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Forum Post: What is Occupy movement: founders of Occupy, 20k people in GA's, the 43% of Americans who support Occupy or is it this website?

Posted 6 years ago on Feb. 24, 2012, 12:34 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

*The following isn't really advocating for a position. It's simply gathering in one place the genuine questions that seem to be on the lips of many who support the Occupy movement. I believe that this can be a healthy and productive discussion no matter which side of the debate you're on.*

Here are the genuine questions I keep hearing people ask:

Will the Occupy movement always and forever be defined the way it was in September 2011 when this all began? Or will the definition of the Occupy movement evolve? What are the positives and negatives to standing firm on the one hand and evolving on the other?

What is the Occupy movement:

  • the founders of Occupy?
  • the 20,000 people in GA's around the country?
  • the 43% of Americans who support the particular Occupy goals of getting the money out of politics and addressing the widening wealth gap?
  • or this website?

Who determines the answer to that question? Is this movement what one or another group on the list above SAYS it is? Or is it what it ACTUALLY is (measured by number of supporters)? If 43% of the American public think it's a movement to get the money out of politics and address the dramatic and increasing wealth gap then doesn't that become what the movement is? And doesn't that inform our methods? OR, if all the GA's have consensus of what defines the movement, doesn't that forever define what Occupy is and will be?

Whose voice will carry the day regarding the issue of the national assembly being held in Philadelphia this summer? Whose voice should carry the day? What's best for the movement? What's best for the country? What's best for the citizens? Are people who support the national gathering in Philadelphia falling prey to something that FEELS GOOD or something that's actually good? Are they actually undermining the very cause they claim to support?

Is getting the money out of politics and addressing the widening income gap enough? Should we be setting the bar higher? Should we be seeking a total paradigm shift to direct democracy / Internet voting on every issue on a slate determined by some group of people? Or should we maintain the general framework of our founders and simply work to extricate the corporate hijackerswho have inserted themselves between we the people and our government? Which group is in position to define "what occupy is" now? Who will be in that position this spring? How about in July?

Who gets to define "who's a real Occupy supporter"?

What if millions of Americans get behind specific action steps that will help get the money out of politics and address the wealth gap? Will the people in the GA's attempt to stand in the way of that momentum? And, if so, will they be successful in keeping the movement on the direct democracy course (every citizen voting on every single issue) rather than representative democracy?

Is there a point at which the overwhelming momentum of the movement prevents the GA consensus model from controlling the movement?

And finally: Will our slogan in the end be "We are the 100%?" Isn't it true that the 1% are just as much slaves to the current system as we the 99% are? Aren't the 1% actually to be pitied because they still retain the delusion that materialism will suffice? Shouldn't we have compassion for them both from a moral/spiritual standpoint and also from a practical "let's get things done" perspective?

To me, no matter what side of this evolving and escalating debate you're on, the questions are relevant and the answers will be fascinating. Please share your thoughts on where this is going and why.



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[-] 11 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

This forum, in my opinion, is a communications hub.

Kind of like a shipping hub or transportation terminal.

Meaningful issues are brought up discussed and shared. They are brought into the light of day here from all over the country and from all over the world. They also go out from here to the country and the world using other hubs/terminals ( social media ). This is not Vegas - What you say here does not necessarily stay here - topics, views, actions, plans they all can travel.

This is a gathering and exchange point. Not just for issues but for proposed action to be taken. Some of it is planning and organizing events some of it is bringing in for participation sharing and circulation of direct action items such as on-line petitioning and lobbying opportunities.

We may not be the Heart we may not be the Source, but "WE ARE A TRIBUTARY CONTRIBUTOR".

[-] 5 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

'Here, Here'..! Now,... Let's get the Word out..... "Whistle Blowers..Welcome!"

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Morning Marlow. I must say you look to be in fine form this AM. Thanks for the shout-out.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

That would be really great! I've been hoping to see that for some time now. Here's a place where the decent people, unfortunately stuck working for rapacious bastards, can out-them without fear of discovery (as long as they don't do it on an office computer).

[-] 2 points by Riley2011 (110) from New Britain, CT 6 years ago

DKA- excellent post. I know that this forum, when I first read it, made me start thinking about the role of banks an government in my personal life. I cut up my credit cards and they are almost all paid off. When I read articles about government control of prices and the high cost of fruits and vegetables...I am making myself buy local , otherwise I am growing food this summer. I will not have a car payment after my car is paid off....reading about foreclosures has honed me in on the goal of paying off my house in 5-6 years. I have attended meetings and have protested, but this site has made me think as ideas have been exchanged. I think that this site is a great way to filter out the media.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Thank you for giving me a shout out return comment. You have done a great deal in moving forward and in presenting a positive attitude on how to regain not only control of your life but also our society. I was raised on the belief of cash and carry whenever possible. This was a lesson taught to me by the experience of others who lived through the Great Depression.

This site can be very good at providing light of day truths - but be aware that there are those who would twist the truth and present propaganda. This is by no means a safe harbor in a storm. So be aware of what is presented to you. That being said there are an awful lot of good people who meet here and exchange good information and ideas.

The following is something I am working on in regards to planning action and moving forward: ( what do you think? - you need not answer )

But it seems pretty simple to me - that we take the same attitude that goes into participating in a GA and in participating in OWS, Occupy, & 99% and apply that to our current system of Government. It does not matter who is in office as long as they are working for the "People". That is our dog in this fight.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

You might also like to visit this post as well: http://occupywallst.org/forum/mercury-poisoning-another-benefit-from-fossil-fuel/

The post you are on now if you scroll through it will give you some idea of the typical interactions on this site. As will the link I attached above. The one above is one I introduced as a direct action request.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Any truly wishing to affect change will neglect no tool at hand, for lack of knowing its maker.

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

Many questions, therising. Many questions!

I think the whole point of Occupy not having leaders and a definitive direction is so that it remains open to the needs of our society. It is somewhat amorphous so that it can change and evolve as needed.

The Occupy movement is much bigger than it’s founders or the people in the GA’s or the 43% of Americans who support it’s goals or this website. In my mind it is the result of a needed transformation to our economic system and society to keep pace with the move away from an industrial period to a more technological and informational period. It will take time and people are very impatient. That is why they ask so many questions.

I also think it is less important how many people “support” the movement than how many people are actually “represented” by the movement. I truly believe that this movement represents 100% of people. Why? Because even though the 99% phrase is brilliant and even though we are kind of imploring the 1% to come around to the needs of the 99%, in the end, a better world that has more fairness would be beneficial to all people. They may not realize this now, but a system that offers fairness to all would make the 1% happy too. It is an inclusive movement seeking to better a society, that, let’s face it is enshrined in malaise.

Getting to practical matters, I think getting money out of politics should be the first goal of the movement. It trumps many other issues and could help resolve many other issues. Do the GA’s have too much power, too little power? I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure it’s an important question. I think when you’re fighting a war you need to use many different tactics from many different angles, and so, I’m not going to criticize anyone’s attempt to make change. I think things will happen organically if you let people do what they are good at. For instance, on this forum, I think it is quite valuable that we all have different approaches to how we deal with, say, our normal opponents, and the trolls (not all opponents or skeptics are trolls, certainly!). If we all took the same approach I don’t think we’d be very effective.

So, to sum up, for the moment, Occupy has changed the discussion in this country and that is powerful. Occupy is all over the United States and all over the world. This is no small thing. Everyone is talking about income inequality and getting money out of politics. Do we need much bigger change to our economic system? I think so, but it will not happen overnight. Patience, my friends.

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Nice comment through and through.

You have a Beautiful Mind - beautifulworld.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I second that motion! Thanks, BW!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Thanks for joining my shout out.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

Shucks. Thanks, DKAtoday. You do too.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Gawrsh . . I'm gonna blush.

I will give you just two hours to stop sending me compliments. ( not really, I can't get enough ).

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Well laughter is good too! ( if that is all I can get, so be it ).

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

You are too silly.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Why thank you for pointing that out.

A man has just gotsta know his limitations ( Dirty Harry ).

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Your doing a great job here DKA, you really are. I hope someday we can have a beer together! Thanks.

BTW, hows the weather up dere treatin ya?

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Well I actually saw some of that mysterious frozen white stuff falling out of the sky. This winter (?) has been very mild ( almost non existent ) which has been fine for my health, but I do not think it bodes well for this spring's water level. We are several years behind on our rain fall and the Lakes are low.

Thank you for the compliment, I would enjoy meeting and having a brew. Perhaps someday. I enjoy your input on this forum. Stimulating to say the least.

[-] 2 points by rayl (1007) 6 years ago

very nice!

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 6 years ago

therising, this is a GREAT topic/thread... and beautifulworld's post here is a Beautiful response.... I am personally deep into some coding right now... and I can't switch hat's very good right now... but I'll add my 2 cents in a couple days... I also have a few ideas of where I believe OWS is heading ... ;)

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

Thanks, BradB.

[-] 5 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

Important question. Maybe the most important one I've seen.
My answers are TOTALLY subjective.
We are like a tree - roots, trunk, limbs, leaves.
Many parts working together.
BUT - We MUST evolve.

I have met hundreds of activists who have worked to
As a member of the anti-Vietnam war movement, it took us year
OWS took 4 months.

but now the tough love
education, military, jobs, taxes, medical. . . . . . . . . .
is blocked by EXACTLY one thing - MONEY IN POLITICS
It is now time to mature and follow through
we know the goal -
achieve the goal - get the money out !
don't get diverted by long term goals
achieve the goal - get the money out
don't get pushed around by anarchists
achieve the goal - get the money out
don' t devote massive resources into anything else
achieve the goal - get the money out
be prepared to change our menthods and processes
achieve the goal - get the money out

Various polls have shown public support for a
Constitutional Amendment at the rates of 74% to 93%


we know corporations are not people
they know corporations are not people
we know superPACS are drowning our political system
they know superPACS are drowning our political system


give the people specific help to move the constitutional amendment through congress - SPECIFIC INFORMATION
we know the goal -
achieve the goal - get the money out !


until this goal is achieved, all else is trivial

[-] 4 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Cool. What happens after that? Any mechanisms we can put on place to prevent future hijackings of our system by corporate interests ?

[-] 5 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

If you join our group........................

That actually is a GIVEN!
Corporations are created by state LAW
Corporations, since 1886,
have been using the courts and activist judges to acquire "constitusional" rights and power
It is not well understood - but vitrtually every element of corporate personhood was created in a COURT
With the SCOTUS Citizens United, we are powerless - because of the powers the courts have given to the corporations.

Getting rid of CU will erase all of these rights & will enable us to place any limits we want on this game. to name a few OPTIONS
public financing
no lobbying
all donatins must go from a voter to a person HE can vote for
no revolving door
corporations must PROVE their value to the people
corporations may be chartered only a decade at a time
(these last two existed 200 years ago)

[-] 4 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Here is my original list of grievances from September in case you're interested. Maybe some of them jive with yours: : http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/ . This list has received over 2,000 comments, not nearly as many as yours but many of these comments are pretty interesting. By the way, my list was merely a combination of all the good stuff other people were saying during the first two weeks of Zuccotti Park occupation.

[-] 5 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

The Only thing i can Add to this Marvelous Topic and Thread is.. ..

I think ALL Sites that link us to the #ows News AND Forum are invaluable. I have registered at 'CommonDreams.org.. and the Military #ows Sites, ... and Blog on my Message board on my own Site.. I think the Light needs to shine as Many places as Provided to take advantage.

..As for 'One Voice'..

It never is as strong or meaningful as when it comes from the 'Many'.. No ONE Person can stand and speak to so Many Issues that need Resolution.

BUT! .. If we had Whistle Blowers in every Category of Criminal Activity inside our Gov't. , Corporations, ..and Financial Institutions.. EACH would have a POWER Voice to back them up!

I would Suggest we Begin Using this Forum and other Sites to Invite those who KNOW and have Facts to come Forward. Those Are the Voices we need to Hear.

'Today, is the First Day.. of the Rest of Your Life..'

Make it Count! Best to All, and TY 'Front Liners'!! Marlow

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Great points!!!!!!

[-] 2 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

I hope that gets a little Readership.. TY 'Rising'..

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Me too!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

thank you

[-] 2 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

No, TY Matt.. I have read some of your posts, and i have intended to reply in Support of them. Keep up the good Work.

.. Marlow

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Wonderful YouTube clip on this exact subject below. This clip is fantastic......and unbelievable. I agree we should ELIMINATE "PERSONHOOD" LEGAL STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS. It was #8 on my list of grievances. The film "The Corporation" has a great section on how corporations won "personhood status".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SuUzmqBewg . Fast-forward to 2:20. It'll blow your mind. The 14th amendment was supposed to give equal rights to African Americans. It said you "can't deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law". Corporation lawyers wanted corporations to have more power so they basically said "corporations are people." Amazingly, between 1890 and 1910 there were 307 cases brought before the court under the 14th amendment. 288 of these brought by corporations and only 19 by African Americans. 600,000 people were killed to get rights for people and then judges applied those rights to capital and property while stripping them from people. It's time to set this straight. .

