Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: The movement is dead?

Posted 2 years ago on March 26, 2012, 6:57 p.m. EST by Umair (24)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I didn't know there was a movement because I didn't see anything get accomplished. So for all those with the ability to articulate their thoughts well enough to become a politician, I say spout away. Type until your fingers fall off or at least until you explain to me what the purpose of this movement is or was. I feel disappointed.

Try to be reasonable and study the kaizen philosophy and try to apply it to this world. Every little bit helps and really adds to the whole goal that is to be accomplished. Don't type unless you are of sound mind because I need the opinion of adults. I need as much as you can pull out from your mind that was crafted with a $100.000 education. Mine only cost around $20,000 but that's because I didn't want a mortgage without a house.

118 Comments

118 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Not sure it will die, but when you can't wake people up or get them to participate then it does get frustrating. OWS is a minority, in both attitude and numbers. Most people don't bother to learn about things at all and don't care. That's harder to deal with then corruption.

If the majority felt some responsibility for their government, change would already have been put into motion. We look at the number of homeless, foreclosed on, and unemployed, but the majority are employed and have shelter, unfortunately they also don't care.

[-] 1 points by Javis (35) 2 years ago

I think that if people could legitimately gather around a single cause that they can actually understand, that is, a plan of action that doesn't consist solely of "We've been screwed, give us what we rightly deserve!" then the Occupy movement would be drastically revitalized. I believe that could come in the form of Social Credit. If you are interested, the Wiki provides the most dispassionate and conglomerated review, the bleedingindebt site provides a bit more explanation of the concept, and the Secretariat website provides many resources to help explain and understand it, such as CH Douglas' actual books on the subject. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit http://bleedingindebt.com/ http://douglassocialcredit.com/

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 2 years ago

What was your point?

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2412) 2 years ago

In less time than it takes Wall Street to throw together an ad campaig and with virtually no finances to do so - Occupy has reached millions - and once they see it the are with us (people don't tolerate it when they finally realize their freedom was a sham... they've already suspected it for decades, they already distrust the politicians and the voting system. they have no faith in government or corporations to do ethical things.) We have already succeeded. Let the dominoes fall. We won't allow things like this anymore: It's in the people's jurisdiction. http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTKQ-ks-Wv9a_qOo_RYZ0O9OWCdtuh-Jn2OTfCFE7WqiC-ZAsC80w

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

Let the dominoes fall and let what happen exactly? No matter what you replace this current Democratic system with, no matter what you replace capitalism with, it will eventually have flaws as well. There is no such thing as a Utopian government or economic system because everybody has a different opinion of what that might be. Do I think this economic system is perfect? No. Democracy is as close to perfection as possible but the only problem is everybody doesn't make use of it. Capitalism isn't perfect but income equality can be controlled by taxes. It provides an incentive to innovate and what keeps the economy going. If you simply increase the federal income tax rate of those earning $1,000,000 or more to 41%, it would be more than enough to reduce the income equality that currently exists. Also a permanent federal estate tax of 55% would curb the plutocracy. That and also limiting the number of terms that people in Congress and the Senate can serve. Kicking Supreme Court justices out once they turn 80 would be a great idea as well since they're likely out of touch with the society.

Kaizen.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2412) 2 years ago

I'll take Capitalism - now we have Corporatism (the same end of the stick as Communism) - you're busy lumping them into one - Capitalism would work for me... Dominoes as in individual human beings who will fall into this movement and will not stay anesthetized. No offense you're either thick or spreading propaganda - so which is it? What you're saying is that this system is working fine for you - but you know - it won't it WILL fall, you will go UNDER. WALL STREET will cause it to fall and you will be left with nothing. Why is it so difficult to believe we are the voice of reason and logic, we want to prevent anarchy and the fall of the entire planet's economic system. We don't care about taxes it's a subset of one percent hording and creating a false scarceity to starve the rest of us out. We know because for us now the system has stopped working. We're the canary in the mine - why won't you listen we're trying to help you?

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

Do you make all your own products? Some corporations are actually trying to do good and that is who you choose to do business with. If you are not driving a Prius than you are contributing to the problem. But am I blaming you? No. You are filling the pockets of those oil companies every time you fill up your gas. Walk. Ride a bike. Take public transportation. Those are all options that would reduce the powers that oil companies have over us. But how many people actually do those things? Not enough. Capitalism works when people actually choose very carefully the companies they do business with. I buy eco-friendly detergents, and dishwashers. I don't buy bottled water that often. These are just a few things that I'll go over right now but there are a thousand things that we can do to reduce the power that corporations hold over us. Business is a competition and every company is simply trying to win your business. If you choose to business with companies like Walmart, which I have NEVER done, you are contributing to the success of their business model. You can choose to support the business model that you agree with and hopefully after enough people follow your lead to bankrupt immoral companies. You buy an Apple product you better understand where it comes from, what their profit margin is, it's actually 25%, you better understand what type of taxes they pay, what they do for the community, and how friendly they are with the environment. Apple would not even be the top 25 companies if you were looking at all those things rather than just the product that you use. Capitalism isn't working as it should because we have allowed this thing called lobbying to exist for so long it has corrupted almost everyone that has held any type of political office. The system is not working so well for me right now.I want it to work better but if some fantasy system that someone came up with when they were high is what I have to go with, I choose this nightmare.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2412) 2 years ago

Canary Logic

IS the system working for you? It's not working for US (Occupy Protesters) - How does this effect you - ?SIMPLE - we're the canary in the coal mine and we're here to warn you. We are the voice of reason and logic. One percent of the world's population is hording the planet's natural abundance for themselves, creating scarcity and driving a false sense of demand for the rest of the entire population as well as paying off world governments to carry forth their plans and protect them and propagandize on their behalf. We want to stop this. We want to stop this:. Is it so hard to believe? We want to prevent Wall Street from creating an anarchic breakdown of our entire planet's financial systems and causing death and destruction in the process; as we have already seen in the third worlds and communistic totalitarian regimes as well as the downsizing outsourcing of America. We are here because we care about you and your family. We are the voice of reason, trust, and stability because Wall Street is coming for you. Don't count your money - the dollar won't be worth the paper it's written on and when the country is thrown into utter and desperation and despair by Wall Street- gold won't mean much either so don't bother when people are running around searching for food gold will be a shiny rock. Why do you assume we act out of turn with our discourse? Why do you assume the movement is even about the people at the protests or any one particular subset. The movement is about awareness for the system that WILL break us all - if we don't protest it. This movement has achieved the goal of making people aware they are subservient to a system which works against them. If you truly want to break free then break the system. But first you must see it. We can't force that we can only let you know about all the canaries tweeting loudly - you are next .. you will be next. (whether they are high or not and I can assure you I am not) Do we seem high or happy to you? I'm definitely not high or happy. But just more of your propaganda. I don't believe your here for any other reason but that. What are you wasting you're time on us for, if we're so unintelligent and nonsensical? hmmm?

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

First of all there are some really smart people on here. Second, if I see a system that is not working, than I will work my way to a position where I can change the system for the better. The wealthy class has been around as long has any kind of currency. Even in a bartering system inequality exists. However I don't see the point of breaking the entire system if there isn't anything to replace it with. I would rather fix what we have because it's the closest thing to perfection.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2412) 2 years ago

The goal of Occupy Wall Street is to spread awareness that one percent of the world's population is hording the planet's natural abundance for themselves, creating scarcity and driving a false sense of demand for the rest of the entire population as well as paying off world governments to carry forth their plans and protect them and propagandize on their behalf. We want to stop this. We want to prevent Wall Street from creating an anarchic breakdown of our entire planet's financial systems and causing death and destruction in the process; as we have already seen in the third worlds and communistic totalitarian regimes. We are here because we care about you and your family. We are the voice of reason, trust, and stability. (I don't have a degree - instead I bought land to avoid paying a landlord the over-inflated rents created by the one percent.) A degree doesn't get you a career by the way / lucky if it gets you a job. And that will only last 5 years until they downsize again to increase profit margins and reduce wages, and create job scarcity. Scarcity is the key word.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/real-estate-4-ransom-global-property-speculation-a/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/fiefdom-in-america-land-discounts-for-the-wealthy-/

We are here to turn Corporatism back to Capitalism and prevent the atrocities that the Wall Street Monopoly system has created. Kill the Monopolies (instead of innocent human beings) - Destroy and Disband

When will people believe that we are the voice of reason in this crazy fucked up world - what will it take to realize we are the sane and reasonable and logical ones?

http://www.google.com/search?q=homelessness+in+america&hl=en&rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS346US346&prmd=imvnsb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=XLhzT_XJGqfZ0QH0kMH_Ag&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CCEQ_AUoAQ&biw=1536&bih=772

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

The movement (OWS) is dead because it has no clear practical goal - nor does it have leaders.

