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Forum Post: Opinion on the Anarchist/ Radical Crowd.

Posted 10 years ago on April 5, 2012, 2:54 p.m. EST by jhoffman (22)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In my opinion I think such groups as Anon, Anarchists, and the whole Radical crowd are perhaps the most obstructionist, powerful, and secretive group within the Occupy Movement. Finally I also think that they are the ones hindering the chance for their to be future progress. Thoughts?



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[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 10 years ago

If there is one aspect I like about anarchism, would be the absence of absolute authority, where no one can impose themselves on another human being. It would be like having the freedom of living all alone in the world , where no one is telling you what you can and can not do. Perhaps that is what a true anarchist wants.


[-] 1 points by doitagain (234) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago
[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 10 years ago

Gang Starr ft. Snoop Dogg - In This Life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d525g3J9qNw

[-] 1 points by doitagain (234) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago
[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

They are not so much secretive, but rather based in hidden axioms. If you want to see the kind of propaganda these guys have been consuming for the past few years, check out this YouTube channel.


There are many anarchists who would argue that they are way more intellectual than this guy, but I'm sure, if they are anarchists, they have at least heard of Stefan Molyneux.

[-] 1 points by idontexist (24) 10 years ago

he's an anarcho capitalist, the anarchists at occupy are anarcho communists

[-] 2 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

Stefan Molyneux reduces anarchism's critique of society into a nutshell, so that's why I point to him. Anarchists may have different goals, but they all have a similar critique of society.


[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 10 years ago

Anarcho-Syndicalists / Libertarian Socialists just think that people should have the right to control their own lives and workplace - building democracy from below.

To me that's just common sense, and therefore what we should strive to achieve.

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

There seems to me to be great commonality among people regarding what this movement wants to achieve - that being genuine democracy in one form or another. I think the divisions come in more where process is concerned than in ultimate goals.

And so I think process is what we need to focus on now - how do we actually get from where we are now to where we want to be. This is clearly an area where the right-wing, strangely enough, has succeeded in recent generations, and where the individually smarter left-wing has failed.

The reason seems simple, and that is because the right-wing isn't as concerned about ideology but simply upon getting their way. Therefore, they don't have a lot of scruples about tactics.

I'm not suggesting we become unscrupulous, I'm merely suggesting that we be willing to embrace all of our options. In other words now is not the time for exclusion based on political ideology, but the inclusion of the greatest number that believe in our essential goal, be willing to embrace the broadest number of tactics to breach the gates and to do this work together, rather than splinter apart.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

It's because conservatives are able to appeal to the more primal instincts of average people, and more lofty ideals aren't held by a large number of people. This idea is supported by at least one recent study. Liberals (defined as people who express altruism beyond just members of their family, immediate friends, and who they identify as, speaking in evolutionary terms, their "tribe") tend to have, on average, significantly higher IQ's.

However, being a democrat doesn't make one a liberal. Most democrats, like most republicans, are primarily concerned with members of the tribe so to speak (family, friends, and so on). This is consistent with evolutionary behavior.

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

True, and underlying this, unfortunately, is an even sadder fact that we all know but don't talk about much, and that is that there is simply a huge vairiability in human intelligence, and we would be much better off if we were all either just smart or stupid. Stupid people will never understand smart people, and smart people will never understand stupid people. Education is the tool we use to try to brigde that gap, among other things, and so we can NEVER give up on universal education.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Right, and I don't like to make a big deal over the IQ factor. I think it's possible, if we begin teaching children "younger" (starting at latest, 3 years old, and I'm talking formal education, including rudimentary mathematics), we could significantly increase average human IQ. We would still have the disparity, but if we were able to raise average IQ by say 15 points (which I think is conceivable) ... that would be a real game changer. Our smartest would be smarter than Einstein, and our not so smart, would be fairly brilliant by today's standards :)

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

It would be helpful for them to include music, not just music class, but music through-out the day. Inspire creativity. If you can engage someones full attention they can do amazing things.

