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The Cancer in Occupy

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Posted on Feb 6, 2012
Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are the cancer of the Occupy movement. The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state. The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power. They were shut down because they articulated a truth about our economic and political system that cut across political and cultural lines. And they were shut down because they were places mothers and fathers with strollers felt safe.

Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment. They confuse acts of petty vandalism and a repellent cynicism with revolution. The real enemies, they argue, are not the corporate capitalists, but their collaborators among the unions, workers’ movements, radical intellectuals, environmental activists and populist movements such as the Zapatistas. Any group that seeks to rebuild social structures, especially through nonviolent acts of civil disobedience, rather than physically destroy, becomes, in the eyes of Black Bloc anarchists, the enemy. Black Bloc anarchists spend most of their fury not on the architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or globalism, but on those, such as the Zapatistas, who respond to the problem. It is a grotesque inversion of value systems.

Because Black Bloc anarchists do not believe in organization, indeed oppose all organized movements, they ensure their own powerlessness. They can only be obstructionist. And they are primarily obstructionist to those who resist. John Zerzan, one of the principal ideologues of the Black Bloc movement in the United States, defended “Industrial Society and Its Future,” the rambling manifesto by Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, although he did not endorse Kaczynski’s bombings. Zerzan is a fierce critic of a long list of supposed sellouts starting with Noam Chomsky. Black Bloc anarchists are an example of what Theodore Roszak in “The Making of a Counter Culture” called the “progressive adolescentization” of the American left.

In Zerzan’s now defunct magazine Green Anarchy (which survives as a website) he published an article by someone named “Venomous Butterfly” that excoriated the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN). The essay declared that “not only are those [the Zapatistas’] aims not anarchist; they are not even revolutionary.” It also denounced the indigenous movement for “nationalist language,” for asserting the right of people to “alter or modify their form of government” and for having the goals of “work, land, housing, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace.” The movement, the article stated, was not worthy of support because it called for “nothing concrete that could not be provided by capitalism.”

“Of course,” the article went on, “the social struggles of exploited and oppressed people cannot be expected to conform to some abstract anarchist ideal. These struggles arise in particular situations, sparked by specific events. The question of revolutionary solidarity in these struggles is, therefore, the question of how to intervene in a way that is fitting with one’s aims, in a way that moves one’s revolutionary anarchist project forward.”

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Solidarity becomes the hijacking or destruction of competing movements, which is exactly what the Black Bloc contingents are attempting to do with the Occupy movement.

“The Black Bloc can say they are attacking cops, but what they are really doing is destroying the Occupy movement,” the writer and environmental activist Derrick Jensen told me when I reached him by phone in California. “If their real target actually was the cops and not the Occupy movement, the Black Bloc would make their actions completely separate from Occupy, instead of effectively using these others as a human shield. Their attacks on cops are simply a means to an end, which is to destroy a movement that doesn’t fit their ideological standard.”

“I don’t have a problem with escalating tactics to some sort of militant resistance if it is appropriate morally, strategically and tactically,” Jensen continued. “This is true if one is going to pick up a sign, a rock or a gun. But you need to have thought it through. The Black Bloc spends more time attempting to destroy movements than they do attacking those in power. They hate the left more than they hate capitalists.”

“Their thinking is not only nonstrategic, but actively opposed to strategy,” said Jensen, author of several books, including “The Culture of Make Believe.” “They are unwilling to think critically about whether one is acting appropriately in the moment. I have no problem with someone violating boundaries [when] that violation is the smart, appropriate thing to do. I have a huge problem with people violating boundaries for the sake of violating boundaries. It is a lot easier to pick up a rock and throw it through the nearest window than it is to organize, or at least figure out which window you should throw a rock through if you are going to throw a rock. A lot of it is laziness.” 

Groups of Black Bloc protesters, for example, smashed the windows of a locally owned coffee shop in November in Oakland and looted it. It was not, as Jensen points out, a strategic, moral or tactical act. It was done for its own sake. Random acts of violence, looting and vandalism are justified, in the jargon of the movement, as components of “feral” or “spontaneous insurrection.” These acts, the movement argues, can never be organized. Organization, in the thinking of the movement, implies hierarchy, which must always be opposed. There can be no restraints on “feral” or “spontaneous” acts of insurrection. Whoever gets hurt gets hurt. Whatever gets destroyed gets destroyed.

There is a word for this—“criminal.”


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By tomcat, May 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

From my main man, David Graeber:

ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/07/occupy-liberation-from-liberalism

Occupy’s liberation from liberalism: the real meaning of May Day

Occupy’s May Day rebirth, forging a new alliance of activists and union members, was a historic moment of anti-capitalist struggle…..

Report this

By tomcat, May 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

That was quite a Bunny hop!
And here I thought the bottom line was:
You can’t bake a cake without some eggs getting broken.

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By Bunny, May 17, 2012 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lost a friend over this article :/

the main point is when an anarchist picks up a stick to
beat down someone they disagree with, they themselves
become an archist (violent ruler).

http://www.facebook.com/sickbunny/posts/203559529765174
?notif_t=share_comment

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By heterochromatic, March 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

Ana- there’s some powerful white lightning coming out the Ozarks and some fair
strong weed as well.

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By Anarcissie, March 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—if you see videos when you go to those links, I want to know what you’re taking, and where I can get some.

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By OzarkMichael, March 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Occupy-watchers might be interested in the following pages, the first being a warning or accusation that the Democratic Party or its fronts are trying to co-opt OWS, and the second a rebuttal which, in a way, nevertheless seems to confirm the first.

For someone who saw no point in linking to videos, I appreciate the the courage it took for you to link to two of them in one post

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By Anarcissie, March 30, 2012 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

I think things are fairly overt so far.  It is true that the 99% Spring organizers have not openly said, ‘Hey, we’re the Democratic Party’, but it’s easy enough to make the connections.  I’m not sure what the deal is supposed to be, though.  They say they’re going to train people for non-violent direct action, but what are the targets of this activism supposed to be?  That rather important feature hasn’t been announced.  And we are talking about top-down centralized leadership here, so it’s not a case of ‘We’ll get ready for some kind of direction action, and then we’ll decide what to do.’

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By tomcat, March 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Ana,
I’m checking with OccupyLA people to see if anyone has some insight into this situation.
I keep my fingers on the pulse of what’s going here, and haven’t heard about these trainings.
I’m skeptical of the NYCGA post as being representative of OWS opinion, specifically that this training is a good thing and should be attended with an open mind by occupiers.
The post, overall, smells of being a plant.

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By Anarcissie, March 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Occupy-watchers might be interested in the following pages, the first being a warning or accusation that the Democratic Party or its fronts are trying to co-opt OWS, and the second a rebuttal which, in a way, nevertheless seems to confirm the first.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/16/99-percent-spring-the-latest-moveon-front-for-the-democratic-party/
( http://tinyurl.com/86yl8y5 )

http://tech.nycga.net/2012/03/25/reportback-the-99spring-training-for-trainers-and-the-plot-to-coopt-occupy/
( http://tinyurl.com/6uykbas )

Not everyone is on one side or the other at this point.  There are people who do not want to touch the Democratic Party with a ten-foot pole, but they might be okay with an eleven-foot pole.

