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AUTHOR'S NOTE: This essay is in part a reply to AoT's "No, you don't want another OWS"- I agree we don't need another, but not entirely with the author's reasoning why...)

(SECOND EDIT - the title was a response to a prior essay - no, I don't think Occupy is dead, though my title is misleading.  I just think it needs to evolve now... sorry if it sounds like by "post-occupy" I mean its over.  Simple reactive bad wording on my part)

People who were involved with Occupy Wall Street have an understandable emotional attachment to what they experienced within the movement.  In fact, for many in this age of electronica and isolation, it was their first experience in ground level activism and social work.  People cooperated, they exchanged food, medical services and felt unity. By sheer numbers, they managed to enter the concept of the one percent versus the rest of us into the National dialogue. That cannot be underrated.  

In any discussion of what is next, we have to look with an unemotional, analytical eye at whether or not Occupy was or was not a success.

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AoT: "The problem is that the things that made OWS successful are exactly the things people are calling to change."

Occupy Wall Street did come up with an official statement from its onset, a litany of valid complaints - with the disclaimer that the complaints were not all-inclusive.

What it did not do, is offer any solutions, any demands, any formula for what to prioritize and how to change it.  You cannot change generic drugs, student debt and make everyone a vegan at the same time.  Hell, you cannot even get people to agree on meat consumption in any group.

I will, for clarity's sake provide the list and a comment on each, but if you are time constrained, scroll past it with the observation that not ONE of these complaints were addressed, and not ONE of things changed for the 99% in any way.

~ They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

Nationally, foreclosures have dropped 3% by 2012 from the peak in 2010.  Take into consideration that the most at risk had already been foreclosed on.  Forbes says that the national average calculated by bank foreclosures does not factor in judicial closures.

Yet 25 states did experience upticks in foreclosure activity last year. The biggest surges occurred in New Jersey (55% increase), Florida (53% increase), Connecticut (48% increase), Indiana (46% increase), Illinois (33% increase) and New York (31% increase). Not surprisingly many of these states use judicial foreclosure, meaning the foreclosure process must circulate through the court system.

“2012 was the year of the judicial foreclosure, with foreclosure activity increasing from 2011 in 20 of the 26 states that primarily use the judicial process, and a judicial state — Florida — posting the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the first time since the housing crisis began,” explains Blomquist.


FAIL. Occupy did not stop banks or the courts from evicting people.

~ They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

TARP is still in place, and AIG is suing the government who bailed them out with our money on their shareholder's behalf. In 2012, we bought into GM's stocks to bail it out, and that 15 month period of payments is just coming to an end.  General Motors Co. boosted Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson's pay package by 44 percent in 2012. AIG's Benmosche received a 24% pay boost in 2013.

FAIL.  The hand outs to the haves are still happening, and the top echelons are still extracting huge bonuses.
 

~ They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

FAIL:  There have been no substantive gains in workplace fairness, and discrimination has not been addressed or solved in any way.

~ They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

PUSH:  Monsanto, GMO's are still epidemic in our food supply; yet several states have changed labeling laws due to local activism.  Thus cannot be directly attributed to Occupy, yet the awareness may be in some ways attributed to them.

~ They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

Animal testing and cruel factory farming remains rampant.  While this platform plank brought animal rights activists to the Occupy table, it also proved to be one of its most divisive ideas as well.  Vegans were hugely intolerant of omnivores, and largely took the role of feeding people - to ensure their dietary habits were enforced.

FAIL:  Nothing changed in the practices by big ag and pharma in their inhumane practices.

~ They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

Michigan, formerly the most pro-union state voted against right to work, and the draconian measures put in place against organizing, saw the law passed anyway.  Fast food workers have tried to Unionize, and have been met with little support or success.  

FAIL:  Unions have had losses, and no gains since Occupy.

~ They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

While college costs only rose 2.9% last year (rising more slowly is not a victory) the bulk of the class of 2013's debt is in government loans, with graduates owing an average of $26,000. They also had an average of $19,000 in private loans, $18,000 in state loans, $13,000 in personal and family loans and $3,000 in credit card debt.

FAIL:  The average student still is walking away with $35,200 dollars of debt.  Occupy changed nothing about that.

~ They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

Five-out-of-ten major enterprises intend to increase the volume of application development and maintenance outsourcing during 2013, with four-out-of-ten intending to increase Finance and Accounting outsourcing, according to new research from U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP and HfS Research, a leading analyst authority on global business operations strategies.

A quick google search shows even small business started outsourcing to make profits.  

FAIL:  It seems in the interest of making money in a collapsing economy, Occupy did nothing to awaken even small business owners, let alone the 1%'s demand for fair jobs here.

~ They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

FAIL:  Corporations are still "people."

~ They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

EPIC FAIL: Obamacare, written by these same legal teams, made forced-purchase of their private profiteering law.*

~ They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

FAIL:  Spying has been broadened, not curtailed the last 3 years, in spite of Snowden and Wikileaks; they continue to justify it anyway.

~ They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

This is odd wording.  They have used the military and police to quell free speech, and under NDAA (Hedges suit) have curtailed freedom of the press with the threat of indefinite detention. I would have taken them separately.  

Police brutality and murder of civilians has RISEN since Occupy. Exercises in Martial Law, like in Boston have been run on our streets. No one objected.  

The Press remains corporate controlled - 6 corporations still control all of our media.*

FAIL:  Both police/military abuse, and propagandized media is still epidemic.  

~ They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

Food recalls were up in the 3rd quarter of 2013 50% over the 2nd. There is no conclusive data about recall trends in general products since Occupy, and recall trends have too many variables to quantify.  Poor manufacturing practices, pollution leaks, labeling fails for allergens; it is impossible to say what has or has not been reported.

FAIL:  Occupy had no effect on recalls.

~ They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

The world’s 85 wealthiest people hold as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion, or half the world population, according to a new report from global anti-poverty group Oxfam.

That’s roughly $1.7 trillion for both the 85 richest people, and the poorest half of the planet.

In the US wealth inequality has risen not lowered since Occupy.

FAIL:  Our economy is still based on predatory capitalism.

~ They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

FAIL:  No regulations has been passed, nor has one dollar of influence been stopped from influencing politicians since Occupy.

~ They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

FAIL:  Status quo of Oil addiction is intact.

~ They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

FAIL:  (see comment above marked ** ) The pharmaceutical companies not only helped write Obamacare, but made sure no price caps for medicines were attached to it.  

~ They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

FAIL:  See West Virginia.
 

~ They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

FAIL:  (redundant - answered the same complaint marked ** above) Occupy changed nothing about the media.

~ They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

Sadly, the death penalty is still in place, and there have been others since Try Davis.  This sickening process is still in place.

FAIL:  Occupy changed nothing about the Prison Industrial Complex - a private for profit entity - and its human rights abuses.

|~ They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

Ohhh, boy.  This is an epic statement, in the face of the systemic marginalization by Occupy Oakland's (among others) treatment of people of color, most pointedly "Decolonize Oakland." In Detroit, the representation of Black people, in leadership or membership was abysmal.  

In South Dakota, genocide by stealing of children is epidemic, under the pretext of Family Services, who rake in thousands of dollars a child.  

The separate subject of our international colonialism goes unaddressed - in fact we now have troops, bases and intel teams in more countries than ever, trying to install US-friendly interests and leaders.

EPIC FAIL:  Not only did Occupy change nothing - but they themselves were guilty of colonizing Occupy in the name of white-is-right.  It was appalling.

~ They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

FAIL:  Gitmo is still open, we still have secret sites, and we still in an undeclared "War on Terror" that has given our elites the right to drone bomb anyone, anywhere, anytime.

~ They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.  

FAIL:  WOMD production was not affected by Occupy at all.

So, with all due respect for the efforts, the wonderful intentions and the abuses suffered by those willing to stand in the streets against these atrocities?  Occupy was not a success. It served more as a venting of deadly energy in a safe way that the 1% knew would have no effect in them.

To them, it was barely an inconvenience and an opportunity to use the press they own to ridicule the masses as unwashed, directionless hooligans.  Untrue, of course of those who created working communities; nevertheless it became thematic in the press.  It was also a chance to roll out the Police State apparatus - hence scaring less militant people who may have joined in from stepping out the door.

It actually played well into their hands.  Especially prior to an election they needed to win (by either brand of the Uniparty) by remaining apolitical.

It proved, once and for all, we do not own our public spaces.  They knew, between the police abuse and the weather, they could well wait out those living in parks, and that eventually after raids and thefts' taking the few possessions of the displaced, that the elements and lack of provisions would drive people to safer places to stay.

AoT who wrote the article claimed that any changes to the next movement will lose what made Occupy a "success," but I believe by clinging to failed strategies, we would be cementing our failures in stone.

In addressing that, I will need to change the order of the author's objections to other suggestions for the next phase of Occupy.  She/he thinks none of these should change, and I soundly disagree.

1. We Need Demands.

Webster calls a demand a "a forceful statement in which you say that something must be done or given to you" implying that there will be a repercussion if that demand is not met.  Unions at one time made this process productive.  They would call for shorter hours, or more pay and go out on strike should those conditions not be met.  

Occupy had no demands.  They had a laundry list of general complaints.

Each and every complaint they made had merit, truth.  Most of them could be changed by regulation - but that would take the compliance of either politicians or the 1% who fund them and own the industries whom the complaints were against.  For example, nothing will change about the medical industry while insurance and pharma are in control. No regulation of their profit margin will happen when, without their donations, a Democrat or Republican could not gain an elected seat.

If, in fact, that had been the plan of attack?  They could have demanded "Single Payer," and used all their resources to address fighting Obamacare.  We could have staged a national refusal to pay our insurance premiums.  We could have had educational memes and commercials telling people that the rest of the world has single payer - how much cheaper it would be for them, and how much better the care would be.  The demand could have the teeth of a boycott, as well as Occupying Hospitals and Insurance companies, with the added bonus of exposes run on how much money they make and individual horror stories of denied services to make that profit.

Its a lovely example, but not one I believe would have worked for many reasons.  The money, and the politicians they own still would have beaten us back by media volume and arrests.  It may have helped a national upswell of support for single payer, though.  Obama was elected in 08 with a 74% mandate approving single payer.  

That is good strategy.  Find something the public already wants, and show them they can have it.

The list was too diverse, and hadn't the declarative stance of a demand.  "We demand single payer," is far clearer than a general complaint about cutting worker's healthcare, and letting pharmaceuticals profiteer.

