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Forum Post: We don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society

Posted 2 years ago on May 24, 2012, 12:35 p.m. EST by llIlllllllllllllllllllllllllll (4)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A great man said this once - "We don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society." That great man was David Graeber, one of the fathers of OWS.

He was serious when he stated that we don't need politicians. He is not an idealist, but rather an idealist-realist. That is, he is both a theoretician who dreams of anarchy in his essays, and also a practitioner who was there in Zucotti Park on the very first days of Occupy.

OWS is an anarchic protest, and if you do not agree with a protest that is apolitical at its core and does not want to work with politicians by making demands to the government, and does not want to support candidates running for the upcoming election, then you should not be part of OWS.

Indeed, why march in support of a protest you do not agree with? Doesn't this represent a clear lack of integrity? Would a pro-gay person march in an anti-gay protest? No, of course not, he would start a pro-gay protest of his own or join an already existing one.

It bewilders my mind why so many here want to co-opt OWS and make it political. Are you so weak that instead of doing the hard work of starting a protest that espouses your beliefs, you'd rather profit from the work of others like Mr. Graeber by co-opting his protest and trying to make it into something which is essential diametrically opposed to what it currently is?

Political to apolitical is like theist to atheist. You guys are like a bunch of theists entering a meeting of atheists and trying to make them believe in God. Why? WTF? Just go to a church by yourselves, and leave the poor atheists alone already!

58 Comments

58 Comments


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[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I assume you recognize this.:

"Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement. It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale.

We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence. We provide a forum for peaceful assembly of individuals to engage in participatory democracy. We welcome dissent.

Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street."

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21393) 2 years ago

David Graeber is also the person who came up with the phrase "We are the 99%." Well, we sure aren't the 99% if we exclude the people you want to exclude.

What you want to do is shrink the movement. Purify it yes, but shrink it also.

[-] 1 points by lkindr (58) 2 years ago
  • You say: We don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society. But we do need people. The people are supposed to be self-governing. We are the "government". We're supposed to elect people from among ourselves to represent all of us, not just some of us. But the election process has been corrupted and doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
  • Words like politician, government, anarchy etc are largely meaningless. What we want is a society that stops and prevents all kinds of abuse.
  • I think the most promising means of achieving our goal is by being politically active at the town or county level (using win-win/consensus), elect our people to office at that level, end abuses of power there, then do the same at the state level and ultimately the national level. And this applies in all nations.
[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Wasted space. moving on...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago
[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

A pearl can grow around a grain of sand.

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

Thousands of people march with OWS without even thinking about anarchy. They march because they (like OWS founders) are fed up with 1% rigging the system against the 99%. Because they stand with OWS founders against the 1% corp destroying our environment, because they want the 1% banksters prosecuted, because they want affordable health care, they want affordable college, They want fair cr card interest rates. Some will agree that we need a 3rd party. Some want to tear everything down, most acknowledge the corruption of both parties. And most are progressives who know the D's might be co opted to serve their natural supporters (progressive OWS sympathizers). and that the R's are too far gone. You see? we agree on most issues but many of us do not agree on how to get their. Got it?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

OWS is open to many more viewpoints than the one you mention, though I don't for a minute think you believe in what you write.

The NYCGA forums and this one present a spectrum of opposing political thoughts and differences of opinion. OWS is not a homogeneous group that easily fits into the closed confines of your mind. The group consists of various people of many political persuasions but unified in their quest to obtain justice for the working class.

I am an anarchist but accept the arguments of others, who seek the same goals, as family members arguing on alternative methods of building a new house.

Most of the posters on this and NYCGA forums want to see our society change for the better. We may disagree about the methods but we're all headed for the same place.

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[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Well, the question then becomes, if OWS does not intend to work within the political system, by what means does it intend to supplant it? And with what? Whatever their value, protest marches in a few cities do not in and of themselves create change -- the reality is that few people pay much attention to them. They must necessarily be followed by something that is the real agent of change, or is the change itself.

So, the question is, if OWS isn't going to work within the system for change, what's it going to do instead? Beyond general statements about inequality, what is its vision for the future? How does it intend to imprint that vision on American society? How does it intend to gain the necessary popular support in a country of 300 million people? By what mechanism does it propose to turn the gears of society to make it all work?

