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View Diary: Nothing Stops OWS From Re-forming As it Should Have Been (146 comments)

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  •  So those are the only two alternatives? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, bevenro

    It's a binary choice between a tired aesthetic that hasn't come up with a new idea since 1968, or the corrupt money-based process we have in our political sphere?

    That's a rather striking lack of imagination for someone who is defending the "left-wing imagination."

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:44:46 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm saying "reality" hasn't worked either (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Sandino, mkor7

      so we better come up with something new.

      Dear NSA: I am only joking.

      by Shahryar on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:49:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, so let's come up with something new. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sidnora

        We can look for inspiration in things done in the past that actually worked, like the union movement in the 1920s-'40s, or the Progressives in the 1900s.

        But bringing back the same ineffective '60s retreads doing the same impotent things they've done for the past four decades while our country has gone further and further right seems to me to be the wrong inspiration for anything.

        The first thing I'd learn from those earlier movements: The collective and the mission are more important than any individual's ego or "self-expression." The point of the whole thing is to fulfill the movement's goals, not for individuals within the movement to feel like they "did something." Anyone whose "self-expression" would hurt the cause needs to leave it at home, put on the working-person's uniform, and subject their individual will to the collective mission.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:59:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  if you think back, the idea was to do something... (4+ / 0-)

          along the lines of the Arab Spring. Start something that would grow. The problems that I saw with it were these:

          Discontent is not high enough for that sort of thing.

          People lost focus, or shifted focus, turning the thing into a homeless shelter. That's not bad, by itself, but then it becomes a "homeless" protest which is a narrower focus than income inequality.

          The idea that everyone could join in let infiltrators come in and turn OWS chaotic. Again, losing focus on the message.

          Abandoning the message of income inequality and allowing the concept of "whatever is your issue is our issue" diffused the impact.

          It was a really good idea in the beginning. From where I stand, more thought has to go into possible solutions.

          Dear NSA: I am only joking.

          by Shahryar on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:06:43 PM PDT

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          •  I totally agree with all of that. (5+ / 0-)

            It's a shame, really... they hit on what I think was the single most effective political/social/economic message of the past two decades with the theme of the 1% vs. the 99%.

            It was a real opportunity to bring along folks who hadn't previously had the words to express their frustration.

            And then, due (in my opinion) as much to muddled messaging and poor organization and focus as to any outside force like law-enforcement, the movement got frenetic and dissipated.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:11:46 PM PDT

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        •  Um (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, annan, orestes1963, mkor7

          you don't seem to be taking into account the improved tactics and technology deployed today to prevent peaceful reform movements from being successful.  Pretending that what worked decades ago will work again now is asinine.  

          Reasonable suspicion? How can being wrong 98.6% of the time ever be reasonable?

          by happymisanthropy on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:29:08 PM PDT

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          •  I'm not pretending that. (0+ / 0-)

            Obviously, the tactics and strategies have to change.

            One of the reasons that the protest movements of the past 30+ years prior to OWS (and since it ended) have been so spectacularly unsuccessful was that they kept doing the same things that had marginal success in the '60s even as the world around them was completely changing.

            What I am saying is that there are still principles that we can glean from those earlier, successful movements that differentiate them from the impotent and ineffective protest politics of the past 30+ years.

            These are principles like solidarity and identification with the working person, subordinating one's own ego and "self-expression" to the community and the mission, and focusing the movement on achievable goals rather than on nebulous things like "consciousness-raising" or "feeling like I did something."

            These principles could be, and should be, part of the DNA of any new protest movement building off of the rhetorical foundation of the 1% vs. the 99% that OWS created (and subsequently abandoned).

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:38:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The lack of success is attributable (4+ / 0-)

              to employing the approaches this diarist advocates.  It's as simple as that.  As an advocate for a new approach (complete with poo-poo'ing OWS), isn't it incumbent upon you and the diarist to propose an actual plan?  Show us how your approach would work.  Vague references to, look to the union movement, etc. are more vapid than drum circles.  

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