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Forum Post: The only way we will SUCCEED

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 28, 2011, 1:24 p.m. EST by theos32 (17)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

We need to pick and focus on a single demand. Why? Because if you are saying many things you are saying nothing, and we my friends are saying NOTHING. Say one thing, say it over and over and over and over and you have a chance to break through the barrier in most peoples minds to anything new.

Let us make ending corporate personhood that one goal. This will give people a rallying point, something to BELIEVE IN. Something to FIGHT FOR. This single goal, if achieved will affect many areas of corporate law, including their "right" to buy political offices.

If it succeeds, then we can move on to other demands. But there is absolutely no sense in making 100 lists each with 20 demands before we've even accomplished ONE thing. Therefore all you will ever hear out of me in the future is "End Corporate Personhood"




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[-] 3 points by Edgewaters (912) 11 years ago

We need to pick and focus on a single demand. I am involved in marketing and PR, and if there is one thing I know is that if you are saying many things you are saying nothing.

If that were true, how come the American Revolution succeeded? It had a long list of grievances, and a long set of prescriptions for a new kind of government. I'm not saying there shouldn't be more focus, but just one single demand seems a little bare-bones. I think most people would then just it as a single-issue cause, like all the other single-issue causes.

Politics isn't quite like marketing. In marketing you have competition - but you don't have opposition. Not to mention that marketing has changed alot in the last decade or two, from the old model of outlining a specific selling point (price, quality, etc) to something far more vague ("brand consciousness", creating a general positive impression without any specific or concrete reason for that impression)

[-] 1 points by kingscrosssection (314) 11 years ago

Well you could say that a good portion wanted change I guess. There was probably a little more drive as well.

[-] 0 points by bap840 (13) 11 years ago

edgewaters, you are wrong, this is exactly what we need to do to succeed. It's not the number of demands that is important but rather it's what they will accomplish. Yes it is a single demand but it has MANY consequences.

[-] 2 points by Edgewaters (912) 11 years ago

Maybe maybe not. But its not a fact in evidence that you can't succeed without multiple demands. There are many, many, many historical examples of groups with multiple demands that have been very succesful. Take the environmental movement or the civil rights movement: they didn't have just one demand, they had many many demands (the environmental movement has new demands all the time for example), and they have both achieved a good deal of success.

You may be correct there is only one necessary demand, that's different. I'm just saying it is possible to achieve multiple demands (whether there are multiple necessary demands or not is another matter altogether).

[-] 1 points by bap840 (13) 11 years ago

that's true, and theos didnt' say we should have one demand, he said we should focus on one demand and if it is accomplished then move on to the others. We have to start somewhere. Rather than trying to get everyone to agree to a list of demands why not let them agree on one first?

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 11 years ago

You've got a point there.

[-] 3 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

Sounds to me like the "deficits are the only thing that matters" argument that evaporated a couple of months ago.

The instant you focus on a single issue, you abandon all others while giving the powerful opposition a single focal point to attack. This creates the opportunity for them to derail / defuse / obfuscate as well as for the creation of a symbolic victory in which the people get some peanuts and business goes on as usual.

"Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

[-] 1 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

theos32 is right. Let the corporations try to attack a corporate personhood amendment. 75% of Americans are in favor of one. Right now all they need to do to beat us is to ignore us.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

Unfortunately, there is no process for a citizens to enact a constitutional amendment. If this is the one battle you want to focus on, the war is lost.

The Constitutional Amendment Process

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution.

[-] 1 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

Umm... here is a congressman who already proposed an amendment... he's just waiting for the support of the people (me and you)


You don't think if everyone in OWS started saying "End Corporate Personhood" and we actually made so much noise that people started talking about the amendment around dinner tables that we couldn't make it happen? You know what everyone is talking about now: how OWS is simply wasting their time with no agenda and no goals.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

How could you possibly know what everyone is talking about - FOX news?

[-] 1 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

By what my family talks about at thanksgiving dinner. People from all over the place who get together just once a year. We discussed OWS, and all of them agreed that OWS were a bunch of bums without jobs who were just wasting our time and had no goals whatsoever... I couldn't disagree. Unfortunately, that's just how people see us.

