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Forum Post: ❀ Why and How OWS Must Change - or - Onto Anarcho-Syndicalism ❀

Posted 10 years ago on Jan. 16, 2012, 2:29 p.m. EST by Thrasymaque (-2138)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

OWS is tailored in the image of the Arab Spring protests and Ghandi's early Twentieth Century resistance movement. We strongly believe this is the wrong stratagem.

Unlike contemporary Arabians and the Indians of Ghandi's time, Americans are relatively free. They are not a repressed people controlled by a totalitarian regime, nor the invasive forces of a foreign nation. Consequently, the American government does not need to be overthrown before real change can commence. For this reason, our stance is that OSW needs to redesign itself in order to offer custom and immediately workable solutions to the unique social, economical, and political problems of America.

The most interesting feature of OWS is arguably the general assemblies in which decisions are made by consensus with direct democracy. This is useful for two reasons:

  1. It provides a fair decisional process for OWS.
  2. It serves as an example for others to emulate.

Unfortunately, these general assemblies are being utilized to plan actions which do not yield much remuneration for OWS protesters. With no money coming in, it becomes nearly impossible for a protester to devote long term active support to OWS. This is particuliarly true for middle-aged Americans who must provide for their families.

Another concern is that while OWS disrupts the functioning of the government, banks, and big businesses with direct action, it does little to offer viable and practically tested alternatives. We wonder what will happen after the overthrow of these institutions? With no readily available substitutes, we fear a complete breakdown of society; not unlike we often see after political revolutions.

In its defence, OWS does table the idea of having general assemblies on each street corner, but how can we ascertain the merit of this plan? There has been a trial run with the 1930's Spanish anarchies. True. However, this is a far cry from running a modern country of ~300 million inhabitants. Realistically, we must admit that what OWS proposes is an untested theory.

OWS could solve these issues by creating and promoting anarcho-syndicalist startup companies. The makeup of OWS protesters comes from all walks of life: architects, musicians, activists, lawyers, journalists, painters, janitors, cooks, computer engineers, nurses, exterminators, clowns, plumbers, and even policemen. Were these people to pool their efforts and create small businesses built upon anarcho-syndicalist principles, they would receive incomes permitting them to live the OWS way on a long term basis, while also showing America and the rest of the world that egalitarian businesses are doable, feasible, and profitable.

In all likeliness, these types of companies would spread like wild mushrooms all across America. Job seekers would prefer working for businesses where they are treated like equals as opposed to hierarchic based companies where most of them spend their time at the bottom of the pyramid fighting for a few leftover scraps.

Postmoderity has shown that subsystems vastly different than the master system in which they operate can function and prosper in a healthy manner. We have seen this in the arts, in biology, in computer programming, in architecture, etc... As an example, we can think of high level Lua modules operating over C++ code bases, or the integration of renaissance elements in the works of such prominent postmodern artists like Matthew Barney. Perhaps more known to the general public would be the examples of Mr. Bungle's, John Zorn's, or Zappa's musics wherein co-exist elements of various contrasting styles.

This leads us to believe that anarcho-syndicalist micro and meso structures could work surprisingly well within the confines of the macro structure which is the republic democratic of America. Like a cancer that permeates throughout a healthy body, not be killing healthy cells, but by replacing them one by one, anarcho-syndicalism could spread throughout America by being a growing alternative to hierachically structured businesses.

We recommend a slow transitioning of America's enonomy from capitalism to anarcho-syndicalism by employing the previously mentioned method. This would alleviate the dangers of a hurried transmutation that would likely follow an all out political revolution.

Avid readers will note that co-op banks, also known as credit unions, have already started this process. In Québec, Canada, Caisse Desjardins has been very effective at giving its users more power through collective ownership since its inception more than 100 years ago. We must push this model of cooperation thoughout all spheres of the economy. And, who knows, if this proves favorable to hierachic frameworks, there might even be a chance that the government follows suit and reorganizes the political process in a way inspired from anarcho-syndicalism.

Einstein did not overtake Newton by simply pointing out the flaws in his laws of motion, he overtook him by formulating a stronger theory that corrected many of those flaws. He provided an improved, practical, and usable alternative.

This is what OWS must do, and, eventually, will do. I invite you to start now.



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[-] 3 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 10 years ago

Well, Thassy, after our little discussion last night about this I am disappointed w RedJazz noise. Gotta admit I got to skimming the 74 comments after that.

There is absolutely nothing in today's laws that would prevent/hinder any group size from starting or buying out an existing business and running as a co-op.

There will never be a sizable buy-in to OWS if they don't lead by example. We need to see alternatives that work. If they don't have any workable plans to change the present situation beyond REVOLUTION, TEAR DOWN THE SYSTEM, they will never win the hearts and minds of the remaining 98%.

We have all read about Marx and other socialist proponents THEORIES, but have yet to see a successful implementation on any significant scale in history to prove these utopian dreams are do-able.

Small 'co-op' type startups would be a nice babystep into showing these approaches really can work.

However, we must never lose sight of the role of money in government.

As you mentioned somewhere below, we are not in need of an Arab Spring. We alreadty have democracy and (relatively) free speech. Our leaders don't stick around until a coup changes their minds. American politics in no way resembles the dictatorship/theoacracy/royalty thing going on in the Middle East.

Our Founding Fathers did as good a job as possible of creating a country with a Constitutional means of changing the status quo when it becomes too oppressive.

So, a little less noise and a little more action is in order.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

how about this founding father - In 1787, Thomas Jefferson -- who was then living in France -- wrote a letter to his friend William Smith. In the letter Jefferson wrote the following words, which have, from time-to-time, been quoted to affirm the right of the people to rebel against one's government:

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure.

Simple enough, right? Well, not quite. And while Jefferson's "tree of liberty" quote has become a favorite of many who oppose the current direction being taken by the Obama Administration, the quote has an important and often forgotten context.

As mentioned before, Jefferson was still living and working in France in 1787. At the time, Jefferson was deeply concerned about some of the proposals for the new United States Constitution -- particularly the role of the executive branch, which he saw as being far too powerful. In addition, Jefferson believed that the recent rebellion in Massachusetts -- which became known as Shays' Rebellion -- had heightened the fears of the American elite, causing them to throw their weight behind a stronger executive government. Shays' Rebellion was essentially an armed rebellion against taxes being levied at Massachusetts farmers. It's leader, Daniel Shays -- who had served as a soldier during the American Revolution -- used the legacy of the American Revolution to garner support for his cause. As a result, scores of patriotic Massachusetts men, most of whom were farmers themselves, resurrected the legacy of the "liberty tree" to fight the perceived injustices of the newly created government. As a result, America's governing class -- and yes, it was a class -- believed that a strong centralized government was the only surefire way to ensure America's future security.

For Jefferson, this was a textbook example of how passions could cloud judgement, creating an atmosphere of panic and fear. As Jefferson states in his letter to William Smith:

Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms

Simply put, Jefferson understood Shays' Rebellion to be a common and important component of republican government. Without it, the people could not be effectively represented and the communal "lethargy" would eventually destroy the nation. On the flip side, however, Jefferson also notes that the people are rarely if ever well informed on all issues. It is this communal ignorance -- Jefferson emphasises ignorance and not wickedness -- that Jefferson believes the government must endeavor to remedy. He continues:

The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them.

The remedy is not suppression or rejection of public discontent, rather persuasion and public discourse.

[-] 3 points by Listof40 (233) 10 years ago

This is a good post, and a pretty good idea...

