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Forum Post: Waste of Time-Or Worthwhile Pursuit?

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 16, 2012, 11:59 a.m. EST by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am currently struggling to figure out the answers to some basic questions.For my own information,I am working my way through all kinds of data,but the accumulated terrible implications of what I am finding is not yet providing clarity.Question 1-Should #OWS back candidates for elective office(NOT Democrat or Republican)or would this simply be a waste of time due to corruption of the political process?Question 2-Should #OWS form a new political party and begin fielding candidates of its own or would that also be a waste of time for the same reason and also because such a course of action would inevitably create Fearless Leaders?Question 3-If both of these are ruled out how can #OWS present the idea that another world is possible to the general public in a manner that lends credibility to our ideas?I figure there are many intelligent people frequenting this forum who will certainly help with this conundrum by explaining their point of view and offering relevant data.I offer my thanks to all contributors to this forum because you have all already helped me and this country a great deal-indeed,#OWS is invaluable.

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[-] 2 points by Shule (1548) 1 year ago

OWS backed candidates in local areas where they may have a chance of really winning even if its in a small town would send a scare throughout the current political system. A congressional seat in a small progressive district may be possible too. I think its worth trying. We must remember we are dealing with a complex multifaceted problem, and no one single type of action is going to do it alone.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

We've got to keep on protesting.Things are going to have to change because the middle class is dying on it's feet-but people are still in denial-frustrating

[-] 1 points by Shule (1548) 1 year ago

Totally agree. We must also see protesting is not the only course of action we must take.

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

Totally agree.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (4891) 1 year ago

OWS is a protest movement, not a political group. It's composed of individuals who are free to do as they please in making a difference. This may involve OWS individuals forming their own political party or it may involve OWS individuals backing specific candidates, but there is nothing that OWS needs to do as a whole that isn't already done. OWS is what it is and it's up to individuals of shared perspectives to come together in furthering their own ideas.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/its-a-pyramid-damnit/

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

We can embrace all non violent tactics, and welcome all political persuasions if they are willing to support improvement for the 99%.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

If OWS's only accomplishment was to put the people back in charge of the government instead of the elite who now rule it, that would be an incredible victory. What OWS wants should be secondary to the desires of the great masses of decent people who have lived under economic and political tyranny for too long. The direction taken when we reach that point should be up to all of the people. That is what Democracy is all about. Not the will of a few, but the will of the many.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

LOL-I am sure #OWS does not nor could it ever want anything that would in any way prevent Democracy from breaking out-because #OWS IS Democracy breaking out-good post!

[-] 2 points by NLake72 (510) 1 year ago

1.) Yes 2.) Yes 3.) Not the right time in American history, but some things are beyond our control. First, we have to engage reform using the tools our forefathers gave us. REAL reform-- not the two-party fake stuff.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

It's high time the American People start refusing to toke no for an answer when it comes to serious reforms-starting with campaign finance and laws governing elections.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20562) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I think OWS should pick issues of pressing concern - as with various aspects of the banking crisis - you can see here

On the issue of voting - I think that people should be encouraged to make up their own mind what option best suits them. Options should be presented, in Congressional races local Occupy groups should examine both the needs and the possibilities of the communities where they are located.

In some instances political pressure on existing candidates will do more than fielding new candidates is likely to accomplish.

Case by case, district by district, examine what is possible.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

There is one main problem I have with coming up with answers to questions in these areas.I have been doing research on the corrupt banking practices,the housing bubble,the MIC,conflict of interest in business and politics,corporate criminality,securities fraud,and speculative activities in the commodities markets among other things-since 2006.I have accumulated a massive amount of data.Everything I can find indicates that corruption is so deep and widespread that there is no way that piecemeal reform,or conventional approaches like trying to effect change through electing progressive politicians-would do anything except waste time,effort talent and money that would be better allocated towards something else which might actually end up helping real people who are grappling with real problems.Right now I am thinking a continuation of nonviolent tactics is the only choice that makes sense,and there are a number of those which #OWS has not used yet.It seems like you are right in that we need to start local cooperatives and just simply wait.Unfortunately,the corrupt Elite class has a history of preventing peace from breaking out,fanning the flames of regional wars,and actually setting up pretexts for new wars in order to create cover for their crimes,and the international banking and oil interests seem to be able to start any war,any time,anywhere-even in cases where there is no reason to go to war AND everyone knows it.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20562) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

