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The Occupy Wall Street (Nation) movement is being infiltrated, spied on, and investigated as you read this.  It's a massive "intelligence" gathering operation by government authorities, including the FBI, (and possibly) the CIA, aided by very secretive private security contractors and data collection (and storing) corporations working closely with the government.

I share in the enthusiasm spreading around the country, in that we all feel that the time has come to say "enough" to the exploitation and abuse the ruling class has been imposing on the good people of this country for far too long.  In fact, I've been calling for this type of protest "of occupation" for a long time.  It has been clear to me that for a movement to take hold, it was necessary of it to be of this type: occupation-style; with a media; component; aided by intellectuals, academics, lawyers, and unions (among others).

But I am very concerned about a number of key issues I think are extremely important for the people involved in this movement to think about:

How Did We Get Here

One of the main messages of this resistance movement is that it is on behalf of the 99% of the population.  And therein lies one of the most basic dangers the movement will be facing.  How do you think one percent of the population has been able to subjugate and exploit the entire population for so long?  Because they have been singularly focused, and disciplined.  Their agenda is not that complicated: Keep the wealth and power they possess, and use it to get more, and more, and more.  Their greed and appetite for wealth and power is insatiable.

And their methods are also very simple: They use their wealth and power to buy off (and subvert) the entire political system (at this point, the takeover is total and absolute) in order to manipulate, subjugate, and oppress the population.

How did they do that? That's also very straightforward: Through a "legal" bribing system, they provide politicians across the entire country (the same system in Greece, Iceland, UK, etc.) with campaign finance funds; they also lure them with lucrative cushy corporate (mainly lobbying and public relations) positions after they leave office.  In addition, they shower their close friends and family with favors as well, including lucrative jobs.

In the United States today, that is the current state of affairs--for both major political parties.  They are utterly corrupt to the core, and serve at the beck and call of their corporate masters.

Leadership, Organization, Discipline, and Focus

People in the movement are good, decent, what-you-see-is-what-you-get people.  Good honest, hard-working Americans (and immigrants, etc.).

The youth reject the concept of following leaders, and call for actions by consensus, in a new social paradigm based on true democracy.

And so you see all kinds of messages in the protests, and the youngsters dressed like "zombies" (to make a point), and you see the naked ladies holding signs, and some other folks in pink, etc.  I understand the sentiment(s), but you have to realize that you are dealing with a foe that is extremely dangerous, focused, organized, disciplined.

The greatest fear the ruling elite has is if (or when) the movement becomes extremely focused and disciplined and points their "collective ammunition" (as it were) to the heart of the problem: Wall Street committed fraud and looted the country; the entire political class is made of of sycophantic tools of Wall Street and multinational corporations.

These two issues go straight to the heart of the problem.  Every other malady emanates from them.

So if you (eventually) had 100,000 people camped out of the Wall Street "fortress" demanding that (1) The rule of law be restored with the investigation, prosecution, charges, and incarceration (hard-time in prison) of criminal banksters; (2) The emergency enactment of laws mandating a strict "Separation Between Corporation and State;" (3) The breakup of all the criminal banks (JPMorganChase, Citi, Bank of America, etc.) which are looted anyways; the (temporary) nationalization of the banking system; (4) Emergency monetary policy (print money) carefully calibrated to avoid (too much) inflation; this would include a massive infusion of money into the economy, mainly through a monumentally aggressive nationwide infrastructure rebuilding program; (5) Reset the prices of millions of homes that are underwater to current market value, suspend foreclosures, and establish a nationwide bank to deal with the mortgage crisis; (6) Punitive tax regime meant to claw back trillions of dollars stolen by easily identifiable people.

If the entire movement were to coalesce around 3 to 5 key demands, and it did so, nationwide, then it would begin to be taken seriously by the entrenched and corrupt ruling class (Wall Street, Multinational Corporations, The Sycophants in Government).

Clear and Present Danger

Anthropologically speaking it is impossible to have a social movement without leadership.  And when you have a movement without leadership, then by extension, you have a leadership and power vacuum.  That is the worst state of affairs of a fledgling movement, as it makes it almost a certainty that it will be hijacked (as it happened with the Astro-turf funded "Tea Party").

I already see signs of it... Opportunists (some of them "celebrities") are already jumping on the bandwagon trying to make a buck, sell books.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that all the celebrities, or all the politicians, or media personalities supporting the movement are doing so motivated by selfishness.

But the first clue you need to look at is when people use the energy and message of the movement to try to sell something; to make money selling books, or benefit somehow.

Think of something for a second... Indian anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has been in the news during the last few months.  He mounted a hunger-strike campaign against graft and government corruption in India.

