could be scientifically proven that there is a link between NPD and the top 1% and/or ultra-rich, then perhaps we can hope that science will one day find a pill for NPD. 

Actually, it really sounds like a slow maturity thing to me because the article says that the symptoms lessen as people get up into their  40s-50s.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I think the answer lies in the very understanding of the problem. The truth is that narsissitc people have a practically inlimited drive to advance themselves over others. While others are going about their obect of living full and meaningful lives, raising familys, trying to fulllfil themselves, there are these people relentlessly and ruthlessly promoting nothing but their own advantage. These people naturally rise to the top. But if we understand this, I think it is possible to put firm and insurmoutable obsticles in the path of them doing so.

That is why the founders, although they didn't understand the problem as clearly as we do now, called for eternal vigillance. Now that we understand the problem, I think we can create solutions more directly targeted towards the specific problem.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Now, GK, you are getting to the bottom of things and have really gotten my attention because I really do want to know how we can put the brakes on this destructive behavior of the NPDs that has plagued society for so very, very long. Do you have any ideas (I'll listen to just about anything) as to the "firm and insurmountable obstacles" we could implement? This discussion is getting to the heart of the matter because what we're up against isn't just changing the rules of the game, it's understanding the psychology of those that are playing the game...and some of those that are playing are absolutely relentlessly determined to win at all costs, regardless of the rules. How can things be setup to perpetually defeat them?

The solution to this problem is "the whole ball game" as far as I'm concerned.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Three things come to mind. One would be putting limits on absolute wealth. Anyone who is not satisfied by a total wealth of say, five million dollars adusted for inflation, is not seeking wealth for the satisfaction of natural human desires, but seeking wealth as a means to power. That is contrary to democratic principles.

Secondly, since when did our elected representitives consider it their right to find a way to make fortunes from public service? People in congress, and even the presidency should be there out of a sense of patriotic duty, and be satisfied with the honor of serving their country. Public servants should be paid a good living wage and no more. They should not be allowed to enrich themselves in any other way, while in office, and elections should be funded equally by the government for all those who can produce a certain number of valid signatures for their campaign. The argument that we will then not have qualified public servants is nonsense, we will just have patriotic ones. Also, there needs to be strict conflic-of-interest laws, and the heck with these county club prisons for white-collar crimes. These crimes are far more detremental to the fabric of society than common crimes of property, such as auto theft. Those convicted should be sent to maximum security prisons: there should be no such double standard. The only reason there is, is that the corrupt are protecting one another. That change alone would drastically reduce corruption.

Finally, I think everyone needs to become educated about narcisistic and anti-social personality disorders. In my opinion, from life expierence, I would say these disorders are not as rare as statistics would indicate. These people (who I ultimately have great sympathy for) are often VERY GOOD at disguising their real motives, and they are responsible for a tremendous amount of problems on the level of family, community, and society.

I do not think these people should be villified, but rather that the rest of us just need to become educated to recognise the problem and stand up to these types. They have a relentless and aggressive drive and are completely unscrupulous. which gives them a great advantage over other people, and they must be recognised and stood up to. Intinidation is their foremost charactoristic.

I am sure there are other ideas out there. These are just what comes to mind at the moment. It is something everybody should give serious thought to.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I see that someone is in good form this morning.

Thank you for a very coherent look at reality.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thanks DKA.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28248) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Nope thank you for a clear snap shot of why we are here.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Great Ideas!!! A really great start! Let's do it! The only question now is how?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

That, I think, is what we are all trying to work out collectively here. Personally I think the Philidelphia Assembly is very necessary. We must arrive at concrete goals, even if this turns some people off, for whatever reason. Only then can we really begin to apply the "political" pressure to achieve them.

As an aside, and am becoming a little irritated at the way the word political is coming to have two meanings here, when if fact EVERYTHING we are doing is "POLITICAL." I think this false double meaning is misleading, and therefore prone to confuse our thinking.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I must plead ignorance about the Philadelphia Assembly unless you are making a reference to American History where the founders assembled to do their work. Is there a modern-day PA in the works?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, there is one in the works, for next July. This is recent news, and I think we should all look into that:)

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

makes for a good target date

June 22 is the longest day, June is a good month for travel and marches as the daylight lasts longer

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes! Very exciting!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I agree!!!