It seems like you are right in that we need to start local cooperatives and just simply wait.

first of all I never ever said we should just wait. Groups can and you can argue already have begun organizing opposition to some of the lies so prevalent today. This must continue, and ways should be sought to hone the message in ways designed to provide greater penetration of the public mind.

You had asked in your FP about the electoral side of the equation, I attempted to provide my perspective. I never said we should wait. That's just silly.

Second:

there is no way that piecemeal reform,or conventional approaches like trying to effect change through electing progressive politicians-would do anything except waste time,effort talent and money

The speed of any approach is going to depend entirely on how quickly the grip on power can be broken. We must break the hand - we must break the hand of neoliberal, neoconservative fascism.

To break that hand, we must identify its composition. What is it made of? Where is its structure weak?

I believe that it is largely composed of repelicans - and they are definitely weak on Global Warming. It is definitely not the only weakness.

Various aspects of economic policy, the criminal behaivor it has wrought, the inability of our system of Justice to come to grips with the problem, are all vulnerabilities.

WE cannot wait. We must attack. To do so requires careful deliberation, understanding how our behavior will impact the community at large and so reception of our message.

We must go forth.

Multiply.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

By Wait-I meant wait for a more advanced state of collapse.I am convinced that a partially collapsed structure with multiple stress factors will eventually collapse completely.On the other hand,all the prognosticating in the world can't predict when this might occur,although the response of the Master Class is definately forseeable.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20562) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I think if we are smart we want to avoid the collapse of the economy as much as possible - fracturing the political establishment that supports it - or those portions of it that are unfair - has begun already as a result of the economy as it is, but that is no reason we need to think that further economic turmoil is either necessary or desirable.

Inevitable, perhaps. But I don't see it as necessary to the political goal - which is fundamental change in economic policy. It is likely counterproductive. One reason is Global Warming. The more disruption this causes, the greater social instability, the greater the likelihood of chaos spinning society sufficiently out of control that fascism seems justified as a means of restoring enough order to keep people feed, preserve infrastructure, and so on.

The less pain that is caused to average Americans now, economically, the more resources will be available to confront necessity when the shit really does hit the fan.

And I think it will.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

These posts are really good and very helpful-thanks to everybody once again.Unwinding one clusterfuck with numerous participants is a tedious task.Our country has turned into an all encompassing,interconnected clusterfuck and the one thing that really bothers me is the idea that millions of young people could very well end up being afraid to borrow the money to go to college-just like I was 30 years ago- afraid to keep borrowing money to finish college.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20562) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

It would certainly help if it didn't cost so much, and if there were jobs available once one graduated.

I think the entire business community should leave education alone, unless it be in tech areas.

Education is an investment in the future. It is a national duty - one more important in the maintenance of a vibrant democratic society that in others.

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

Too bad the Gates Foundation can't start a free online university so more people could live a "healthy,free and productive life"-or whatever their bogus corporate slogan is.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

I think OWS should pick one main issue that 99% of America, or at least a vast majority, can agree with and then promote candidates who chiefly support that issue. Obviously the Tea Party has been hijacked by fundamentalist right wingers by now, but it started as something very simple - Taxed Enough Already.

Whether you agree with them or not, you have to admit they have been very successful in having their candidates elected. I think the vast majority of Americans would agree that 99.9% of Americans pay plenty of taxes already so the Tea Party was able to quickly gain support. If real change wants to be made by OWS, they need to coalesce behind one or two extremely popular issues. Because let's face it, unless things get much much worse, OWS has probably maxed out the amount of people who are willing to spend their days protesting and living in tents.

