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Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless

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Posted on Feb 13, 2012
AP / Evan Vucci

An Occupy demonstrator sprawls beside a police car in Urbandale, Iowa, during a protest last December outside Republican presidential campaign offices in the Des Moines suburb.

By Chris Hedges

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. In the war in El Salvador it was Jose Napoleon Duarte. For the Occupy movement it is someone like Van Jones. And use this “reformist” to co-opt the language of the movement and promise to promote the movement’s core aims through the electoral process. 

Counterinsurgency campaigns, although they involve arms and weapons, are primarily about, in the old cliché, hearts and minds. And the tactics employed by our intelligence operatives abroad are not dissimilar to those employed by our intelligence operatives at home. These operatives are, in fact, often the same people. The state has expended external resources to break the movement. It is reasonable to assume it has expended internal resources to break the movement.

The security and surveillance state has a vast arsenal and array of tools at its disposal. It operates in secret. It dissembles and lies. It hides behind phony organizations and individuals who use false histories and false names. It has millions of dollars to spend, the capacity to deny not only its activities but also its existence. Its physical assets honeycomb the country. It can wiretap, eavesdrop and monitor every form of communication. It can hire informants, send in clandestine agents, recruit members within the movement by offering legal immunity, churn out a steady stream of divisive propaganda and amass huge databases and clandestine operations centers. And it is authorized to use deadly force.

How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state’s side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons. 

All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.

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Havel, who would later become the first president of the Czech Republic, in the essay writes a reflection on the mind of a greengrocer who, as instructed, puts up a poster “among the onions and carrots” that reads: “Workers of the World Unite!” The poster is displayed partly out of habit, partly because everyone else does it, and partly out of fear of the consequences for not following the rules. The greengrocer would not, Havel writes, display a poster saying: “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient.” And here is the difference between the terror of a Josef Stalin or an Adolf Hitler and the collective charade between the rulers and the ruled that by the 1970s had gripped Czechoslovakia.

“Imagine,” Havel writes, “that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth.”

This attempt to “live within the truth” brings with it ostracism and retribution. Punishment is imposed in bankrupt systems because of the necessity for compliance, not out of any real conviction. And the real crime committed is not the crime of speaking out or defying the rules, but the crime of exposing the charade.


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By Ed Romano, February 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Good God, Of course, Occupy was designed by radicals. If you skin, poke and rob people long enough their bound to become somewhat “radical”. To be conservative in a time that is screaming for real, meaningful change is a moral failing.

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By Justin Case, February 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael: “I conclude that Occupy was designed by radicals. If you supported the Occupy method but were surprised”
In this day & age any speaking of truth is radical. Any attempt to stop being robbed is radical. Even upholding the law is radical.
The bar’s kinda been moved.
Right now the least-radical action is to comply with theft, law-breaking & feudal lordship.
JD wrote: “Violent revolution will never progress beyond the first stage i.e. demented theoretical thinking”
Oh really?

CUBA.
Venezuela.
Iran.

It can re-claim a stolen nation & maintain that nation for a long time.

“The powers that be in this country would squash a budding violent revolution before it came anywhere near becoming a reality”
POSSIBLY.
Be wary of HOW. It won’t be with police. Police are far out-numbered. It will be with nerve gas & other such massive-attack weapons. There’s a new multi-shot taser now too. Guns/ammo and cops on the ground is insufficient force.
“and a regress into the darker shades of fascism.”
This is IRREVERSIBLE MOMENTUM.

No matter what you do you will get 100% facism unless you physically dismantle it. Your non-violence can never stop this. It’s a function of finance & corporations. Your non-violence is taken as 100% consent to build it to full power. If it gets to full power than that fascism will rule America-land for 100 years to 300 years.

‘Winning the hearts and minds” of the American People’
absolutely not. You need to win their SURVIVAL. You flat out need to stop them from being run over by the bus. The situation is far later in the game than you imagine. If you wait to win their hearts & minds before saving them from death, you’ll have no one left to convince. They’ll be arrested, jailed, robbed, kidnapped or will have LEFT the country (hopefully safely) forever, never to return, not even their children & grand-children will return.

Sorry JD, just laying out the reality. This is far far far into the process.

Look at what Cuba has become & what it COULD have been. Cuba, if there was no revolucion, would have been a mafia drug-running island for CIA cocaine & opium. There’d be only clubs & mafia, it would be aother Caymen Islands for banking. Look what Castro did. He freed his people, his nation.

Violent revolution DOES work. It can fail. Anything can fail. But non-violence sometimes fails for obvious reasons: if you don’t stop people from hitting you they’ll beat your head in and then you’re dead.

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By Foucauldian, February 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Good link, Malatesta.  We should realize that
liberals are not our friends.  In fact, they pose
greatest obstacle to true democracy.

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By Macresarf1, February 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ offers the most succinct recent analysis here.

The Occupy Movements must cleve to non-violent mass participatory and “anticipatory” methods and goals.

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By Malatesta 1934, February 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges and the Occupy Movement
The Queasy Liberal
by JOSHUA SPERBER

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/15/the-queasy-liberal/

excerpt:

“And it is this historical relationship between liberalism and fascism that helps elucidate Chris Hedges recent demonization of the Black Bloc, i.e. militant protest tactics. David Graeber and Peter Gelderloos have shown the abject fallaciousness of Hedges’ argument, as Hedges egregiously distorts the Black Bloc, attributing to it a monolithic and sociopathic purity that is belied in reality by activist fluidity and solidarity. And Hedges betrays a deep misunderstanding of his subject when asserting that the “feral” movement (Hedges concedes that he based his analysis not on the Black Bloc itself but on a few hours of John Zerzan’s radio program and some Green Anarchy articles) practices only spontaneous property destruction. The Black Bloc has deliberately targeted banks, multinational corporations, and the INS. More importantly, these protests more often than not begin as and restrict themselves to mere unpermitted marches. That is, the liberal conception of freedom is so narrow that protests that are not sanctioned by the state are seen as violent and criminal – a “cancer” to be eliminated.”

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By JDmysticDJ, February 18, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

RE; OzarkMichael, February 17 at 2:46 pm

I must say your phantasmagorical paranoid thinking is as absurd as the thinking of those who seem to believe that violent revolution is a viable option. Violent revolution will never progress beyond the first stage i.e. demented theoretical thinking. The powers that be in this country would squash a budding violent revolution before it came anywhere near becoming a reality. Any semblance of violent revolution would only lead to increased repression, a further diminishment of civil liberties, a further shift to the Right in our politics, and a regress into the darker shades of fascism. Although I will admit that there are a very, very few morons who seem to believe that increased repression will be beneficial in the long run and hasten the hoped for violent revolution.

The Utopian Left abandoned Communism in the forties after the realities of communism became evident. The more radical Left became advocates of peaceful co-existence and focused on critiquing the abuses of capitalism and abandoned the bizarre notion that the U.S. would someday become a communist state. The U.S. Communist Party never had any real significance even at the height of its popularity. The communist menace and the threat of communism was/is an invention of the Right and nothing but a propaganda tool created as a means of advancing the Right’s reactionary ideology. The far-Right in the fifties accused Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower of being a communist dupe but it was the American People who were duped into believing that communists in this country were a real threat.

Back to the real world, the focus of this discussion has to do with the harm that will result from “violent” factions within a non-violent movement. Any hoped for successes that the Occupy movement might have will depend on “Winning the hearts and minds” of the American People and those hearts and minds will not be won over by property destruction and the impotent actions of hooded juvenile delinquents pretending to be ninjas.

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By OzarkMichael, February 18, 2012 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: “I think the initial core of OWS was superseded.”

But that doesnt change the method they put in place!

Its like the Leftists who complain about the founding fathers who devised the methods of our democracy suppoedly for the 1%. Yes the founders were superceded, and its the people who vote, but the founder’s system was “designed to protect the rich 1%”, and the system still protects the rich 240 years after the founders were superceded.

In other words, the Continenal Congress drew up a process that was designed to get certain results. The Constitutional core group that did the planning maintain a huge advantage of knowing the outcomes from their system, especially compared to the trusting, good hearted people who to this day dont have a clear idea of what is going on, even after two centuries!  So says the radical Leftist.

Just so with Occupy. It was designed by radicals to produce certain results long after the core group was superceded. The trusting, good hearted masses who support Occupy and participate in the Occupy process were not aware of what the results will be.

elisalouisa asked:

So Michael, do you have anything concrete about Communists or socialist
revolutionaries being involved in Occupy?

My only source is Graeber, who claims to be an anarchist, and claims to be a core founder of Occupy. Graeber asserts that the core planners who devised the Occupy method were mostly radicals.

I was hardly the only Black Bloc veteran who took part in planning the initial strategy for Occupy Wall Street. In fact, anarchists like myself were the real core of the group that came up with the idea of occupying Zuccotti Park
...
Black Blocs have tended in the past to be made up primarily of anarchists but most contain participants whose politics vary from Maoism to Social Democracy.

The only reason Graeber spilled the beans about Anarchists and Communists is because Hedges dared to expose and attack the Black Bloc, and in response Graeber had to show that Hedges was attacking foundational concepts and the very process of Occupy itself.

If you havent read Graeber’s response to Hedges, you should. I suspect Graeber is telling the truth. I remember in the first few days of Occupy there was some Occupy self-censorship (blocking) going on that led me to guess that there were radicals at the core group who didnt want to be ‘outed’.

I conclude that Occupy was designed by radicals. If you supported the Occupy method but were surprised by the radical vandalism and thought it was agents provocateurs at work, well now the secret is out. One should not be surprised that the founders are going to get the results they want whether the common Occupiers support all those results or not.

Anyway, here is Graeber: 

http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police

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By Anarcissie, February 18, 2012 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

I have been using the term ‘communists’ loosely.  I am not, of course, speaking about the Communist Party, which for all I know is defunct.

I don’t think I know of any anarchists who talk about or attempt to ‘get rid of’ people.  The anarchist idea is to change social relations and institutions from those which depend on coercive force to ones which are voluntary.

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By Ed Romano, February 18, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Elisa,  ....and you can bet the farm you won’t get an answer.

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By Ed Romano, February 18, 2012 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Elisa, I think you probably already know the answer.

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By Justin Case, February 18, 2012 at 3:19 am Link to this comment

“obviously it is an insane ideology that is intent on commodifying life and in the end, destroying it.”
Nature itself operates on this premise, human nature is merely a subset, economy being a smaller subset, further still smaller subsets that are regionally limited or time-limited (or both). I think the serious problem is trying to force the quasi-stable time-limited and/or region-limited systems to operate with each other as a stable “larger system” which is absolutely not normal for nature & requires knowledge, influence & caution that can’t exist. No singular ecosystem actually does that, nor does one singular species act that way or have such knowledge. This leaves us with a high level of volatility. Volatility in markets leads to bankruptcy. In the raw physical living world it leads to starvation & deaths. As a side effect it can also (sometimes) lead to riches for a few. The “virtue” of what lets riches remain instead of perish is caution and/or fortification in times of severe crisis. Without such caution even the newly rich can be quickly turned poor or dead.
I have no doubt that some who die of poverty could do the same if only they had the resources, some of it education, some of it innovation, as well as any rich person who also survives a period of extreme turmoil.

The natural world, natural markets, free societies are being severely damaged by a corrupt anti-nature anti-market activity of war, suppression, enslaving & stealing which many refer to as “global governance” or the “new world order”.

Sustainable society is a free society & a set of free societies can’t exist under one banner, one set of rules, one singular market, one singular currency, one central ruling controller (person or group, corporation or bank, government, etc).

“to recognize that they cannot kill everyone and every creature in
order to continue to rape and pillage what is left of our society, our culture, the
world’s cultures and all its vital resources.”

Do not forget that corporations can spin-off more corporations, elites can have progeny & their numbers can replace OUR numbers over time.

A goal of non-violence is a noble goal. A goal of survival, however, is the one I recommend. I hope they overlap. I advise only that no one be naive in any assumptions of an overlap.

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By Litl Bludot, February 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Hedges has been a brilliant advocate for a better world, a more sane and just
world. I greatly admire him. He understands the horrible future confronting the
US and the planet engendered by a fascist corporate ideology that is now in
control of its future: obviously it is an insane ideology that is intent on
commodifying life and in the end, destroying it. He understands this as few
others do. Your current president is the most adept at propagating this terminal
ideology. He can be defined as a frenemy. Look it up. Hedges has expressed his
awareness of this fact as well.

What he is not willing to admit is that it will take people willing to fight these
corporate fascists with every tactic and resource at hand, in order to save
humanity and the planet. Although he says that he is not a pacifist. He is hoping
that, somehow, these corporate fascists, who have shown themselves to be
psychopaths, can be somehow persuaded (as though rationality can pierce
through insanity) to recognize that they cannot kill everyone and every creature in
order to continue to rape and pillage what is left of our society, our culture, the
world’s cultures and all its vital resources.