Through a masterful campaign of civil disobedience, he got himself arrested (for conducing the hunger strike at a park without a "proper permit"), and this resulted in a huge outcry from the citizenry which caused massive protests.  This actually brought the entire Indian government to its knees, and they had to relent.

As far as I know Mr. Hazare is not doing this to try to benefit himself, personally, in any way.  He's not trying to sell books, or improve his creds (as a celebrity), or jump on anybody's bandwagon (when it was convenient).

He is doing it from his heart; from his love of humanity; because his conscience tells him that that is the right thing to do.  He has (I would venture to say) no (immediate) ulterior motives.

That is the type of leader the movement needs to be on the lookout for...

Unfortunately, the hucksters are parachuting in droves (as it usually happens in any leaderless movement).  And this almost guarantees that the movement will be hijacked.  And it could be hijacked by people with allegiances to "the enemy."

And they could do it by offering free "public relations" help, or by identifying untrained leaders of the movement and showering them with favors, and "access" to important people... etc.

Here's the thing; Unfortunately, when you are dealing with an enemy that is characterized by straight-up sociopathic impulses and tendencies, people on the other side (confronting this enemy) almost need to be as ruthless, calculative, emotionless, and Machiavellian, as they are.  An innocent, good-hearted, (and I would venture to say, naive) person can never, ever, be a match to a ruthless sociopath.

And that's what you have in the ruling class of the United States of America today: Sociopaths to the max (Wall Street, Multinational Corporations, Sycophantic Politicians).

Finally, and getting back to my opening statement, when push comes to shove, who do you think may win?

Who has the power?  Who has the guns?  Who has the for-profit private detention camps with hundreds of thousands of beds across the entire country, on the ready?  Who gutted our constitutional protections (4th Amendment protections, habeas corpus)? Who has a "total awareness" surveillance system (with the help of Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, At&T, Verizon, etc.)?

Right now the ruthless ruing elite (Wall Street, Republican and Democratic party establishments) is not worried in the least.  They're having fun, laughing their asses of, watching the kids dressed as zombies.  In fact, that assures them that they don't have anything to worry about--the protest movement is leaderless, unfocused, with no clear message or objective.  So they are relieved.  They "know" that it will eventually fizzle out, or it will be hijacked and manipulated, and neutralized.  They know that for a fact.

But if by a very unlikely chance, the movement were to take hold and threaten the ruthless socipathic ruling class, they would deploy the riot police, and the venture capitalists that invested in the for-profit private prisons would be very happy.

Folks, we are dealing with a very sophisticated adversary.  They are ten (or twenty) steps ahead.  They plan; they collude; they prepare; they manipulate; they are disciplined; they own the media.

Only an extremely focused, disciplined, and relentless movement with a very clear objective will be able to take on these tyrants.

Think again... How did the top .5% was able to manipulate and exploit the entire population for so long?  

Organize, focus, and show these sociopaths the FIST of a UNITED FRONT.

----------------------------------------------------

Wall Street protesters should dig in  (Financial Times, London)

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The way that this movement (14+ / 0-)

    is spreading rapidly across the country and being fueled by the internet there is no way that anybody can really control its development. This is an early phase that is building momentum. It will of necessity move into another phase. It may give rise to a more focused movement or it could peter out. It is really too early to predict.

    Groups that are forming in cities other than New York are likely to find their own course and focus. This is not Col. Sanders Fried Chicken.

  •  No. 5...Resetting Prices... (0+ / 0-)

    Would be a disaster.  Nixon tried price controls in the 70's and it was a total failure.

    Imagine the fight to determine the "baseline" to establish appraisals.  I do not think we have enough qualified appraisers to do the job.  We would have State licensed Appraisers and Federally licensed Appraisers.

    •  No appraisals necessary. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Mnemosyne, alizard

      Homes are instantly worth their mortgage amount if they are underwater.

      It's simple.

      As is nationalizing all the institutional mortgage holders.

      •  Wouldn't That Defy The Laws of Economics? (0+ / 0-)

        How can you "force" someone to pay more than they want to?  If I own my home and a nearly identical home with a mortgage twice the current market are for sale on the same block, whose house do you think will sell?

        Mine of course.  I will price it at current market levels and make the sale.  Will you force me to sell my house for what the other homeowner owes?  How can you "force" a buyer to pay more than he wants to without appraisals and government regulations?

  •  the protest movements of the 60s (4+ / 0-)

    were lousy with infiltrators in agent provocateurs and they still managed to plug along.

    i don't believe your concern is ill-placed, but i don't really believe that any undercover action by our opponents (i am loathe to say "enemies") is going to stop this groundswell anytime soon.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 04:33:51 PM PDT

  •  They need to stick to their ideological roots (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, ActivistGuy

    Which is Anarchism.  From the consensus process to the gift economy praxis, Anarchism infuses the zeitgeist of this movement.  Anarchist practice is designed to resist control by celebrities and authoritarians.