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

Thousands of people march with OWS without even thinking about anarchy. They march because they (like OWS founders) are fed up with 1% rigging the system against the 99%. Because they stand with OWS founders against the 1% corp destroying our environment, because they want the 1% banksters prosecuted, because they want affordable health care, they want affordable college, They want fair cr card interest rates. Some will agree that we need a 3rd party. Some want to tear everything down, most acknowledge the corruption of both parties. And most are progressives who know the D's might be co opted to serve their natural supporters (progressive OWS sympathizers). and that the R's are too far gone. You see? we agree on most issues but many of us do not agree on how to get their. Got it?

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Fair enough. But the question remains: What's the game plan for getting from here to there? You can't just ignore everything in between. That's where the real stuff happens.

[-] 0 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

We get from here (inequity) to there (fair true representative govt) By protesting, getting pols/candidtates to go on the record regarding the issues we support, more protesting, hold those that win election to their promises with more protesting. If not recall. or vote out next election. If other pols vote against our needs. we target them with protests. It will take years. Until them perhaps a viable 3rd party/way will emerge. and I will be there.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

That's one of the few real answers I've gotten. And it necessarily implies some fort of organizational effort to support some candidates and oppose others, or to run your own candidates. That, and the details of what's to be done,is what's entirely missing from most of the discussion.

[-] -1 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

Ignorance is not a defense.

OWS has been clear from the beginning that it's an apolitical protest, that they won't make demands, that they don't support politicians, that they don't want to work with politicians. If you march in the street for OWS, it means you support them whether you agree with these things or not. It's the same as a pro-gay marching in support of a anti-gay protest. It makes no sense.

What I really don't understand is why you are so hard headed about wanting to march in support of a tactic and philosophy you are against? And, why are you trying so hard to co-opt to protest in order to make it political instead of apolitical? Why don't you start your own protest, or join one that already is what you want it to be.

Do you believe a theist should spend his time in atheist reunions complaining that they should all become theists? That's pretty much exactly what you are doing here.

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

I thought OWS had no leaders? No ones asks me to declare any position/tactic when I go to marches. I think you are mistaken about what they expect from their fellow marchers. You don't speak for them! Right? I agree with OWS on the issues. I agree with much of there view on the state of the govt, I don't agree on all their ideas about solutions. OWS ny has put out a statement that they are against citizens united. Thats like a demand. Maybe you just don't know what you are talkin about. Maybe you just don't like my politics and are still trying to silence me? That seems more likely.

[-] -1 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

I thought OWS had no leaders?

That's because you don't know much about OWS, and/or are very naïve. Did you also think this site was run on principles of community?

No ones asks me to declare any position/tactic when I go to marches.

Marching for a particular group implies that you support the core philosophies of that group. Again, ignorance is not a defense. If you march alongside an anti-gay group, then you are lending your support to that group. It's your responsibility to find out what OWS stands for before you march alongside them.

OWS ny has put out a statement that they are against citizens united. Thats like a demand.

That's not a demand, it's a statement. OWS has also said they are against certain bank practices, again not a demand but a statement. OWS does take positions on certain issues, it just doesn't ask the government to solve the problems it points out. It wants the community to solve those problems.

Maybe you just don't know what you are talkin about.

Maybe, but it seems like it's the other way around. You don't seem to know much about OWS and your definitions are all upside down.

Maybe you just don't like my politics and are still trying to silence me?

Why would I try to silence you, that's impossible. No, I'm trying to show the other readers that you're wrong by providing strong arguments.

I don't have a problem with you being political, I have a problem with you being at the wrong protest and trying to co-opt it to suite your philosophy and your needs. Be political, but do it in a political protest!


People like you have no integrity. You would never see an anarchist go into a political protest and try to co-opt it to suite his needs. They have integrity. They start their own show. You could learn a lot from them.

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

Accusing me of no integrity is just more personal attacks. OWS has no leaders! period. I can march where I please. OWS and I agree on all the issues/statements I have read. And if you think the statements aren't demands that these things change what do you think? Do you think OWS statements mean they want these problems to continue? Stating our position on these issues and dealing with the population IS politics. OWS is not apolitical! YOU are wrong. period. Many of the founders may prefer anarchy and tactics that amount to tearing down the existing system but no consensus has emerged that is viable. When it does I will be there. We are the 99% you are a 1% tool. You cannot silence us. we are legion! We will not forget! We will not forgive! you will be assimilated. Support OWS. Vote out pro norquist politicians

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26414) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

LOL - you will be assimilated - AHhahaha - I think you just gave his neurosis a tweak.

