Everyone Wants to Know: Where Does the Occupy Movement Go From Here?

Regarding the Occupy movement, the question on everybody’s mind seems to be: well, what the fuck now?

Or, more appropriately, “Where Does the Occupy Movement Go From Here?” I began writing an article on precisely this topic, working myself to the bone and pausing only to get dead stinking drunk for a couple weeks. Upon sobering up I started researching again and realized, to my embarrassment, that I had been beaten to the punch by practically every writer in the US (and some abroad) that follows the movement.

No, really! Type that question into a search engine and you’ll see this.

Well, it is an important question — this isn’t Tunisia or Egypt, one cannot count on the amount of popular support combined with near-suicidal rage necessary for a protest to topple a government. The US is a different animal and this is a different struggle. So what to do?

Miles Mogulescu, over at the Huffington Post, asks some pertinent questions. “It’s time,” he writes, “to ask whether the organizational forms and tactics which birthed the #Occupy mass protests are adequate to building a long-term movement which can change the country and the world.”

That’s something of a dangerous question. Leadership rarely transfers smoothly. He’s correct when he writes that the “open source, participatory, horizontal structure may be one key to its early success, and the ease with which it has been replicated in city after city around the country and the world”, but what will the reaction be when someone suggests changing that? It has become a hallmark of the Occupy movement, something looked upon with pride, something that says “we’ve done something amazing here”.

One may ask “well, why would we want to change that?” In a word: politics.Mogulescu suggests that while the protests are all well and good, it may be that the best way to accomplish something substantial is to engage in the rough and tumble world of politics. And the horizontal leadership that he praised earlier may not be the best tool with which to enter that world.

Michael Moore, well-known author/filmmaker and fan of trans-fats, has gone a step further. He has submitted a “vision statement” to the Occupy Wall Street general assembly, something that reads suspiciously like a wish-list. More useful, to my mind, is the comprehensive list of goals and demands (examples include “Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street where they currently pay 0%” and “Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time”. I encourage everyone to check them out).

Whether you agree or disagree with the items on the list, one has to admit they are significantly better goals and demands than those expressed by some of the protest signs that have been seen in various cities (“Jobs Are A Right” read one I saw, which reveals a frankly staggering ignorance about either the nature of employment or the nature of rights. “End Corporate Greed”, a slogan I heard at an Occupy Chicago event, is almost as bad. Greed is the foundation of the economic system in this country, which in turn drives the world economy. Curtail it? Sure. Maybe make it less short-sighted? Absolutely. Spread around the profits resulting from that lust for money? Great. End it? That statement is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless in this country). More importantly, it seems to suggest something similar to what Mogulescu was saying. After all, to accomplish any of these goals, the movement will have to start messing around in politics.

William Pfaff at TruthDig claims that the Occupy Movement is fighting “the system”, a phrase that always makes me nervous. Look around at the people near you, how good are they at recognizing, manipulating or even consciously and willfully interacting with systems? How can the masses fight a system? The author gives several examples, and you may or may not be surprised to discover that many of them are covered in Moore’s list of goals and demands. Pfaff also notes, though, that none of these goals will be possible unless there is severe campaign finance reform. Until the candidates no longer have to go on their knees to the money-men, the list of goals will only ever be a wish-list.

This, I think, separates the Occupy movement from other successful movements in the U.S.’s history. The Civil Rights movement did indeed combine home-grown protests with political aspirations, and did so successfully. But that struggle was different — they were combating hate and ignorance, which while powerful nevertheless takes a back seat to greed. An example of this principal is the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955. The protest campaign managed to prove that treating a certain portion of society as second class citizens is not a smart business plan, especially when that particular portion of society accounts for 80% of your annual income. Like the Civil Rights movement, the Occupy movement is battling an entrenched power structure committing injustices — but the injustices the Occupy movement are fighting are not, if you’ll forgive the pun, as black-and-white. Hate and ignorance are ugly, and that ugliness was seen by the entire nation in the responses to the Civil Rights movement, in the terrible attacks on the brave people involved in that struggle. Arson and murder will not rally the masses to your cause. Dead children being pulled out of a burnt-down church will not win the hearts and minds of the people. It will, in fact, do the opposite of that.

The short-sighted greed that runs through the reigning power structures cannot be seen as easily, though, and even when examples of it are brought to the public’s attention — the Wall Street crimes, the Super PAC legislation — it can (and has) been written off as business as usual, nothing to see here, move along folks.

So everyone is asking “Where Does The Occupy Movement Go From Here”, and the responses are all pretty similar: Get Political. I’m not seeing too many ideas on how to do that in terms of process, but hell it’s a start. While I’m here, let me add that now is the time to start getting the police on our side. Because what worries me the most is something I predicted a while back, something of which I am a little terrified but at the same time am anxiously awaiting: if and when the Occupy movement gets some real leverage, the shit will start hitting the fan in a much bigger way. When that happens, let’s hope the police are at least a little less willing to crack skulls and squirt pepper-spray down someone’s throat, because someone with a lot to lose will be telling them to do exactly that.

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  • Fusionism

    If the movement does become political as you and others suggest, it will have lost it’s way and will undoubtedly get swallowed up and spat out in a more easily digestible, sanitised and arguably useless format that will not lead the necessary changes we are seeking. Though it is undoubtedly a hard path to take, and it is not clear how it will work, the only true answer is to create a system that is separate from the one we are trying to change. This is why there aren’t clear demands, demands to whom? No-one can give us the answers, there is no one with the power to actually offer an acceptable outcome, bound as they all are to perpetuating the current system. We have to take it, make it for ourselves. Democracy as we know it is not the answer. Changing the money system and the paradigm under which we live is.

    • anonymouse

      I completely agree with you. Instead of making demands to a corrupt, broken authoritarian system, or trying to seize control of said system, people should instead completely circumvent it by organizing their own decision-making bodies which refuse to acknowledge the one already in place. We don’t need no stinkin’ badgers. It’s like the idea I had of claiming my body as a sovereign nation, by me, and then printing my own currency, including a “zero-dollar” bill. Would you like a warm hug in these cold times? That’ll be zero dollars, please. : )

      • Tuna Ghost

        They did that, and then the cops knocked it all down.  What now?

  • Fusionism

    If the movement does become political as you and others suggest, it will have lost it’s way and will undoubtedly get swallowed up and spat out in a more easily digestible, sanitised and arguably useless format that will not lead the necessary changes we are seeking. Though it is undoubtedly a hard path to take, and it is not clear how it will work, the only true answer is to create a system that is separate from the one we are trying to change. This is why there aren’t clear demands, demands to whom? No-one can give us the answers, there is no one with the power to actually offer an acceptable outcome, bound as they all are to perpetuating the current system. We have to take it, make it for ourselves. Democracy as we know it is not the answer. Changing the money system and the paradigm under which we live is.

  • http://twitter.com/PostConsumerWat Davi Jame

    so now that the occupy movement has some people involved they need to get involved in voting and writing letters to their representatives.  They need to continue learning and communicating with the world in order to influence it.  So that means doing a lot of work.  I don’t think that the movement is just about sitting around in public protesting… or is it?  With an educated populace we will elect leaders who represent the educated and work to improve the situation, or no?

    • LucidDreamR

      Do you really believe the people in this country have EVER elected a leader? Lowering ourselves to the level of the current system would be an utter failure. Anyone who takes the time to vote, or get involved in the current system is accomplishing nothing more than to tell the 1% they are gullible enough to buy into the farce! I, for one refuse to play the game that they have made and created all the rules for! Especially since it’s as rigged as a Vegas casino!