One of the links that Hedges himself recommends that people use for information
is linktv. Here you will find a great video of a concise chronology of the events
that occurred in Egypt that led to the US puppet Mubarak to resign. Granted, the
military, the US backed entity that actually controls Egypt is still in power, and
still receiving US aid, not to mention tear gas, to rule Egypt as its vassal state. But
watch the video to see the courage and spirit that the protestors marshaled in
order to, at least, start a revolution towards democracy. Hundreds if not
thousands have died, been injured, been put in military prisons without trial, as well as tortured
(google NDAA to see what’s in store for US protestors if they attempt more than
they have so far-Hedges has also mentioned this).

The Egyptian people are still fighting for justice . Perhaps Hedges has watched
this, if not, then I would recommend that he does. Of course, I must end this post
with the statement that I believe in nonviolence.
 
http://news.linktv.org/videos/the-arab-awakening-tweets-from-tahrir?start=0

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By elisalouisa, February 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael:I am going to guess its the Communists that you will need to discard. After all, they want the state to be in control of everything and you dont.
Yes, i am right about that. . . .

  .  .  .Finally we get to the fact of the matter: Anarchists and Communists see the Occupy masses as their own force multiplier. .  .  .

.  .  .You are right. I got the same info as you have from Graber, and he also mentioned socialists. I think he said “socialist revolutionaries”, so yes, it wasnt just anarchists and communists.

So Michael, do you have anything concrete about Communists or socialist
revolutionaries being involved in Occupy?

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

I think the initial core of OWS was superseded.  As I said, when you bring a lot of new people into a movement (or a group, party, organization, family, business, whatever) and assuming you don’t brainwash them military-style, which certainly was not done in the case of OWS, then the movement changes from whatever it was before to something that begins to pursue the interests and the desires of the new people, and to approach the world with their perceptions and understanding.  In those cases where there is a charismatic Great Leader, you might be able to indoctrinate in a hurry, but OWS hasn’t had any Great Leaders (that I know about) and doesn’t seem to be looking for any.

Of course, there are always Slavoj Žižek’s ‘secret masters’.  You never know.

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By Ed Romano, February 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

To Folks Who Are Tired Of Having Their Ideas Trashed
    It is probably the number one problem on these sites and is usually perpetrated by those who do not have a cogent rebuttal. The only response I can think of is to ignore them. A response in kind is just what they are looking for,

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By Justin Case, February 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

“but anyone who’s dome some civic service knows how a committie runs.  There are leaders.  What are their views?”
Actually there can be “facilitators”, those with skill in managing time & reducing arguments at the moment, who step aside after. It may not be the case but in online GA’s I saw it & even participated as a facilitator. No interest in being a leader & my only overarching agenda is freedom & peace.


also, JD wrote: ‘The most obvious example that “led me to believe” is Graeber, who is an avowed anarchist of some notoriety AND a recognized spokesman and organizer for Occupy. Graeber’s excusing of violence, and his rejection of any constructive attempt to “police violence” is now a part of the public record. ‘

Well, as Graeber noted, Gandhi did the same & everyone over-all seems to mostly accept his approach & the ensuring decades of results.

“Where in the heck did the old folks come from? How did they get hooked up with Occupy in the first days?”
Just as important, Ozark, why are they involved now?
No black bloc for this protest:
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/01/occupy_geriatrics_seniors_in_w.php

Ozark: “But then, against the Communists, you would need a new coalition to form with additions from the vast pool of people uncommitted to the Occupy revolution that has just happened(theoretically of course). Now the non-Occupiers ...”

Very convoluted. Not necessarily wrong, however. How about this: people need to be convinced en masse that their survival is on the line, that their inaction will lead to their own demise. People need to be shown who is doing all the stealing & need to be shown it CAN be stopped. None of this is dishonest so I think the only serious difficulties will be mechanical (force, cost, for the future), though I have previously refered to a level of denial being a problem (now).

To the extent protest breaks denial & brings the masses, this is good. To the extent a movement brings a mechanical solution which actually breaks society instead of creating a future with survival, that’s something to be on the watch for. Money systems, food systems, over-populated cities, under-tended farm-land, ecological genocide against many formerly fertile lands across the globe: that’s what’s broken. It’s very serious. At the very least we must conserve & protect land for food, reduce all waste & refuse to ever again use a debt-based monetary system. We should probably prohibit all immigration laws for good measure. Not popular POLITICALLY but it’s much better for regional, look-ahead management of work+farming resources for the planet long-term.

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By OzarkMichael, February 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

I said: “Wasn’t that what the Occupy planners (anarchists and communists) wanted? To attract the masses into the movement? ...”

Anarcissie answered:

Different people want different things.  A lot of activism is not about acquiring power but about changing people’s minds by making trouble about something.

Now we are getting somewhere. When you are honest and direct i be the same.

I accept from you that you dont want power. I might believe the same thing about the anarchists in old Russia too. “Anarchists dont want power for themselves,” might be debatable but i accept it from you and thus let it be an established fact between us.

Listen to me Anarcissie. Other radical people do want power for themselves. Anarchists have been used before by the ultimate power seekers. Do you think it cant happen again? Other radical people around you right now on Truthdig want power! Surely you know it.

You cant be so starry-eyed as to think it cant happen. I guess that you must have some sort of plan to outmanuevre such people when push comes to shove.

Now, being a curious person, I cant help but guess what your plan is. Forgive me for it, but here we go:

You have mentioned ‘alliances’ within OWS and you have underscored that alliances are temporary, and that suggests that you have planned something, as if in the event of future success, some ‘allies’ might need to be discarded. I am going to guess its the Communists that you will need to discard. After all, they want the state to be in control of everything and you dont. Yes, i am right about that.

But then, against the Communists, you would need a new coalition to form with additions from the vast pool of people uncommitted to the Occupy revolution that has just happened(theoretically of course). Now the non-Occupiers would join the fray. Who would these new allies be? Your new allies would need to be fierce(willing/able to fight if it comes down to it) against the Communists and your new allies must also be philosophically inclined to resist any degree of Leftist state control over their lives (the Rightist state has already collapsed at this theoretical point), so that when the dust clears the power of the state is completely broken…

hmm…

holy crap!

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By OzarkMichael, February 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

WiP, you are right, it is sketchy. We wouldnt even have a sketchy understanding if Graber hadnt sang about how anarchists and Maoists were there from the beginning. He only did it to show that Occupy was designed to give room for and enable the ‘diversity’ of tactics, and Graber thus proves that it isnt fair for Occupy to try to exclude them now.

For all we know… Graber is lying, but i feel he is being truthful. There is something planned about the Occupy movement even though it appeared spontaneous. In the very earliest days of Occupy Wall Street the young protestors were kept from spilling the beans by much older folks, and the younger ones immediately took cues from them. Where in the heck did the old folks come from? How did they get hooked up with Occupy in the first days? For a transparent movement, Occupy certainly has some interesting secrets. I am not talking about a conspiracy, I am merely pointing out that there was something rather ‘organized’ and ‘planned’ about what seemed at first to be youthful spontaneity. And i think Graber proves i was right.

We can figure that the Occupy core is a mix of ideologues of various stripes, some perhaps were well-meaning moderates. I suppose Occupy has the same mixture of ideology as the groups that gave much thought to toppling the czar. As we all know, the ones who planned the most, and were willing to do the most for the cause, and were the most ruthless, they were the ones who ended up on top even thopugh they were small in numbers. At first the enemies of the people(like me) were executed, but then anarchists and such who enabled Lenin ended up being considered ‘enemies of the people’, and they were killed off too. Eventually Stalin decided that even Communists were actually ‘enemies of the people’ and they were destroyed as well. 

That is a long a painful process which i dont want to see repeated here. Of course nobody wants to repeat that horror, but the mix at Occupy could bring it about just the same. As Anarcissie says, “its happened before”

Actually, for the first time in a few months I reckon that some Occupy supporters know enough, and wont allow themselves to be enablers of the radicals. Its a good thing.

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By JDmysticDJ, February 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

ardee

Having read literally hundreds of your comments here at truthdig and having witnessed your habit of responding with an ineffective anger and insult unsupported by any well reasoned and cogent rebuttal it occurs to me that you are at best merely lazy or at worst lacking in the knowledge and skills necessary to make a well reasoned and cogent argument. I have no objection to satire, sarcasm, or even insult, when insult is validated by a cogent argument, but such is not evident in your angry comments and attempts to demean. I am not “whining” when I point out that you dislike me I am merely offering a personal observation based on past and present comments. Given that your habit is to interject with angry and demeaning comments if someone should be so bold as to write something you disagree with, your insults are meaningless to me and not of any consequence other than that of compelling me to point out your obvious inadequacies.

My suggestion that your comment, directed at me, was a result of dislike and not something more substantial was due to your obvious and abrupt change in perspective regarding the issue under discussion here. My contention was that your dislike of me resulted in this obvious and abrupt change in perspective.

I do not disagree with your personal anecdotal evidence, or the “news footage” suggesting that the majority of Occupy protestors are/were opposed to the tactics of Black Bloc Anarchists (or as you have described them, “The rampaging fools in black”) so your sudden turn in perspective and your invective directed at me, when I was asserting much the same, led me to believe that such was a result of dislike for me.

You have included the following statement by me (twice); asserting that it is unsubstantiated.

“Recent revelations have led me to believe that what I first thought was a wrong headed inadvertent Anarchy in the Occupy movement was not inadvertent but intentional. I now believe that Occupy has not been co-opted by anarchists but that Occupy was guided by, and structured by, anarchist principles from the beginning. If insurrection has been the goal and avowed objectives only a tool for garnering support then I would suggest that many, including me, have been duped by organizers and leaders who claim that they are neither.”

You wrote:

Quite a mouthful there, JD, quite the mouthful. Perhaps, after you spit, you might share these “revelations” of which you speak but refrain from noting the specifics thereof…...

And I responded:

“For me the revelation has been the significant number of people here who are defending the use of violence and the virtue of insurrection and that is the specific thereof of which I speak.”

The above by me defined the “revelation” and it was a substantiation of what I wrote in the quotation you so vehemently disagree with. Note that what I wrote was “Recent revelations have led me to believe…” and I am still inclined to believe such in spite of your invective. The most obvious example that “led me to believe” is Graeber, who is an avowed anarchist of some notoriety AND a recognized spokesman and organizer for Occupy. Graeber’s excusing of violence, and his rejection of any constructive attempt to “police violence” is now a part of the public record.

(More below)

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By JDmysticDJ, February 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Graeber has written:

“I am [also] writing as someone who was deeply involved in the early stages of planning Occupy in New York.

I am also an anarchist who has participated in many Black Blocs. While I have never personally engaged in acts of property destruction, I have on more than one occasion taken part in Blocs where property damage has occurred.”

AND:

“I was hardly the only Black Bloc veteran who took part in planning the initial strategy for Occupy Wall Street. In fact, anarchists like myself were the real core of the group that came up with the idea of occupying Zuccotti Park, the “99%” slogan…”

The contention that many Occupy protestors were duped into adopting Anarchist tactics and principles is not without merit. I’ll proffer that most supporters and participants in Occupy were concerned first and foremost with correcting injustice and bringing the issue of abuses to the forefront of political debate and not at all in favor of becoming a part of an Anarchist led movement.

Hedges’ warning is well meant and an attempt to protect Occupy from those who very well may destroy it, or at the least, relegate Occupy to a position of impotence and irrelevance in terms of achieving objectives. Perceptions of violence and the presence of unruly mobs can only diminish support for Occupy among the general population. The Main Stream Media, for the most part, up to now, has been too cowardly to point out who are the actual perpetrators of violence, i.e. police officers and their administrators but there might come a time when ignoring that reality will not be an option for the Main Stream Media, but as long as there are those in Occupy who provide a not so justified justification for police violence that time will more than likely never come.

As a final comment I’ll state that as much as I agree with Hedges’ perspective here I strongly disagree with Hedges’ condemnations of Van Jones and the like. Hedges needs to recognize who are the real enemies are and who are real allies. Hedges also effectively diminishes a potential coalition against real enemies and weakens the opposition to such. Hedges could be perceived as something of an Anarchist himself in some respects.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Michael, but the point was tongue-in-cheek.  To write off some ‘core group’, as some generic catch-all sort of ‘ism-followers’ is not up to par with the sort of analysis I’d prefer. 

Are there any post-mortem write ups of the individuals who actually seemed to be calling the shots?  Certainly, some faces must be recognizable and some biographical information available.  I know the whole thing was marketed as a sort of ‘leaderless free-form people-power’ thing, but anyone who’s dome some civic service knows how a committie runs.  There are leaders.  What are their views?  It’s just too sloppy to call them communists (or whatever) and leave it at that.

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, February 17 at 11:24 am:

‘True, but wasn’t that what the Occupy planners (anarchists and communists) wanted? To attract the masses into the movement? ...’