However it is a learning space for the masses - they have to learn that anarchist philosophy does not work, especially that from the mouths of their nattering gurus such as Noam Chomsky.

When enough people learn that we need leaders then we can work out the nature of the division of power required. Soviet Communism didn't work - but does this mean we have to hand over power to a leaderless rabble?

Modern capitalism, USA included, is run by businessmen who in turn direct the affairs of state behind the scenes.

Anarchism, with its refusal to recognize the importance of power and the need to take power, simply cannot come to grip with the issues, even though capitalism, in the wake of the GFC, is beginning its horiffic decline across the world.

In fact, anarchism so refuses to face the facts that it develops its own fantasies in order to cover up what is really happening in the wider world - fantasizing that merely occupying certain places in a city can somehow disrupt and overthrow the existing powers-that-be. Thus you have to begin by exposing the anarchist fantasizers and their philosophical pretensions.

Chomsky is the best example today - so Dump the Chump!

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

These are excellent points that don't seem to have much to do with OWS. OWS isn't anarchist. The existence of GAs proves that. It may be a naive and unsustainable form of direct democracy but that's essentially what it is. The lack of a power structure renders it weaker than other types of movements in addressing entrenched power directly.

But I'm not sure that's the point of OWS. I think this is a battle of the mind and OWS needs to win minds before it can win policy battles. It has already succeeded in pushing the Overton Window back toward a more reasonable middle ground (from a perilously far right wing). It has already insinuated itself into political speech in Washington D.C. This is just the beginning. I wouldn't count anyone out yet.

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

I'm not sure how you support the idea that OWS isn't anarchistic.

The existance of GA's supports anarchist principles. Leaderless, non-heirarchical, direct democracy. All anarchy principles. The form is anarchy. Form shapes content.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

I guess we're using different definitions of anarchy:

  1. a state of society without government or law.

  2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.

  3. a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.

  4. confusion; chaos; disorder: Intellectual and moral anarchy followed his loss of faith.

Three out of four definition relate to a total lack of order. Essentially chaos. That's my definition of anarchy. The only definition that can be applied to the OWS model (#3) is ultimately unsustainable and will not be the way OWS handles its affairs forever if it is continue beyond this gestational phase.

Anarchism, like libertarianism, as a political theory, cannot work. It leads to violence and disarray. Government is what happens in social groups of all sizes. Government will always be instituted in one form or another. Even your family has a power structure. OWS may be horizontal, but it's not rudderless. I think that's the distinction.

And the other reason I shy away from using a term like "anarchy" to describe OWS is that it conjures images of black-clad, mask-wearing brigands throwing molotov cocktails through shop windows. Not the right gang to associate with. ;-)

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

Beyond the dictionary definitions, and the pejoratives, is principles and theory of egalitarian societies, using the principles I described above. I know it can't work, you know it can't work. But there's quite a few people that think anarchy principles can work, and would be all flowers and sunshine.

Leaderless and non-hiearchical is impossible to achieve except in theory. Of course there is some kind of leadership. But I think this causes many problems in the movement. Too much time spent trying to maintain the very thing that is impossible to maintain in the first place. And then there is the whole problem of how manipulative direct democracy itself is. And when people realize this, it just causes problems.

OWS was started by anarchists. Who put the anarchy structure in place. There's no reason to shy away from talking about it. I think those that believe in anarchy theory are all to happy to educate others about it. And move beyond the term in the derogatory sense.

OWS really exists as a far left movement, more or less, to promote anarchy principles.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Hence, April, see my reply to pewestlake above.

Your last statement I accept to be correct, but the anarchists have to use OWS as a means of recruiting i.e. OWS serves to educate the involved masses, leading them (hopefully and against the anarchists' own wishes) to become more critical and aware of alternative politics - but especially anarchism itself.

With time of course, many of these erstwhile anarchists will cease to be anarchists because they will finally learn that anarchism is worse than useless at combating the existing powers.

OWS provides this necessary educatory experience for them - hopefully leading them to a genuinely new anti-anarchist philosophy and politics via education as an initial naive anarchist then through the 'backhanded' path of anarchist activism.

The important point is that most of the OWS participants are adults and cannot be lectured to like small children. They have to learn anarchism's failings each through her or his own direct experience of political action - AND ARGUING WITH THEIR ANARCHIST LEADERS AFTERWARDS.

When after repeated failures in their actions, OWS activists begin to take on Noam the Chump - and not only about his betrayal of Palestinians by condemning BDS - then there will be some real eye-opening and genuine education among activists generally.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Hmm. That hasn't been my reading of it but I haven't been as involved as you have around here. Nor have I attended any OWS events, other than one that was connected to amending the constitution to overturn CU v. FEC (via Move To Amend). If the people at the GAs are generally in agreement that this is an anarchist movement, it will wither on the vine. I think we agree on that.

My understanding was that it was started by the call to action issued by AdBusters and was kind of an ill-defined primal scream against entrenched money and power, which in and of itself is useful. Until this thread, I hadn't detected or been told that the movement was based on a specific political philosophy (other than the usual troll traffic). It seemed that the GAs came about somewhat organically as a necessity of doing business as a group. But if it's anarchism that it's truly rallying around, it's already over before the shouting.

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

The anti-capitalist crowd called their anarchist friends. Anarchists, including at least one well known one, David Graeber, were the initial organizers, making the decisions about the organizational structure. It was absolutely not some kind of organic thing. It was thought out at least 2 months in advance.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Well, I knew a bunch of people didn't just coincidentally show up one day and it dawned on them that they could be a movement. What I wasn't aware of was the depth of the anarchist influence, which I caught up on from the minutes you posted in reply to RedJazz43. Anarchists tend to show up wherever there's something going on and start smashing windows. That they've been restrained at all is something of a miracle it seems.

Still, as most of us know, but, sadly, not all of us, anarchism is both self-defeating and incapable of engaging other philosophies as an equal. It seems that it's the existence of everyone else that keeps them being relevant at all within OWS. And that puts the "reformers" and "revolutionaries" within the movement in a bit of quandary. If the anarchists have dictated the process and made it so draconian that nothing can get done, because their ultimate goal is to make everyone anarchists, then the movement either has to reject their influence and participation or surrender itself to their whims. And since they're anarchists, I can only imagine where that could go.

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

The anarchists in OWS are more the intellectual kind. Not the smashing window kind. In the beginning, the hardcore ones, they were rampant, pushing direct democracy, ending the Republic, the whole bit. Like rabid dogs. It was ridiculous. At that time, there were alot more supporters and forum users, both anarchists and moderates.

The hardcore anarchists finally realized that the Republic wasn't going to be overthrown afterall. And they left. And the moderates realized that the movement was not going to get the leadership, focused message and effective organization structure that they wanted, so many of them left too. Knowing that the concrete changes they want, will have to be worked through other avenues.

They are getting direct action stuff done. That's their bread and butter though. And like RedJazz pointed out, the Unions are in there somewhere, helping to get some of the direct action stuff organized I suspect.

I don't think OWS will ever be anything more than a direct action social fringe movement. It is what it is. It's all the left has got. I bitch about now and then, but I know it's all we've got.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

"The hardcore anarchists finally realized that the Republic wasn't going to be overthrown after all."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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

The republic is our only strength we have to democratically overthrow the greedy tyrant middlemen. Why would we want to overthrow the republic? What would be next ? Give up our right to vote !

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Yeah, I don't know if those people think we'll be able to read minds in their libertarian utopia or if they think people will be so fucking impressed with anarchism that they'll put all of their other differences aside. Either way, it's both laughable and deeply pathetic.