Truly, in my opinion the only demands that should have been made are the core ones, the ones from which all other abuses fall:  The Finance Industry.

I do not know one person who is happy with their bank, including employees of said banks.

"Break the Monopoly on our Money," would have resonated.  Why do you think to this day that bank robbers are seen in our American mythos as heroes?  

In order to truly Occupy Wall Street, the demand should have been made that the Fed become nationalized and answerable to the People, and that all large banks must divorce themselves from Insurance companies (hedging their losses against policies they create) and be broken up into small local entities. Anti-trust laws were written for a reason.

By castrating the ownership of all finances from a few hands to many?  Much of the power that money wields would have been wrested from the Political process.  If we had gone one step further and demanded that all financial institutions be non-profit Credit Unions, even the comfortable middle class would have come on board.  They would save money.  The poorest would see foreclosures end, and interest forgiveness that had been demanded by the criminal rich prior.

Those demands would have been backed by everyone even in the reddest of states.  Had that been Occupy's one and only demand, we could have organized an epic removal of money from banks to credit unions, and perhaps a national boycott of paying a dime of interest when we made our house payments.  "Equity Only Until the Fed is Gone!  Equity Only Until 'Too Big to Fail' Fails!"

That is what a DEMAND looks like.

2. Occupy just needs to occupy the voting booth.

I am sure many Occupiers voted.  Yet, as an apolitical - they made that point repeatedly - movement, as many voted for Tea Party Candidates as Green.  In fact, I would venture to guess given no other seemingly viable candidate, the vast majority held their noses and voted for the Uniparty.  Likely the Democratic, given that the more effective evil, Obama, won.  Lesser of the Two Evils (LOTE) is really the root of our national psychosis that ensures nothing ever changes.

Occupy set itself up, intentionally or by default, on socialist principles.  Yet, never did they endorse a single candidate that espoused these principles. To say that Occupy was a success in one breath, while on the other hand whining that a mere 10k people couldn't have an effect on an election is disingenuous.  Occupy did nothing substantive to change the list of demands, but it DID change the national dialogue. What if that power of suggestion had been focused like a laser on exposing the fact that both of our major parties are corrupt as hell, and that we needed a 3rd party?  What if we had presented a "99%er Party" candidate?

With the glare of media focus at the onset, they should have chosen to run someone. Had they approached a Cindy Sheehan early on, or a Jill Stein (assuring her that it would be a Green/99% coalition party) or Rocky Anderson, or got Alan Grayson to defect to their party we could have really made a difference.  There was no reason they could not have looked within their own ranks and risen an unknown to national renown.

Sure, some within the ranks would have stomped off in a huff over purity tests.  The anarchists would be pissed that its "buying into authoritarianism to elect someone the boss of me," the vegans wouldn't vote for a meat eater.  Feminists would want a woman, and people of color would want someone who looks like them in power.  These things always hold true.  But I believe that if we always go to "LOTE" that they would come around to whomever we found that was best for the job. In the end, not only would they have pulled the lever for the 99% party, social media alone could have made it a landslide.

We really DO have to Occupy electoral politics.

Yes, there is always a chance that someone in Power may become compromised, but if we do not try, we are starting from the position of voting for someone who has already been compromised by the money and corruption in our (laughable) 2-party system - all of whom are funded by the very same corrupt vulture capitalist 1%.

We could have used the statement of principles as a litmus test to back candidates locally and nationally.  

We could have used our collective voices to say "We don't have to pick their puppets no matter how much money they throw at it.  We have a choice!"

I know "politics" is a dirty word.  But truly, they are supposed to speak for us, and right now none of them do.  What the hell would have been wrong with backing someone who held our principles? We could have changed our THINKING, even if we didn't win, even if we came close. We could have changed ballot laws, and who gets invited to debates.

Not Occupying the vote was a fatal flaw... for its easier to take it seat by seat than overthrow the money backers in one fell sweep.

3. Leadership

It is sad that no charismatic leader emerged, one with both the substance and style to garner loyalty and following.  One that both listened, and modified their message to the will of the people; one that didn't seek power but was chosen out of respect by the movement.  Exceptional human beings aren't wished into existence.  Maybe there just was no one.  Or maybe there was, but they were never given the chance, put down by the concept of keeping it leaderless.

The problem with intentionally leaderless movements is that you end up with a centipede with every leg walking in a different direction. Yet?  There is something to be said that a leader can be targeted, assassinated, jailed and tortured. I understand that fear.

I will say, that despite the leaderless designation, every Occupy I attended in Michigan had certain people running it.  Volunteers.  Committee heads.  Primarily white, upper class, college age students.  Anyone could raise an idea, but the one chairing the discussion often dismissed them, and whatever the insular "planning group" had already decided in private became what everyone else had to follow. Occupy was not leaderless, it was publicly leaderless.  For example?  For one, and only one march in Oakland, the Decolonize Oakland subgroup asked that there be no violence, so that there was no excuse to have arrests made - so that in order to shut down the port, they could invite thousands of undocumented workers to join them on May Day.  A group of 4 or 5 shut the idea down summarily.

All in all? We have been trained in the US to be followers.  It is a grand idea to all be leaders, but we have also been weaned in personal gain and inflated senses of egos.  A leader or two would have been helpful, and we should have been open to the idea had one emerged.

4. The Anarchist Effect

Occupy was started by Adbusters, originally. They are an anti-capitalist group whose intent was to change how information flowed and take the propagandist slant out.

To say it was created by Anarchists is utterly wrong.  It was embraced by Anarchists in the US, to be sure, but they didn't create it.  They were very involved in making a "citizen run" society - to prove that we didn't need government to be successful.  Of course, if you measure success by sustainability?  Their societies only lasted months.

I have less problem with those who, at the start, played defender of the weak:  The black bloc who stood in the front lines, clashing with pigs so that the old, young or infirm could get away.

But sadly?  That group became more vocal - more authoritarian, if you will - in demanding that Occupy was made in their image. It was their influence that crippled what could have been a movement that changed concrete things - like leaders, demands and having candidates.

I am no pacifist, but pointless violence became the norm.  Smashing the window of the family who bought a small Starbucks franchise, the family that brought campers donuts and coffee every single morning up until that day didn't hurt the corporation at all.  It hurt a small businessman, probably disillusioned his family, and made the people who lived on the street hungrier.

It allowed for infiltration, and there is concrete proof that FBI agents and police joined and did violent acts for which to blame on OWS. Once Occupy opened the door to allowing terrorism of local people, there was no way to filter who was real and who was an agent provocateur.  

For a movement to be successful, it has to have rules, and anarchists are absolutely anti-rules... other than every interaction should be by mutual consent.  I am not sure where the mutual consent of that Starbucks owner comes in.  I think too many were not really interested in social change as much as in venting their rage and their Daddy issues.  The US-anarchist movement has little to do with the actual principles of Anarchism as Noam Chomsky has repeatedly pointed out to me on air and in email, as well as other public venues.

He agrees, the idea of consent and the idea that no man should have 'rule' over another, that we are all beings of intrinsic equal value, capable of informed consent over every exchange in our lives is a profoundly good idea.

However, the do-no-harm principle of it demands an informed, enlightened populace... and we are generations away from that.  The no-government-at-all-NOW set is short sighted and counter intuitive. People would die, suffer, starve, and the already suffering infrastructure of public works and education would become non-existent. The most at risk already would be sacrificed in a country more prone to 'Lord of the Flies' than 'Pay it Forward.'

I am not saying Anarchists should be purged from any movement going forward.  They should be cautioned that the next logical step is towards Socialism until we reach a healthy, educated, secure society.  Only then can the idea of dismantling structure be worked towards in any way that would be beneficial to all.  If they can work within those constraints, towards a common betterment and an end goal more to their liking, fine.

Random violence would have to be self-policed, and made absolutely taboo.  Responding to violence by protecting the weak when forced to, allowed.  See the difference?

5.  What Now?

I am sure those who were 24/7 invested at OWS are protective and proud of it as the mother of a newborn, but rationally?  It was a failure.  Nothing changed.

Occupy became more about real estate than anything else.  A clash to say, "We can be here," and in the end making that the primary concern was its downfall.  

Its not about what park we can have, but who owns the process by which we meet our basic needs, and how fairly our lives are legislated and protected.

The next step in whatever is to follow should not be another Occupy, certainly not one as based in racism and sexism as it was. We need to change tactics that did not work.

Real change comes through whispers in the fields, they say.  It is another way of saying, there is a tipping point at which an idea becomes a concern, and a concern is made reality.

We need to focus on the common ground of the 1%, banking and Wall Street being broken up.  We need to focus on a 3rd Party and convince people the ONLY thing stopping that from being reality is a lie we tell ourselves... for it CAN be done, if we so choose.

So yes, Occupy the Voting Booth, Occupy Banking with the one demand of breaking the monopolies up, and the rest will follow far easier.

That is how I see it.

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this; its history needs to be told (8+ / 0-)
    Occupy was started by Adbusters, originally. They are an anti-capitalist group whose intent was to change how information flowed and take the propagandist slant out.
    and this is the direction it needs to take, although occupying Congress might be useful as well
    Real change comes through whispers in the fields, they say.  It is another way of saying, there is a tipping point at which an idea becomes a concern, and a concern is made reality.

    We need to focus on the common ground of the 1%, banking and Wall Street being broken up.  We need to focus on a 3rd Party and convince people the ONLY thing stopping that from being reality is a lie we tell ourselves... for it CAN be done, if we so choose.

    So yes, Occupy the Voting Booth, Occupy Banking with the one demand of breaking the monopolies up, and the rest will follow far easier.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:04:14 PM PST

    •  adding the note that (8+ / 0-)

      third party efforts have a certain historical limit in this particular democracy until many events and crises come into effect. OTOH as earlier discussions her have opined certain localized movements toward collectivity among other things can move the electoral process forward

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

      by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:10:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's my rebuttal to Markos (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, Galtisalie

        Who seems to share your low opinion of Occupy:

        That's not a very informed criticism, Kos (3+ / 0-)

        It eschewed political action (defined as cooperating with authority by working within the system) in favor of direct action (defined as working outside of authority, outside of the system) from the very beginning, which is precisely why it was successful, while other groups (on the left) were not.

        The history is interesting, in that OWS was borne out of another group which met that first night. The first group which had announced a meeting was using the usual hierarchical, top-down leadership style, and had a typical agenda, and wanted the attending crowd to join it and obligingly follow it. They were planning ordinary marches, with permits, and nothing new.

