The First Large Global Conflict Where People Are Aligned by Consciousness and Not Nation State or Religion

Naomi Wolf. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Naomi Wolf. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Interesting take on Occupy by Naomi Wolf, at Alternet:

America’s politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement – sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence.

In the worst incident so far, hundreds of police, dressed in riot gear, surrounded Occupy Oakland’s encampment and fired rubber bullets (which can be fatal), flash grenades and tear-gas canisters – with some officers taking aim directly at demonstrators. The Occupy Oakland Twitter feed read like a report from Cairo’s Tahrir Square: “they are surrounding us”; “hundreds and hundreds of police”; “there are armoured vehicles and Hummers”. There were 170 arrests.

My own recent arrest, while obeying the terms of a permit and standing peacefully on a street in lower Manhattan, brought the reality of this crackdown close to home. America is waking up to what was built while it slept: Private companies have hired away its police (JPMorgan Chase gave $4.6m to the New York City Police Foundation); the federal Department of Homeland Security has given small municipal police forces military-grade weapons systems; citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and assembly have been stealthily undermined by opaque permit requirements.

Suddenly, the United States looks like the rest of the furious, protesting, not-completely-free world…

[continues at Alternet]

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  • GoodDoktorBad

    Love your article Naomi….

    Smooooooooches!!

  • Anonymous

    Love your article Naomi….

    Smooooooooches!!

  • Anonymous

    A few thoughts about Naomi’s insistence on OWS establishing a formal leadership mechanism.  I think it’s a big mistake.
     
    1.  The purpose of protest should be to prod those who would be at the helm of our established system to actually start leading.  To that end you don’t elect poets, artists and historians–you just give the poets, artists and historians a more prominent stage from which to abuse said pretenders to authority.
     
    2.  The reason #1 is true is because ALL INSTITUTIONS ARE GAMEABLE.  Never been one invented that cannot be co-opted and abused into the destruction of it’s own stated aims.  That’s the very point and most attractive feature of OWS–to make us internalize our doubts about institutions–and make us commit individually to making the existing ones better.
     
    3.  That said, the critique I believe may be underlying her call for institutional ENGAGEMENT has some merit.  No, I don’t think OWS could/should/would become a vested hypocrite just like the ineffectual douchebags they are currently protesting.  But they should spark the establishment of new but SEPARATE ancilliary organizations/ powerblocks to actively participate in the system. 
     
    Yes, consciousness without action is a crime–but action without consciousness is a mortal sin.  We desperately need OWS’s objectivity and removal from realpolitik.
     
    4.  Formal leadership is alienating.  That, I think should be a shockingly self-evident proposition for anyone who’s spent more than 15 minutes examining the history of big party machines.  Even if the opposition which would inevitably result from OWS in selecting a leader is of the merely “you ain’t the boss o’ ME!” variety, it is an unnecessarily distraction. 
     
    To establish a formal leadership mechanism, of any variety, would be to kill the effectiveness of OWS.  Even if it were merely an anarcho-syncalist commune, where each of us takes it in turns, to act as a sort of executive

  • Liam_McGonagle

    A few thoughts about Naomi’s insistence on OWS establishing a formal leadership mechanism.  I think it’s a big mistake.
     
    1.  The purpose of protest should be to prod those who would be at the helm of our established system to actually start leading.  To that end you don’t elect poets, artists and historians–you just give the poets, artists and historians a more prominent stage from which to abuse said pretenders to authority.
     
    2.  The reason #1 is true is because ALL INSTITUTIONS ARE GAMEABLE.  Never been one invented that cannot be co-opted and abused into the destruction of it’s own stated aims.  That’s the very point and most attractive feature of OWS–to make us internalize our doubts about institutions–and make us commit individually to making the existing ones better.
     
    3.  That said, the critique I believe may be underlying her call for institutional ENGAGEMENT has some merit.  No, I don’t think OWS could/should/would become a vested hypocrite just like the ineffectual douchebags they are currently protesting.  But they should spark the establishment of new but SEPARATE ancilliary organizations/ powerblocks to actively participate in the system. 
     
    Yes, consciousness without action is a crime–but action without consciousness is a mortal sin.  We desperately need OWS’s objectivity and removal from realpolitik.
     
    4.  Formal leadership is alienating.  That, I think should be a shockingly self-evident proposition for anyone who’s spent more than 15 minutes examining the history of big party machines.  Even if the opposition which would inevitably result from OWS in selecting a leader is of the merely “you ain’t the boss o’ ME!” variety, it is an unnecessarily distraction. 
     
    To establish a formal leadership mechanism, of any variety, would be to kill the effectiveness of OWS.  Even if it were merely an anarcho-syncalist commune, where each of us takes it in turns, to act as a sort of executive

    • GoodDoktorBad

      Good points, Liam.

