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Forum Post: Remain "leaderless" and let yourself be co-opted. (Rev. Jesse Jackson to the rescue)

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 13, 2012, 6:36 p.m. EST by Misfit138 (172)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

By sticking to the ridiculous "leaderless" movement tactic, OWS is leaving itself open to be co-opted by anyone with a public voice louder than OWS. Now the "Rev" Jesse Jackson is speaking for you. What is it that's said about friends like these?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71406.html

29 Comments

29 Comments


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[-] 4 points by buphiloman (840) 2 years ago

No leaders = No one person speaking for the movement = No chance of the movement being co-opted.

It is public knowledge that no one person speaks for us. Even this "post" presumes that knowledge.

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

But if the media flock to those established names who choose to speak for OWS, who is there to dispute them? The media will help people like Jackson stake a claim to being the voice of the movement. I am sure he will be speaking at the OWS crowd in DC soon to position himself as the de-facto leader/voice of the DC portion of the movement at the least.

[-] 2 points by buphiloman (840) 2 years ago

If he does, he'll have get on Stack like anyone else, and he'll be limited to a few minutes of Stump. He will be one voice in a chorus, nothing more.

[-] 2 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

I hope you are right, because it would be devastating if he became the face of OWS.

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

What is this hostility based on and exactly why would he be devastating to OWS? When he ran for President after all, millions of people voted for him. Historically, at least, he was always one of the more moderate of civil rights leaders, being and aide to King in a period when most young people his age were considerably more radical.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

If there is to be leadership, I think it needs to be new leadership, not saddled for better or worse by the baggage of the past. The problem with somebody like Rev. Jackson is that most people have already made up their mind about him one way or the other, and those attitudes would therefore be carried over to the movement itself.

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

Leadership roles are available to anyone who seeks to assert their role as a leader. We are all leaders and we are all responsible. We are not only all responsible for ourselves, but we are all, collectively, responsible for the group as a whole. If, in our view, the existing leadership is inadequate, we have a responsibility to step up. Exactly how is the existing leadership inadequate? What would you, as a leader do that the existing leadership is not doing? What would you not do that it is doing?

I really don't understand the complaints about existing leadership excepting that it doesn't seem to have the kind of name recognition that the press loves so much. If you attend a GA or a working group or spend any time at all at an occupation it is pretty clear that there is no lack of leadership. If people think there is, then they need to step up and begin to lead.

Besides all that it seems to me that leaders either have some kind of bureaucratic function like the chair, president or general secretary of an organization. If that is the kind of leadership you are looking for then exactly what kind of bureaucratic changes are you seeking in OWS? If your conception of leadership is more organic, no individual or group can make that happen. That kind of leadership emerges organically, not on the basis of any kind of vote.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

I have heard arguments pro and con for leadership, and I think both views have equally strong arguments, and so I guess I really don't have much to contribute now on that score. It seems those who advocate a leaderless movement are in the majority, and it is perhaps too soon to make a judgemnt as to how that will play out.

I would not support Rev. Jackson however; if people did decide to chose a leader, for the reasons stated above. This is a new movement and as such I believe needs new leadership. Of course, I am only speaking for myself here.

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[-] 1 points by buphiloman (840) 2 years ago

How could he? At best he might give a talk in DC or NYC. But OWS is in Hundreds of cities in over 50 nations globally.

The movement is a hydra, cut off one head, and two more take it's place. There cannot be a single voice of OWS.

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

I for one feel that a leader eventually needs to emerge.

And why should "leader" be a dirty word anyway? Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Aung San Suu Kyi didn't do too badly, did they??? The important thing is to choose VERY carefully someone incorruptible and who is NOT on an ego-trip...

PEOPLE WHO CRAVE THE JOB NEED NOT APPLY - know what I'm sayin'?

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

The media can choose to elect him as the leader by simply ignoring everyone else and focusing on him alone. It makes for a simpler story and if the NY Times recent survey about conducting research is any indicator, the media is looking to make their job easier.

[-] 0 points by WooHoo (15) 2 years ago

And the Magic Unicorn said, "So it is written...but not by anyone."

[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 2 years ago

OWS is a spark that ignites...