So if we look at credit unions we can see the idea is that the contributions (deposits, loan repayment, etc) of the members are treated as direct investment, and after expenses and operating considerations, the monies generated are put back into the credit union in order to provide the best rates, and better services for the members...

This is much better than some corporations, where the operations can be tailored to be more about the revenue being drained out of the company by individuals with large stock holdings or excessive management salaries or large bonuses...

To a large degree this is the process itself of how wealth is disproportionately transferred to those who already have large sums of money, by large salaries or bonuses draining out of the company, or by large stock profits by those with disproportionate financial advantage to invest...

Cooperative member investment companies (the same as the syndicalism term), means that the employees (members) own the company itself and are fairly compensated, however, the extra profits can then be reinvested to improve the services for both end users, and benefits for employees, or toward projects to improve community/society which ultimately supports the company and economy...

In addition, further profits could be used to invest in other startups, the goals of which are the same, to provide for the working members, and reinvestment to provide high quality services, etc....

This is one economic process which could continue on, and may help make wealth more evenly distributed based on fair wages and practices...and also may tend to have more community minded sustainable practices...

In some ways the ability to reinvest the profits, rather than them going out disproportionately, could help the company be more competitive on pricing and quality, and offer more protection for workers during market fluctuations, recessions, theoretically...

However, predatory monopolization often happens successfuly because of the manipulation of distribution networks and arrangements, which would need to be countered, possible by strong activism or informed protest, etc...

People could still invest in these companies but returns could be required to be reasonable... because investment would be important to in order to create the startups themselves... The startup investments could even be advocated as charitable, but here there would still be reasonable returns to the investors...

Just some thoughts on this, but of course this would need to be analyzed further for viability aspects, etc...


[-] 3 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I don't believe in anarcho anything. All I ever hear about is how it is all flowers and sunshine. Someone needs to talk about the practicalities and the problems associated with anarchist societies. For 300 million people.

[-] 2 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 10 years ago

pros- A democratic workplace, equal wages for everyone regardless of profession, no destructive economic incentives, no need to prop up demand, no debt.

cons-making everything democratic is very inefficient, no money incentive, it'd be hard to distribute and organize the resources, ineficient military, things would probably just go back the way they were regardless because people would consider it too much of a hassle.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Your pros sound like good reasons not to support anarchy to me.

A democratic workplace - I'm not sure this could even be successful. There are so many problems with this idea which is why businesses aren't run this way.

Equal wages - I want my doctor to make more money than my landscaper. Where would reward for innovations come from? Altruism?

No destructive economic incentives - means there would also be no constructive economic incentives either.

No need to prop up demand - I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that supply and demand would be perfectly balanced?

No debt - this would imply no savings either.

How is any of this good?

[-] 1 points by BannedForTruth (233) from Christiana, TN 10 years ago

The same reasons governments should not print money you are sounding like a Ron PauI supporter.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I don't necessarily think it's a good idea for the government to print money. And I'm not sure why you think I sound like a Ron Paul supporter. Because I don't believe in anarcho-syndicalism, I must be a Ron Paul supporter?

Hey- your score is rising! : )

[-] 1 points by BannedForTruth (233) from Christiana, TN 10 years ago

Don't worry you and your friends will ban me again. You sound like a Paul supporter cause you were speaking common sense.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Thats funny. Now you sound like a Ron Paul supporter.

Were you banned for being a Ron Paul supporter?

[-] 1 points by BannedForTruth (233) from Christiana, TN 10 years ago

I laughed so hard yesterday when you said all of you friends and family are republicans and can't stand Obama or your delusional dialog. I just hope they are PauI supporters and not NEOcons.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

lol. You make fun of my tortured Democrat life! That's ok, I'm mostly used to it.

Sadly, as far as I'm concerned anyway, they mostly identify with Ron Paul. But most will be practical enough to support the Republican front runner, whoever the establishment props. If/when Ron Paul runs as an Independent - that will probably cause a minor split in the family. Once Ron Paul and the Republican establishment guy really start going after eachother, that's when I'll make my big move!! And try to swing some of them. As if!!

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

That is the point of my article. There's no need to implement anarchist ideas in one slap, they can be implemented bit by bit. This way, their practicality can be tested as we go along. If they are unfeasible or impractical, they will be dropped.

There's no reason OWS protesters couldn't start small businesses based on anarcho-syndicalist ideas. I'm talking about cooperations where all workers would own the company and make decisions communally by using a system like general assemblies. This is a very tiny step and cannot hurt America in any way. At worst, the company would fail miserably, at best there would be a new start up in which employees would all be treated equally.

Surely, you don't want to make it illegal for people to try out these ideas. Instead of striking the businesses of others, they would be creating their own businesses. It wouldn't have to affect you in any way. It would be like credit unions. If you don't like that type of bank, you ignore it. If you like it, you use it. End of story.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

There's already worker run co-ops and self managed businesses. A couple hundred at least, maybe a thousand. If it was better it would have succeeded by now. Credit Unions have not replaced traditional banks. It's survival of the fittest. It's the law of nature. I'm sure some have failed. Because it's not better. They can be persistant and keep trying. I don't have a problem with that. But it will fail and they know it. So the only way for anarcho or egalitarian ideas to succeed is to completely eliminate capitalism and our form of government. Because they can't improve on capitalism or it would have happened already.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

You're probably right. That might be why OWS didn't provide a detailed plan of what they want to implement after the revolution.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

What I want to know is why they stubbornly cling to this idea, when it has already failed.

I think it has to do with the underlying principle of anarchists being anti authority. They just don't want government in any way shape or form, or any other authoritarian model. So they've concocted their flower and sunshine egalitarian vision as an excuse to end government.

[-] -3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

What do you mean - "it has already failed"?

I don't think it has ever been tried on a scale of the size of US. Anarcho-syndicalism was working well in Spain until Franco took over the country with a coup.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

It's failed here otherwise co-op banks would have replaced traditional banks, or other types of small businesses. If it doesn't pass the test of survival on a small scale, how will it possibly pass the test on a large scale? It can't. Unless all other competing business models are eliminated.

It failed in Spain because they stubbornly chose to remain apolitical. They steadfastly refused and made the conscience choice to remain outside the poltical system same as they are doing now. They can't even learn from that failure.

If they truly wanted to succeed in promoting anarcho anything, and not just end government as we know it (which I think is the first step, this has to happen first for anarcho anything to succed) , they would do the practical thing like you're saying. But they know it won't work.

The only way I can see such a thing working without a revolution is to evolve there starting with promoting more ESOP's. There's already some tax advantages in this, it could be further promoted. This is a natural precursor to more self managed businesses, with more employee involvement, like Southwest Airlines I think is a good example. Then the next step beyond this would be the anarchy type co-op. I think. Maybe I missed a step or two. Still need to think about that. But then there is all kinds of size, scale and leadership issues. But I think more ESOP's would be a real help to capitalism anyway, and our economy.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

It failed in Spain because they stubbornly chose to remain apolitical. They steadfastly refused and made the conscience choice to remain outside the poltical system same as they are doing now. They can't even learn from that failure.

It failed in Spain because Franco took over with his guerrilla army. He then remained a dictator for many years. The anarcho-syndicalists in Spain were working very well actually.

If it doesn't pass the test of survival on a small scale, how will it possibly pass the test on a large scale? It can't.

The Caisse Desjardins in Québec, Canada, is a co-op bank that was founded in 1900 and it still exists today. It's very popular. It survived for over 111 years. Actually, it's doing more than surviving, it's thriving.