        Certain individuals (such as the anthropologist/author/activist Graeber whom you may have heard of) at that meeting had a bolder, more democratic vision, and came together, sitting away from the larger group, and discussed a real occupation movement. It was this second group, using direct action and the horizontal style of self-management (which is actually not without leaders with a "small L", but simply doesn't anoint anyone into privileged, movement-killing autocrats) that succeeded in sparking off a tidal wave that had groups in over 2000 cities around the globe, and which propelled a narrative critiquing the hegemony of the 1% into becoming a common household term all around the world.

        As Graeber remarked, it was exactly because of the anarchist influence it was so successful. Other groups tried the usual top-down approach of political action, and went nowhere, while Occupy took off like a rocket.

        I challenge any critic here to get a movement of that size off the ground in today's sociopolitical climate, and get these memes into the global conversation. They didn't crash the gate, they ignored it completely, and chose to not give it power over them. They didn't seek inclusion in the broken system, they defiantly opposed it as terminally flawed. And people wanted that. If Occupy had tried to tell the attendees to go knock on doors in worship of politicians, and volunteer at phone banks, it would have fizzled out within a week or two. People wanted their own voices to count, rather than go "once more into the breach" for rich personalities who almost always end up co-opted by the upper echelons. Taking and holding parks was creating a liberated turf outside of the command structure of parties, corporations, and elites. It was the most refreshing new thing I've experienced to date. It changed my entire outlook.

        Comparing it to the Tea Party (which began as an astroturf movement with funding from the Koch Bothers) is a faulty approach to take. It's easy to get the right wing lathered up into a crazed frenzy. That won't happen on the left, and we would not want it to. Powerful interests influence the Tea Party. Not so with Occupy. It didn't eschew influencing politics, it eschewed the existing power structure of politics, one which many here have opted to support and work within, so in a sense, it eschewed all those who represent such views. Its no wonder some felt as if included in the rejection of conventional approaches.

        Direct action tends to challenge the supporters of the status quo on all sides.

        And by doing so, it attracted tens of thousands of people willing to live in parks and sit in the rain for a cause, something not seen for a long while. This kind of action can broadly change the social narrative, can move the common sense which informs society of norms forward into a new understanding.

        And sometimes this is what revolutions really are, and how they are transformational.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:23:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is curious: (0+ / 0-)
          The US-anarchist movement has little to do with the actual principles of Anarchism as Noam Chomsky has repeatedly pointed out to me on air and in email, as well as other public venues.
          Chomsky has not been elected to be the sole anarchist spokesperson. Leaderless, remember? In fact, while the anarchist movement accepts Chomsky with open arms there's been a bit of criticism of his continued support for a skeletal form of state, having brought that concept into anarchism from Marxist concepts.

          So how would he know he's speaking for us when he makes this sort of pronouncement? Still, I think perhaps you may have misinterpreted him, and I could offer conjecture as to his probable meaning.

          But to say Graeber -- the anthropologist/professor/activist/anarchist/writer, who is (at least) as well known in anarchist circles as Chomsky, and who was instrumental in sparking off Occupy, is not a real anarchist (read his books!) or is ignorant of anarchist principles as Chomsky defines them (!) -- is really just not accurate.

          Unlike Marxism (and Troskyism, Stalinism, Leninism, Maoism, etc), anarchism isn't named after anyone. We don't have a hierarchy of classic authors who dictate what anarchism is to us. There is a kind of classic, mainstream thought that runs through its history, but anarchists tend to welcome diversity and adventurousness in theory. Rather than formal leadership, we do encourage people to express ideas, and people can influence the movement. Graeber may be more influential in anarchist circles than Chomsky. Its hard to say.

          As to how Occupy was founded, I give a short explanation up-thread. I think its safe to say that if Occupy relied on the top-down model with leaders (and thus hierarchy, the inevitable elites, the coercion, the turning of people into submissive, unthinking automatons rather than self-sufficient people capable of self-management), it would not have succeeded in becoming a household name around the world. The group which tried that hierarchical approach was in fact the first to hold a meeting that first night. I doubt you know who that group was (hint: a well known socialist group), but the "horizontals" as Graeber calls them went off to the side and held their own meeting, using consensus, and the rest is now history.

          Yep. Sorry, but anarchists started Occupy. Fact.

          And I'll not stand by and allow anarchist history to be once again rewritten by others, as has so often been the case since 1840 when Proudhon first coined the term.

          Okay, its 4 AM, off to bed. Shit, its late.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:56:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have his email to me (0+ / 0-)

            But I have nothing to prove to you, since you seem the sole person who can interpret anything or anyone...

            And your guru Graeber, who you may or may not be misinterpreting isn't the spokesman for me, or any other person who would like to see anarchist principles actually work.

            Revolution only works when you have 97% of the people's support, and when you have that, you don't need a revolution - to paraphrase Che.

            We don't even have 2%.  

            grow up.

            ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

            by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:31:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm simply disputing (0+ / 0-)

              the comment you attribute to Chomsky. I think I have that right. You were citing Chomsky as if an authority. Even Chomsky will tell you he isn't the authority on anarchism.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:50:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nor is Graeber n/t (0+ / 0-)

                ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:52:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course he isn't (0+ / 0-)

                  But he IS an anarchist. That's the point. Remember? About American anarchists not really being anarchists in principle?

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:04:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In context, my dear one. (0+ / 0-)

                    In the context of the Occupy smashy set of a young age.

                    Its called reading comprehension, and it works much better than over reactive slash and burn.

                    ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                    by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:26:42 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, if that's what he meant (0+ / 0-)

                      No, they weren't capital A anarchists with experience, but anytime people act with horizontal decision making and mutual aid, they are anarchists in terms of behavior. We're all anarchists in many significant moments of our lives without even knowing it. But as far as the Occupy members being well read on anarchist topics, many of them had no idea what we were doing was very anarchic in significant ways.

                      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                      by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:07:10 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Your history is flawed. (0+ / 0-)

          What meeting, where, pray tell?

          I heard about Occupy for months before the 1st public gathering. Discussions were held for half a year about what form it would take online, virtually - so attribute it to one person, at one meeting is absurd.

          Secondly, no one named Noam spokesperson for anything.  I cited him (as you did Graeber) as someone I know well and respect.  Thats a strawman, unless your Graeber is the spokesperson for all things anarchist... see the parallel I drew there out of your faulty argument?

          "My low opinion"  - Not only did I widely praise what they did do - I supported it with time, money, physical donations and much ink.  The fact that you want something to be more effective doesn't mean you hate it.

          Lastly, unlike Markos, the very last thing I would want is Occupy to be co-opted by the Dems, as move-on tried to do.  

          And while the Koch brothers might have funded the tea-party, you neglect to see that despite its nefarious beginnings, it was effective because of grass roots work, no matter how much you or I disagree with their politcal views.  The people running for office in my small town didn't get any Koch money. They just got out there and ran.

          Your knee jerk defense seems to belie the problem I saw with Occupy.  You don't mind other voices in your horizontal structure, as long as they are in lock step with what you have already decided...

          I never said I wanted them to be door to door salespeople for the status quo.  Never.  I said that after a time, it was doomed to fail because it refused to morph into something that became a party of its own volition with its own OUTSIDE the system candidates.

          I'm pointing this out for the general readership, because your rather hostile tone shows you won't really hear criticism or consider other points of view.

          BTW?  It takes enlightened people to have a stateless society, unless you are willing to have legions of old people and children starve, and only the rich afford schools.

          Ughhhh.

          ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

          by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:24:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read the history (0+ / 0-)

            on Wikipedia, in various online articles. A longer version is in Graeber's book, The Democracy Project. I gave a brief version. But I stand by the comment. It's well known, in fact.

            Here's one link out of many that explains the origins of OWS: http://www.wnyc.org/...

            As to Chomsky, I was responding to your attribution of a comment about American anarchism, and its relationship with Occupy. I feel as if I should be able to respond to inaccuracies. Is this not permitted?

            And I didn't intend everything I wrote to Markos to be equally directed to you, I simply didn't want to write out a long answer when I had one already written which covers a lot of ground.

            And as to this:

            Your knee jerk defense seems to belie the problem I saw with Occupy.  You don't mind other voices in your horizontal structure, as long as they are in lock step with what you have already decided...
            If this were Occupy, I would have an equal voice with which to express a view, correct? I don't see my response as knee jerk at all. I suppose I've seen these comments so often on this particular site that I have practice in answering these criticisms. I think there is room for criticism, but mine would be much different than yours. Most of the criticisms are misunderstandings and lack of familiarity with anarchist theory and history. I do get a bit up in arms about anarchist history, especially after reading about the completely misreported Spanish Revolution. There has been so much suppression of the history of anarchism that the erroneous ideas held by most are appalling. So... I get a bit testy on that topic.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:47:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hence why I rarely (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen

              post here.  I'm no Dem.  So I get your frustration with the site.

              I am not the site, nor responsible for its history, which I never read, because - overall the dKos community doesn't fit my views.

              ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

              by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:28:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  As a fool, I will rush in and say (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen

                please don't be engaged in personal attacks against those who should be and may be yet allies. Confrontation is not a problem and necessary. But I greatly value what I learn from all the left vantage points expressed here.

                As to Daily Kos and the Democratic Party, I think the former is a great place, where people like me can be educated by people like you all, yet also sometimes positively interact with liberals and progressives, and I'm grateful, and as to the latter, it is LOTE. As an idealist I want better, as a pragmatist, I fight on multiple levels, and take what I can get in U.S. democracy lite. The word is love.

                garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

                by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:03:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Diane Gee, Galtisalie, Geminijen

                I often feel the same way. At least when you write, I know exactly where you stand. I've seen some of the horrible attacks on you in the past. You've written good things, and much of what you've written I agree with.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:24:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Beautifully put! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen
  •  Tonight's ACM has been x-reposted to: (7+ / 0-)

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:11:27 PM PST

  •  Great diary, Diane. (6+ / 0-)

    One that dispels more than a few myths about the movement.  

    •  I'll have more later (5+ / 0-)

      but while #OWS may not have changed a lot in the short-term, at the rock-bottom least, it reminds us all of the power of populist gathering.

      No. It's not enough. But its still enough to scare the shit out of TPTB.

    •  Who really broke the windows? (4+ / 0-)

      Thugs from Ray Kelly's police department were probably involved in trashing the windows. Why would OCCUPY do it? It doesn't make any sense.