Different people want different things.  A lot of activism is not about acquiring power but about changing people’s minds by making trouble about something.  Changing the minds of a lot of people is usually a slow process.  If, instead, a movement suddenly absorbs a lot of people with unchanged minds, it becomes a different movement—one which represents the concerns of the unchanged, which may be very different from what the movement started out to do. 

And so, next to anarchists wanting to smash the state, or at least render it irrelevant, and communists wanting the state to take everything over, you have people who merely want to keep Social Security and Medicare, want to be able to get jobs, would like it if the next of the innumerable useless wars could be forgone.

In the normal social-democratic-liberal-capitalist scheme of things, the last-named set of people would hardly ever meet any radicals, much less find themselves camped out with them in a park in lower Manhattan surrounded by hundreds of police.  They would have at least one major political party looking out for them, and their interests would be a part of the mainstream political discourse.  But they don’t, and as I’ve said, that’s a very unstable state of affairs.

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By OzarkMichael, February 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

You are right. I got the same info as you have from Graber, and he also mentioned socialists. I think he said “socialist revolutionaries”, so yes, it wasnt just anarchists and communists.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Weird, I find myself agreeing with Anarchissie and OMG, OzarkMichael.  But, Michael, I do disagree that the inner core of the occupy movement is ‘anarchists and Communists’.  I’d say there are more than a few opportunists in there, selling their brand.  ‘Anarchists and Communists’....hmmmmm it sounds like when one doesn;t know what they;re dealing with, slap on the tried and true ‘communists’ label.  There might be some socialists in there too, no?

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By OzarkMichael, February 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said:

The mistake almost all of you are making is to believe that the form, style, effect, significance of the whole OWS event depended on its core. As one of anarchist prejudices I wish it did, but the fact is that the core evoked something quite different from itself, an assemblage representing the enormous disquiet of the very large number of Americans who aren’t anarchists, who aren’t conceptually clear, who have a lot of vague, contradictory beliefs, but who know (correctly!) that no one in power represents them any more.

True, but wasnt that what the Occupy planners(anarchists and communists)wanted? To attract the masses into the movement?

It has been said many times on Truthdig that a system or method can be designed by a few people to ensure specific outcomes which they desire. The trick of course is to convince the masses to empower that system. So it is with Occupy

Several here have said the same about the US government, that it was designed to protect the 1%, while the 99% are convinced to support it against their best interests. Perhaps you have made that argument yourself, Anarcissie.

Another important fact you describe is the lack of clarity among the followers of Occupy “who aren’t conceptually clear, who have a lot of vague, contradictory beliefs”. True. Therefor we have a few people who know what they want and think about it and plan things(Occupy core group of Communists and Anarchists) and they have been joined and empowered by the masses of other people who dont really know what they want. An interesting situation, as ‘What is Progress’ said:

Change is a great place to change to something far worse, because change favors the prepared.  The 1% are pretty damn smart and have been hiring our best brains for years.  Change will NOT favor the unprepared.

The Occupy masses are unprepared, but the Occupy core radicals are prepared. The masses dont plan, but the Occupy core group did. The masses didnt design the Occupy system of confrontation and anonymous/non leadership, the Occupy core group did. The massess didnt understand why there was vandalism at their peaceful marches and so they describe it as a “cancer”. But the core group knew. Graber has spilled the beans and now everyone can know.

It turns out that the Occupy core group knows exactly what is going on. The anarchists had a double advantage, since they were able to act without the police or the Occupy masses knowing to stop them. Well, make that a triple advantage… How the anarchists must have laughed when their vandalism was blamed on conservative agents! They were scoring double hits for every action thanks to all that talk about ‘agents provocateur’.

I think ‘What is Progress’ is right: Those who know what they want can design a system to ensure that they get it(in other words they are the ones who plan), meanwhile the unknowing and unprepared are used in those plans.

So it is with Occupy.

On a typical protest march we see the dynamic. A few radicals break windows on the fringes of a peaceful protest march. What does it mean? Agents provocateurs at work? That is what everyone here was saying! At the time no-one knew.

Finally we get to the fact of the matter: Anarchists and Communists see the Occupy masses as their own force multiplier. A mass of people marching together for a cause delivers a powerful message all its own, but the broken windows add menace to what the masses are saying peacefully. Think of it this way: a few radicals breaking windows all alone is not much of a menace, but with a big enabling crowd it looks like all the marchers might be ready to use force if they dont get what they want. Its brilliant. 

The Occupy masses were used, and they are the ones who paid the price with their reputation. Lately some Occupy supporters have figured it out and they are a little angry about being used.

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Struggling to hang on to Social Security and the rest of the social-democratic assemblage isn’t ‘radical’ or ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ for any usual meaning of these words; it’s conservative in the sense that the programs have been around for about 80 years.  A lot of people, maybe a majority of the population, are just trying to keep them from being trashed, or wish someone would.  The political system has failed; in spite of their numbers, it doesn’t represent their interests or desires.  That’s why so many of them showed up at a marginal exercise like OWS.

Meanwhile, as the ruling class degenerates, it’s throwing off crazed right-wing fragments which call themselves ‘conservative’ but are in fact wildly radical.  Mr. O has shown that, far from rallying the troops to defend the city from these barbarians—that’s what they are from the point of view of social democrat types—he’s only too ready to deal with them.  The gates are unlocked and can be opened any time.

Since moving wealth from the poor to the rich, destroying the public good, destroying the environment, waging costly, useless wars all over the map, and relying on terror, fraud and surveillance to control the population lead to self-destruction of the state, I assume that’s what’s going to happen.  That’s the situation.  Too bad the Left isn’t ready for it.  We’re going to be looking at a lot of ‘new ideas’ but they are not likely to be very pleasant.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 17, 2012 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Foucauldian, “We have yet to hit rock bottom.”  I know that you know that Greece isn’t anywhere near rock-bottom.  We should be looking at something closer to Somalia. 

Anarchissie, you say, “At least, trouble of the degree we have in the U.S.”  I’d modify ‘have’ to ‘have had’, to try to imply the sort of exponential build up of interrelated problems is not likely to sty on a smooth predictable function.  We don;t ‘hae’ just another point on a time function.  We had that, predictability, but that was decades ago.  The acceleration and interplay of forces is making the system unstable and unpredictable. 

So, for once I think i agree with you.  In your address to Foucauldian, you mention the Occupy response as ‘conservative’, and in some way, yes, it’s mostly withing the parameters of previous ‘movements’, or, more accurately just ‘protests’.  This is not a movement.  A movement moves to something different, and Occupy fits neatly into the left-right politics of previous decades and centuries.  Call it a ‘shake up’?

With regard to influencing Occupy from TD…..thanks, but I’d rather waste my breath here.

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By Foucauldian, February 17, 2012 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, February 17 at 7:55

I disagree.  New ideas, perhaps, but the same old
discourse, employing the same old stale paradigm. 
It’s not the Left that’s going to save us from our
morass, for the Left is no less part of the system
than the Right is.

You’re right about Greece, though.  We have yet to
hit rock bottom.

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

What Is Progress—Posting suggestions and hypotheses here is probably not going to have a lot of effect on any Occupy event or movement.  I suggest visiting or at least writing to movement web sites.

Foucauldian—The Left has plenty of new ideas, new in the sense that they haven’t been tried.  The reason Occupy Wall Street focused on tired old liberal progressive capitalist ideas is because that’s what most people are interested in.  They want to save their Social Security and their unemployment insurance, and their ‘own’ leaders, politicians, and bureaucrats have sold out.  They perceive that the ruling class, through its greed or maybe its incompetence, is working to reduce them to serfdom or barbarity; but their response is conservative.  Most people are conservative in times of trouble, which is a very sensible approach to trouble.  At least, trouble of the degree we have in the U.S.  When things get as bad here as they are in Greece, then maybe we’ll see Greek-style protests as well.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 17, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

I proposed that some new form of encampment be devised.  The only ones authorized to camp would have a damn-near-zero-impact policy, which requires a new technology for staying off the ground while not killing the grass.  Some form of ‘litter’ preferably made from natural materials.  Such campers would be required to understand and keep extreme records of their food-waste-technology and be educated and able to teach to the issues regarding all forms of man-made systems, the history, advantages and disadvantages of those systems.  That is, I propose the ‘regular’ public face of Occupy be a core of educated articulate people who practice what they preach.  As for the kids who want to ‘camp out’ there could be some form of occasional gatherings to keep spirits up, but these kids should be doing grassroots organizing of some TBD (To Be Determined) form back home to build broad support.  Occupy people do need training, but exactly in what is TBD. 

A side issue: whether the ‘good old days’ were indeed better or not is debatable, but people might ‘return’ en-masse to an awareness of the ecology and energy economics of their food supply, and health through some nostalgic pathways, perhaps some blend of home gardening, some idealized view of native American culture, with a contrasting element of technology and science derived from the optimism of the ‘atomic era’?  If an entire ‘post consumer-era lifestyle’ package can be worked out, one that has us burning perhaps 10% of our coal and oil useage, then it should be ‘. (and I do not use this word in exactly the traditional sense), but ‘commercialized’.  I use this word to contrast with the word ‘promoted’. 

A small example….let’s start paying attention to the hobby of raising heirloom seeds and support local families who might raise plants for the garden?  Networks of ‘hobbyists’ agri-hobbyists and perhaps ‘off-grid living’ hobbyists might form underground networks to start building a complete economy for living in a post-consumerism era.  One such network might be people who are dedicated to re-using things.  It might evolve into making/sourcing spare parts.  Perhaps it might evolve into manufacturing concerns which finally return to making ‘durable goods’ which last more than a fraction of a generation. 

There is something to this ‘DIY’ (Do It Yourself) attitude.  Certainly the specialization of labor which goes along with a corporate global economic model is not a bad thing.  But we have taken specialization to an extreme, to the point we denigrate people who do not hire a ‘speialist’ for every little thing.  It might be very practical to promote a new cultural emphasis on broad, broad knowledge and skills.  We need our own media for this, and they need by guided by a new set of editorial values.

But I do feel if we are to survive through the various coming maladies, agriculture collapse, economic collapse or some combination,  transformation must start from the grassroots to build a culture and economy which is ‘religiously committed’ to improving the conditions for mankind on this planet for the long term.  There must be a commitment to not our own grandchildren, but the great great grandchildren of others.  I digress, but the commitment to the well-being of ones own precious DNA and offspring has given too much emphasis to the dynasty building model of what a family is, and it fits too well with a sort of selfish accumulation and hoarding of wealth.  I certainly don’t think the ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ sort of ‘Vegas/Hollywood mentality’ has done much to form us into the sort of reflective and forward thinking sorts of people we should probably strive to be.  The ‘excitement driven’ state which makes for a good comemrcial-watching consumer seems in contrast with the sort of deliberate rational thinking which might have a chance of getting people to cooperate for a stronger common wealth.

I ramble, apologies.

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By drbhelthi, February 17, 2012 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

Outstanding summary and recommendations, from my viewpoint.  After association with the “USGOV” beginning 1956, with employment ending 1997, forty years of life experience at the professional level, I would add one idea.  To the sentence, “Reducing consumption, saving tangibles, learning survival-skills, being ready for a world of EXPENSIVE energy & possibly LOTS of migration”,  I would add, “and the disappearance of innumerable persons.”  Which may have been implied by “LOTS of migration.”

In order to genuinely comprehend the current transition into a one-world-government, for persons currently unaware, two books are useful.  “Need To Know,” by former General Timothy Good, is thoroughly documented. General Good was aide to President Eisenhower during Ike´s three meetings with extraterrestrials, and the one treaty he made, which the extraterrestrials violated.  A second book, “Alien Agenda,” by Jim Marrs is very enlightening. Marrs, the author of “Crossfire,” thoroughly documents his disclosures. 

Both authors provide information that reveals and clarifies the destructive forces behind the world-wide destruction by USGOV leadership since the end of WWII.  Of basic importance is the clarification of the identity of the “clan” Adolf Hitler called “Aryans.”

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By Justin Case, February 17, 2012 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

Indeed, WI Progress, it is rare & that continued rarity really is the problem. Until recognition of both long-term & short-term ending of our survival is a reality, the ‘ending’ becomes the outcome instead of the ‘recognition’.
Centuries of evolution in cheap-energy & high-innovation period environments conditions any species. It’s beyond human memory or life times to truly comprehend living WITHOUT a refrigerator, or trains or even carts. Oil? Electricity? Who knows how to just start fires or to make batteries anymore? Who knows how to make a thermal-solar collector? Best be learnin’ is what I say.
The corruption is everywhere & is not all intentional. A wilful denial or a shocked denial each are still denials. People flat out can’t believe after centuries - “forever” in the mind of the fool - something will change & the good days will be over.
You & I see relative position in the heap vs deteriorating conditions.
Many people deny deteriorating conditions. A few also deny the relative power/leverage but we can never turn that denial-level to zero.
I think for the most concrete solution we need to take the most competent understanding of the problem (best thinkers, innovators, leadership quality) and connect them immediately to those MOST able in high-speed low-cost to fix it. Be it storing food, shipping it, making low-energy homes off-grid, zero-sewage & zero-tillage home+farming, you name it, get it done. Now.
I’m glad to see the initial occupation/tents got attention. That stage was important.
The next stage must do what the first one did abstractly: get MORE attention than before & attract MORE people to the movement. I agree that continued camping is NOT the answer. It’s “fine” that police/mayors expel the campers. Not “right” but a kick in the ass is needed. That stage is over: no more protesters will come.
You know who pushes the most protesters to join?
BANK OF AMERICA.
JP MORGAN.
The robbers. The more people are robbed, the faster the denial vaporizes & the people realize they NEED to protest.
From there the only question remains HOW, WHERE and “what’s next”.
The grand difficulty of course is that this protest must both AWAKEN OTHERS and not stop everyone, alone & together, from PREPARING.
Reducing consumption, saving tangibles, learning survival-skills, being ready for a world of EXPENSIVE energy & possibly LOTS of migration.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Ed, I get ‘perfect is the enemy of good’, but at present Occupy is on a track that goes off a cliff.

