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E.J. Dionne wrote:

Everyone on the left side of American politics, from the near end to the far end, has advice for Occupy Wall Street. I’m no exception. But it’s useful to acknowledge first that this movement has accomplished things that the more established left didn’t.

The problems of growing economic inequality and abuses by the masters of the financial world have been in the background for years. Many progressives longed to make them central political questions.

Despite succeeding where others have failed, the Occupy Movement has been told "You are doing it wrong!" One of the stranger pieces of "friendly advice" has adopted the right wing framework that activism today is somehow damaged by association with 60s protest movements, particularly Vietnam. Dionne writes:

Let’s first dispense with a kind of narcissism that exists among Americans who lived through the 1960s and insist on seeing Occupy as nothing more than a rerun of the battles over Vietnam, Richard Nixon and the counterculture. This frame is convenient to conservatives who hope to drive a wedge between working-class voters and the occupiers, much as Nixon brilliantly played construction workers against privileged hippies. [. . .] It’s not the ’60s anymore. The protests of that era were rooted in affluence. Too often in those years, the left cut itself off from the concerns of the white working class and disdained its values. That’s the history the right wants to revive. In fact, the Occupy demonstrations are precisely about the concerns of Americans who have been sidelined economically. This is why polls show broad support for Occupy’s objectives of greater economic equality and more financial accountability.

Really? Dionne thinks the problem is people are thinking that this is "a 60s thing?" Ironically, Dionne invokes the Civil Rights Movement (psst, that was a 60s movement too)  as a model to emulate:

Martin Luther King Jr.’s lessons on nonviolence are useful here.

The Civil Rights Movement was, of course, one of the most successful protest movements in all of American history. But it was not exactly a political winner for Democrats. The South became a GOP stronghold because of the Civil Rights Movement (To be sure, it is a price all Democrats should have been more than willing to pay.)

Booman rendered a similar critique of today's "activists" (I can only assume his "advice" was directed at the Occupy movement):

[T]he post-Vietnam War progressive movement grew out of the counterculture, and you can't make a very good case for running the country if your disposition is counter to the culture and power structures of the country.

That's why I say we need to get over being countercultural. I don't mean that we should change our values. I am talking about our disposition, our attitude, the way we carry ourselves, what we expect of ourselves. When I say that we should make the countercultural cultural, I mean that we should have the confidence to behave like our values are mainstream and that we want to and deserve to govern with our mainstream values.

In a response, I wrote:

I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean. Slapping the label "countercultural" on people disagreeing with THE POLICIES adopted by the "power structures of the country" is not meaningful to me. Perhaps Booman means to object to the "protest" culture (seemingly the reference here is to the Occupy Movement.)

Perhaps Booman, like Markos Moulitsas before him, dis[likes] protests. Maybe that is what he means by "countercultural." Personally, I'm not much of a protest person myself. But that does not mean I do not appreciate the political space protests create.

I'm not a big fan of empty labels, and to me, "countercultural" is a particularly empty label. When Booman asserts that "[T]he post-Vietnam War progressive movement grew out of the counterculture," what does that mean? Did the progressive movement not also grow out of the Civil Rights Movement? Or the Women's Liberation Movement? Or the environmental movement?

And in case you are wondering, I think it is indisputable that in terms of electoral politics - the "winning power" thing -the aftermath of the Civil Rights and Women's Liberation movements had much broader effects on elections than the Vietnam War protest movement.

I'll now add that I have no idea what is meant by "our disposition, our attitude, the way we carry ourselves, what we expect of ourselves." To be clear, I'm not out protesting anything, so I assume that "friendly advice" is not directed at me, but at actual people doing actual activism. That means, now, the Occupy movement.

I will not pretend to know what the Occupy movement has as objectives. I know I like that they talk about income inequality, the failure of the "elites" and especially, the “We are the 99 percent” slogan. Consider the effect on Paul Krugman, our most important left of center public intellectual. In December 2008, Krugman was downplaying the importance of income inequality as an economic issue.

Yesterday. Krugman wrote a column titled We Are The 99.9%. At the very least, Krugman has decided now is a good time to discuss income inequality.

I guess the Occupy Movement's "disposition," "attitude" and "the way they carry themselves" has not been that big of an impediment (could it be that it was important to the Occupy movement's success?)

Of course, it could be that those folks providing "friendly critiques" are more interested in their own priorities rather than those of the Occupy movement. Perfectly legitimate. But it would be foolhardy for activists to take their cues from people with different priorities.

Personally, I've shied away from offering "advice" to activists and especially, to the Occupy movement. I like what they are accomplishing and well, they are not going to listen to me anyway. My priorities may not mesh with theirs. When they do, as they have lately,  I cheer them on.