Still haven't seen anything come along that's better than republican democracy. I think it would be a good idea if we tried it sometime. ;-)

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

Yes , but an interesting observation on how republican democracy has a weakness when the voice of the people goes unheard. We the people must remember to stay vigilant of our rights.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

...and not get distracted by our gadge... I'm sorry, what were we talking about? ;-)

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

About republican democracy, it's strengths and weaknesses.

I had just mentioned its weakness. If we the people do not voice our concerns than our elected leaders will become led astray by other influences. We the people have a responsibility to be/ remain vigilant within all government proceedings. We had become busy in our day to day lives while the ship was steered off course. We are now in the process of correcting that course by voicing our concerns to our leaders. It's a good thing.

It all started with april's comment. Which I too found humorous.

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

Thanks for this bit of info April. I had seen some comments but there really wasn't any announcements about what's happening at the foundation. At times I thought we were " set adrift" ! And all the captains abandoned ship ! But no one bothered to tell us? Down here in the boiler room.

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

I go to the NYCGA site and read Minutes from different groups every so often. I go to other cities sites too and read the forums and minutes. It helps to know whats going on.

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

I stay down in the boiler room and wait for a tap on the pipe !

Gives me alot of time to think and dream about how beautiful life could be.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

What you say is quite correct, pewestlake. Your 'disagreement' with April is primarily the definition of anarchism.

You are looking on the bright side of OWS though - and there is nothing essentially wrong with that.

However, the naive default position of ordinary apolitical people tends to be anarchistic so is readily manipulated towards political and philosophical anarchism - and this is also true for any emerging political group feeling its way (as opposed to hard-boiled theoreticians such as Leninists which prevent such degeneration by retreating into their own isolation).

While agents provocateurs will no doubt infiltrate OWS on a semi-regular basis and thus serve to discredit the movement, OWS (or more likely its offshoots and descendants) can only avoid this long term by some sort of hierarchy and leadership.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

I'd say the existence separate GAs, DA and other working groups already represents an understanding that governance isn't an "everyone in the pool" kinda thing. Even in the most democratic of states and institutions, it's people that have to implement any plan and those people are necessarily vested with certain powers to carry out that task. And OWS has already done that at a low level. Seems an awful lot like Republican Democracy to me, even though they may not realize it. I'm sure there is an ideal, but I'm reminded of the quote made by the famous guy who had something to do with saving the world from fascism, as I recall...

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

That quote I believe comes from Churchill - but it is bunk!

The best forms of government arose in those cultures and nations that had to deal with formidable outside difficulties. There the people rallied into hierarchies to fight internal and external enemies.

Churchill's comment is but the smug comment of a victor, secure in the knowledge that capitalism will ALWAYS rule, because democracy, especially direct democracy with its fissiparous anarchistic tendencies will always bring about chaos and collapse - and so allow the capitalists to take over once more, if ever they had even really lost power!

We tend to forget that Britain and France lobbied Russia before WW1, luring them into war against Germany in order to ensure the latter's defeat. Russia fell, but the Germany that later arose under Hitler also rose up to defeat France in 1940!

And France certainly deserved this defeat for their ongoing arrogance from 1914-1939!!! Germany lost WW2 because of its racism but from the occupation France learnt its lesson - largely - but Britain and the USA have not learnt any lesson at all, only to keep carping on about how democracy is the best system of all.

And I have already explained why they think and preach that!

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

OK. What's better? A "hierarchy" like China?

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

No, a hierarchy like the US. : )

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

[ba-dum!] ;-)

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

A Chinese-type hierarchy does have some superior features, but it too is threatened by a capitalist takeover of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Nevertheless, the traditional large administration as found in China will be a part of future world governments.

Any anarchist-democratic formulations only ever devolve back into laissez-faire capitalism where no government control is a screen for the emerging or re-emerging role of a capitalist elite.

The future lies in an elective caste system - people sorted out by character into castes analagous to the hereditary caste system of India.

Many countries, Confederate USA, Nazi Germany, tried to build caste on racial lines but no such human character differences fall into racial categories, hence the failure of these attempts.

Nevertheless non-hereditary character-differences exist and so it is important to use these to create a system to replace the now-crumbling capitalist world.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

How refreshing to have someone finally admit they prefer authoritarian dictatorship over republican democracy. Thanks for making it clear that I shouldn't bother taking anything you say seriously. Have a nice life.

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

While I recognize this movement has done some good to create awareness, it's not at all clear that other methods could not work equally well or better. I think the OWS methods were more about being in the right place at the right time. To take advantage of the discontent that was bubbling under the surface. I don't see OWS, in it's current form (leaderless, non-hierarchical, the consensus nonsense) providing solutions or any concrete results. At best, it may produce some wind in the sails. At worst, it's going to incite and become more violent.

In it's relentless efforts not to be co-opted, it's methods effectively prevent co-option even, and maybe most especially, by moderates.

It's not anarchy enough for hard core anarchists. And there's too much anarchy for the mainstream.

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

OWS has done considerably more than "create awareness." It has energized and inspired virtually every other social movement whether we are talking about organized labor, or the civil rights movement, or the women's movement, or the gay rights movement, or the environmental movement, or the movement for civil liberties and against police brutality. That is a remarkable and quite impressive achievement for such a small and such a new movement.

It has inspired tens of thousands of new activists in the United States and millions around the world. It has fostered the organization of more than 1000 local general assemblies around the United States and thousands around the world.

As for anarchists they were the initiators of the movement and continue to be its best organizers. Ironically it is these very anarchists who recruited the mass liberal base of the movement who then go on to carp about how no one will respond to appeals from anarchists!

If you take issue with the organizational form of OWS, how, concretely, do you propose to change it? If you think you have a better idea for a better organizational form, if that is so good, why has it not already displaced an organizational form which you see as inferior?

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

Right on cue RedJazz! : )

ok. You're right. Movements that are leaderless, non-hiearchical, and use an absurd form of decision making- they always work so well.

Why has another form of organization not replaced the current form? Because the movement is set up to prevent change. Most GA's require 90-100% consensus. So all it takes is a small minority to block. The movement is set up to prevent change and maintain the status quo.

[-] 2 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Exactly the issue at hand in your last paragraph April!

I guess all I can say is that since so many of the masses are still fetishizing the superiority of anarchism they will simply have to "park themselves" in OWS for a few years in order to learn the political ropes. Once they do so, at least the more forthright and intelligent of them will begin to see that some form of order and authority are necessary for creating a viable system to replace crumbling post-GFC capitalism.

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

They're spending alot of time re-inventing the wheel. And I think the structure is so inpenetrable, instead of moderates working to solve it, and/or change it, they just leave.

I noticed recently that the Demands Group is Inactive. Probably the most moderate of the substantive groups. Not much point in having a Demands Group when everything you try to do is blocked, and you're told you're not allowed to have demands. I don't know. Could be that they disbanded and joined other groups.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

I note your concerns and agree with the difficulty of getting to people about the need for hierarchical strategies e.g. immediate demands and long-term goals and the procedures to achieve them.

However I can't comment on this particular issue intelligibly since I live a VERY long way from New York - so far away that only Bermuda is further from me!

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

I only know about the Demands Group because I try to keep up to date on the workings by reading the forums and minutes of the working groups online.

The Direct Action group is basically the most active. Accounting is always a good read. And Outreach/Movement building is interesting as well.

http://www.nycga.net/groups/movement-building/forum/topic/ows-is-not-a-anarchist-movement-be-not-discouraged-here-are-10-reasons-why/

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

By no means am I suggesting that I am at all personally happy with the decision making processes of OWS, but the thing is, we either have to live with them or figure out how to change them. Just pointing to them and observing that they are fucked up really doesn't accomplish much. They don't become unfuckedup just because somebody on this forum sends and e-mail to the forum pointing out that the decision making processes of the local general assemblies is fucked up.

If there is a problem with the movement we either figure out concretely how to solve it, or we learn to live with it.

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

oh relax Drama. It is what it is. Bitching about it won't change anything. So what. We can still bitch about it if we want to.

I have no illusions. The Demands Group spent like 5 months trying to overcome the 10% minority. You know where they are today? Inactive. I think those poor people got sick and tired of going in circles and getting no where. They were blocked by the minority at every turn. Hello brick wall, meet head. It's not gonna change. But we can bitch about it if we want to.