Justin Case, I am happy to see your post of February 16 at 11:48 am make a rare acknowledgment of the serious underlying issue here.  Our systems have evolved over a very short few centuries while expansion without bound was possible.  I take the comments by Foucauldian, February 16 at 9:04 am as pointing out the futility in organizing under a political and social system which evolved in such an ‘easy energy’ environment.  I’m not sure that was is intent, but I view these systems as being under the corrupt influence of forces which do not care when or how we burn out the planet and/or crash the population. 

Some problems: There are people who share short term goals to be found in abundance and of every race, religion, sex, economic class, etc, etc.  Half the population is too damn dumb to understand any of this, and among the other half, the smart ones, many are deluded into thinking somehow they’ll stay on top of any calamity.  Relative position in the heap is what counts.  This is why so many strive to accumulate power and wealth, it’s not just drive or ego, it’s the security of one’s position in the heap.  Of the fraction left, those who can grasp the enormity of the problems, and those who are willing to do something about it, some number of them will sell out along the way. 

We’re in a pickle.  And Occupy needs to, at the very least, get on the right track.  We eventually need at least a maximum number of people understanding the underlying problems, proposed solutions and why things need done in whatever ways are prescribed.  Fooling around with these black-block nonsense issues is a complete waste of time.  These rat infested encampments might be great fun and a blase socially, but they are certainly not a part of a seriously coherent plan to win over middle America.  And, they do not seem to be gravitating toward recognition of the time factor in getting these population-food-energy-pollution issues into a political framework capable of re-orienting the population toward solutions. 

I’d say yes, there are problems at the top, with the “1%”, but there are also problems at the bottom.  The 99% have numbers, and consumption in numbers is a hell of a big part of the problem.  Naturally, I include the 99% elsewhere on the globe. 

We can’t solve just the convenient half of this particular problem.

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By Amon Drool, February 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

What Is Progress…i’m 63 yrs. old.  i’ve been an on-
and-off commenter at Truthdig since 2008.  the point
of my post was not to stir divisions between the
young and old, but to try to awaken the regulars here
to reasons why some of the young are lashing out.

i’m in total agreement with you about OWS’s ultimate
need to come up with designs and strategies to keep
the earth a sustainable place for our species.  but
in the mean time, people have needs that have to be
met..food, clothing shelter.  in the short term, an
‘us vs them’ strategy may have to be adopted to get
enough for the 99% to just sustain themselves.  and i
know things could get ugly by forcing a
confrontation.  raising people’s consciousness about
what we have to do to achieve long-term
sustainability is a necessary but insufficient means
in our present situation.  i’m pretty sure we’re
gonna have to do some fighting just to get a share of
the pie.

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By Ed Romano, February 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Progress. No. I didn’t have you in m Mind. It usually doesn’t hurt to be cautious. I was the same way, probably for dfferent reasons than you. But then I figured if I waited for thje engine to be perfected I might miss the train.  Ed R

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By Justin Case, February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

“The old model of ‘growth’, that is, increasing population size for exploitation as a cheap labor source will not continue to work on a planet reaching it’s limitations of tillable land area, water, maintaining quality soils, and the emission of toxins from humans. “
Indeed, this is true. I’m so sad to see this argument derailed as “malthusian”. It’s just a fact of life in all ecosystems. Nature can sweep any/all of us away without warning for various reasons.
I am actually very impressed with many of the writers (not all obviously) & David Graebel’s article is amazingly well articulated.
The conference call with Chris Hedges did not go so well. People spoke over each other, didn’t respect the time of each other, argued with each other in a somewhat childish manner (and legitimately heated at times as well), but actually did little to get Hedges to participate or ask him anything. He tried.
Perhaps if more of the articulate here had been in the conversation, or if parts of it were written, and if all of it was timed & moderated to ensure very seriously people don’t waste time fighting & talking over each other 3 at a time, that would be a more productive use of everyone’s time.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Foucaldian, with regard to your comment,”.........talk of “the Common Good.”  However well meant, I still think the concept suffers by association with other key lulberal/democratic concepts—the idea of pluralism, for one.”  and what follows from it, I did not mean ‘the common good’ in any way related to ‘Common Dreams’, ‘The Contract with America’, the two party ‘system of government’, or any other particular form of government. 

I am going to assume that what you mean by pluralism is a variety of interests ‘fighting it out’, and by some magic the best outcome for all will prevail.  My thinking about ‘the common good’, is exactly the opposite of this ‘fight it out’ methodology.  I would say at some level, all governments employ this method, whether by overt combat of party against party, lobbyist against lobbyist, or individual politically fighting for power and influence, each of these methods and all those methods which pit one group against another leaves us poorer.  However; these methods lend themselves well to corruption against ‘the common interest’. 

Without some level of understanding of these dynamics, I fear an improved system of decision making and resource allocation can never be devised.  Should a proposal be developed, can evolution to such a system occur voluntarily with an uninformed and/or uninterested public?  So, education must be part of the solution, but I digress. 

The issue of disproportionate incentives is also built into pluralism.  One is forced to fight aggressively under such systems, or the common wealth will fall into the control of those who may not be interested in replenishing that wealth.  This is where we are today.

Let’s go from here…....

Ed Romano, I hope you don’t think I’m a flag-waver for the system.  You rightly point out many faults.  But I am not jumping on any bandwagons either.  I want to see that the Occupy wagon pointed in a better direction than the present system, and quick.

Amon Drool, I’m in the middle somewhere, old enough to not want you younger ones to make the same mistakes generations have been making over, and over, and over.  Big picture?  Burning your generation out on a failed Occupy movement ensures that we make no significant progress.  Your chance (and all our chance), the Occupy Movement, simply needs to understand why, after the movements of the past, we drifted back.  It is going to take patience, research and time, a scarce commodity.

Amon, believe me, the old dogs who are living like kings and don’t give a flying shit about anybodies future have thousands of strategies for manipulating the Occupy movement to serve their world view.  And dear Amon, and I hope you note a deliberate condescending tone, there are many, many of your age who are more than happy to ally with the existing ‘power elite’ as Hedges would say, to bite and claw to take their places in the existing hierarchy.  So, know who your allies are.  Young against old is just another way to divide and conquer. 

In the end, all these arbitrary divisors, race, sex, age, sexuality, religion, and thousands more, must give way to the real thing that divides people in this struggle to evolve the human way of doing business on, for, or to the planet.  What that division will be is yet to be articulated, but that is what OWS must strive to do.  Unite people behind a well thought, specific vision and policies to allow all people to live happier and sustainably on this planet we all share.  And those that would foul the vision?  That’s a problem to be dealt with as well.  Don’t be so naive to think game theories, the problem of the commons, the prisoners dilema, etc, are going to be so easy to deal with.

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By Justin Case, February 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Is it really honest or fair to equate property damage with violence? Can’t that be used against everyone? Did you “damage the grass” or “damage the air” or “stain the sidewalk or road” while protesting therefore you are “violent” and need to be “stopped by police for the good of the public?”
This can invite absurd but very real damages.
Would anyone complain if the damaged property was tasers or tear gas or pepper spray at the supplier or otherwise stored ready for use on innocent protesters?
Let’s be honest: violence against people is NOT violence against property and it’s NOT HELPFUL to pretend it is.
Let’s also be honest about property: if you destroy property that is doing you no harm & is not yours then people will question it. It makes you look bad.
At the very least consider the gradients between destroying your OWN property (before it’s taken?) or specifically that of a person/group that stole FROM YOU, vs “anything else”.
Random shop windows?
Not right.
JP Morgan’s front windows for all they’ve stolen from you?
I won’t complain. They’re trying to steal EVERYTHING. They need to regret some of it AND they need to be in jail. Jamie Dimon NEEDS TO BE IN JAIL.
Lloyd Blankfein needs to be in JAIL. He’s stolen a LOT.
Brian Moynihan & Ken Lewis need to be in JAIL.
http://bankofamericafraud.com/
Courts have with proof, however, allowed property to LEGALLY be taken for cash value FROM B of A without destroying it. That is more powerful than smashing any B of A windows.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/bank-america-florida-foreclosed-angry-homeowner-bofa/story?id=13775638

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By OzarkMichael, February 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

I am reading every post with interest. Some commentors have written several posts, and each one is worth commenting on.

It is not that i always agree with you, but i see directness, substantial points and real questions which are definitely worth answering, agreeing with, or arguing with. I am not sure why it is happening but lately I percieve the pleasant forcefulness of honesty and clarity. My hope is to respond in kind.

Unfortunately i dont have time today to do any justice to even one of your posts. When i do have some time it will be hard to pick one post because i dont want to exclude anything, leaving so much good stuff on the ground as if it wasnt worthwhile.

Please continue, and thanks for making Truthdig a better place.

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By Amon Drool, February 16, 2012 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

does the aging commentariat of Truthdig remember what
it was like to be young?  impulsive…living by your
feelings.

the generations born after 1970 have been made aware
by some segments of the media that the species human
looks to be in a downward spiral.  ecological
collapse, exponential population growth, a monetary
system that doesn’t reflect the value of things that
make life sustainable on earth…all this has to some
degree entered the consciousness of the young during
the last 40 years.  they realize that ‘the shit is
all fucked up’ and they are probably pissed that the
generations preceding them have let it come to this. 
some of them choose to lash out via property damage
at corporations and banks that refuse to acknowledge
the destructive ‘externalities’ involved in their
profit seeking.  they are willing to risk jail just
to let it be known how disgusted they are.  i do
realize that there are probably some willful
nihilists among the frustrated young, but
characterizing the whole group as a cancer that needs
to be excised will get us nowhere.  sadly, i can’t
say that i’m surprised that an amen chorus at TD has
risen up in support of the scold hedges.

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By Ed Romano, February 16, 2012 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

How Do We Reach Them ?
  There are a number of posters here who are flag wavers for the system as it is. We should hesitate to think this is dishonesty on their part, but is it possible to expose them to the idea that what they are defending is some imaginary nation that does not and never really has existed ? Take the following for example :
  This corporate government is spending billions of dollars and is killing hundreds of thousands of people arouind the world in an effort to impose its will on them.
  This corporate government is spending billions of dollars to support dictatorships around the world in places like Honduras and Yemen, while at the same time claiming we cannot afford to take care of children and seniors or afford a medical program that would cover all Americans. 
  This corporate government has devised a plan where it no longer has to wait for another nation to exhibit a tangible threat, but we can attack them if we just THINK they may becaome a problem in the future.
  This corporate government maintains over 900 military bases and camps around the globe in over 100 countries
  In the pursuit of ever increasing profit corporations have polluted the drinking water in places like Love Canal and Woburn. This week it is reported that the drinking water in and around a Marine base is toxic threatening the health of millions of people. These horrors around the nation have lead to birth defects and numerous cases of cancer in children.In the face of this corporations are bribing their agents in Washington to cut back on enviromental regulations.
  The World Trade Organization is currently lobbying Washington to make it illegal for super markets to label the meat they sell with the country of origin.
  An artificialhip manufactured by Johnson and Johnson was found to be defective. For this reason the company was told they could not market the device in the U.S…..They are currently marketing it in the U.K.
  Darvon was recently taken off the market because of deadly side effects that have been reported over many years. Turns out the company selling it was aware of this for decades.
  When it was asked at a recent Rebublican “debate” if a poor person who could not afford medical care should be left out on the street to die, the audience cheered. These are people evangelical “christians” are politically allied with.     
  A major chicken processor was found to be storing tons of chicken the FDA said exceeded the limits it had set for contamination. The chicken corporation had their agents in Washington raise the legal limit so they could peddle the meat.
  There are hundreds of other examples of how people are being abused by their own government. The question here is how can the flag wavers criticize citizens who are attempting to organize against such abuses? Please. Don’t just hurl a brick without addressing the question.  Can’t you at least understand why folks who are aware of the above are up in arms? And don’t try to deflect criticism with images of Stalin and Hitler. Inquiring minds want to know.  What do you have to say ?