  • http://twitter.com/PostConsumerWat Davi Jame

    so now that the occupy movement has some people involved they need to get involved in voting and writing letters to their representatives.  They need to continue learning and communicating with the world in order to influence it.  So that means doing a lot of work.  I don’t think that the movement is just about sitting around in public protesting… or is it?  With an educated populace we will elect leaders who represent the educated and work to improve the situation, or no?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good to see you back in the ring, Tuna! Cogent analysis of the one issue that will inevitably hit OWS, as well. Good on ya!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good to see you back in the ring, Tuna! Cogent analysis of the one issue that will inevitably hit OWS, as well. Good on ya!

  • Taisto

    Armed Anarchist revolution is the only way to go.
    Everything else is useless.

  • Taisto

    Armed Anarchist revolution is the only way to go.
    Everything else is useless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elpolloloco52 Josh Adkisson

    Of course, we can’t end corporate greed. What would happen to all the starving people in the world who make our shit? They would stop starving! Then they might stop making our shit for us, and then where would we be? We’d be starving, of course. How would I drive to McDonald’s?

    Really, the line of reasoning the author presents here, my caricature aside, is kind of retarded. He advocates sacrificing the ideal–that is, Americans should stop being greedy assclowns–for the hope that the Occupy Movement can somehow *make* certain actions happen by getting involved in the political system. Instead of an attempt to cut out the roots of the problem, the author thinks that settling for dealing with the manifestations of the problem is enough. All that does is drive something underground, making it harder for most people to see, and thus to fight.

    However, what worries me most about this kind of approach is that it seems like an attempt by the Democratic party to commandeer the Occupy movement. The author might not say it outright, but I find it hard to imagine getting involved in politics without aligning oneself with either the Republicans or the Democrats. Only one of those is a valid choice for OWS, and everyone knows that, so I’m not sure who this author is attempting to shit.

    I’m an anarcho-communist, and thus obviously biased, but the second that OWS “gets political” is the second that I can’t support it. We’ve been doing war and politics for quite some time now, and neither has really helped out a whole lot, to be honest. Even the civil rights movement didn’t stop racial hatred–it just deflected it from one race. Hispanics and middle easterners soon picked up the slack. Thus, I can’t accept this author’s advice–the occupy movement should not “get political.” That would be a compromise on everything.

    • InsideOut

      Bullshit. OWS needs to register as a third party and nominate as many candidates as possible…get those people elected and then start changing the system from the inside out until it is unrecognizable. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/elpolloloco52 Josh Adkisson

    Of course, we can’t end corporate greed. What would happen to all the starving people in the world who make our shit? They would stop starving! Then they might stop making our shit for us, and then where would we be? We’d be starving, of course. How would I drive to McDonald’s?

    Really, the line of reasoning the author presents here, my caricature aside, is kind of retarded. He advocates sacrificing the ideal–that is, Americans should stop being greedy assclowns–for the hope that the Occupy Movement can somehow *make* certain actions happen by getting involved in the political system. Instead of an attempt to cut out the roots of the problem, the author thinks that settling for dealing with the manifestations of the problem is enough. All that does is drive something underground, making it harder for most people to see, and thus to fight.

    However, what worries me most about this kind of approach is that it seems like an attempt by the Democratic party to commandeer the Occupy movement. The author might not say it outright, but I find it hard to imagine getting involved in politics without aligning oneself with either the Republicans or the Democrats. Only one of those is a valid choice for OWS, and everyone knows that, so I’m not sure who this author is attempting to shit.

    I’m an anarcho-communist, and thus obviously biased, but the second that OWS “gets political” is the second that I can’t support it. We’ve been doing war and politics for quite some time now, and neither has really helped out a whole lot, to be honest. Even the civil rights movement didn’t stop racial hatred–it just deflected it from one race. Hispanics and middle easterners soon picked up the slack. Thus, I can’t accept this author’s advice–the occupy movement should not “get political.” That would be a compromise on everything.

  • smooth_operator

    We’re in that phase where things are going to really start accelerating anyways.  As thousands of more Americans are laid off every month, as the annual 80% of college kids without jobs out of college increases, as more bank corruption and bankruptcies surface, as more Americans realize just how f*cked the system really is, we’ll start to see the numbers on the street grow.  The OWS movement will simply morph into one giant ball of pissed off and desperate people.

    A widespread war in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia might quell those nasty plebs though…

  • Anonymous

    We’re in that phase where things are going to really start accelerating anyways.  As thousands of more Americans are laid off every month, as the annual 80% of college kids without jobs out of college increases, as more bank corruption and bankruptcies surface, as more Americans realize just how f*cked the system really is, we’ll start to see the numbers on the street grow.  The OWS movement will simply morph into one giant ball of pissed off and desperate people.

    A widespread war in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia might quell those nasty plebs though…

  • http://www.facebook.com/r.talmadge.lacy R. Talmadge Lacy

    I think rallying against Senate Bill 1867 is a good place to focus our energy.

    • Tuna Ghost

      For anyone curious, that would be the bill that allows the indefinite detainment of American citizens abroad or at home engaged in “terrorism” as defined by god knows who.  That definition could easily be broadened to include protesters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/r.talmadge.lacy R. Talmadge Lacy

    I think rallying against Senate Bill 1867 is a good place to focus our energy.

  • Milkapub

    It is noble to try and make a change in the country but don’t live your life expecting that change will come. Everyone who knows about the scam that is being perpetrated by the U.S government (and the so-called 1%) I think should first act as individuals. There are ways that you can be indepedent from the system, there are ways you can help the poor without having to change something higher up in the very abstract chain of command of a nation.
    And if you wish to change the country, let’s remember that this can only be done if a majority of the people are for that change. So what I think is more important for OWS is not the political side but the educational side, meaning the ideas and the way they are presented to the people from outside the mouvement.

    • LucidDreamR

      To a point I agree; unfortunately this was the mentality people adopted in the 60′s- look where it got us. The 1% is doing everything in their power to prevent people from ‘waking up’. They have much more resources to put towards their goal than we ever will. Just look at how successful they have been in creating a nation of mindless, consuming sheep. Our attempts at trying to educate these people will go completely unheard. We have to compete with T.V., national sports, fluoride in the water, poison in our food and air..and countless other weapons in their arsenal. We must find a way to eliminate these people, and their agenda from the equation entirely. Or forget about trying to help the masses of sheep; and find a way and a place where those of us that are thinking freely can separate ourselves from the madness. A place that we could defend our way of life…if such a place could even be possible… :/ I hate to say it, but it seems to me the only way one could be even close to independent from the system while in this country would be to become one of the very homeless and poor you speak of helping…many of which CHOSE that way of life for just this reason.

  • Milkapub

    It is noble to try and make a change in the country but don’t live your life expecting that change will come. Everyone who knows about the scam that is being perpetrated by the U.S government (and the so-called 1%) I think should first act as individuals. There are ways that you can be indepedent from the system, there are ways you can help the poor without having to change something higher up in the very abstract chain of command of a nation.
    And if you wish to change the country, let’s remember that this can only be done if a majority of the people are for that change. So what I think is more important for OWS is not the political side but the educational side, meaning the ideas and the way they are presented to the people from outside the mouvement.