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

No, Union Square is also a park, and that’s where the police have kettled themselves.

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By tomcat, March 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

So the police kettled themselves in Zucooti?
Maybe the giving out food restriction is more like…please don’t feed the pigs.

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By tomcat, March 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Ana,
Let us know what you’re wearing to Union square so we can see you in Part three- OWS Springs Back.
if you go on Friday you can see Bernadette Dohrn and Bill Ayers…I bet Ozark Michael would love to see them!

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By heterochromatic, March 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Ana—OWS shifted to Union a week ago for Martin rally….....

avoid cookies and by God don’t be caught passing SALTINES!

Kraft Macaroni n Cheez possession is a presumtive felony,

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Currently, according to a report I heard this afternoon on the radio, OWS has shifted its attentions from Zucotti Park to Union Square.  As a result, the police have installed barricades around the park, and clear everyone out at midnight, while occupying it by the hundreds themselves until six or seven in the morning.  This has attracted an increasing number of occupiers and other celebrants, who march around the park, occasionally inviting the police to rapping contests.  The police have thus far declined.  Back in the day, Union Square was a favorite spot for radical gatherings; in recent years it has hosted street vendors, a farmers’ market, and a certain number of homeless people.  I hope to get over there before too long to see what’s happening.  I wonder if I give a cop a cookie I’ll be arrested—Bloomberg has supposedly issued some decree against giving food to anyone.

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By tomcat, March 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Here’s part 2 of the history of Occupy entitled :
Occupy Wall Street: Surviving the Winter


http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2012/03/201232754252617285.html

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By tomcat, March 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

Michael,
You seem to want to have some kind of right vs. left debate.
i’m really not particularly interested in that.
I posted the Flaherty doc for people’s interest and perhaps discussion.
If you wish to discuss it via some source you want to cite, or no source at all, that’s fine.
But in your several posts since I presented Flaherty, you haven’t done that.
Fair enough?
BTW, part 2 of the doc should be out at any time.
It’s called : Surviving the Winter

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

I hope we’re not going to have dueling videos here.  If you look around on Youtube you can find much more interesting things, like people beings sawed in half and popping back together, pigs flying, talking cats, etc.  It’s wonderful what you can do with a video editor and a little imagination.

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By OzarkMichael, March 27, 2012 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

“the trailer? you want to stack a trailer against a movie?”

No. That’s my point.
All I saw at the link you posted was a one minute trailer, not worthy of comparison to a thoughtful, cogent, well-presented documentary… which is what John Flaherty made.

“No.”?? Except.. you are comparing a trailer to a movie. Your answer should have been YES.  Typical Leftist, you want to have it both ways. Even about the simple, the obvious, the right in front of your face facts.

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By tomcat, March 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,
Can an advocate for OWS prove that it is a movement that will be beneficial for the country?
I don’t think so…
Yet, Occupy is doing good things every day…if you consider helping someone keep their home, for example, a good thing.
But if occupy helps 1,000 people in that way, some might say it’s beneficial for the country, and many would disagree.
Even if the number was 10,000, it’s not proof.
There’s too many variables.
For example:  what tactics were used to save the homes? what happened to the people after their homes were saved? did these actions weaken the banking system…and if so, is that good or bad??

Some people will always find bad in the good, or good in the bad.
Then, people have barriers which, even in the face of overwhelming numbers, won’t allow them to change their minds.

Most of life can’t be proven. We find what makes sense for us, and we build on that. Then you can say to someone: this is what I know and what works for me….maybe it will work for you, too.
So essentially, you take a chance…which usually means taking a chance on other people.

So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

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By Anarcissie, March 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

I was using the term ‘video’ broadly.  Video material of any length can be edited so as to present something exactly the opposite of the truth of its sources.  If you want to prove something, you need verifiable documentation and physical evidence.

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By tomcat, March 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Here’s a segment from the Rachel Maddow show about foreclosures and Occupy-  very good!

http://on.msnbc.com/GOqnQ2

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By tomcat, March 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

No. That’s my point.
All I saw at the link you posted was a one minute trailer, not worthy of comparison to a thoughtful, cogent, well-presented documentary… which is what John Flaherty made.

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By OzarkMichael, March 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

the trailer? you want to stack a trailer against a movie?

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By tomcat, March 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Michael,
Must you make a mountain out of a mole hill?
This History of Occupy documentary is leftist propaganda (propaganda is media intended to persuade….truthful or not).
Do you challenge the veracity of the video by presenting the Citizens United trailer which is raw footage of acts of vandalism with no narration?
you’re comparing apples to oranges.
What resonable, even open-minded person would find anything useful in that trailer?

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By OzarkMichael, March 26, 2012 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Flaherty’s documentary is driven by the narrative, and the visuals complement the commentary.

So true. And we all know the narrative is the ‘proper one’. ie, the Leftist propaganda narrative.

here’s how you can tell if its the truth… does it invite and withstand a little criticism. In tomcat’s case, obviously it doesnt.

Make sure you stay pure, tomcat. Dont look at anything that makes you question the one-and-only narrative. Dont let any independent thoughts cross your mind.

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By tomcat, March 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Ana,
To be clear, there’s a vast difference between a documentary, as Flaherty’s, and a video, as you describe.
Flaherty’s documentary is driven by the narrative, and the visuals complement the commentary.
Out of context footage, as your example, or the Citizens United trailer, is intended to deceive the viewer, or to perpetuate a myth, such as the one which claims that OWS is violent.
So Michael’s putting up his link as a response to the History of an Occupation documentary is a joke.
I guess the Tea Party is losing support to Occupy.
You see, the Occupy call was populist and non-partisan, although it is a movement of the left….and, since much of the work of Occupy is to help people most in need (regardless of your political beliefs, we’ll fight to help you keep your home), it is a threat to powerful conservatives, and, by extension, the Republicans in an election year.

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By Anarcissie, March 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

What is a video supposed to prove?  I don’t watch pro-Occupy videos, so why should I watch an anti-Occupy video?

When I visited Occupy Wall Street the first time, among other things I saw a teen-age boy and a middle-aged woman, could have been his mother, approach the scene from the street.  The woman was carrying what appeared to be a video camera. Standing in a not-too-densely crowded area, the boy unfurled a Palestinian flag and waved it around for a few minutes while the woman appeared to be taking a picture of him.  Then they both left.  What did the video mean?  Did it mean Occupy Wall Street was supposed to be pro-Palestinian, and was this good or bad or merely curious?  I never did find out, but on that same day a right-wing propagandist on Huffpo started a rant about how Occupy Wall Street was anti-Semitic.  This line of attack didn’t pan out and faded away after a few days—too many Jews among the OWSers, I guess—but I thought maybe the video was supposed to support the campaign and proved too amateurish.  Or, maybe it was supposed to puff up Palestinian prospects.  Who knows?