I'm mostly on your side concerning anarcho-syndicalism. I don't think it would work well in practice. However, I don't agree that it has been tested in depth and shown to be flawed without a doubt.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

If the Caisse Desjardins bank is so successful, then why aren't other banks using this same model? Why aren't other businesses using this same model? And I think you mean "thriving", not "striving" - helping with your English. : )

And maybe the Caisse Desjardins does thrive amongst the other banks because the banking system is nationalized right? But in a privatized industry, I say this model can't work. It cannot compete.

I don't know about the Spain thing. We'll never know. They did refuse to get political before Franco, right? Refused to participate in the system. I don't see how it could have continued without particpating politically.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Yes, thriving. I'll edit my comment. Thanks.

They didn't refuse to participate in the system in 1930's Spain, anarcho-syndicalism was the system.

If the Caisse Desjardins bank is so successful, then why aren't other banks using this same model?

If the other banks are so successful, why is Caisse Desjardins not using their model?

Seriously, it's because Caisse Desjardins only makes money for its users. The other banks exist because some bankers want to make a lot of cash for themselves. If they used the co-op model, it wouldn't work. They would have to give the annual profits back to the users.

Banks are private in Canada.

[-] 2 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

Anarchy has been tried in the USA, twice: http://maxkade.iupui.edu/newharmony/home.html

The only way these enclave societies seem to work is when they keep their society fairly static, and give dissidents chances to leave, like the Amish do.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 10 years ago

Neat link, pretty cool to see anarchism was tried at the town level.

And pretty interesting to see the later ramifications of it.

As far as other places that anarchism has been tried, I find it interesting that some life insurances are based on anarchism models where all the customers are participants in it's ownership, and the workforce are as well.

These are ALL of the insurers that are classified as PAR, the kind of policies that sometimes give remuneration back for overpayment back to the customers, and where the sales force are compensated based on individual performance.

These insurers tend to be the most stable ones out there and generally have lower costs to the customer/participant

No owners/stockholders other than the stakeholders (customers and employees)

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

An insurance company is very different from a society.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 10 years ago

oh, I could agree with that. My personal take is that it'd be almost unworkable on a national scale. Utopia only exists in heaven and fairy tales

But, when seen on the small scale, those areas of anarchistic models are Islands of stability in a world of turmoil

My credit union could give a damn if the major banks folded, through the crisis of the past few years they have remained as stable as ever.

And with the energy crisis and corporate shinnanigans from the likes of enron etc. our local power co-op delivers top notch service at 2/3 the cost of neighboring edison, a for profit whom seems always in trouble.

And then there is the local farmers co-ops that have consistantly brought grain to market at the lowest cost DESPITE competing with the likes of ADM and mosanto

I'd always assumed this couldn't be done at the town level because of the disperate/ diverse nature of society at large. But that new harmoney link was an eye opener.

This model may be needed here in rural america if the GOP is successful in their continued push to collapse society. Glad to see an alternative exists

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

The problem with the anarchist model is it is based in a static system. Any future plans have to be glaringly obvious to the point where almost everyone involved can agree upon it. Large-scale planning for a dynamic society takes the congealing of opinions, which means leadership.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I thought Canada banks were more nationalized, I don't know why, I'm sure you're right and I'm wrong. Maybe I just got that in my head because they have stronger government regulations?? I don't know.

Anyway, right. Other banks don't use the Caisse Desjardins model because self interest is stronger than collective interest. So while there might be a place, a small niche, for collective co-op organizations, they will never be able to overtake the capitalist based model. Because the desire for reward and self interest will always be greater than collective interest.

Spain, I have read this in numerous places. The anarcho-syndicalists refused to participate in politics which was part of the problem. This was after the coup I think. Here's an example of one article I was reading. I'm not as good at research as you. If this is my bad research skills, can you give me something better to read so I can understand! Maybe I'm just misunderstanding this.

http://struggle.ws/spain/coll_l.html http://workersolidarity.org/?p=317

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

You're probably right about the anarchies in Spain. I'll look into that further.

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

No, you're right about Spain. I did more reading. I think I understand better now. They actually tried to work with government and they later regretted it. So they would see this as all the more reason to completely get rid of government. And they know they can't compete with capitalism.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Makes sense. I really have to take some time and get more informed about that period in history.

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Will you explain it to me then? : ) I don't know. For me, it keeps coming back to individualism v collectivism/socialism. Self interest v altruism. At both a human level and an economic system level.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

And somehow you think that this country would allow all the things that you have been discussing without any resistance from your fellow citizens.

Excuse me, but all of this babble is nothing but the shallowest grave digging that I have ever come across. Has anyone on this forum really read all the way through the posts to see where this is really going??

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

And somehow you think that this country would allow all the things that you have been discussing without any resistance from your fellow citizens.

When did I say that? There will always be resistance from people who do not agree. OWS has seen a lot of resistance. This site has been attacked viciously for example.

Has anyone on this forum really read all the way through the posts to see where this is really going??

I haven't read all the posts on this site. No. Where do you think this is going?

[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

It will eventually be the basis for doctoral thesis material, will probably be addressed in future sociology classes, and a topic of discussion long after it is gone.

Occupy is a great slogan. It will run out of new places to occupy within three months. What I have been expecting to see, is a truly valid report of just one of the occupy situations, such as the Occupy Farmers weekend. I cannot find even one report that the event even materialized, yet it was hyped like we would starve it we didn't attend.

Where is it going - nowhere - it has no beginning and no end.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I think it would make a great book. Occupy!- The Book! Laughter, tears, violence and suspense. Maybe a movie even.

It's going to run out of money before it runs out of locations to occupy I think.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

We can only hope - they sure will not get any of mine.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Indeed. I'll give my money to support the Dem's. At least I know what I'm getting with them. As opposed to questionable untested utopian visions of anarchists.

[-] 2 points by jinzhao (68) 10 years ago

That sound's appropriate, something like the Kibbutz thing in Israel, right?

[-] 2 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 10 years ago

Yes, it'd be like the Kibbutz.

[-] 2 points by jinzhao (68) 10 years ago

I knew someone who lived on a Kibbutz. He liked it quite a bit. Sounds like a nice option, don't think it will fix the problems of today, though.

[-] 0 points by HitGirl (2263) 10 years ago

The problem not addressed here is that people opposed to this brand of "socialism" will go to extreme efforts to either outlaw such structures or put them out of business in the usual fashion - offering cheaper alternatives - and they have the capital to do it. For this to work it would have to be a government effort with laws favoring such structures. Right now we're engaged in a herculean effort just to pull some of the money out of the hands of a few people who have grown accustomed to being the main recipients of societies largess. They aren't really open to new ideas about a more just society. As they see it, they're winning the game, so the rules are just fine with them.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I don't buy that. Credit unions exist and they work. I don't see why the same wouldn't be possible with small businesses.

OWS could start by creating a small magazine to help propagate its message. This would make it very hard for competitors to dislodge them as readers would want to know OWS from the inside. They could use some of their donation money to pay for startup costs and marketing. Protesters could be asked to buy the magazine to encourage the company. There are many protesters. It would work. This would be a great proof of concept for what OWS wants to achieve nation wide.

If a small thing like this can't be done, then there's no way in hell that we can ever hope to change the economic landscape of the whole nation. If what you say is true, I'll give up now.

[-] 2 points by HitGirl (2263) 10 years ago

Well, it wasn't my intent to discourage you, but business is cut-throat. It's about profits at any cost. People will despoil and pollute and enslave for these profits. But any small step in the right direction is a good one. My point is that people should first get involved in politics like they're involved in sports. With enough of the right people in office things could really turn around. For example, if the same labor rules that apply in our country were made to apply to any country wishing to import to America - the We-Don't-Do-Business-With-Slavers Act - It would create a huge change in global commerce. It is legislation waiting to happen. We just need the right people representing us.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Business is cut throat, that's true. However, for a business to work, it doesn't even have to generate profits as long as it is able to pay its employees and its overhead costs. If it breaks even, then we have a winner. Look at non-profit organizations. There's nothing wrong with staying small and flexible. Not all companies have to become big powerhouses.