  • LucidDreamR

    I think the real question should be: At what point will we realize that no amount of peaceful protesting will ever change the current agenda? There are more than enough brainwashed sheep in this country to give a backbone to the evil empire. There’s a really good reason our founding fathers (or, a few of them at least) made sure to put the right to bear arms in the constitution. I fear the time is coming very soon that it will be the only option we have left. Whether it consists of going on the offensive; or simply defending our homes, families and desired way of life from THEIR armed invasion. Unless we decide to roll over and continue to let them sell us out, keep us from being truly free, keep us from thinking freely and evolving into the wonderful and amazing creatures we can be…. It’s inevitable. IMHO

  • LucidDreamR

    I think the real question should be: At what point will we realize that no amount of peaceful protesting will ever change the current agenda? There are more than enough brainwashed sheep in this country to give a backbone to the evil empire. There’s a really good reason our founding fathers (or, a few of them at least) made sure to put the right to bear arms in the constitution. I fear the time is coming very soon that it will be the only option we have left. Whether it consists of going on the offensive; or simply defending our homes, families and desired way of life from THEIR armed invasion. Unless we decide to roll over and continue to let them sell us out, keep us from being truly free, keep us from thinking freely and evolving into the wonderful and amazing creatures we can be…. It’s inevitable. IMHO

  • LucidDreamR

    I think the real question should be: At what point will we realize that no amount of peaceful protesting will ever change the current agenda? There are more than enough brainwashed sheep in this country to give a backbone to the evil empire. There’s a really good reason our founding fathers (or, a few of them at least) made sure to put the right to bear arms in the constitution. I fear the time is coming very soon that it will be the only option we have left. Whether it consists of going on the offensive; or simply defending our homes, families and desired way of life from THEIR armed invasion. Unless we decide to roll over and continue to let them sell us out, keep us from being truly free, keep us from thinking freely and evolving into the wonderful and amazing creatures we can be…. It’s inevitable. IMHO

  • LucidDreamR

    I think the real question should be: At what point will we realize that no amount of peaceful protesting will ever change the current agenda? There are more than enough brainwashed sheep in this country to give a backbone to the evil empire. There’s a really good reason our founding fathers (or, a few of them at least) made sure to put the right to bear arms in the constitution. I fear the time is coming very soon that it will be the only option we have left. Whether it consists of going on the offensive; or simply defending our homes, families and desired way of life from THEIR armed invasion. Unless we decide to roll over and continue to let them sell us out, keep us from being truly free, keep us from thinking freely and evolving into the wonderful and amazing creatures we can be…. It’s inevitable. IMHO

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Ah, nice piece -fishy-squishy.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, nice piece -fishy-squishy. 

    But none of it matters cause were all gonna die….

  • LucidDreamR

    To a point I agree; unfortunately this was the mentality people adopted in the 60′s- look where it got us. The 1% is doing everything in their power to prevent people from ‘waking up’. They have much more resources to put towards their goal than we ever will. Just look at how successful they have been in creating a nation of mindless, consuming sheep. Our attempts at trying to educate these people will go completely unheard. We have to compete with T.V., national sports, fluoride in the water, poison in our food and air..and countless other weapons in their arsenal. We must find a way to eliminate these people, and their agenda from the equation entirely. Or forget about trying to help the masses of sheep; and find a way and a place where those of us that are thinking freely can separate ourselves from the madness. A place that we could defend our way of life…if such a place could even be possible… :/ I hate to say it, but it seems to me the only way one could be even close to independent from the system while in this country would be to become one of the very homeless and poor you speak of helping…many of which CHOSE that way of life for just this reason.

  • LucidDreamR

    Do you really believe the people in this country have EVER elected a leader? Lowering ourselves to the level of the current system would be an utter failure. Anyone who takes the time to vote, or get involved in the current system is accomplishing nothing more than to tell the 1% they are gullible enough to buy into the farce! I, for one refuse to play the game that they have made and created all the rules for! Especially since it’s as rigged as a Vegas casino!

  • Someonesname

    i think if they started putting out trade blankets on wall street and actually trading goods for goods.. we could have a legitimate talk about an alternative to capitalism

    • BuzzCoastin

      it’s not simply capitalism
      its primarily consumerism
      70% of the US economy is based upon consumer spending
      your smart phone is a vote for the 1%
      who could live without Jersey Shore?
      try to not give gifts at the consumer holy daze
      brought to you buy Santa and Coke
      got a car?

      what’s the alternative to consumerism?
      can we overcome the bedazzlement of consumerism
      before it consumes US?

      • Someonesname

        the problems we face are more because of the producers who make products accessible to consumers in my opinion… i can live without the jersey shore… i dont have a car.. there is no alternative to consumerism .. people consume things…but deciding how you get what you consume and consuming  what you consume -does effect the livelyhood of people and the planet…so how do you wanna effect this world you’ve found urself in?” not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”

  • Someonesname

    i think if they started putting out trade blankets on wall street and actually trading goods for goods.. we could have a legitimate talk about an alternative to capitalism

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    OWS doesn’t need to go anywhere
    it’s already there

    change will ultimately be caused by the crash of capitalism
    already well underway

    when the last drop of oil
    the last fish in the sea
    the last breath of clean air
    the last piece of natural food
    all disappear
    people will gape in utter amazement
    when the realize that humanity was brought to the brink of extinction
    for the sake of money

    the same way the Easter Islanders killed their last tree
    for god knows what?
    big friggin statutes?
    it boogies the mind

  • BuzzCoastin

    OWS doesn’t need to go anywhere
    it’s already there

    change will ultimately be caused by the crash of capitalism
    already well underway

    when the last drop of oil
    the last fish in the sea
    the last breath of clean air
    the last piece of natural food
    all disappear
    people will gape at the sight in utter amazement
    when they realize that humanity was brought to the brink of extinction
    for the sake of money

    the same way the Easter Islanders killed their last tree
    for god knows what?
    big friggin statutes?
    it boggles the mind

    • EyeoftheAxis
    • Guest

      I loath when people like you think adding line breaks and excluding punctuation makes something trite look more poetic. It doesn’t. It just makes you look like an illiterate ass.
      Congratulations.

      • BuzzCoastin

        tHankz Gramma Nirvanasteve
        how very 20th century of you
        obviously yer nirvana is not cobain
        but curt nonetheless

        • Nirvanasteve

          That was actually quite clever and made me chuckle. Congratulations, again (but with much less sarcasm). And yes, I prefer being a lingering remnant of those who think commas still serve a purpose. Because you know what? They do. They add clarity where mental confusion would otherwise occur. Especially in poetry. What irritates me is when those writing prose or poetry from an “experimental” style have no idea what they themselves are saying but think it should be appreciated nonetheless. I find the greatest art is that which is crafted lovingly, thoughtfully, not spooged across a page with reckless abandon. 

  • Mr Willow

    Political? What would ‘getting political’ in the sense that we as Americans are accustomed to accomplish? Yeah, write your congressman (or woman), show up to vote, pick a candidate that you really believe in. . . unless that candidate is in a third party. See, and then all of that falls to pieces. The only method by which the current political landscape may be altered through current political procedure is to vote in a third party candidate—and there are plenty to choose from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States)—because the two parties (or, if you prefer, the single Party with an ‘R’ and ‘D’ department) are so entrenched, so heavily infiltrated, with plutocratic sympathies, and not only that but so heavily influenced by industrialist ‘donations’ that they might as well be wearing signs reading: ‘Corporate Bitch’. But because the political stage is so dominated by these two characters, as it were, that every voter considers it a crime nearly to vote for another actor (and believe me, they are all actors). 

    My grandmother is the perfect example of this. A registered Republican, she says she’s tired of voting for millionaires and billionaires, so she tasked me with finding the candidate who has the least amount of money. Well, I came back to her with a name, Buddy Roemer, who has not allowed more than a hundred dollars to be donated by any one constituent, figuring I did a good job. Her response? “Well, I don’t want to just throw my vote away.” So thinks anyöne going to the polls with the hopes of ‘bucking the system’ using the rules of the system. 

    And yet, attempting to forcibly tear down the system would prove fruitless. It would be crushed either from within via infighting between those who are willing and those who are not to continue day in and day out with the battles—rending the movement in two—or from outside via the private armies’ superior firepower.