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I think it's a byproduct of how our society operates. It's no secrete that who you know is more important than what you know. This is trained into us at an early age and I see no reason narcissism couldn't be the result of the brain over correcting for this pressure to accept might is right and other similar themes. With any luck, this ape like practice will fade as we evolve socially. Until then, yeah we're pretty much stuck with it. So the system we choose isn't as important as how we as humans use it. Utopia is such a far away goal isn't it? :)

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Sigh...:-(. And I was hoping to go to bed tonight without a bummer on my brain.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

lol

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

And the point of this?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

The point of this is to ask some very poignant questions like:

1) Is Occupy ultimately a "wild goose chase"? Does all this effort ultimately matter if the human race is perpetually stuck in this "powerful few vs. powerless many" paradigm?

2) If the above paradigm can ever be broken (all of recorded history seems to be against it), how would that happen? What steps could be taken? Can technology or emerging/future technology bring that about? How can mankind successfully achieve the dream of a truly egalitarian society someday?

"You may say I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one." -- John Lennon

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Okay. Can you people stop with the John Lennon quotes? They have no bearing on anything in the real world.

[-] -1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I'll gladly remove it, if you can provide answers to my questions.

The "real world" as you call it is not an immutable fixed object. It can and does undergo changes. As humans slowly evolve, societies slowly evolve. Actually, with the explosion of scientific and technological advancement in the last 300 years (and especially in the last 50), societies are having a difficult time keeping up with the rapidity of cultural, social, and intellectual changes. So you'll need to define "real world" quite specifically for your statement to have any validity.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

The " real world" doesnt quote John Lennon hippy songs to deal with " real world" problems. And cultural, social, and intellectual ( barf) changes effect nothing quickly.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Please provide specific examples/data to support both of your sentences. Lennon had a concept/vision he was trying to express as best he knew how. Without people of vision in the world, we would all still be living in caves and wearing deerskins. And people without vision back then would also be preaching that the visionaries didn't live in the "real world".

Also please define your concept of "quickly". At no time in human history have we seen such rapidity of change in the world, so I don't understand your response.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

lord of the flies

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Problems with social structure and the inability to overcome situations of abuse perpetuate dsyfunction...absorbing the mentality of those who subjugate, is a common adaptation for survival...which propogates opportunism and superficiality...

The lack of protection by leaders causes resentment and devolved forms of social structures and disingenuous values...

The cognitive manipulations of large scale religions and other rigid social structures and mentalities condition the population by hiding right from wrong in false rhetoric, to protect corrupt interests, and also incites hostility and rebuke of real reasoning and real relevant truths, hindering and obstructing progress...

The idea that real constructive progress could occur without directly addressing these current active forms of social and societal distortions is absurd...

[-] 0 points by Breadwinner (33) 2 years ago

I think that you are born a leader or not a leader. Those that want to lead are going to and those that don't will follow. You can teach all the leadership classes you want some it's just not in some peoples make up.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I agree with you that there are probably born leaders, and society does need good, strong leadership (as can be attested to by the lack of it today). The question is, must leadership lead to, or devolve into, powerful domination?. At some point leadership may/does become abusive if left unchecked. People go mad with power (power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely). Narcissism has been attributed as a possible cause. I personally believe it may be due to a more fundamental flaw in the human animal left over from our early evolution -- the desire for alpha-dominance. This is what happens when the mindless primitive impulses left over from our past is coupled to our relatively recently evolved "intelligence". You get a smart ape that can build nukes and other WMDs to enforce alpha-dominance over its own kind -- even at the risk of destruction of the whole planet!!!

[-] 0 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

Power is socioeconomic construct which is meant to protect the evil who in fact usually happens to really an average person (or below average rarely above average) good at all bad things.Once evil actions loose value then there shall be no need for the power.We should talk about the real society not the ideal one because present day society is ideal for an evil.Similarly we can have ideal society for good people which we should call a real society.Human is born good rest society teaches him/her' how to behave'/'what to become'.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

If humans are "born good" as you say, then why all this evil? So evil is taught to humans by other humans who are also born good?

Isn't it really the case that the human animal has evolved to the peculiar point of having acquired "intelligence" that is still shackled to the mindless primitive animalistic tendencies, and that this peculiar merger of "intelligence" and primitive animal has resulted in a creature that doesn't understand itself and continues to seek alpha-dominance over it it's own kind to the point of using it's "intelligence" to build nuclear bombs and other WMDs to do so?

