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Forum Post: The biggest problem I see Occupy having to address short-term...

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 21, 2011, 12:27 p.m. EST by ARod1993 (2420)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

...is the possibility that it will choke on its size. The bigger a coalition is, the more diverse it is. The flip side of that is that the bigger a coalition gets, the more likely its members are to hold differing or even completely opposite views. The greater that general discord is, the less likely it is that enough people will be able to agree on damn near anything, and in turn the more discordant a movement's followers are the harder it is to mobilize that movement toward concrete systemic action.

Having a leader or a group thereof is the way that you beat that paradigm. You pick a group of however many people you want to run things and make policy decisions on a day-to-day basis, and then you agree to abide by those policy decisions assuming that they fall within reasonable, collectively understood boundaries. You then also include some means of holding your leaders accountable for the cumulative effects of their actions on a regular basis.

You don't even have to call them leaders, or even to centralize the duties of a leader in one group. Just set up a general logistics workgroup responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the protesters and massing large groups of them where necessary. Set up a PR workgroup composed of sober, articulate, clean-cut moderates who are capable of appealing to people fairly far outside our standard political and socioeconomic demographics to convince them to vote for people we trust.

Set up a political workgroup (or in fact affiliate officially with the 99% Declaration) to manage any political campaigns or primary runs attempted in the name of the Occupy movement (including the selection of candidates, but those candidates would need majority approval from the rest of the movement before actually running) that would be responsible for PR efforts, fundraising, and general campaign management. Then just give the finance workgroup a voice in and a position reporting to the logistics workgroup, and there you go.

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

I figure at this point the leadership is highly informal and comes through the facilitators at the GAs. It's highly informal, and as far as I'm concerned it's incredibly inefficient because it means that it's fairly difficult to coordinate efforts between occupations or workgroups. Also, the consensus process inadvertently creates a tremendous bias in favor of avoiding significant action; the fact that it takes 90% of people present in favor to undertake anything big means that conversely you only need 10.1% of the people there to prevent things from getting done. The movement cannot be hijacked and led toward action by any one group, but paralyzing it is in fact way too easy.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

I was going to delete my comment above due to its insignificance, but you answered before I did so. What will happen to your comment should I go ahead with the deletion? Only one way to find out.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 2 years ago

Is this the slippery slope to becoming the Dem answer to the Tea Party? Or are you thinking strictly independents? The 99% Declarations National General Assembly is a great way for OWS to cut it's political teeth in case the need for the independent third party arises in 2013.

[-] -1 points by rocky8 (0) 2 years ago

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