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

I don't think he understood it. ;)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26414) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yeah - he has little to no contact with reality. {:-])

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

It is a pretty good measure/sign that he doesn't really have a progressive bone in his body. I suppose it is no guarantee but I think it is a pretty good measure.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26414) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I believe that it is starved for attention and will argue any side of any issue to get the attention. That is why it oft time gets lost in an argument or a stance it has taken.

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

yeah. maybe I should give it a rest.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26414) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Don't get me wrong it can be good R&R slapping down an idiot. Some times it is even helpful and productive depending on how you do it. I think for the time spent you made many good and valid points.

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

When I get tired or have to do something I stop.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26414) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes it can be quite the cardio work-out. They are to dumb to know when they have lost and they figure that if you are messing with them then you are not getting anything done. Funny they never seem to grasp that exposing them is educational and therefore beneficial - they also do not realize that slapping them is not very hard and leaves plenty of time to do other things..

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[-] 1 points by po6059 (72) 2 years ago

mrs barry can plow a field by herslf, no mule needed.

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

OWS certainly has leaders. Thras is right. Go read the NYCGA site. Read the forums and minutes there. Those are the people making the decisions so they are the leaders.

Of course you can march where and when you please. But I think the point of the post is that ultimate goals of the anarchists running OWS may be different from your own.

The anarchists know what they want and how to get there. That's why the movement is apolitical and has no demands. Anarchists aren't interested in politics, the election or demands of government, or solving problems in or with government. They are just allowing some others to ride on their wave.

Just because there are more regular protesters than there are anarchists (presumably anyway) doesn't make the movement not anarchist. It's still their wave. They're just allowing some others to ride it. It's good promotion.

Thras isn't a 1% tool. He didn't make the decision that the movement is apolitical. The anachists did. He's just pointing it out. You are riding their wave.

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

We are the 99%. No body can stop us. Not you, not Thras,or his many logins,not Anarchists(they can't organize),not republicans, The people united will never be defeated. If we begin to make change through reform of the existing corrupted system and do so in the name of OWS, whose wave is it? I have no regard for these discussions about what does OWS stand for? How many anarchists? are there leaders? Demands statements? It's all distractions. My experience shows that the people who protest. the vast majority know what has to change, they know we might have a chance by pressuring D's to serve us. and they are gonna try. When the anarchists get there act together we will be there. They have to come to consensus yet. so there. Work with us if you really believe in the change you claim to want and stop attacking us for some perceived violation of the anarchistic foundations of the non existant leaders.

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

I'm not trying to stop anybody from anything. Thras isn't trying to stop anything. He's just pointing out facts. Why would anarchists want to stop the movement? They started it.

Anarchists can't organize? Why do you think that? I think they have pretty good organizational abilities. I don't think non-heirarchical organizations are as effective as hiearchical organizations. But that doesn't mean that anarchists lack organization skills.

Whatever change might come about in government, as a result of OWS, is a byproduct along the way, of the anarchists end goals. I don't think they mind. But it's not their goal.

It's their wave because it's their rules and they're the leaders. So it's their wave.

'When the anarchists get their act together' - The anarchists already do have their act together.

'They have to come to consensus yet' - regarding what?

You seem to have a negative view of anarchists. You imply they want to stop 'us'. You say they don't know how to organize. And you seem to be bothered discussing the fact that anarchists started the movement and are running it. Why?

[-] 1 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

I'm not bothered discussing anarchists, or that they founded OWS. I just don't see the value. I don't think anarchists are trying to stop me I just mentioned them in case they would. and to show that I dont care who might try to stop me or the natural growth of OWS. Anarchism always gets bogged down in circular arguments. I prefer discussing the issues that affect the 99%. Like wall st corruption. Support OWS Vote out anti fin regulation politicians

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

I see what you mean. But...

'I just don't see the value' - the foundation of the movement is anarchist. The principles that are used to operate the movement are anarchist. The leaders are anarchists. Don't you think this affects the direction, actions and outcomes of the movement? Maybe that's why it's valuable to discuss it.

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

Discussing the issues that hurt the 99% is valuable. The anarchist discussion is a distraction. We are of many political persuasion, open to all.We may not all agree on the tactics but we all agree on the issues that hurt the 99% like money in politics. Support OWS Vote out pro citizens united politicians.

[-] -2 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

Accusing me of no integrity is just more personal attacks.

It's a statement of fact. A person who supports a protest that does not share his or her beliefs has no integrity.

OWS has no leaders! period.