But if we had a goal they could no longer say that.. if we were the "End Corporate Personhood" movement then everyone at that dinner would have to give their opinion on whether or not they thought corporations should be legallly considered people... the conversations about us would be totally different, and so would our effectiveness

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

So your family is "everyone"?

[-] 2 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

Now you're just being purposefully difficult, obviously my family isn't everyone but my family does include many different people, many of them quite liberal and is a slice of America. You pointed out fox news but even "liberal" news like MSNBC have no idea what we stand for. They just show people being pepper sprayed. Go outside and ask 10 people on the street (not already in OWS) what they think OWS will accomplish and then maybe you will have a clearer picture of reality.

You probably won't even sign the petition, which is exactly the problem. Because you're tying to do everything you will end up accomplishing nothing.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

MSNBC is owned by defense contractor and financial services giant General Electric.

[-] 1 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

Ok.. .what is your point? I am saying the average person on the street.. the REAL 99% that walks by and gawks at all of the protesters has no idea what we stand for. Unless we focus that will continue to be the case.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

"Average" is just another baseless generalization. It is not the basis for any argument other than one on whether or not your opinion is a factual basis for an argument.

Have you conducted a scientific national poll of more than a few thousand people on this issue?

[-] 0 points by theos32 (17) 11 years ago

angelordevil is right... that's just how the vast majority of people see us.

[-] 1 points by theos32 (17) 11 years ago

Are you saying that a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood is a PEANUT? If OWS can accomplish even this one thing then it is a monumental and historic achievement. But if we try to accomplish everything we will fail, I am sure of that.

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

No, just that we should not focus on any one thing. Especially one thing thats success depends upon action by the corrupt institutions we would like to reform.

Please see my reply above re: constitutional amendment process.

[-] 2 points by natedawgnyc (4) 11 years ago

I agree with focusing one one issue. However, I think that should be a constitutional amendment for the complete public financing of all campaigns. That is literally the only way to get the money out of politics: http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-path-to-victory/

[-] 1 points by theos32 (17) 11 years ago

that's not a bad idea either. I would also support that.. What if we created a website, a group of X number of people who all agreed that they would support one idea no matter what the idea was, and then voted to determine that single idea? Would you support it?

[-] 2 points by bap840 (13) 11 years ago

I agree we need to focus... I will support this. End Corporate Personhood.

[-] 2 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

I agree.. End Corporate Personhood. Nothing more, nothing less

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 11 years ago

That is the total OWS agenda? You are not reaching very far. And you are not speaking for the millions of people who support the movement.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 11 years ago

I think your statement brings up a good point. There are many people that support the "movement" - they support the idea of Occupy X. It is very hard to gauge if people support the ideas behind the idea.

From an outsiders point of view - I think that OWS needs to focus on some areas that the majority of the group can agree on (consensus). The other things need to be tabled. At that point, you all need to engage the political process in a big way. Use the money you have raised to get the message out in an educated, logical and respectful manner.

I know there are some rumors of a congress or something on the 4th of July next year, which I think is a really cool idea, but if you wait that long, it will be too late to have a real impact on the elections.

my .02

[-] 1 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

I am speaking for myself. Do you have any idea the type of change that would be affected in the United States if we were to end corporate personhood? Not reaching far enough? The amendment would change the entire relationship between corporations and our country. Right now, we have accomplished absolutely nothing.

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 11 years ago

I don't disagree that it is a worthy goal. Nucleus disagreed that it should the only goal and pointed why. Specifically, because there is no process for citizens to amend the constitution, that the process depends on corrupt officials who benefit from the status quo, and that focusing on a single issue is likely to be damaging to the larger movement and our causes.

[-] 1 points by theos32 (17) 11 years ago

As angelordevil pointed out there is already a proposal by a congressman for an amendment... what he needs now is the support of people like you and me:


[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 11 years ago

That's not an amendment, it's a campaign slogan. Do you understand the difference?

"It's time for a constitutional amendment that makes it clear Free Speech is for people, not corporations. It's time for a constitutional amendment that lifts up the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people."

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 11 years ago


its simply wrong to try to tell us all whats most important, and we need to focus on ALL of the issues, not the ones which YOU find important.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Gothenburg, NE 11 years ago

I think this is a good starting point.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 11 years ago

I absolutely agreed with your next to last sentence. And when I read the last one, I said, that's, he knows what is the most important thing, to him.