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Definitely check out that YouTube video at 2:20 on time clock. Amazing.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 6 years ago

Since you mentioned a CA to get the money out, did you know the below quote (from here: http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/howourlawsaremade.pdf ) does not even require presidential approval?

"When a joint resolution amending the Constitution is approved by two-thirds of both Houses, it is not presented to the President for approval. Following congressional approval, a joint resolution to amend the Constitution is sent directly to the Archivist of the United States for submission to the several states where ratification by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states within the period of time prescribed in the joint resolution is necessary for the amendment to become part of the Constitution."

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

yes- PROPOSE: 2/3 of the house + 2/3 of the senate RATIFY: 3/4 of state legislatures There are over a dozen - already in the house or senate full analysis of all of them & corporate personhood history Corporations are not People and Money is not Speech Working Group


[-] 4 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Wow, what a trenchant post! I guess you have clearly posed the fundamental question which this movemet must now face.

My response is firstly, that I think we can discount the question of this website altogether when it comes to the question of importance. This site is merely a forum where we can hammer out ideas through diologue, and since I feel diologue is the best method of refining ideas, I have a partiality to that process. But we on this forum are nevertheless a relatively insignificant part of this movement, and so if we can agree on that we can proceed to what is really relevent.

The question then becomes, which model is the best for forwarding the movement, the GAs, or the people behind the 99% Resolution.

I have always come down on the side that both of these processes are important, and if they can work together they will both strengthen the movement. But there is a caviat here, and that is whether these separate branches can work together in a spirit of solidarity. This cooperation through clear communication is essential to prevent a counter-productive split in the movement.

If this split doesn't occurr, then all is fine and well, but if it does I think the 99% resolution holds the lion's share of the momentum in it's greater ability to connect that vast percentage of the public who support our aims to the movement, in a fast and productive manner. Therefore, as the movement grows, it may simply overshadow the efforts of the GA's with their model of 90% consensus.

Moreover there is another, more fundamental issue here as you say, which is that of whether the movement wants to preserve our system of representitive democracy. Here I stand firmly with those who advocate the preservation of representative democracy.

The world is simply too complex, tenuous, unstable and divided for this to be an appropriate time to experiment with untried methods of government; no matter how well intentioned. I don't think the public at large is willing to conduct such experiments with their fates, and the fates of all humanity, which is at stake.

Over it's 2,500 years of trial and error, many practical problems of government have been tried and tested by the model of representitive democracy, and furthermore it is the only system that has proven itself capable of holding at bay for long the natural tendency for government to slip into dictatorship, plutocracy, monarchy, or oligarchy.

These last four systems of government have been the primary forms of government throughout human history, and democracy has proven far superior in its ability to promote "Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of Happiness."

That is why I don't believe it would ever be possible to convince the great number of those who support our cause to step out into the uncharted waters of direct democracy, or wise to try to do so; and I think the people are right in their reticence to take such a course of action, in the context of such complex and precarious times.

Therefore I throw my backing behind the 99% resolution, and also add my frevent hope that no division between these two fascets of the movement will occur. Lastly, I genuinely believe that we can work together, with no cause legitimate cause for division, to achieve our mutual goal of restoring democracy to the people, and of forever banishing vested interest from the halls of democratic government.

[-] 5 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 6 years ago

I know I'm preaching to the choir fellow-King but this is for those who didn't hear me say this in one of my very first posts:

I'm a farmer. I know a good machine from a crappy one (read Egypt). But a good machine in the hands of a lousy operator leads to damaged equipment and loss of crop leading to debts and hunger. We're coming out with better machines all the time but keeping the machine I have running productively means I can acquire a state-of-the-art machine sooner. So let's fix the machine we have (the ballot box is your tool box) while we discuss the new machine.

The NGA needs about 10,000,000 people registered online to vote for the 876 Delegates. There was probably about that number watching OWS in early November. There is a magician/silver bullet out there right now, but where???

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Thank you for explaining your situation again. There are so many participants on this forum that it is hard to remember individual stories.

Farms are a key to human life. I was once a farmer in a small sort of way, and it is a grand occupation! City people might think that farm analogies for life are old-fashioned and rediculous, but if they think so they are wrong.

Farming is the quintessential mirror of life, in that it ties everything together. A farmer must be at once pragmatic, philosophical, tough, and spiritually aware of the cycles of life. This is what makes a fully rounded person. Advanced education is not the sum total of human capabilities - far from it. Farming leads one towards an integration of the human spirit, and to self realization, which is the aim of human life.

And so I ask you. Think about it for awhile, and you tell us what that silver bullet will be.

[-] 2 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

Know who the 3rd Largest Exporter of Agricultural Products in the Whole World was from 1910 to 1978?
.. The 'STATE' of California!.. One State out of the World Market!

That's colossal..and it Kept the 'American Dream' up and Running all those Decades.. .. Until... Ronald Reagan became it' s Governor... Know what else?.. The Best State for Free Higher Education was California then too.. Reagan Stopped THAT! .. Guess Where California is now? We dont know.. We're Still Looking for her.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Yes, I know It's a tragedy, and "they" still call that guy "great!"

[-] 2 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

Reagan? Reagan Who?... .. ( It's an example of how a Civilization can stay 2,000 years behind and in the Dark due to Following.. Blindly!)

[-] 1 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

'Kings' you mention our 'Votes'.. Well, ... About That :


.. Nothing is Sacred!

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Wow. If we who are all so passionate about this change we all want can somehow navigate through these rough waters and end up all pulling and pushing in the same direction, that will be a real win. There must be a way. There just must be.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I think the way is to simply disregard our differences to the greatest degree possible, and push in whatever area opens to push in. The OWS GA's need to keep pushing in their way and The 99% in their way, and all of us just need to keep pushing until we get there. I don't see any other path, but I know this - we aren't going away! I really think we have agreement in the broadest sense, enough to push forward in unity.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

I think that pretty mUch sums it up and I agree with you :)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Thanks, I really see no other answer, and I'm glad we're in agreement:)

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Good morning Gypsy, I will be giving detailed comment to this post later, but I want to speak to you first, I think the work we do here is vital to the movement. Message is essential, I say it this way, “This is a war, our ideas are our weapons, I am a blacksmith.” Every army needs blacksmiths to succeed. I know that without the forum the things I have to say will be censored, Al Franken won’t even talk about the stuff I have to say. (I spent half an hour face to face with his producer had all kinds of commitment to bring up how the 15% tax rate was never cut in 2001 but he never did) This is the only chance I have to be heard, I know that message is the only thing that can win in the end, Martin’s marches made it happen but Martin’s speeches keep it alive. This is really not about how we decide but how we combine.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago


[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

We have a way to connect now, the tech people who make this forum possible, have created the possibility of the peoples’ think tank, and like the peoples’ mic we cannot be silenced.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

That's right! You know, what we are doing here is really exciting because it is through one on one dialogue that people really learn. That is why generations raised in front of the TV are so, shall we say, challenged. It is not even so much the atrocious programing they were subjected to, but what they missed out on - the dialogue that always went on in comminities.

That is also a real problem, I think, with modern universites. Even college seniors "learn" primarily by just being parrots of their professors, when by that time their best learning years are mostly over. At what point are they supposed to be mature enough to actually engage in the process? Just repeating the thoughts of others until the age of 21, or so, seems to be more of an effort to prevent learning that to promote it. I'm not putting down advanced education, but merely pointing out what I think is a flaw it it today.

That, I think, is the greatness of what forums like this can contribute. A place where people can actually LEARN from one another!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

When I was in eighth grade my teacher took about a dozen of us and put us in a lit discussion group, it was great. Later I went all through a RN program and never really had that kind of open group, though of course we had “group” projects, but I think you know the difference though and had I not been in nursing might not have had what I did.

As far as TV watching it’s terrible, but sometimes I’m afraid to say anything if I don’t think it will sound as good as dialogue, now that’s indoctrination. Course that just gets me in trouble for sounding stupid. Anyway none of this matters now, hey I got a text coming in......

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Watching TV doesn't, of course, automatically make anyone stupid, but chronic TV watching probably does, and dialogue is just really a fancy name for getting together and talking, as a community. Here is where I think TV has really done us harm. It has become a substitute for that. That is also why Occupy's insistance on public space is very important.

Public space is at the heart of democracy, because it is where people actually get together and "dialogue." We are doing this mostly on the net right now because they;ve kicked us out of "public space." That is why, when we throw the bastards out we must create A LOT MORE genuinely public space!

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

This is very interesting to me because I intentionally haven't watched commercials for about 8 or 10 years (since TiVo came out) and haven't watched TV at all in about 5 years. Incredible how this has affected my view of the world.

I suppose it's evening incredible what my tv watching years did to my worldview. That nihilism that is pushed relentlessly is so clever because it makes people feel there's no hope so they just join materialism treadmill, getting little bursts of dopamine with each purchase, ever more temporary and vacuous. A vicious cycle. More materialism breeds more nihilism and so on.

On the other hand, being in the woods feeds the soul and begins a VIRTUOUS cycle back to the heart, back to the real. Tom Brown, Jr. wrote a wonderful book called the search which describes his childhood experiences and later adult experiences with Stalking Wolf, a full blooded Apache (oddly enough living in suburbs of New Jersey!). Tom Brown, Jr. learn's Stalking Wolf's ways (gotta check this out man, a delightful read and TRUE STORY) and ends up going into the enormous Pine Barrens forest in New Jersey...... Wearing only a loin cloth and a knife....... For a year......... And emerges one year later ten pounds heavier and calmer than a dewy mountain meadow in Montana at sunrise.

During that experience, Brown grew ever more calm. "At some point, I lost the capacity to worry," he says.


I highly highly recommend you order this book today and read it. It is that good. While you're at it, if you haven't read "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" by Kurt Vonnegut, I am confident you would absolutely love it. So fun and timeless. Captures the state of affairs and the way back to the real so beautifully. Captures the humor too. Vonnegut is just so damn on it in this book and it is a fantastic read. Hilarious and incisive. You will laugh out loud dozens of times and I think it will offer even more insight into the Occupy movement and what's possible.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Thanks for these recommendations. I read a lot of Vonnegut when I was younger, but never "Rosewater." I'll check out both of them:)

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

You'll love 'em. Enjoy.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

No I agree, I'm sorry there's some hidden meaning, what I was reffering to is what we hear on TV is hammered out by a group of smart writers and sometimes I catch myself comparing real people to fake ones, forgetting that what the fake ones say has all been planed out, much like the talking heads on "news" shows. I see the double meaning of dialogue now its just that it seems so long since I had one I forgot there was a real life meaning too.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

We live in strange times.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Indeed, I think it will take all our tools. The GAs draw the cameras without those, these days, you might as well not exist. The right has worked a long time to nudge people to think in certain ways, if we can develop good pushback then I think we can change that. If the people, who will be determined to be leaders, go forth and use only their own words I do think we will fail, I have seen bright young people try to build this case so many times before. What seems the stumbling block is how to speak to the high school grad in a way that speaks to his heart, the right spent a lot of time and money getting that part right.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Completely agree. We need to get focused on that aspect. So key.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Much of my education comes from the right, I see the world around me, and I see their version and the difference between the two teaches all I need.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

You sound very afraid of change, you know that it was your representative democracy that got us hear, do you deny this? We have a plutocracy/oligarchy now that came from representative government,. was it ever a real democracy? Representative forms of government are broken by design, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. How can you truly believe that handing your life decisions to an individual human, your representative, can possible represent your true views? This corruptible individual is not you, nor do they even know you.

I can agree that the representative system can be made "less corrupt", and this may be a step forward in the short term, however it is and will always be a surrender position, of those that just are unwilling to take responsibility.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

This is interesting but so vague. How exactly would direct democracy work? Would I need to become an expert on environmental law, health policy, water and land rights, social security, education policy, animal rights, real estate law, social welfare programs, foreign affairs, national parks, transportation, food safety, building code regulations, small business regulation, workplace safety regulation, sewer treatment, etc etc etc?

Because we're still going to need to handle sewage, foreign affairs, workplace safety, food safety, crime and all these issues even under your system which changes the paradigm. Man, we better all start studying. :)

I'm not making light of what you're saying. I understand the sentiment behind it. I'm genuinely curious about how this would work and no one who advocates it has ever been able to answer the issues raised above in any serious way. I'm frustrated because I want to understand what you're going for here.