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Yes, I hear classical music has at least a temporary effect on intelligence (I'm going from memory of a study I heard about a while back, so don't quote me on this).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

There was a special a couple weeks back on PBS - Rewiring the brain. It did not matter what type of music according to the special, it just pointed out that music activates/stimulates a wide range of the brain and that they were finding it helpful not only for stimulating the average individual, but to help those suffering from different illnesses or injuries. They were finding that people who had lost the ability to speak were able to relearn by stimulating another area of the brain with music while they worked on speaking exercises. There was more but probably better if you were to see the special I think it is available on their site.


[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Hmmm, maybe if I expose my future baby to punk rock, he or she will be an anarchist (like daddy) .... although I think grandma would slap the shit out of daddy :)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

LOL - just don't name the kid "moon unit" or something equally as nice.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

LOL ... I'm not going that far, no hippy names (this is 2012) :)

[-] 1 points by idontexist (24) 10 years ago

So your talking about indoctrination not education

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Yes, I want to indoctrinate your children in my urban, atheistic, liberal ways. I mean, really? Is this the first place people's minds float to when we talk about education?

[-] 0 points by idontexist (24) 10 years ago

No school is indoctrination, but not for liberalism, for statism and the cult of authority:


statism is a religion:

religion is a myth of the dysfunctional family:

younger child: man

parent who is distant but we have to love: god

older sibling who is abusive: satan

calling to the parent to control the abusive sibling (the catch being if the parent was a good parent the sibling wouldn't be abusive and you wouldn't need to call: prayer

statism is a myth of a dysfunctional family:

younger sibling who is abused: citizen

older sibling who is abusive: (for conservatives) immigrants, lazy people, terrorists, enemy states (for liberals) corporations/rich

abusive parent we have to love: the state (not the same thing as government)

calling to the abusive parent to control the older sibling: voting

[-] 1 points by idontexist (24) 10 years ago

The government has no reason to provide decent education, its a monopoly ("private" schools have to tow the line in most case, and those that don't can't make any money because who sends kids to schools without the mafia's seal of approval)

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Okay, I might agree with this (at least somewhat) ... but why does it have to be this way? There's certainly no law of nature mandating indoctrination in authoritarianism (but we do want a well educated society nonetheless, and I think using trained teachers and well researched guidelines, certainly has merit from the standpoint of effectiveness).

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

Jazz can do the same thing, It's the complicated rhythms, beats and melodies. It makes the brain work harder. It's kind of like low impact aerobics for your head...........:)

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

We don't really care about education in America except for a tiny minority, not anymore. There was a time that wasn't true.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

The school system was different back in the day. The government was worried about nuclear war and were terrified of Cuban tobacco. They needed to raise them up some geniuses to protect ......... well we'll not get into that.

Now though Corporations want us dumb and pliable. Different teaching process needed.

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

Yeah, you've been around awhile, seen the process.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

Mad as hell......... and finally with a positive outlet.

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

I know the feeling.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

It has been a good couple of days though things are beginning to happen.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 10 years ago

IQ is basically a scale, with 100 being the mean with a standard deviation of 15. A person of "average" intelligence will, by definition, always have an IQ of 100.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Well, IQ is increasing over time (e.g. the Flynn effect), and learning at a very young age (ideally, under 5), good prenatal care, childhood nutrition, etc., can enhance individual IQ. Also, average IQ differs (depending on the country). In the US I think it's around 98, Asian (and some European) countries, slightly over 100.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 10 years ago

When new IQ tests are made, they are "normed" within the group they are measuring with the mean set at 100 and the SD at 15. That group can be very large or very small but the average will be 100. When the average IQ is something other than 100 it means average intelligence may be increasing/deceasing but average IQ always comes back to 100 as new tests are made and normed. Intelligence does equal IQ. IQ is only an arbitrary scale to show you how your intelligence measures up against your peer

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Right, but that's not really an issue. We could increase average intelligence through education. Yes, we'd have to adjust the IQ score ... but the important thing is people would be smarter :)

[-] 0 points by idontexist (24) 10 years ago

"teaching" isn't teaching its indoctrination into the cult of authority:


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

Yeah, this is a really sore subject, a very sensitive subject, and yet I don't think it needs to be. The problem is our whole Darwinian competitive struggle, which didn't chose, but must somehow rise above.