    I would feel bad about wanting Anarchists to 'hijack' the Occupy movement, if it wasn't for the way it seems more that the Occupy movement has hijacked Anarchism!

    •  It has to be multi-pronged. The anarchists have a (0+ / 0-)

      place in any protest movement, but you also need the disciplined aspect of it.  The anarchists are like your rearguard, or something like that....

      If the whole movement remains leaderless, unfocused, and disorganized, it will be hijacked.  I'm certain of that.

      Power hates a vacuum.

      •  OWS has been mentioned (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, Ray Pensador

        on NPR's "Marketplace" finance show several times in the last few days. Each time they ask "What do they want?"

        So I think you're spot on with this:

        If the entire movement were to coalesce around 3 to 5 key demands, and it did so, nationwide, then it would begin to be taken seriously by the entrenched and corrupt ruling class (Wall Street, Multinational Corporations, The Sycophants in Government).

        In the absence of specific points of contention, which can be hyped in various ways, it will all be too fuzzy for most politicians and the media to grasp, or to hype each in his own way. And it's important to remember, always, that the media in this country has a very short attention span.

        Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

        by Mnemosyne on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 06:43:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not only that, the "media" actually works at (0+ / 0-)

          distorting the message to begin with.  So that's why the "talking points" repeated, over, and over, and over again, and the lock-step discipline, organization and focus are so important.

          I totally understand the dislike people in this movement has about that concept, but that's the way it works.

        •  I see the lack of "a message" as a strength (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne

          It seems to have forced the media to go there and actually ask people what they want.  They leave confused, but then they print a bunch of things people said, often without applying the usual media filter.  They don't know what to make of it, but they have to say something, so all they can do is offer up what people said.

          •  In anything you do in life, the less clarity and (0+ / 0-)

            understanding you have about exactly what your goal is, the less successful you will be.  It's called "planning."

            The Wall Street thieves, and their right-wing think tanks, worked on their "agenda" of destroying the proper functions of government, dismantling the regulatory framework, chipping away at constitutional protections, etc., in a very calculative and disciplined way, and the met their objectives.

            Time will tell.

      •  If anyone hijacks it, it will be those who crave (0+ / 0-)

        "lock-step discipline".

        •  Meaning, clear message, and a coherent agenda. (0+ / 0-)

          It it remains nebulous and amorphous, it will have less of a chance to succeed.

          •  You misunderstand its nature (0+ / 0-)

            This is not just a 'protest'.  It's a manifestation of collective desire.  It's a rupture, the new world formed in the shell of the old.

            •  I've been calling for this type of movement for (0+ / 0-)

              a long time now.  I do understand.  Most of the right components are there... Now the only thing it needs is focus, discipline and organization.

              •  Maybe the reason it hasn't happened (0+ / 0-)

                when you've called for it is that you insist upon those things.  Is it surprising that a movement that calls for freedom would insist upon freedom?

                •  I think you misunderstand me... But that's easy to (0+ / 0-)

                  do communicating like this.  I've been observing a creeping fascism during the last several years, but especially after 9/11.  Back in 2006, 07', 08', I was already focused on the thievery by Wall Street, and "predicting" that there was going to be a catastrophic financial collapse caused by a massive scam (derivatives, etc.).

                  I used to hand out at an old Wall Street Journal form back then, and I remember people talking about CT stuff, and "tin-foil hats" when I brought up my "theories" that Wall Street was perpetrating a huge scam...

                  I speculated that the economy was going to collapse, that people would find themselves in dire economic straits, that people would lose their homes by the millions, and their credit would get ruined, and then because of it they would not be able to find employment, and that those things would keep people in some sort of enslavement... The rest of the serfs would work harder and harder, for less and less, trying to avoid falling like the others.

                  For quite some years now I've been suggesting that unless people realized what was happening (clearly), one day we would find ourselves in a neo-fascist police state, with the majority of the population being exploited and subjugated.

                  My approach for years now has been to encourage people to accept three premises: there is a ruling class of wealthy people (plutocracy); they control our government (both parties); they control the media which serves as a propaganda machine.

                  And I've been suggesting that there needed to be a resistance movement against the oppression.  And (getting to one of your previous points), that single-day marches and protests were not enough.

                  That it needed to be a sustained  movement, multi-pronged, that included protests, media strategy, collaboration with unions, and lawyers (to help protesters).

                  But one of my main points has always been that if there is no focus, discipline and clear agenda, the protesters would fall into a big trap...

                  Watch the video below (this happened tonight in NY).  I anticipate this type of thing happening more often, and in many cities.  Eventually you'll see thousands of people arrested and jailed, and the authorities will use all kinds of draconian criminal charges to intimidate the movement...