    Why not move past this, and transcend it, and boycott the system. Boycott the polls. If we are to be expected to throw our votes away anyhow—either through voting for a ‘mainstream’ candidate we all know some CEO has a receipt for in his back pocket or voting for some candidate that would receive a blank stare from someöne to whom the name was just mentioned because they are so completely unknown—then why bother showing up to vote at all? 

    Instead, have the Occupy movement shift focus onto prospective ‘voters’ and begin gaining consensus of their concerns, whether through comments sections on sites like this, internet forums, newsletters (which advocate and encourage responses instead of the usual ‘donation’), or general assemblies occurring in person. Create a separate means of governing and watch the talking heads and politicians’ heads unanimously implode when votes are down. And not only that, but through all this consensus making, begin discussing opening collective businesses, establishing social colleges, creating public clinics and hospitals. Re-found places of art and philosophy, where actual thinking and further conversation may take place, and not only place, but priority. Ignore the establishment. It would be like declaring Independence without informing the Regime first. 

    How’s that for getting political?

  • Mr Willow

    Political? What would ‘getting political’ in the sense that we as Americans are accustomed to accomplish? Yeah, write your congressman (or woman), show up to vote, pick a candidate that you really believe in. . . unless that candidate is in a third party. See, and then all of that falls to pieces.

    The only method by which the current political landscape may be altered through current political procedure is to vote in a third party candidate—and there are plenty to choose from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States) —because the two parties (or, if you prefer, the single Party with an ‘R’ and ‘D’ department) are so entrenched, so heavily infiltrated, with plutocratic sympathies, and not only that but so heavily influenced by industrialist ‘donations’ that they might as well be wearing signs reading: ‘Corporate Bitch’. But because the political stage is so dominated by these two characters, as it were, that every voter considers it a crime nearly to vote for another actor (and believe me, they are all actors). 

    My grandmother is the perfect example of this. A registered Republican, she says she’s tired of voting for millionaires and billionaires, so she tasked me with finding the candidate who has the least amount of money. Well, I came back to her with a name, Buddy Roemer, who has not allowed more than a hundred dollars to be donated by any one constituent, figuring I did a good job. Her response? “Well, I don’t want to just throw my vote away.” So thinks anyöne going to the polls with the hopes of ‘bucking the system’ using the rules of the system. 

    And yet, attempting to forcibly tear down the system would prove fruitless. It would be crushed either from within via infighting between those who are willing and those who are not to continue day in and day out with the battles—rending the movement in two—or from outside via the private armies’ superior firepower.

    Why not move past this, and transcend it, and boycott the system. Boycott the polls. If we are to be expected to throw our votes away anyhow—either through voting for a ‘mainstream’ candidate we all know some CEO has a receipt for in his back pocket or voting for some candidate that would receive a blank stare from someöne to whom the name was just mentioned because they are so completely unknown—then why bother showing up to vote at all? 

    Instead, the Occupy movement should shift focus onto prospective ‘voters’ and begin gaining consensus of their concerns, whether through comments sections on sites like this, internet forums, newsletters (which advocate and encourage responses instead of the usual ‘donation’), or general assemblies occurring in person. Create a separate means of governing and watch the talking heads and politicians’ heads unanimously implode when they realise nobody is participating in ‘the system’. And not only that, but through all this consensus making, begin discussing opening collective businesses, establishing social colleges, creating public clinics and hospitals. Re-found places of art and philosophy, where actual thinking and further conversation may not only take place, but priority. Ignore the establishment, and simultaneously create a new paradigm. It would be like declaring Independence without informing the Regime first. 

    How’s that for getting political?

    • Jin The Ninja

      amazing actually.

    • anonymouse

      Thank you thank you thank you.

      If more people can get aboard with this idea – then we’ll see real change. It’s like the saying, “Be the change you want to see.”

      Didn’t the people who founded this country use a similar tactic? We don’t need to ask Them, we don’t need to topple Them, we just need to not rely on Them, for anything. As soon as the machine is not needed it becomes obsolete…

      • Anarchy Pony

        Our dependence is our weakness and their strength. One can never be free until one is able to become mostly independent, and true independence is impossible within the corporate capitalist state.

    • Guest

      Why create another system, depending on any other currency? It is useless. Stop using the money. Stop paying bills, stop paying rent, stop accepting money for your labor. It is not worth your labor. People HAVE to stop using the money, or the system will continue. Even if they created an entirely new system outside the system, it would still be a system. Even in the Utopia you describe, the current regime would tear it down. Because the money would still exist, and people would still be using it. The current system must be stopped, it cannot be looked around, ignored, or willed out of existence. Stop using the money.

      • Mr Willow

        Where in there did I mention money? I care little for it, and would advocate its abolition, at least in its current form. 

        Coffee beans or bust. (edit: would also accept marijuana)

    • Nirvanasteve

      This is exactly where I hoped the Occupy Wallstreet demonstrations would end up: Community and individual action to instigate a society that is changed from within. It’s not too late. In fact, it’s hardly begun. I eagerly look forward to what 2012 will bring.

  • Tuna Ghost

    For anyone curious, that would be the bill that allows the indefinite detainment of American citizens abroad or at home engaged in “terrorism” as defined by god knows who.  That definition could easily be broadened to include protesters.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    it’s not simply capitalism
    its primarily consumerism
    70% of the US economy is based upon consumer spending
    your smart phone is a vote for the 1%
    who could live without Jersey Shore?
    try to not give gifts at the consumer holy daze
    brought to you buy Santa and Coke
    got a car?

    what’s the alternative to consumerism?
    can we overcome the bedazzlement of consumerism
    before it consumes US?

  • Jin (仁)

    amazing actually.

  • Scottfreethatsme

    H.R. 2990 has an answer

  • Scottfreethatsme

    H.R. 2990 has an answer

  • FREAKpowerULTD.

    You may as well  have scrawled “its useless, theres no hope” and then went back to your drinking.

    Great comments here though. Its great to see how many people get it.

    Like:
    Fusionism
    Milkapub
    Buzzcoastin
    Mr. Willow
    Josh Adkisson
    LuciddreamR

  • FREAKpowerULTD.

    You may as well  have scrawled “its useless, theres no hope” and then went back to your drinking.

    Great comments here though. Its great to see how many people get it.

    Like:
    Fusionism
    Milkapub
    Buzzcoastin
    Mr. Willow
    Josh Adkisson
    LuciddreamR

    • anoymouse

       LMFAO.

      I think the Occupy movement needs a fresh injection of some good old fashioned anarchism. Too many kids involved who are whining about changing the system or seizing control of it. Real revolution is to completely reject the system. Just imagine if no one went to work for just one day. No one used their utilities or their cars or their wireless devices. Everyone just sat in, like John and Yoko, or Jews on Shabat. Wow, just imagine if that happened. The entire fucking façade would collapse faster then the World Trade towers. They need us WAY more than we need them. Makes me think of David Icke comparing the system to the grasshoppers in the film “A Bug’s Life”. The moment we stop being good little ants, well the fucking grasshoppers will have to find another way to keep their fat asses fed.

      Occupy Reality.

  • anonymouse

    I completely agree with you. Instead of making demands to a corrupt, broken authoritarian system, or trying to seize control of said system, people should instead completely circumvent it by organizing their own decision-making bodies which refuse to acknowledge the one already in place. We don’t need no stinkin’ badgers. It’s like the idea I had of claiming my body as a sovereign nation, by me, and then printing my own currency, including a “zero-dollar” bill. Would you like a warm hug in these cold times? That’ll be zero dollars, please. : )

  • anonymouse

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    If more people can get aboard with this idea – then we’ll see real change. It’s like the saying, “Be the change you want to see.”