That's pure nonsense. If you knew how OWS operated, you wouldn't say this. You sound like a naïve teenager. Take a day to read the NYCGA minutes and tell us if you still think they don't have leaders.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Are you and perhaps a few delluded friends angling to be the dictators of the people's movement perchance? Just curious.,

[-] -1 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

No. OWS already has its dictators in place. I'm not interested, nor do I have time to lead OWS. I'm glad to leave that job to people like jart and the other anarchists who have a stranglehold on the movement.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

LOL

[-] -2 points by 8675309 (-5) 2 years ago

Fuck off, pro-regime plant.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

No, you need to look in the mirror if you want to see the plant. That is if you don't vomit all over the damned thing.

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

Naive teenager"? more personal attacks. I do share the beliefs of OWS. Ive said that several times. You just can't wrap your republican head around that. When OWS has an anarchistic solution I WILL be there. Can you name a leader? NO. You can't. Support OWS. vote out anti 99% politicians......... You republican!

[-] 0 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

Can you name a leader? NO. You can't.

The leaders are formed by a small group of anarchists from NYC. Jart is one of them. Just look at this website. Is is community run? Not really, it's run by jart and that's pretty much it. There's no rotation. She'll be there forever. There's no vote on what changes or what doesn't. She has full control. Same goes for the news part of this site. They have a few anarchist writers. You want to contribute an article, forget it buddy. They control it tight wrapped.

You really are naïve. I bet you never took a second to read the NYCGA minutes. I bet you never went to a GA at all. Just a couch protester.

I do share the beliefs of OWS. I

One of the core beliefs is to be apolitical. You do not share that belief.

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

I've read it all, I've been to countless meetings/marches. wrong on all counts. So if you think they have leaders then you believe they aren't anarchists? I don't get it. But you know what? I don't care. That they have no leaders works best for me. I'm gonna do what I want because I AM an anarchist (in this regard at least) any group that attempts to create change for the people with the people IS political. Sorry. It's kinda by definition. Perhaps you mean they don't agree with workin in the system?

[-] 0 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

So if you think they have leaders then you believe they aren't anarchists? I don't get it. But you know what? I don't care.

You really are young and naïve. Your still a virgin right? You see, in real life, there's always a difference between theory and practice. Christians aren't necessarily the most holy people out there, even if they keep talking about how one must be good. Similarly, it's not because an anarchist talks about how we must distribute power that he, himself, is not a power lover. In fact, some of the most evil people in the world are Christians, and some of the most power hungry people in the world are anarchists. However, you would already know this if you actually had met some anarchists. You obviously have not.

Anarchists are some of the most authoritarian people you will ever meet. This site is a great example. It's run by jart. She bans who SHE wants and what posts SHE wants for whatever reason SHE wants. Nobody else has a say. It's not a community effort. The last forum I was on was much more democratic. They had 4 moderators and when one gave you a ban he had to send you an email to explain why, and if you wanted you could defend yourself at which time all 4 mods would review the case and make a vote. I'm not complaining about bans, I'm just saying that there's not much anarchy on this forum. It's the complete opposite, complete totalitarianism. Jart's the boss.

If you ever have the chance to discuss an issue with jart or some other anarchists who started OWS, you'll quickly realize they are some of the most close minded people you will ever meet, and some of the most power hungry. Good luck having your ideas implemented. With OWS, its the anarchy way or the highway.

In this "community" group, you're nothing.

[-] 2 points by VQkag (930) 2 years ago

I'm not so much interested in your personal problems with this forum. What forum were you on that was good? That I would like to know. I'm not interested in what level of anarchy the people who run this site engage in. I'm only interested in the issues that affect the 99%. This movement will grow organically/naturally. If that means mostly anarchists pushing for recreating the system, so be it. If that means mostly progressives who want to reform the existing system by co opting one of the parties so be IT. Anarchists can do nothing about it. Because there will be obvious consensus either way. If they really want power they will embrace the prevailing direction.

[-] 1 points by lkindr (58) 2 years ago

If this site doesn't want political activists involved, it needs to say so clearly somewhere on a page labeled Our Purpose or something like that. I don't see anything like that on this website.

[-] -2 points by llllIlllllllllllllllllllllllll (-44) 2 years ago

Read the forum rules. There's a link in huge letters in the main part of the forum. If you can't see it, book a trip to your optometrist.