Yes indeed. The human animal is very peculiar and a staggering contradiction in logic and sanity.

[-] 2 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

We can create a society where no body has any motivation or incentive for any sort of crime.Capitalistic and other systems which use contemporary money automatically approve of crime.Only good deeds must get appreciation.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Inspiring words, but how do you get the "animal" out of the human animal? How do you go about creating your utopia (which I would be the first to stand up and cheer for btw). Homo Sapiens is deeply flawed biologically. Do we trust science to locate all the "destructive" genes and conduct some kind of massive eugenics effort to remove them?

Do you see what you're up against?

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

Usually money or goods are the basic motives for crime therefore once money is abolished and each goods are identified and codified then no one would risk to do crime.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

"once money is abolished"...I have actually tried to imagine what such a society would look like but have not been able to envision it. Do you know of some books or do you have the vision of a moneyless society? I agree that the love of money is the root of all evil, but have not been able to imagine what it would look like. If all needs were met without it people would refuse to work (or so the theory goes), and then there would be no goods or services provided to society. Are you saying technology will one day replace all human labor and free homo sapiens from that requirement? Don't follow you.

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

It is not difficult in this modern age to imagine the non-anonymous money which is independent of inflation and the incentive system which is not dependent on money but on performance and quality of work at least recognized through other means like 'token of satisfaction' or the'token of the public points of appreciation'.

[-] 0 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

How about adapting human nature instead of complete change. Or maybe that is what they are doing over the years?

[-] 2 points by elf3 (2440) 2 years ago

I can't reconcile how the world can go on living with two types of species on it. One species who will either hurt people so that they can live well and that means having the ability to turn the other cheek to those who are suffering as well as those who will willing use or hurt others to be able to live better and the species who refuses to look the other way and can not go on living life until they end suffering and will give up everything to see that they end the suffering of others no matter the loss of personal gain because when others suffer they actually feel it too. Which species do you belong to? The one who would let children be sold as sex slaves because they are a world away, the one who would let woman's faces be burnt off with acid because they are a world away, one who doesn't mind buying the latest gadget made at the cost of slave labor, the one who can have a barbecue and enjoy abundance while in the town over there is an elderly person or child who is starving? Are you the one who can't stop thinking about all the suffering and must end it because until they do they will suffer too? Which species are you? What kind of world can you adapt to? This will not end because the members of occupy will not adapt because they can't . We are more resistant to change than the other side is - we don't adapt to suffering or atrocity. America decides the future of the world's people. Where are we leading it? Who are we allowing to lead it? Which species will survive? The ones who have fight or the ones who adapt? The ones who adapt to the propaganda so they can feel better or the ones who admit to themselves it's a lie? The ones who refuse to believe they are part of it - or the ones who know that they are if by default they don't act when they could have. Regret is worse than death. How much worse can it get - just look at other countries around the world and see where corruption has taken them. The corporate species has caused acid, rape, slavery, suffering, starvation - a corporation will adapt to anything - it has no conscience, it has no concern for suffering or who it will bribe nor does it see what it does or weigh the consequences because it is run by another species: one who would keep people in cages, rape, and burn, use slaves and deny people comfort, or willing to skin living beings alive. Just because it is done in a business suit behind a slogan or in a boardroom does not mean it is any different. I don't think I can co-exist with these people anymore... can you? It perturbs them so much that we want peace ... what if we start wanting war? Why aren't people going to jail? Why do we have regulatory committees or congressional hearings instead of trials? If corporations are people - then they can be tried like people too... ?let the FBI investigate them - screw regulations. Get rid of regulatory boards - bring forth the prosecutors. Put the entire board and shareholders in jail for their involvements. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. At least that is what we've always been told.

[-] 1 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

You have a great point. NO SARCASM. I would agree with you and give you a upvote.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I hope your response was not asking if I belong to the camp of evil rather than the one advocating change toward egalitarianism. If there is any doubt/confusion, let me assure you that I unequivocally stand on the side of the latter and not the former.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2440) 2 years ago

no I understood - more a question to the question of human nature - you have a history written of those willing to do violence surviving ahead, how do the compassionate fight back and win? What steps should we take ? I believe the best way to go forward is to show people what we're fighting for - I really wish there was a way to upload photos to go with stories. I think we need to begin to show the portrait of who we are, what we are fighting, and make it something no one can possibly argue with - I put up a link earlier of elderly and people who rent cages in Hong Kong for most of their monthly salary. I think it's important to draw the connection that A. we need to stop it and if we don't we will be next. The Orwellian nightmare is playing itself out in countries where the 1% rule the rest ... it is not a pretty picture sex slavery, woman treated like animals, people working 16 hours a day for pennies and no days off, divisive fighting as people scramble for food and scraps, corporate land grabs in Africa.. if we show this and draw the connection how we could be next - how can any moral person not support the movement?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Ok. Gotcha. Good input. Thx.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

If people stood for each others rights, and saw that the most important were upheld first, then the behaviors you describe would not have become common.