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By OzarkMichael, March 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Ah yes, the old ‘payroll/agent provocateur’ accusation. Always popular with radicals from Lenin to Hugo Chavez.

You are afraid of confronting real, human individualism and real opposition to your point of view. That is why you must always dehumanize.

You are afraid to watch a movie that exposes the creepy underside of Occupy.

Me? i am not afraid to face a challenge from any point of view.

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By tomcat, March 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Michael,
Are you serious….open-minded?...about what?
The link you posted is to a trailer from a movie (I guess) yet to be made, by a very conservative 501c3 called Citizens United.
Did Newt or Rick put you up to this?

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By Foucauldian, March 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

Ultimately, you’re right.  I’ve just reread the
argument, though I’m still hazy.  Shapiro’s argument
is essentially “from authority,” the function of law
being to provide a justification on the part of “the
designers,” it’s function being strictly political.

The W’s advisement to Ozark was more general in
content than topic-specific, more having to do with
having him alerted to vagaries of language.

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By Anarcissie, March 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

I don’t see why Witt is needed to read Shapiro, but I’m willing to have it explained to me.

As I see it, the Law (modern, secular law at least) is entirely a political fact.  That is, the function of the Law is to provide for the enactment of the will of the Sovereign, whoever he, she, it or they may be, who has/have decided to set down a list of rules as part of its will, and perhaps in theory has agreed to abide by them.  The Sovereign may make moral or religious claims, but in fact relies on force and submission.

If I may take a step back from Shapiro, Dworkin and Hart, and look at the framework, the issue looks to me like a sham, in which the (secular) Law is to be attributed some kind of elaborate philosophical content which it does not necessarily possess in fact.  As members of the ruling class, high judges would have important reasons to perpetuate this sham as a part of their political practice: it would enhance their power, status, and repute.

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By OzarkMichael, March 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Dear friends,

If you want to be open-minded, consider watching not only a pro Occupy documentary, but add to your viewing one which will be critical of Occupy… if you dare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsxtUDa26oQ

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By tomcat, March 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

From: jordan flaherty <jordan@floodlines.org>
Dear friends,

Yesterday, Al Jazeera premiered the first part of a two-part documentary I’ve been working on, focusing on the Occupy movement. The film was made for Fault Lines, the award-winning public affairs documentary program.

You can watch part one of the film here:
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4VLYGfGDZg>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4VLYGfGDZg

Part two premieres next Tuesday.

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

Here’s one short write up:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/wittgens/

What’s important is the turn evidenced by mature
works, away from logical positivism (Tractatus) to
Philosophical Investigations, which treats of
language in a revolutionary way.

This might explain the import of my remark cited
earlier.

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By OzarkMichael, March 18, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

I have not read Wittgenstein.

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By Foucauldian, March 18, 2012 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Low blow, Michael.  No room for that in our
conversation.  Had no idea you were familiar with W,
so my suggestion was innocuous.

The following would be a good starting point: 
Foucauldian, March 12 at 7:58 am.  Apparently, the
comment went right by you, or you wouldn’t have
resorted to an unprovoked dig.

Just to let you know, I don’t care for antagonistic
exchanges here; have enough of that on the
Blogcritics site.  So if we can observe the rules of
a polite conversation and have a meeting of minds,
I’ all for it.  Otherwise, I’ll have to pass.

Sorry, got to be selective!

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By OzarkMichael, March 18, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Dworkin and hart is mostly about how judges should interact with law. That is not important to us here.

So lets get back on track about morality. Can we have an objective discussion about morality? Is that possible?

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By OzarkMichael, March 18, 2012 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

And BTW, Shapiro is fine, but you have to read him through the lenses of Wittgenstein.  Try to get hold of the Blue and Brown Book.

It seems I have to read Wittgenstein so that i can understand Shapiro so that I can understand you.

You are sending me from pillar to post so that we can talk about your ideas. Why cant you just present your ideas yourself?

Now let me give you a recommendation. I recommend that you stand in for whatever managerie of authors and books you were going to have me chase down. If you cant make your own concepts clear to me, I suspect its because you dont understand them yourself.

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By Foucauldian, March 18, 2012 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

That’s cool.  I admit my remark has been too pointed. 
Just wanted to flesh things out.  Never meant to
question your retention.

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By OzarkMichael, March 18, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Not ignoring anything, just because I dont comment on something doesnt mean i ignored it. For all you know, i agreed with it. Or maybe i didnt understand it. Or maybe…  I merely set it aside until you make it more clear. The possibilities are endless. You dont know.

But know this: i read everything you and everyone else here writes, and I might remember it long after you have forgotten it.

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By Foucauldian, March 18, 2012 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

And BTW, Shapiro is fine, but you have to read him
through the lenses of Wittgenstein.  Try to get hold
of the Blue and Brown Book.

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By Foucauldian, March 18, 2012 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

And yes, you’e right in that she’s “dancing around,”
but the critique of the “positivistic” model of law is
well taken and shouldn’t be ignored:

http://alturl.com/a7g5s

In any case, the nature of law, if I recall, wasn’t
the central issue:  the nature of morality was, it’s
objectivity, etc.

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By Foucauldian, March 18, 2012 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

Yes she has—sufficiently so, Michael, for us to be
able to resume the discussion.  Besides, are these
conversations supposed to be dynamic, leading from
point A to point B, etc., aiming at progress? 
(because I certainly provided some correctives of my
own, which apparently you’ve chosen to ignore.)

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By OzarkMichael, March 18, 2012 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Foucaldian, said of morality and law:

In any case, Ana seemed to have boiled it down to
fundamentals; I’m more than satisfied with her
appraisal.

Please take the time to focus me onto what Ana said. I read her posts on the subject again and she seems to be walking around the question and seeing it from different angles. Is there a particular angle that hit the mark or was it the panorama? If it was one post or one angle that did the trick you need to clue me in.

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By OzarkMichael, March 18, 2012 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

In fact, maybe they were provocateurs spreading the rumor that there were provocateurs about.

That means there arent any, or it might mean that everyone is.

Like this post, my post on March 17 at 4:14 was totally funny, FO. Totally in fun. I am just goofing around, giving everyone something to play with while i read the legal paper by Shapiro. I am surprised no-one gets it.

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By Anarcissie, March 18, 2012 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, March 17 at 12:10 pm:

The radicals who planned Occupy Wall Street are actually agents provocateur?

The spy mania and paranoia on the Left is so strong that it had to come down to this eventually.

I’ve seen that argument advanced—I thought on this web site—but I’m not sure the people who were arguing it were even nominally leftists.  In fact, maybe they were provocateurs spreading the rumor that there were provocateurs about.

But seriously—conspiratism thrives in a political atmosphere of secrecy, disinformation and propaganda.  It’s part of the deterioration of the social fabric occasioned by hypertrophy of government and state.