Here's an exchange from their last posted minutes, Jan 22:

Greg: When I went to the DA meeting, I was in a meeting with the anarchists. They don’t care about the GA or the people sleeping in the park. I say we just proceed and work with whomever.

Andy: I have spent more time with anarchists than anyone in the park. But I don’t think its impossible to work with the group. We haven’t branded ourselves so badly. I think what we’ve been doing with Solutions cluster has been positive.

Elena: I have a question: I feel like these last two comments- why are we pandering to these anarchists. I don’t care.

Andy: as long we don’t disrupt too much, they are fine with us.

Craig: I think this anarchist core who thinks the movement should be what they want. In spit of the fact they don’t believe in hierarchy they are going to dictate to OWS.

Jan 15: Greg: when we first got our very demand passed, JFA, internally, there were many other demands. There were in October. We actually picked a topic that was so focused on state action because there was no other way to do massive public works- that’s the reality. That’s how you address unemployment. That went totally against the grain of the NYC anarchist influence occupies. They all just came here. This is the place to be. The very first thing we did out of the box- we were have been better off if we had more demands

Jan. 8: Alan: I don’t care how the demands group works on this. I think the idea of seeking consensus is what’s killing everyone.

Need a list on the website of the demands that we’ve agreed on. I don’t think actions will go through the Spokes or the GA. I don’t think the GA here is a decision making body.

Steven: If you want to leave Occupy, I would not disagree. I wonder why I waste my fucking time.

Eric: First of all, I am not talking about leaving this movement. I don’t know what we agree on

Itzak:The point is that things happen that don’t have spokes or GA approval, because they are political correct, they are put on the front page of the NYCGA page. On NYE, there was a call for a demonstration against prisons. Why? That’s because several anarchists in the world are in prison, and OWS lent its front page. The call against NDAA was not approved by any GA or anybody.

Jan 3: Andy: First of all, I agree with everything you said. But to address that quote. We’ve heard from demands and JFA_- lots of great quotes about why demands are necessary but they won’t convince those who think demands are necessary. They think they know where they are going- they think are building a new society from the group up, and they think that by making demands to the state-

Itzak: I was preaching to the choir. You deal with a fundamental issue that I’m dealing with the structure group. WE are diverse organization and the basis of this foundation is… they consider the process to be more important than the outcome. I’ve been told in the discussion that I use old outcomes- they are interested in changing the world. We do have to resolve it and i don’t know how. Unless we resolve- if they are serious about consensus- we have to figure out consensus on how to get things together and get things done. Other wise they will dictate a paradigm.

Steven: I wanted to echo Andy- people in the movement who are influential who want to create an alternative society. One thing we have in common with those people is that we all want a mass movement. I think about demands this way- I know think about them as a rhetorical- figure of speech. It isn’t a demand on the state- it’s mean to be an apostrophe- we’re speaking to the state but we’re really speaking to the mass of the people- we figuratively speak to the state but we’re really speaking to the people. People fear that if you demand the state, you wait, but instead we seek to bring people into the movement.

Lee : this goes back to the fundamental difference I have with the group. I think there is a need to speak in a way to get the vast majority of people. Most American people don’t want revolution they want reform. They’re saying “f-ck the system- we want a new game.” Once we have other groups on board, can we maybe challenge their assumptions. That’s the fundamental dichotomy we have with that approach we have to deal with.

Dec 20: Itzak: a 10% minority can block it. Disagreement on issues where we deeply disagree- we have very different approaches. There are social democrats, there are also those who want radical changes. Different principles, and that’s the limit with the issues, they have to confront the issues. Third group doesn’t want a group. They want an anarchist paradigm. The first two can come to a compromise. The third group says we are functioning an different universe. How do we keep the three groups functioning is a serious problem.

Jay: i think that OWS is very undemocratic. The GA is set up to prevent change. It privileges those who want to prevent change and prevent action. The 90% rule is deeply anti-democratic.

I only point this out to demonstrate that these people obviously tried to affect change. Now they are "Inactive". They knew what was going on. The real decisions are not made through the GA's. And if you're not part of the OWS ptb, part of the decision making crowd, you're not going to get anywhere. When OWS ptb wants to take action on something - it happens without going through the GA. If anyone calls them out on it - they simply can claim it was an "autonomous" action. When OWS ptb doesn't agree with the action, they force the action, like the Demands, to go through the GA, and block it. It's that manipulatively simple.

Honestly, I don't much care that there are some mechanisms/people behind the scenes making the decisions. God's speed. It's the deception and manipulation that pisses people off.

At a minimum, this movement needs better transparency of the real decision making. Just drop the pretenses.

It's the majority (non-anarchists) that are giving power to the minority, simply by operating within the anarchist construct. The structure only has authority in so far as the participants give it authority by participating within it. This seems to have led to the demise of the Demands Group. And when 99% Decl tried the same, they got their butts kicked out.

The Movement Building Group - Now they seem to be having some strange revelations finally after 6 months, more or less to the effect of - why are we letting the anarchists tell us what to do?

Anyway, I just found this interesting.

http://www.nycga.net/groups/movement-building/forum/topic/ows-is-not-a-anarchist-movement-be-not-discouraged-here-are-10-reasons-why/?topic_page=1&num=15

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

Interesting discourse. Where did you get it? As I said I am a part time participant in the movement. I am well aware that there are profound crises in the decision making processes of the movement. There are very real problems with the issue of transparency. That said OWS is still the most transparent movement I have seen in nearly 50 years of activism.

Despite the fact that there are major and fundamental problems in the decision making process of OWS, I think that their basic critique of more traditional forms of parliamentary procedure as a flawed and undemocratic procedure was essentially correct. That said it doesn't mean that what they have sought to replace it with is not also flawed.

Also, while I am not an anarchist, I still believe that the anarchists are the best organizers in the movement. I think that it is a real irony that the very liberals that the anarchists have successfully organized take issue with the organizing skills of the anarchists.

My own experience with the demands group was not that it had trouble getting its demands past the General Assembly. They should have know that would be a problem from the beginning and strategized around it. The real problem with the demands group was that for the longest time it couldn't agree on a common set of demands among its own group. If that was the case, how in the world could it be expected to convince a skeptical GA?

The GAs nationally continue to stumble along with the consensus model. Some local GAs are handling it better than others and gradually, very gradually, just as GAs endorse each others action projects, I think the best reforms of the decision making process from each local GA will be adopted by evey other GA and the decision making process will get better and better.

I think the key group in this regard is the labor committees of the various local GAs as these contain people who are used to working with more conventional decision making models and to the extent that the labor committees prove to be the most effective and most efficient working groups I think GAs will gradually accept their model of decision making.

Meanwhile, I am glad to see at least somebody being aware of the existing decision making model. For better or for worse that is what we have to work with and whether somebody has a proposal that I agree with or disagree with, what I would like to see more of on this forum is how to actually get proposals, any proposals, actually adopted as policy positions by OWS as a whole up until now there has been virtually none of that and as rambling as this is, at least it is a beginning.

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

I got the exchange from the Demand Group Minutes a while back. I was having a discussion with someone and I had copied those excerpts. And I'm glad I did. People should know what happened there.

It seems that the transparency is selective. The most important decisions, the most substantive actions, those are the things that should have the most transparency. Instead, it's seems the opposite.

I agree with you. It seems the anarchists continue to be the most active/dedicated. So long as they're the ones doing the majority of the work, they deserve to be calling the shots. I'm actually fine with that, if they would just drop the pretenses about it. I think the moderates get frustrated with trying to break through the inpenetrable 90% barrier and leave. It's not a good idea as a movement to piss people off so they leave. If you can help it.

I agree, the Demands Group had their own tactical errors. Why they ever pushed JFA to begin, I'll never know. I think they even said that was a mistake. But if I remember right, they chose that over more conventional demands (like Campaign Reform, or Glass Steagall), because they thought it would get the approval of the anarchists. They knew that was necessary. It didn't matter what they chose, the anarchists simply are not interested in demands of any sort. I don't think anything except the JFA demand ever went to the GA. And when that didn't pass, and I think that was in Dec, they were really doing circles. Until they finally gave up, it seems.

I hope you're right about the labor groups. I'm guessing they are part of the decision making, making sure stuff gets done. If so, this is a good thing. I just wish this stuff was more transparent and open.

I'm going to keep my eye on the Movement Building Group. Now that they've had their revelation.