And then I said, "The most important thing to me is, getting a government by the people, for the people. I don't think theos32 will mind too much if I get it."

Of course, to get it, I think we will have to stop guys with as much money as the Koch brothers and other wealthy individuals, privately help companies, foreign sovereign wealth funds, individuals, trade associations and churches from meddling. And we will have to stop the bribery of officeholders by lobbyists, the ability of office to keep their campaign funds after they leave office, the jobs they get in trade for rigging the laws, the jobs for them after srving, and jobs for their families, the loophole that allows them to do insider trading legally. and we should keep those same folks from buying state elections, initiatives, referendums, and bond issues.

If I keep going on you might think it isn't as simple to get what I want as it is to get what theos32 wants, but it could be pretty much accomplished with the same amendment that it will take to get what he wants. I don't want to make life too complicated but some things are simpler than you think.

[-] 1 points by angelordevil (12) 11 years ago

yep we're fu*%ed...

[-] 1 points by PatriotSon01 (157) 11 years ago

I agree with you theos32, completely! The movement started as anger towards the idiots that drove us all into financial ruin, but with the inclusion of many different groups, the message 'spread out' and lost focus. We are now branded a 'directionless rabble'. Most of us have a purpose and agree we are here for something, but unless one is IN the movement, its pretty incomprehensible. We need 3 main issues to focus on -optimally one, however the errors of the 1% are quite broad. Nevertheless, we need a laser focus. Very simple and direct. Since this started as a protest against financial irresponsibility and the lack of accountability for the Fat Cats and CEO's out there, I believe this should be our focus. There are thousands of those bastards out there...

[-] 2 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 11 years ago

So you agree on one issue or three issues? Which three? Your post is self-contradicting.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

You believe that we are "directionless rabble" because the corporate media tells you so?

[-] 1 points by PatriotSon01 (157) 11 years ago

You miss the point. I feel we need more focus. I side with OWS in any argument. I do not side with 'flower power' or peaceful sit-ins except where they bring a change. I see a movement as being ACTIVE - I didn't say violent.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 11 years ago

We need focus on building support for the movement and increasing the number of people involved in non-violent protest and civil disobedience.

When veterans come home to no jobs, when graduating students find no work, when state governments go bankrupt, when tax foreclosures start competing with bank foreclosures, when the next round of bank failures comes -- all of these things will add strength and numbers to our movement.

All of our causes are critical. To focus on one is to abandon the rest.

[-] 1 points by theos32 (17) 11 years ago

Thank you PatriotSon01. So what exactly would your focus be? The reason I agree with the "Amendment to End Corporate Personhood" is that its extremely simple concrete... nobody could ever accuse it of being vague. And also it would affect a lot of the ways corporations run not just executive compensation.

However, I'm open minded, maybe there is something else we should focus on.. that's why I'm asking for your clarification regarding your post. How exactly would you make CEO's more responsible?


[-] 1 points by PatriotSon01 (157) 11 years ago

When Washington removed certain laws that allowed more 'financial freedom' for the banking and finance industries, those CEO's and bankers who knew it was a lark to loan money with variable interest rates to people they knew couldn't afford the loans in the first place. They may have though 'We'll just take their house if they fail to meet payments'. These individuals, inherently knowing the people they loaned monies too, couldn't meet their obligations, acted recklessly and with pre-meditation. They should be held accountable.
If you know it's wrong to kill someone, but someone remakes the laws, so that the word murder is more 'grey', some part of you still knows, it's wrong. Just because the laws were changed, doesn't mean these bankers could go out and fleece everyone...

[-] 1 points by theos32 (17) 11 years ago

I still am not clear on what your proposal is. It sounds like you're just describing the problem. How would you actually hold someone accountable? Do you see what I mean by your idea having to be concrete?