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By Foucauldian, March 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

I wasn’t commenting on humor or attempt at cleverness,
EL, just on inaccurate perception and lack of common
sense.  And I stand by what I said.

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By elisalouisa, March 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Excuse me, re my previous post, first sentence. Not very funny Fouc.grin

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By elisalouisa, March 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Re: 3/17 3:32 pm: Now very funny Fouc. Now Michael’s 3/17 12:40 pm post was clever. You must concede that Fouc. Or, for what ever reason(s), perhaps not.

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By Foucauldian, March 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

That was satire, Michael, couldn’t you tell? 

I wasn’t speaking with my own voice, get real!

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By Foucauldian, March 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

That was satire, Michael, couldn’t you tell? 

I wasn’t speaking with my own voice, get real!

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By OzarkMichael, March 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Foucaldian said:

Indeed, many people here think Michael Ozark is a dork, a right-wing extremist, an agent provocateur, even a troll.

Will the real Michael please stand up!

FOU, everything you said was a lie. Except maybe I am a bit extreme. Also, I guess I troll around sometimes. And yes everyone knows I am a dork, so i might as well admit it.  Okay, FOO, you are right. I have many more bad qualities so lets not go down the whole list, but at least Tara didnt give me the old boot in the butt like she did to you:

So you don’t need to talk to me anymore, unless you just want to show everyone how tough you are. FO.

See? Tara doesnt think you are very tough, FOO. So now you cant talk to her any more! I like how she put the period before and after your name for extra emphasis. Heh. I am the only one who understands Tara.

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By Foucauldian, March 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Indeed, many people here think Michael Ozark is a
dork, a right-wing extremist, an agent provocateur,
even a troll.

Will the real Michael please stand up!

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By troll, March 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

...too funny for TD OzarkM

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By OzarkMichael, March 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

We’re not talking about me, what my websites are, whether I’m a “Truther,” or anything else about me.

So everyone will oblige Tara by forgetting 90% of what Tara posted so far. All the stuff about Occupy Tucson, the proposal to dump consensus and instead use a 50% vote, and then the exciting sequel of consensus vs 65% vote, and the thrilling finale of how Tara topped them all with consensus vs 66% vote.(Do I hear 70%?) It isnt real, it isnt about anything and it is none of our damned business. Toss it all in the crapper, because we are NOT talking about Tara, or Tara will give you what for if you do talk about Tara!

Here is one of Tara’s posts in toto:

By Tara Carreon, March 17 at 4:58 am

When I was in Kathmandu over Y2K (my daughter was studying Tibetan), we traveled around Nepal on a bus with a bunch of other Buddhists, and it’s always hard to find a place to pee.  You’re walking down a country road to yet another faux-blood-stained shrine that supposedly miraculously appeared, emerging from the very rock itself, and growing!, festooned with prayer flags, invaded by mangy dogs who have shit all over the place, maybe some midget chickens—everything is very tiny there except for the mountains of garbage—and you think, “Is there someplace I can hide for a second and do my thing?” And you look and look around, and everywhere you look, there are eyes looking back at you. That’s the way it is in the East. Everywhere I’ve ever been: Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, people are watching you. There is NO place to be alone. Even when you’re in your room, they’re trying to break in. That’s the way it is in America now, but instead of people’s eyes, it’s the government’s eyes. It’s totalitarian time. And it’s NOT a conspiracy theory. It’s a terrible thing, and we better fight these fucking bastards or we’re dead. Just saying.


 

Now I want to help Tara. I will take out all the personal stuff about Tara because nobody is talking about Tara and conspiracy theories from now on. Thats what Tara wants and Tara means business. Here is what remains of that last post after I took all the Tara out of it:

it’s always hard to find a place to pee…everything is very tiny…it’s a terrible thing… Just saying.

There. Fixed. Now we can have an intellectual discussion about what Tara said without talking about Tara. ready? Here we go…

Personally, I can pee pretty much anywhere I like. And it isnt tiny at all, my wife is pleased enough and she opines that its more than ample. So i dont see what the fuss is about. Instead of a terrible thing, I think its great. And so does my wife.

Just saying.

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By OzarkMichael, March 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

The radicals who planned Occupy Wall Street are actually agents provocateur?

The spy mania and paranoia on the Left is so strong that it had to come down to this eventually.

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By Anarcissie, March 17, 2012 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

People are welcome to point out anything I’ve said which they think is false, and I’ll give my evidence and reasoning for my beliefs and statements.

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By Tara Carreon, March 17, 2012 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

@anarcissie: I’m no longer reading your posts. I saw the first few words of your recent post, and it was enough to make me stop. You no longer exist for me. You are dishonest and an abuser, two qualities that I cannot stand. So you don’t need to talk to me anymore, unless you just want to show everyone how tough you are. FO.

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By Tara Carreon, March 17, 2012 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

When I was in Kathmandu over Y2K (my daughter was studying Tibetan), we traveled around Nepal on a bus with a bunch of other Buddhists, and it’s always hard to find a place to pee.  You’re walking down a country road to yet another faux-blood-stained shrine that supposedly miraculously appeared, emerging from the very rock itself, and growing!, festooned with prayer flags, invaded by mangy dogs who have shit all over the place, maybe some midget chickens—everything is very tiny there except for the mountains of garbage—and you think, “Is there someplace I can hide for a second and do my thing?” And you look and look around, and everywhere you look, there are eyes looking back at you. That’s the way it is in the East. Everywhere I’ve ever been: Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, people are watching you. There is NO place to be alone. Even when you’re in your room, they’re trying to break in. That’s the way it is in America now, but instead of people’s eyes, it’s the government’s eyes. It’s totalitarian time. And it’s NOT a conspiracy theory. It’s a terrible thing, and we better fight these fucking bastards or we’re dead. Just saying.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Tara Carreon—I can’t help it if you write contrafactual statements and make yourself look bad thereby.  The person who is attacking you is you yourself.

Normally, I’d be interested in your assertion that Anonymous had a ‘central role’ in the Occupy movements, because I saw no evidence of it at Occupy Wall Street, which I observed personally on several occasions in September and October.  But you said before that ‘none of us know where it came from’, so now it’s hard to know whether your revelations about Anonymous are something you just made up or scooped off the Net in the last day or two.  Only two days ago you didn’t know anything! 

Anyway, I don’t see how a bunch of hackers, led by the FBI, could inspire Occupy Wall Street, but maybe you can straighten us all out.  Did the FBI invent that twinkly fingers thing they were doing?

Well, do go ahead.  Give us the secret lowdown on Anonymous.  I sense further occasions for humor coming along.

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By Tara Carreon, March 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

@anarcissie:
Wikipedia wrote: “False flag (aka Black Flag) operations are covert operations designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.”