The most obvious issue that OWS and the vast majority of Americans agree on is the need to remove the influence of money from our politics. A lot of the other ideas and issues raised on this site probably don't have that same widespread support.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

Would presentig or backing candidates to participate in a corrupt process be playing a double game,though?How I feel about the TP is that the tactics they will almost certainly employ in Congress will be across the board refusal to compromise with anyone,combined with obstructing any and all legislation from taking place.I am pretty sure Mainstream America has had enough of that already and the TPers will end up without credibility because of it.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

Well if it is unpopular legislation, Mainstream America will gladly welcome the obstruction. The corrupt process can only be changed by Congress. They make the laws. If enough like minded people can be elected, change can be made. The only way to get enough people elected though is with widespread support from the public. OWS, as currently constructed, appeals to only a very small percent of the American public.

[-] 0 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

I disagree-I think #OWS does appeal to people because they are fully aware that giant corporations have seized control of every aspect of their lives and they don't like it.They think they can't do anything about it and the job of #OWS is to CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

That idea appeals to people but OWS is a lot more than just that idea. Look at the topics discussed here and the things done at the rallies. This is what people see. OWS has stopped growing, there is no doubt about it, because they have essentially reached a ceiling in how many people will support it.

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

The problems are learned helplessness and apathy.As an artist.I have spent my life hacking at a 60 foot thick layer of apathy,and I have hardly made a scratch.I can't help but notice how all of your posts are about how #OWS is over,#OWS can't connect,nothing can be done,lay down and take it and other downer concepts.So I question that kind of whinge-aholic,you-should-let-your-country-drown-it's-easier type of language.I question your purpose and it almost think that although you say it's raining.it is actually you.Mookie-who is urinating on my head in an effort to discourage me.That's not a nice thing to do-and it won't discourage me a single bit-on account of my father,his father before him,my love of my country,and my fellow citizens.Keep that negativity flowing out and away from yourself,at least,because it's toxic.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

You really don't think that OWS can do more to appeal to a lot more people?

When our local Occupy was protesting last fall, my employees would come in to work and mock the protesters that they saw on their drive in. And these are the people that OWS is supposed to help the most. These are middle class workers making $40-60K a year and they view the Occupy protestors as more alien to them than even the 1%. It is sad.

What started as a very noble idea has become a place for people to preach their extreme views. And that is fine if that is what people want to do. It has just become a stretch now to say that Occupy represents the 99%, because the majority of the 99% do not agree with a lot of what goes on with Occupy.

[-] 5 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

The American Middle Class is dying.People are in denial-the trick will be to gin up another war before they snap out of it.One problem with Americans is they disbelieve in misfortune until it knocks on their own door.The truth is that The Good Old Days are gone-the middle class pillars will continue to fall,because so many middle class livings were derived from middle class spending.You can't take that much money out of a closed economic loop without causing a dramatic ripple effect.Anyway,I keep on telling the Well Heeled Upper Middle Class people that I know-The Big Boys are coming for you next-with all your wealth you will make for them a tasty snack&good luck with that,dude.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by brudlo (-454) 1 year ago

the middle class isnt dying, its intentionally being killed by obama.

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

This really isn't a partisan forum.Many of us belieive that the politicians are puppets who have no real power.You are wasting your time trying to convince me that Obama is killing the middle class-don't make comments like that here,because all of us know that the persons and entities who mortally wounded the middle class are the ones who have the money and power and they are not politicians.

[-] 0 points by brudlo (-454) 1 year ago

the room monitor speaks!!