[-] 1 points by PatriotSon01 (157) 11 years ago

Mine is the way to cause people to think. Reading and learning of the issues and how to confront and/or solve them is all our responsibility. You're asking me to explain, legally, how I would go about this - thus blunting my focus. I am not a lawyer. I am a single person with an idea. I explain as best able and others take the ball and either run with it, or down it. The point is thus. Every sector of our society has accountability. Every sector of that society places responsibility for fiascoes on somebody's shoulders. No one took responsibility for the financial circus that nearly brought us to another Depression! My tax dollars went to pay for the errors and I/ we were never paid back! I got no vote as to whether my money got spent, it just was. Someone is accountable for that. No quibbling that fact. I want someone to pay for indebting me and my children for the next 20 years. I want someone to pay for the bad loans that were given, the illegally seized assets and the general feeding frenzy that allowed ponzi schemes and double jeapordy investments to be placed with impunity. You figure out the mumbo jumbo. I want ACTION.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

"Hope and Change" Worked like a charm, the best campaign ever run in the country.

[-] 1 points by username2011 (59) 11 years ago

is that supposed to be good or bad? If each individual has their own goal, what gets accomplished?

[-] 1 points by trhasymaque (6) 11 years ago

ows has no leader, and is unable to have a single goal. every member is there own leader, and each and every one of them will choose a goal. training web page http://tinyurl.com/7rvpv43 thrasymaque

[-] 1 points by Kevabe (81) 11 years ago

That is becuase it is made up of the American Nazi Party, The American Communist Party, Ivy League College grads who earned degrees in Art, Michael Moore, Mily Cyrus, Roseanne Bar, ACORN, The Black Panther Party, wannabe hippies, and a load of grandma's boys. The only thing these people can agree on is that they are unwilling to work for money and they all hate America.

[-] 1 points by trhasymaque (6) 11 years ago

you are correct- ows is made up of all of those and more- ---------------------- we love what America used to be - "more then anything" it was the hope of the whole world- the land of the free and the home of the brave- and we will return this once great country, to its greatness- and the whole world is helping us- training web page http://tinyurl.com/7rvpv43 thrasymaque

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 11 years ago

Yes, we have no leaders. Except for the Serbian resistance organization, Otpor. The amigos of David Graeber. I don't know how to say "friends" in Serbian, so I have to use Spanish instead. I like to try to stick to the whole global movement theme when I can.

Read post numero cinco. http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?p=1333630 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCrC6GL7430&feature=youtu.be

And by the way, you sound nothing like Thrasymaque.

[-] 1 points by trhasymaque (6) 11 years ago

training web page http://tinyurl.com/7rvpv43 thrasymaque

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 11 years ago

I saw it the first time. I know. Gene Sharp's book, Ghandi, etc. What is your point, poser trhasymaque? You believe in revolution.

[-] 1 points by username2011 (59) 11 years ago

Nucleus: If we focus on a single issue like corruption, which people on all sides are disgusted with, the opposition will, by definition, be much smaller and much easier to defeat.

[-] 1 points by username2011 (59) 11 years ago

Agree strongly that we need to focus on a concise goal, as opposed to a plethora of fragmented demands. I think the corporate personhood issue is one essential aspect of the somewhat larger corruption issue, and that campaign finance & lobbying reforms need to be part of the same package. Perhaps we could focus on "Corruption" as a single issue, with corporate personhood, lobbying, campaign finance, etc. being addressed under this single umbrella. If we clean up one aspect of corruption & influence peddling but leave the rest alone, many avenues of malfeasance will still be available to the scoundrels who have hijacked our democracy. We also need to pick a goal that will be supported by a large majority of Americans, left, right and center. Please check out my previous post: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/ows-image-problem-jeopardizes-potential-support/

[-] 1 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 11 years ago

I think this is great. I am seeing so many approaches like this lately. Right now, they are somewhat fragmented. One piece over here, another piece over there. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they do not. It is like watching a system self organize. Out of chaos comes order. Fascinating.

[-] 1 points by Peretyatkov (241) from город Пенза, Пензенская область 11 years ago

That's right! A one single demand, wich, government - will never hear.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 11 years ago

I agree that we should have one demand, but I think that demand should be a little broader than just ending corporate personhood. The demand should be to end the sewer that our political and financial systems have turned into (with a better sounding title). That would include having a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it would also include much tighter control and a higher taxing of the derivitives market, and reinstating the Glass Steagall Act that allowed commercial and investment banks to merge. These three things were most responsible for our 2008 near meltdown and the subsequent rubble left behind.