      •  One of my friends (5+ / 0-)

        Al Osorio was ground zero all through Occupy Oakland.  

        He was the number one person sticking up for black bloc then - prompting my essay trashing Hedges for dissing them.

        Then?  People he knew in the group and they all warned not to go temper broke a LOT of windows.  And as he said, it was mostly the people of color, the poor that ended up cleaning it up.  They were young, idealistic and very fuck the system.

        But they had no idea how to channel that into something productive.

        Later, yeah, they filmed undercover pigs doing it as well.

        ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

        by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:49:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reminds me of the race riots in Watts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon

          Mix hopelessness and anger and you get a bitter pill.

          •  The problem is? (3+ / 0-)

            It wasn't the oppressed people of color doing it - the blacks and Hispanics and Indigenous people who did it - it was well off kids who went back to the suburbs every night, playing at anti-system anarchists.  

            They slept in warm yuppy beds while the people from their got the beat downs from their actions.

            ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

            by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:10:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  (white kids)* (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NY brit expat

              who did it - yuppies playing radical.  

              ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

              by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:19:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen

                Not true at all.

                In Oakland it was a mix of people.

                The people in the news were white. The people on the local news weren't as white.

                But they kept blaming on rich white people.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:20:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, true (0+ / 0-)

                  ask Al Osorio, or any of the people from Decolonize Oakland.

                  They were there at ground level.

                  Just like, in the May Day march to close the port, they put forth a request for it to be the one non-violent march, so that undocumented workers would feel safe joining them, and could swell the ranks by thousands.

                  They were told vehemently "No."  

                  So all those stayed home, told by the white leadership that they wanted to "smash" the system and there would be violence.  

                  ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                  by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:34:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The march to the port on May Day (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ZhenRen

                    was nonviolent. There was a different march that windows got broken on.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:58:32 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The point is? (0+ / 0-)

                      They refused to get the permit and/or guarantee protection of the undocs.  (Yet they had no problem when NRML pulled permits)

                      There was a lot of inherent racism there.

                      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                      by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:44:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You said the issue was violence (0+ / 0-)

                        Not permits.

                        If that's the standard then ever unpermitted march has a lot of inherent racism, including the unpermitted march the next year that was almost exclusively people of color.

                        So all those stayed home, told by the white leadership that they wanted to "smash" the system and there would be violence.
                        Who was this white "leadership". Because it sounds like people who weren't in charge of anything were scaring people off.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:16:15 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The issue was more than one. (0+ / 0-)

                          Racism, violence...both.

                          But it certainly wasn't the poor kids from the hood fucking up their own neighborhood.  It was the yuppies, white kids trashing it.

                          ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                          by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:13:29 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  There was no violence at the port march (0+ / 0-)

                            And the idea that youth from Oakland never break windows is absurd. The whole white outsider narrative is just not reality, it's the media narrative not reality.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:53:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Black Bloc certainly didn't help (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diane Gee

          the cause.  Seemed they mostly were there to start $h!t and "fuck the System."  Instead, they helped fuck #Occupy.

          •  Without blac block Occupy would have been (0+ / 0-)

            gone immediately. Or shortly later.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:21:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  some of them were protectors (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            winkk

            the rest were yuppies with Daddy issues actually smashing poor people's shops.  Eventually the Asian area just told them they weren't welcome there... all those tiny business owners were not the "man" yet they kept trashing their neighborhoods.

            ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

            by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:35:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There is a lot of misinformation about black bloc (0+ / 0-)

            For example, in Portland, OR various groups using black bloc dress (I'd guess about 5 or 6) are very visibly present in planned events, such as labor marches, and they simply marched along with the rest of us. This is not a monolithic group of any kind. Any group can adopt the tactic. Some were handing out pamphlets created by their respective groups. I never saw them do anything violent. I'm not sure by any means that all were even anarchist.

            Most of the violence in Portland attributed to anarchists were solo, and separate from Occupy. And always it was directed at banks (a single bank window), or occasionally some other corporate property. It was never directed towards people. And most anarchists don't engage this way, but we do tend to stand by our comrades who do, when it isn't against people, just as Gandhi stood by people in the revolt who literally blew up trains. He didn't turn them over to authorities, much as they tried to coerce him to do so.

            Authority, in the form of central governments, whether municipal, state, or national, often supported by people commenting here by virtue of their votes and contributions, often commit real acts of terror, and resort to violent acts against people whose only infraction was freely associating in parks. And the militarism in the name of the security state, which protects capitalist expansion and markets, and private property, is viewed by anarchists as enabled and supported by those who engage in the political process when they vote for people who implement these policies. We see this as being complicit in far worse violence than any kid throwing a brick through a window. People like to excuse themselves from the process, as if just a distant voter who is not responsible.

            Anarchists gave up the worst forms of violence (committed by a tiny minority of the movement) decades ago. Emma Goldman suffered immensely by the treatment of other anarchists against her when she stood by Alexander Berkman. Most anarchists of her time were terribly upset about Berkman's act. But Berkman nevertheless was an important voice in anarchism. His writings are quite relevant today, and read as if directed to our times.

            But overall, the vast majority of anarchists aren't going out and committing violent acts.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:21:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  how much interest (2+ / 0-)

    is there in standing for election?

    Is there a candidate list?  Will they try to run as Democrats or Independents?

    This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

    by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:20:04 PM PST

    •  IMO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, northsylvania

      The Dem's are far too co-opted by corporate donors to run one out of Occupy.  We have to have someone outside the banking/WS system.

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:50:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what do you think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diane Gee, NY brit expat

        are the chances that an occupy candidate might split the "left" vote, with the Dems and thus let the Republicans in?

        I am not saying I see an easy solution to this but I wonder if anyone has given any thought to this possibility

        This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

        by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:54:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thats the LOTE (3+ / 0-)

          thing - how they convince us, we the people - who are by far and large sick of our own parties - that a 3rd party cannot work.

          Until we quit buying that propaganda, and tell one another it CAN work, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that it won't.

          ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

          by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:59:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  indeed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diane Gee

            I think we have to try something, even if it does not work.

            The Democrats have to learn the lesson somehow.

            I like westerns and for me, politics is like the shoot-outs.

            You either take a risk or you get nothing

            This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

            by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:08:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  by the way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat

            Will you be doing future diaries if candidates decide to stand?

            The occupy movement is the most positive thing I have seen in the world for a while and I would like to follow events, even if I am unable to participate in ways other than talking about it

            This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

            by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:24:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I always write (3+ / 0-)

              Just rarely here.... I'm too left for this site, which is a Dem site... but NY brit expat knows how to find me on FB, and my blog is wildwildleft.com

              So not only yes, hell yes I will!

              ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

              by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:43:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  plenty of people (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NY brit expat, Diane Gee

                here would probably agree with you on policy if not completely on tactics.

                wildleft sounds like wild west.  Perhaps you like westerns too.

                I will try to remember to read your stuff on WWL.

                Do you need any help in discussions?  Probably not but I though I would ask

                This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

                by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:02:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It started (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NY brit expat, northsylvania

                  as an insult someone made about my friends an my politics, and it stuck.  Wild, wild leftists.

                  Any and all help or comments are always appreciated.

                  We also have  FB group.

                  https://www.facebook.com/...

                  ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                  by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:15:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I may be able to (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NY brit expat, Diane Gee

                    organise a donation.

                    As for comments, I will read your blog posts and look out for questions in them, as a way to help me determine what kind of feedback would be most useful to you.

                    This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

                    by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:24:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  actually (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Diane Gee

                    I do have a question.

                    How is Occupy organised at present?

                    If you wanted to determine how many people would support an Occupy Party candidate, how would you do that?  Is there an email list where you would say "I am considered standing.  My platform would be to break up the banks"?

                    This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

                    by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:23:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Occupy isn't a single entity (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NY brit expat

                      Different cities have different ways of organizing.

                      It's composed of individual communities, bottom up, and horizontal. Participatory communities. Direct democracy.

                      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                      by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:11:27 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Thats the rub (0+ / 0-)

                      there is no organization - never was.  No unity, no way of accomplishing anything.  Just tiny little local fiefdoms that act autonomously to the other ones.

                      That is its inherent flaw.

                      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                      by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:37:12 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  In Portland (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Galtisalie, NY brit expat

                        there was quite a bit of organization. In fact, that was one of the criticisms. Too much time spent on organization. People were inexperienced, and there was a lot to decide and discuss. In anarchist Spanish collectives, they would meet once a week or once a month, and get real work done. In Occupy, they met everyday and argued. The inexperience, the people coming and going, the long list of things to decide, slowed everything down. Toward the end, the spokescouncil model was adopted, which helped to streamlines the meetings.

                        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                        by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:23:56 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Portlandia (0+ / 0-)

                          (where a lot of my lefty friends live)  is NOTHING like the rest of the US, by any stretch of the politcal spectrum in demographics.

                          If you are from Portland, how could you possibly tell me over and over that the marginalization of the POC (people of color) groups and Decolonize groups didn't happen in Oakland?

                          My friends posted story after story, video after video, picture after picture about it.

                          See?  Thats where you lose me.  You made it sound like you were there and you were not.

                          ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                          by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:43:53 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have not discussed Oakland with you (0+ / 0-)

                            You must be thinking of a different discussion. AoT has extensive experience with Oakland. I went to bed, and didn't get around to reading everything in the comments.

                            But a lot of activist groups (ouside of Occupy) have many of the same social tensions. I know the Global Justice Movement dealt with similar issues.

                            We encountered an example right here: you might go off and say I was authoritarian, for example, because I merely disagreed with your view. I would dispute that, but of course you can say what ever you like about me, and by extension Occupy.

                            The only way to overcome these obstacles is to try to work it out, with everyone being an honest actor.

                            We live in a world in which a lot of these real issues are still simmering. Of course Occupy would be no exception, because people bring their social and cultural imprints with them.

                            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                            by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:46:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  well then (0+ / 0-)

                        If there is no organization, there is no way to get the word out about any candidates that stand I suppose.

                        If you have no organization, how are you going to attract people to stand?  To me, that seems like the question to ask at this point.

                        What is happening in Occupy Michigan at present?

                        This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

                        by GideonAB on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:00:19 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lady Libertine

          there will ever be an "official" occupy candidate, unless Occupy becomes something other than Occupy. Most were not in favor of electioneering and political action, but favored instead direct action.