********************
By definition, Sabu/Anonymous was a false flag operation run by the FBI. People thought Sabu was just Sabu, and Anonymous was just Anonymous. Therefore—how many times do I have to say it?—considering Anonymous’s central role in Occupy, so was the Occupy Movement. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s simple reasoning: A=B=C; therefore A=C. Now why the Government would want to run this kind of false flag operation is a whole ‘nother subject.  Here’s one reason given by Sabu himself:

After denying he worked for the CIA, Sabu told Ball it would make sense from a false flag perspective if “a rogue group of hackers suddenly began attacking national interests — spawning a massive overhaul of internet security, theoretically.”

http://www.occupytucson.us/?p=516

P.S. I would ask you to please drop the offensive ad hominem. We’re not talking about me, what my websites are, whether I’m a “Truther,” or anything else about me. We’re talking about the news. Keep your nasty comments to yourself and try to be civil.

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By elisalouisa, March 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Interesting website with many side trips. Is this your website Tara?


http://www.american-buddha.com/mondo.godfather.htm

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

A few people have advanced the thought that OWS was some kind of false-flag operation by the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. etc. possibly mediated by phony radical organizations.  Or Emmanuel Goldstein.  Another similarly conspiratorial theory is that it’s really a front for the Democratic Party or SIEU or some equally Satanic group.  Then there are people who believe in Slavoj Žižek’s idea of ‘secret masters’ who are behind anarchist operations—sort of an anarchist Supreme Executive Central Command.  Thus far no evidence for any of these theories has shown up, though.  While that is not normally any sort of damper on passionate discussion, most of the threads have run out and not been renewed lately.

Thus far, for some reason, no one has proposed that OWS was really the work of the Greys or the Saturnian Ant Men, so these are unworked discursive veins that might offer possibilities.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Tara Carreon— So you see, it’s not hard to run Google, but then you can’t portentiously mutter ‘We don’t know who these people are,’ when in fact it’s pretty easy to find out who they are and what they’re doing, or at least what they say they’re doing and what other people observe them to be doing.  You are free, of course, to doubt what they say and any other evidence you don’t like, just as you are free to doubt the rotundity of the earth or whatever else about the world may displease you.  You seem to have a substantial talent for that sort of thing.  I acknowledge that you professed ignorance, and backed it up very solidly; and I am sorry now I induced you to spoil it.

However, you didn’t come up with any evidence of your own that Graeber was lying, which is what I was interested in.  Other than that he teaches in London—yeah, how could someone teach in London and be veracious?  Case closed, right?

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By Tara Carreon, March 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

@everyone: So, what about Anonymous, who initiated Occupy, being run by the FBI? Is this a taboo subject?

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By Tara Carreon, March 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

@anarcissie: I would point you to persons like Michel Chossudovsky for information on this topic:
*******************

Potent News] Are you encouraged by what you see happening with the protests?

[Michel Chossudovsky] Well, I’m encouraged by the fact that people across the United States and Canada are rising up against an economic and political agenda. And they are the victims of the neo-liberal agenda. I’m not encouraged by the way this Occupy Wall Street movement is proceeding, because it was initiated by a couple of organizations: Adbusters, which is a magazine in Vancouver, and the other one was Anonymous, a social media hactivist website, which does not reveal its identity in any way. I think the problem is that these promoters of the Occupy Wall Street movement have been actively planning a whole network of activities across America with social media, websites, and so on, for several months. In fact, the Occupy Wall Street website was launched back in, I think, in July. We don’t know who these people are. When we go to their websites, there’s no contact information. We don’t know who the leaders are. These are shadow leaders.

Now what’s coming out of the Movement is, “We don’t need leaders; we are the leaders.” But in effect, any organization that challenges Wall Street, and wants to yield some form of concrete results, has to have a very solid organizational structure. You don’t go and fight against Wall Street, because Wall Street is organized. Wall Street is a whole structure: institutions, banks, insurance companies, linked up to intelligence, and then linked up to the U.S. government. So if you want to change the tide, you have to organize, and you have to organize in a very solid way. You have to have a program. You can’t just have a program that says, “Please Mr. Bush, or Mr. Obama, or whoever happens to be in power, could you be more gentle, have less wars, could you tax the rich?” You don’t demand of a system which is in crisis, and should be replaced and reformed, you don’t ask the leaders to act on your behalf. That’s rule no. 1. Those leaders have to be unseated because they are the problem. They are not the solution. And it’s no use presenting a shopping list of demands, and then submitting it to the U.S. government, or to Wall Street, or to Warren Buffett.

Now, what troubles me in this Movement is that there is a covert element with organizations such as Anonymous and Adbusters, as well as the main websites. Who is behind it? Who is financing it? I recall that immediately when the Movement got going, that several prominent personalities came to the support of Occupy Wall Street. And these were people like Warren Buffett, Howard Buffett, Ben Bernanke, and Al Gore. Now these people, from my standpoint, do not constitute the solution to the crisis, they are the cause. They are the actors behind this crisis. Warren Buffet is the third richest man on planet earth, and his sympathy for the Movement should be viewed with some suspicion. That’s the way I see it.

****************
You can read the rest of the interview here:  http://www.naderlibrary.com/lit.potentnewschossudovskyows.htm

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By Tara Carreon, March 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie: Going to go for the kill, anarcissie? Obviously, Graeber is just one of many torch-bearers, which gives us no information at all on who started and is funding the Occupy Movement. Other torch-bearers are Adbusters, the unnamed persons who organized the August 2nd meeting that Graeber attended, the unnamed persons behind the “local anti-budget cut coalition top-heavy with NGOs, unions, and socialist groups,” who tried to call for a general assembly at Bowling Green—that’s an important group—the unnamed persons behind the Worker’s World Party who supposedly took them over, David Graeber himself who thinks he took over the general assembly process, the people who DIDN’T abandon the rally and come over to his side, New York’s “grumpier” anarchists who refused to join in, Lyndon LaRouche followers, the U.S. Day of Rage lady, the tea partiers, and whoever got the 2,000 people to actually show up at Zucotti Park, just for starters. Based on one supposed player’s testimony. Add Chris Hedges from someone else’s testimony. I don’t see why Graeber’s testimony should be more reliable than Lumpenprol’s testimony. I find it less reliable, personally. But I have a habit of not believing anyone who comes out of the University of Chicago and teaches in London.
http://www.naderlibrary.com/olympia.torch.wmv

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Tara Carreon—To review: You said ‘There is no point in fighting over control and identity of the Occupy Movement when none of us know where it came from, who created it, and why its most fundamental tenet – consensus “governance”—is so inviolable that without it there is no Occupy Movement. ...’  I gave you two references which tell us ‘where it came from’, both written by David Graeber, as it happens.  You then compared Graeber’s account to the 9/11 Report, which, if you’re a Truther, as your example indicates, is equal to saying he was lying.  I asked you for evidence that he’s lying, and you changed your story, quoting a completely irrelevant work of fiction.  You said all this on the basis of having no evidence whatever.  (‘None of us know where it came from….’)

So why did you call Graeber a liar, if you don’t know anything about it?  Why are you even commenting on the subject at all?