I don't see how we can all log on to the internet or show up at meetings and vote on these issues if we don't fully understand them. That's why we have people who specialize in various areas represent us.

I'm just not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. I think our republic has great bones. It's a great system. The system didn't get us where we are now. The corporate hijackers did. If someone robs a bank do you close all banks? If someone cheats on a test, do you shut down the school?

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

So your congressman and senator are experts in all of the subjects you list? An expert in even one?!? No, there is no expert requirement to be a "representative" now, so your point is quite moot.

Have you been to a GA? Often in large number groups, working groups are formed, people with an interest in the subject or task at hand get together and come to a consensus on the issues they are tasked with. They then return to the GA and present their results, and everyone can come to consensus on how to proceed. We can devise many ways to deal with tricky issues, and many ways to get more people involved in finding solutions to our problems. Creativity is the one resource that seems unlimited in people. Of course most people have little interest in sewer systems, except when they do not work! However some folks are interested in some subjects that they feel an affinity towards, and they should be free to be heard and to participate in the working on those subjects. It is not, as you keep saying, "voting on every issue" it is the ability to have your voice heard and considered on every issue, every issue you are willing to take the time to understand and participate in. Look at current voting numbers, apathy IS the system today, and rightly so. People are not participating simply because it makes no difference in a system this corrupted.

Now, to turn the tables. I think you know, but just glossed over the fact, that the "99% declaration" group is a splinter group and not the Occupy movement. Often splinter groups are created and manipulated by the entrenched powers to subvert social movements and as the name "splinter" implies divide people. The declaration is difficult to criticize, if you leave process out, However you will notice that even though the most of the goals seem on point, the main focus of the group is to go down that same representative road. Elect representatives as the process of the group itself, and to reform election laws in the current power structure as its main goal. I wish them well, but don't call it Occupy as it is not.

The way in which the decision is made is as important as the resulting decision.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

I have to agree with rising. The GAs are a good way to organize, recruit, and get people educated and involved, but most supporters aren't looking to buy a new car because it has a flat tire. If the fix is worse that the problem, it isn't the right fix. Your fix suggests we ditch our current system for something else. Allow me to quote from my blog...

Going After The Government

This very idea has given rise to the worst of the worst governments. It thrives on anger and blind rebellion to the point of no return. In the newly formed government the chaos does not allow for adequate organization to meet the demands used to insight the overthrow. To retain power a distraction is required and the easiest most primal and effective distraction is often a boogyman that the country must overcome in order to fix everything. In this, the profiteers make uber cash, that cash is your cash. Although no such overthrow has taken place here, the same applies to the perpetual party and power shifting between rival corporate and political factions. "Going After The Government" would only be another cycle of the same old shit.


So what most of us are looking to do is change the flat tire. Follow?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago


I believe that you and therising are essentially on the same page. I believe that you are both trying to head in the same direction. But are bumping heads on symantics.

Take a look at a short conversation I just had. Then consider if we are not already on the same path.

2 points by Riley2011 (58) from Bloomfield, CT 42 minutes ago

DKA- excellent post. I know that this forum, when I first read it, made me start thinking about the role of banks an government in my personal life. I cut up my credit cards and they are almost all paid off. When I read articles about government control of prices and the high cost of fruits and vegetables...I am making myself buy local , otherwise I am growing food this summer. I will not have a car payment after my car is paid off....reading about foreclosures has honed me in on the goal of paying off my house in 5-6 years. I have attended meetings and have protested, but this site has made me think as ideas have been exchanged. I think that this site is a great way to filter out the media. ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink [-] 1 points by DKAtoday (3548) from Coon Rapids, MN 16 minutes ago

You might also like to visit this post as well: http://occupywallst.org/forum/mercury-poisoning-another-benefit-from-fossil-fuel/

The post you are on now if you scroll through it will give you some idea of the typical interactions on this site. As will the link I attached above. The one above is one I introduced as a direct action request. ↥like ↧dislike reply edit delete permalink [-] 1 points by DKAtoday (3548) from Coon Rapids, MN 23 minutes ago

Thank you for giving me a shout out return comment. You have done a great deal in moving forward and in presenting a positive attitude on how to regain not only control of your life but also our society. I was raised on the belief of cash and carry whenever possible. This was a lesson taught to me by the experience of others who lived through the Great Depression.

This site can be very good at providing light of day truths - but be aware that there are those who would twist the truth and present propaganda. This is by no means a safe harbor in a storm. So be aware of what is presented to you. That being said there are an awful lot of good people who meet here and exchange good information and ideas.

The following is something I am working on in regards to planning action and moving forward: ( what do you think? - you need not answer )

But it seems pretty simple to me - that we take the same attitude that goes into participating in a GA and in participating in OWS, Occupy, & 99% and apply that to our current system of Government. It does not matter who is in office as long as they are working for the "People". That is our dog in this fight. ↥like ↧dislike reply edit delete permalink

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

I really am trying to understand where you're coming from. But What you've just laid out is pretty unconvincing. It seems you're calling most of what needs to be done to run a civil society "tricky issues" as though they're somehow rare or unusual. If we're going to use GA's to run our country then we better have more than a vague notion of how we're going to handle the day to day affairs.

The list that I presented above in the comment you responded to lists several dozen specific functions that would need to be handled and those are only a few dozen among thousands.

I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from. Please don't change the subject to something off point. I really want to focus on the issue of direct democracy here. I want to understand how each citizen would know enough to vote on transportation policy, food safety, environmental law, airline regulation, water safety, regulation of financial markets etc.

I think you're wrong by the way about members of Congress not specializing. I worked for my Congress and have direct experience. They do specialize and it benefits their constituents and the nation. The specific work my Congressman did in his area of expertise positively benefitted the lives of thousands of citizens in our district and millions of people in the nation.

He was able to achieve these things because citizens and other members of congress trusted his expertise and judgment. It's a good system. I've seen it work up close. You should really do so before deciding to trash it.

Now you may respond that somehow my congress person ( who is a hell of a nice guy by the way and has received all sorts of honors for being a great leader on all sorts of issues) is responsible for the sad state of affairs today. He is not. Corporations that have exercised undo influence on the American people with mass marketing and undo influence on our political process by stacking the deck in regulatory agencies etc and also by hijacking campaign finance are the ones who got us where we are now.

I realize you may think that somehow GA's can protect against this. And you may be right. But you're going to have to further explain how because the response above was pretty vague as to how this would work. I want to understand how each citizen would know enough to vote on transportation policy, food safety, environmental law, airline regulation, water safety, regulation of financial markets etc.

If you really want this to work and you really want more people to join GA's then please understand that you'll have to make a much more convincing case. I think that's just a fact, not my opinion.

Please don't question my involvement in the movement. I've been as committed as anyone to the cause of Occupy. I drove across the country to deliver two generators at Zuccotti park only a few weeks into the occupation (generators that were later stolen by Bloomberg) and I've spent time at a number of occupations. I've also given a good percentage of my free time networking with other members of the Occupy movement, working on ways for us to unify. I've called for the same unity you have. But oddly, in your response, you seemed to say things that would divide us.

I want us to unify. I really do. There is so much support where I am out west, in the south, everywhere. People across America are ready to help if you, me and the thousands of others involved in this movement will welcome them. We can't make this a GA vs non-GA thing. We need to embrace a diversity of tactics.

Please help me understand how direct democracy works on the specific issues I've listed as examples so I can better understand where you're coming from and so I can better support you and the rest of the movement's fellow supporters. We are in this together my friend. We have a common purpose and a common corporate adversary. Together we can defeat corporatism. I know it.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

let me reiterate "There is no expert requirement, to be a "representative" now." so how does representative gov. improve here? I don't see it. We have all seen representatives unable to explain bills they voted for, or even enunciate what was in them.

Again every individual is not going to be involved in every decision, most people don't have time for things that don't interest them. However when they do, want a say people need to be able to have input into the direction we go.

The point is again that process is everything, getting to a result, if done through unjust means, is not going to result in justice. Only uneven discontent, scores to be settled, that kind of sht.

When I asked if you have ever been to a GA I was not questioning your commitment, just your experience whit consensus decision making. I see no reason not to ditch representative government, it has too many flaws, and so many better ways are possible.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

I'm with the spirit of what you're saying. I love the idea of people being more connected to decisionmaking. But I still can't get from your answer any satisfaction or comfort that there is any plausible way for GA system / Internet voting or direct democracy to handle a modern society. If you're suggesting we all go camping, well, count me in. I love comparing. Some of the best times in my life have been out here in Montana under the big sky with nothing but my backpack and tent. Life doesn't get any simpler or happier than that.

That, I think GA's could handle. The New York City Sewer System, LA freeways, air traffic control policy, ...... I just don't see how GA' s can pull of these. Maybe we just end them. Might be best.

Hey - by the way. If you haven't seen the documentary "HAPPY" I highly recommend. It's splendid and won all sorts of awards. It points the way for occupy almost literally and will be right down your alley. Wait until you see how Bhutan measures their nation's success --- GDP is only one factor. It is balanced by "Gross National Happiness". Trust me. You'll be delighted. It points the way to how we build this new society you're talking about. I'm just as into that as you are. I really am.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Well, I agree that with modern technology we eventually may be able to hammer out a sytem that works better to effectively enact the will of the people, but there has to at least be a framework for stable transition. This country has 5,000 nuclear warheads, and a vastly complex system of resource distribution, etc.

I simply think we can make these changes in a way that don't result in calamity. People are mostly with us on our goals, and if they see we are serious about making change through a safe, non-violent transition, even more will rally to our cause.

The simple truth is that you can't create a system that is proof against the apathy of the public. That apathy is coming to an end, thanks largely to this new technology, and I think we can force through laws and Constitutional Amendments that restore power to the people for many years to come. That could, in turn lead to new and imaginitive ways of making democracy work. Yet I think we must face the fact that future generations will still need to stand up against the forces of greed, and evil; that is as long as those aspects of humanity are are as prevelent as they have been, historically.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

The best way to deal with something like greed is to make it culturally unacceptable. Personally I see wealth individuals as greedy thieves taking more than their share of the limited resources of this small planet. I do not think it is difficult to show everyone that taking more than you need hurts others, and should rightly lead to social ostracisation, or worse. When greed is unacceptable the greedy will self regulate. Unfortunately the media has been pushing the 1% doctrine of wealth worship for far too long. This can be changed.

Apathy as well, is a symptom of a broken system, where we are called once every 4 years to lend our support to the system that gives us one leader from two choices and then lets them run amok. Dis-empowering to say the least and apathy is the logical consequence. When everyone has the possibly to have their voice heard apathy is on the run.

Clinging to a system that is broken by definition will not generate improvements. Only more of the same problems, it is the definition of insanity.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

On the question of direct democracy, I truely believe that that is something that could only be introduced gradually, from a framework of the existing representitive democracy, and probably only to a limited extent. It is something I believe in, in theory, but there are numerous practical problems that would need to be worked out, and I don't believe that we can afford the luxury of turning our government into an experiment in untried process. This seems very clear to me.

There are multiple complex problems of expertise and coordination here, not to mention institutions that have been created through thousands of years of trial and error, and to simply throw them out wholesale would leave us in a position of simply not knowing whether a new system would work, or not. To me that would be unacceptable.

On the other hand, on the question of improvement, and making the democratic process more open and responsive to people's needs, I don't think there is any question that there is a hell of a lot of room for improvement in the system we now have. In short, I am for reform, and the creation of the most reponsive form of democracy possible, but not immediate or wholesale transformation to something completely new in structure.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

I agree.

Morning GK

This is a short conversation I just had and also shared with jph.

2 points by Riley2011 (58) from Bloomfield, CT 42 minutes ago

DKA- excellent post. I know that this forum, when I first read it, made me start thinking about the role of banks an government in my personal life. I cut up my credit cards and they are almost all paid off. When I read articles about government control of prices and the high cost of fruits and vegetables...I am making myself buy local , otherwise I am growing food this summer. I will not have a car payment after my car is paid off....reading about foreclosures has honed me in on the goal of paying off my house in 5-6 years. I have attended meetings and have protested, but this site has made me think as ideas have been exchanged. I think that this site is a great way to filter out the media. ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink [-] 1 points by DKAtoday (3548) from Coon Rapids, MN 16 minutes ago

You might also like to visit this post as well: http://occupywallst.org/forum/mercury-poisoning-another-benefit-from-fossil-fuel/

The post you are on now if you scroll through it will give you some idea of the typical interactions on this site. As will the link I attached above. The one above is one I introduced as a direct action request. ↥like ↧dislike reply edit delete permalink [-] 1 points by DKAtoday (3548) from Coon Rapids, MN 23 minutes ago

Thank you for giving me a shout out return comment. You have done a great deal in moving forward and in presenting a positive attitude on how to regain not only control of your life but also our society. I was raised on the belief of cash and carry whenever possible. This was a lesson taught to me by the experience of others who lived through the Great Depression.

