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View Diary: What We Can Learn From The Ongoing Revolution in Brazil (78 comments)

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  •  (sigh) Ray, have fun with your revolution (0+ / 0-)

    fantasies.  Charge into the streets and wave your red flag, alone.

    The rest of us will be organizing and doing the real work that needs to be done.

    When you're tired of preaching to yourself, you can help us.


    •  That's comical. You obviously don't know what (0+ / 0-)

      you're talking about...

      So you think I just want to grab a red flag and charge into the streets.  Your naked attempt at mischaracterization speaks for itself.

      I see you've been following me in my latest latest diaries, posting endless comments like this, so obviously you have some sort of interest.

      If your obsession doesn't wane, eventually you'll be set straight.

      •  Ray, I'm sorry to be brutal, my friend, but the (0+ / 0-)

        sad reality is that nobody gives a flying fuck what you think.  You've been preaching and writing and lecturing for ten years, and you have nobody with you. Nobody behind you.  Nobody following your lead. The only ones buying what you're selling are the ones who already own it.  You are no closer to the glorious revolution today than you were last year, or ten years ago, or twenty years ago.

        You can react to that in one of two ways:

        1. the way you have chosen:  "people are stupid and it's my job to smack some sense into them whether they like it or not".  Good luck with that.

        2. the way that successful revolutionaries have chosen: I have to work with people from where THEY are, not from where I am--and by working together with them on the goals THEY have chosen, I can help them become more effectively organized and also help nudge them, a little bit at a time, towards a better understanding of what the situation is and how we must fight it.

        You are very good at the ineffective one, and not so good at the effective one.

        Learning the difference comes from actual organizing experience.  It doesn't come from reading about it.

        •  Lenny, I'm enjoying it. You're not being "brutal" (0+ / 0-)

          but dishonest.  And that's why I enjoy taking on people like you.  You have trolled my last few diaries, with an unusual obsession, and that by itself is kind of fun because your anger distorts your judgement, to the point where you get outright nasty, like in "nobody gives a flying fuck," kind of invective.

          You keep talking about the importance of reaching people, and having "people following you."

          How's that going for you?  

          Ten years ago I was writing about the dangers of the PATRIOT Act, and the surveillance police state, and influence-peddling-corruption caused by corporatist cartels taking over our government.  Back then, it never failed for some people to cry "conspiracy theory," on those things.  Well, my friend, now that stuff has become common knowledge.

          It's not because of me in particular, but because of people like me, the countless activists who keep hammering away at the lies, distortion, misinformation and propaganda.

          During the last several months I've been encouraging people to join a network of nation-wide activists I'm trying to organize.  So far close to 400 people have joined.

          Take a look at this map... Isn't that inspiring?

          I think I'm done with you for now, since again, it looks like you've been obsessively trying everything you can to misrepresent what I'm doing.

          I'm moving on... Keep watching, and don't get so angry.

          •  anger? I'm not angry, Ray. there's nothing for (0+ / 0-)

            me to be "angry" ABOUT.  (shrug)

            How's it going for me?  Pretty well, actually.  There are at least 20 workplaces that got a union because I helped them do it.  Of the four area school districts that tried to pass creationist policies, all failed, and over half of the board members who tried were bounced out in the next election. Neither cement company got its permit to use toxic waste as kiln fuel. That's a lot of lives made better, and I'm pretty happy to have done my small part in it.

            Of course, capitalism was not overthrown and the glorious revolution did not break out. (shrug)

            It's not because of me in particular, but because of people like me, the countless activists who keep hammering away at the lies, distortion, misinformation and propaganda.
            I know that, Ray.  I'm one of them.
            During the last several months I've been encouraging people to join a network of nation-wide activists I'm trying to organize.  So far close to 400 people have joined.
            But what has your nationwide groupuscule of, uh, 400 done, Ray.  Sitting on the Internet waving the red flag doesn't ACCOMPLISH anything for anyone. The left has always been really good at building grandiose groupuscules of a few hundred people (usually the SAME few hundred people in them all). What they've never been very good at is actually DOING anything beyond waving signs on a street corner and being ignored. And that's why they don't matter a rat's ass in the US. (shrug)

            I encourage you to talk with MB sometime.  He'll tell you the same things I am, but you may be more apt to listen to him.

    •  I do think OWS fell short (0+ / 0-)

      because they didn't ask for anything. It was sort of like a large tantrum.

      In Brasil they got something because they asked.

      In order to organize we need a platform.

      I know of a lot of things I'd have on my platform, but rather than protest first, I'd have a plan and some measurable consensus documented about specific demands.

      •  Occupy failed because it was a disorganized mess (0+ / 0-)

        Really, every mistake they made flows from that.

        I first learned to organize from Greenpeace. They taught me this:

        To organize effectively, you need to answer three simple basic questions:

        1.  what do we want.  Not pie in the sky ideological bullshit, but specific concrete goals that are realistically and measurably winnable.  Not simply "economic justice", but "we want the city council to pull its money out of Bank of America" or "we this bank to stop charging these fees". Not just "we want a union", but "we want a raise of X dollars" or "we want more paid vacation time".

        2.  who has the decision-making ability to make it happen. If we want the city to divest from BoA, then that decision is made by the city council members and the mayor. If we want a union contract with our terms, then the decision-maker is the owner.

        3. what can we do to make him decide our way. Concretely, specifically, and effectively. If we want the mayor/council to go our way, we start letter and maybe voter reg campaigns, we protest and maybe occupy their offices, we run media campaigns to get our views out, we target their political allies and fundraisers.  If we want a union contract with our terms, we strike, we sick-in, we boycott, we target the boss's suppliers.

        Once you've answered those three questions, you have a goal, a target, and a strategy.  You're ready to go.

        Without those, you are just a directionless unorganized mass of people who all happen to be in the same place at the same time.

        In the case of Occupy, take particular notice that answering these three simple basic questions does NOT require any particular SYSTEM of organization.  Those questions can be answered by a General Assembly just as well as they can by a dictatorial organization run entirely by one person.

        •  on the other hand, though, Occupy succeeded (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SLKRR, FG

          beyond its wildest expectations.

          It's goal was simply to change the political dialogue in the US,  And it did that, wonderfully.

          Alas, it was not organized enough to then move on to the next goal once it had accomplished that.

          And it also then made the wrong strategic decision, and turned away from a fight against Wall Street (which many many people supported) and began a fight with the cops over who could sleep in a park (which most people didn't give a shit about).

          Occupy made the most elemental mistake of organizing---as an organizer, it's not YOUR goal that matters, it's the goal of the people you are fighting for that matters.  You have to stand where THEY are, not where YOU are. Or else you will stand alone.

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