OWS could start with a small 4 employe(e)(r) company that designs an OWS magazine. Protesters would be the owners and employees of the company, so they would already want the cooperative nature of the business to work. If this business is able to provide them all with a small income, I would already consider it a success, not only for them, but for OWS as a whole.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

Hey Thrasymaque - good to see you again.

I only have one question to your post - Since this is really nothing new, why is it not being done as an example of the change you and OWS are advocating. Look at all the great corporate leaders who started out this way and made a success of what they did. Not saying that OWS needs to do more than start the company and keep it running for a 5 year period to prove that it could be done by themselves. Actually, they never have to grow to more than the initial 4 employees if that is what they want - why is it not being done.

[-] -3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I can't answer that. I'm nowhere near OWS. You'll have to ask those attending general assemblies.

[-] 2 points by pullmyfinger (-6) 10 years ago

.."anarcho-syndicalist micro and meso structures could work surprisingly well within the confines of the macro structure which is the republic democratic of America."???????

What the fuck does that even mean? Take another hit Cheech

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

It means that small and medium structures like businesses or institutions based on anarcho-syndicalism can work within the mother political framework which is a republic democracy. Similarly, capitalist based companies are currently working inside the mother political framework of China which is communism.

[-] 2 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

Once you get rid of private international finance, you can play around with ideas like this. Until that happens, there's little chance many of us getting out of an economic collapse alive.

"Reinstate the Act, Glass-Steagall! Make the Wall Street games illegal!" - GhandiKingMindset

[-] 2 points by aahpat (1407) 10 years ago

"Anarcho-Syndicalism " Silly tortured over-intellectualizing.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

How so? Both words have meaning.

[-] 2 points by aahpat (1407) 10 years ago

I guess I just use too few words for you to understand.

Don't expect me to beat your dead horse with you.

[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 10 years ago

Its not a matter of hard or easy. Its a matter of who cares.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Those who don't care aren't publishing comments on this page.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

We strongly believe this is the wrong stratagem - first of all who are we? secondly ows is performing a valuable service in simply pointing to the injustice of the system - much like the civil rights movement - watching bull connor attack peaceful protesters was enough for much of the population. they saw the obvious wrong and pushed for change within the system. raising awareness is a very important first step - I (not we) think it is a mistake for ows to try to be any more than it has been - it is a huge success already and if it can continue to keep forcing the ruling class to justify its wealth and power good things will happen.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago


We disagree on what OWS should do next, but that's OK. It's healthy to have various opinions floating around.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

yes it is and nobody has a crystal ball so your guess is as good as mine - but we???? i do agree that some version of anarcho syndicalism is the way to go but that is a long way off - have you seen naomi klein's movie "the take" - really good film about argentina and workers taking over and running factories

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

The "we" bit is explained in the link I provided in my previous comment.

No, I haven't seen Naomi Klein's movie The Take. I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the heads up.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 10 years ago

you can watch it (and a couple of other good ones) here:


[-] 2 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 10 years ago

Someone on this forum recommended a look at Jeremy Rifkin. I find his ideas to be very interesting, and keep going back to them. Though he does not call it anarcho-syndicalism, I think what he is describing is something close. He suggests that lateral power instead of hierarchies would be inevitable when the energy we create and use is laterally based.

From the website: He asks us to imagine hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories, and sharing it with each other in an "energy internet," just like we now create and share information online.

He talks about the four pillars that must be in place in order to move into the third industrial revolution.

  1. Renewable energy resources. The use of renewable energy resources leads to a democratization of energy.
  2. Buildings as power plants
  3. Development of energy storage methods
  4. Development of a distributed power network

So your post made me wonder if there is anything OWS can do that would be in line with this vision.


[-] 2 points by dreamingforward (394) from Gothenburg, NE 10 years ago

Thinking does not always precede action. Action, even violent action sometimes needs be taken in order to relieve the pressures of a failed system. Thought creates more problems.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

Not as much as unthought actions. Exactly how long do you want to give yourself to do something and to then get it moving again.

I would bet that if someone nailed the doors to your residence shut, turned off your source of heat and water, you could not live more than 5 days on what you have on hand. That is what results from no pre-thought. Lots of luck.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Gothenburg, NE 10 years ago

Sadly, the scenario you're describing has already happened. It is what happened to the American Indians.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

I have a great amount of respect for the Native Americans as a people.

I think, that as all people have, they have suffered at the hands of many over the years. My respect comes from working with them and realizing that they have a vision of their futures and that of their children which far surpasses that of most people posting herein.

They also have the ability to forgive and forget and to see the opportunities that are still out there for them. I have two American Indian friends working with me and I could not ask for better people to work with, better friends, or more loyal friends.

They live for the present, have knowledge of the past, but realize that the future is theirs'.

[-] -3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

The most violent actions in history, organized violent actions, were preceded by a lot of thinking. I'm wondering where you get the idea that something violent is something unthought?

Like I said, the only time we don't think is when we become grunters in the presence of beautiful women. Our blood is emptied from our brain so that it can be used to edify an edifice between our legs.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 10 years ago

I am not sure exactly what happened to Russia in the 1990's, but it ended up with extreme inequality because people who owned stocks in companies sold them at very cheap prices.

In a capitalist society, a situation with profitable corporations is an "attractor" in a chaotic system. The way to change this is to deliberately counter the idea that working more will always help society, as described in detail on this site and submitted as a suggestion to be voted on here.

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

"Postmoderity has shown that subsystems vastly different than the master system in which they operate can function and prosper in a healthy manner. We have seen this in the arts... the integration of renaissance elements in the works of such prominent postmodern artists like Matthew Barney. Perhaps more known to the general public would be the examples of Mr. Bungle's, John Zorn's, or Zappa's musics wherein co-exist elements of various contrasting styles."

I don't see why you would want to repeat such artistic failure in the larger economy.

[-] -3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Postmodernity affects all fields, not just art. I could have provided examples from computer programming or medicine. To say that a whole period of human endeavour is a failure is a bit much in my opinion. Matthew Barney's Cremaster Series alone is a fantastic work.

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

Postmodernism is the epitome of immorality and meaninglessness, scrambling for reason in the shadows.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

That sentence says a lot about your intellectual proficiency.

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

lol That was cryptic nonsense, wasn't it?

I was trying to think of some Plato to throw at you, but I was at work and didn't have time to think it through.


[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 10 years ago

This may not be of interest, but it pertains to some of the problems of the road blocks of tax and health care for starting micro businesses and I assume co-ops.

Change tax laws, healthcare, while repairing the economy. Self employ. Posted Oct. 25, 2011, 12:35

The payroll deduction system has not worked, except for the IRS, congress and corporations.

By changing to the below five point system, there would be thousands more small business start ups, creating more non corporate jobs. Full employment would increase wages and lower each person's taxes, while increasing tax revenues, which would fund social services.

One of the leading causes of new business closures is that the management must manage not only their own but also employees tax and benefits. Default of rules and payment of Income, SS, MC, sales taxes, permits and fees are reasons the IRS, state and local tax enforcements close many. Even without employees, the self-employed are threatened by the present system being a tax and healthcare minefield.