          It doesn't mean a candidate couldn't use the term, but if they ran as an official occupy candidate that would be dishonest without an actual endorsement.

          Occupy never wanted to be the leftist version of the Tea Party, despite people continually suggesting that from outside the movement.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:07:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  which is why (0+ / 0-)

            absolutely zero will be accomplished by them until they adapt.

            ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

            by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:37:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well the debate between (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Galtisalie

              anarchists and Marxists about which is more effective, working within the system with political action, or working outside the system with direct action, goes all the way back to Bakunin and Marx. Marx proposed forming parties, and anarchists felt this was, over all, not very effective. Quite a bit has been written about this pro and con over the decades.

              Nevertheless, that is the underpinning of the Occupy approach.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:13:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  who will pull (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Galtisalie

                oh, say... insulin out of their ass, and deliver it free to some family in the Appalachians?  Who will pay teachers and make sure that Crows Creek, Alabama doesn't teach snake handling as science.

                The goal may be statelessness, but I am not willing to flush lives to so do. There has to be transition.

                Stateless now?  Not in THIS reality, where the majority of the population has been breast fed and teethed on greed is good, and I got mine.  It would be Somalia with better guns.  Tell me Joe the fucking plumber's wouldn't take "control" of their neighborhood and shoot anyone who didn't like their law.

                ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:32:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  These are long discussed, and solved issues. (0+ / 0-)

                  Anarchists propose bottom up social structures, based on units of participatory communities, worker councils, general assemblies, all based on consensus or direct democracy. The communities will decide on how they want to associate and organize, but this is a sketch of some of the ideas used.

                  These communities and worker groups would decide issues which directly pertain to their areas. When an issue would overlap more than one group, the groups involved would federate to deal with the common issue. Usually what is suggested is mandated and re-callable delegates are selected from each community to form the federation. These are not representatives who can autocratically decide the fate of those below. Rather, they follow the instructions of their respective groups, and can be removed very easily if they stray from the decisions made. It is thus bottom up in the flow of authority.

                  Even defense issues (which was Chomsky's concern) would be handled this way, with local communities forming militias which would federate with others. Defense, just as in the Spanish Civil War, would be bottom up (read, for example, Homage to Catalonia by Orwell).

                  Anarchism is highly organized, and can perform any function needed, without the tendency of hierarchical groups to inexorably become ruled by elites at the top, with representatives becoming increasingly coerced into serving the elite body rather than the constituents, as we have seen historically. Federations can do all a state ca do without the authoritarianism.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:02:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  But deeply affecting the cultural conversation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen

              is actually quite an accomplishment. If that is all Occupy did and ever does, it was and is still highly significant.

              garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

              by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:08:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  which I SAID (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Galtisalie

                repeatedly in the article.  Sigh.

                ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:21:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was replying to the comment about (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZhenRen

                  absolutely "zero"  will be accomplished. I very much like the way you dealt with culture in the diary: "Real change comes through whispers in the fields, they say.  It is another way of saying, there is a tipping point at which an idea becomes a concern, and a concern is made reality." Occupy led to whispers in the fields but did not cause a tipping point to be reached per se. We want to figure out how to do that but to do so will require not losing the energizing and other strengths of anarchist efforts and contributions, which are real.  

                  Thank you for writing a very helpful and thoughtful critiquing and planning piece. Some areas of disagreement are real, but I think can be a springboard for blending strengths.

                  garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

                  by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:29:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Order of Magnitude Check (6+ / 0-)

    I'm hard pressed to think of a movement that made any difference in the year or few that Occupy was of any visibility.

    The 63 march on washington by contrast made its mark on history by first being a dramatic escalation on generations of activism, but more pointedly, by being organized among hundreds or thousands of local organizations all over the country.

    By comparison of time scales and numbers, Occupy was a 10 minute flash mob.

    But as far as goals go, I fault Occupy less for lack of focus or alternatives because to my eye it reflects the need of the people: we need our entire system of economy, public square and governance replaced.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:20:10 PM PST

    •  more than time (4+ / 0-)

      I think it is also about tactics.

      You need to show the Democratic party that you are a threat.

      If you threaten to take away their jobs, you will get some attention.

      Run adverts.  Use the numbers to go door to door.

      This signature is my way of getting Bill Maher off the air

      by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:38:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Direct action (0+ / 0-)

        historically has produced results. Graeber wrote an essay (extracted from his book The Democracy Project) about direct action and its efficacy. Well worth reading the essay, which is about direct action and occupy:

        http://www.thebaffler.com/...

        The political process has been rather up and down in long term effect. It gives the illusion of progress, but in the long run, it is more cultural changes through time which have an influence, but capitalism is roaring forward despite political action. That's why Occupy didn't use that approach.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:27:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The awareness of the changes that we need (5+ / 0-)

      are the seeds that OCCUPIED sowed. Many of us saw problems that seemed disconnected then but it makes sense how they are connected.

      Christie and Scott Walker are not that far apart. They both have corrupted government mechanisms that provide accountability. The Port Authority is a hot bed of corruption that was seeded with Christie appointees. Christie bought off enough Democrats to make it look bi-partisan.
      The NYPD is ripe with corruption. I wonder how things will change under new management. These are all connected.

      Obama's presidency sowed a few seeds too. I don't see things changing in a major way for several presidencies but I am not ready to throw in the towel. We have to start somewhere. Things have been falling apart for sometime now-probably 40 years or more. Does anyone really expect OCCUPY  to make it all go away?

  •  ACM Schedule (5+ / 0-)

    March

    9th: Geminijen
    16th: NY Brit Expat
    23rd:
    30th:

    April:

    6th:
    13th:
    20th:
    27th:
    Annieli

    In March, we start off with a bang with a piece by Diane Gee (see above), followed by Geminijen for International Women's Day, and then something by NY Brit Expat. We have openings from then on until the end of April when Annieli returns. Please, please, we need people to write for the series. We have an excellent group here and we publish a great series. That means we need you to help us keep such a great series alive and growing.

    Please, if you can write (or want to brainstorm an idea to write) reply to this message, send a private kosmessage to NY Brit Expat or send an email to our group email: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com. Also, if you are on FB and want to participate in the group, here is our group page:

    https://www.facebook.com/.... Please choose a date from the open spaces above; the ACM needs you!

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:25:03 PM PST

    •  Geminijen ... (2+ / 0-)

      should we repost last years IWD diary in the anti-capitalist chat on March 8th? If yes, can someone in the admin or the ACC volunteer to copy and paste it?

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:26:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was planning on doing a different but similar (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat, Diane Gee, Galtisalie

        version - taking some of last year's, some of the year before, and adding some new stuff on current struggles (fast food workers, Haitian workers, etc. and showing how conditions have changed.  Did you listen to Bev Grant?  Thought of calling it "We were there" and we're still here update on IWD.  If I can't get it together, I will repost last year's

        Inserts will not be our heroines, but general movements -- songs: We were there, union maid, Still ain't satisfied, etc.
        I 'll call you  Sorry about the Hip stuff.

        •  that sounds amazing!!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diane Gee

          Am really looking forwards to it. Am speaking in Cardiff at an IWD event on women and austerity (quelle surprise) ... so will be here for your piece but not for the 8th of March itself!

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:10:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What OCCUPY did was create awareness of the (6+ / 0-)

    problems. I wasn't aware of how wide-spread the foreclosure mischief was until Ocupy brough it to my attention. I did know there were foreclosures in Ohio going on but Ohio has a lot of stinky Republicans who love things like Payday Loan Sharks and election hanky panky.

    Does anyone know that Occupy was the first on the scene to offer assistance after Hurrican Sandy , before FEMA?

    OCCUPY is a movement. Its a process. There are still people around who are members that are active. Just because the public loses interest doesn't change things.

    •  I agree (6+ / 0-)

      I've seen a couple obituaries written about Occupy lately, one by a visiting prof to OSU. I'm going to a potluck at my local Occupy tonight where we will be talking about all that is going on right now which is considerable.

      The crowds and encampments may be gone but Occupy is not.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:41:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that Occupy's main success was in getting (5+ / 0-)

      information out to people that may not have known it. I also agree that a movement is a process; the question and the importance of analysis these processes is to understand what was successful, what did not work and what may work. It is essential that we always analyse movements and the state of the struggle; otherwise we do not learn and we do not grow. We need to understand the best tactics and learn from our failures; we also need to understand the role of the movement and our overall strategy. That is what the posts on occupy are trying to raise.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:48:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Totally correct. (4+ / 0-)

      The best thing they did was change the public dialogue - enter information that was entirely suppressed prior.

      But now we need to evolve!  

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:52:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is easier to know what to do in hindsight.While (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, Galtisalie

      I sincerely appreciated your comparison of the demands and the realities, you set up a straw man when you suggested that just after a few months, any of these things would change. And was not convinced that the demands you suggested would have had any more luck.

      I agree with you on the "hidden" leadership and the racism and sexism.  I agree with citizenpower that it's main purpose was to redirect people to the main question -- 1% and 99% -but as you noted that it did not provide a follow through on how to get there. By starting with the very revolutionary idea of occupy --that is taking over all private and public property and returning it to the citizens was clearly untenable,as a whole, at this time -- but it might provide the idea of occupying factories instead of just striking, occupying congress or perhaps smaller bodies of government when they are passing particularly unscrupulopus laws or regulations, etc.

      As far as international imperialism -- it did challenge both the moribund left and the imperialist US by providing us with a third choice -- criticizing both the Iranian and the imperialist governments and going for international people power -- shades of Arab Spring.

      •  Strawman what (0+ / 0-)

        where did I mention a time frame?

        I even said my example wouldn't have worked, but was an easy example.

        You have me confused. This is a reply to Citizenpower, do you mean they or me?

        ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

        by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:57:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  as an Occupier, I take issue with a few of (8+ / 0-)

    things claimed here. Overall, I like some of the ideas and appreciate the tension of ideas.

    I'm not in a place where I can fully respond, but I'd like to say one thing: if Occupy Boston had chosen a "leader", it because clear to me who they would have chosen and it would have been a disaster. The person who was always touted as the de facto leader was someone who regularly threw temper tantrums. Full on screaming. Ripped a microphone out of my hands and tossed it on the ground and broke it, when I was facilitating a meeting. Given what I saw on the ground, I would have been quite skeptical of Occupy choosing a leader.

    Also, anarchists aren't against rules. If you attend an anarchist meeting you find out that there are tons of rules. It's just that the rules have been established via consensus, not coming down from on high.