This site can be very good at providing light of day truths - but be aware that there are those who would twist the truth and present propaganda. This is by no means a safe harbor in a storm. So be aware of what is presented to you. That being said there are an awful lot of good people who meet here and exchange good information and ideas.

The following is something I am working on in regards to planning action and moving forward: ( what do you think? - you need not answer )

But it seems pretty simple to me - that we take the same attitude that goes into participating in a GA and in participating in OWS, Occupy, & 99% and apply that to our current system of Government. It does not matter who is in office as long as they are working for the "People". That is our dog in this fight. ↥like ↧dislike reply edit delete permalink

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Good morning DKA,

Thanks for reposting this. It's very good.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Thank you. I'm just your average humble Advocate trying to do his job.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

So instead of untried process (not true, but,.) we should cling to a useless unjust discontent creation system? Where is the logic in that?? I think, your clearly wrong.

The expert argument is weak, as representatives are not experts in all these fields either, but you know who is? Experts in all those fields! So if we have direct democracy or a consensus based system. It would stand to reason that the experts would be interested, and would be able to convince the rest of us that one course of action may be better than another. Right?

Nothing is getting 'thrown out wholesale', the change is happen now. It starts when people think about it,. the we put it into action. Watch as it takes a little time,. .

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

You must understand that I am not opposed to the idea on principle, but as therising pointed out, there would have to be a lot of questions answered . . . like how would one prevent those experts from getting paid to lie in that system any better than in the one we have now, and furthermore, I don't understand the resistance to the gradual introduction of a more direct system, rather than its immediate implementation.

Also, I think it's actually pr- democratic to have the process go one somewhere real and visible, than otherwise. People actually can watch the process take place, and that confims legitimacy.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

Do what you want in the near term,. I am talking about a goal. I just don't encourage any groups that adopt failed structures, as a way to an ends, as the process is all we have,. we may never arrive at a goal but it is the attempt that matters. Have you ever felt done,. for long, before you find another thing?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I agree with you here - why should we ever be "through?" Citizen involvement is the esscence of functional democracy. I hope none of us ever cinsider ourselves "done" with that process. In a democracy, it's what keeps our goals alve, as individuals, families, and communities.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Personally, on the question of wealth, I think a certain amount of wealth, earned honorablly, is acceptable and even good. Furthermore, I think it is inevitable. It is when wealth is earned in unlimited quantities with immoral practices that it becomes intollerable. I would favor a cap on total wealth at, say 5 million dollars, just off the top of my head, and only if it is earned in socially responsible ways.

Otherwise you risk the gray hopelessness of communism, where inovation, industry and the human spirit are stifled, resulting in life losing its meaning and beauty.

Apathy is indeed a sympom of a broken system, but that broken system can in turn be the result of apathy. It is a cyclical process America is now suffering the hangover of the post WWII party, in which people were so comfortable that they lost sight of political engagemnet. We are now paying the price for that loss of engagemt.

You didn't address the question of stability at all, and I think that is paramount, unless, as they said in "The Dark Knight," we just want to see the world burn. The aftermath of traumatic forms of system overthrow often set civilization back for generations, and produce even more suffering then the system they justifiably sought to overthrow.

I don't think, given the already desperate global situation,that we can afford such a period of aggravated decline. The result of that would not only lay waste to the desire to improve the world, but would be a disaster that would lead to a new dark age of survival of the fittest and corporate feudalism; if not outright annihilation. Just the oposite results than those we are striving to achieve.

Finally, I think we need to get this thing of taking back our government over as quickly and painlessly as possible, so that we can finally attack the numerless problems facing our country and our world.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

The situation globally is not desperate, it is made that way by those now in control. The current 'economic crisis' is completely manufactured, as is the resource scarcity from region to region. We already have more than enough resources, and creativity to create an amazing plant for all. We only need to tame the actions of a greedy few, and work on building a culture of sharing and mutual aid. There is no need for this instability you envision in any change of human organizing principles. In fact we are experience exactly what you fear now, under this broken system, I just see the problems as systemic, as rising from the very idea of representative government, where our only participation is to hand our life decisions over to another. Any reforming of that system will inevitably lead us right back to the current problems. It comes from people giving away their participation in the group's decision-making, this will always lead to apathy and to corruption.

Sure, if you must vote Democrat (as the rethugs are fully insane), and try to get your representative to make changes to the system, however this seem futile to me. If you do choose this course, just do not stop working outside that one-off involvement, keep working on other ways to change the system and build alternatives to it. Democracy once every four years is joke.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I have said many times that I only see this as a short term necessity. If we can produce a Democratic landslide in the next election, it will only make the further work we must do, not just easier, but possible. If the Republicans win, I think we will get nowhere. By no means do I see simply putting the Democrats in power as the ultimate solution. We definately need to make those systemic changes you are taking about. I have always believed that, or I wouldn't be here.

What those systemic reforms will be I hope will be hammered out in Philadelphia. This forum is just a place to hash out ideas, and hopefully these ideas will spread through the movement, and help people to make those demands in the most informed manner.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 6 years ago

Great, I am happy to here that. One huge problem is when, say Obama won, many people just slapped their hands together and said well there we did it. Then went to the mall and went shopping, or whatever. I just do not want people to get complacent after small victories.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I understand that concern, but I think people are really determined not to stop until we overthrow the oligarchy's userpation of our government, and it's de-facto world government. THAT is what I see the goal of this movement to be, and why I find it hard to understand why people still seem to be confused about goals. All other progress can only come once this had been accomplished.

That is my goal. That is why I am here.

[-] 1 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

Whoa.. Gypsy! I would Love to know what your Dissertation was on, in College.. .. You are a prolific Writer. .. Marlow

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Leftist 80's college drop out, since then . . .


[-] 1 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

'House of the Rising Sun'.. first song i learned on the Guitar.. 1965.

But i had Peter Paul and Mary.. The Smother's Brothers, and Laugh-in to watch every week.. Now.. it's Jon Stewart. Music and Laughter.. always a 'Truth' meter! .. Marlow

[-] 2 points by freewriterguy (882) 6 years ago

to me occupy forum is a place where people can commmunicate their specific experiences and beliefs because many of us can feel that something isnt right in our society (like the matrix) lol collectively we are more intelligent than any one person. i mean i thought i was smart thru my lifes experiences, but i have learned somethings here also.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

This is a healthy conversation and I think the movement will be better for it. Many other great posts discussing the same topic.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

The next 3 - 6 months seem critical for the movement and the nation. I believe a debate on the above questions could be very civil and beneficial.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Thank you for this very important post.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

What unites virtually everyone in OWS is our disgust with the system.
No need to go thru the litany of details & complaints & demands.
OWS woke up America & the world - almost overnight.
The people I have met and worked with are brilliant & hardworking -
and misguided.
We must put aside our anarchist/liberal/conservative/democratic/republican/green agenda
and put our country first The future of OWS and our supporters rests in one place - we MUST evolve from a document writing, marching, "educating" movement
into a politically active force. AARP, TP, NRA -
look at what they accomplished translating their wants in to successful change.
The prohibition amendment movement,
The civil rights movement,
The voting age movement -
started with marches

We must not be mesmerized by our initial success - turning our past into a religion that worships "process" & " consensus" & "demonstrations"

look at what happened with SOPA - legislatively stalled
TP - with votes took over thr Rs

If you break a leg - you don't throw it out

I would ask everyone - answer one question objectively
how many of our goals would not be 50% closer by getting the money out of politics?

what I find bizare is that this was OWS's first goal &
Americans OVERWHELMINGLY support this (74%-92%)
why are splintering into things that might have difficulty getting 10% support?
If OWS centered on getting a constitutional amendment passed,
America would not just support OWS,
America would see that we are doing what America wants and needs.

Hmmm - is that the definition of a political party?

Join us http://www.nycga.net/groups/restore-democracy
OWS Corporations are not People and Money is not Speech Working Group

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 6 years ago

"why are splintering into things that might have difficulty getting 10% support?"

That's what I would like to know. We need to reach out to those who should be with us but so far have stayed home. We need to address their fears and concerns (the main one is the middle class being destroyed) and feed the flames of their anger. Anger is the great mobilizer.

But we really just go in circles here. I haven't sensed any consensus forming on priority of issues to push (though individuals have made very good suggestions). And I haven't seen any precise strategies coming from the NYCGA either.

Traditional progressive demands like universal healthcare and education funding will not bring the masses into the street. Anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism won't talk to them at all. There has to be a focus on what will motivate others to join us.

And we can't wait on the GAs or the original Occupiers to take the lead, they don't seem interested or able to do that.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

rising I don't remember if you were the person I sent this comment to, but it falls into the action firld.


[-] 1 points by Romka1972 (1) 6 years ago

окупируй интернет чтоб все банкиры и алегархи ведущие свои финансовые махинации охуели с прихода, через интернет можно взять под контроль обсолютно все, для этого много не надо единственное что требуется это обьединение всех протестующих нынешней анти-человеческой политике социальных устоев

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

Why do you combine , " getting money out of politics , and the widening wealth gap" in one issue ? They are two seperate issues.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Isn't the reason we want to get the money out of politics is to reduce the widening wealth gap? The politicians sure won't do the right thing as long they have ask the 1% for money, but the ones that want to reduce the gap and get the money out are mostly the same people.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Who said I combined them?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

direct democracy does not mean that everyone must vote in every issues

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

OK - please explain. People keep telling me that no one can represent anyone else. How can that possibly work? Will we each be experts on water management, city codes, prison reform, solar energy, social welfare programs, debt relief, health care......... I mean... Seriously. How the hell would that work? I haven't seen an adequate explanation and every time I ask someone just retorts "Join a GA." or something like "once everyone joins GA's then we'll review how we're going to get this done.". I'm not directly quoting here of course. But this is what it feels like people are saying when I ask a supporter of direct democracy how it works.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

people can still chose representatives with direct democtacy

I for example could allow my vote to count with therising vote

until I decide therising no longer represents my vote

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

OK...... But how exactly will that help us on mining policy, regulating pollution from factories, education policy, military policy, foreign policy. Are you an expert on that stuff? I'm not. I just don't see how direct democracy would work. Are we all buying tents and backpacks and living simply off the land? If we're doing that, then maybe but otherwise, I just don't see how average citizen like me can be informed enough to vote. We need people who can specialize. Why not just get the money out of politics and let our representive democracy work? Why would we throw the baby out with the bathwater?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

those interested in each policy will make their case to the interested voting public

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I do think we need official representitives. Otherwise people's attention span will wane eventually, and those with a vested interest will eventually begin to hold sway, and the problem will begin again. But I think official representivtives need to be paid minimally, and occupy their positions for the honor of public service, and that ANY acceptance of money fro other sorces should be strictly prohibited. We must pass laws to bring our elected reps. back into line with the ideals of public service, and such that no swaying from that vision will ever be tollerated again.

Senators and congresspeople are just that servants of the people, they are not medieval lords, and they should not be allowed to act as such.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

I really do want to understand. But that's really vague. Aren't majority of issues policy issues? Major stuff, most stuff gets decided at this level. Would most citizens be left out of that? If not, don't you just end up back at representative democracy?

GA's set up kitchens, libraries, medical tents and computer / communications centers. Can you go much further than that with consensus / direct democracy. Even in these small venues consensus often didn't cut it.

I'm not trying to hassle you. I'm genuinely trying to understand what the end game is here.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

one think an internet voting system could conduct is a veto process

when people could to vote on debated decision of their representative

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 6 years ago

just jumping in for a second... I have not read all the posts yet.... but a "People's Veto" solves these problems ... we do need some form of representation ... for 2 main reasons... one, we can't send 300 million people to the capital to (argue) our vote... two, (honest & loyal) representatives can spend full time, with staff... keeping us informed and abreast of the hidden details.. etc.

given a "Peoples Veto" ... we can assemble and overturn any law.. at any time... and further recall any representative at anytime....

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 6 years ago

I currently have a very secure Direct Democracy Voting & Polling system in the works...

The Design & Building of a Secure Online Direct Democracy Voting System (276 posts)


[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

The Occupy movement will remain the same, I think, as far as the list of grievances. Nothing remains the same though. Here is the thing that I love about Occupy. They support or have supported through working with the community through out the country. Occupy is pretty up front, in any given area, where they state that they have split. Other organizations that they have hooked up existed before Occupy and will continue to exist in the future.

I firmly believe that the gathering in Philadelphia is falling prey to something that FEELS GOOD. That is my take on it. I am not in favor of internet voting on every issue---I never have been.