The production of products or services is what the entreprenuer should be spending their work time on. Business accounting would replace tax planning.

The new plan would:

1.Require that full earnings be deposited at a bank.

2.Eliminate sales tax collection by retailers.

3.Have federal, state, and local governments deduct their tax revenue from earnings when they are deposited.

4.Offer benefits desired by the worker/owner as an optional cafeteria plan. Insurance, retirement plan, education savings, charities, christmas club, etc, with payments deducted and fowarded from earnings.

5.Require that earnings and salaries from business be deposited/taxed the same as a wage earner. (larger deposits, larger tax %). Reinvestment in business would be therefore pretaxed.

This plan greatly enhances the freedom to quit a job, start a business, hire employees, with everyone having equal benefit availability. All employees would have to be lured with better pay and a more desirable job.

[-] 1 points by computer (10) 10 years ago

Anarcho-Syndicalism in the 20th Century 240 pages pdf


Rudolf Rocker's Anarcho-Syndicalism, 176 pages pdf http://www.mediafire.com/?zmyvzmumunf Preface NOAM CHOMSKY The publication of Rudolf Rocker's Anarcho-Syndicalism, after far too many years, is an event of much importance for people who are concerned with problems of liberty and justice. Speaking personally, I became acquainted with Rocker's publications in the early years of the Second World War, in anarchist book stores and offices in New York City, and came upon the present work on the dusty shelves of a university library, unknown and unread, a few years later.

[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

Having worked with well over 1,000 people each year over a period of ten years, let me share with you the group process and how it works in the real world:

You pick 30 people to serve as the committee, the democratic group or whatever you want to call them.

  1. 13 will spend their time in theory, purposing how everything should be organized, venting about problems that have nothing to do with the committees purpose, theorizing about possibilities, and inventing terms, discussing their personal pet topics and how so and so stated this and that at some point in time, how "beautiful" everything really is, and who we all need to work together, etc.

  2. 13 will spend their time in social activities, long discussions about something over breaks, and minimal attention to the real work at hand, they will likely meet somewhere other than where the work center is, etc.

03 The remaining four will roll up their seleves and get to work. One of these will be so hung up on words and wording that they are basically worthless. One will have their head so far in the clouds that they have no real input of any value to the purpose of the group at all.

The remaining two will dig in, complete the work in a very fine fashion and everyone will wonder how the group of 30 could get everything done so fast. But they will all be very proud of their work.

NOW - as you read through these various forums and posts - it should be very easy to see who is in which group, who has any input into what needs to be done, who can identify a problem, and who can come up with a workable solution. PS - you are only looking for two people, and please realize that the posts on here have a better change of representing either of the 13 person groups that the 2 who will be the work done.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

You might be right, although anarchies were working pretty well during 1930's Spain. The only way to know for sure is to try. You already know, so let us try and break our own necks, then we'll surely agree with you.

[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

If you are aware of the 1930 experiments, you will know that it involved relatively few people in a limited area of Spain and did not last very long. Just sayin . . . .

What I do not understand is, if has worked well in the past, what is everyone waiting for to make it work today. It seems that all that the anarchists are looking for is someone to say go ahead and do your thing - If I wanted to open a resturant tomorrow, I would do so, not spend a lot of time protesting, trying out the verbal waters, etc.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago


the people don't own the resources to create a business

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

OWS has half a million in donations.

[-] 3 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

Those are gift cards to Barnes & Nobles on 2nd St.!

[-] 1 points by jinzhao (68) 10 years ago

I think the solution to today's problems must be something like FDR's New Deal. Such large scale projects are necessary to get society as a whole moving in the direction of progress once again.

Perhaps once that is achieved, and we are saved from our imminent doom, such experiments in anarcho-syndicalism would be appropriate.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Perhaps you're right. OK. Forget what I said. I'm going to wash my sleeping bag and meet you near the back of the park. Do you need a small cup to collect donations?

Joking aside, I agree you might be right. Sometimes the mega structure must be changed so that the meso and micro elements transmute into something more desirable. Content does affect the form, and not the other way around. Indeed.

Thanks, you're one of the first with a real counter-argument.

[-] 1 points by jinzhao (68) 10 years ago

Hmh? And I was expecting a scathing rebuttal.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Sorry, your point is strong. I think my idea of breaking from inside might work, but a complete change of the macro structure would be much faster. This is obvious. I'm just worried that if we only concentrate on creating a revolution, we'll be thrown off guard when we realize we don't have time tested solutions to replace the old systems. Perhaps we can use both solutions at once. We start creating small anarcho-syndicalist businesses, but we also keep going strong with the idea of complete and utter revolution.

[-] 2 points by jinzhao (68) 10 years ago

What do you mean by a revolution? Violence? Perhaps so, but I just think we need a good leader like FDR and a program like the New Deal. Of course none of that is on the horizon though.

[-] 2 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

FDR-like policies are being implemented in Asian nations, particularly China and Russia. As bad as these places seem (and are), their leaders are working towards a better future.

[-] 3 points by jinzhao (68) 10 years ago

That's right, and we could do the same thing here, and connect it up with what they are doing in Asia. For example, some envision building a bridge over, or a tunnel under the Bering Strait, for trains, oil, and electricity.

[-] 2 points by riethc (1149) 10 years ago

Yes, exactly. Nations should be cooperating not "globalizing".

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 10 years ago

Chomsky gives his thoughts on Anarcho-Syndicalism / Libertarian Socialism:


yours s sff http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

More like an "education movement" -- informing, advocating new approaches, and facilitating these new approaches. There are various models, and various organizations that provide assistance in this area. The National Cooperative Business Association, American Worker Cooperative, Co-op Made in USA, The National Center for Employee Ownership, and all sorts of organizations that are more specific in nature (e.g. organizations that help cooperative grocers, accountants, banks, local organizations, etc.).

They offer peer technical assistance to those who are interested in starting an employee owned firm.

Overall I would expect that this sort of thing will emerge (or is emerging) from OWS. Good post, OWS will hopefully stay on track (and keep doing what it has been doing), and continue its basic message of ending political corruption, dealing with the abuses in our financial industry (and pushing for effective regulations), speaking out against gross wealth disparity, etc.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Indeed, I think it would be good if OWS worked closely with the associations you list. These types of ideas have existed for years, it's time we give them broader wings so they can take off for much longer and impressive flights.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 10 years ago

My feeling is that Anarcho-Syndicalist and Libertarian Socialist ideas are going to increase in popularity, not just among The Occupy Movement but generally. The key here is introducing the ideas to more people -enlightening and convincing - in a respectful matter of course. I mean, how can one not want more democracy? There´s no controvercy with creating a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If one shares the view that people should have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. Anarcho Syndicalism is the most decent and reasonable system - the society we should strive for. We must however also focus on the short term goals, like higher taxes on the rich, getting money out of politics etc.

yours s sff http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I agree and I believe OWS should start creating some anarcho-syndicalist businesses to show us all that it can be done, and how it can be done.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 10 years ago

sure, but we should also focus on the workplaces that exist today. Sit-down strikes, local general strikes, and maybe even workers´takeover in areas with lots of community support. Remember, Its not enoug to just create a co-op here and there, The system - State-Capitalism - has got to go. The economy is all encompassing, you know.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

If anarcho-syndicalism is the future, I believe nothing will be able to stop it as it grows and engulfs the other systems. Show by example. Don't worry about the existing companies, create new companies using anarcho-syndicalism. Give hierarchic type companies and their employees something to worry and think about. Make them jealous by showing them a better system. If anarcho-syndicalism truly is a winner, it will prevail over time. Truth always prevails over time.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 10 years ago

yes, but we must focus on existing economic institutions as well. The very higly concentrated private wealth and power is still there after we ve created lots of co-ops, we have to focus on the power that the 1% have in society today as well. I say both: Create libertarian socialist social orgnaizations and workplaces and fight the capitalists and private owners of wealth and means of production :)

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Yes, a fight on both fronts seems like the soundest tactic.