Sorry about being a little bitchy earlier. : )

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6845) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Good morning April, red has a lot in comon with the thoughts of these guys too, but hey you two may have ran into each other for all I know.

BLOWCHUNKS

Dell

Demian

F350

Ironboltbruce

Jph

Rebdem

RedJazz43

VantagePoint250624

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 2 years ago

For once April I actually appreciate your post here. It is very illuminating.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

You know that is the best right wing comment I've heard uttered on this forum. Precise, provocative and plausible, well done. You mast be a moderate, lol.

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

As Frank Zappa once said about jazz, it isn't dead, it just smells funny.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

All while, writing and recording it.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=27819

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

That's a fantastic piece! Love Zappa. Very sad the day I lost my Barking Pumpkins t-shirt. But I still have Joe's Garage. Thanks for linking.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Frank helped me develop a taste for jazz, that I still retain to this day.

His arguments with Tipper Gore are still classics in the fight against censorship. There is no one to replace him.

One of the best of all times.........................:)

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

PS That article was written by Ed Palermo. if you ever get the chance, go and see him. They play all the horn infused stuff Zappa did.

It's a treat........................:)

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

The movement is not dead, just under-reported.

[+] -4 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

underreported because everyone is bored with you. You still dont know what you want

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28203) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

YEP. Under-reported and purposely avoided. Would not look good to the home crowd or to those watching from outside.

[-] 3 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Well, the last thing the Republicans want to do is tie income inequality to the state of the country, and especially to the lack of opportunity in this country, but it is becoming more and more apparent to everyday Americans, and OWS puts it in the Republicans' truth-denying faces.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28203) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is funny to watch everyone dance around the subject. Even Michele Obama was talking 1% and 99% when she was on Letterman though not in the context of the movements against corruption. They make reference to it on their TV dramas. But not in the news. This is becoming hugely farcical.

[-] 2 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

It's good that you keep a sense of humor.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28203) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is good self defense. I prefer laughter to tears. Guy thing?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Unfortunately, OWS is a protest movement, so I don't think it will ever accomplish anything.

But here is the solution I would like to see:

Replace the current, unfair, cruel, undemocratic system that allocates income based on luck with a system that allocates income democratically based on hard work.

Allocating income democratically would enable us to:

  • guarantee everyone a job
  • raise the minimum wage to $115k
  • raise the minimum wage to $230k for those who do the physically or mentally difficult jobs of construction, mining, farming, engineering, computer, medicine and science
  • pay you an income to go to school just like you get paid to work a job
  • reduce the work week to 20 hours by utilizing existing automation
  • and guarantee everyone a 100% mortgage without the need for a down payment at a 0% interest rate

The cause of nearly every problem in society is lack of income. But lack of income only exists because we allocate income so unequally, not because we don't have enough income.

There is nothing more important in society than the allocation of income. Income determines your standard of living, quality of life, freedom and political power.

Since income is allocated so unequally, 97% of workers earn a below average income and 50% of Americans are in poverty or close to it as reported by the Census.

So the vast, vast majority have a low standard of living, have little freedom and have little political power. A society that unfairly and unnecessarily leaves the vast, vast majority with a low standard of living is inhumane. And a society that unfairly and unnecessarily leaves the vast, vast majority with little freedom and little political power is not democratic.

The solution is to make society democratic by allocating income more equally.

Your income determines how much political power you have. But income is also used as an incentive to get people to do difficult work and give their maximum effort.

So in order for society to be democratic and in order to have an economy that works well, income would be allocated in a way that limits differences in income to just what is necessary to get people to do difficult work and to get people to give their maximum effort.

We would use the political process to filter out reasonable, national compensation proposals where differences in income are legally required to be limited to just what our best scientific evidence says is necessary to be an effective incentive and then the worker population votes directly on its approval in a national vote.

Paying people more than this serves no economic purpose. It is also unfair since it forces someone else to get paid less. People are only able to take more income under our current system because of bargaining power. And bargaining power is based on luck - it is based on genetics, family or market outcome. It is not based on hard work, so it is completely unfair and entirely unearned.

I believe we can make this change if labor organizes as a single union and demands it.

You can read the details of how this would work here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

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

Raising everybody's wages that high wouldn't really make a difference and actually might make things worse. I think taxing the rich at a higher rate than the government currently does would be the best solution. If someone makes between $1,000,000 to $10,000,000 they pay at rate of 39% for that income. If someone makes more than $10,000,000, than they pay 41% for that part of their income. Increase the estate tax rate to 60% for that part of the estate that is worth more than $1 million. That would significantly reduce the power that the bourgeois currently have.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"Raising everybody's wages that high wouldn't really make a difference"

You don't think getting a significant increase in income is going to do anything? 50% of wage earners make less than $26k. You don't think it would make a difference in their lives to go from $26k to $115k? I'm not sure how you can say that.

It would solve nearly every problem in society.

But it's important to note that I did not say raise everyone's wages. That would just cause inflation. I'm saying we should reduce inequality. We should raise the bottom wages by lowering the top wages.

The money used to increase the minimum wage to $115k comes from lowering the top incomes to $460k. So it doesn't cause inflation. We are still paying out the same total wages. All we would be doing is redistributing existing income.

.

"and actually might make things worse"

How does a person who cannot afford a decent car or a home or an education or health care or a vacation become worse off by significantly increasing their income?

.

"I think taxing the rich at a higher rate than the government currently does would be the best solution"

So the 50% of wage earners who are currently struggling to survive on their $26k income would benefit more from the rich getting a tax increase than from their pay being increased to $115k? That is crazy talk!

If you asked someone who makes $26k whether they would rather have an $89k pay raise or to see an increase in rates for the top tax bracket, you think they would choose the tax increase over the pay raise? Come on!

[-] 1 points by amanofnoimportance (82) from Orlando, FL 2 years ago

Easy.

Look at the demographic that makes the most important decisions in the country's capitol.

Now look at the demographic who is preparing to retire.

Now look at the people working at the capitol again...

Now you know why OWS isn't getting too much accomplished despite strong civilian support.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Q: The movement is dead?

A: The mind of the American Sheeple is dead. The movement merely made the mistake of thinking otherwise.

Next Question?

[-] 0 points by tomdavid55 (93) 2 years ago

"occupy has reached millions" I totally agree and I was hoping the work I put in this video would help the cause somehow. Here is a link to a protest song I wrote and the video I posted on youtube. If the link doesn't work when you click on it, copy and paste it into your address bar. Please send it to others on your contact list. Thanks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTQ1WOC9RgY

[-] -1 points by Quark3 (54) 2 years ago

Sweet song. Gave me the chills & still is. Reminds me of Neil Young. You have a great voice. I love it. Thank you!

World Solidarity!

[-] 0 points by Quark3 (54) 2 years ago

The movement is ALIVE & YOUNG! World Solidarity!

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Quark3 (54) 2 years ago

It is the SPRING of the movement. It is beginning. It is inevitable like a clock ticking closer to the moment of arrival with every breathe. It is growing, bigger & bigger. It can not be stopped. It will be. World Solidarity!

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

MKultra runs the movement. This is logical because none of the leaders are logical. The design and execution is illogical and based in emotional reasoning which is easilty and deeply embraced by the human unconscious mind.

If the leaders were logical they would be here discussing HOW to gain the authority to see that demands were met. They won't even do it at the NYCGA.

We've been "had" in secret.

http://www.michael-robinett.com/declass/c000.htm

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Mowat (164) 2 years ago

You wish nothing would be accomplished.

Are you in Tel-Aviv? Trolly!

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

The answer to the question is no. There have been lots of social movements in history that from a practical stand point accomplished nothing but in every instance we stand on the failure of those movements. Had they not existed we would not be as far along as we are, we would still be inclined to take the unsuccessful paths and cul de sacs which they followed. It is precisely because those earlier movements took unsuccessful paths that we can avoid them. As Rosa Luxemburg said, the revolution is an endless series of defeats followed by one victory.

Beyond that OWS is a very, very young movement. One cannot be expected to accomplish much in one's infancy. That said OWS has already inspired and energized every other social movement including organized labor, the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, the immigrant rights movement, the environmental movement and the movement for civil liberties and against police brutality. That is rather a magnificent accomplishment for such a new and small movement.