What is the most important right in understanding the problems and solutions? Would I be able to ask you or hear your answer without freedom of speech? No. Accordingly, if we have our life, then that is next. If all else fails, that stands a chance of having an effect.

What is next in this effort in opposing the behaviors you describe? Since none of us know everything, when a law is violated, one of us that cares to see the right thing done can file a civil lawsuit. Without equal protection of laws the powerful will simply ripoff the poor citizen that tries, and if free speech is abridged, that citizen will have no way of informing people.

OWS does not stand for what provides those rights, the Constitution. This alienates all the people that would support your position.

This is exactly where we are. Add to that the dumbing down and 30 years of TV with media manipulating people to mislead and divide them.

All this while the mass posting at OWS cannot discuss anything but problems.

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

Uhhh, I try real hard to get the solution out, but the superflous or media buzz issues drown it out, bury it.

Article V of the 1787 US constitution is the solution. It can address every single problem. But, like you say, and I agree, free speech is abridged and there is no way to properly define the real problems amongst the many, let alone the solution.

WHICH OBVIOUSLY, the ptb and nwo do not want anyone to know. Accordingly, question everyone who focuses on problems rather than going past that to comprehensive solution as soon as such comes up.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

Yep, OWS doesn't share what gives it rights. The constitution.

Mysteriously it came up with the power to influence enough people to make a giant scene and get a bunch of attention, so folks could get mislead a little further.

[-] 0 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

LINK: http://occupywallst.org/forum/need-new-religion-based-on-the-principle-of-mutual/



Take the link above and you will have my two cents on how we enter the paradigm shift to a new world. Take the ride.

There is hope and order does come out of chaos. It's inevitable. Unfortunately, time is running out on the human species. We have and are transforming the planet which currently supports us in dangerously haphazard way.

Take the ticket, take the ride. http://occupywallst.org/forum/need-new-religion-based-on-the-principle-of-mutual/



[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

From your link:

"a new religion based on the principle of mutual respect between sentient life forms (capable of feeling and perception), and on the principle of respecting knowledge."

This "religion" has already existed for 2,500 years. It is called Buddhism, and is actually not a true "religion" at all, but a way to find personal serenity/sanity in an insane world through the practice of various disciplines and acquisition of various insights.

FYI, I am not a Buddhist, but have studied it quite a bit from a layman's perspective over the years and believe it has some very valid points.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

In fact, the anthropological evidence suggests that there have not always been haves and have nots, though besides aboriginal cultures it's necessary to go back to prehistoric times to find evidence of truly egalitarian culture. But if they every existed (and the evidence suggests that they did) there is no reason to suppose that they cannot exist again. The only real question is how to bring them into being which is really what the most radical element of OWS is all about.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

So my use of "always" re: haves/have-nots is perhaps not 100% accurate. But if you have to go back to prehistoric times (about 10k to 12k years ago) to find any evidence of truly egalitarian cultures, then that means we have been without it for a really, really long time and would seem to indicate that only relatively simple and/or primitive societies (tribes) can exist/function egalitarily.

So again my original rhetorical question -- is the human race to be perpetually burdened under the powerful / powerless paradigm or is there a way out somewhere? Is there a road to freedom or are we forever screwed?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Actually you don't have to go back to pre historic times to find egalitarian cultures. It's just that it was apparently the dominant mode of social relations before the emergence of the state. But there are aboriginal cultures that exist to this day in which egalitarianism is the dominant mode of social relations. What exists unconsciously in a "primitive" culture can certainly be consciously constructed by "civilized" cultures.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes, yes...I get that. But the problem is that our maniacs are in the process of f~~king up the entire planet, including aborigines and any other egalitarians that might exists. They will all be moot points if we can't figure out a way to stop our sociopaths from wrecking the world. That is what I am interested in.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