[-] 4 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 10 years ago

Excellent post, Thras. The magazine idea sounds like a great place to start. It might also be easier to transform existing small businesses rather than starting from scratch. It's been my contention early on that focusing on Wall Street and DC is only half the equation and that to truly change American society we must use a two-pronged approach, attacking the corruption from the top but also from the bottom up, by changing ourselves. It ain't gonna be easy, my friend, but very few things worthwhile are, as I'm sure you well know.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

Such theoretical discourses are of very little utility to the day to day processes of OWS in the here and now,

[-] 0 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

You're right, but this website has become a place for people to ventilate and "strut their stuff."

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Thinking always precedes action, unless you're savagely making love to a beautiful woman. At times like that, your brain recedes to its animal instincts and your voice utters grunts instead of well-formed comprehensible words.

My hope is that at least some OWS protesters are thinkers. I can't imagine a new world being created solely by unthinking purely emotional creatures.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

Of course OWS activists are thinkers. Many in fact share your views on anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism, but they are too busily involved in the movement to give much consideration to grand theory, not because they don't know about it or aren't interested in it, but because there are much more pressing and immediate problems for the movement. And frankly it could use all the intellectual help it can get in addressing those practical problems than the long discourses of fringe kibbitzers,

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

What are those practical problems. Send me a private message with a list of them, and I'll be glad to help by providing my thoughts. It's not because I write about this that I can't also with about that.

Personally, I think the problems I raise in this essay are very real and I believe I am offering very practical solutions. I don't see how it hurts to propose well written and well thought out ideas, and I don't see how it helps to dissuade forum users from elaborating on issues they believe are serious. Critical thought should always be welcomed. God knows we already have enough illogical and nonsensical crap on this forum.

Would you prefer that I post a conspiracy theory like most other users?

Here, I'll link you to my favorite one. You might find it more interesting than this post. Enjoy!


[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

I don't have a comprehensive list of immediate issues, but here are a few that come to mind off the top of my head";

how are the couple of hundred homeless OWS activists in NYC to housed--TONIGHT?

Should we attempt to reoccupy or seek some other alternative for the movement (e.g. office space, etc)?

If we are to attempt to re-occupy when, where and how should we go about it?

What kind of demonstrations are we planning for today, tommorrow, next week and how can i contribute to them?

It was by addressing exactly such practical and immediate questions that the initiators of the movement, many of whom freely admit being anarchists, first built the movement and how they continue to build the movement despite the fact that the vast majority of people that they are successful in mobilizing and for whom they come out in solidarity, do not in any way share their more global political views,

[-] 2 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Thank you for this comment! It reminds people of just how serious OWS is and how difficult it is to carry this struggle forward. If you are one of the people grappling with these real problems I would like to thank you for what you are doing.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

There's no problem. They have 500,000 dollars in donations. They can pay for cheap hotel rooms until they start creating anarcho-syndicalist type businesses to generate an income on top of the donations.

[-] 0 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

I'd rather trust the decisions of the people who are on the ground doing the do than the cheap words of a blowhard know-it-all.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Then why use this site, and, more importantly, why read my post and reply to it in the comments?

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

I enjoy doing so. Also the news items keep me abreast of things that the movement is doing.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

My article answers all these questions. Did you read it?

  1. OWS activists wouldn't have to be homeless if they started creating anarcho-syndicalist based businesses to earn a living.
  2. OWS protesters should not attempt to re-occupy, instead they should begin to work on implementing anarcho-syndicalist startups to start changing the economic landscape of America right now.
  3. The demonstrations of tomorrow should be based on my idea of building a new world with functional examples of anarcho-syndicalism instead of attempting to destroy the old world through direct action.
[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

Creating an "anarcho-syndicalist based business" does absolutely nothing to get homeless OWS activists housed TONIGHT.

O.K., so you oppose reoccupation, How do you propose to have your point of view implemented? That is a practical questions, which, so far as I can see, you have not addressed at all, which is quite unlike serious OWS activists who are every bit as radical as you,

Do you have any idea what demonstation or demonstrations are actually on deck for tomorrow? If so how would you practically intervene wth you point of view?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

O.K., so you oppose reoccupation, How do you propose to have your point of view implemented? That is a practical questions, which, so far as I can see, you have not addressed at all, which is quite unlike serious OWS activists who are every bit as radical as you,

Their is a step that must be taken before the implementation of an idea.

That step is to discuss the idea with other people. These people, if intelligent, will either propose counter-arguments or rectify inconsistencies present within my arguments. After debating for a certain time with other thinkers, my ideas will have either been deemed good, or bad. If they are deemed good and interesting, then, and only then, will I worry about their implementation.

I have no idea why you are against the debating of serious ideas. It's bewildering. If you have no real counter-arguments for my arguments, then I see no point in continuing. I'm sorry, but I like to debate and discuss ideas before moving on to the stage of implementation. It might surprise you, but people like David Graeber also do this. They don't just jump in the street. They spend a lot of their time reading books, discussing with others, and writing alone at home.

Your whole attack is based on a logical fallacy. It's not because some OWS activists have problems to solve for tonight, that I shouldn't post an article concerning issues which deal with long term problems and goals.

Again, perhaps you would prefer reading this post: http://occupywallst.org/forum/black-helicopters-up-your-ass-in-america/

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

I'm by no means against the debating of serious ideas. I just don't think that the decision making processes of OWS are the place for it. It is quite simply overwhelmed with the day to day problems of the movement, which is exactly what it is proper for a social movement to do.

Ideas, by there very nature are centrifical and divisive, which is the last thing that OWS needs. What it really does need, immediately, is to take all that intellectual energy and apply it concretely to the immediate problems of the movement, many of which simply cannot be discussed for hours or days, let alone weeks at a time. They are problems that need to be settled immediately.

Again, I'm not especially opposed to intellectual kibbitzing. I do it myself all the time, but I recognize it for what it is. No genuinely serious discussion is likely to ensure on a site like this, much less actually get adopted by the movement as a whole, I'd like to encourage people on this site to actually get involved in the movement rather than just kibbitizing on this list which is all your lenghly posts really amount to (mine too for that matter). Why am I here? I live at some distance from an active occupation and have job and health issues, but I do go to an occupation as often as I can, The rest of the time I kibbitz here but I don't have such a self important point of view to consider it any more than that,

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

You don't think the decision making processes of OWS are in place for discussing serious ideas for the movement? I agree. Thats the problem! They can't even manage this. Yet, we're expected to sign on for their rainbow and puppy dog tail vision for the world thats all flowers and sunshine.

These people running the movement don't have the slightest clue what they're doing. 150 working groups that is a spaghetti bowl mess of overlap and redunancy, because there is no cohesive strategy.

The plan. Create a revolution. Overthrow the government. Figure out the rest later. Great plan!

Of course they can't be bothered to put a little more specifics behind this plan, some implementation strategy, steps to be taken, dependencies, even a simple project plan. This is basic stuff. Because they'll spend their day figuring out where to sleep tonight, going in circles amongst the redundant and do nothing working groups in their completely ineffective organization structure, taking endless direct democracy votes to every single word to some other meaningless declaration.