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By Tara Carreon, March 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

@anarcissie: “It is rare that firm conclusions about causality can be drawn from one study.”—Sir David Cox

“Considerations of causality should be treated as they have always been treated in statistics: preferably not at all (but if necessary, then with very great care.)”—Terry Speed

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By tomcat, March 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Here’s Michael Moore on Occupy, from the Nation
March 14, 2012:

http://www.thenation.com/article/166827/purpose-occupy-wall-street-occupy-wall-street

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By Anarcissie, March 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Tara Carreon, March 15 at 4:43 pm:

‘@Anarcissie: The problem is a matter of scale. Like in this scene from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

[... irrelevancy ... ]

How in the world could this be the whole story of the Occupy Movement, when there were so many other players previously involved? Graber is just a tiny, insignificant piece of it. About equal to my own, I would say.’

You said ‘There is no point in fighting over control and identity of the Occupy Movement when none of us know where it came from, who created it, and why its most fundamental tenet – consensus “governance”—is so inviolable that without it there is no Occupy Movement. ...’  I gave you two references which tell us ‘where it came from’, both written by David Graeber, as it happens.  You then compared Graeber’s account to the 9/11 Report, which, if you’re a Truther, as your example indicates, is equal to saying he was lying.  Now that I’ve asked you for evidence that he’s lying, you’ve changed your story, and quoted a completely irrelevant work of fiction.  Of course Graeber didn’t write a complete history of the Occupy movements.  He did write about the beginning of Occupy Wall Street, which inspired the other Occupy movements, that is, about ‘where they came from’, something which you confess you are totally ignorant about, as if that’s some kind of accomplishment.

So, what’s your deal?  Is Graeber lying or not?  If he was, where’s the evidence?  If not, why did you say he was lying?

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By tomcat, March 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Tara said: “If the Israelites had adopted consensus decision-making on the way to the Promised Land, there would not have been 12 tribes but 144,000 by the time they got there. And Moses would likely have been lynched by the Golden Calf mob when he tried to foist the 10 Commandments on them.”

Thanks for the light!~
But I think that God took advantage of the situation.
The price of deliverance from state oppression by the all-powerful was obedience.
When the Israelites were safe from the Egyptians, the only power God had over his people was violence, which he used, via Moses, on the Golden Calf mob.
Meet the new boss….same as the old boss…
and from these seeds came western culture.

And I don’t think Ghandi would approve of God’s methods, although he wouldn’t criticize either, in the name of revolution.

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By Tara Carreon, March 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie: The problem is a matter of scale. Like in this scene from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

[Narrator] It is, of course, well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated. At the very moment Arthur said: “I seem to be having difficulty with MY lifestyle,” a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle.  The two leaders were meeting for the last time.  A silence fell across the conference table as the commander of the Vl’hurgs, in his red jewelled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G’Gugvunt leader squatting opposite him in a cloud of green, sweet-smelling steam and, with a million be-weaponed star cruisers poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command, challenged the vile creature to take back what it said about his mother.  The creature stirred in its sickly broiling vapour and at that moment the words, “I seem to be having difficulty with MY lifestyle,” drifted across the table.  Unfortunately, in the Vl’hurg tongue, this was the most dreadful insult imaginable, and there was nothing for it but to fight terrible war!
Eventually, after their galaxy had been decimated over a few thousand years, it was realised the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake.  So the two opposing battle fleets settled their differences in order to launch a joint attack on our galaxy, now positively identified as the source of the offending remark. 

For thousands more years, the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived, streaming onto the planet Earth where, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale, the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.  Those who study the interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say this goes on all the time, but that they are powerless to prevent it.

http://www.naderlibrary.com/ahitch531b.jpg

How in the world could this be the whole story of the Occupy Movement, when there were so many other players previously involved? Graber is just a tiny, insignificant piece of it. About equal to my own, I would say.

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By Anarcissie, March 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Tara Carreon, March 15 at 3:11 pm:

‘... @ Anarcissie: A nice bedtime story, similar to the 9/11 Report.’

So, you’re saying his stuff is false?  Would you care to give some evidence?

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By Tara Carreon, March 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Gandalfs Beard wrote: “The reason people are calling this leaderless, is because ANYONE can do WHATEVER they want to do to participate.”

@ Gandalfs Beard: That is not at all my experience. Like I said, the requirement of consensus decision-making is a “dispersant,” because every vital disagreement causes a schism, in which the rejected minority departs. If the Israelites had adopted consensus decision-making on the way to the Promised Land, there would not have been 12 tribes but 144,000 by the time they got there. And Moses would likely have been lynched by the Golden Calf mob when he tried to foist the 10 Commandments on them.

And as far as your contention that my experience is not representative, because I am only here in Tucson, it is equally true that your view is not representative of the whole because you likewise have an individual experience limited in time and space. However, we both have access to the Internet, and based upon what I have read, the divisive effects of consensus decision-making undermined the growth of a movement that might have had a chance of accomplishing something if it had not been seeded with this destructive non-philosophy.

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By Tara Carreon, March 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

David Graeber wrote: “On September 17th itself, I was troubled at first by the fact that only a few hundred people seemed to have shown up. What’s more the spot we’d chosen for our General Assembly, a plaza outside Citibank, had been shut down by the city and surrounded by high fences. The tactical committee however had scouted out other possible locations, and distributed maps: around 3 PM, word went around we were moving to location #5—Zuccotti Park—and by the time we got there, I realized we were surrounded by at least two thousand people…. every few hours I do have to pinch myself to make sure it isn’t all a dream…The Guardian asked me to write an oped on Occupy Wall Street a few days later.”
************
@ Anarcissie: A nice bedtime story, similar to the 9/11 Report.

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By Anarcissie, March 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Tara Carreon, March 15 at 1:07 pm:

‘There is no point in fighting over control and identity of the Occupy Movement when none of us know where it came from, who created it, and why its most fundamental tenet – consensus “governance”—is so inviolable that without it there is no Occupy Movement. ...’

People do know where it came from, though.  For its immediate antecedents, see David Graeber’s account on Naked Capitalism.  For a discussion of similar actions with similar methods, Graeber has also written a quasi-ethnographical account of the organizing and events that led to the protest against the Summit of the Americas in Québec City in 2001, called Direct Action.  (The book is available online as a PDF.)  Many of the conflicts around the Occupy movements also surfaced there, such as those to do with violence versus nonviolence, between those who favor majority rule or consensus, or freedom of individual and group action,  and so on.  Considerable other reportage and testimony can be found on the Net.  Thus far, no secret masters or arcane agendas have been revealed.  I am discouraged that this long message begins with a false premise.

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By Gandalfs Beard, March 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

PS: Which means you don’t have to take orders from
ANYONE, anonymous or not.

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By Gandalfs Beard, March 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

@ Tara Carreon:

You make a number of valid points regarding Anonymity
and Authoritarianism.