The purpose of Occupy Wall Street is many, the first of which is to Occupy Wall Street, a goal which is yet to be accomplished and which may not be accomplished for several decades or perhaps several lifetimes, but the New York Stock Exchange is clearly our Winter Palace and our goal clearly to send the motherfuckers running.

Our goal is to change the world. Our goal is to have a general assembly and an occupation in every community and to create a truly egalitarian and nonhierarchal society. Again, such an ambitious goal will probably take decades and perhaps several lifetimes. We are a young and tiny movement with the most ambitious goals imaginable, but we have the world before us and our greatest weapon is hope and desire.

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

I agree with pretty much everything you have said. The big problem is, imho, is that we don't have "several decades or perhaps several lifetimes" as you indicated. Best case scenario would probably be 15-20 years, worst case 5-10 years before the various power structures solidify worldwide and take over completely (some people think they already have and that the real godawful truth has just not bubbled up yet).

So I think Occupy needs to give serious thought and attention to not just doubling it's effort, but quadrupling, quintupling, sextupling, a.k.a. go into full-out "maximum effort" mode (to use an old WW2 term) if we are to have any slim hope of a chance in putting a dent in the plans of the worldwide egomaniacal narcissistic power-elite bent on global domination, control, and enslavement.

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

Of course we could degenerate into fascism or even world fascism. The best insulation against that is to build OWS and to maintain its independence, not to capitulate to the Democratic Party (which I see as unlikely in the extreme in any event--a far more likely scenerio is the collapse of OWS and its repression by something just short of a total police state). Nevertheless, the problems OWS addresses are objective and unlikely to be solved within the framework of the existing political economy and democratic movement emerge even in the most totalitarian of cultures.

I think any discussion of what OWS "needs" to do or "should" do is essentially "shoulding" or shitting all over the movement. OWS is simply too big for any individual to have any influence regarding what it "should" do. One is either an OWS activist or not (I think "support" is a trivial, meaningless and cowardly category. One either joins the movement and participates in it with as much spare time as one has or not. I don't believe anything less can or should be taken seriously. One is either part of the movement or not and as part of the movement we are ultimately along for the ride, where ever it goes.

OWS has already precipitated occupations all over the world and energized and inspired every other social movement from organized labor the the civil rights movement to the women's movement to the gay rights movement to the environmental movement to the movement for civil liberties movement and the movement against police brutality. I don't know how much more can be expected of such a tiny movement and whether it is tiny or big depends on where you are standing. From the inside it is far too big for any individual to have much influence over it, but from the outside, considered from the perspective of society as a whole, it is a tiny tiny movement.

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

Yes Occupy is a tiny tiny movement. That is why one of its most important strategies it can undertake is how to grow the movement exponentially. In any protest movement, success is at least predicated to some degree, perhaps a large degree, on numbers. It takes very large numbers to get the general population to get up off their "fat, dumb, and happy" sofas and take notice that "hey, something may not be right here after all". Occupy has many challenges ahead of it as a new movement. But one of it's most significant ones is lack of a coherent strategy for getting its message out to the millions who are perfectly happy and content to sit back on the couch, drink their beer, and watch the tube.

The ability to reach the masses should be a top priority.

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

And precisely how to you propose to convince OWS of your point of view in any way other than becoming as active as possible in the local general assembly closest to you, or failing that, if there is no local general assembly within easy commuting distance, short of working to organize a general assembly in your own community?

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

While local GAs are an important part of the strategy, my personal belief is that somehow, in a way that has not yet been conceived, Occupy must come up with a way to get some mass media exposure...and I don't mean coverage of protestors milling around or engaging in conflict with the cops. The Occupy message should be packaged up and delivered in the same manner as the sheeple are currently used to receiving their daily advert drool...as a slick and powerful mental image that can penetrate to their brains as a lasting impression as effectively as any Super Bowl beer ad. If you can't reach the masses in a proven way on a level that they have been pre-programmed to respond to (for decades), then I don't know how else you're going to do it.

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

You are confusing apples and oranges. The decision making mechanisms of OWS are one thing. What those decision making mechanisms decide and how they decide it is quite another. Local general assemblies may decided to do all manor of things including how to run an effective or an ineffective public relations campaign, but such a campaign or any set of strategies or tactics should not be confused with the decision making body whose role it is to decide on those tactics.

Local general assemblies are not "part of the strategy" important or otherwise. They are the sole and exclusive decision making bodies of OWS as a social movement.

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

Yes I understand all that. My point is that the current decentralized paradigm has not been successful, so far at least, in reaching the masses in an effective way, that's all.

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

I think well intentioned people on this forum often tend to "should" (or shit) all over OWS. Let's presume that everything you say is absolutely correct. If that is true how do you propose to change the course of OWS to make it go the way you think it should? Right now the only way that I know of to affect OWS decisions is through some general assembly somewhere. Are you doing that? If so, how's that working out for you? That is, how far along are you in this process, what kind of stumbling blocks have you encountered and what kind of advice do you have to offer to others who are trying to convince OWS of the efficacy of their own point of view?

From the outside OWS is a tiny movement, but from the inside it is massive, far to big for any individual to have much influence over, especially an isolated individual with few allies and only tenuous connections to any local GA. In the latter case I think the best that can be done is not some pathetic "support" of OWS, but actually joining the movement and participating in it on as active a basis as possible whether that is weekly or monthly or less.

Meanwhile, the fact is, OWS has energized and inspired virtually every other social movement from organized labor, to the civil rights movement, to the women's movement, to the gay rights movement, to the environmental movement, to the movement for civil liberties and against police brutality. That strikes me as rather astonishing success for a movement that is so young (barely out of its infancy) and so small.

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

First of all, let me state that I am one of the "good guys". I fully support and believe in what Occupy is trying to do. Just because I offer some opinions and ideas that might deviate from what the movement itself seems dedicated to maintaining (leaderless) doesn't mean that I don't believe in it.

I have stated from my first day on these forums that Occupy needs some type of body that can give the movement direction. Think of it this way. There is a particular species of ant in Africa capable of bringing down entire herds of cattle, villages of people, just about anything. The power of its colony population is undeniable, and the people of that region are quite fearful of these ants. But even an ant colony has a queen to provide purpose, direction, and a meaning for the workers existence. Without the queen, the colony disperses and dies or it gets a new queen. For Occupy to continue as an amorphous blob of people getting together with signs and protesting means that it will remain only at a certain level of effectiveness. If it wants to transcend it's current level of effectivness, at some point, it will have to restructure its current organization of decentralized GAs. That's just the way things are. I didn't make up human social structure and how human effort is organized. That way of operating has existed for thousands of years and results from one of the most basic characteristics of mammal brains -- that of alpha dominance. Top-down is just hard wired into the species. Bottom-up has its place too, but even bottom-up's goal is to establish a top.

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

If you think OWS "needs some type of body that can give the movement direction" what exactly makes you think that the local general assemblies and their efforts at national coordination are not a direction? What the fuck do you think the local general assemblies have been doing for the past 6 months if not giving the movement direction, and if you don't like the direction that the local general assemblies are giving the movement, what, exactly, are you doing personally to change that?

That is not a rhetorical question. I mean that quite seriously. I am a part time activist in OWS I attend a general assembly at least a couple of times a month. That's not very often, but I don't know of any other body that controls the direction of OWS, nor have I seen any serious proposals regarding how to create a decision making body that would clearly have to challenge the local general assemblies.

OWS is not an amorphos blob. They are often maddening and far from perfect but the general assemblies and especially the working groups of the general assemblies get things done. Were that not the case there would not now be over 1000 general assemblies around the nation, nor would OWS have energized and inspired virtually every other social movement. I really don't know what you are carping about. Your criticism is vague, unspecific and doesn't reveal any concrete knowledge of OWS or its day to day activities. What is your alternative to the local general assemblies and what is your concrete critique of them?

I really don't know how such a tiny and such a new movement could be any more effective than it has already been. In truth its effectiveness, given the way it has energized every other social movement is really quite astonishing.

Restruction the "current organization of decentralized GAs?" How without a concrete alternative proposal and a serious plan regarding exactly how to implement such a proposal it seems to me that such casual notions are more destructive to the movement than genuinely instructive.