They're not interested in a cohesive strategy or implementation plan with any practical ideas. Like, start small anarcho-syndicalist businesses. Otherwise, they would have done that by now. When it's oh so much better to create a revolution.

[-] 2 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

Please close your mind quick! Try not to let anything past your deep brow. And for the love of the gods, stop trying making sense out of pennies!

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 10 years ago

A practical idea for job creation.


[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

While I am deeply distressed and troubled by the decision making process in OWS, the fact remains that it is the only significant movement of opposition in this nation at the moment. Small as it is it is the largest movement of opposition that this nation has seen, IMHO since the old Socialist Party was crushed after coming out in opposition to American participation in World War I and it is most certainly the most radical and comprehensive social movement that this nation has seen in living memory. Also, despite problems with its decision making process it is by far the most open and transparent movement I have seen in nearly 50 years of activism. For that reason I have considerable hope that over time its decision making processes will improve and become more democratic, and for that reason I remain unconditionally committed to OWS,

This movement has created the first alliance between organized labor and the radical intelligentcia since the 1940s. It has built alliances with the stop stop and frisk movement, with the debtor class, with the homeless, with the foreclosed, with sections of the religious community, with environmentalists and with other social movements.

It has put forward very few political documents. While many of its most devoted activists are quite radical it most certainly is not explicitly revolutionary (though it might be viewed as such implicitly). At most it is fairly clearly anti-corporate,

It has been fairly open about why it has chosen so far not to raise demands, It is very self conscious of its tiny size in comparison to the population as a whole and to raise demands at this point in its development would be presumptuous and premature.

I realize how impatient people can be when they first encounter a social movement, but in historical terms OWS is brand new, barely in its infancy, What is astonishing is not what it hasn't accomplished, but what it has,

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

If that is what you believe, then you should let this post sink so that conspiracy theories can get back to the top.

I'm in Bali my friend. There is no Occupy in Indonesia. Let me use the methods of communication which are at my disposal. This forum is one of them. If you like, I'll compensate this posting which you find too intellectual by providing you with a conspiracy theory of my own design custom made just for you. What turns you on? Aliens or pyramids, or a combination of both?

[-] 3 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

Ducks! Tell us about ducks! lol

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

All right. In a few hours, I'll post a conspiracy theory about ducks just for RedJazz43. When it's ready, I'll send you and RedJazz43 the link via private messaging. Are you into Howard, Donald, or some other duck?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

While you wait for my conspiracy theory, you can tell OWS activists that they can solve their homeless problem by paying for cheap hotel rooms using the 500,000 dollars that OWS has amassed with donations.

Last time I stayed in NYC, I found a room for 30$ near 103, just west of Central Park. That comes to 10,950$ for one year per protester. Perhaps you can squeeze two per room. This will provide them with good nights and well deserved rests. They'll be fully energized to keep protesting so they'll quickly amass more money through donations.

When you have the time, pull a few on the side, give them a bit of donation money, and ask them to start an anarcho-syndicalist based company. They could create a magazine for Occupy. This will help propagate the message of the protest, will provide proof by practical example that anarcho-syndicalist businesses work, and will provide income for a few protesters.

Lather, rinse, and repeat until you have taken over all of America.

[-] 2 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

That was 50 years ago and you had to share with the Nigerian Maoists! I know YOU!

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Thirty dollars for a hotel room right near Central Park! Not this century. What bullshit.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

It was indeed 30$, near Central Park, and in this century. No bullshit.

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Why not post the address and name of this institution? Wouldn't that be a great service?

*(edit) Now you responded to me. By answering back am I "stalking" you?

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago


[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

It's common practice to use the first person plural in scholarly essays. This has the caveat of sounding somewhat narcissistic, but since I consider this piece as a miniature manifesto, I feel this tense is appropriate. Manifestos are almost always written in the first person plural.

[-] 0 points by occupypuppies (71) 10 years ago

You are still stuck in the Protestant mindset that every action needs to have a purpose and a result. The Protestant tradition tells us that everything must have a reason. But we can just live. I think an important piece that's missing from this plan is play. How will we play? We are running the risk of taking ourselves much too seriously. Aren't the best moment of the movement when something unexpected happens? When something spontaneous happens? To me they are, and spontaneity is the answer to all of life's ills.

Let's not OVERPLAN the future. Let's just let it happen and make the best decisions for ourselves each moment.

We don't have to predict or even really plan out the future, it will come, and if we try to enjoy it, I think that will be setting an example for others. Remember that the world is a playground.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I'm don't think OWS should be about Donkey Kong. If I want to play games, I'll use my Atari.

However, if you're only looking for adventure, I suggest you try occupying the mansions of known mafia kingpins.

[-] 0 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

at least your trying to improve the intellectual elitist mental masturbation toward the implementation of liberal anarchism-syndicalism....America's constitution is time tested and time proven just not very well tried as of late...wish you would spend some time with the constitution..it is good, it is moral, it is fair and it offers a way out of the mess both right and left have made of things....

if you so desperately want to reinvent something...ows and it's followers might start with themselves...maybe your ideals would carry more credibility....

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Nowhere do I mention the idea of abandoning the constitution.

if you so desperately want to reinvent something...ows and it's followers might start with themselves...maybe your ideals would carry more credibility....

My article is about reinventing OWS and what OWS protesters do.

I assume you haven't read a line I wrote, or that your English comprehension skills are lacking.

[-] 2 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

p.s. Your not wrong necessarily but in our brokenness few see the big picture. It becomes us vs them which is the bigger problem....

[-] 1 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

“Suppose our failures occur, not in spite of what we are doing, but precisely because of it. Right, left, moderate. christian, non believer, capitalist, socialist, anarcho syndicalist or what and whom ever“....

The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians, and business leaders. Most "not all" have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes- a time for men and women to be heroic in their faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the world and the Christian church today is that of pitching its message too low.”

“The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.”

“The test of character posed by the gentleness of God's approach to us is especially dangerous for those formed by the ideas that dominate our modern world. We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character. Only a very hardy individualist or social rebel -- or one desperate for another life -- therefore stands any chance of discovering the substantiality of the spiritual life today. Today it is the skeptics who are the social conformists, though because of powerful intellectual propaganda they continue to enjoy thinking of themselves as wildly individualistic and unbearably bright.”

Best Regards,

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Sorry, I'm a hardcore atheist-ignostic and anti-religious. There's no point in debating God talk, we'll never even come close to an agreement.

[-] 2 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

So what...we can disagree.

“Theology is just what you really think about God, and if you’re going to do that, you’d better use your mind and not just be a receptacle – a catch-all for whatever beliefs happen to be passing by.”

Be an anti whatever...The fact that most of us are unable to even make a show of civility says an awful lot about the contemporary political moments right, left or middle.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Your comments are off topic. They have nothing do to with my posting. Please create your own article if you wish to talk about God. If you don't, I'll collapse your comments with a bot. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

they are on topic my friend...more than you realize....i wish you the best!


[-] 2 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

The Romans knew how to deal with monotheists!!!

[-] 2 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

Yeah they crucified them.....Christians we're killed for loving God unto death and then their faith was perverted into something it was never intended to be.

The Bible can be viewed as the story of people running into and out of relationship with God.

Sorry my faith offends you....your unbelief does not! However your allusion that I should be killed for my belief says a lot....about you.

[-] 0 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

Yeah they crucified them... Oh yea, forgot about that. I was thinking lions! :)

Sorry my faith offends you.... Who cares! Pixi dust us out of this mess.

your unbelief does not! Clearly!

However your allusion that I should be killed for my belief says a lot....about you.

Most things I write do.