If millions of Americans are willing to get behind one or two single issues, does this mean that we are to remain silent on those that they do not agree with? Mustn't upset those fragile ones, ya know? I'll be damned.

In the end, it should be we are the 100%. Do I see that happening? No.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

All social movements have organizational centers. For example, the organizational center of the labor movement in the United States is the labor unions, but it is also the case in the United States that the labor movement and labor unions are pretty much co-terminous. That is not the case in most industrialized democracies. For example in virtually every other industrialized democracy the labor movement includes not only labor unions, but also at least one mass party of labor as well as consumer and producer cooperatives, associations of socialist intellectuals, women's affiliates, youth affiliates and similar affiliated organizations. Around this is a periphery of unaffiliated individuals who may be occasionally active in one or another of the activities of one of the affiliated organizations. Beyond that are "supporters" who are generally not considered an active part of the movement.

By analogy, support for OWS undoubtedly extends well beyond actual occupiers or GA participants. For example, most local GAs are able to call a demonstration which will involve numbers well beyond those who are regular activists. It seems to me that these people can legitimately be considered part of the movement. On the other hand pollsters variously indicate one level or another of "support" among the general public for OWS. In the absence of any organizational framework, whether or not these folks are a regular part of that organizational framework, this kind of soft "support" cannot realistically be considered part of the movement. This is especially true of an activist movement whose goal is a fundamental transformation of social relations which would require the active participation (and not just passive "support") of the vast majority.

Of course, my views on this are entirely my own and in fact, as one of the basic premises of the OWS movement specifically rejects the notion of representation, nobody can represent anyone else.

Pollock is an offensive usurper. What is especially offensive regarding his approach is his specific rejection of noncitizens, minors and transexuals. Also, seeking "representation" from regions where OWS has virtually no presence is no way to build a politically conscious movement and indeed will undoubtedly only attract the most easily manipulated personalities. That said, I really do have an open mind about his operation and would be willing to change my position depending on how it unfolds.

As Lewis Carroll said in Alice In Wonderland, anybody can define anything any way they want. What matters is who has the power and it is their definition that sticks. In the case of OWS power is defuse and so are definitions. For myself, I believe that more than many other issues, that for a social movement that aims to change the world what matters is active participation not mere passive support, though what actually constitutes active participation is worth considering.

Considering what the few political documents produced by OWS have said and the views of its active participants (people who attend GAs and working groups on at least an irregular basis) OWS is about a good deal more than merely "getting money out of politics" or putting different people in political office, or passing particular bits of legislation or even passing Constitutional amendments. It's about changing the world in such fundamental ways that the new world we envision will be as different from the world today as the world today is from feudal Europe.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Good morning Red, I'd like to provide some feedback if you don't mind. The thing that keeps us from having a labor party is that without a parliamentary system, third parties are just not going to be represented in any number in the governing body. So I am uncertain as to your meaning in pointing out that difference.

To my thinking support will be registered at the polls in November, and broad soft support will in the end be what allows us to win. How to develop that broad appeal so that only those willing to address income inequality can be elected, that should be the primary goal, then to apply pressure on those people, showing them that to oppose us means to lose their seats.

If we censure ideas because we don’t feel the person presenting them has paid enough dues, then we’ve already lost.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

There are all kinds of mechanical reasons why it is very difficult for a new political formation to get off the ground in the United States. There are libraries full of books on just that question. Of course, the lack of a parliamentary system is one point that is almost always raised as a key reason for the lack of the rise of new party systems in the United States, but there are literally dozens of other reasons that are typically raised.

I personally frankly find it more useful to look concretely at how particular third party movements and movements that prefigured third party movements were effectively spiked. What tends to emerge (in my view) is the role of the Democratic Party in undermining the development of a mass independent left politics. It's played this role at least since the days of the Populists. I don't think it is in any meaningful sense conspiratorial. I think it's more that the Democratic Party more or less organically evolved in a way that made it a vessel which effectively contained potentially oppositional politics.

In the first two decades of the 20th century the Socialist Party was roughly as strong as social democratic and labor parties in virtually every other industrialized democracy (some of which had parliamentary systems and some not). What effectively killed it (besides the ineptness of its own key players) was the fact that it became the organizing center for opposition to US entry into World War I and because of that was effectvely smashed by the Justice Department.

In the mid 1930s there were several quite successful state based labor parties. In its earliest incarnation the CIO was stridently independent politically and there was a serious effort to organize a national social democratic labor party in that period based on successful state based parties (the New York State American Labor Party, the Minnesota Farmer Labor Party, the Wisconsin Labor Party, several local urban based labor parties and Cooperative Commonwealth Federations in several states among other formations). This movement was effectively crushed when it was corralled into FDRs New Deal.

In the 1960s there were several serious efforts at political independence and quasi-independence on the part of a burgeoning civil rights movement--the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Loundes County Freedom Organization (the first Black Panther Party) are notable examples. The Johnson Administration in particular was especially effective in containing these independent efforts.

My reading of the very few documents produced by OWS as well as discussions with dozens of full time occupiers (and for that matter reading the hard copy on this web site) suggests to me that OWS is a good deal more radical than many people who contribute to this forum would suggest or perhaps even be comfortable with. Admittedly, this is only my personal perception. I think the kind of change these folks want is a good deal more radical than what happens in November will effect and will probably take at least decades, and perhaps several lifetimes to achieve.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Going back a bit father I believe looking at those times when third partie emerged it came about when one of the two main parties became very weak as the people moved away from their core values, this is how we can do this again, first weaken the republicans then break the dems in half.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

O.K. Thanks for your reply. I'm very curious about what you're saying here. You said that Occupy rejects the notion of representation and nobody can represent anyone else. So we each need to vote on every issue? Will I need to get completely up to speed on immigration policy, land management policy, water and air pollution regulations, transportation spending, China foreign policy, labor law, fish and wildlife management, automobile safety standards, food quality regulations, health insurance law, off shore drilling regulations, etc etc etc ?

How the heck can I be up on every issue? I wouldn't want to vote unless I understood what I was voting on. I think you use very sophisticated language and you're an extraordinarily polite and patient person, but, oddly, the form of government you are advocating seems absurd. It doesn't match your intellectual prowess. I'm asking a genuine question here because I honestly want to understand what makes you say that the "real" participants in Occupy are member of GA's. Who exactly gets to define this? So, even though I've spent time at various occupations, drove across the country to deliver 2 generators to Zuccotti Park a few weeks into the occupation (later confiscated by Mayor Bloomberg), spoken at length with Occupiers in countless cities and have interacted in writing and in person with a great many in the movement, I'm not a part of it? Again, your definitions don't at all seem to jive with your clearly high intellect.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Just look at the hard copy on the home page of this very web site. Curiously, I get the distinct impression that very few people who participate on this forum actually read that stuff, or anything else that the NYC GA produces, or if they do, it would seem that they take it as mere hyperbole, not to be taken seriously, but that is not my experience. When I speak to OWS activists (and I do mean activists and not mere "supporters"--whatever that means) it is very clear that they are revolutionaries, and they are not using the notion of revolution to either connote violence or as mere hyperbole. They are very clearly talking about a social transformation so profound that it is barely imaginable--even to them. I personally don't completely by into their vision, but on the home page of this web site it talks about a GA on every street corner. That is their concept of governance.

And its not about voting, it's about consensus. And no one is required to participate. It is just that participation will be theoretically so easy that we can chose whether or not to go to our neigborhood GA on a particular night.

If there are OWS participants outside of and beyond any of the local GAs, what decision making mechanisms do they have? I very well could be missing something, but I don't see any. That is, right now, besides pollsters randomly asking individuals their point of view about this or that the ONLY decision making mechanism of OWS are the local GAs and their associated working groups. People are certainly free to form GAs where ever they are, where ever they live or where ever they work. Indeed, the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City and this very web site, coming from somewhat different premises, both encourage people to do just that. But indeed, if people have some other organizational framework in mind, they are certainly free to do that, but besides Pollock's rump operation, I don't see much of that happening. (Again, I do not claim to be on top of everything and I could be missing something). But activists functioning completely outside of any organizational framework is an oxymoron. GAs or working groups (or in the case of Ad Busters, a magazine) call an action and people show up, but I don't see that happening outside of any organizational framework and the only organizational framework I see right now are the local GAs and their associated working groups. If there is something else going on that I don't know about I would most certainly like to be informed.

It's not that "membership" is defined from above by anyone. In fact, OWS is not a membership organization. It doesn't require dues or any organizational standards. I'm not suggesting that's a good idea. In fact I think it's very problematic, but it is a fact of life. In 1960 a bunch of college students in Greensboro, NC decided to sit in at the lunch counter of the local Woolworth's. They held several planning meetings. That was their organizational framework. It eventually evolved into the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

About a year ago a few teaching assistants at the University of Wisconsin started demonstrating at the state house against Scott Walker's draconian labor legislation. Like the SNCC students of a half century before they had an organizational structure--the planning meetings leading up to their demos. These very rapidly grew into a mass movement involving tens of thousands (there were also lots of "supporters" who sat home and watched the events on TV as well as people who made material contributions). There were several organizational structures involved in this affair including the official labor union hierarchy, committees of rank and file unionists and other groups not directly connected to organized labor. But the point is, their was an identifiable organizational structure. The only identifiable organizational structure of which I am aware in OWS (and it is deeply, deeply flawed) are the GAs and their associated working groups. I don't see anybody anywhere talking about any other organizational structure excepting perhaps the fluctuating opinions of an amorphous body of soft supporters.

Obviously, given your level of activity you are very much a part of OWS. I don't think it requires one to be at a GA every night to be an OWS activist. On the other hand, just saying you "support" the movement doesn't make you part of it either.

Look at the American state. The President, like every other citizen is entitled to vote in general elections, but one could hardly say that such voting every year is the most important political thing that the President does. Likewise in OWS. If someone devotes a substantial part of their free time to the movement, then they are clearly part of the movement regardless of how many GAs they attend. That said, the GAs are still the only decision making bodies of the movement of which I am aware.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

My main point is this: You are arguing for one point of view and course of action being superior to another. You just want to hit this system from the outside. I am NOT arguing the opposite. In fact, I'm saying we need to do both: hit from the inside and the outside. The inside game can get the corporatic foot off our collective necks long enough for us to increase support exponientially.

It's not either or. You seem to be stuck in this world where these things are mutually exclusive. It's not either or. It's both.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago


Unpredictable and multifaceted.

Same with pursuing issues.

Don't go after One. That lends a belief that that is the only real problem.


Go after them all. Show just what kind of a mess we are trying to clean-up, and how far the rot reaches.

Go diversified action.

You see it?

You want to address it?

Do it to it!

This will reach the common sufferer.

This will unite the need to act!

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

So that begs the question: The movement appears very stuck. You've pretty much written off the support of millions of Americans. Just doesn't mean much to you. Seems Occupy is a club and even if millions of people support the same sweeping changes you do, they just aren't real supporters because they they don't have their head in the clouds with theoretical forms of government untested. They haven't read the dictum on the website that says : Even if you support our specific actions and many of our ends, you have it all wrong because you don't want to use of form of governance by consensus that is deeply flawed.

You have pretty much written these people off. Sometimes with disdain. They just aren't cool. They don't want to "change the entire paradigm in ways people can't possibly conceive of." What makes you think GA's are the only way to change the paradigm? What makes you think I or any other person involved with OWS can't conceive of a shift in paradigm? Seriously. You assume that this shift is so high minded and so mysterious that the rest of us can't possibly conceive of it.

That really undermines your whole case becAuse you apparently have very little faith in our citizens. It appears to lift you up and help you feel superior to have all these people who you feel have the wrong idea (as opposed to the CORRECT idea of Occupy).

You spoke earlier about the power to define what Occupy is being the determining factor. It makes me think of the poem by the Rastafarian poet Bongo Jerry:

Sooner or later but mus' The dam is going to bus' And everyone will break out What can stop them? The force? What force can stop a river of people who know their course?

As far as I can tell, you're questioning the instincts an motivations of a whole lot of people who you have no right to write off. They are just as legitimate as you and have as much right to define what Occupy is as you do, no matter what someone typed on a web page.

We're talking about a survival instinct kicking in where people realize that their own survival, the survival of their community, the survival of their country, the survival of humanity is at stake. Corpocratic forces have hijacked our republic because we were not vigilant.

But you see, that sad realization that it was our fault collectively as citizens is also freeing because it indicates that we control our fate. We control our fate. An that means that things are not at all hopeless. We can change them. This is empowering. This is taking personal responsibility for your future.

But you write off these instincts. You write off these people. The people from all races, all classes, all nationalities, all religions.....all of these people you write off. You say I'm clearly spending enough time on the movement so I can be counted as a part of Occupy even though I'm not going to GA meetings every night. Why me and not the others that feel the same way I do. How do you possibly find the nerve to write all these good people off?