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

Your enthusiasm indicates that your name does not appear on The Presidential Kill List-or it IS on the list and you don't know it.Too bad there is no way to find out-it sure would be a shame to vote for someone who keeps a list of the names of people who are to be killed by his personal Goon squad-but if your name IS on the list,that would be adding insult to injury,IMHO,because when that black hood goes sliding down over your face,you can't take your vote back.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

If the middle class knew the truth about our economy, that for the last 40 years their incomes have grown as a result of inflation only, not by any real increase in income, they would be with us.

Did they forget that a family in the 70's went from a single breadwinner to two in the 90's just to make ends meet?

Look at the figures on this graph. The middle class who are part of the lower 90% in income are losing ground to the wealthy. They are being denied a fair share of the wealth they help produce. Productivity has increased 80% over the last 40 years but the lower 90% have only received a 3% increase.

http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1968&end=2008

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

Honestly, the thought of giving my employees election day off never even crossed my mind. Where I live the polls are open from 6 am to 8 pm and it takes about 2 minutes to vote. Why would people need the day off?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

for democracy to work,

people must take the time and respect need for making decisions

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

They don't need 14 hours. That is crazy. Very few people actually decide on election day anyways. Most do weeks, or even months in advance. Of all the problems this country faces, this is a complete non issue. What a loss of productivity. I have no doubt that, if given the option, all of my employees would show up to work that day because we do profit sharing and you can't make any profit if you are closed.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

Explain that. Seriously, how, in your mind, do you need 24 hours?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

Explain that. Seriously, how, in your mind, do you need 24 hours?

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

Huh? People need to work to pay their bills. They probably don't want or need to take a day off just to vote which takes 2 minutes.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

they need 24 hours at least

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

Explain that. Seriously, how, in your mind, do you need 24 hours? What would you do the whole time?

In our voting system you walk into the both, check off a few boxes next to peoples names who you have been hearing about for months and already have an opinion of, and then you walk out. 2 minutes, tops.

[-] 1 points by jbgramps (159) 1 year ago

I concur. The reality is the masses don’t know much about OWS other than the demonstrations on TV. Unfortunately that hasn’t put OWS in a positive light. Before we can push for a candidate we must gain some broad support of the public. OWS has to focus of a few basic issues the public can relate to before we can expect a OWS candidate to be taken seriously.

Personally I think it’s time for OWS to get focused. We can’t be all things to all people. Without much greater public support we’ll never be successful. Right now the emphasis should on gaining support from non-OWS citizens.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/2012/07/market-failure-of-economics-profession.html

Q12b Would you say that your vote is more FOR Barack Obama or more AGAINST Mitt Romney?
Results shown among Obama voters
More for Barack Obama .........................................72
More against Mitt Romney ......................................22

Q12c Would you say that your vote is more FOR Mitt Romney or more AGAINST Barack Obama?
Results shown among Romney voters
More for Mitt Romney .............................................35
More against Barack Obama ..................................58

[-] 1 points by Shule (1548) 1 year ago

Interesting.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 1 year ago

ignore the broken political system and build interconnected communities of like minded people in solidarity, and mutual aid.

remove all support to the corrupt and demented military-bankster system run by corporatists, and redirect all resources to local communities interconnected in a world wide network.

the corporate-capitalist-military system will inevitably fail,. and will sooner if you remove your support from their hate-filled greed-based system.

[-] 1 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 1 year ago

LOVE

[-] -2 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Why don't you start with a cooperative of one? That's what I did, and not to worry - I'm certain the masses will start arriving any minute now.

Endorse Obama... at least then those to right of left will see where you stand.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

The choice between Obama and Romney boils down to;how fast do you want to see a collapse of civil order-almost immediately with Romney or a little later with Obama.I can't make up my mind about that,but on the other hand,I prefer death to voting for a Republican.A cooperative of one person can't exist except in the case of 2 or more people inhabiting one body.

[-] 1 points by jbgramps (159) 1 year ago

Well said. Doom is coming; and I'm joking.

[-] -2 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

I knew there was an explanation.

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (788) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

Funky-you are a mystery to me but I like your feistiness.