    Didn’t the people who founded this country use a similar tactic? We don’t need to ask Them, we don’t need to topple Them, we just need to not rely on Them, for anything. As soon as the machine is not needed it becomes obsolete…

  • anonymouse

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    If more people can get aboard with this idea – then we’ll see real change. It’s like the saying, “Be the change you want to see.”

    Didn’t the people who founded this country use a similar tactic? We don’t need to ask Them, we don’t need to topple Them, we just need to not rely on Them, for anything. As soon as the machine is not needed it becomes obsolete…

  • anoymouse

     LMFAO.

    I think the Occupy movement needs a fresh injection of some good old fashioned anarchism. Too many kids involved who are whining about changing the system or seizing control of it. Real revolution is to completely reject the system. Just imagine if no one went to work for just one day. No one used their utilities or their cars or their wireless devices. Everyone just sat in, like John and Yoko, or Jews on Shabat. Wow, just imagine if that happened. The entire fucking façade would collapse faster then the World Trade towers. They need us WAY more than we need them. Makes me think of David Icke comparing the system to the grasshoppers in the film “A Bug’s Life”. The moment we stop being good little ants, well the fucking grasshoppers will have to find another way to keep their fat asses fed.

    Occupy Reality.

  • stoth

    1. there is no point trying to advance in this democracy. if 100 white men all vote to hang 1 black man then this is democracy no? this is the equivalent system we have today, it also happens that those 100 white men are the richest people in the country/world. So this is why we need a new system and not to participate in the old one, which takes time and education.

    2. occupy also has to fight the selfish ideals of the growing libertarianism born out of a sense of abandonment from the current system of bad government. Anyone sensing that abandonment will surely not want to join a mass movement that could possibly reduce their freedom. The sense of being let down and being misunderstood forces one to abandon society and the environment in return. Occupy and the 99% is a cure for that, we need to embrace and trust one another again to achieve more collectively without individual competition and conflict.

    3. We need to use the internet correctly and instead of trying to send cat pictures to korea we can also use it for rapid communication with our local community to set up sharing networks and trading of skills and other services that negates the current economic system while bringing us closer together. Rushkoff said ‘bbqing with the neighbors instead of against them’ ie instead of everyone having a john deer, a community has 1 or 2 and you sign up online to use it when you want.

    This is not suppost to be a list of demands or orders but an indication that the ideas for progressing away from this are already here, it just takes someone to break the habits and do it. The ideas are already in the minds of the protesters, look at all the social advancement and ideas that came out of the 60′s!

  • stoth

    1. there is no point trying to advance in this democracy. if 100 white men all vote to hang 1 black man then this is democracy no? this is the equivalent system we have today, it also happens that those 100 white men are the richest people in the country/world. So this is why we need a new system and not to participate in the old one, which takes time and education.

    2. occupy also has to fight the selfish ideals of the growing libertarianism born out of a sense of abandonment from the current system of bad government. Anyone sensing that abandonment will surely not want to join a mass movement that could possibly reduce their freedom. The sense of being let down and being misunderstood forces one to abandon society and the environment in return. Occupy and the 99% is a cure for that, we need to embrace and trust one another again to achieve more collectively without individual competition and conflict.

    3. We need to use the internet correctly and instead of trying to send cat pictures to korea we can also use it for rapid communication with our local community to set up sharing networks and trading of skills and other services that negates the current economic system while bringing us closer together. Rushkoff said ‘bbqing with the neighbors instead of against them’ ie instead of everyone having a john deer, a community has 1 or 2 and you sign up online to use it when you want.

    This is not suppost to be a list of demands or orders but an indication that the ideas for progressing away from this are already here, it just takes someone to break the habits and do it. The ideas are already in the minds of the protesters, look at all the social advancement and ideas that came out of the 60′s!

  • EyeoftheAxis
  • Someonesname

    the problems we face are more because of the producers who make products accessible to consumers in my opinion… i can live without the jersey shore… i dont have a car.. there is no alternative to consumerism .. people consume things…but deciding how you get what you consume and consuming  what you consume -does effect the livelyhood of people and the planet…so how do you wanna effect this world you’ve found urself in?” not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”

  • Anonymous

    Two words: alternative currencies.

    The 0.1%’s power comes from currency. If the occupiers can create a parallel economic system that cuts the plutocrats out of the equation, they win.

  • razzlebathbone

    Two words: alternative currencies.

    The 0.1%’s power comes from currency. If the occupiers can create a parallel economic system that cuts the plutocrats out of the equation, they win.

    • Someonesname

      like trade and gift centers at your local farmers markets

      • razzlebathbone

        Yep, that’s a good start. But it needs to extend much farther and cover a much broader base of goods and services.
        Once it gets to a point where almost half the populace can inexpensively and conveniently opt out of the regular economy, the battle will be won.

  • Dane Collins

    When the movement gets political and sheds its horizontal structure, it loses my support.  The horizontal nature isn’t just an asset – it’s the entire damn point.  It’s what we want for all of humanity, and it sets the example.  Adopting the structure that it’s trying to replace… what does that accomplish?

  • http://www.facebook.com/danecollins Danny Collins

    When the movement gets political and sheds its horizontal structure, it loses my support.  The horizontal nature isn’t just an asset – it’s the entire damn point.  It’s what we want for all of humanity, and it sets the example.  Adopting the structure that it’s trying to replace… what does that accomplish?

    • Tuna Ghost

      To be clear, are you advocating direct democracy, one-man-one-vote old Greece style?

      • FreakpowerULTD.

        Nah, i think he means direct democracy, consensus anarchist style.

        • Challenging Duelism

          Whatever Dane is advocating, I’d appreciate it if people on here stopped being so US centric about the damn thing – dealing with your own dramas aside.  We’re all joining in, not to mention, this actually stated in Algeirs or Tunis or wherever the hell it was -  because it’s not just your police state that’s married to an umbrella corporation giving birth to the bastard children Peak Oil and Climate Change.

          We are all in this together.  You me, and the Greeks, the whole lot.  Let’s start thinking like a human race.  Our countries are not really sovereign these days anyway.  We are the 99%

          It’s all our damn problem, and fixing just some law in the US or Australia or France doesn’t change that reality.

          The 1% rule all the countries….

  • Tuna Ghost

    They did that, and then the cops knocked it all down.  What now?

  • Anonymous

    My guess: Many multiple places.

    From my current thinking, I see OWS as mostly a deal changer in terms of moral momentum, capturing peoples’ imagination and channelling their latent altruistic tendencies.  Under-handed police-state coping tactics only serve to intensify and provide focus to it, in a paradoxical way.

    There is a helluva lot of substantive lifting that needs to be done, but I don’t see that as OWS’ job.  OWS should probably be seen as the fire beneath our collective *rse to get moving on an incredibly long list of priorities, which should be undertaken by separate pressure groups.  OWS may provide support or momentum, but the independence and purity of motive that underlies their appeal can’t be directly comprimised by direct participation.  Here are a few of my guesses as to the issues folks will be talking a lot more about in the coming year:

    1.  Civil liberties
         a.  Right to protest (e.g., Republican governor Scott Walker has issued an executive order, of dubious constitutionality, that dissenters on capitol grounds will be issued bills to cover costs of policing and cleaning).
         b.  Improving policing standards.  Organizations of retired coppers and their supporters see the detrimental effect of illegal orders issued by incompetent officials have on the police who are ordered to carry them out.  This will be a long, drawn out and complex story, but the upshot will be campaigns like Operation SHIELD, etc., to clarify law and forbid the politicization of law enforcement functions.
       c.  Internet freedom.  I predict that unrest in China and continued actions in Middle Eastern countries, concurrent with rising dissent in the U.S., will force a more straightforward and morally consisten commitment to popular media access.  Even the thickest blockhead will no longer be able to mentally compartmentalize the double standard U.S. citizens have supported so long.
        d.  Dismantling of the domestic police state.  In recent months and weeks, the whole world has become aware of what many Disinfonauts have known for ages–that “Nobel Peace Prize” winner Barack Obama is every bit as outrageous a proponent of indefinate detention and political murder squads as George W. Bush ever was.  Bush has already curtailed his travel plans to several European countries as a result, and Amnesty International has formally supported his arrest and indictment accordingly.  Obama can’t be far behind.
           e.  End of imperial warfare.  Quite plainly, both in terms of demands on the service people themselves, and the public treasury, we just can’t afford it. 