    That said, I really would have liked to see focus. We lost public support when we didn't stay focused on the financial issues which drew everybody out in the first place. And I think moving onto insurance would have been a wise second focus.

    It makes me sad to think of the opportunity lost on that front.

    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

    by UnaSpenser on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:52:39 PM PST

  •  A visiting professor to our university recently (7+ / 0-)

    spoke about Occupy and he also applied a success/fail framework which I think does not quite fit since Occupy is not encampments long gone but a movement that continues.

    In my own town, Occupy came on with protests. The Move Your Money campaign brought our credit union more business in one month than they had had in an entire year. Conversations were changed but also people.

    From our Occupy, individuals stepped forward to lead on many issues. One of us began a local 350.org chapter which held a Climate Summit recently attracting 250 people sponsored by 29 groups. Another member started a Community Rights Movement whose initiative for a local food system which elevates individual rights over corporate rights. We have our third annual May Day Solidarity Fair which attracts over 50 groups working for social change.

    We are meeting tonight at our potluck to talk about what all of us are doing and how we can network even further.

    Occupy is civic engagement. There were many people who were doing online activism who stepped out because of Occupy.

    Occupy continues.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:58:37 PM PST

    •  If it wasn't clear? (4+ / 0-)

      This essay was a reply to AoT's "No, you don't want another OWS"

      I guess its badly titled, because I don't think its dead either, but as opposed to another one?  I think its next phase has to be stronger and different.

      Sorry if it sounded that way.

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:02:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Edited the article (4+ / 0-)

      to reflect a very good flaw you pointed out... sorry again.

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:05:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, Diane, for your diary (4+ / 0-)

        Did not mean it as criticism really. I am just glad Occupy is still being studied and talked about.

        No nation survives well without civic engagement. When the people do not pay attention, corruption grows.

        What the next "big thing" will be is anyone's guess. Impending War? KXL?

        As you note, things have not been fixed even though we continue to work on it. Patience grows thin.

        Occupy's timing was perfect because it tapped into people's rage over the banking crash. That rage is still there, fed by many fires.

        Thanks for your thoughtful diary. I agree with much you write. We do have much more work to do!

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:38:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  other spawns of Occupy: (7+ / 0-)

      Occupy Sandy, which has been an amazing organization doing support for people who were affected by that hurricane.

      The Rolling Jubilee which is taking donations and buying large sums of medical debt and then forgiving that debt.

      Occupy Madison has done a wonderful jobs building tiny houses for the homeless.

      YEs, there has been a lot of meaningful civil engagement which came out of Occupy. That's not antithetical to thinking about how we might unify that energy and generate some profound change in this country. In fact, I think the ongoing efforts are simply incubators for that energy while we figure out how to direct something larger.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:11:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes the success of a movement (7+ / 0-)

    is not measured by what it has completely achieved and whether its aims were realised. What the movement itself can do is serve as a propaganda mechanism to educate people on a situation that they were not aware of. For many outside of the US, to see (finally) a political movement in the belly of the beast was incredibly heartening. These international movements continue and that is due (in my opinion) to a clear and coherent discussion of tactics and strategy.

    The existence of a movement itself is important; in many senses, Occupy (for all its flaws and there were flaws) was the first mass movement we have seen in the US in quite some time that addressed issues beyond simple reform. That in itself is important and getting people to realise that they can organise and they can fight and to see the power of the state against them is an eye-opening experience. The reaction of the ruling class to occupations, the violent crackdowns on simple protesters and the assertion of property and power of the state is important for Americans to see and understand. The left understands this, but your average American does not. The intensity of the reaction by the ruling class in an economic crisis brought about by the economic policies of the mainstream parties demonstrated clearly how much the lauded democracy of the US was evaporated by simple occupations. That is important.

    In terms of the problems, I agree. I also agree that they did not have a coherent strategy when these occupations were inevitably broken up by police and the government; there was an absence of how to move the struggle forwards. We also know that there were problems in the democracy of these occupy groups themselves; we had discussed this in the ACM more than a few times. The reality is that the representation of women and people of colour was thin on the ground and this may be due to the nature of the occupations themselves and to the fact that they were not addressing issues of sexism and racism coherently, nor correctly fighting against it when they reared their heads (again inevitably given the strength of racism and sexism in the US).

    In terms of the ballot box, the thing that always impresses me in the US is that so-called leftist groups cannot pull together an electoral alliance (I wouldn't consider Rocky Anderson as a leftist), but why when one person lost the presidential vote in one party did they run for another party. This is absolutely pathetic!

    I also want to raise an additional point which was addressed by this piece written many years ago by Jo Freeman called "The Tyranny of Structurelessness" in which the so-called lack of leaders and structure is effectively hiding both structure and leaders and in a far less democratic and accountable manner. It is an important piece and it is something that should once again be discussed in the context of the manner in which Occupy itself functioned. Leaders are not always bad and if they are held strongly accountable by rules and defined roles they can be removed far easily than if we pretend that they don't exist. In the case of occupy, those that were able to sleep out and ensured that discussions occurred often after others went home were an unaccountable leadership that was never elected. This needs to be discussed. Moreover, if leaders come out of the movement and are controlled by rules and regulations it enables a democratic division of labour. I am far more cynical about charismatic people and professional politicians as it is often too difficult to control these people democratically; a quick look at George Galloway and the Respect party in Britain will help understand that problem.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:07:50 PM PST

    •  In Europe? (3+ / 0-)

      It seems that protesting gets a hell of a lot more actually done than here.  They go out about specific things and don't stop until something gets done.  I admire that.

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:13:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In terms of Europe, it depends on the country ... (4+ / 0-)

        What has happened recently to an attack on the right of abortion in the Spanish state has gotten international solidarity from feminists across Europe. That is an excellent thing.

        In Britain, the unions rarely go out for more than 1 day for strike. That means the strike is a protest rather than forcing the hand of the government and employers. The RMT strike on the london underground was far more successful and garnered support and demonstrated that while the Tories were threatening the right to strike, large numbers of the British population supported them irrespective of their being inconvenienced. It was rather funny that the BBC stopped coverage when they couldn't get Londoners to say that they did not support the strike and the job losses that prompted it.

        The French are great at demos, if only the Brits were as good, things would be far more successful here. What has been beaten back in austerity measures has mostly been done legally rather than anything else. Hopefully, Left Unity will have successes at the ballot box when they start running. We need to see!

        We need more than demos and strikes, we need the full arsenal of protests here; legal and judicial fightbacks, demos, strikes, electoral parties (we should never leave the ballot box to the class enemy; too many people believe that change can be brought about using it), building mass movements ... but these must go beyond the rather small left.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:42:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I always love seeing the French truck drivers (4+ / 0-)

          strike. They know how to shut a country down! I wish that truck drivers here would use their power that way.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:44:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have heard (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat, northsylvania

          that there have been gains on how they are treating those with disabilities due to protests - Eric Knight used to say.

          I lost touch with him when he denied Global Warming was real.  LOL.

          He also said there was no flooding in Britain - that the only flooding was because some bloke had forgotten to turn off a pump....

          Sad how truly well intended people on one subject can be so ignorant on another....

          ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

          by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:46:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There has been success on the attack on people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diane Gee, Galtisalie

            with disabilities due to protest; ATOS has pulled out of running the work capability assessment (WCA) due to harassment by disabled activists (and incompetence). But Serco, Virgin and G4S are trying to pick up where they left off.

            The struggle against discrimination for those with mental illness and the WCA was won, but legally.

            On the 27th, an impact statement on people with disabilities due to the changes in benefits was passed through Parliament (http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/...).

            Don't get me wrong, the disabled rights groups (DPAC and Black Triangle) have been at the forefront of the fightback; it has drawn attention to the struggle. There was a national day of action that was incredibly successful in terms of getting information out and participation around Britain (ATOS resigned the day after). In fact, I would argue that they have been the strongest and most consistent opposition that the government has faced; they are amazing fighters and incredible organisers!

            One of the biggest victories was on Lewisham hospital where they were trying to mess over a hospital that had no debt and was doing a great job to cover for two hospitals that were grossly indebted due to the government scheme of private financing. But that was a combination of demonstrations, petitions and legal fight-back.

            Big victories have come legally in the case of the bedroom tax as they forgot that they could not do this to people that were in the flats before a certain period. While that helps elderly people, it is of less use for younger people.

            The fight against workfare was a legal one (with on the ground reinforcement and protest) which was partially won and then they introduced a grandfather clause (on which Labour abstained) so that the government did not have to pay back people that lost benefits due to sanction.

            We lost on the gagging bill which prevents charities and other organisations opposing government policies one year prior to the election. I can explain this in more detail but not right now as I am exhausted.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:27:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  agree with every word of this! -nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:14:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we still doing Witnessing Revolution when (4+ / 0-)

      Occupy broke out.

      The single most moving moment for me was when we were sent a photo of a simple handmade sign in Syria which said, "We are the 99%" We had not seen that slogan in any of the Arab Spring uprisings. It came out of Occupy.

      In the midst of very frightening, violent backlash in Syria, they were paying attention and felt solidarity with those of us  moving into the streets here. I could feel the potential of people worldwide uniting against abuses of power. We're not there, yet, but I know a new world is possible.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:20:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Una (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat, Galtisalie

        I get it.  We all do.  I said in my essay, I understand totally the love of Occupy those involved in good ones (instead of the shittier ones of Detroit and the failed - they folded - one of Ann Arbor) feel.

        I also gave much credit to them.

        Please, don't feel that I am the enemy and you have to defend your baby against me.  Yes, you did something.

        But other than a few select cities mostly on the coasts?

        Middle America didn't feel that connection.  You have to make them feel you hear them, care about them.  If, like me, you were a widow, fighting Bank of America and trying to save your home (I won) who couldn't afford the gas to go "occupy" some park?  They cut you out.  "We have been here, we are holding our ground."  It was ownership.

        But, like the things I enumerated - had the demands been specific, or a leader arisen?  Or had it been political and leftist, rather than half tea-bagger - there may have been more connection.

        Because you can't beat Wall Street with people who want to eliminate regulation.

        Yes, people around the world heard us.  I say us, because I was always a great defender in print of OWS, despite my physical inability to be there all the time - I did when I could....  

        This isn't a bash-essay.  Its a reply to "don't change a thing" by another author...

        and I believe we have to adapt.

        ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

        by Diane Gee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:34:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wasn't feeling that you were bashing (5+ / 0-)

          Occupy. I was simply connecting to some of the things said and having a sentimental moment.

          I am in agreement with a lot of critique of Occupy. I ended my relationship to Occupy Boston. I would definitely like to see what was started evolve and find a way to take the good energy that is still out there and parlay that into something really effective.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:41:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Are you certain of this? (0+ / 0-)
          Middle America didn't feel that connection.
          I have a friend in Iowa, a small college town. She started an occupy group in that town which was very well attended, and historically there probably had never before been any experience like that in the town.

          That is about as Midwestern as it gets. I don't think you're comprehending the change in culteral narrative that Occupy accomplished in an era in which other groups have failed to do so. We have to compare Occupy to other groups of this same time period, in which culteral instransigence is the principle sign of the times.

          Nothing moves people today. Not this series (getting no attention or recs for the most part) or all of the written polemics and the endless Marxist rhetoric among academics, the get out the vote efforts, the electioneering, none of this achieves much in the way of results.

          But let's not talk about that, lets talk about Occupy, and its failure to overturn the capitalist system in one fell swoop.

          No one who started Occupy ever expressed such sweeping change as a goal. It began with a meeting, and it mushroomed into a worldwide movement. In terms of expectations, it succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of the founders, who had no expectations, and by the way, were in fact a group of horizontals.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:21:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are so over reactive (0+ / 0-)

            Is there one comment you aren't going to purity police for the status quo?

            If Occupy hit us here, in the midwest, there would have been actual change.  You didn't then, and certainly don't have the numbers.

            You are tiresome... and authoritarian.

            Its your way or no way, and you will shout down other opinions by volume, repeating your mantra over and over.

            ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

            by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:40:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Galtisalie

              I don't agree, so I'm authoritarian. No wonder you didn't like the horizontal structure. Seriously, I have just as much of a right to voice my opinion as you. Writing out a response isn't authoritarian, in fact quite the opposite. Its democracy, and non-hierarchy requires people to speak up when they object, rather than go along like sheep. This is dkos, people debate here.

              I have some pointed disagreement with your views. Must I remain silent, so as to not be authoritarian? If I must be muzzled to make you feel you are not subject to authoritarianism, I end up without a right to speak, and I'm censored. Think about what you're actually stating. Just who is authoritarian? You have no idea how restrained I'm already being with you.

              Despite the denials, this is a very critical, hard hitting piece, as are many of the comments here. I think many comments are based on inaccuracies. I'm just scratching the surface in my response. And that's all I want to do. Scratch the surface.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:02:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Its the approach (0+ / 0-)

                of shouting down by volume - because you feel like I am threatening or dissing your baby.

                Being unable to read correctly, or process, or even consider other points of view, and accusing me of things I haven't even thought, let alone espoused, setting up strawmen...

                This isn't debate.  This is reactionary yelling, "Its perfect, leave brittany alooooone!"

                You aren't censored.  You can comment all day, and have.  In fact posting 2 new comments before I can even pen one.

                You want the final word, have it.  Don't care.

                This essay's point was to talk about what's next.

                Right now?  You have no "whats next" of your own - because all you had were your parks.  They are gone.  They waited you out, and police stated you out, and that was ALWAYS inevitable.

                You haven't even said one word that you have even considered what is next, or if any of the ideas presented would work... you just defended what you perceived as a hit.,

                And it never was one.

                ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

                by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:37:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually Portland Occupy is working inside now (0+ / 0-)

                  It is still going, still holding assemblies. The first wave in response to the economic situation has subsided, but I expect there will be other uprisings to follow.

                  Occupy gave people a wonderful tool in self-organization of communities, and taught scores of people how to do this in a horizontal, egalitarian manner.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:12:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not shouting (0+ / 0-)
                  Its the approach (0+ / 0-)

                  of shouting down by volume - because you feel like I am threatening or dissing your baby.

                  Being unable to read correctly, or process, or even consider other points of view, and accusing me of things I haven't even thought, let alone espoused, setting up strawmen...

                  This isn't debate.  This is reactionary yelling, "Its perfect, leave brittany alooooone!"

                  But that response... wow. That is something. I've been quite cordial, despite your tone, I've replied with well thought out comments, and I have a good foundation in theory that has been largely unexpressed here.

                  I contribute despite the treatment I receive. I don't feel as if this group represents my views, but I have others with which to compare this that do feel far more accepting and supportive. When it comes to Occupy, this discussion relates to my experience and knowledge, so I've substantially contributed this time.

                  You might want to think about how I've been treated. Talk about authoritarianism.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:44:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Don't laugh ... but when Egyptian workers (6+ / 0-)

        sent pizza to Wisconsin workers striking, I almost burst into tears! International solidarity ... I also loved the shared use of slogans across countries, that is something that unites us beyond our exploitation and oppression offered by our governments and international capital.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:44:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lack of parliamentary system effectively (0+ / 0-)

      discourages 3rd parties. Instead of potentially being part of a governing coalition, 3rd parties split vote and allow the worst in. The problem is systemic, not moral inferiority vs. Europe.

  •  #Occupy was and is a rudderless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial, Diane Gee

    leaderless construct.  And is why it "failed."  As much as I tried to provide a modicum of direction in my neck of the woods - without being the Director - it amounted to herding cats.  Not unlike attempting to organize the Democratic party.  Most talk the talk, damn few walk the walk.  #Occupy might be smoldering in the ashes, but it still may rise from those ashes.  It can't do it, however, using the same apolitical leaderless rudderless approach it used in version 1.0.

  •  first phase accomplished, free speech=counter- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Galtisalie, Diane Gee

    propaganda/education. Standing in the Declaration of Independence was an accomplishment- the necessary foundation. Second phase not there yet as to strategy still requires further education. Following on free speech as education, the identification of Citizens United points to two issues. The corruption which Occupy retreated from, and now must be addressed by a winning strategy as either a single issue movement such as abolition. temperance, womens suffrage, etc. or a multi-issue movement such as Huey Long's Share the Wealth or MLK poor people's/antiwar campaign. Second issue is the Court that issued CU. Judicial supremacy has been a constant complaint since Jefferson critiqued Marbury, then Jacksonism, Dred Scott caused the civil war, was part of Bryan's campaigns, dominated the 1912 campaign and FDR's four horsemen. The stripping of court juridiction to review anticorruption legislation addresses the immediate crisis of Court tyranny over the electorate and the elected branches.

  •  Excellent diary, Diane, thank you! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Galtisalie, northsylvania, Diane Gee

    Great observations and insights on Occupy!  I just wanted to add a couple of my own comments to the mix, for what they’re worth.  I really like when you said:

    Its not about what park we can have, but who owns the process by which we meet our basic needs, and how fairly our lives are legislated and protected.
    One of the direct outcomes of Occupy that I’ve seen here in Mid-Michigan is an extraordinarily vibrant emergence of new economic initiatives in the form of timebanks, worker’s cooperatives, a maker’s network, and other related enterprises.  I wrote a bit about them here last summer and have been meaning to post a follow-up diary for the last several months, but there is just so much happening on the ground right now there just hasn’t been time (hopefully soon).  This dynamic is not limited to just our region, either, as other diarists here have written about in the past.  Another example was in evidence at the Powershift conference in Pittsburgh last October.  If nothing else was accomplished by Occupy, it definitely served as an awakening moment of self-empowerment for many of its participants, and the awareness of the need for self-reliance and resiliency through the creation of alternative economic structures based on cooperative principles is really beginning to spread.

    This does leave open the question, however, which you raised when you said (my emphasis added):

    The next step in whatever is to follow should not be another Occupy, certainly not one as based in racism and sexism as it was. We need to change tactics that did not work

    So yes, Occupy the Voting Booth, Occupy Banking with the one demand of breaking the monopolies up, and the rest will follow far easier

    .

    Beyond these new economic developments, what are our/their “next steps”?  What will make up “the rest”?  While these alternative grass-root economic initiatives that are being built to replace the existing dysfunctional ones are all well and good for their members, they are still few in number relative to their larger communities, and will likely remain so for some time to come.  Moreover, their efforts are not in any way directed at transformation of existing economic structures; people are through with those and interact with them only as much as is necessary.

    I have no answers for how existing institutions might be transformed from competitive to cooperative forms, and apparently neither does anyone else.  What everyone does seem to agree on, however, is that a larger transformational paradigm shift is required.  Nafeez Ahmed expressed this need quite well in his latest article in the Guardian on Saturday:

    The epidemic of global riots is symptomatic of global system failure - a civilisational form that has outlasted its usefulness. We need a new paradigm.

    Unfortunately, simply taking to the streets isn't the answer. What is needed is a meaningful vision for civilisational transition - backed up with people power and ethical consistence.

    It's time that governments, corporations and the public alike woke up to the fact that we are fast entering a new post-carbon era, and that the quicker we adapt to it, the far better our chances of successfully redefining a new form of civilisation - a new form of prosperity - that is capable of living in harmony with the Earth system.

    What will be this new paradigm? Quite clearly the answer to this question still eludes and awaits us, for if one was around that worked it would have already captured our imaginations and sparked a renewed, expanded, and unifying field of vision.

    Does anyone happen to be working on a new economic paradigm that they haven’t told anyone about lately?  If so, now would be a good time to speak up.

    Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

    by lehman scott on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:10:50 PM PST

    •  Great comment. You might find the PROUT model (3+ / 0-)

      interesting, if you happened to miss the diary I did on it a couple weeks ago. One flaw in the Guardian piece is the acceptance of the private profit corporation as being workable and legitimate. "It's time that governments, corporations and the public alike woke up to the fact that we are ...." Actually corporations are not people and never wake up to anything except how to make profits.

      The great flaw in Citizens United is the acceptance of the proposition that a legal fiction that can be created cannot also be both regulated and in fact destroyed. I ain't buying that corporations are here to stay. They have been banned before, and they probably should be banned again. It is possible that some of them, such as Mom and Pops, are or can be made very small and harmless through democratic socialization processes, but transnational corporations must be destroyed. They are running and ruining our world, as the legal robotic arms of the 1%.

      garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

      by Galtisalie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:31:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, Galtsalie! I *did* see your (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie, Diane Gee

        Diary, it was great! Unfortunately, by the time I finished reading and processing all the excellent information you provided and started preparing some comments, the comment window closed!  I really do wish that the Kosmins would allow some diaries to have extended windows, particularly the ACM diaries. There are always a wealth of resources and ideas in them and I keep them in a dedicated folder that I treat as a very useful little reference library.  Given their size and depth, I do think it would be beneficial to let people have more time to process and comment.