People are individuals and all people have equal value; not equal abilities but equal value. The problem, in a way, is all of us and our inability to accept that most of what we take pride (ego or false pride in) is determined by random chance. And if we see this than we don't have to suffer as much with our differences. These differences were God given, for the most part, and out of this realization people could pull together, instead of apart.

Intelligence, looks, status; these are mostly just gifts and so what we should have for those lacking in them is compassion, not contempt; just as those who do not have them should try to understand the arrogance that naturally arises from those who are gifted.

Education is one way to lift humanity, but equally valuable is compassion. When we sow pain amongst one another, all we reap is pain in return and nothing changes - we are still trapped in the Darwinian struggle for survival. We cannot rise above it.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Whether they're "gifts" of some kind, or just the result of a thoughtless process of molecules bouncing into each other, is debatable I suppose, but I agree with your overall statement. We certainly can't take credit for what we were endowed with at birth.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

I second that motion :)

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

I agree with you to some degree. I don't think they are necessarily secretive though. Obstructionist and powerful yes. "Progress" is subjective. Depends on what your goals are.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Anarchism is anything but secretive (indeed, it's a contradiction in terms). If a group is secretive, then they're not anarchists (no matter how they self-identify). Anarchism is all about inclusion and participation, and secretive deliberation is totally inconsistent with those virtues (and far from the ends justifying the means, the means usually define the ends).

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

Everything about anarchism is contradictory. Anarchism destroys itself the second it's put into practice. Because an anarchist would have to impose his will, to some degree, however slight that may be, or however subtle, directly or indirectly, on someone else in order to achieve anarchy and the second that happens it's over before it even started. And without imposing this will on others, anarchy can't be achieved either. So either way, it's an absurd theoretical notion that can't possibly be achieved in practice.

If a person must do something for the collective good, they aren't really free. They just work for the collective good rather than traditional authority. And if each person doesn't act towards the collective good, the society falls apart.

Anarchy in practice is impossible. A leader(s) will always emerge. The question is whether that leader is elected or forced upon others who may disagree. If the leader is elected, even if by 100% consensus, lack of heirarchy is gone and anarchy is lost. If the leader(s) take up leadership actions on their own, there will be those that disagree with their decisions and their freedoms will be infringed upon. Even if everyone tacitly agrees with whatever leaders emerge, lack of hierarchy is gone. It's no longer anarchy.

The only way to achieve anarchy is through mind control. Everyone must think the same, have all of the same thoughts and ideas and everyone agrees with everyone about everything, and that is the only way to have forward progress with anarchism. As soon as there is a dissenter or dissension, wills will be imposed, anarchy is lost.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

I completely disagree with this assessment. We don't need to appoint leaders, but rather representatives (and yes, there's a difference). As long as we maintain the power to recall that representative, then they serve society (they don't impose their will on society). Moreover, anarchism (in the purest sense) calls for voluntary association (not coerced participation).

Whether or not there's some hypothetical limits to this idea is unknown. We call some aspects of it different things, like direct democracy (e.g. many of our states allow for things like recall elections), employee owned companies (there's thousands in the US doing very well), we have a tradition of voluntary associations in this country, etc., and so we know many aspects of this general idea do work. The question is, how far can we extend this idea?

Anarchism is about testing the limits of what's possible, continually identifying power structures, and challenging them, with a belief that power relationships are, in general, less than ideal (and represent a concession to pure liberty). We may wind up discovering that some concessions need to be made, but how can we know this without pushing the boundaries? Then, even once we push the boundaries, and discover limitations, we accumulate more knowledge, and maybe figure out how to overcome those limitations, and so anarchism continues (ad infinitum).