    2.  Economic justice.
         a.  Bankster prosecutions.  A judge Rakoff in NY refused to accept a big bank non-prosecution settlement on grounds that failure to publically try the issue is not in the public interest of determining the specific causes and bad actors in the Goldman Sachs self-dealing cases.  Whether or not convictions actually arise in any given case, the public will remain riveted by the blow-by-blow and only become more outraged by banksters’ illegal, immoral conduct.  The people will be baying for their blood.
         b.  Revising U.S. taxcodes.  Everyone is now well aware that the current tax code is nothing short of a giveaway to indolent billionaire trust fund brats like the Koch brothers.  Details don’t need to be gone into here, but as it become more and more evident.  Four years on into the Great Depression II, even the thickest moron will no longer be able to believe that restoring historical norms of American taxation represents “punishment of job creators”.

    3.  Elections law
         a.  Citizens United is over.  No more corporate money in politics.  The gap between the haves and the have-nots in America has always depended on giving low-ambition morons who are impressed with some pre-fab McMansion just enough of a plastic fantastic lifestyle to prevent development of a critical mass of dissent.  But the rot is accelerating now in newer, more horrific ways and nobody outside the 1% are immune any more–certainly none will be by the end of 2014.  No one will be able to deny the odd disconnect between public sentiment and private governance any more.  There will be no more room for apathy.
            b.  The end of corporate personhood.  See “a.” above.
            c.  Third parties.  Sadly, it seems neither the traditional left nor the traditional right are willing to take the real issues by the horns.  One or both parties will be defunct on a national level by 2016.  I’m still praying for a real primary challenge to Obama this round, but that not being likely, at least hope that an “Occupy the Democratic Convention” action can move the ball forward signficantly next year.
             d.  Preference sharing.  I want to see a helluva lot more written about this in the next couple of years as a way of driving the final nail into the 2-party coffin.  This could provide enough breathing room to get a real Third Party started.  I suppose it’ll have to happen at the local level first, and ideally a virtuous circle of “choice envy” could take the thing viral nationally.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    My guess: Many multiple places.

    From my current thinking, I see OWS as mostly a deal changer in terms of moral momentum, capturing peoples’ imagination and channelling their latent altruistic tendencies.  Under-handed police-state coping tactics only serve to intensify and provide focus to it, in a paradoxical way.

    There is a helluva lot of substantive lifting that needs to be done, but I don’t see that as OWS’ job.  OWS should probably be seen as the fire beneath our collective *rse to get moving on an incredibly long list of priorities, which should be undertaken by separate pressure groups.  OWS may provide support or momentum, but the independence and purity of motive that underlies their appeal can’t be directly comprimised by direct participation.  Here are a few of my guesses as to the issues folks will be talking a lot more about in the coming year:

    1.  Civil liberties
         a.  Right to protest (e.g., Republican governor Scott Walker has issued an executive order, of dubious constitutionality, that dissenters on capitol grounds will be issued bills to cover costs of policing and cleaning).
         b.  Improving policing standards.  Organizations of retired coppers and their supporters see the detrimental effect of illegal orders issued by incompetent officials have on the police who are ordered to carry them out.  This will be a long, drawn out and complex story, but the upshot will be campaigns like Operation SHIELD, etc., to clarify law and forbid the politicization of law enforcement functions.
       c.  Internet freedom.  I predict that unrest in China and continued actions in Middle Eastern countries, concurrent with rising dissent in the U.S., will force a more straightforward and morally consisten commitment to popular media access.  Even the thickest blockhead will no longer be able to mentally compartmentalize the double standard U.S. citizens have supported so long.
        d.  Dismantling of the domestic police state.  In recent months and weeks, the whole world has become aware of what many Disinfonauts have known for ages–that “Nobel Peace Prize” winner Barack Obama is every bit as outrageous a proponent of indefinate detention and political murder squads as George W. Bush ever was.  Bush has already curtailed his travel plans to several European countries as a result, and Amnesty International has formally supported his arrest and indictment accordingly.  Obama can’t be far behind.
           e.  End of imperial warfare.  Quite plainly, both in terms of demands on the service people themselves, and the public treasury, we just can’t afford it. 

    2.  Economic justice.
         a.  Bankster prosecutions.  A judge Rakoff in NY refused to accept a big bank non-prosecution settlement on grounds that failure to publically try the issue is not in the public interest of determining the specific causes and bad actors in the Goldman Sachs self-dealing cases.  Whether or not convictions actually arise in any given case, the public will remain riveted by the blow-by-blow and only become more outraged by banksters’ illegal, immoral conduct.  The people will be baying for their blood.
         b.  Revising U.S. taxcodes.  Everyone is now well aware that the current tax code is nothing short of a giveaway to indolent billionaire trust fund brats like the Koch brothers.  Details don’t need to be gone into here, but as it become more and more evident.  Four years on into the Great Depression II, even the thickest moron will no longer be able to believe that restoring historical norms of American taxation represents “punishment of job creators”.

    3.  Elections law
         a.  Citizens United is over.  No more corporate money in politics.  The gap between the haves and the have-nots in America has always depended on giving low-ambition morons who are impressed with some pre-fab McMansion just enough of a plastic fantastic lifestyle to prevent development of a critical mass of dissent.  But the rot is accelerating now in newer, more horrific ways and nobody outside the 1% are immune any more–certainly none will be by the end of 2014.  No one will be able to deny the odd disconnect between public sentiment and private governance any more.  There will be no more room for apathy.
            b.  The end of corporate personhood.  See “a.” above.
            c.  Third parties.  Sadly, it seems neither the traditional left nor the traditional right are willing to take the real issues by the horns.  One or both parties will be defunct on a national level by 2016.  I’m still praying for a real primary challenge to Obama this round, but that not being likely, at least hope that an “Occupy the Democratic Convention” action can move the ball forward signficantly next year.
             d.  Preference sharing.  I want to see a helluva lot more written about this in the next couple of years as a way of driving the final nail into the 2-party coffin.  This could provide enough breathing room to get a real Third Party started.  I suppose it’ll have to happen at the local level first, and ideally a virtuous circle of “choice envy” could take the thing viral nationally.

    • Tuna Ghost

      You can’t see my face, but if you could you’d notice how very not surprised I am to hear that Scott Walker issued an executive order like that.  Talk about a guy who deserves a punch in the dick.  Every day.  For the next seven years.

      Do you see any particular order in which these should be handled, a la William Pfaff thinking that campaign finance reform must come first or else the rest cannot be accomplished?  Or can some of this stuff, such as dismantling the police state, start at a local level?  Come to think, how much of this do you see as issues that could be handled locally, city by city, with the OWS movement providing the support of which you speak?