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By Foucauldian, February 16, 2012 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,
What is Progress,
Ed Romano

I’m making a simultaneous address because we all
may soon be on the same wavelength.

Anarcissie, your defense of the movement qua
movement is very sound.  What may be the weakness
insofar as the ideological position is concerned—
the drawing card—could well be the very strength
of OWS, the movement.  My remarks, however, weren’t
concerned with OWS just as a movement:  I was
looking past the movement.

Let’s face it.  All of the OWS inarticulated or
articulated demands thus far (and I’m in favor of
the former) have been couched in terms of the old,
tired, liberal-democratic discourse.  Whether we’re
talking about corruption on Wall Street or in
Washington, DC., the collusion involving public and
private interests, unequal distribution of income,
or student debt—all of these grievances, however
radically expressed, partake of the very same terms
of the conceptual political/economic system which,
to some of you, could well be the very root of the
problem, and the problem appears to be systemic. 
It’s this very conceptual apparatus, and the form
of discourse that comes with it, that has got to be
replaced by something very different and very new. 
All the main points addressed by Graeber and Naomi
Klein in their articles—the anti- or pro-
globalizaton thrust, the condition of
borderlessness, etc.—are promising and offer us
a foretaste, but they’re fall short of being full-
fledged political/economic concepts which would
serve as a powerful counterpoint to the typical
liberal/democratic discourse.  So unless we
reinvent and reinvigorate our political and
economic language, all we’re doing is engaging our
opponents at their own game.  As Foucault would
say, we play the same power game.  Now, nonviolence
always does throw a monkey wrench into the works
and baffles the authorities, but it’s still in the
realm of tactics, not the message.  Strategic
withdrawal from the existing economic and political
structures also falls, IMO, in the realm of
tactics.  We need something pro-active with which
to fight the powerful liberal/democratic ideology. 
We need a brand new form of discourse.

“What is Progress” hinted at one possibility,
reinstating the talk of “the Common Good.”  However
well meant, I still think the concept suffers by
association with other key liberal/democratic
concepts—the idea of pluralism, for one.  Just
as the notion of “rights” was conceived with the
idea of fighting off the worst tendencies of
exclusionary politics, the notion of “the common
good” is supposed to take our eye off factional
politics and special interests and think instead of
the good of the whole.  But both concepts—and
these are just two examples—are not pro-active
but reactive.  Both derived from the very same
model of exclusionary and functional politics, an
environment in which competition and strife are the
order of the day and our best efforts are limited
to minimizing the bad effects.  It’s the entire
model that needs replacing with a radically new
model and a radically new kind of discourse.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

I would like to think Hedges is happy to be an impetus for conversation and that he’s OK with the conversations going where they will.

Now, back to the topic of OWS reaching adeqaate depth so as to eventually create cooperation toward some truly fundamental goals.

On this page: http://occupydc.org/community/declaration/ there is a very good statement of why Occupy DC assembled.  Fine, all well and good.  And let’s suppose Occupy is successful in stopping the current tactics of wealth accumulation which have concentrated too much wealth into so few households.  Will that accomplish anything in the long run? 

My plea to Occupy people is to consider that we must have as a center piece of the movement a plan to change the way people live to be a less wasteful, and more productive, and with less negative impact on the ecosphere. 

Time is running out, and a population crash is likely imminent.  Meanwhile, Occupy seems narrowly focused on a range of issues which amount mainly to inequitable distributions of wealth and political power.  There is no doubt the issues raised at http://occupydc.org/community/declaration/ are justified and valid, but they must be addressed within a larger framework.  These petty issues of Black Bloc, and tactics and committees are utterly futile distractions when compared to the fundamental problems of how we consume-waste-overpopulate. 

The old model of ‘growth’, that is, increasing population size for exploitation as a cheap labor source will not continue to work on a planet reaching it’s limitations of tillable land area, water, maintaining quality soils, and the emission of toxins from humans. 

Go to this interview,
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=10-P13-00051&segmentID=6  And drop down to the paragraph containing “the analogy of the bacteria in the test tube”.  We are running out of time people, and we need the Occupy movement to be much more than a re-organization of wealth and political power within our current ecological habits. 

That’s my agenda here…...to expand the Occupy thinking.  There may not be another chance for a mass movement in America for some decades, so if Occupy without advancing the fundamental ecological issues, the clock will probably run out on us.  OWS must help We the People change our very nature, from self-oriented consumers to stewards.

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By David J. Cyr, February 16, 2012 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, elisalouisa:

“some may be using Occupy to further their own objectives.”
_______________

Yes, and (D) some using Occupy to further their corporate party objectives wouldn’t want Occupy to engage in any impolite protest before maniacs get Democrats of deception elected again.

The sociopathic corporate party policy supporting Democrats have nothing in common with the Occupy objectives.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By Ed Romano, February 16, 2012 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Elisa, I don’t think it is off base to point out that evangelical christians who want to change a secular society into a “christian” one haven’t got a clue as to what christianity is all about….and if it ever dawned on them they would probably be horrified….I think the thing should read….change a secular society into THEIR CONCEPTION of a christian one.  Ed R

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By Sodium-Na, February 16, 2012 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

elisa,

Yes,you can…....

And many thanks.

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By elisalouisa, February 16, 2012 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

I have taken the liberty to “copy and paste” part of your wonderful essay, knowing some do not have the time to follow that link. Hopefully, there won’t be too many ???? as there sometimes are when you “copy and paste”.

Monday, May 10, 2010
Chris Hedges and his Critics
Recently,I was involved in debating a fine poster on one of the forums of
Truthdig website. The poster impressed me by his usually unoffensive
responses. However,he criticizes the writing of Chris Hedges often but not
really frequently. I could never figure out to what group of the five groups of
critics I categorized through the last three years of taking notes about the
weekly hard core critics of Hedges. Hence,this fine poster has compelled me to
review my files that I have accumulated in the last three years as a regular
blogger at Truthdig website.

My files indicate that the hard-core critics who want desperately to refute or,at
least,discredit the writings of Chris Hedges are five different groups,motivated
by different causes and hence categorized accordingly:*

(1) The Extreme Right Evangelical Christians: This group of critics hates the
guts of Hedges because he has exposed their agenda for the U.S.the main point
of which is to control the political structure of America and change it from
secular type of government to a Christian one. Anyone who stood against their
attempts to fulfill their agenda must be fought and marginalized.

(2) The Israel’s Apologists or as some writers dubbed them,“The Israel’s
Firsters”: Those Firsters also hate the guts of Hedges because more than once
he has exposed in some of his columns,Israel’s inhuman atrocities being
committed on daily basis against the Palestinian people. He wrote several
column on this topic but one column would remain an outstanding one,entitled
“Starving Gaza”. It can be found in Truthdig’s archive.

(3)The Neoconservatives: It is well known that the neoconservatives were the
ones who instigated the illegal and immoral war against Iraq,especially those
who wrote and signed the “Project for the New American Century”,(PNAC) for
short. The irony about those warmongering hawks is the fact that none of them
has served in the military,and yet they are,indeed,warmongers to the hilt.
Because of this fact,some writers dubbed them as the “Chicken Hawks” for
sarcasm. Why they hate Chris Hedges? Because Hedges has been against the
war in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the top of that,Hedges wrote several columns
specifically against what was going on in Iraq,exposing and discrediting their
unparalleled blunder in the entire history of the U.S. One especially effective
column was entitled,“Beyond Disaster”. It can be found in Truthdig’s archive.

(4) The Hard-Core Democrats: No need to elaborate on this group,since it is to
be expected that they hate Hedges’s guts for being an exponent in criticizing
President Obama. And from the very start of the election campaign,Hedges has
supported Ralph Nader for the presidency. Thus,hating Hedges by them may be
understandable but not necessarily correct or even legitimate.

(5) The Show Off Critics: This group embodies a a variety of posters. Just to
name a few,the following subgroups will give an idea of their various composites:
A. Posters who likes to parade their phony “knowledge?”. Plagiarism cannot be
ruled out.
B. Bloggers who like to high jack the forums to express their ideology. They are
usually rude and they have no courtesy for Hedges and his columns.
C. The strong believers in the “Conspiracy Theory” in every major events,
ranging from Kennedy assassination to the tragic event of 9/11.
D. The silly posters who enjoy using sarcasm against Hedges and everyone else
except their friends of bloggers who shower the m with complements. One
blogger called those friends “The Boiler Room Club”.

*elisa comment: Could one add anarchists to this group?

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By Sodium-Na, February 16, 2012 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

For Anarcissie.

Anar,

I refrain from getting into a verbage argument with you due to the fact I do not have the time,but more important is due to the respect I have held for you,as a sincere Anarchist. It is so obvious to,at least,me that you and I have our differences when it comes to the writings of Chris Hedges. I had tried to minimize those differences as much as possible,in time past,but failed. No sense of wasting your time and mine all over again. Please check the following website and read an essay entitled,“Chris Hedges and His Critics”,I wrote on May 10,2010:

http://www.reviewsbysodium.blogspot.com

And I leave it at that.

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By elisalouisa, February 16, 2012 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ: “Hedges is trying to protect Occupy from those who will destroy it.”

My take on JDmysticDJ ‘s heedful comment and Sodium-Na’s endorsement of that opinion is just as it reads. My added remark is that some may be using Occupy to further their own objectives. Hedges is their nemesis, foreseeing that such action might lead to the demise of Occupy. Thus the intense effort to discredit his writings and character.

Nice to see your comment Sodium-Na. Again we are in complete agreement.

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By Sodium-Na, February 16, 2012 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

For elisalouisa.

elisa,

I join PatrickHenry and Ed Romano in expressing my thank you for the link you have gracefully provided.

It is an outstanding link,indeed.

Most likely,Robespierre115 would be interested in reading the objectives of the link as being specified in “OCCUPY WASHINGTON”,since he was one of the very few posters who called on the “Occupy Movement” to specify its objectives as the “Movement” initially started as “Occupy Wall Street”,in New york City.

I do hope that Robespierre will read the excellent link on “OCCUPY WASHINGTON”.

Again,thank you,elisa.

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By Anarcissie, February 16, 2012 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Sodium-Na, February 16 at 5:01 am:

‘JDmysticDJ wrote:

“Hedges is trying to protect Occupy from those who will destroy it.”

The above quoted comment is the most intelligent observation I have read,sofar,on this thread,because that’s exactly what Hedges has been lately trying to do. ...’

So Hedges sees Occupy * as a sort of permanent institution in which he has an interest, rather than as a tool or expedient, which is supposed to accomplish something beyond itself and thereby perhaps be used up or discarded.  I think that’s likely, although unproved thus far.  There seem to be a lot of people who feel that way.  One of the things institutions do, certainly, is expel those who don’t submit to their governing discipline, which in this case is whatever Hedges’s idea of nonviolence happens to be at the moment.  Hedges’s adoption of the dehumanizing language of disease and pollution would be the natural prelude to such an excision.

So then the question arises as to what kind of institution they think Occupy * is supposed to be, generally speaking, and why they waited around for a bunch of anarchists to create one for them to appropriate instead of creating one themselves.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 16, 2012 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

And Ed,
We can demand all we want, if each time we make some advance in technology or efficiency of social organization, or cultural practices which does result in attaining more from the earth with less harm, then we use that surplus to make more people to care for, there is no point in wasting one’s life on any of this OWS or other nonsense.   

What is required is a movement which will be deadly serious about getting the global level population-food-energy equation in balance.  No large demographic can be allowed to reproduce with impunity and without regard to their ability to fully support the offspring they create. 

This is the mega-elephant, universal acceptance (at the individual and group levels) of the real consequences of breeding at will.  It gets ugly real quick, but without dealing with the issue, everything else about OWS and all special interest groups, is just maneuvering for a bigger piece of a pie among more and more and more hungry bellies.

I sore as hell don’t want to destroy OWS or bring it down in any way, but without getting to the basic equations of ecology, the people-food-energy levels, it’s basically the same melody, different verse.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 16, 2012 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Ed, I appreciate the link here: http://october2011.org/issues  I’ve read similar ‘demands’ before, I agree with them in spirit, and am glad to see they’ve evolved.  However…..

It is one thing to make demands against a particular size pie, and it is another to make policies which ensure there is actually enough pie that each individual can have an adequate piece. 

So, the underlying fundamentals are missing, and the ‘demands’ amount to a room full of people sitting around a bowl of potato chips and demanding that we each have a steak dinner! 

How about they attack something like planned obsolescence?  Think of the war, suffering and environmental degradation caused by the waste of the ‘throw away’ society based on endless consumption.  It’s a big elephant in the room and no one sees it.

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By Sodium-Na, February 16, 2012 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ wrote:

“Hedges is trying to protect Occupy from those who will destroy it.”

The above quoted comment is the most intelligent observation I have read,sofar,on this thread,because that’s exactly what Hedges has been lately trying to do.

Thank you,JD,for telling it as it should be told.

Much appreciated.