If I were the most die hard anarchist, present at every protest, every sleep in, sit in, stand in, were brutalized by police, etc., but then one day became a politician, the anarchist will still challenge me ... but I'd be disappointed with anything less.

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

You're talking about modified anarchism. My points, pure anarchism, stands.

We already have representatives. And we have ability to vote them out, even recall them (Gov. Walker). Or impeachment.

The CA referendum process. A total disaster. The limits of this is already known. We know for sure it does not work for 37 million people. Some experts contend that the limit is 3000 people. On the outside.

Yes, we have co-ops and ESOPS. They already exist and do quite well in some cases. Niche markets, like local credit unions. If it was so great, so superior, they would be far more prevalent.

You're talking about experimentation with different forms of power/government. That is no small thing. I'm not willing to subject myself to that kind of experimentation. Especially given that I don't believe in the basic premise/foundation to begin with. And there is no evidence that what you are talking about works, has ever worked, on any large scale.

Egypt needs a new form of government. I'm all for you carrying out your experimentation there. Spend 5 or 15 decades fine tuning these ideas. Work out all the bugs. Then report back to us.

[-] 0 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

First, not all states allow recall elections (for instance, NY), second, what's wrong with the CA referendum process? If your referring to prop 8 ... civil rights questions should NEVER be put to the people (so in that respect, sure, I'd agree something like gay rights is an inappropriate subject for referendum voting, but that says nothing about the appropriate application of the concept e.g. matters that do not involve civil rights). Moreover, there are thousands of employee owned companies in the US, in all types of industries (from engineering to grocery stores to manufacturing, banking, construction, you name it).

Why aren't these types of organizations more prevalent? Anyone with a clue should know the answer. BTW ... it's not because they're less productive (studies have shown they're more productive, survive longer, enhance employee satisfaction, and provide better pay and benefits).

If you're not willing to explore ways to improve our world ... then what the hell are you doing here? If you like the status quo, then you obviously won't like us.

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

Well, if people in those states want recall elections, they should make it an election issue and get it enacted.

The referendum process in CA is a disaster. Goes way beyond any single proposition. The process itself has wreaked havoc. It does not work.



Yes, there are thousands of co-ops and ESOPS. They already exist. So what's the problem?

This is a left movement. It raises awareness for left issues. I just don't happen to believe that changing our form of government is necessary. Especially that it would have anything to do with direct democracy. I think getting money out of politics would enable us to solve our other problems.

If you question my participation, suggest to exclude liberal moderates from this movement, OWS would be completely irrelevant. OWS wouldn't be a movement. It would be a few anarchists in a park.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

More than HALF our states allow initiatives, referendums, or both, and have for a very long time. There is nothing NEW or radical about this idea. Is there room for improvement? Sure, and here's a good example:

Healthy Democracy Oregon, and a similar organization in Washington State, propose a Citizens' Initiative Review process. This brings together a representative cross-section of voters as a citizens' jury to question and hear from advocates and experts regarding a ballot measure; then deliberate and reflect together to come up with statements that support and/or oppose the measure. The state would organize such a review of each ballot measure, and include the panelists' statements in the voters' pamphlet. Healthy Democracy Oregon organized a trial run of the process in September, 2008, on a measure on the November ballot. '"It was exhausting, but it was exciting to have a group of people with hugely diverse backgrounds and experience listening carefully to both sides and all respectful to one another," said Lorene Wallick'[15][16]


And what do you know, no upheaval, no chaos, but of course I'm quite sure the last thing the powers that be want, is this level of citizen participation in the democratic process.

Yes, thousands of co-ops and ESOP's exist, but of course these organizations are not favored by the market (even though they're more productive, survive longer, enhance worker satisfaction, and provide better benefits to workers):


42,000 factories have been shut down since 2000, leaving 5.5 million workers without jobs. We have a perfectly model for rescuing distressed companies that policy makers ignore (and for obvious reasons, their corporate patrons have no interest in transferring power away from themselves).