                  A very organized and discipline movement (or a least a segment of it) would give it the time it needs to build up to critical mass, to a point where it will be taking seriously by the authorities.

                  My concern is that as the young people march and the crowds grow, since there is no clear agenda and leadership, any little ting can spark violence... And then you'll falling into the trap.

                  But anyways, I do appreciate your engaging in this discussion.  I opened to ideas...

                  ---------------------------------

  •  Infiltrators (0+ / 0-)

    Lets include LaRouchies, Tea Party operatives, John Birch types etc.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 04:50:12 PM PDT

  •  demand they withdraw their DC army (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    of lobbyists in DC who are actually waging the war against the people. The banksters have literally a hundred or more lobbyists for every congressperson.

    Get rid of the "cloakroom priviledge" which allow all ex-congressmen and ex-senators onto the floor of the congress and into the cloakrooms where they can buttonhole their collegues.

    Free Congress!

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

  •  we shouldn't assume (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, alizard

    that just because the media focuses on celebrities, that there's any lack of the genuine qualities of leadership being shown by people the media doesn't know about.  As I've been extending my feelers out into my old networks about OWS, it turns out I know at least a couple of the people who have been with this project from pretty early on,. and they are people I have a high degree of confidence in.  Genuine leaders in the truest sense, even if Anderson Cooper will never know their names.

    "The existence of a good thing is no evidence of its being enjoyed by the working class." ~ Daniel DeLeon

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 06:05:46 PM PDT

  •  Well that all may be true. However, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    whoever has decided to try to storm Wall Street, which was blocked off, has made a mistake. It is unnecessary and perhaps was done by activists or by agents of the police.

    Either way it may become an excuse for unnecessary and more police policies.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 06:51:57 PM PDT

    •  I disagree with you totally. The media attention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      needs to be maintained on Wall Street, where the real problem is. What goes on in DC is just the wag of the Wall Street tail. The protests have been peaceful. The only violence I've heard of is from the police. That's going to wind up costing the NY taxpayer millions to cover the bad actions of a few in the NYPD.
      There's been no reason for a serious police reaction.
      The bullying reaction of a few policement is what really set this off nationwide.

    •  Of course it will. You have to anticipate those (0+ / 0-)

      things... Is almost like a script.

  •  I beg to disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    that a movement cannot thrive without leadership. In fact, that is the only way this movement can guarantee that it is not hijacked. If leadership is empowered, then the corporate machine has what it wants -- it can assume leadership through bribery or force. Avoid leadership at all costs. Influence the public by giving teh 99% symbolic media to join in force, but deny the authority of anyone to speak for all. That is how it was done in the sixties, and it worked, except that someone made the mistake of defining it as an anti-war movement, and when Nixon pulled out of Viet Nam it died. That's the problem with letting the movement be named. Avoid it, invite the world to join, and deny the emergence of any power centers. It will then live. Bacteria do fine with that strategy.

    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
    Mark Twain

    by phaktor on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 08:56:01 PM PDT

    •  Your argument has appeal, but I still think that (0+ / 0-)

      there has to be some sort of well-defined direction, objectives, disciplined.

      I guess in theory this could be achieved by "democratic" consensus.  I'm not too invested in the idea of one or two, or a number of "powerful leaders," necessarily, but however it happens, eventually the movement needs a coherent message.

      And here's the thing... I'm not making these suggestions because I have any particular vested interest in seeing them implemented.  My concern is that (because I want this movement to succeed), when there is a "power vacuum" opportunists will step in and fill it.

      And here's the key argument I'm making... So far what I see in the people in this movement is that they are really good, hard-working people with a certain innocence.

      In many of the young people, I see a certain naivete about the world.  And of course, that's normal; that's part of being young.

      But the challenges ahead, I'm afraid, require certain type of hardened people who fully understand the challenges ahead, and can help the movement avoid being side-swiped by tactics meant to undermine it.

      If things get scary for the ruling class, because they control "authorities" you could see all kinds of nefarious activities, including infiltration of groups to try to set people up (entrapment), illegal surveillance, etc.

      Some people say that this is CT stuff, but any cursory study about previous resistance movements in this country confirms my concerns.

      •  Yes, for sure (0+ / 0-)

        they are coming. If the movement is kept clean as far as no leadership, then they will not know where to go spy. The same attitudes and issues will simply be expressed everywhere, and actions intended to cause bad publicity can simply be disowned and not supported. They will have trouble with a true systems movement, but you are right that they are coming. That should be the first thing on everybody's mind, and we should be prepared for it.

        Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
        Mark Twain

        by phaktor on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 10:21:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Elect spokespersons, not "leaders" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UtopianPablo

    Change spokespersons periodically to avoid creating a single face for a group.  Have members of the groups participate in identifying the messages most important to their group.  Eventually, the messages will begin to coalesce around a few.

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