But I think you are missing the forest of the OWS
movement because of a few trees pretending to be the
forest. Not every Occupy encampment operates in the
way you describe, and you don’t have to be in one
anyway to be part of the “99%” or OWS movements at
large.

The reason people are calling this leaderless, is
because ANYONE can do WHATEVER they want to do to
participate.

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By Tara Carreon, March 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Part 3 of 3

Second, I proposed that we NOT vote by consensus. I started with majority vote, and worked up from there to 65% as being more than fair for passing any decision. Someone argued 66%, it was voted and passed by consensus. 

But somehow, neither of these proposals were acknowledged by the non-leader leaders after the meeting was over. The votes didn’t get into the minutes of the meeting.  They didn’t remember that they ever happened. Besides, they argued, we shouldn’t have a mission statement at this point; it was too early. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  And then the vicious, slanderous attacks began that I have documented on my OccupyTucson facebook page. Exactly how was the Occupy Movement a vehicle for expressing our opinions and getting things done? The non-leader leaders told me if I came to the next Occupy meeting, that they would have ex-military members threaten me.  I did come to the next Occupy meeting, at which about 275 people showed up, and when the non-leader leaders insisted on voting the consensus method yet again, this larger group voted again against consensus, for 75% instead. At which point the non-leader leaders said that would be the vote just for today, but that when the occupation actually began, we’d be voting by consensus.  This is authoritarianism disguised as democracy.

I understand people have had similar experiences in all the Occupy movements.

So how is Occupy an alternative to the U.S. govt. system? No records, no responsibility, no oaths of office, no impeachment, no actual counting of votes, no identities, no legislation, and active encouragement to break the law – I’ll take the U.S. government and Henry Kissinger – who I hate – any day over this Occupy nonsense, which I describe as a Sacrifice-Honey-Pot Occupy Movement.  Meaning it’s meant to identify and criminalize activists.

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By Tara Carreon, March 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 3, actually

If a person has a deep conviction that illegal acts must be committed, and the point is not to be prosecuted for it, or publish it in the newspaper, and make it a cause célèbre, but rather the point is to accomplish them and get away with them, and that will alter govt., then you should do it as a matter of conscience, and while it should be anonymous, you shouldn’t do such things at the direction of persons who remain anonymous to you.

So if you think it would be a really good thing to kidnap world leaders, or top executives, or torch Payday lenders, it’s a free world and you’re allowed to think it, but if you’re going to do it, it has to be pursued anonymously. But I wouldn’t do so at the direction of people who are anonymous to you. Because in that case, you are being set up to be a James Earl Ray.

The difference between you and intelligence agents is that you’re not getting paid, and you don’t know the people you’re dealing with. The indicia of trust that exists in gangs and intelligence agencies isn’t present. You are in fact being motivated like a stupid member of a mob. Whereas anonymity is an operational vehicle within the intelligence community, and there’s “need to know,” to protect people along the line, ultimately you say, “I know I work for the CIA. I don’t know who my handler is, but the station chief says he’s changing him out, going to introduce me to Patty, who’s sitting in this café, wearing a red dress, drinking two espressos, reading Vogue…” Those are indicia of trust.  You actually know who you’re working for. But the anonymity of the Occupy leadership allows them to manipulate you without revealing the fact that quite likely they are the govt., and their anonymity does nothing to protect you from unlawful actions that you might be swept up in, because you’re not keeping your identity anonymous from them.  So the anonymity is working in the wrong direction.  All its doing is allowing you to be motivated by the image of Big Brother, or Father. Who is Father? You never find out who he is. You only meet his representatives. 

Not to get too far afield, were trying to change the U.S. govt. How likely is it that we can do that? Not likely at all if the Occupy movement is a vehicle of the U.S. govt.

Even if the Occupy Movement wasn’t run by the U.S. govt, it would still not be a viable tool to change the U.S. govt. because of its pre-planned structure, particularly including consensus. Why is the principle of consensus so sacred? It’s a decision-making methodology, but the problem with it is it’s completely new, it has no track record for having been a way of making good decisions, of making decisions at all.  If converting everyone to consensusal agreement to pursue the consensus approach is a necessary prerequisite of being able to adopt real consensus decision making, you have to have consensus before you start to use consensus. There’s a real reason why it’s gone nowhere. Because it’s theoretically and actually impossible to utilize it, because people keep leaving. Because what happens is when people are unable to obtain consensus approval for their proposal, then if you’re attached to that proposal, you leave the process. So you necessarily end up with a diminishing group who agree on the consensus method. Every engagement on an issue of importance on which 100% agreement cannot be obtained causes a schism. It is a dispersion agent, like detergent on oil.

At our first Occupy meeting here in Tucson, I made two proposals that were seconded and passed by consensus. The first was to articulate a reason to exist. I proposed that version 1.0 of our mission statement be to overturn the Citizens United decision. I argued that some people would need a good REASON to show up at future meetings. The proposal was passed.

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By Tara Carreon, March 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2

There is no point in fighting over control and identity of the Occupy Movement when none of us know where it came from, who created it, and why its most fundamental tenet – consensus “governance”—is so inviolable that without it there is no Occupy Movement.  We know that Anonymous was involved from the very beginning with the Occupy Movement (http://www.occupytucson.us/?p=347) and I was interested to read Lumpenproletarier’s description of Chris Hedges’ involvement in devising and implementing OWS, making the original call to occupy Zucotti Park, and being one of the undisclosed leaders – I would like to hear more about his involvement if anyone knows about it – but considering what we have learned in the last week concerning the FBI’s involvement with Anonymous, it would be logical to transfer that involvement to the Occupy Movement itself.  One of the arguments that has been made on this thread is that the Occupy Movement is a viable vehicle for forcing change in the U.S. govt. But, assuming, arguendo, that we should change the way the country is being run, we must ask, “What are the prerequisites for a movement that can accomplish that”? And one of the prerequisites would be that it not be operated by the govt. itself.

In addition to the implications of U.S. govt. control indicated by Sabu, there is an unavoidable risk that it could be operated by the govt. if it has a hidden, undisclosed leadership, which it obviously does, despite people’s vociferous claims to its being leaderless.  It wasn’t a people-created movement. It was laid on us, supposedly by David DeGraw, Anonymous, Adbusters, and now Chris Hedges, whoever those people really are. Strangely, it looked just like the Color Revolutions that were laid on peoples all over Eastern Europe and the Middle East by the CIA and the Pentagon.

When I joined our Occupy movement here in Tucson, Arizona, the system for our “occupation” had already been set up prior to the first meeting. There was nothing open about it. It was planned and designed out of our local Communist coffee shop, “Revolutionary Grounds.” We were to follow the New York plan. There would be consensus. We would use the New York poster format.  We would not vote a platform or mission statement. There were non-leader leaders already in place to tell us the ground rules, one of these persons being Dr. Cat Euler, who has worked for NATO and was a present recipient of Ford Foundation funds. People were advised by lawyers to get tickets to promote the Movement. Those lawyers then got paid by the State to represent the people who got the tickets.