      Leaders in this movement will emerge and achieve a measure of legitimacy among their peers through the parroting of the less vocal voices of that same movement. If someone is seen to take advantage or hi-jack the ideals of the group for their own selfish purpose, that person has little chance in succeeding. They will become outsiders (members by virtue of the 1%-ers). I believe internal subversion of the 99% is virtually impossible, at least for now. This is a movement of the awakening masses. Eyes are opening, and once opened, they cannot be closed again so easily. Not even by charismatic “leaders”. The movement itself is virtually incorruptible by the very virtue of its message, because the message is VIRTUE ITSELF. The problems and complaints within the minds of supporters cannot be bought out.  

  • Anonymous

    Good points, Liam.

    Leaders in this movement will emerge and achieve a measure of legitimacy among their peers through the parroting of the less vocal voices of that same movement. If someone is seen to take advantage or hi-jack the ideals of the group for their own selfish purpose, that person has little chance in succeeding. They will become outsiders (members by virtue of the 1%-ers). I believe internal subversion of the 99% is virtually impossible, at least for now. This is a movement of the awakening masses. Eyes are opening, and once opened, they cannot be closed again so easily. Not even by charismatic “leaders”. The movement itself is virtually incorruptible by the very virtue of its message, because the message is VIRTUE ITSELF. The problems and complaints within the minds of supporters cannot be bought out.  

  • Mr Willow

    Article started off good—Corporatocracy, people fighting against a global cartel of monied interests, etc.—but then the mistake is made to advocate an emulation of the current system on a small scale, and indeed to influence how the current system operates: to influence voters, to influence politicians, to take donations to make candidates (and so on), when almost noöne within the bulk of the protests, noöne that has been responsible in any way of shaping the message of the Occupy movement has been talking about votes or voters or parties or anything of the sort. 

    They have instead been discussing what system would be instituted in place of the current one, and have been actively involved in the creation and arrangement of what that new system might look like and how it might function (a proto-system, if you will). That is not to say that in the new system we would all make a series of hand gestures to enact new laws, but they had to start somewhere, and for the moment, with each group comprised of a small enough number of people for that to function properly, that is what they have to work with. Now, I think, it would do them (us?) well to invent a method by which people who are not physically present at the various events could participate in building consensus. 

  • Mr Willow

    Article started off good—Corporatocracy, people fighting against a global cartel of monied interests, etc.—but then the mistake is made to advocate an emulation of the current system on a small scale, and indeed to influence how the current system operates: to influence voters, to influence politicians, to take donations to make candidates (and so on), when almost noöne within the bulk of the protests, noöne that has been responsible in any way of shaping the message of the Occupy movement has been talking about votes or voters or parties or anything of the sort. 

    They have instead been discussing what system would be instituted in place of the current one, and have been actively involved in the creation and arrangement of what that new system might look like and how it might function (a proto-system, if you will). That is not to say that in the new system we would all make a series of hand gestures to enact new laws, but they had to start somewhere, and for the moment, with each group comprised of a small enough number of people for that to function properly, that is what they have to work with. Now, I think, it would do them (us?) well to invent a method by which people who are not physically present at the various events could participate in building consensus. 

  • Guest

    naomi wolf is a hack.  she has her history all mixed up, and thinks that she’s discovered something unique and new.  as a student of history (phd) she does not understand the difference between italian fascism and german nazism.  furthermore, she does not comprehend that there is no formal structure to history, that the circumstances that created the 1920s/30s, and the present, considerably differ.  italian fascism and german nazism arose due to unique developments in those countries; developments that are not reproduced at present, but may be reflective.  if she published her works as academic texts, she would be laughed at, and dismissed from whatever academic post she holds.

    if you want to familiarize yourselves with intelligent perspectives, i suggest the frankfurt school (marcuse and franz neumann, in particular) and lukacs.

  • Guest

    naomi wolf is a hack.  she has her history all mixed up, and thinks that she’s discovered something unique and new.  as a student of history (phd) she does not understand the difference between italian fascism and german nazism.  furthermore, she does not comprehend that there is no formal structure to history, that the circumstances that created the 1920s/30s, and the present, considerably differ.  italian fascism and german nazism arose due to unique developments in those countries; developments that are not reproduced at present, but may be reflective.  if she published her works as academic texts, she would be laughed at, and dismissed from whatever academic post she holds.

    if you want to familiarize yourselves with intelligent perspectives, i suggest the frankfurt school (marcuse and franz neumann, in particular) and lukacs.

  • MetalMonkey

      Out with the old and in with the new

  • MetalMonkey

      Out with the old and in with the new

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-R-Pannozzi/100001728769891 James R. Pannozzi

    Fundamentally correct observations.  The full extent of the subversion of our government by special interests and corporatists is now emerging despite mass media clever misrepresentations, obfuscations, denials, disinformation and omissions.   Media side shows on various entertainment, rock stars,sports heroes and other traditional diversions are no longer working as the full force of the now half awake giant public consciousness slowly begins to coalesce and make its presence known.  What happens when it becomes fully awake?   