Why not a government loan program to allow workers to reopen these closed factories under an employee ownership model? This is not an idea that has a chance under our current system (it's just too corrupt). So yes, when I hear someone defend the status quo so enthusiastically, I wonder how they can call themselves even a "moderate" liberal (unless they define liberal in way that has little in common with the historical use of the word).

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

Many states/localities have referendum/initiative processes now. So whats the problem? This is fine so long at it is on a limited basis and not driving major decisions. Like in California. These things are really only effective at the local level, for the most simplest of issues. ie: Should a township issue bonds to build a new school addition. Local and simple. Not the state of California for a wide variety of complex issues. It doesn't work.

Oregan- a trial run. One small success is not a trend. Talk to me in 20 years. California already proves it doesn't work.

Should people be more involved in the democratic process? Yes. But it's not helpful or necessary to proliferate a bad process, referendums/initiatives, which is hugely flawed, has demonstrated it doesn't work, in order to achieve more active participation.

Direct democracy takes a tremendous amount of work and necessitates a high level of voter education (at a minimum, about the issue at hand) and participation. It is simply impractical. People don't participate enough now in an informed way. How is implementing direct democracy going to help that? It's just going to lead to bad results. California. It will not produce good results unless enough people could spend inordinate amounts of time and energy dedicating themselves to this. There is no way to ensure this. Even if this were to happen by some magic, very high levels of education and participation, there are still plenty other problems with direct democracy, not the least of which is manipulation and mob rule.

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

Co-ops and ESOPs. You say they are more productive and survive longer with lots of other benefits. So what's the problem?

Um, the reason factories have been shutting down is not because they are shareholder owned v employee owned. It is the result of globalization and the recession. If there is not demand for the product, it doesn't matter who owns the factory. It's still going to shut down. You're getting into global trade issues. I would suggest that if our country had a better education system, better/more innovation driven by better education, we would not have such issues with the loss of low skilled jobs. Let the low skilled jobs go. The problem is, we as a country, we're not prepared for this. There is lack of opportunity for low skilled and blue collar workers. We need to transform our country into a higher skilled workforce. Better education, more innovation. Innovation creates jobs.

Maybe I'm a "conservative" liberal. I dont' really care what you want to call me. You can define me however you want. I believe exteme wealth inequality is dangerous. I believe we should end government corruption by having publicly funded elections. I believe in a mixed economy, capitalism with some socialism mixed in. I dislike direct democracy except on a local level with simple issues. Whatever you want to call that is fine with me.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

Yet, it already works in over half of our states, and in many of those states, voters can hold a referendum on whatever issue they choose. That California is a basket case ... doesn't say anything about direct democracy (I'm pretty sure they would be a basket case under any circumstances, I mean look at their gubernatorial choices, first the Terminator, then an aging hippy, and the subject of one of my favorite Dead Kenney songs).

Also, your economic analysis is less than compelling.

You can't wean yourself off the "top down" (coercion) addiction. Your argument reduces to, direct democracy won't work, because people are too stupid and lazy (so they need to be ruled). But of course people only have the luxury of laziness and stupidity because they're ruled. So you're not articulating a reason why participatory democracy can't work, you're describing a symptom, caused by a lack of participatory democracy.

But anyway, I'd agree with one thing you're saying. All people should be well educated. Of course once they are, you're disdain for empowering people will seem arcane.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 10 years ago

"you're not articulating a reason why participatory democracy can't work, you're describing a symptom, caused by a lack of participatory democracy" hear, hear!

[-] 0 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 10 years ago

How do you define future progress?

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

The fact is, they (the anarchists and people influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition) started Occupy and remain its best and most effective and enthusiatic organizers. That, of course, does not mean that they are above criticism, especially with regard to their orgnanizational perspective and meeting style which remains dominant in the Occupy movement and which is ultimately destructive to it.