      • Liam_McGonagle

        I’m still kind of in shock at the whole thing, how successful OWS has been in capturing the public imagination.  So I’m still re-evaluating the various scenarios, and don’t have a super clear notion of which is more probable than the others.

        My current guess, though, is that, in keeping with the main OWS theme of popular engagement, many if not most of these will first gain traction locally.  Ohio successfully defeated their union-busting governor in a recent referendum, and Wisconsin currently seems on track to  send Walker back to whatever hole he crawled out of. (i.e., Less than 2 weeks in the process, petitioners already achieved 2/3 of the signatures required to force a recall election).

        I have less clear an idea as to which issues come first.  OWS really challenged my top-down theoretical models, whereby I’d always assumed taxation would come first.  While plenty of people see that as important, clearly it’s not top of everyone’s mind.  And, in fact, OWS generated far more sympathy from depressingly predictable police over-reactions than from the endless jobless and foreclosure statistics.

        But if I had to make a guess right now, I’d guess that the civil liberties things will come LAST–if only because police over-reactions actually seem to spur public engagement.  Just guessing, but it may not be until a reasonable chunk of the other stuff has  achieved a substantial toe-hold until heads and agendas begin to clear for civil liberties.

        In general, however, I suspect that there will be a mish-mosh of variable regional patterns of progress, envy of the achievments of one state egging the others on to action.  It’ll take a decade at least to see any substantial improvement, and I bet we’ll see local 3rd parties long before anything national, and dismantling the police state and progressive taxation will probably proceed in dribs and drabs as fiscal realities become more concrete, without us noticing any one particularly decisive concession.

        Maybe during this whole confusing, drawn-out process, however, we’ll see multiple local disruptive dissent movements, regional general strikes, etc., inspired by OWS.  It could be like a virtuous circle, of sorts, where disgust with reactionary elite pushback inspires deeper focus and wider protest.  There may be a few exceptional national demonstrations reminiscent of OWS, but probably few and far between.  More state and local spin off stuff.

        Like the “Occupy Home” thing, where demonstrators physically resist dodgy foreclosures.

  • Tuna Ghost

    To be clear, are you advocating direct democracy, one-man-one-vote old Greece style?

  • FreakpowerULTD.

    Nah, i think he means direct democracy, consensus anarchist style.

  • Someonesname

    like trade and gift centers at your local farmers markets

  • Someonesname

    like trade and gift centers at your local farmers markets

  • Someonesname

    like trade and gift centers at your local farmers markets

  • Honu

    I wonder where the movement is going also but at the same time I’m ok with it taking its time.  I understand that people, both for and against OWS are confused by the lack of a coherent message and willingness to move forward and to develop into a legitimate political force.   Right now there are no other voices representing people who believe the system is fundamentally cracked so whether they have a clear message or direction isn’t quite as important as simply being heard.  Even if it is a broad spectrum of grievances.

    I think in general, the movement participants understand that following the path previous protest movements took, particularly during the 60′s, though effective in many regards, is not going to be effective now.  There’s an understanding that it’s not just the deck chairs of the Titanic that need re-arranging but the whole ship that needs to be restructured to prevent a sinking so engaging the power system to address a fundamental shift needs to be handled properly.  My biggest concern regardless of ows (because I think even if ows were to fold and disappear, the public sentiments of ows would remain and crop up in another form) is that the power structure will eventually capitulate on some minor things to give the illusion of compromise only to maintain the backbone of their ways of exploitation that can be taken up again after the movement subsides.

  • Honu

    I wonder where the movement is going also but at the same time I’m ok with it taking its time.  I understand that people, both for and against OWS are confused by the lack of a coherent message and willingness to move forward and to develop into a legitimate political force.   Right now there are no other voices representing people who believe the system is fundamentally cracked so whether they have a clear message or direction isn’t quite as important as simply being heard.  Even if it is a broad spectrum of grievances.

    I think in general, the movement participants understand that following the path previous protest movements took, particularly during the 60′s, though effective in many regards, is not going to be effective now.  There’s an understanding that it’s not just the deck chairs of the Titanic that need re-arranging but the whole ship that needs to be restructured to prevent a sinking so engaging the power system to address a fundamental shift needs to be handled properly.  My biggest concern regardless of ows (because I think even if ows were to fold and disappear, the public sentiments of ows would remain and crop up in another form) is that the power structure will eventually capitulate on some minor things to give the illusion of compromise only to maintain the backbone of their ways of exploitation that can be taken up again after the movement subsides.

  • Tuna Ghost

    You can’t see my face, but if you could you’d notice how very not surprised I am to hear that Scott Walker issued an executive order like that.  Talk about a guy who deserves a punch in the dick.  Every day.  For the next seven years.

    Do you see any particular order in which these should be handled, a la William Pfaff thinking that campaign finance reform must come first or else the rest cannot be accomplished?  Or can some of this stuff, such as dismantling the police state, start at a local level?  Come to think, how much of this do you see as issues that could be handled locally, city by city, with the OWS movement providing the support of which you speak?

  • akbar

    a vulgar insulting article with very little imagination, and even less real knowledge about the level of organization, depth of vision and clarity of purpose of the OWS movement.  instead of getting drunk, how bouts spending some time with the occupiers, and attempt to grasp the idea that our existence does not have to fit within the narrow confines of our absurd news/political paradigm…that the world can be related to in new and imaginative ways…
    so many people want to have an opinion on this movement…so many people want the movement to give them an answer, instead of continuing to point at the very large questions, to which we don’t currently have answers…finance reform is hardly large enough to tackle the massive integrated set of social crises we are facing…
    once the movement acquiesces to this small mindedness, those at the top will strike…but if it remains open and builds community and individuals, one by one, who have become radicalized and feel solidarity with one another, we will slowly grow into a new culture, one capable of finding a new political means of thinking and responding to the problems…

  • akbar

    a vulgar insulting article with very little imagination, and even less real knowledge about the level of organization, depth of vision and clarity of purpose of the OWS movement.  instead of getting drunk, how bouts spending some time with the occupiers, and attempt to grasp the idea that our existence does not have to fit within the narrow confines of our absurd news/political paradigm…that the world can be related to in new and imaginative ways…
    so many people want to have an opinion on this movement…so many people want the movement to give them an answer, instead of continuing to point at the very large questions, to which we don’t currently have answers…finance reform is hardly large enough to tackle the massive integrated set of social crises we are facing…
    once the movement acquiesces to this small mindedness, those at the top will strike…but if it remains open and builds community and individuals, one by one, who have become radicalized and feel solidarity with one another, we will slowly grow into a new culture, one capable of finding a new political means of thinking and responding to the problems…

  • akbar

    a vulgar insulting article with very little imagination, and even less real knowledge about the level of organization, depth of vision and clarity of purpose of the OWS movement.  instead of getting drunk, how bouts spending some time with the occupiers, and attempt to grasp the idea that our existence does not have to fit within the narrow confines of our absurd news/political paradigm…that the world can be related to in new and imaginative ways…
    so many people want to have an opinion on this movement…so many people want the movement to give them an answer, instead of continuing to point at the very large questions, to which we don’t currently have answers…finance reform is hardly large enough to tackle the massive integrated set of social crises we are facing…
    once the movement acquiesces to this small mindedness, those at the top will strike…but if it remains open and builds community and individuals, one by one, who have become radicalized and feel solidarity with one another, we will slowly grow into a new culture, one capable of finding a new political means of thinking and responding to the problems…

  • Anonymous

    Yep, that’s a good start. But it needs to extend much farther and cover a much broader base of goods and services.
    Once it gets to a point where almost half the populace can inexpensively and conveniently opt out of the regular economy, the battle will be won.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Our dependence is our weakness and their strength. One can never be free until one is able to become mostly independent, and true independence is impossible within the corporate capitalist state.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Now is probably a good time for our various anarchist friends to look to the peak oil transition movements, they are very concerned with setting up what are essentially alternative localist sustainable economies, ostensibly for the survival of the inevitable collapse of the industrial hydro-carbon economy, which they feel is unavoidable, and which many anarchists and occupiers would feel is necessary. Good places to start are with Richard Heinberg and Dmitri Orlov. The two groups have much overlap and shared goals and desires, even though they may not realize it.
    Sustainability is of paramount importance for the future of our species and those we share our various biospheres with.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Now is probably a good time for our various anarchist friends to look to the peak oil transition movements, they are very concerned with setting up what are essentially alternative localist sustainable economies, ostensibly for the survival of the inevitable collapse of the industrial hydro-carbon economy, which they feel is unavoidable, and which many anarchists and occupiers would feel is necessary. Good places to start are with Richard Heinberg and Dmitri Orlov. The two groups have much overlap and shared goals and desires, even though they may not realize it.
    Sustainability is of paramount importance for the future of our species and those we share our various biospheres with.