    The reforms that have been avoided, blocked, undercut, denounced as “anti-capitalist” (sic) or worse, “socialist” will become enacted.  The awakening of the Absolute is inviolable, unstoppable and inevitable.  It is the instantiation of history, the collective focus of will and intent of Americans from all walks of life.   

    The reforms will be the focus and result of consensual outrage.  The guilty parties WILL be held responsible as the reforms are enacted.

    The Electoral “college” will be ABOLISHED.  

    Redistricting tricks will be ABOLISHED.   

    The “Supreme Court” will be expanded to 20 or 30 justices so that no one small group of legal “philosopher kings” may ever again wreak their outmoded and rusting philosophies, conceptions, and interpretations on the American people.

    A system OF FULL HEALTH CARE COVERAGE of everyone for EVERYTHING will be instituted, replacing medicare and medicaid and financed by savings from the elimination of foreign policy misadventures.

    Special health care plans, retirement plans, travel allowances, and special treatment for congress members will be ABOLISHED.  The career of “politician” will cease to exist.   Likewise all lobbyists will be outlawed.

    STRICT TERM LIMITS are to be instituted along with easy RECALL elections for ALL PUBLIC OFFICES.  

    Special laws for banks and wall street will be ABOLISHED.  There are NO exceptions.

    Alice in wonderland foreign policy devoted to money wasting adventures in unneeded places will be ABOLISHED.
    Unneeded foreign military bases will be CLOSED.  Immediately.

    A system of public education will be created right up to the University level for AMERICAN students will be created, without the necessity of bankrupting them, or paralyzing their careers before they even get a chance to get to square one.  Companies doing outsourcing or using H1B Visa people will be HEAVILY PENALIZED for doing so, prior to the outright BANNING of these practices.  There is NO “hi-tech” labor “shortage”.  Never was.

    DRASTIC reform of NAFTA and other foreign trade issues will be undertaken.  

    Unnecessary surveillance of American citizens and all federal agencies involved in it will come under the review of CITIZEN COMMITTEES who will have the power to interdict, penalize or terminate the anti constitutional spying.

    THESE rough outlines are indicative of but a few of the reforms that are coming.  

  • Dr. James R. Pannozzi D.O.M. L

    Fundamentally correct observations.  The full extent of the subversion of our government by special interests and corporatists is now emerging despite mass media clever misrepresentations, obfuscations, denials, disinformation and omissions.   Media side shows on various entertainment, rock stars,sports heroes and other traditional diversions are no longer working as the full force of the now half awake giant public consciousness slowly begins to coalesce and make its presence known.  What happens when it becomes fully awake?   

    The reforms that have been avoided, blocked, undercut, denounced as “anti-capitalist” (sic) or worse, “socialist” will become enacted.  The awakening of the Absolute is inviolable, unstoppable and inevitable.  It is the instantiation of history, the collective focus of will and intent of Americans from all walks of life.   

    The reforms will be the focus and result of consensual outrage.  The guilty parties WILL be held responsible as the reforms are enacted.

    The Electoral “college” will be ABOLISHED.  

    Redistricting tricks will be ABOLISHED.   

    The “Supreme Court” will be expanded to 20 or 30 justices so that no one small group of legal “philosopher kings” may ever again wreak their outmoded and rusting philosophies, conceptions, and interpretations on the American people.

    A system OF FULL HEALTH CARE COVERAGE of everyone for EVERYTHING will be instituted, replacing medicare and medicaid and financed by savings from the elimination of foreign policy misadventures.

    Special health care plans, retirement plans, travel allowances, and special treatment for congress members will be ABOLISHED.  The career of “politician” will cease to exist.   Likewise all lobbyists will be outlawed.

    STRICT TERM LIMITS are to be instituted along with easy RECALL elections for ALL PUBLIC OFFICES.  

    Special laws for banks and wall street will be ABOLISHED.  There are NO exceptions.

    Alice in wonderland foreign policy devoted to money wasting adventures in unneeded places will be ABOLISHED.
    Unneeded foreign military bases will be CLOSED.  Immediately.

    A system of public education will be created right up to the University level for AMERICAN students will be created, without the necessity of bankrupting them, or paralyzing their careers before they even get a chance to get to square one.  Companies doing outsourcing or using H1B Visa people will be HEAVILY PENALIZED for doing so, prior to the outright BANNING of these practices.  There is NO “hi-tech” labor “shortage”.  Never was.

    DRASTIC reform of NAFTA and other foreign trade issues will be undertaken.  

    Unnecessary surveillance of American citizens and all federal agencies involved in it will come under the review of CITIZEN COMMITTEES who will have the power to interdict, penalize or terminate the anti constitutional spying.

    THESE rough outlines are indicative of but a few of the reforms that are coming.  

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