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By PatrickHenry, February 16, 2012 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa,

Thanks for the OWS link.

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By drbhelthi, February 16, 2012 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

” - despite the fact that the bulk of those folks would deny that any of the self-
appointed representative stand for them.”  heteroxxxxxx

“the fact”?
More of heteroxxxxxx spin rather than fact. 
Obtaining the opinion of “the bulk” of the 99% on this issue ?  I cannot find it
anywhere on the internet.  Although there are a few propaganda articles, written with deliberate spin, that contain opinions similar to those of heteroxxxxxx.

Available info suggests that this small group of internal trouble-makers are not
genuine OWS supporters, but are rather CIA-type, police infiltrators who identify
themselves by their destructive behavior.  Some of us raise the question if all of
such types are even Americans, or if they are the same types who set the thermite in the Twin Towers.

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By Ed Romano, February 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

What Is Progress, Another poster came up with the site where you can see OWS demands. 

    october2011.org/issues

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By Ed Romano, February 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Elisa,  Thanks much.  Ed R

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By Justin Case, February 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

“How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state”
actually we DO. None of their money is theirs, it’s OURS. None of their tools comes from anyone but US. When we stop CONSENTING to let them TAKE our property to beat us with, to spend on hitmen to take out our own families, then we WIN. They will be left with few or no tools.

Police don’t BUY guns, we buy guns and GIVE them to police.

Police don’t MAKE guns, they don’t make ANYTHING.

So if police are breaking laws in a nation & the people REFUSE to allow their money to be taken, REFUSE to allow shipment of weapons, REFUSE to make guns, tear-gas, etc., then the people WIN and the police LOSE.

I would note that counter-insurgency for “hearts and minds” has failed in many places around the world. The violence against the people undermined the brainwashing/lies & the obvious visible violence by police forces & theft by government corruption and/or gangs continues to show who the real enemy is. So long as the real enemy of the people is drawn out into open fighting to steal, exposed in any kind of media but wide-spread exposure, we win, they lose.

For the elite to lose much less all they can do is steal very secretly, very little, very quietly, or not at all.

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By OccupyTheWorld, February 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://coupmedia.org/occupywallstreet/occupy-wall-street-official-demands-2009

Here are official Occupy Wall Street demands; they are definitely not revolutionary demands, they will simply fix capitalism (which is broken), and put our country back on track.

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By elisalouisa, February 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Hope this link comes through EdR. The site is called “Occupy Washington.


http://october2011.org/issues

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By heterochromatic, February 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

MeAgain—-“By calling anarchists “a cancer” Chris
Hedges is dividing the 99%. Is this intentional?”——

the 99% is a slogan….and there can’t actually be
anyone naive enough to believe that the 99% is joined
politically or really in any other way except as a
slogan.

It’s an absurdity, to assert, in any way other than
theoretically, that Hedges could be “dividing the
99%” because all he is doing is pointing out a
division that exists in the very small number of
people who claim to represent that 99%, despite the
fact that the bulk of those folks would deny that any
of the self-appointed representative stand for them.

The whole point is that Jedges believes that winning
over support is hindered by these fools, MeAgain.

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By UreKismet, February 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Life 101 - a reality. 

All societies are are governed by violence. 
For example, you decide not to pay Visa anymore.  The first thing Visa will try is to get the bank who underwrote your card to ante up.  Nothing left in your account.
Next Visa try to garnishee your salary If u do have an employer, he/she will do as asked.  Why?

Because if they don’t it is they who will be subjected to some form of overt violence - delivered either by law enforcement/bailiffs, or a law suit to restart the law enforcement/bailiffs loop.

You have no job, so Visa contract out ‘collection’ to a series of ‘sub-contractors’ whose violence becomes more overt each step of the process.  Lock yourself in your house and wait.

The door will be kicked in and you will cleaned of anything that can be exchanged for currency.  Plus you will be arrested on a obstruction/resisting charge.

A parallel process occurs if a citizen resists local, state or federal law.  The people who run our world - call ‘em elite, 1%, or oppressors, use violence to get the job of keeping citizens ‘where they belong’ done.

Examples are everywhere.  My favorite example of what happens to amerikans who try to buck the system non-violently is nearly 100 years old. I like it precisely because it demonstrates how little has really changed.

Despite claims of some that subversion of the amerikan ‘constitution’ began with George w Bush in 2001.

Bisbee 1917 workers who had been mistreated & badly paid or not paid at all, tried to make the bosses listen to ‘em by withdrawing their labour. 

They weren’t slaves & as free citizens they were upholding their rights by refusing to work in dangerous mines for a pittance.  Ha! 

The state(arizona) and federal governments got together with the corporation and showed those miners.  They and their families were rounded up in the middle of the night crowdwd into cattle cars and transported 100’s of miles and left in the desert to fend for themselves.  this was all done at the point of a gun. 

If the Occupy movement looks it may cause elite, 1%, or oppressors to lose predicted earnings, violence will be out on the table toute de suite.  Pretending that isn’t true is stupid or disingenuous. 

The dem party parasites attached to this movement to divert it into a platform from where they can exchange votes for anondyne ‘lets all kiss and make up’ legislation understand this, but will never say so.

Instead they use the truth about means, which has been wafting thru debate thanks to the efforts of those who really want change, as a cleaver to split the movement & chase away honest spokespeople.  An easy job.  Of course it would be better if change could be achieved without violence.  But that is far more unrealistic/untrue than anything emanating from the mouths of utopian socialists or peace-loving anarchists.

Yes.  It is tough to acknowledge most of the propaganda that underpins amerika’s claim to exceptionalism is complete lie.  Misconception at best deliberate lie at worst.  It is easier and more comfortable to just alter the brainwash a little.  So we can keep consuming without guilt.

All that is achieved is delay.  Delay which means the eventual violent change will cost more lives, as the elite, 1%, or oppressors get extra time and resources to stiffen their defenses.
No right thinking person looks forward to war in any form, but refusing to prepare for it now means that when violence begins Occupy’s leadership will fall into the hands of a Stalinesque standover man who did prepare.

Prepare for it now and develop a coherent consultative structure for defense and offense if you want change that matters and change which you can believe in

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By OzarkMichael, February 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Lately, every post here is worth reading. I would like to write a comment on almost every one of them.

I dont have time to do much writing atm, but hope to be back later tonight.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, February 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

While TruthDdig and all the other “progressive” media (including Amy Goodman) focus your attention on the Clown Car Circus of the Republicans. Or did some fluff piece by the usual Obama apologists.

The Real News Network did a stunning 12 minute interview with Rocky Anderson.

go to you tube and search Real News Rocky Anderson.

Then ask yourself, why are they keeping you uninformed on this man?

ROCKY ANDERSON FOR PRESIDENT

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By ardee, February 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Oh JD poor lad. You say my personal dislike of you is the reason I call you out on this load of unsubstantiated crap:

Recent revelations have led me to believe that what I first thought was a wrong headed inadvertent Anarchy in the Occupy movement was not inadvertent but intentional. I now believe that Occupy has not been co-opted by anarchists but that Occupy was guided by, and structured by, anarchist principles from the beginning. If insurrection has been the goal and avowed objectives only a tool for garnering support then I would suggest that many, including me, have been duped by organizers and leaders who claim that they are neither.

You see I don’t dislike you, I don’t give a shit about you personally. I react to the crap you posted and requested some sort of substance. Instead I got whining…..

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By Ed Romano, February 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

What is Progress, You asked what is the vision of OWS. That’s one of the prime questions we should be discussing. I was recently directed to a site where OWS had listed 15 ( maybe it was 13 ) demands. Unfortunately I cannot find the address for that site. Maybe someone here knows it…... In any case, these dameands are not wimpy and they are not reformist in the sense that they are something the current system cannot possibly deliver….Therefore the demands are revolutionary and the society that resulted from them would be one that is entirely different from the one we are currently saddled with.

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By JDmysticDJ, February 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

RE: Anarcissie, February 15 at 5:53 am

“Both anarchists and Marxists participated in the overthrow of the Tsar in February 1917 in the beginning stages of the 1917 Russian Revolution. However, a hostile relationship quickly developed between anarchists and Bolsheviks, so that anarchists generally opposed the Bolshevik-initiated transfer of power from the Provisional Government to the Bolshevik commissars (acting on behalf of Bolshevik-led workers councils—known in Russian as “soviets”), in October 1917. Even the ensuing civil war pitting the Bolshevik government and Red Army against the Tsarist White Armies did not reconcile anarchists and Bolsheviks.
The Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine, led by anarchists, fought counter-revolutionary forces in a tenuous alliance with the Red Army. These Ukrainian anarchists were highly critical of other anarchists in the Russian Revolution who lacked their discipline. The RIAU was later suppressed by Red Army over the issue of the integration of the RIAU into the Red Army.”

I am a firm believer in representative democracy, in spite of its flaws; the impetus in my opinion should be focused on eliminating the corruption that has infected our representative democracy. As a firm believer in representative democracy, far be it from me to defend an obvious tyrant like Stalin but let us not forget that it was the Russian People who bore the brunt of Nazi aggression and it was the Russian People who suffered greatly defending the Soviet Union. It was the Russian Army that marched into Berlin affectively driving the last nail into the coffin of the Third Reich. Up until the surrender of Japan in 1944 9/10ths of U.S. forces were occupied in the Pacific Theater. It was also the Russian people who, along with a heavy prolonged decades long assist from the capitalist countries that ended totalitarian communism in the Soviet Bloc countries.

The horrors that occurred during the World Wars were many and no participant in the Wars was free from perpetrating those horrors and the horrors did not end with the Second World War the geo-political conflict between capitalism and communism during the Cold War resulted in horrors incalculable and now the horrors continue, to a lesser extent, with wars of ideology and religion.

The contention of Anarchists appears to be that Anarchism will somehow end the horrors and injustices that have plagued mankind. Supposing that all parties in conflict would universally and simultaneously embrace an Anarchist paradigm the potential for ending the horrors and injustice so evident might fall somewhere in the realm of remote possibility but I can only believe such is a utopian pipe dream but not just a utopian pipe dream but a utopian pipe dream without any structure, real planning, or concrete objectives other than the elimination of States and hierarchical authority. Anarchism strikes me as being a “Shot in the dark.” with no rational expectation of hitting the target.

As I’ve stated before I believe the only hope for mankind is an incremental progress and obstruction of reactionary regress. Sudden upheaval and political chaos is fraught with danger. Quoting Chomsky, “I work today for a better tomorrow.”

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Judging from the results, I’ll stick with the “anarchism of the left” idea as a possibility.

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By Anarcissie, February 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian, February 15 at 7:57 am:

‘Have to agree about one thing.  Read Graber’s “Open
Letter” in the New Left Review (and tried to read
through Naomi Kleins earlier piece in the same
publication on the same topic, but couldn’t get
through it).  Both pieces are riddled with
generalities about OWS, in terms of strategies,
tactics and so on, but conspicuously short on
concepts.  And in spite of all the talk we hear
about how OWS despises all forms of organizational
structures, I consider it a major weakness—lack
of conceptual clarity, I mean. ...’

Of course the term ‘weakness’ is itself not very clear.  But let us impose some precision on it and define it as ‘lack of immediate effect’.

In that case it is clear that OWS’s lack of conceptual clarity was a ‘strength’: an accumulation of people with very different beliefs, intentions and interests showed up because they could read into it almost whatever they pleased.  The core group were, apparently, anarchists or other radicals (who probably disagreed with one another about many things); those who were attracted, who formed the bulk of the 1000 to 5000 who were there at OWS’s height were, to go by their statements and signs, social democrats and welfare-statists.  People who wanted someone to protect Social Security and Medicare were not out to smash the state.

There was a central theme, that of the 1% versus the 99%, a complaint about the increasing steep and rigid class structure of the United States, but the theme had many versions, sides, angles, accretions and shades of meaning.

Now, of course, the Occupy thing is being fetishized and institutionalized, which will almost certainly kill it, although as it falls apart and dies a few glints of conceptual clarity may be observed in the heap.  Someone ought to come up with something.

The mistake almost all of you are making is to believe that the form, style, effect, significance of the whole OWS event depended on its core.  As one of anarchist prejudices I wish it did, but the fact is that the core evoked something quite different from itself, an assemblage representing the enormous disquiet of the very large number of Americans who aren’t anarchists, who aren’t conceptually clear, who have a lot of vague, contradictory beliefs, but who know (correctly!) that no one in power represents them any more.

They came to see OWS because it was the only thing even approximately standing up for them.  In the future they’ll probably do something else.  OWS was a harbinger, a foreshadowing—of what, we may find out before too long.  I expect it to be about as conceptually clear as any other mass movement—that is, not at all.

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By JDmysticDJ, February 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

By Cuthred, February 15 at 7:48 am

“Watch out, JDMystic will now start trolling you.”