How many revolutionary democrats does it take to screw in a light bulb? I don't think it's a magic bullet (to mix metaphors) but the point is there are really no quick fixes to this night mare as you put it, and it will take everybody, literally everybody, that is literally every sentient being, to fix it. Just figuring out the appropriate mechanism to do that is a monumental project and will clearly take a good deal more people than are currently active in the movement given the fact that while they have an excellent critique of the decision making processes we are confronting, the alternatives so far developed by OWS leave much to be desired to put it mildly, though I do think that while it is undoubtedly not a viable ultimate solution the call for a GA in every neighborhood is a good place to start. I'm not here suggesting that a literal GA in every neighborhood is a favorable or even probably outcome, only that the call for that kind of alternative does get the intellectual juices flowing regarding the kind of institutional changes that are viable. Personally I think that work based assemblies are a way to go, especially since most people spend half their working lives at work, often more time than they spend with their families. There is also a precident for this is virtually every democratic revolution in industrialized nations since the Paris Commune. Whether this would form a tandem chamber to geographically based representation or an exclusive monocameral chamber remains to be seen. Of course this is all speculation. How it actually unfolds will really depend on everyone who is involved and everyone needs to be involved. Ultimately this may take several decades or perhaps even several lifetimes, but in the meantime if we keep building the movement and its institutions we can be assured that we will be building a vast culture of opposition, that, while not quite ready to rule, will be in a position to keep the ruling elites from exercising their worst excesses.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

You make some good points. I agree there probably is no silver bullet. But what we're up against is time pressure (IMHO). I don't think we have 100-200 years to figure this out. With the global spread of capitalism, no letup of worldwide population explosion in sight, and increasingly diminishing natural resources that feed the capitalistic machine (not to mention environmental concerns and general weakening of the biosphere via accelerated species extinction), we better get something together that works pretty soon, or else...[fill in your favorite disaster scenario here].

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

One of the ironic differences between liberals and revolutionaires is that revolutionaries tend to have more patience and be frankly less alarmist. By no means do I mean to trivialize the crisis we are in. Ultimately I think that the only solution is one of a fundamental transformation of human relationships, but that is only ultimately. I would disagree with liberals that what we need in the meantime is a serious of incremental reforms, or rather what we need in the mean time is to actively struggle for incremental reforms. I do not disagree necessarily with the notion that incremental reforms are a useful transitional step to a better society. The question is how to get such incremental reforms and ironically I do not think that the best way to get incremental reforms is to struggle for them. I think that the best way to get incremental reforms is to struggle for the kind of society we really want and to build a mass culture of opposition. Such a mass culture of opposition will probably will not be able to assume power in its own right for generations, but its mere existence will put pressure on the ruling elites to move toward a humanist agenda. I realize that building OWS, re-establishing occupations and establishing GAs where ever possible is a very slender reed to pin our hopes on, but I also believe it is all we've got.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

When left on our own we start with loose societies. We create some basic rules and then as we grow we need to make things official and so we create written laws, constitutions, and government

Some interesting books on the subject I am sure you read in High School are Lord of the Flies and of course Animal Farm.

The ultimate challenge concerning human nature in the United States is this:

Human nature is that only 23% of the people show up to vote on election day.

Human nature is that 70% of the 23% pull the lever of the party they think they like without knowing anything about the candidate running.

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

I've never found the statements by the candidates in the pamphlet that helpful

especially for local electrons where I get a list of where they worked without any agenda presented

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

The point is that most don't even vote and hardly anyone takes the time to look.

You can research any candidate these days. You can look up how they voted on any issue. You can look at their past career. You can find out what high school they went to and what they majored in college.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes, voter apathy and ignorance is a deplorable thing. Of that there can be no doubt.

My OP was asking the rhetorical question -- Is Occupy a "wild goose chase" if there will always be the powerful few and powerless many? Can humanity do anything permanent to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the control and influence of the rich and powerful, or are we stuck forever with it? I get a little depressed contemplating the fact that there may never be any way to overcome it, regardless of protest movements like Occupy, or a million other movements like it. Is humanity forever stuck with this paradigm? That was the thrust of my OP.

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[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

If there is a secret society running the world, I assure you wholeheartedly that occupy is doing nothing to stop it by calling for more federal power.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

That is a very good point. What do you think Occupy should be doing to address the true problem?