  • InsideOut

    Bullshit. OWS needs to register as a third party and nominate as many candidates as possible…get those people elected and then start changing the system from the inside out until it is unrecognizable. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m still kind of in shock at the whole thing, how successful OWS has been in capturing the public imagination.  So I’m still re-evaluating the various scenarios, and don’t have a super clear notion of which is more probable than the others.

    My current guess, though, is that, in keeping with the main OWS theme of popular engagement, many if not most of these will first gain traction locally.  Ohio successfully defeated their union-busting governor in a recent referendum, and Wisconsin currently seems on track to  send Walker back to whatever hole he crawled out of. (i.e., Less than 2 weeks in the process, petitioners already achieved 2/3 of the signatures required to force a recall election).

    I have less clear an idea as to which issues come first.  OWS really challenged my top-down theoretical models, whereby I’d always assumed taxation would come first.  While plenty of people see that as important, clearly it’s not top of everyone’s mind.  And, in fact, OWS generated far more sympathy from depressingly predictable police over-reactions than from the endless jobless and foreclosure statistics.

    But if I had to make a guess right now, I’d guess that the civil liberties things will come LAST–if only because police over-reactions actually seem to spur public engagement.  Just guessing, but it may not be until a reasonable chunk of the other stuff has  achieved a substantial toe-hold until heads and agendas begin to clear for civil liberties.

    In general, however, I suspect that there will be a mish-mosh of variable regional patterns of progress, envy of the achievments of one state egging the others on to action.  It’ll take a decade at least to see any substantial improvement, and I bet we’ll see local 3rd parties long before anything national, and dismantling the police state and progressive taxation will probably proceed in dribs and drabs as fiscal realities become more concrete, without us noticing any one particularly decisive concession.

    Maybe during this whole confusing, drawn-out process, however, we’ll see multiple local disruptive dissent movements, regional general strikes, etc., inspired by OWS.  It could be like a virtuous circle, of sorts, where disgust with reactionary elite pushback inspires deeper focus and wider protest.  There may be a few exceptional national demonstrations reminiscent of OWS, but probably few and far between.  More state and local spin off stuff.

    Like the “Occupy Home” thing, where demonstrators physically resist dodgy foreclosures.

  • Anonymous

    I’m still kind of in shock at the whole thing, how successful OWS has been in capturing the public imagination.  So I’m still re-evaluating the various scenarios, and don’t have a super clear notion of which is more probable than the others.

    My current guess, though, is that, in keeping with the main OWS theme of popular engagement, many if not most of these will first gain traction locally.  Ohio successfully defeated their union-busting governor in a recent referendum, and Wisconsin currently seems on track to  send Walker back to whatever hole he crawled out of. (i.e., Less than 2 weeks in the process, petitioners already achieved 2/3 of the signatures required to force a recall election).

    I have less clear an idea as to which issues come first.  OWS really challenged my top-down theoretical models, whereby I’d always assumed taxation would come first.  While plenty of people see that as important, clearly it’s not top of everyone’s mind.  And, in fact, OWS generated far more sympathy from depressingly predictable police over-reactions than from the endless jobless and foreclosure statistics.

    But if I had to make a guess right now, I’d guess that the civil liberties things will come LAST–if only because police over-reactions actually seem to spur public engagement.  Just guessing, but it may not be until a reasonable chunk of the other stuff has  achieved a substantial toe-hold until heads and agendas begin to clear for civil liberties.

    In general, however, I suspect that there will be a mish-mosh of variable regional patterns of progress, envy of the achievments of one state egging the others on to action.  It’ll take a decade at least to see any substantial improvement, and I bet we’ll see local 3rd parties long before anything national, and dismantling the police state and progressive taxation will probably proceed in dribs and drabs as fiscal realities become more concrete, without us noticing any one particularly decisive concession.

    Maybe during this whole confusing, drawn-out process, however, we’ll see multiple local disruptive dissent movements, regional general strikes, etc., inspired by OWS.  It could be like a virtuous circle, of sorts, where disgust with reactionary elite pushback inspires deeper focus and wider protest.  There may be a few exceptional national demonstrations reminiscent of OWS, but probably few and far between.  More state and local spin off stuff.

    Like the “Occupy Home” thing, where demonstrators physically resist dodgy foreclosures.

  • Guest

    Why create another system, depending on any other currency? It is useless. Stop using the money. Stop paying bills, stop paying rent, stop accepting money for your labor. It is not worth your labor. People HAVE to stop using the money, or the system will continue. Even if they created an entirely new system outside the system, it would still be a system. Even in the Utopia you describe, the current regime would tear it down. Because the money would still exist, and people would still be using it. The current system must be stopped, it cannot be looked around, ignored, or willed out of existence. Stop using the money.

  • Mr Willow

    Where in there did I mention money? I care little for it, and would advocate its abolition, at least in its current form. 

    Coffee beans or bust.

  • Guest

    I loath when people like you think adding line breaks and excluding punctuation makes something trite look more poetic. It doesn’t. It just makes you look like an illiterate ass.
    Congratulations.

  • Nirvanasteve

    This is exactly where I hoped the Occupy Wallstreet demonstrations would end up: Community and individual action to instigate a society that is changed from within. It’s not too late. In fact, it’s hardly begun. I eagerly look forward to what 2012 will bring.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    tHankz Gramma Nirvanasteve
    how very 20th century of you
    obviously yer nirvana is not cobain
    but curt nonetheless

  • Challenging Duelism

    Whatever Dane is advocating, I’d appreciate it if people on here stopped being so US centric about the damn thing – dealing with your own dramas aside.  We’re all joining in, not to mention, this actually stated in Algeirs or Tunis or wherever the hell it was -  because it’s not just your police state that’s married to an umbrella corporation giving birth to the bastard children Peak Oil and Climate Change.

    We are all in this together.  You me, and the Greeks, the whole lot.  Let’s start thinking like a human race.  Our countries are not really sovereign these days anyway.  We are the 99%

    It’s all our damn problem, and fixing just some law in the US or Australia or France doesn’t change that reality.

    The 1% rule all the countries….

  • Nirvanasteve

    That was actually quite clever and made me chuckle. Congratulations, again (but with much less sarcasm). And yes, I prefer being a lingering remnant of those who think commas still serve a purpose. Because you know what? They do. They add clarity where mental confusion would otherwise occur. Especially in poetry. What irritates me is when those writing prose or poetry from an “experimental” style have no idea what they themselves are saying but think it should be appreciated nonetheless. I find the greatest art is that which is crafted lovingly, thoughtfully, not spooged across a page with reckless abandon. 

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