OWS does not need its own leadership if its activists accept other like-minded groups with leadership structures in in a community of spirit. There are lots of points of agreement between OWS and the Rainbow Coalition, civil rights and social justice groups across the nation and around the world. Why not organize and march together? The important thing to create change in the minds of America's political leadership is that the protests become ever larger and more frequent. Not who leads them.

Why can't the OWS sympathetic and/or like-minded organizations, with leadership structures, become more activist and attract OWS participation in their actions?

I see nothing in the article cited that implies that Rev. Jackson is asserting any form of leadership over Occupy D.C. or anyone else. He is stating the obvious about any political or social justice movement that is officially repressed while its issues remain answered and its anger left unresolved.

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

So what's the matter with what Jesse said?

[-] 2 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

There's nothing wrong with what he said in the article, but is he really the guy you want as the face of OWS. The movement would instantly lose credibility among many people who hold a negative view of him.

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

Personally, I think OWS has plenty of leaders, thousands of them. We are all leaders. It's just fine that someone with Jackson's credibility says things supportive of OWS. Politics is a naturally divisive activity. When Jackson ran for President literally tens of millions of people voted for him and the radically democratic program that he put forward at the time. Anybody who holds a negative view of Jackson probably also holds a negative view of OWS and I suspect is a racist as well. Again, I don't think there is a leadership crisis in OWS, but I also don't see anything wrong with Jackson's support of the movement.

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

I've never liked Jackson, but I certainly am no racist.

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

I've never liked Jackson, but I certainly am no racist.

No? How bout we go with Al Sharpton? Maybe Mumia?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

I would give Cornell West serious consideration, but it seems the prevailing view now is that we should remain leaderless. I see very valid arguments on both sides of this issue - to the degree that I can no longer decide which is more convincing.

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

If your criteria is only a black person, then why not Randall Robinson or Cynthia McKinney or Bill Cosby or someone else with a more positive attitude and less divisive?

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

Cynthia McKinney less divisive? I don't think so. I don't think she was incorrect but she was most certainly the most divisive force in the Green Party.

Cosby is just the opposite, a shill for the establishment.

Again, I think OWS is doing just fine with the leadership it has, but compared to the types you put forward Jackson is both more radical and more democratic, though I so think that since his unsuccessful Presidential run he has become more of a shill for the Democratic Party.

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

What's not to like? His alliteration?

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[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

I agree that a leader eventually needs to emerge. Why should "leader" be a dirty word anyway? Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Aung San Suu Kyi didn't do too badly, did they????

The important thing is to choose VERY carefully someone incorruptible and who is NOT on an ego-trip...

PEOPLE WHO CRAVE THE JOB NEED NOT APPLY - know what I'm sayin'?

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

We have plenty of leaders. What we don't have is an identifiable personality that the press can go to and ordain as our leader. OWS is the least ego driven movement in history and that is a good thing.

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

But you're not adressing my point: "Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Aung San Suu Kyi didn't do too badly, did they?"

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

First it seems to me that OWS has moved beyond the ego driven leadership of the past. We have plenty of leaders, its just that because they are less ego driven than previous leaders the press has difficulty identifying them.

As for the so called historical figures, their leadership really has more to do with historical mythology than any meaningful leadership that they asserted. I was active in CORE in the early 60s and we used to refer to King as "De Lawd" and didn't particularly have any respect for him as a leader. He was simply one among many. The same is true of other social movements.

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

SO WHAT if you called King "De Lawd"! For God's sakes, he didn't too too badly at all as a leader! He is known throughout the world as one of the greatest men who ever lived.

And claiming that "OWS has moved beyond the ego driven leadership of the past" sounds a mite pretentious to me...

Is this part of some "ideology" trip again?

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

I agree that a leader eventually needs to emerge. Why should "leader" be a dirty word anyway? Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Aung San Suu Kyi didn't do too badly, did they????

The important thing is to choose VERY carefully someone incorruptible and who is NOT on an ego-trip...

PEOPLE WHO CRAVE THE JOB NEED NOT APPLY - know what I'm sayin'?

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

OWS has plenty of leaders. Thousands of them in fact. What it does not have are people who the media has identified as leaders and given wide name recognition. That, it seems to me, is a good thing. OWS is for building an egalitarian society. America has a star complex. OWS is the least ego driven movement that the world has ever seen and that is a good thing.