        [I guess I might as well insert a very short sub-comment here on that diary.  I found the spiritual aspect of Prout very intriguing. Recently there has been increased attention to this apparently neglected aspect of sustainability initiatives, for example David Korten’s recent efforts at developing some new ideas in this direction, and recent comments that Herman Daly has made about the necessity of incorporating spirituality into sustainability efforts in order to ensure their success. Being an agnostic/atheist I had my own thoughts on these developments vis-avis Prout, but oh well, another time maybe!]

        In regards to your comments about corporations, I couldn’t agree more, and it seems a growing number of people do, as well. I’m sure you’re familiar with Move to Amend, they seem to be at the vanguard of trying to get something done in regards to getting rid of this ridiculous corporate personhood baloney. The MtA movement seems to be doing pretty well; they have gotten their ballot proposals passed in a number of states recently.  David Cobb came to speak to us here last summer; he gives a very compelling presentation and said that the message resonates across the political divide (I know the presentation is up on YouTube; if I get some time this week I’ll try and find a link and post it here, it’s well worth watching and spreading around). It’s quite a promising development, and well worth everyone’s support.

        I have some additional thoughts that pertain to your observation regarding capitalism as it can be practiced at the local level, but I think I’ll save those for a related separate future diary I’m working on.  Thanks for your reply and the dialogue - - have a great day!  :)

        Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

        by lehman scott on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:25:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank YOU. You've given me a lot of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lehman scott

          good links to study on. I'm excited to do so. This is where I come to learn.

          As far as spirituality, it is a sensitive issue going back to Marx. I never want to proselytize and just want room for my personal journey, such as it is, in my economy and society.

          Thanks again!

          garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

          by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:46:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yw, and this is indeed a superb place to learn! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Galtisalie

            And yeah, the whole politics-economics-spirituality interplay dynamic is fascinating to me, on both theoretical and personal levels.  While growing up in the LCMS I secretly studied Alan Watts and was a conservative, then from there to being a born-again charismatic Christian with no political beliefs at all, and from there to eschewing monotheism altogether, studying under a Native American Shaman while beginning my long journey of political and economic radicalization - - which i hope never ends.  So it's all one kind of big Mental Cassoulet to me sometimes!

            Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

            by lehman scott on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:02:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  We are up against Snyder. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie, lehman scott

      who is buying up and privatizing Detroit as we speak.

      Co ops help, but we need something or someone who can speak to the abject cruelty of what is being done by the 1% and stand for the weakest.

      I wish I had better answers.  Right now, I am feeling a bit hopeless this morning.

      Eco-socialism is absolutely the answer, but I fear people won't "know what they've got till its gone" (hat tip Joni Mitchell)

      I've been pointed to Herman Daly and steady-state economies to study next.  If it resonates with me, I will write more on that.

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:47:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh man, don't get me started about Snyder, Diane.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diane Gee, Galtisalie

        ...I lived in North Rosedale Park for a few years and spent many many hours down the road at the DIA. It absolutely incenses me what he is trying to do to that amazing city.

        Sorry to hear you're feeling a bit hopeless this morning, I can relate. I can't think of anything that would be a guarantee to lift your spirits at the moment, except maybe this email that arrived last night:

        From: MidMichigan Time Bank
        Subject: March group work project!
        To: xxxx and 71 More...
        Mar 2 at 7:39 PM
        Members Issac and Jennet are having a baby! they would like help next Saturday and Sunday March 8th and 9th starting at 1pm to paint the new nursery.
        The address is xxxx
        Hope to see you there!
        -The Time Bank Team
        I know it's just one little work project in one little timebank in one state in one.... but still... the point is that people are actively working to help build the New Economy that does not depend on or is answerable to the 1%. Which is not to say that I or any of us do not share your concerns that such undertakings do not address the point you raised. I think it is imperative that we do both simultaneously.  The less we rely on the 1% the more empowered we can be to confront and challenge them!

        In regards to eco-socialism and Herman Daly, there is definitely a lot of material to get acquainted with if you're going to tackle that topic! If you'd like to jump into what i consider to be where the current controversies are, here would be my advice to start.  The paper references all the debates that preceded it and proposes a very different solution from a neoclassical economic perspective that attempts to straddle the capitalism/socialism divide in a way i'd not seen before.  Of course, it does not address the basic Marxist labor theory of value concerns, only the central growth dynamic of capitalism, but you may find it useful nonetheless (not sure what aspect of this whole subject you are interested in covering, there are so many).  If it looks interesting to you and you can't find the paper in its entirety, feel free to PM me and i can send a copy of it to you via email.

        BTW, i love your website but have yet to have listened to any of your podcasts.  Is there any one of them that is a favorite of yours where I could start?  

        Have a better... no, have a splendid day, Ma'am!  :)

        Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

        by lehman scott on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:33:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lehman scott, Galtisalie

          on many levels, just thanks... :)

          I guess my first Noam and my first Ward Churchill are my favorites.  Ward was hilarious, Noam was generous. (he always is - he's coming back after st paddy's day for visit 7 with my show)

          Its kitchen table broadcasting, be warned, I have had no training, and dogs bark, and kids interrupt... it is what it is.

          :)

          ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

          by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:05:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a link to a new piece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lehman scott

      on how we get to socialism that might be worth checking out: http://monthlyreview.org/...

      garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

      by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:09:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OMFSM, *another* MR article link! ;) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie

        Those were the ones in your Prout piece that were probably mostly responsible for me missing the comment window!

        But thanks for the link, keep 'em coming.  It is so hard to stay current with all the excellent journal and blog writings people produce.  Thanks for keeping Monthly Review up there near the top of the pile for me where it needs to be!

        BTW, love your blog, Galtisalie, it's awesome!  Keep up the great work! :)

        Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

        by lehman scott on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:43:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am grateful for the spaghetti monster (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lehman scott

          giving me good things to read. I'm looking forward to Diane's podcasts and glad you got the skinny of where to start. I love the audacious brilliant no holds barred kitchen table approach to world change.

          My little site has helped to be an activist the best I can. Thanks so much for saying that. I
          decided to "testify" about my socialism the best I can, and if it can help a few others feel encouraged to do the same, I'm smiling a mile-wide smile!

          We shall keep on striving!!! And I'm so grateful to this group for its special solidarity on the revolutionary journey.

          garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

          by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:39:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks again for the link to this paper, Galtisali (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie

        I'm half-way through and finding it quite thought-provoking.  I am unacquainted with István Mészáros’s Beyond Capital that it discusses.  Have you read this work, or do you happen to have any links to analyses/reviews of it that are not mentioned in the paper?  I don't have the time right now to read it (or the money to buy it!) but i need to explore some aspects of it in more detail for my project.  This is very timely.  Thanks again!  :)

        Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

        by lehman scott on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:40:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Having now been through the comments I've gone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diane Gee

    back and recommended and tipped the diary. I disagree with a lot of what you wrote, but I believe it furthers a necessary Socratic process. Plus, hearing some of Diane's personal experiences in the comments is quite moving.

    With much regards and solidarity, I nonetheless strongly disagree (1) with any grading of Occupy based on the "failure" to overcome capitalist control of democracy, because, while I am committed to democracy, it is corrupt and generally inadequate to human needs, as everyone from Marx to Niebuhr has pointed out; and (2) to abandon the Democratic Party in the current non-parliamentary system would be a very bad idea, as a general rule.

    Yet I like a lot of what you said, especially about the focusing on the banking issue. However, in general I'm charitable to any good movement, which Occupy most definitely was and still is. But, as you and others have pointed out, good movements must grow and learn and, for me the ultimate movement, global deep democratic socialism, cannot put it's blinders on.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:10:10 PM PST

    •  I realize that my above comment uses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diane Gee

      "democratic" three ways and is confusing. Late night smart phone writing exacerbates these tendencies on my part. It also comes off as "a lot" more negative than I intended to be. I think cooperatives and other forms of anarcho-socialism have much to offer in the here and now and in the idealized future, but I also believe in the need for vastly improved and eventually global political democracy of some kind, even though I recognize the limits of political democracy. You have raised many legitimate issues and were not picking on Occupy. Gotta go but definitely did not wants contribution to the thread to be perceived as negative. The Socratic process "we" as the human family need will not be pretty or easy.

      garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

      by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:29:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the respnse (5+ / 0-)
    People who were involved with Occupy Wall Street have an understandable emotional attachment to what they experienced within the movement.  In fact, for many in this age of electronica and isolation, it was their first experience in ground level activism and social work.  People cooperated, they exchanged food, medical services and felt unity. By sheer numbers, they managed to enter the concept of the one percent versus the rest of us into the National dialogue. That cannot be underrated.  
    First: hell yes we have an emotional attachment. We've all been dealing with it for a while now. That's all: Correct.

    Second, No, it wasn't our first experience in ground level activism and social work. A lot of use had experience with Food not Bombs and other organizations that were solely or mainly focused on direct aid to people. The press certainly had a idea of who we were, but that was as much a myth as  the rest of the media. That was specific to New York and Oakland, from my experience.

    Occupy was started by Adbusters, originally. They are an anti-capitalist group whose intent was to change how information flowed and take the propagandist slant out.
    No, Adbusters did not start occupy. Adbusters made a poster that some people responded to. Adbusters started occupy as much as the guy who designed the star wars poster made star wars. It's understandable that there would be confusion about this because our society assumes hierarchy.
    I am sure those who were 24/7 invested at OWS are protective and proud of it as the mother of a newborn, but rationally?  It was a failure.  Nothing changed.
    Some stuff changed, but basically, yeah. But sadly it was also the most successful social movement of a long time.

    That's what got attention so that's what we fought for.  A protest without attention just isn't worth it.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:13:20 PM PST

    •  The age demographic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lady Libertine

      doesn't hold up to the "majority" having had been activists prior. Sorry.

      Most were young people, who had not been active before.  Many were homeless, who hadn't the means to be active.

      I already said its HUGE success was changing the public narrative.  

      But look around, really... who is talking about it now?  Not in our isolated echo-chamber, outside of here???

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:51:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh my... good I was distracted today (3+ / 0-)

    I didn't see this earlier.

    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

    by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:06:42 AM PST

  •  Thank you all for a good exchange of views. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, ZhenRen

    Gotta go to the idiocracy now.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:19:21 AM PST

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