Some of these people are working 3 jobs to get by and support their family and they instinctually get what Occupy is about and support it in their own way and you write them off (why, because they wish to preserve and save our republic rather than throw the baby out with the bath water and trash it? Because they haven't pledged allegiance to deeply flawed untested direct democracy that no one seems to be able to explain in practical terms -- only lofty theory?

These economically disenfranchised citizens feel a part of Occupy so they are. They are students, grandmothers, environmentalists, teachers, government workers, union members, small business owners, unemployed, elderly..... Etc etc etc and they are struggling and you are writing their instincts off, writing them off, and silliest of all, your shunning their support because they don't know the secret handshake of direct democracy.

Don't you realize that these salt of the earth people and not so salt of the earth people could be the very tide that raises occupy to actually achieve your lofty ambitions???

I'm not saying this to give you or anyone who thinks in theory the way you do a hard time. I'm genuinely perplexed. There are individuals and families out there suffering and supporting this cause. How can you possibly not include them as part of the movement. It's absurd for so many reasons.

I have no idea where you're coming from on this. Please help me understand.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Thank you. I was looking to end the night on a good note. This note was perfect.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 6 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement. Much appreciated!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

I calls em as I sees em.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I don't write off support. I simply don't think that it means much in the context of social movements that aim to democratically change their circumstances. Just take a look at one of the oldest of American social movements, the labor movement. The American labor movement is probably one of the most bureaucratically encrusted of any social movement in the world. It's dues paying members tend to view it as more of a social service agency than a social movement that require their own personal participation. The American labor movement, per capita has the largest paid staff of any labor movement in the world. Basically people are being paid to be activists and members tend to view their dues as a mechanism to relieve them personally of any other personal responsibility for activism. If anything it is that attitude of enforced passivism (an attitude that is re-enforced by paid staffers who typically see voluntary rank and file activism as a treat to their own power) that has tended to undermine democracy in the labor movement and for that matter any social movement or even the American state itself.

I have tremendous faith in the American public, but it is a sleeping giant. OWS has done a considerable amount to begin awakening that sleeping giant, but it is only at the very beginning of being awakened. The "support" that respondents express to pollsters is an expression of the beginning of that awakening, but it is too only a beginning. Imagine, for example, that just as many people or more said that they "supported" OWS but there were no occupations or GAs outside of Zuccotti Part. We could not, were that the case, reasonably conclude that the movement is as big or as widespread as it is with hundreds of occupations and GAs spread across the land. Those expressions of activism are concrete representations of a living social movement which engages people far beyond mere "support."

In terms of what people have a "right" to do. One of the most basic premises of a democracy is that anyone has a right to any opinion and a right to express that opinion. OWS extends that notion considerably by arguing that "representation" is impossible and that any individual (including you the reader, me the writer and anyone else) has the right to "represent" themselves and no one else. I never claimed that my views were in any sense authoritative, though they are informed by both nearly 50 years of activism and a lifetime of studying social movements of the past.

By its own definition OWS does not see itself as a 100% movement, or a movement of everyone. If anything it is its notion of the 99% that has re-introduced or introduced the notion of class struggle into the American political discourse.

It is true that many people are so consumed with trying to earn a living that they really have virtually no free time to devote to OWS or anything else except the struggle to earn a living. Indeed that is one of the things that tends to lead me to the notion that the next logical step for OWS is the re-institution of the Sit Down movement of the 1930s--the occupation of the work place. For 10 months in the mid 1930s a half a million working people violated the property rights of their employers, occupied their work places and created the basis of the modern labor movement. In tandem with that 5 million workers organized themselves at the same time. Of course such a step for Occupy would be a giant step, but it is a giant step and it seems that a step in that direction has just been taken by a very small group of workers at the former Repubic window factory in Chicago.

Virtually all social movements have some kind of organizational center. With some social movements (labor is the best example of this) the organizations and the movement tend to be viewed as virtually co-terminous by both political commentators and the general public. The only organizational center for OWS of which I am aware are the local GAs so really the only way to measure movement participation has to be based not on their mere opinion of the movement but on their relationship to the GAs. Are they active in a GA? If so, how active? If not, what is the level and basis of their OWS participation? Do they go, at least occasionally to demonstrations and other manifestations that OWS has called? If not, in what sense and how do they participate in OWS? Do they participate in OWS in any way besides expressing their opinion of support to pollsters and friends? That, to me (and to me alone) is what seriously expresses real movement participation.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

You mention the labor movement as if it has been successful. It had success in the mid 20th century, but has failed miserably since, perhaps from being over-organized and too political. Worker rights and wages have been diminished beyond any reasonable amount. One-half of all Americans earn less than a paltry $26,000 per year. And, mention unions to most Americans and get vitriol in return. Is this what you want for Occupy? To become so organized that it becomes narrow in its focus and a political machine all its own?

In my mind, I take a very broad perspective. I really believe that Occupy burgeoned from society's need for a new economic system to match the changing structure of the economy. The United States is moving from an Industrial economy to a more technological/information based economy. We are transitioning away from the effects of the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Industrial Revolution and all of the social mores that came along with that to a new watershed period. I also think this will take a long time. The Occupy movement has tapped into these needed changes and this is a great thing, however, I don't think it has been exactly ironed out yet what those changes need to be.

So, yes it's a social movement but the economic needs sort of trump it in a way. What came first, Occupy, or the severe hardship and malaise of the American people and people around the world? In history, change comes when it is needed whether there is a formal movement or not. That is what I am trying to say. OWS is important but the changes are going to come anyway. Getting petty over who is "in" the movement and who "supports" the movement I just don't see as productive. This movement is about 100% of people and all tactics used to bring forth change are beneficial whether it is the protester willing to get arrested or the grandma sitting on her porch talking to her neighbor. They're all valuable.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

It is true that the American labor movement (which in the US is co-terminous with labor unions) is virtually on its last legs and is as weak as it was in the 1920s long before the passage of modern labor legislation. On the other hand there are nearly 14 million people covered by collective bargaining agreements today, making it virtually the largest voluntary social movement outside of organized religion in the nation, much larger than any civil rights, women's, environmental or peace organizations.

Virtually every social movement has some kind of organizational framework. Those organizational structures are the skeleton around which the muscle of a mass movement is built. In my understanding (and I could be wrong or missing something) the only organizational framework of OWS of which I am aware are the various local GAs and their associated working groups. That is the framework around which the movement is built. Ultimately, that is what supporters of the movement are supporting as without them, for better or for worse, there would be no movement.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

You are very into the organizational aspect and that is fine. We need everyone involved from all different perspectives. I think the worst thing that could happen for Occupy is for it to become political. It is way beyond that, in my mind.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I completely agree and I am opposed to OWS adopting an electoral perspective, though not in an absolute sense. That is, I think it would be premature for OWS to take on an electoral perspective at this moment because it would be premature at this point in the development of the movement, though long term, when the movement is much much bigger (say 20 or 30 million people actively occupying) it would probably be worthwhile to consider an independent electoral perspective.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22863) 6 years ago

Cool. Let's keep talking as things progress.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

You don't think support means much in in the context of social movements that aim to democratically change their circumstances? WTF? No rational argument could have any meaning starting out from such an absured, overly verbose, and contadictory premise.

That first sentence is so outrageously illogical and misleading that I refuse to evern look at the tome that follows!

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I really apologize for my apparently extremely poor writing skills. The points I am (very inadequately) trying to make are:

1)there is a meaningful distinction between the notion of support and the notion of participation.

2) within the framework of support and participation there is a range of both support and participation and the more active support is, the more it would tend to shade over into participation while conversely the more limited participation is, the more it would tend to shade over into support.

3) that while public support for a movement may be important or even crucial for a movement's success, what matters, what makes a movement a movement is active participation. Without that active participation there is no movement, literally nothing to support.

4) In my personal experience interacting with OWS activists they are almost universally generous regarding their views of the support and participation of others, that they are nothing but grateful for any support or active participation that others are able to provide. That said, it does seem to me to be useful for any discussion to draw a distinction between support and participation and that for a movement to be a movement it literally, at the most fundamental level, has to at the very least, exist, that is at the very least, there has to be some participation. That is, that participation preceeds and is therefore more important than support.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Thank you for that clarification. I agree with you, and I doubt many would disagree with that assertion. I don't see any conflict here. I think therising is advocating both active partisipation in the movement, and also reaching out to the vast numbers of those who aren't directly involved, seeing that their support can be be of value to this movements goals.

I can't understand any conflict here, unless I don't clearly see what you are driving at.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

OWS has no stated goals excepting perhaps that it calls on people who feel that they support OWS to form more occupations and more GAs. I agree with that, that's what I advocate and that's personally where the present level of development of OWS is and what (I believe) people who support OWS or claim that they support OWS should be doing. If they are in areas where a GA exists I think people should participate in them and their associated working groups as much as they are able.

If that point of view is a matter of consensus for everyone on this tread, then I think that is great and I'm sorry for being redundant. If it isn't a matter of consensus here, that is my contribution.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Why should people work to grow a movement, when the movement won't articulate what it stands for? Please feel free to do that, but I wouldn't expect many others to join you until it does articulate what it stands for.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I think that's a good question, but you might also ask why did several hundred people show up at Wall Street on September 17 when the goals of the movement were even less articulate than they were a week later when the Declaration of the Occupation was adopted or why did so many people around the world respond so positively to the movement almost instantly and organize occupations and GAs in hundreds of locations around the US and thousands of locations around the world?

From the beginning local occupations and GAs have been encouraged to raise their own demands specific to the issues relevant to their localities.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I'm not arguing with that, I hope we get as wany people as we can involved directly with the movement. Both here and abroad. That's the goal. I just don't think we should limit our available means to put pressure on the oligarchy.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I'm not for limiting anything. It is my personal experience that when the 99D was first proposed there was a very clear position on the part of its advocates not to compromise on its basic organizational structure. I'm all for compromise, but to me that means that all parties involved in developing a compromise have to be willing to compromise.

There is another 99% movement besides the 99D which seems to be driven largely out of the west coast by the SEIU. I think all of these tendencies are important and we have yet to see exactly which one will gain dominance or if something entirely new has yet to emerge. Meanwhile my personal efforts are directly largely towards the local GAs and that, at least until now, is where I see the greatest potential for real movement growth.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

In my personal experience people are much nicer to each other when they interact face to face than they tend to be over e-mail messages.

So True.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

Ran out of sapce. I agree with the funding bit to a point. If they had better management structures, they could pull of some amazing stuff with the money. There are very talented people in some of the working groups. The problem now is the GAs lacking maturity to recognize and utilize that talent in an effective manner. Just running a few websites can be done for a couple hundred dollars.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Sol Alinsky said that power goes to two polls--those with the money and those with the people. I'm an OWS participant, but so far at least, in my evaluation, OWS has neither, not money to be sure, the half million formerly in the NYC GA account not withstanding. And certainly not the people, certainly the 20,000 people that Occupy Together estimates constitutes the sum total of GA activists or the considerably more amorphous and less easily measured "support."

I am pretty much a computer moron, but I have noticed that people can be extremely nasty to each other in e-mail messages when they have never met face to face. I don't think that is unique to this web site and it has been the case with virtually every web site that I have ever subscribed to. That is one of the many reasons why I think GAs and physical occupations are so important. In my personal experience people are much nicer to each other when they interact face to face than they tend to be over e-mail messages.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

I don't see why there has to or should be a dominate group that emerges. There are many lobby groups with equal power pulling for the same thing, we should hope for as much. I would like to see 5-6-50 different groups all get funding to push the message. They may not all push the exact message but the theme will be the same or they will be discredited. I personally will support any group with the common theme of this movement as long as I see in such a group, maturity and direction.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I don't think there has to be any dominant group either. But there may be and right now, to me, it still seems that the local GAs are the dominant decision making mechanism of the movement. Personally I find the ways that the GAs operate to be extremely problematic and frankly undemocratic in many ways. For that reason I'd be really interested in learning about alternative decision making mechanisms within the movement if they in fact do exist.

I don't think a real social movement really needs to worry about funding. When we gathered at Zuccotti Park on September 17 as a movement we didn't have a dime. Nevertheless, within hours after we first gathered their our first physical needs were met an a kitchen was established.

It is often impossible to support more than one movement group or organization as they are often working at cross purposes within the movement.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Good, I hope you continue that process and that that growth is achieved. We just don't yet know which approach will work, so the best thing is to push forward on all fronts.

[-] -1 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

OWS implies it is inclusive of the 99%. I find this misleading. It is only inclusive in so far as a person is inclined to accept, agree with, and/or believe in the type of anarcho principles that the movement endorses and promotes. The movement is more interested in maintaining and promoting these principles rather than attracting and retaining more supporters, who otherwise might prefer different methods employed and different goals attained.