[-] 2 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

So funny when i see stuff like this.....a probable wannabe intellectual elitist sociopath who who wants to feed me to lions.

hint...you'll see me fighting at ufc 143 on the undercard.....maybe you should get in the cage sometime?

doubt it...

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

You are a moron beyond all measure. I joke about lions and you VOLUNTARILY get into a cage. You are an embarrassment to humanism.

[-] 1 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago


Contemporary humanism is a mess because it doesn’t know what it believes, so much so that it doesn’t know what “it” stands for. It has ignored or rejected its renaissance origins (too religious?) in favor of a free-base approach to whatever grabs its attention on a given day.

Secular Humanism seems to reject the metaphysics upon which the natural rights are based. This worldview does not actually provide a metaphysical foundation for its emphasis on humanity and social justice. These are just taken as a given as true within a purely physical universe. As I have argued in prior posts, there is no way that morality, and by extension natural justice, can be real aspects of the universe regardless of anyone's mere personal opinion unless they are based on some form of nonphysical metaphysics. Quite simply, if everything that exists is physical, then there is no inherent right or wrong, there is just the way things are. The physical universe is not at all concerned with social justice or humanity per se.

If one is truly concerned about humanity and believes in natural rights, and also believes that there is inherent truth to their moral convictions as opposed to mere opinion, then it is rational to find a metaphysical foundation for morality that can incorporate this. Rejection of anything supernatural and strict belief in materialism does not allow for a foundation of morality that can be true regardless of anyone's point of view. Secular Humanism is not a coherent worldview in essence. A worldview that includes belief in a nonphysical aspect of the self is more rational and I believe more justified given the scientific and phenomenological evidence.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 10 years ago

You lost me at "because".

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I warned you to create a new posting instead of writing off-topic comments. Consequently, Iv'e unleashed a bot to vote down your comments.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Lol! Religitards are the funniest.

[-] 1 points by believeingod (-72) 10 years ago

How about you stand up like a man and debate your ideas by expressing them instead of insulting me....perhaps you are intimidated? Perhaps your arguments don't stand up?



[-] 0 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

The USA is a two wings of one party dictatorship. Revolution is a necessity because the leaders of this dictatorship are bankrupt when it comes to any viable solutions to the mounting problems of "the 99%" These problems are serious and getting more and more grave by the minute. "Slow" doesn't do it.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

There's no reason why you couldn't or shouldn't start creating anarcho-syndicalist companies right now. Why wait? We can continue our attempt at destroying the government, but we can also start building the future world today. Let's cross-fade towards tomorrow. When a building crumbles, we'll already have a new one to replace it with.

Wasn't it this very site that was promoting the idea of leaving big banks for credit unions? Why not do the same with our very jobs. Let's replace the companies we work for with cooperations so we can make the transition to an equalitarian society as quickly as possible.

[-] 0 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

With half a million dollars we could... we could... we could... not do very much in terms of employing and housing people. Not even in Indonesia.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I could do a lot with that kind of money. You just have to be smart on how to spend and invest it. Smart people can make more money with money.

Create an Occupy magazine. Use anarcho-syndicalism to run the business. Pay occupiers to tell their stories. Sell it to the millions of protesters worldwide. Protesters with more money can help those with less. This will spread Occupy's message, help protesters get closer to each other, show that an Occupy anarcho-syndicalist company can work, create jobs for protesters, and generate an income apart from donations.

[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

Thrasymaque - If you are waiting for someone to say go ahead with your plan, here it is "GO ahead with your plan"

This has been nothing but talk for 3 months and NO action. You need to get moving.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I'm in Bali, Indonesia. I do not control the $500,000 in donation that Occupy has amassed. I am sharing an idea. That is what the forum is for. I already have a job that keeps me very busy.

Is it not OK to share an idea?

[-] 1 points by BearDickinson (125) from Ewing, VA 10 years ago

Act - act from the HeArt - do what is right - do unto unto others as you would want done too you - KARMA, dammit ! it's really simple, no ? such a simple thing, it is.i am brought to tears............

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Sure, I believe that everyone should have the right to express himself/herself. You don't share that belief, except as to yourself. BTW I think it was yesterday you cited Gilad Atzmon. I presented you with a piece of evidence connecting him to 911 Truth. I asked if you knew what he thinks about that issue. Do you know the answer?

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I think you are confused with another user. As far as I can recall, I never cited Gilad Atzmon. Can you show me the comment you are referring too?

And, would you happen to be TITOUAISE? I'm curious because you are stalking me like he usually does.

[-] 0 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

No, I'm not stalking you. I'm reading and commenting. Don't be so big headed. It's your ideas I am disputing. Get used to that. Not everyone agrees with you and not everyone thinks you are the cat's meeow. (edit) PS if you don't want to see me reply to you, then simply don't reply to me and I won't bet the notification that I have a comment that is responded to. Thrasymaque, this isn't your comment? Then someone is up to something rotten. No?


[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (2762) 2 days ago You're not an acolyte or protege of Alan Dershowitz are you ?! (cf. "Alan Dershowitz’ Attempt to Destroy a Memorial to Martin Luther King", by Gilad Atzmon : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30240.htm ) lux ? You never stop with your mountains of assumptions do you? Anything else? ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink

[-] -3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Yes, that was me. I wasn't quoting Gilad Atzomon, I was quoting one of your comments which happened to quote Gilad Atzomon. I don't even know who the guy is.

I'm not interested in discussing conspiracy theory nonsense in this post. It's off-topic and I will collapse comments of this nature.

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

I don't know if I quoted Atzmon originally or not. It doesn't much matter. Your threat is immature. Anyone could make a few dozen alter egos and travel the length and breadth of this website voting up and down comments. Is that a hobby of yours? If so it is destructive to free discourse and the very spirit of OWS.

[-] -3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

It's not a hobby at all. But you're currently trolling by stalking me and posting off-topic comments. When a user does that, then, and only then, it becomes my hobby to collapse his comments.

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

I am replying to you. Don't reply to me and the problem is solved. Grow up.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

Don't reply to my comments anymore. Else, they will be collapsed. Have a good day, and please stop trolling this site. Thanks.

You'll note that you told me to "Shut the Phuque up". This is not very polite. I'll take your advice, but I'll shut you up instead.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

Sometimes. Sometimes. There is also a time to keep quiet. This forum, more than anything, represents one of the greatest competitions that exist today. If fully surpasses any bowl game, etc in its overriding drive to prove that "I" have a superior idea, a new idea, etc.

If I really was reading the posts herein to learn something, it would be a great waste of my time. However, I do find this one of the most valuable sociology classes, I have ever been a part of.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

I hear you. I wish the conspiracy theorists kept quiet, or wrote their nonsense in the proper forums.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 10 years ago

Our minds are a great thing - but when we let them go with no real understanding to recognize good and evil, to filter out the garbage, etc, is really gets sad to watch.

[-] 0 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Why not do it then? Obviously the people who are on the ground dealing with the issues that OWS is facing in real time just aren't as clever as you are, nor as bold and courageous. Give them an example to follow. show them the way. Shut the Phuque up.

[-] -2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 10 years ago

The purpose of this forum is to share ideas. That's what I'm doing.

[-] -1 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

very dangerous movement. huge corruption, disorientated control, collapse. in my understanding the best way is social democracy and parliament republic. when single individuals will be able to vote trough internet. if parliament doesn't satisfies public requirement -it will be replace by the votes. in this futuristic occasion people have to spend their time to do everyday ballot. otherwise they lost social privilege. i cannot see the other way to avoid influence from outside(boogie man people, corporation, invaders). has to be well informed society, which is impossible.