Who’s trolling who? I have no desire to be condescending towards OzarkMichael but he has, by my appraisal, shown signs of becoming more enlightened, and I would proffer that according to his most recent comments he believes the same of me. I don’t believe that there will ever be a great deal of common ground between he and I but where there is common ground I will respect it. As long as OzarkMichael does not revert back to his previous dialectic of insult and uniform condemnation of the Left I will not be “trolling” him but I am certain that he and I will have many points of disagreement in the future, if there should be a future.

Incidentally, I never intended to suggest that Anarchists were in league with the Nazis my comment was that Anarchists contributed to the political chaos that allowed the Nazis to take power. No, libertarian socialists were not working with Franco in Spain; they were too busy arguing with communists and the other factions that constituted the Spanish Republic; another example of counter productive political chaos.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

‘Pessimism’ seems like name calling.  Who writes blank checques?  Who buys a pig in a poke?  That’s not pessimism, it’s an attempt not to re-make mistakes of the past…..by empowering vagaries like ‘change’.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

What does ‘better’ look like?  Again with the change?  Change, change, change.  Action without thinking.  Propose specific laws.  Propose a specific structure of government.  How will both fairness and adequate abundance be acheived?  By what specific policies or laws? 

Anyone who gets behind blind change, even ‘for the better’ just fell off the turnip truck.

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Consider this for at least half a second:  Both pessimism , and the old saw “violence is inevitable; nonviolence is for sissies” etc. “may be the real
“anarchism of the left” so to speak, because they both undermines the Occupy movement and every other attempt to bring about change for the better.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Change toward WHAT?  What is the vision?  Who wants to empower a group that will not or cannot precisely identify the fundamental problems and articulate a better vision? 

Change is a great place to change to something far worse, because change favors the prepared.  The 1% are pretty damn smart and have been hiring our best brains for years.  Change will NOT favor the unprepared. 

As for the OWS un-hierarchical structure, fine and dandy, but unstructured or haphazardly structured around what makes people feel good is a recipe for disaster.  So, can someone please speak for ‘the movement’, and say what it is we’re changing to?  Like Obama ‘changed’ the FISA and Patriot Act? Like he ‘changed’ rendition policy?

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By Ed Romano, February 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Cuthred,  The post you are asking about is both a feeble attempt at using sarcasm to point out that much of what is posted here is frivolous, and an attempt to get folks to start thinking about how we can help this movement to grow and move forward. The
“anarchists” ( they wouldn’t know a real anarchiost if he kicked them in the ass )... the anarchists, using OWS as a place to play revolution, have NO chance of effecting any meaningful change in this country….. Can any reasonable person think otherwise ? What I’m trying to say is that we .....those who are serious about the need for drastic change….we should leave the posturing and posing to the the arm chair heroes, and not get involved in loony discussions with them as though their “ideas” were actually valid. We need to get real about this. How can we support and be active in the opposition? .... That’s the discussion we need.

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Again I urge people here to look around and find encouragement from some of what Occupy people are doing around the country.  Here’s just one for today:

2/15/12 Salon.com—John Knefel, “Occupy Defends Volcker Rule”.  Shows a very different side of Occupy from the Oakland crisis.(And by the way, Oakland, with its particular history of injustices and police violence, is perhaps the most difficult place in the U.S. to promote nonviolence, for reasons obvious to all who understand social injustice and its results over time.)
  One possibility is that Occupy will become a kind of “seeding” movement that will stimulate new enthusiasm in “tired” social action movements of all kinds, encourage centering and unity, and reinvigorate the nation’s lax citizen participation in restoring democracy.

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Again I urge people here to look around and find encouragement from some of what Occupy people are doing around the country.  Here’s just one for today:

2/15/12 Salon.com—John Knefel, “Occupy Defends Volcker Rule”.  Shows a very different side of Occupy from the Oakland crisis.(And by the way, Oakland, with its particular history of injustices and police violence, is perhaps the most difficult place in the U.S. to promote nonviolence, for reasons obvious to all who understand social injustice and its results over time.)
  One possibility is that Occupy will become a kind of “seeding” movement that will stimulate new enthusiasm in “tired” social a ction movements of all kinds, encourage centering and unity, and reinvigorate the nation’s lax citizen participation in restoring democracy.

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By elisalouisa, February 15, 2012 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

“Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless” is a most appropriate headline Gerard. I have drawn strength from others, I have felt that strength flow into me, just as I have felt my vitality ebb with just a piecing glance.

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By balkas, February 15, 2012 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

i also read graeber’s “open letter” in the new left review. almost everything he wrote in that letter could be described as piling
theories upon theories.
and theories, conclusions, opinions, conjectures, etc., cannot be understood—they, perforce, must be either abandoned or
interpreted.
bible, quran, talmud, and torah, any constitution scribes also build conclusions upon conclusions. that cause frustration, raw
nerves, anger, confusions, division, hatred, wars, exploitation, and many other evils.
and to make matters even worse there is almost always that tacitly- or explicitly-posited either-or thinking when we talk about,
say, globalization, free markets, etc.
so, it’s always globalization or no globalization; religion or no religion, free market or no free market, ‘god’ or not ‘god’, etc.
labels also represent overgeneralizations; which cannot be known. that includes ‘god’, or god, allah. so what have been fighting
over for ca 4 millennia? mostly about things we do not know nor will ever know.
we are fighting over what marx, jesus, ghandi, issaiah, lenin, obama, trotzky, bismarck, jefferson said even tho not one of them
said anything protreptic.
does anyone know what israel’s right to exist means? or what pursuit of happiness means? i say i have no faintest clue what those
shibboleths mean
how about issaiahs: come, let us reason together, sayeth the lord: tho ur sins be as red as crimson, they shall be as white as snow.
[don’t murderers love that one!!]
i think that such an utterance is about the stupidest ever uttered by a human. it shld be discarded as nonsense.
it’s about time we burn about 99.99 of all books; no, no not people, just the damn books!
oh ‘lord’—if you’re there anywhere—please forgive them because they have no clue about what they are saying. thanks

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

And by the way—Chris is wrong,or the headline on this article is somebody’s bad judgment:
  Occupy is not “drawing its strength” from the helpless, or taking something away that is needed where it is in short-supply.  That would be a craven thing to do, wouldn’t it?
  Occupy is drawing its strength from a consciousness that gross injustice can and must be changed to something more resembling humane morality—something that makes life possible for most of the people most of the time, at least.
  Occupy is drawing its strength from a knowledge of history and of the deep urge of 99 percent of all human beings to be alive, to recognize and honor love and joy, and to stop killing each other—especially when that killing causes them great pain and only benefits a very small number of greedy and violent overlords.
  Occupy is trying to uphold human values which are slowly being drowned by the 1% who either don’t know or don’t care what they are doing.

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By JDmysticDJ, February 15, 2012 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

RE: ardee, February 15 at 4:57 am

It appears to me that you have allowed your personal dislike of me to supersede your reasoning. Do you or do you not agree with Hedges critique of Black Bloc Anarchists i.e. those who advocate the tactical use of violence or those who advocate violent revolution in the extreme. Read the comments here; don’t you agree that some of the comments here are extreme? I’ll proffer that one of the by-products of an anarchist movement would be the presence of extremists within its midst. Are you now aligning yourself with the defenders of Black Bloc violence out of a personal dislike for me?

You write:

Quite a mouthful there, JD, quite the mouthful. Perhaps, after you spit, you might share these “revelations” of which you speak but refrain from noting the specifics thereof…...

For me the revelation has been the significant number of people here who are defending the tactical use of violence and the virtue of insurrection and that is the specific thereof of which I speak. It should be obvious to those who peruse this thread that it is you who is doing the spitting.

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Thanks to Ed Romano for this one: 
  “Let’s not discuss ways to assist the only movement on the horizon that is willing to confront the Monster. Of course not. How silly. Let’s spend our time attacking the movement as being either too non violent or not violent enough.”
  Many commenters here are apparently not aware of the many different things Occupy people are doding all over the nation. Many are working locally, enlisting help from others and increasing their effectiveness and participation. Look around on the internet. Firedoglake and Truthout and Salon.com all try to keep up better than Truthdig. And in the course of looking you will find others too umerous to list here.
  Ask yourselves the question: What is going on here near me? Are there some sympathetic people I could be supporting? Even quite conservative places have some less-than-dramatic but significant projects.
  Consider also that we ourselves are far from sure about what, exactly, can and should be done, what would work, and how to do it effectively.  The violence/nonviolence is of course a central matter, but there are may other decisions that none of us are sure about making. It’s going to take time, and obviously nonviolence is going to take more time than violence—so hopefully nobody wants to start a war here or anywhere else just to “get it over with.” That’s the “Samson Option” about which Seymour Hirsh warned—the Armageddon to end all arguments.  Patience. Belief in the human heart and mind. Support for justice and wisdom. Occupy is very much alive—unless the older generation kills it off with pessimism.

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Thanks to Ed Romano for this one: 
  “Let’s not discuss ways to assist the only movement on the horizon that is willing to confront the Monster. Of course not. How silly. Let’s spend our time attacking the movement as being either too non violent or not violent enough.”
  Many commenters here are apparently not aware of the many different things Occupy people are doding all over the nation. Many are working locally, enlisting help from others and increasing their effectiveness and participation. Look around on the internet. Firedoglake and Truthout and Salon.com all try to keep up better than Truthdig. And in the course of looking you will find others too umerous to list here.
  Ask yourselves the question: What is going on here near me? Are there some sympathetic people I could be supporting? Even quite conservative places have some less-than-dramatic but significant projects.
  Consider also that we ourselves are far from sure about what, exactly, can and should be done, what would work, and how to do it effectively.  The violence/nonviolence is of course a central matter, but there are may other decisions that none of us are sure about making. It’s going to take time, and obviously nonviolence is going to take more time than violence—so hopefully nobody wants to start a war here or anywhere else just to “get it over with.” That’s the “Samson Option” about which Seymour Hirsh warned—the Armageddon to end all arguments.  Patience. Belief in the human heart and mind. Support for justice and wisdom. Occupy is very much alive—unless the older generation kills it off with pessimism.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 15, 2012 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Foucauldian, the basic vacuum at OWS, I agree is fresh ideas.  Even if it’s to reach back and discover that the real cancer at OWS is the takeover of the enlightenment ideas of ‘common good’ by various special interest groups.  The neo-liberal ideas of ‘diversity’ and ‘making things whole’ at the expense of (or at least without adequate regard to) The Common Good have blatantly corrupted the political process and peoples morality. 

The “What’s in it for me” (my group first) attitude ties nicely to modern consumerism and everything that goes with that.  ‘Every man for himself’ and ‘buyer beware’ and so many anti-social short term practices by all forms of corporations should be examined.  When I speak of corporations, I am not speaking solely about classic type C and type S for-profits.  Even non profits, and less formal corporations such as lobbying groups, special interest groups, yes, perhaps your union, and many other classes of organizations share one thing in common…....they exist to get special privileges for their members at the expense of the common good.

We have not evolved, and I’d say we’ve de-evolved from where the enlightenment was starting to go…...to some realization that we don;t have to live like rats unable to control our desire to consume and reproduce.  These weaknesses, and the inborn tendency to band together against perceived threats have been exploited by the 1% (lets say) using the tools of governments and religions for how long now? 

So, We the People has better start coming to some realizations about the fundamental causes of our problems and educate each other before we can have any hope of expecting those 1% in power to share.  And that is the total failing of OWS, to take advantage of a unique opportunity to do something a little more enlightened than the ‘peoples mic’, and the same old divide and conquer methods of keeping the ignorant masses compliant and in their place.

Yes, if the OWS movement, that least common denominator sort of ‘camel is horse designed by committee’ they’ve shown thus, it’s a shame.  The tone of it still seems to be largely us-vs.-them.

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By Cuthred, February 15, 2012 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Ed

Care to expand a bit on that?

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By Ed Romano, February 15, 2012 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

The U.S. government has been frying, boiling and disintegrating hundreds of thousands of human beings for the past 40 or 50 years. But let’s not talk about that. Let’s not talk about whether or not there is any way we might bring this horror to an end. Let’s concentrate on a few whackys who are breaking windows in Oakland, Calif. Let’s not discuss ways to assist the only movement on the horizon that is willing to confront the Monster. Of course not. How silly. Let’s spend our time attacking the movement as being either too non violent or not violent enough. And if the movement is depending on Einsteins like us to advance the cause, I think the 1% can sleep easy tonight.

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By Foucauldian, February 15, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, February 14 at 8:16 pm

Have to agree about one thing.  Read Graber’s “Open
Letter” in the New Left Review (and tried to read
through Naomi Kleins earlier piece in the same
publication on the same topic, but couldn’t get
through it).  Both pieces are riddled with
generalities about OWS, in terms of strategies,
tactics and so on, but conspicuously short on
concepts.  And in spite of all the talk we hear
about how OWS despises all forms of organizational
structures, I consider it a major weakness—lack
of conceptual clarity, I mean.