You could say that it’s not anonymity per se that is a bad thing, because anonymity can be necessary, as for example with intelligence agents. Rather, it is anonymous persons taking direction from leaders who are anonymous. The reason that it is problematic goes back to principle one, that you can’t change the govt. with a tool that has been forged by the govt., and there is a serious risk that it has been if its leadership is anonymous. That is enough to cause you to say that that’s not going to be my tool of choice. If you believe that the only way to oppose the U.S. govt. and change it is through methods that will get you imprisoned, that turns to a critique of what are those illegal methods that must be used. And my answer would be that the presumption that illegal methods are necessary to change the govt. is really a choice of tactics, not a strategy. What are these actions, as the anarchists are fond of saying, that will be so effective in changing govt., and must be pursued anonymously?

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By OzarkMichael, March 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

I notice that Elisa’s article also mentions Hart. Only this Hart is arguing with Devlin. How is the Hart-Devlin argument related to Hart-Dworkin?

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By elisalouisa, March 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

It’s not a complete reversal Michael. I never doubted your sincerity. At times I doubted your sanity as you always seemed to come back for more punishment.grin 
I can more fully understand why now.

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By Foucauldian, March 13, 2012 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Sorry, wasn’t aware of the context.

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By OzarkMichael, March 13, 2012 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Foucaldian, the affirmation that elisalouisa made has to be understood in our own personal history of arguing rather fiercely with each other in the past, where she had reason to question whether I was genuine, and she made that very clear even on this thread a few weeks ago. i dont know what i said that changed her mind, but i dont need to know.

So this is a reversal of her opinion. She didnt mean to deny anyone else’s humanity or ability in the process. She now allows me some room to be what i am, even though she certainly thinks that I am in error about many other things. It is just a matter of mutually accepted genuineness where there were mutual expressions of falsehood before. I couldnt ask for more, and i give her back the same.

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By Foucauldian, March 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

I’d expect him to be nothing less.

I hope, however, you don’t think of me in comparison
as chopped liver.

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By elisalouisa, March 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Dare I say you are truly a Christian Michael.

I shall say no more.

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By OzarkMichael, March 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

I will try to make some sense of it then

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By Foucauldian, March 12, 2012 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Further, I certainly wouldn’t wish you to withdraw
now.  I consider you a lucid thinker, especially since
you’re representing the conservative tradition, and
it’s refreshing.  We do seem to have a good
conversation going.

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By Foucauldian, March 12, 2012 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

In any case, Ana seemed to have boiled it down to
fundamentals; I’m more than satisfied with her
appraisal.

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By Foucauldian, March 12, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

rhetorical use, Michael, only meant to suggest we
should be aware of the two positions before jumping
in.  And the topic is important, too.  I’ll be more
judicious in the future since you took me that
literally.

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By OzarkMichael, March 12, 2012 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

I’m afraid both of you are proceeding too quick. The debate I linked too is required reading, there are competing conceptions of law at stake, a
possible reason for disagreement, and arguments on
both sides are sound.  So I’m not going to weigh in
on this prematurely until this issue gets its proper
attention.

So i glanced at the paper. I have not seen it before. It references cases and presupposes familiarity with concepts that i never heard of. i dont know the folks involved in the debate. The debate between the two positions(Hart and Dworkin) could be an either/or, but it might not be wise to exclude other positions. I am already a little suspicious about that.

Not to say that i couldnt get through it, but that is not enough for me. i would need to chase down the references. To feel worthy to critique it I would need to focus even more time by breaking it down line by line, or at least read a few books about the topic.

So its going to require a slice of my intellectual life. I havent decided whether i want to make that investment in Dworkin-Hart yet, other things that might be more interesting and worthwhile. I am aware that you think its worthwhile, but your statement that it is “required reading” is high-handed and frankly a bit of a turn off. It isnt for you to determine a “conditio sine qua non” reading assignment for our discussion. But if somehow it is I might leave you two to it.

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By Foucauldian, March 12, 2012 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

For many people that’s true of almost any subject
matter, because most people are simply users of the
language, rarely if ever given to thinking about
their use (unless so prompted by extraordinary
circumstances).  Which is isn’t necessarily a
defect, not does it make them necessarily
incompetent speakers, only that they take their
competence for granted.  (It would be a defect for
those who think it important to take morality
seriously:  “Unexamined life is not worth living.”)

All concepts of a language necessarily display
certain coherence (which isn’t to say there’s no
significant room for play—language games—only
that coherence imposes certain limits), or they’d
become obsolete, disproved by practice.  (In most
cases, however, they come into disuse for another
reason:  displacement by virtue of other concerns,
the old “form of life” no longer appear relevant.) 
So there’s no question about language representing a
repository of all human wisdom, ever ready to be
mined.

“Codification” is not the kind of word or work we
want here, for when speaking of moral concepts, we
speaking of moral ideals:  it’s always an open-ended
question.  (Even so, many Platonic dialogues serve
as an example of subjecting important concepts to a
scrutiny).  What we want is “grammatical remarks”
(Wittgenstein).  And surely, such important concepts
as freedom, rights, responsibilities, obligation,
fairness, justice, etc., deserve our utmost
attention, and oftentimes do (if only indirectly in
the course of many of our political discourses
today).

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By Anarcissie, March 12, 2012 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

For many people, morality is not a set of statements—it’s an intuition, conscience, about how one ought to behave and what the results of that behavior should look like, and is under no obligation to be consistent or complete: ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’

But even if it were potentially codifiable, consistent and complete, this work has not been done.  Thus, morality is not the same for all observers—indeed, it is not even more or less the same for all reasonable observers, as, say, the locations of the moons of Jupiter are.  This is obvious from the many disputes people have about moral issues, at least some of which must be sincere.

So the interpreters of the secular Law have no explicit moral code to incorporate into their interpretations.  At most they can hope (against considerable evidence) that those who wrote the laws wrote them morally, according to whatever they think ‘morally’ means.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

Of course Quine in The Two Dogmas of Empiricism goes a
long way to undermine the validity of the analytic-
synthetic distinction—it’s a complex argument which
invokes holism—the distinction still has ita uses
if only for didactic purposes.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

The same relationship(s) obtain even for more exact
sciences, such as mathematics.  While people may have
different opinions about, say, the correspondence
theory of truth, statements about say, the number
theory itself, meta mathematical or meta logical
statements, have a different status.

Of course, here we’re running into the logical
paradoxes - the limits of language - like the set of
all sets:  does the set of all sets include itself as
a member?

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

It’s built in the language.  First-order statements
are more subject to dispute (“subjective”) than
second-order/meta statements—i.e., propositions
about the language itself.

Of course, even second-order statements are contingent
in the larger sense, on the form of life (so they
needn’t be true in all possible worlds).

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

Someone’s going to produce objective morality?  Okay….

(Objective = ‘the same for all observers’ at least.)

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