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Well, to be honest, if half the rumors are true surrounding secret societies, there really isn't anything nonviolent that could be done to stop the problem, including a complete reconstruction of society. For the record, I don't think there is an illuminati, at least not as the rumors portray it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Formal "secret" organizations may or may not exist, but the effects of the power-elite that are in control of things worldwide is undeniable. The whole world seems headed for some type of bad end and nothing is being done to reverse it. Everyone can see this plainly, yet nothing of significance is happening to curtail the trend.

So here is the rhetorical question -- why? Obviously, those who are running things don't want to change the status quo. They have too much invested in maintaining things as they are.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Right, which is why they are supporting OWS, because most of the people in our movement are stamping their feet for more power to be given to the corporate puppets in Washington.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Can you perhaps explain that a little because I was not under the impression Occupy was that organized nor intent on handing Washington more power. Are you referring to efforts to reinstate Glass-Steagal and/or other legislative reforms designed to reduce corporate influence?

Just not sure I understand you clearly.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Start a poll asking people if they support the health care reform act, Dodd-Frank, or McCain-Feingold. You'll see what I mean.

All of the major reform bills in the past decade have done exactly what they are designed to do, which is give more power to the corporate puppets in D.C. Lobbyists don't "Give in" or lose the fight for power and influence. If people demand regulatory change to combat corporate influence, they will craft a bill that gives them more power, call it "regulation" and people will cheer for it like total lemmings and beg for more. Did you know that Tesla Motors, a company trying to create more environmentally friendly electric vehicles, was fined by the EPA $175,000 for failing to file a report on the tailpipe emissions of their vehicles? That's what regulation does, it beats up the people who dare challenge the corporate infrastructure. Same with campaign finance bills. All they do is make it likely that smaller, non-corporate grassroots candidates will violate the law, because they can't hire lawyers to sift through thousands of pages of regulation. Did you know that Dodd-Frank, which is over 1,000 pages long, places significantly more proportional compliance burden on small community banks and credit unions? that's what it was designed to do, people! please wake up before it's too late.

sigh.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Ok. You've given me something to think about, so I don't want to get too deep into a response without mulling it over for awhile. However, consider this:

Prior to the 1929 crash, businesses were operating with very little regulation and analysts (correctly) concluded that regulatory agencies such as the SEC and others were needed. FDR championed these regulatory efforts, and what we then saw was a decline in wealth inequality, and a corresponding rise in the middle class, from the end of WWII to 1980. Then, when Reagan took office, a deliberate governmental deregulation policy was implemented, and we began to see a reversal from there to present-day, I.e., decline of middle-class and rise of wealth inequity. So there does seem to be historical correlation between corporate deregulation and wealth disparity.

But you have given me something to think about and respond to later.

[-] 1 points by Concerned (455) 2 years ago

Which President was it that signed Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980? The answer is Jimmy Carter and the Democrats held both Houses of Congress.

Who signed Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act of 1982? This one was signed by Reagan. This law allowed for the fancy mortgage financing to be born. But, it was a Democratic House and a Republican Senate that designed the bill.

For the next bit of deregulation you have to jump to 1994 and Bill Clinton with both Houses of Congress a majority of Democrats. That's the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994...

And then there's the infamous Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. President Bill Clinton signed that one. Republicans held the majority in both houses for this....but dig a bit deeper and you'll find that this was bipartisan bill much touted by the President at signing at least in the House. The Senate was a more partisan vote.

Looking at all the evidence, I'd say that both parties should share blame for deregulation wouldn't you?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Pls see the chart in this link. Notice the rise beginning in 1980. Yes, deregulation has occurred during both party administrations. But the trend upward started in 1980 with Reagan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_United_States

[-] 1 points by Concerned (455) 2 years ago

Why did the "trend" begin with the 1980's? Because that is when Carter's Laws became affective.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Just to let you know. Juan is an Anarcho-Capitalist. In other words, he´s advocating pure private tyranny and command economy. This is undemocratic and awful.

If one likes the idea of people having a democratic say in the things that affect them and are a part of - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society building democracy from below, it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

He does seem to be arguing in favor of little to no regulation, or classic Randism. I'm not sure I really know exactly what his point is yet. I'm still trying to figure him out.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Jepp, Anarcho-C has much in common with classic Randism. They re both horrible, awful, immoral ideologies advocating pure private tyranny - all power into the hands of the non-elected powerful financial elite and multinational corporations.