The premises underlying the operation of the modern
liberal state—as articulated by Hobbes and Locke
—still exercise their hold on us, both real and
imaginary, and that’s almost four centuries since
their inception.  The modern liberal state,
although it’s beginning to show all the signs of
stress and meltdown, still figures in in the minds
of most ass the only possible (feasible?) political
configuration.  If the modern liberal state is
indeed the enemy—and it is my utmost conviction
that it is—then it can’t be fought off with mere
strategies and tactics but with alternative ideas. 
Ideas must be fought with ideas.  Graeber’s own
account of the thus far checkered history of
anarchism, budding at certain times only to
disappear at others, only suggest the
impoverishment of ideas and vision.  We need to
develop alternative political concepts, and one
place to start would be by undermining the notion
of “rights,” itself indebted to and parasitic upon
the faulty premises of the philosophy of
liberalism.  Ultimately, we must re-invent an
alternative and more comprehensive philosophy of
the subject.  I don’t know whether people like
Graeber are up to it, although he did show some
philosophical promise in his recent book on the
history of debt.  I consider this kind of work of
utmost importance.  Overthrowing governments may be
brought about by mass suffering, coupled with
strategies and tactics, but they’re not going to
last in the absence of alternative political ideas. 
Activism is no substitute for thinking.

So I don’t think, Michael, that Graeber is hiding
any “trade secrets.”  From my vantage point, he’s
rather clueless.

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By David J. Cyr, February 15, 2012 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, from David Graeber’s The New Anarchists”

“The phrase ‘anti-globalization movement’ is a coinage of the US media and activists have never felt comfortable with it. ... There have been all sorts of attempts to frame alternative expressions—we’re a ‘global justice movement’, we’re a movement ‘against corporate globalization’. None are especially elegant or quite satisfying…”
_________________

Alter-globalization:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alter-globalization

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By Cuthred, February 15, 2012 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael

Keep saying it’s “your movement, not mine”. Clearly you’re engaged in extended dialog about the nature of Occupy, so you’re part of fabric of the movement. You can’t escape now! Watch out, JDMystic will now start trolling you.

Also, the anarchists worked with Lenin only when they were kicking out the monarchist/nationalist Whites, then they refused to take part in actions outside of Ukraine and were destroyed for it by the Bolsheviks in short order. They actually were accused by Lenin and Trotsky of PROTECTING Kulaks, who were small land holders and business people, who I presume you sympathize with, given your Don’t Tread On Me flag.

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By Cuthred, February 15, 2012 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Anarcisse, you’re right. JD Mystic’s posts are pretty difficult to parse. Linking anarchists with the Nazis is a first in my experience, even in the world of message boards—I’m not sure he understands the concept of anti-authoritarianism and how it motivated anarchists against Nazis and Bolsheviks alike.

Hitler used anarchists as scapegoats during his rise to power, yes, as he did with many other groups. Need I name them all? I don’t think that Hitler’s disapproval can be used as a way to discredit any of those groups.

In 1920 when the anarchists in Ukraine refused to “fight the Poles”, as in, follow the Red Army’s order to invade Poland to fulfill Lenin’s plan to share a border with Germany, the Red Army turned on them immediately and eventually destroyed them. So yes the anarchists worked with the Bolsheviks for one specific aim: they kicked out the nationalist Whites (well Makhno’s group did most of the fighting) together but throughout, the anarchists were an obsession on Trotsky’s part as they threatened the totalitarian approach he and Lenin employed. He wrote countless letters denouncing them and eventually sent the Chekha death squads through the villages of the Ukraine, killing any insurgents and many of their families.

Next he’ll say the libertarian socialists were working with Franco in Spain.

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By OzarkMichael, February 15, 2012 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa and JDMysticDJ, you are wrestling with an important question. I too wondered if the rock throwing and molotov-cocktail-type anarchists are intrinsic to the design of Occupy, or was ‘violence’ a regretable by-product of the Occupy process?

Graeber made it clear that anarchists and Maoists and other radicals participated in creating the Occupy process, and that Occupy was designed to allow and tolerate intentional property damage. Call it ‘violence’ or not, I dont care. Whatever you call it, it is finally exposed.

Everyone who supports Occupy, including Chris Hedges, has the right to argue for what they want Occupy to be, but I am not a supporter so i am not included in that number. But what Occupy actually is.. that can be pondered by anyone, including me. 

What is Occupy? Ask yourself, ‘what is its nature? How does it function?’ The answer is not determined doctrinally since the doctrine of Occupy is rather open-ended, nor is it determined by its claim to represent the 99%, so I proposed that the nature of Occupy is better discovered by investigating how it works, who started it and what process they planned.

Once you understand that process, then you can modify the Occupy process to get the results you want. [bold]At the very least you can understand that Occupy “is perfectly designed to get the results it is getting.”[/bold] That is a saying that responsible people use to describe their system when things arent going right. We place the blame on our own process. We take responsibility for the results and modify our process to improve the result.

Up until recently, any critique or questioning that I made of Occupy was met with denial… bad things were caused by ‘agents provocateurs’. I have mocked that mercilessly. You have knocked that weapon out of my hands, and I am happy about it.

The anarchists employed that denial to maximum effect, and it went on for months. Damage was done to Occupy, not just to windows and property.  Now the denial of all bad events by attributing them to a’gents provocateurs’ has finally been discarded.

I often find myself more intrigued by other people’s ideas than they are, taking them more seriously than they do. I am used to it, and I expect it will never change… Except today it isnt true. I am stunned to see elisalouisa and JD tackling the question head on.

At long last you are getting to the bottom line, the foundational concepts. Honesty and reflection. Always a good thing!

I dont mind that you are suspicious of me, this is your movement, not mine. But please listen: Occupy’s best chance for more widespread support is to be more honest with itself. More importantly, honesty increases the chance that Occupy will actually do good things. Honesty decreases the chance of inadvertant(or intrinsically planned) bad outcomes, such events which history warns us against.

Today you prove my fears to be less well founded, and i have a glimmer of hope that good things are ahead for Occupy. We may even find some common ground.

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By balkas, February 15, 2012 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

hetero,
i do not think that historians would disagree with conclusion that a vast number of people
in former tsarist empire were freed from serfdom after oct ‘17 revolution.
and, of course, pared down power of beks, begs, aghas, boyars, kulaks, islam, talmudism,
and christianity; all which were enemies of liberties, justice, education.
as for yugoslavia and its many voelker, they were never as tolerant of each other as during
communist rule of yugoslavia.
nationalisms [seemingly only] also almost disappeared during tito’s diktatorship. people
cried when he died in ‘80.
also their daily life was a lot better after late 60s than ever before. alas, tito and his
communists, did not—and in fact could not—eradicate fascism/nazism in such a short
time.
it is this fierce serb and croat’n nationalisms, supremacism, enorm hatred of everything
yugoslavs built since ‘45 that not only stopped all progress, but also caused total economic
ruin; much bloodshed in croatia, bosnia, and kosovo. thanks

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By elisalouisa, February 15, 2012 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Interesting column:

http://newleftreview.org/A2368

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By Anarcissie, February 15, 2012 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—I am surprised to hear ‘your side’ consists of guys in executive suites.  You don’t seem like the type to identify with such people.  What do you see in them?

The anarchist followers of Makhno saved the Bolsheviks by defeating a ‘White’ army in Ukraine.  Lenin and Trotsky returned this favor by exterminating them.  I don’t think you will find L. & T. high on the list of great heroes of most anarchists, at least not the ones who have read history.

Conceded, a lot of people don’t read, as this discussion is beginning to show.

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By ardee, February 15, 2012 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Recent revelations have led me to believe that what I first thought was a wrong headed inadvertent Anarchy in the Occupy movement was not inadvertent but intentional. I now believe that Occupy has not been co-opted by anarchists but that Occupy was guided by, and structured by, anarchist principles from the beginning. If insurrection has been the goal and avowed objectives only a tool for garnering support then I would suggest that many, including me, have been duped by organizers and leaders who claim that they are neither.

Quite a mouthful there, JD, quite the mouthful. Perhaps, after you spit, you might share these “revelations” of which you speak but refrain from noting the specifics thereof…...

Every Occupy spokesperson I have heard, every time I had brought food and blankets to Oakland, I had heard negativity expressed at the Black Bloc folks and a renewed vow towards non-violence.

Even the news footage of the demonstration shows OWS people attempting to block the rampaging fools in black.

What do you know that makes you conclude otherwise?

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By elisalouisa, February 15, 2012 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ: 2/14 at 11:27 pm:
“Recent revelations have led me to believe that what I first thought was a wrong headed inadvertent Anarchy in the Occupy movement was not inadvertent but intentional. I now believe that Occupy has not been co-opted by anarchists but that Occupy was guided by, and structured by, anarchist principles from the beginning. If insurrection has been the goal and avowed objectives only a tool for garnering support then I would suggest that many, including me, have been duped by organizers and leaders who claim that they are neither. Note that Graeber first helped to organize Occupy New York and then moved on to organize Occupy Austen. I’m not suggesting nefarious clandestine activity on the part of Occupy leaders and organizers, but I am suggesting that Occupy leaders and Organizers are leading Occupy astray.
Cancer? If a doctor tells you that you are infected with a cancer that doesn’t mean he is trying to kill you, he is informing you in order to save you. Hopefully Occupy members and supporters will pay heed to Dr. Hedges warning. Hedges is trying to protect Occupy from those who will destroy it.”

Many have indeed been duped JDmysticDJ. The onslaught of negative comments re Chris Hedges by newly registered posters who seem to favor anarchy is staggering.

Serendipitous? I don’t think so.

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By heterochromatic, February 15, 2012 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

—-“it is not true that people in usssr, czechoslovakia, yugoslavia…were
powerless.
in fact, 60-70% + of people living in those lands were never as powerful as in the
years after ww2
and roughly until ‘90.”—-


very fuckin sad.

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By Peace N Love, February 15, 2012 at 12:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Contrary to what some on here are writing - The OLAASM group at Occupy LA
has harassed and terrorized quite a few people.  I am a lawyer.  They publicly
posted private lawyer-client information, which is illegal.  They posted private
emails onto list serves and other places—which is illegal.  You cannot post
anyone’s email without their permission.  They have lied, told half truths,
defamed, etc.  They have threatened people online.  They have posted harassing
name-calling.  They have posted vicious taunts.

Although the “group” writes anonymously, several people have stated they are
in the group or that they support it.  The whole supposed thing is that they are
pro-violence and dislike those who are not. 

Cyberstalking/ harassing is a crime in California, and this is being done in
California.  There is nothing vague or unknown in what has been done.  There
are many actual victims to their crimes.  People have been placed in fear of
their lives and safety. 

Is OLAASM a psy-ops front by the FBI or DHS?  There are solid reasons for
thinking so, some of which are private.  Or is OLAASM a group of sociopaths, as
they claim in their name - Occupy Los Angeles Anti-Social Media?  The one
thing they are not is normal healthy adults.

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, February 15, 2012 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

The most profound truth stated over and over again here by Hedges and others, is that Occupy violence will be a detriment to Occupy and cause potential allies to reject Occupy. Any violence in Occupy, or the perception of Occupy being violent, will only lead to Occupy’s demise as an effective populist movement.

I wonder if the large numbers of defenders of Occupy violence so evident here are actually defending violence or defending Occupy in a knee jerk fashion without thinking about what their defense of violence actually means.

If I, as an Occupy supporter were to say that Occupy has outlived its usefulness and has degenerated into being counter productive wouldn’t that be evidence to substantiate the idea that Occupy violence has a negative affect on Occupy support.

All support for Occupy is voluntary; whether or not to support Occupy is merely a matter of choice. If Occupy “leaders,” members, and supporters will not disavow violence my choice will be not to support Occupy. I strongly support Occupy’s objectives but I can not support Occupy’s tactics if those tactics include counter productive violence.

Initially I wholeheartedly supported Occupy with the caveat that Occupy strictly observe the principle of non-violence. I’ve been through this before and I know how destructive the advocacy and the practice of violence can be on a populist movement. If occupy’s enemies are purveyors of violence, and I believe they are, wouldn’t resort to violence by Occupy be hypocritical.

Recent revelations have led me to believe that what I first thought was a wrong headed inadvertent Anarchy in the Occupy movement was not inadvertent but intentional. I now believe that Occupy has not been co-opted by anarchists but that Occupy was guided by, and structured by, anarchist principles from the beginning. If insurrection has been the goal and avowed objectives only a tool for garnering support then I would suggest that many, including me, have been duped by organizers and leaders who claim that they are neither. Note that Graeber first helped to organize Occupy New York and then moved on to organize Occupy Austen. I’m not suggesting nefarious clandestine activity on the part of Occupy leaders and organizers, but I am suggesting that Occupy leaders and Organizers are leading Occupy astray.

Cancer? If a doctor tells you that you are infected with a cancer that doesn’t mean he is trying to kill you, he is informing you in order to save you. Hopefully Occupy members and supporters will pay heed to Dr. Hedges warning. Hedges is trying to protect Occupy from those who will destroy it.

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