To me you critique only reveals that you have seldom if ever been to any general assembly and your concrete knowledge of the day to day operations of OWS is virtually nil.

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

Calm down man. You are getting really worked up. I am NOT the enemy. I am NOT a troll.

Take a look at some of the organizations in this list:

http://pugetsoundliberals.org/resource/50LiberalOrganizations.htm

Many of these orgs are essentially engaged in the same type of efforts that Occupy is. All of them have been around a lot longer than Occupy. All of them have a traditional top-down org structure. They all do good work, but do so quietly behind the scenes. And that is the chief differentiator between these quiet orgs and Occupy. Occupy is not quiet. Occupy is primarily a protest movement. Protest movements project a certain image, good or bad, in the minds of the American public. Some of the public are afraid of them as they represent anarchy to those who desire calm and order. Some people dismiss protests in there minds as a waste of their time. Some of the public watch protests with mild curiosity to see what will become of them, but nothing more. Some of the public form open or clandestine counter-efforts to disrupt or destroy protest movements.

And, thankfully, some join the movement.

The point I want to make by bringing up the quiet liberal orgs is that NONE of them operate in a leaderless fashion. They long ago realized that any organization requires top-down leadership in order to be truly effective.

"What is your alternative to the local general assemblies..."

In answer to your question, why has Occupy not established a "GA of GAs"? If the working groups within the GAs are as effective as you say, why haven't they all contacted each other and established a national GA to direct the others in common purpose and direction? Perhaps this is already in the works and I am just unaware. If that is the case then that would be excellent. Nothing would make me happier. But right now Occupy reminds me of the early US under the Articles of Confederation. The Founding Fathers knew such an arrangement was inferior. It was like a body without a head. So they gathered together to create the US Constitution in order to attach a head to the body.

Remember one of my original points in our thread here is all about how to promote the message of Occupy to the millions of masses of people who just don't have a clue, and therefore don't care at all, about what Occupy represents and what it is up to. That is why I said that effectively packaged and presented mass media messages should be a top priority for Occupy leadership. But Occupy has no central leadership, nor does it have enough funds to mount a successful media campaign. Imho, that needs to change.

Lastly, you have criticized my involvement, or lack of it, within any GA body. I won't disclose a lot of detail regarding my personal life, other than to say that my personal financial situation makes that pretty much impossible. I would have to drive a very long ways and burn up a lot of gas which I cannot afford to do in order to participate directly within the nearest GA. I know you look down on anyone who chooses to just participate on these forums and nothing else, but until my financial situation improves dramatically, I just can't. So I am trying to do all that I can here, offer support and ideas. Some of my ideas will be criticized and some will be agreed with. That is the nature of free speech. That is what has made America great (er...ugh...did make).

I wish it were possible to conduct a survey of all regular contributors to these forums and to discern whether they are also regular participants in General Assemblies. If the majority were involved in GAs, then perhaps those like myself don't really have a rightful place here and should drop out of these discussions. I can see a certain logic in that. I must say that my interpretation of your remarks, if it is a correct interpretation, would seem to imply that if I am not involved in a GA then I should just shut up and go away.

Correct interpretation?

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

Join whatever organization you like. This particular web site is called Occupy Wall Street. It is about Occupy Wall Street. Whether other organizations are good, bad or indifferent is irrelevant. The question is, what is their relationship to Occupy Wall Street. A handful of labor unions have a relationship to OWS. So do a handful of liberal religious groups. A couple of other outfits such as MoveOn and the SEIU (also a labor union) have been actively trying to corral OWS into the Democratic Party, but this is something that the general assemblies are quite cognizant of and have taken precautions against.

OWS is not a liberal organization. In fact it is not even an organization. It is a social movement, though the local general assemblies that govern it may be characterized as organizations. But it is most certainly NOT liberal. Just read the home page of this very web site. It says the revolution continues world wide. We are revolutionaries man, not liberals, which is not to say that many people who would self describe as liberals are not in the movement. But the point is that the self image of the movement as a whole is revolutionary, not liberal.

I am fully cognizant of the fact that while 1000 local general assemblies may seem like a lot there are still huge areas of the nation which are not within easy commuting distance of a local general assembly. But part of what OWS has always encouraged people to do is to form a general assembly in your own community if there is not one established there yet. There are even links on this web site to help you do that. And it doesn't have to be a full time job. Most general assemblies only meet weekly and many only monthly or even less. It's up to you and your local general assembly to decides how often it would be appropriate to meet. Beyond that, were you to establish a local general assembly among friends and neighbors who are geographically close, it is far more likely that you could get it to adopt your ideas than it would be if you went to a general assembly where you are a stranger.

Quite frankly and honestly I think this is the last place where OWS ideas can be seriously discussed. Even most of the people on this forum who claim to be supporters of OWS have never been to an encampment or local general assembly and are frankly clueless as to what OWS is really all about.

If you insist that the only way you have to relate to OWS is through the internet then I would suggest that you go to the NYC GA link from this web site. Virtually all of its working groups are accessible from that link and many of them are configured to allow internet based full participation. Whether I agree with them or not I think your ideas have a much better chance of being adopted by the movement by following such a course. If that doesn't work we could discuss other option, but IMHO floating ideas on this forum is really a pointless exercise. My own primary purpose for being here is to encourage people not to be here, to get up off their asses and actually join the movement.

I most certainly don't think you should shut up and go away. I think the issue of people not being geographically close to a local general assembly is a very serious issue and one that ought to be discussed on this forum far more than it actually is. That is a real problem that we need to figure out how to deal with. Many people have suggested an internet based GA. As someone who has been to several actual GAs I would oppose that. Ultimately that would be just another excuse to keep people's asses anchored to their seats rather than getting up, getting out in the street and meeting each other which is where real change is going to happen, or at least begin.

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

"Just read the home page of this very web site. It says the revolution continues world wide. We are revolutionaries man. . . the self image of the movement as a whole is revolutionary...."

Just what type of revolution is it? I urge you to be very careful in wording your response. As you are undoubtably aware, this site is monitored either directly or indirectly by the government. Although I can't prove it, given the current anti-terrorist climate via Patriot Act, NDAA, HR 347, etc., it would not surprise me one bit for the Feds to move in, seize the server for evidence, and declare Occupy guilty of domestic terrorism. A revolution to overthrow the government is treason.  That is real serious. 

Of course, the other interpretation of "revolution" is a revolution in the way people think about things. That is my view of "the revolution continues worldwide". It is revolutionary in the sense that it's goal is to wake people up to the real truth of what is going on that has been purposefully hidden from them for so very long, and then, once armed with that truth, encouraging them to peacefully organize in an effective way to bring about the desired changes. 

So what is your definition of Occupy's "revolution"?

"Quite frankly and honestly I think this is the last place where OWS ideas can be seriously discussed. Even most of the people on this forum who claim to be supporters of OWS have never been to an encampment or local general assembly and are frankly clueless as to what OWS is really all about. ...floating ideas on this forum is really a pointless exercise. My own primary purpose for being here is to encourage people not to be here, to get up off their asses and actually join the movement."

So I gather that you think these Forum discussions are of no value and you would prefer that the SysAdmin just remove the Forum as a menu option on the main page, correct? I contribute my fair share here, but nothing like the quantity and quality of others who have been here since day one (or nearly day one). What about them? Are they truly misguided and wasting their time? 

I'm starting to get tired of this thread now. I think I understand the main point of your argument, but I'm not sure I totally understand you completely nor am I likely to agree with everything you are advocating. Participation comes in all forms. Just because there might be a shortage of soldiers on the front lines doesn't mean that those behind the lines aren't making contributions to the effort.

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

In theory I think this could be a valuable asset to OWS, though there is clearly tension on this forum regarding the site based occupations.

Personally I think the site based occupations are what makes the movement a movement and that was a position that the media also took when the movement first began. To the extent that the media was at all supportive of the movement it tended to see the most important thing the movement was doing was actually moving people, not just arousing their sympathies.

I personally go to physical occupations as often as I can, though I am limited by distance, work responsibilities and health issues, so in between times I spend a lot of time on this forum.

Among the differences that I see between this forum and actual physical occupations is first of all, all the physical occupations that I have been to, even when they are not especially aware of each other have more in common with each other than any of them have with the discourse on this forum. While many occupy activists will undoubtedly vote in November, when you go to a physical occupation there is virtually no discussion of electoral politics whereas on this forum it seems to be the primary issue of discussion. That, it seems to me is a major and profound difference between this forum and the physical occupations.