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

I'm pretty sure that anarchists want an anarchist society. I guess they think in time, and by gaining enough support, it will evolve. Break down the current system, in the figurative sense, by not participating in it. Develop their own mini society and grow it. Or, if that doesn't work, perhaps by force.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

No doubt that's what they want. But then, the question is, by what mechanism do they intend to achieve that? It's a long, long road from here to there, and if you haven't got some roadmap for getting there, it's all idle talk. You're not going to change 300 million minds in a country that spans a continent by running a website and having demonstrations in a park in NYC.

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

I've talked with anarchists here that say they know it will take a long time. Lifetimes even. I think the road map is build mini societies and grow them. Go to the NYCGA website, the Working Groups, will give you an idea - Occupy Farms, The Peoples Kitchen, Legal, Media, Medical, Accounting. Within each Working Group is a Forum. There is some interesting discussion there. Some minutes posted of their meetings. Some of the more active ones I've noticed are Direct Action, Accountability and Transparency. Some of this is necessary for operational purposes of the movement. But it's also the basis of attempting to create an alternate society. The idea of the GA's is their idea of an alternative form of government. Using Direct Democracy.

This website doesn't really have anything to do with OWS officially. It's just a nice website. An 'affinity group', that supports OWS. The demonstrations/direct actions are for promotional purposes.

[-] -1 points by llIlllllllllllllllllllllllllll (4) 2 years ago

Well, the question then becomes, if OWS does not intend to work within the political system, by what means does it intend to supplant it? And with what?

Excellent questions. Finally, someone on this forum who can think. Welcome, fellow thinker.

I can't answer you except to say that OWS says it wants to create a revolution and that it is inspired by the Arab Spring protests in which four governments were toppled. This leads me to believe they want to create a political revolution. Another thing that points in this direction is the fact that OWS is more interested in creating an Us vs Police discourse than of talking about Wall Street or other problems. Indeed, most of their work is based on creating a story of "police confrontation".

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

If the goal is to gain popular support by creating a narrative of police state oppression, in my judgment OWS is doomed. Annoyed and angry though people may be at the government, few if any regard this as a police state, and few if any are likely to be so persuaded by demonstrations that are intended to provoke a police response. To the contrary, it will have the effect of turning popular opinion against OWS and its goals.

OWS would do well to study the example of the Weather Underground and the Days of Rage. The popular movement headed by the SDS was effectively destroyed by those tactics. Go here:

http://www.markrudd.com/

Read what this man has to say. He was one of those people, and can speak to these things far more fully and eloquently than I can.

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

Why don't you call him and tell him to come here and have his say?

I sure don't believe a known bot runner and sock puppet abuser like yourself.

You may actually be correct, but your methods are cowardly and detract from whatever message you are trying to impart.

[-] -3 points by llIlllllllllllllllllllllllllll (4) 2 years ago

Why don't you call him and tell him to come here and have his say?

He already does have his say, his quote is on the front page of this website. In any case, Graeber and the other anarchists who organize OWS do not convene on this website. They use reedit channels. That's where OWS decisions are made. This site means nothings, it's just talk in the wind.

I sure don't believe a known bot runner and sock puppet abuser like yourself.

Don't use logical fallacies to attack the proposer, if you wish to reply answer my arguments with properly constructed counter-arguments.

P.S. I created this username so that anybody could easily create a Thrasy sock puppet using the l / capital i trick. Thing is, my hope is that this site gets infested with many Thrasy copiers using this llll name. This way, when you respond to them you will be forced to use arguments of worth instead of logical fallacies like ad hominem. Indeed, imagine if everyone here at the same username? Ah! Then you would have no choice but to user proper discourse. Your slanderous ad hominem attacks would be impossible. That is the goal of sock puppets. To hide to proposer.

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

You are a logical fallacy. You are a sock puppet.

All you've provided are lies and rhetoric. No real meat in any of them.

No real though to chew on.

Being a coward is something of a fallacy in and of itself.

You're only consistency is in your lies, and those are just talk in the wind too, after all, you're here..

And if it's just talk in the wind, why support the usage of bots?

Why bother with sock puppets?

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[-] -1 points by CarlosFenito (36) 2 years ago

Excellent point.... want a pretzel?

[-] 1 points by CarlosFenito (36) 2 years ago

can we call you "III" for short?

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Just call him Thrasy. This is his (her?) new moniker.

[-] -1 points by llIlllllllllllllllllllllllllll (4) 2 years ago

His, not her. Ya, just call my Thrasy. I use 30 l's and/or capital i's in a row for two reasons.

  1. If I am banned, I can come back with essentially the same name.
  2. Anyone can easily create a sock puppet to imitate me by using the i/l trick.

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