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View Diary: STRIKE: This is What a Powerful And Organized LEFT Would Look Like (277 comments)

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  •  Yeah, except... (0+ / 0-)

    Occupy pretty much failed. It failed for all the things that you loved about it. And it sure as hell was not representative of everyone. There's a reason a lot of people of color abandoned Occupy early on. And quite frankly, I wouldn't knock "traditional activist organizations." Traditional activism is what made the Civil Rights Movement so damn successful. Sure, there were massive problems in it, as there are in every hierarchy, but the Civil Rights Movement didn't fizzle out after just two years precisely because it had a hierarchy and actual leadership.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 12:54:09 PM PDT

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    •  no, Occupy succeeded, far beyond its wildest dream (7+ / 0-)

      Occupy set out to change the national dialogue, and it did.  Far more effectively than the Dem Party ever did.

      But Occupy was set up as a debating society, not as a fighting organization. That is why it was unable to fight.

      •  You think people joined Occupy just for that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        I agree that Occupy changed the dialogue, however, I am pretty sure that is not why Occupy started. Occupy started out of an actual groundswell of anger and frustration that our economy collapsed and only the 99% were feeling the fallout. So what if the dialogue changes if nothing concrete comes of it? In fact, I think it just made a lot of Americans a lot more cynical than anything else, which is detrimental to any attempts to make actual changes.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 01:12:41 PM PDT

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        •  changing the language is central (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gulfgal98, Catte Nappe

          to any change and ideological understanding.

          language comes before action, always.

          •  Yes it does (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlueDragon

            But if only the language changes and no one actually organizes for action, then what's the point? In the end, it makes people cynical because they are aware of the problem, but see no way to fix anything and just adjust their mindsets to accepting it.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 01:19:49 PM PDT

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        •  that was its goal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, erratic

          Occupy itself never expected that it would be any more than a run-of-the-mill plain ole common protest demonstration in NYC, the same type that happen every weekend of the year.

          •  That's true of NYC (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poco

            But I was actually referring to the groups that cropped up elsewhere. We even had them down here in NC in areas not really known for regular protests. Interesting fact: some of the folks here in NC who were in the local Occupy movement actually tried to intervene in the Moral Monday Movement and make it more like Occupy. Needless to say it didn't pan out, but what struck me was that the folks from Occupy couldn't understand why the folks in Moral Monday shunned their attempts. They were just a bunch of clueless white people in that regard.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 01:23:23 PM PDT

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            •  much of Occupys difficulty was simple inexperience (5+ / 0-)

              We haven't had an actual progressive movement in the streets since the 60's and the 80's, and most of Occupy wasn't even around back then. So Occupy had very few experienced organizers (and because of its inability to differentiate "leaders" from "bosses", it didn't listen to the few it DID have).

              The only model Occupy had before it was the Arab Spring Uprisings, which themselves failed because of lack of organization.

              (And before the ideologues have a cow again, let me once more repeat that ORGANIZATION does not equal HIERARCHY, so spare me your sermons.)

              •  Yes that's what struck me (5+ / 0-)

                I have read a lot about the early history of the Civil Rights Movement, dating back to the turn of the 20th century. It was amazing to read about how terrible so many of the activists actually were in the first decade or so. It took decades for the people involved to gain enough experience at being able to effectively organize. Of course, the way it's taught in our high school history classes, most white Americans come away with the idea that the Civil Rights Movement started with Brown Vs. Board of Education, rather than the truth which is that it had taken decades of active work just to get to that point.

                And you make a very good point about their inability to differentiate between leaders and bosses. And about the Arab Spring. Not sure it could have gone any other way, though. The only people with experience were older, and the young people seemed unwilling to trust them.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:44:41 PM PDT

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            •  At the same time (4+ / 0-)

              I agree that many OWS groups drifted too far into discussion about "how" it would govern intself in some ideal egalitarian way. But the point remains, it did change the discussion, and it did light the kinds of sparks that could catch fire in actions like Moral Monday, the Wisconsin Solidarity Sing Alongs and even the reaction in Austin up to and during Wendy's filibuster. (Not to mention really creative efforts that continue, like Overpass Light Brigade)

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:46:48 PM PDT

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              •  In my experience that discussion (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, Catte Nappe

                was driven largely by demands from outside Occupy. Things were fine and running well until people outside the movement started insisting on ideological commitments that we hadn't bothered with previously. It was then that the method of organization became increasingly a focus of discussion because to put forth ideological commitments we had to have a method of organization that was more than just practical. I think this should be one of the lessons from Occupy. Don't let people on the outside force your hand when it comes to ideology. We were succeeding without ideology and we would have kept succeeding if we hadn't given in to the press and various other establishment groups that insisted we needed a demand and an ideology.

          •  Not at all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            It was never intended to be just a run of the mill protest.

    •  Martin Luther King (6+ / 0-)

      borrowed heavily from Gandhi and Thoreau, who both had anarchist leanings.

      Gandhi was influenced by Tolstoy, an anarcho-pacifist, and had anti-state leanings. So did Thoreau.

      So it's ironic that you attack the desire for a lack of hierarchy and authoritarianism.

      Anyway, Occupy didn't say it spoke for everyone. It reflected the consensus of those who were present. Many of the more conventional activists (white and black, male and female) couldn't abide with the horizontal organizational structure, and they wanted a form of seniority (since, you know, they were so, so much more experienced) which would have given them more of a voice than others in attendance, and when they weren't immediately heeded, they left, as was their choice.

      When activists came and told us to get back to conventional political methods, and weren't obeyed, they left in a huff, declaring Occupy to be [insert criticism here], when the real reason for their frustration is that most in attendance wanted the horizontal structure.

      I'll thus suggest to you what I suggest to others with these criticisms: Try to go out and form your own direct action movement, based on hierarchy, electoral politics, elite leadership of seasoned activists who mainly call the shots, and see how far you get (in this modern era of complacency), and how much interest you create, sufficient to spark off a mass movement across the country with people so motivated they give up their jobs to support a movement by sleeping in parks in the rain and cold, while poked and prodded by police.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 01:30:12 PM PDT

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