Occupy isn't about providing what most people clearly want, campaign reform and solutions to wealth inequality, in the most effective way, in the relative short term, working through government. It's about promoting anarcho beliefs and principles. It's only democratic within the confines of promoting anarcho principles. In the hopes of growing and spreading those beliefs for the long term goal of the reorganization of society, ending capitalism and our form of government in favor of an anarcho society. What OWS ptb, the most active participants, those leading the movement, those making the decisions in the GA, believe is the answer.

Occupy has no interest in any, relatively, short term goals that would improve the lives of the most people. Such as campaign finance reform. Because success of this would make Occupy irrelevant. There will never be a single demand such as this. Occupy is dependent on society's discontent. The last thing Occupy will do is help to provide any effective solutions such as this. Because to achieve success of campaign reform, people would then have the ability to solve their problems through government. Peoples lives would improve. Occupy would no longer be necessary and the Occupy goal of achieving an egalitarian society would die. Better that society be left to suffer. Peoples suffering is good for Occupy. It feeds off society's discontent, and takes advantage of it, to promote it's own ideals and anarcho solutions.

Peoples suffering is used as proof that capitalism is bad. Anarcho-syndicalism is good. Representative government is bad. Direct democracy is good.

What it really comes down to - the difference between OWS ptb and the rest of the 99% - OWS ptb believe capitalism and the form of government is the problem. The rest of the 99% believe that government corruption is the problem.

It's in Occupy's best interest that people remain suffering and discontented, that government remains corrupted by the few and unresponsive to the many. All the better for Occupy to achieve it's long term goal.

You seem pretty knowledgable of the movement. I'm just wondering if you think this is a fair assessment.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I think your point of view is reasonable, but I do not think it is entirely fair, particularly in terms of the role radicals have played in both initiating and sustaining the movement. What I mean by reasonable is that it is a position that many people would tend to agree with, but that doesn't necessarily make it altogether accurate.

While the dominant ideological tendency within OWS (not majority, but dominant) is clearly influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition (not specifically anarchist, but clearly influenced by that tradition), that was the dominant tendency from the beginning and from even before the beginning. While clearly more than 99% of the American public is not anarchistic, it was to that leadership and their ideas that people were responding to only days after the initial occupation of Zuccotti Park when people all over the world began to occupy public spaces. It was that leadership that has forged the first alliance between sections of organized labor and the radical intelligentcia since the 1940s, and there is no group whose ideas are further from anarchism than are bureaucratically encrusted labor leaders. It was this anarchistic leadership that recruited vast numbers of liberals to the movement who in response have done little more than complain about how Americans will not respond to an anarchistic leadership when the fact is that is exactly what they themselves have done.

It is true that OWS is an extremely visionary movement, probably the most visionary movement of any size or substance that has been seen in the United States in living memory, which is why many commentators have so much trouble comprehending it. It's simply not about ending a particular war or gaining rights for a particular group of people. Based on the grievances of the Declaration of the Occupation, virtually the only political document passed by the NYC GA, I believe one would have to conclude that OWS seeks a very fundamental transformation of the whole social system internationally and of all social relations.

The great mass of liberals who have attached themselves to the movement have either tended to ignore this or to treat it as hyperbole. That is fine. I believe in the old SDS formulation that we need both liberals and radicals: liberals for their relevance and radicals for their vision. Sustaining such a coalition however is another matter. It means compromise on both sides of the equation. I believe that the radicals have shown a great willingness to compromise at every critical juncture. Were that not the case we would not have been able to build the alliance we have with organized labor or for that matter recruit the great mass of liberals who have joined the movement.

It is not the case that OWS is explicitly anti-capitalist, though based on the Declaration of the Occupation one would have to conclude that it is anti-corporate. But anti-corporatism is a stance with which many liberals can agree.

It is not a matter of being against short term goals as a matter of principle, but rather a sincere belief that such short term goals will not work, will not, even in the short term, relieve the suffering of the masses. There is strong evidence for this in the suffering of the peoples in the European periphery where social democratic and laborite governments offer one short term solution after another which only puts the great mass of the people worse and worse off.

This sort of problem is not so evident in the US only because we have further to fall. Nevertheless the short term solution of both major American parties is no solution, but only more austerity, worse health care, an extension of American empire, violation of the most basic of international laws, etc. The list is really endless.

This is something that can and has been debated within OWS. There is no reason why the movement cannot continue as a grand coalition of liberals and radicals. Compromise is essential for the survival of such a coalition. But compromise is always around concrete issues. In order to compromise we need to know exactly what issues require a compromise and precisely, at least for openers, how far all parties are willing to go to effect a compromise. I any side in a discussion or debate is intransigent, then a compromise on that particular issue is at least very difficult if not impossible, but to continue this line of discussion further it is essential to know exactly what it is that people want to discuss and what they want to compromise about.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

1 points by RedJazz43 (2071) 14 hours ago

Query: Are you related to joetheplumber ( Oopps I mean Joethefarmer ) ?

I mean you both try to sound so reasonable so supportive, but then you plant and twist a knife. Subtly (?) trying to put down the growth and success of the movements against corruption and greed.

You two are quite accomplished for trolls. You hide in plain sight very well and work your spin twisting comments and posts to your liking, disregarding the truth and intent.

Bravo bravo propaganda machine spin users.

You may (?) fool many, but you don't fool all.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I am 69 years old. I have been active in radical social movements for nearly 50 years and I have been a student of historical social movements. I am a virtual computer retard. I recently had my e-mail address "hacked" but I am such a computer retard that computer neologisms like hacking and troll are incomprehensible to me.

I was at Zuccotti on September 17. Health and work considerations have prevented me from being a permanent occupier, but I go to one GA or another as often as I am able and I have been to several different GAs around the east coast. Having spoken to dozens of full time OWS activists, it is my perception that in general they tend to have a very different (and generally more radical) approach and world view of many of the people who contribute to this forum, many of whom seem to have only the most limited understanding of what OWS is all about as an activist movement (though I also freely admit that this is only my personal perception).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Nice story joe...... I mean Red. Lets try for sympathy support to hide your propaganda behind. It is a nice move/ploy as most true supports in the fight against greed and corruption are good heart'ed people. Throw up the chaff a missile has locked on.

Propaganda at work in defending a disguise. Very nice joered.

Work those tools, you tool.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I am not sure where all this mean spiritedness is coming from (or at least that is how it appears to me, though that could be a projection of my own insecurities). That said, at actual occupations I have met people with profound differences, but I have never seen the kind of mean spiritedness between people who are in literal physical contact with each other at an actual occupation than I have seen on this e-mail forum, or for that matter most e-mail forums where the participants have never physically met each other.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

OMG - how many times must I read that same tired old statement submitted from one ID to the next over & over & over again.

If you are going to run multiple ID's you really need to cross off things you've already used.

Try to learn some new tricks, all of the stuff you are using is very old stale and rotting.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I have never used any other ID on this forum. I'd be happy to reveal my actual identity on a personal e-mail, along with any other details of my autobiography that anyone would care to know, but for matters of security I'd prefer a more opaque e-mail identity here. Even when people feel I'm being repetitive at an actual physical occupation they are never as mean spirited or insulting as are people on this forum, almost, apparently, as a matter of course.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

OMG that is so funny. Another old and rotting chestnut. Wow.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

Obviously, given your level of activity you are very much a part of OWS. I don't think it requires one to be at a GA every night to be an OWS activist. On the other hand, just saying you "support" the movement doesn't make you part of it either.

That is pretty extreme. It seems to award you a level of authority with little to no recognition of such authority. I have been an IWG mod, talked with people that assume a position of authority on the Global network and emailed permission to use their chat rooms to find writers, ect... I was disheartened by this misalignment of what was supposed to be the leaderless principles and the reality of those trying to be in control. I quit as a mod and disregarded not only the idea of permission to use the Global chat rooms, but also distanced myself from Global as well. I do not need anyone's permission to speak freely or support any idea I choose to support. I have two sites with few followers that support this movement, more generally the 99% movement. I pay for them with my time and money. If you still think you can decide weather or not someone passes the supporter test, please feel free to visit either of my projects to reassure yourself, that is not the case.

[-] 3 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

In the absence of any kind of traditional leadership model, that is, with specific personalities elected to "represent" particular positions, everyone "represents" only themselves and no one else. That applies to me as well as anyone else. I specifically stated that in previous messages. That my views were mine and mine alone and that I had no authority other than that.

On the other hand, besides being active in most of the social movements of the past 50 years, I have also been a student of social movements historically. Based on my own experiences and my own reading I do think there is a profound difference between a genuine social "movement" and what might be characterized as a national "mood." It is one thing for someone to say to a pollster that they support something about which they may know very little and it is quite another to be genuinely actively engaged in a social movement. Of course there are different levels of activism. Some people may treat their own active voluntary participation in a social movement as a virtual full time job. If there is a membership organization or organizations at the core of a social movement people may choose to actually join one of those organizations, pay dues and do whatever else is required of membership. Or people might show up occasionally, from time to time, once in a while to this or that demonstration or manifestation of movement activity. It seems to me that that constitutes the range of actual movement activity--basically from full time and more than full time participation in movement activities to very occasional participation in movement activities. It is only my opinion, but personally I would not consider people who fall outside that range of activity as being part of the movement if, for no other reason, than people who are not at least minimally engaged in the activities of a movement are really not in any position to know what that movement is about. But there is another reason for this evaluation. That is, democratic social movements, pretty much by definition, require the active participation of people. Of course people have a democratic right to participate or not participate in any voluntary movement, but for democracy to work it requires active participation. Indeed, part of the weakness of our "representative" democracy is that people often take the view that their only responsibility to make it work is for them to hang out in a voting booth for a few minutes every year. If that is all the democracy you expect, that is all the democracy you will get.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

I cannot for the life of me understand your focus on who is or isn’t a part of the movement, is it just a label? Or does it have some meaning? Are you saying that you do not consider suggestions from those who have spent an insufficient time at the GAs?

I am trying to decide if there is an actual point to your comments. Let’s say for the sake of discussion you are correct about who is and who isn’t a true part of the movement, what then?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

There were, at its peak, nearly 1000 occupations in the nation. There are still that many functioning local GAs and their affiliated working groups. That, to me, is what the movement is. That is what supporters of the movement are supporting as a physical manifestation of the movement. Without those GAs there would be no movement, there would be nothing to support.

It may well be that the movement as a movement, constitutes something beyond the local GAs (who after all are also the organizing center for every other movement activity) but if that is the case I am unaware of unaware of it, nor has it been described to me in a way that I find palpable or meaningful.

What is important, it seems to me, is not just the expression, to a pollster or a friend, that one supports the movement, but rather how that support actually manifests itself in concrete ways and the movement itself has said that the best way that people can express their support for the movement is to build the movement which concretely means building more GAs and more occupations and where GAs and occupations exist to enrich their development with new ideas and working groups.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

I definatly encourage attending envents so that we can be heard, but still see no usefulness in determining who is and who isn't a part of the movement.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I agree that it is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible to determine in any meaningful way who is and who is not part of OWS. This is especially compounded by the fact that OWS or even any of the local GAs are not membership organizations. Virtually anyone can say that they are an OWS activist or OWS participant or OWS supporter, though the exact word that people chose to use to describe their personal level of activity can be both revealing and useful.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

It is not the difficulty to which I speak but the need to at all.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

People speculate about how large the movement is, so if one is going to contribute to that particular discussion it is useful to try and figure out what exactly the parameters of the movement are. Personally, I'm also interested in whether or not OWS, while definitely a movement, can legitmately be considered a mass movement as my own perspectives towards it and that which I would advocate for others would be considerably different depending on my evaluation of its size and impact on society. In neither case would it affect my personal participation. I'm a participant in OWS and intend to continue doing so unless and until it devolves into an irrelevant sect in my view, but what I think it is possible and reasonable to expect OWS or any social movement to do is very dependent on its relative size and impact on society.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

I think it is far more important what we say than how large we are. The measure of how much impact we have when speaking to those in power will be measured by the number of Republicans we defeat this November. If we prove that we can take their jobs then they will listen and we can start making change, otherwise they send their cops at us and talk to the TEA party.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Of course both size and what we say are important. What we say is about how we intend to change the world. How big we are determines our capacity to do that. To seriously change the world in the way that the Declaration of the Occupation intends, then clearly the vast majority has to be actively involved in our movement. Otherwise all we will be doing is making demands on existing elites that will continue to exist.