I see the physical occupations as the heart of the movement and the point of a forum like this at its best to play a supportive role to the physical occupations, but it is not in a position to play a supportive role to the physical occupations if it is not even aware of what the dominant discourse at the physical occupations is.

It is also the case that people are much nicer to each other at the physical occupations than they are on this forum even when they disagree, though I think that has something to do with the net as a means of communication. Even before occupy I found that people communicating on the net tend to be pretty mean and nasty to each other. But this really is a very profound difference from the physical occupations and one reason why it is so important for people to go to physical occupations. People really are loving in those situations in a way that really does portend a new society and new types of social relations.

In terms of being revolutionary that really isn't very well spelled out by OWS, but it's also the case that it is a term that is constantly bantered about at physical occupations and many people at physical occupations tend to be very resentful of being called liberals. In practical terms, in my experience when I've talked to people at physical occupations about what they mean by revolution, they tend to see it as a post-corporate world. As to what they see as replacing corporations, they tend to see general assemblies everywhere as a model.

Personally that doesn't seem very likely to me. On the other hand OWS is a very young and very small movement and as it grows its vision of a post corporate world will also grow and change.

There is no question but that OWS has inspired and energized virtually every other social movement, movements much larger than OWS itself is and IMHO that has been its greatest contribution so far, but that inspiration and energy has not come from people sitting in front of their computers but rather from people together in open public spaces.

That does not mean that there is no role for a forum like this, but it frustrates me that the ideas projected here, good, bad and indifferent, are mostly just bantered about here and there is virtually no stratgegic discussion of how to get those ideas implemented by the movement. I think a forum like this could play a much more effective role if there was more discussion of how to get ideas implemented. If people tried to implement ideas at a local GA or by some other mechanism and if they then came back to this forum with their strategic successes and failures so we could then further discuss how to move those ideas forward in a practical way.

[-] 0 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago

The movement is not dead.

The movement will not be televised... in the conventional sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVljZ35Jahg

We await the Spring!

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

Indeed, the media doesn't really know how to do anything besides report everything in the most disparaging way possible (and this is true when it reports on any movement). I guess we could say this is market driven behavior (it does seem to improve ratings, which suggests a deeper societal problem). So we shouldn't expect the media to help us (even if some within the media wanted to, the media structure is incapable of avoiding the temptation to gravitate towards the bottom).

The only way we get press is when we have sufficiently large protests, but our goal shouldn't be merely getting attention. This movement has many things going for it that it can capitalize on (capitalize ... no pun intended :)). Younger people will naturally gravitate towards a movement like this, and college campuses are a good place to find a large receptive audience. The more OWS spreads out, the more involved it becomes in local community matters (whether it be in NYC, LA, or Smallville USA), the more it entrenches itself in American society.

[-] -3 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

Maybe you are suffering the affects of global cooling in your irrationally too far north geographical nightmare........... it's already spring and quite pleasant out in the parts of North American fit to be inhabited by humans.

[-] 2 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago

The list of complaints has yet to be addressed.

[-] -3 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

But it's already spring and the weather has been nice in many parts of the country all winter.

It never was a movement. That was bullshit hype language from the start. It was self-declared a "movement" on day 1. LOL

[-] 2 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago

So... given the growing gaps in society, the growing problems, the rigged Wall Street system, and many other rigged systems, what is your solution? Are we doomed?

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

We could stop mass immigration of poor people. Every 6th grade educated toilet cleaner liberals cheer crossing our border adds to poverty and income skew. We've done this now in the many many millions. Guess what, it matters.

Also, protest people dropping out of school or having illegitimate babies. Both fuel poverty.

If that isn't enough, advocate responsible use of debt. Occutards bitch about banks but say zippo about taking more responsibility for what you sign.

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Lobby Washington DC.

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

YEAH! Suck it up and hand congress dump truck loads of money so you can find out how quick they'll double deal on those truly not in the club.

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Hey, that's what lobbyists do and thats how they get the laws they want.

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

Of course! Except they seldom screw over lobbiest.

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Do you have a better option? I mean everyone complains about how Washington DC is run by "Special Interest" groups (lobbyists).

So, it seems to me that if change is needed that's how its going to get done. Protesting in parks and on the streets won't get anything done compared to lobbying.

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

Did all the people who sent Obama 5 bucks get their 20,000% ROI?

Earnest question as I realize many may have.

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

frozen

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Yes, its dead. People have to back to work and the movement had no message except let's go have some fun.

[-] -1 points by tedscrat (-96) 2 years ago

I am sorry, Umair. But do not be discouraged. The movement had good points, but there were too many useless, radical elements that contributed nothing to the movement. Why? Because a reform of the government is a plus, a right thing to do. A government that works efficiently, at lower cost, will make this country stronger. What did not and will not help are people who believe and promulgate the myth about the 1% robbing from the 99%.
If you have a mind, use it. Use it to better yourself. Use it to help you rise in the world, both in knowledge and, yes, money. Because money does make the world go 'round. And knowledge is power. Do not look down upon the 1%. Strive to join them

[-] -1 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

#OWS #Occupy Protested, #Anonymous Hacked, #WallStreet Responded:

#NDAA #SOPA #PIPA #ACTA #PCIPA #HR658 #HR347 #HR3606

Any Questions?

https://twitter.com/#!/WatchFrogsBoil/status/185013956677599233

[Removed]

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

The forum has definitely been murdered by the DNC and Federalist muppets who live on it.

I think it's hilarious to see those particular lifeless losers incessantly and compulsively type away until so many looking in clearly have no desire to even attempt relating to them, much less see themselves as anything like them.

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

OWS will be trotted out when the Democrats need to cause trouble before the election. A bunch of SEIU thugs will don the OWS banner when some good old fashioned ass kicking needs to be done.

Like they did while CPAC was going on, that wasn't any of these dreamers it was SEIU, go unions!!

[+] -4 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

oh and..... the reality is that it won't matter........

our congress and nation is owned and none of these spineless OWS folks care to even acknowledge the truth, much less find any resolve to actually step up to fix the real problems.

http://www.apfn.net/DOC-100_bankruptcy.htm

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6845) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

This is from spring 1993 before Clinton and the heroes of the Democratic party passed the bill that balanced the budget.

[-] -3 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

No, this is from 1933 and has never been discharged. Fail.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6845) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

"Subject: .The Bankruptcy of The United States United States Congressional Record, March 17, 1993 Vol. 33, page H-1303 THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!! Speaker-Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressing the House:"

true once I saw it was from 1993 I didn't read it all.

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

Do you know the earliest date of case law that US courts will allow/consider and not automatically reject?

Can you find where this BK has been discharged? It hasn't and what you are seeing is the owners becoming more and more blatant while our alleged elected servants are quite certain the owners will indeed protect them from even being put to the task of being accountable.

20 years ago, 30 years ago, a government official accepting (bribe, PAC, soft, lobby, et) money from anyone was scandal and cause for public outrage...

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (6845) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Your postition ignores the fact, that thanks to Clinton and the dems, we added nothing to the federal debt for 15 months, not sure what your blabbing about actually, as you fail to even aknowlege your mistake, so good-day

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

Oh my! Not only are you not sure, you are completely without a tiny clue.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6845) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

But I did pick up on your troll status.

[-] -2 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 2 years ago

I'm amazed it took you such a lengthy exchange to realize that your short term view of reality is vastly different than my own views of the very long term.

I'm very well aware that you "short termers" see anyone not buying into your irrational support of a very corrupt system, blindly believing that it can be fixed IF ONLY people would just wise up and vote correctly, as trolls or extremists or whatever.

I'm sure that you are unaware that many of us would like to see the actual problem FIXED and with the final result being a fair and equitable form of reasonable governance which is indeed 100% accountable to it's people.

You "short termers" on the other hand, seem only to want enough graft from a very flawed system to be pacified and somewhat comfortable today.

Keep in mind that the great civilizations of this planet have always viewed 100 year plans as "short term".

[-] 1 points by tomdavid55 (93) 2 years ago

Here is something to help the movement get goping again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTQ1WOC9RgY