And already what we say is a hell of a lot more important than whatever group of elites gets elected next November, which, after all, given the paltry size of our movement right now is all that is going to happen then. Of course it is theoretically possible for our movement to grow explosively again several tens of millions of people begin to occupy in the next few months and sections of the enforcement arm of the state (the police and the military) join our movement with their command structures and arms in tact, but I don't see that as very likely.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

If our vision is so clouded we cannot see the difference between Bernie Sanders and Trent Franks, I don’t believe we will be able to lead the country anywhere.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Virtually every activist I've met in OWS is pretty sophisticated in understanding and appreciating the distinction between progressive, conservative and social democratic politicians, but it is also the case that from the very beginning as a movement, OWS did not see itself as a political movement. It sees itself as a social movement whose primary goal is the transformation of social relations. By no means does this preclude political activity on the part of individual OWS activists and supporters, though the range of what constituted political activity is considerably broader than supporting this or that candidate or this or that party. What many people in OWS have taken exception to is for OWS to take a political stance as a movement, not what any individuals in OWS choose to do as individuals.

Many OWS activist take this position as a matter of principle, that OWS should never engage in political activity. My own view is that while OWS may decide to take a political turn at some point (for example, once it is a real mass movement of several tens of millions of people occupying it may decide to establish its own electoral arm), for OWS to take such a turn at this point would be premature and in so doing it would reveal only its weakness, not its strength.

In the specific case of the 99D I share with many OWSers the view that it was very undemocratically organized and its advocates have shown no willingness to compromise around issues of concern to most of the major GAs.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Sept. 17 or Oct. 28 what is it?


No Profile Information Private Messages

RedJazz43 said 6 hours ago at Feb. 25, 2012, 1:06 p.m. EST (delete)

What do you want to know about me? I'll tell you anything. To start with my personal e-mail address is gabegabrielsky@yahoo.com. I've been an active "participant in OWS since September 17". And it's also the case that I've never experienced anything resembling the kind of insulting that I see at this forum (or virtually any other e-mail list serve where people have never physically met) at an actual occupation where people deal with each other on a physical face to face basis.


"Joined Oct. 28, 2011"

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I was at Wall Street and Zuccotti Park on September 17. I have friends and acquaintances who will verify that if it is important, though frankly that kind of date mongering does seem rather nit picking to me. I don't know what the October 28 reference is or where and how it was obtained, though I suspect what it might have to do with is when I subscribed to this web site.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

I can appreciate every word of that.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Man the way you wite is pretentious, condescending, overly verbose, to the point of conscious obfuscation, and lastly, is reminiscent of the strident Communist pamphlets of the 1920s. Where the hell do you get this crap?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Sorry you don't like the way I write. I'm really monumentally insecure about a number of things, not the least of which is my writing style. Like most people on this list (at least I think, but that's really just my opinion) I'm only trying to share my point of view and as someone who is 69 years old and a life time radical activist and as student of radical movements of the past perhaps also to share some of my experiences and insights, inadequate as they may be.

I haven't read a lot of them, but ost of the very few "Third Period" pamphlets of which I am aware tend to push class conflict a lot more than I have done in recent postings here.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I find that your comments are so verbose that I simply can't reduce them to anything that makes sense. I'm sorry, but the very first sentence of that one comment cannot be reduced to any logical statement. Please try to streamline your thoughts so that they are intelligable.

And please don't feel insecure.

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

My editors say pretty much the same thing, I think, though the term they tend to use is "discursive." I don't read a lot of postings here from other people because I find them uninformative, ill conceived, poorly written, verbose, discursive or otherwise uninteresting to me personally, but generally when that is the case, I don't choose to rap on the person making those postings, which I would consider rude and inconsiderate. I simply ignore those postings that are personally uninteresting to me.

It seems to me that everybody has a democratic right to post whatever they want and everyone else has the democratic right to ignore them. Indeed, for better or for worse I think exactly that kind of looseness is both the strength and the weakness of a forum like this and to me at least points to a crying need for a more formal organizational structure that could better focus the discussion.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Diareha of the mouth much Red? Apparently the only runaway verbiage you care for is your own.


Not so much.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

I am not trying to get personal here, but simply trying to clarify things so that we can understand your criticism and address it. The overall tone of your comments seems to be one of simply telling us we are a buch of armchair liberals who are good for nothing. If that's what you believe, so be it. Although you really don't know anything about the lives of anyone here, and your steriotyping of us does little to enhanse your credibility here,

As to the point you are trying to make, it seems to be nothing but stating the obvious in 1000 words, over and over again. I don't see any real point at the heart of it at all.

I'm sorry, but I'm just tired of wading through these tomes of yours and commng out of them knowing no more about anything the when I began. That is an ability perfected to an art form by politicians, and one of the reasons people are so disgusted with them.

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

Having spent a fair amount of time at several different occupations and having attended and participated in several different GAs and working groups it is my personal perception that there is a distinct difference between much of the discourse that I read on this forum and the kind of discussions that I personally experience at occupations, GAs and working groups. I don't know why that is, exactly, but it is my hunch that the reason is that many of the people who participate on this forum have very limited (and perhaps no) actual physical contact with any occupation, GA, working group or other people who participate even irregularly in such manifestations of the movement.

I think (and it is admittedly only my opinion) that there is a meaningful distinction between participation and support and I think that participation is more important for many reasons, including the fact that support could literally not exist without an active movement to support.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

A troll in protesters clothing?

How very clever of you joe (oops) I mean Red.

Spin and twist Red, I see you and so do many others.

So spin and twist spin and twist, the propaganda machine loves you Red.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I'm not sure what I'm spinning and twisting or even what those terms mean exactly. I'm only saying what I believe and participating on this forum like everyone else here.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Nice come back joered. "NOT" but nice try playing the misunderstood and abused card. Do you guys take this stuff out of your manual word for word? Please, I know you don't think much of us here. But we really do have functioning memories for old chestnuts being reused over and over and over again especially when you use a rote reply.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33490) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Yep sure whatever.

Nice use of mystified questioning. The polit bureau give you A for effort. Da.

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

One of the key differences I've found in actually going to an occupation and participating on this forum is that face to face, at an occupation, even when people profoundly disagree with each other, it has been my experience that they are far less personally insulting to each other than are people on this forum, though I have found that to be generally the case with e-mail conversations which is one of the reasons why physical occupations are so much more important than e-mail conversations. People are nicer to each other--at least that is my personal experience.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

You seem unable to come to terms with the fact that a movement can incorporate different kinds of people with differing perspectives. If you limit the movement to only those who attend Ga's and participate in demonstrations, then you don't seem to get that you are excluding most of the people who agree with it's fundamental goals. That is fine, as long as you don't care whether the movement succeeds or not. Otherwise, I think it's a problem.

Next you will probably ask, "What do you see as it's fundamental goals," even though that's what the whole discussion here has been about. Yet you will ask me to sum all that up succenctly for you, even though you seem unable to sum up practically anything succently!

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

In my experience, talking to dozens of full time OWS activists, clearly there are many different points of view in OWS. That's one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to get nearly anything passed in a GA. Most of the people I've talked to at OWS seem to be either what I would characterize as liberal or politically unformed. There is a very strong presence of anarchists, and though they are a minority they tend to have a disproportionate influence, probably because they were among the key initiators of the movement and (in my perception) they seem to have the most coherent political approach. There are some socialists of various stripes but they don't seem to be all that influential to me and a surprizing number of libertarians. I say, the more the merrier.

Besides participation in an occupation, in a GA, in a working group or at OWS sponsored demos, however limited, I'm not sure what supporting OWS consists of. Some people say that they support OWS goals, but that only reveals how little they know about OWS since OWS has no explicitly stated goals. To the extent that OWS has any goals at all it is for more people to create more occupations and more GAs. Of course there may be other kinds of participation (as opposed to support) that I am not considering or don't understand, but if that is the case I would like that described to me.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

If you would like those forms of participation described to you, please see my forum post "Forum Recommendations for Action."

You say that "OWS has no explicitly stated goals." Right there you put your finger on the reason for the frustration of those who agree with the goals that OWS has not explicitly stated.

Those goals are clear to those us who want change, regardless of whether they are clear to OWS; and the is why the 99% resolution has been formed, and, in my opinion will quickly see support on a level exponentially greater than OWS.

A movement without clear goals, or a clear plan of action, other than the nebulous objective of trying to grow itself without stating a clear platform (a contradiction in terms) will not be able to contain the widespread frustration with the current political situation. And I think it is imperative that this movment form a political wing with clearly expressed goals and a plan of action to realize those goals. I believe the 99% will become that movement.

I have said what I have to say here and do not want to contine "kibutzing" with you, as you have described so contemptuously what we do here. I really think you are very confused as to what a political movement is, or how it actually achieves anything.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I have to be very careful about following my own advice not to be insulting, because I find the 99% Declaration so repulsive and frankly antithetical to my understanding of what OWS is all about. I do not mean to be pontificating here. These are only my opinions, but it is also how I reacted to the document when I first read it. I am really put off by the fact that it very specifically excludes noncitizens, minors and transexuals, all of whom were crucial in initiating OWS. Beyond that, I personally think getting "representation" from regions of the nation where there has been virtually no OWS presence is profoundly undemocratic. In the absence of any mediating structures, it is precisely such autonomous "representatives" that would be most easily manipulated. There are numerous historical examples of this from the French Jacobins to the American progressive movement at the turn of the last century.

That said, while I consider myself to be an OWS participant, I also don't consider the decision making processes of GAs to be very democratic. I personally think that the best place to initiate any change in the GA decision making process would emanate from the labor working groups where most participants have considerable experience with much more democratic decision making mechanisms.

As far as goals go, I'm all for explicitly stated goals at this point. On the other hand, the demands working groups, which are supposed to be the place from which explicit demands emanate tend to be the most disfunctional of all working groups and can't seem to agree on an explicit set of demands even among themselves, or convince a skeptical GA, much less a sufficient number of GAs so as to make such demands meaningfully movement-wide.

I don't have any magical solutions as to how to get around that. Perhaps some new kind of organizational structure that has yet to be formulated or proposed. I don't see such a set of demands coming out of a broad "movement" with no meaningful decision making process at all.

It's conceivable to me that the 99% convention, should it come off, might come up with a meaningful set of demands, though it will have a major task on its hands to reconcile with the dozens of major local GAs, all of which it has significantly alienated.

[-] 1 points by demarquis (15) 6 years ago

For what it's worth, I think RedJazz43 is making a valid point. He isnt really dissing OWS, merely pointing out that it isnt very highly structured or organized, and therefore isnt really designed to achieve specific reforms. OWS arose as a mechanism to express discontent, and that continues to be what it does best. In that sense, there isn't anywhere for it to "go". It's there already.

As for decision making mechanisms, in addition to the GA there are working groups, which coordinate through something called spokescouncils. Some Working Groups operate pretty closely in support of a physical occupation, but others are pretty independent, and several exist primarily on the internet. These independent groups account for a lot of projects.

OWS is really best seen as a decentralized network of activists, which exists to provide a framework for collaborative action, but which has no center and isnt led by anyone (a little bit like Anonymous, which isnt a coincidence as Anon helped found Occupy).

Given all that, most occupiers probably see little difference between "supporters" and "participants", as anyone can transition back and forth between the two pretty seamlessly.

"This isn't your grandpa's social movement."

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I'm unaware of any working group that operates primarily on the internet independent of any specific local GA. If anyone is aware of any such working group or groups, could they please be identified and also how to get in contact with them and exactly what they are working on independent of a local GA?

I completely agree that there is little distinction between a strong active supporter and someone who participates only occasionally. However, it also seems to me that there is a considerable difference between someone for whom OWS consumes a considerable amount of their free time and someone who has heard of OWS and thinks it is a good idea from what they understand of it (which might be quite little).

[-] 1 points by demarquis (15) 6 years ago

I said primarily, not entirely. For example, the Viral Campaign for a Constitutional Convention subgroup of the Political and Elector Reform Working Group of the NYCGA is a Google Group: http://groups.google.com/grphp?hl=en

Anyone can join.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

You choose instead to rap on all of us?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

I couldn't keep up with all the posting on this forum even if I spent full time doing it. I suppose that is true of everyone else. People chose to read what they want and contribute what they want. At least I do and I suspect that it's also true of most others.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

I find parenthesis a clear way of nesting information on a subject


[+] -4 points by buik6 (18) 6 years ago

"To me, no matter what side of this evolving and escalating debate you're on, the questions are relevant and the answers will be fascinating."

what are you paraplegic or something? i'll tell you what is fascinating go out get drunk and get yourself some pussy, son

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 6 years ago

What's your problem?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8628) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Dropped at birth would be my guess.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

That's his answer to everything. Apparently he hasn't had enough to get it out of his system, and since he can't get any he comes here to bore us with his feelings of inadaquacy.