And I thank them for their efforts every day. They are making a difference.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have no advice (120+ / 0-)

    for how you should comment in this thread.

    •  Heh (4+ / 0-)

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:00:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So what value do meta-advice columns provide? (5+ / 0-)

      I didn't really need to read what you wrote to come to the same null conclusion.  Either you're out there doing it or you're inside writing about it.  History's unclear about the relation of the two, but it's for sure that doing it is ultimately the game-changer, the rest is for people who have time on their hands.

      Bob Jacobson, Tucson, Arizona | "The spirit is to win in the heart of the enemy." -- Sun Tzu, Art of War, 6th BCE

      by Cyberoid on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:43:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  None (6+ / 0-)

        I'm inside wanking.

        Wishing you luck.

        go get er done.

        •  wankers are useful (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annan, JesseCW, divineorder, CA Nana, caul

          they have their roll, if not for the excellent wanker's on the net I would not be here or be active, locally. They spur activist's on. As for what the message is read the damn signs they are quite informative, sometimes funny and the spelling is pretty good. If the occupiers start taking advise from the 'professional left' they will be more useless than any wanker.    

          •  Like Kos said, if you don't understand what it is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, CoExistNow, caul

            about  by now probably part of the problem.

            •  Or playing dumb (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CoExistNow, caul

              in order not to have deal with the real problem. The advice I keep reading re: Occupy by the corporate media types who are 'liberal' would make them part of what they are opposing. They are addressing the systemic rot of corruption and demanding real democratic representation and systems that work for the common good, the people, globally. It really is a bi-partisan breakdown and it shines a light on the Democrat's especially the third Way 'new' uselessness as far as representing the people and basic economic equality. Why would they want to be adsorbed and neutered, in the corrupt useless system they are protesting. Goldman Sachs/Koch Bros rules the world not matter who you vote for and that is the heart of the matter.          

      •  Giving advice to Occupy from the outside? (4+ / 0-)

        Not good.  Nearly useless.

        Giving advice to those trying to work with (as in through their own organizations ) as a partner or ally?

        Maybe fruitful.  this reporter has a 7 point checklist that covers the efforts, good, bad, indifferent.

        http://www.openmediaboston.org/...

        If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

        by BeeDeeS on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:29:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better than Giving Advice (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BeeDeeS, Meteor Blades, CoExistNow, caul

          Go out and organize something yourself.  You can be sure the Occupy people won't be criticizing you or offering unsolicited advice.

          I was there during the anti-Vietnam and environmental movements.  There were thousands of organizing opportunities every day.  The trick was seeing them and having the skills to quickly exploit them.  Those quick on their feet could turn out thirty or forty people on a dime to protest just about anything -- the Marine Band coming to campus, a Kimberly Clark shareholders meeting, a ribbon cutting for a new highway.

          People became oppositional entrepreneurs, seeing the chance to make a point (and have fun) where other people just saw a boring news story.  It's a movement when that kind of mindset takes hold, when everyday intelligence is directed toward making a point.

          I'm speaking at an environmental law conference on Tuesday, and I intend to incorporate a critique of globalism and the Oligarchy into my presentation.

          Why wait for an Occupy General Assembly to seize an opportunity to show how stupid and brutal the Oligarchy has become?

          This aggression will not stand, man.

          by kaleidescope on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 06:00:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree with your either/or. The heart of (5+ / 0-)

        the Civil Rights movement was in direct non-violent action, but that was always the tip of the iceberg, not the whole iceberg.  There was a lot of debate, decisionmaking, organizing, etc., BEFORE the direct action.  And afterwards, there was a more chaotic, diffused process by which the effects of the action spread.  

        Television reporters had a huge impact on the effectiveness of the Civil Rights Movement.  Less dramatic but also important were writers and reporters in the print media, ministers and church organizations, labor leaders, teachers, and others, who took the messages of the movement, praised them, argued with them, condemned them, drew lessons from them, preached sermons on them, etc.  This was not meaningless activity for people with time on their hands.  It was the process by which shocking events and powerful messages were taken in and digested, so that society changed.  Not as much as we wish it had, but in very significant ways.

        THe Occupy movement has had an impact so far by changing the terms of political discussion in this country. Great! That's a key step, a fundamental success.  But if the country is actually going to be changed, it will involve both direct action and the rippling out of its effects.  It will involve many people (including writers) wrestling with and disseminating the messages from the Occupy movement, proposing concrete responses, etc.  It will also entail people working on whole different levels, such as electing sympathetic reps on the state and national level, writing legislation, etc.

        Work on the "inside" (if you consider the progressive movement "inside") and work on the street are not contradictory, and they're both necessary.

      •  from what I gather about the culture of OWS, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water, wasatch, BentLiberal

        if I had anything I wished to say to them or for them to consider as advice, or a suggestion of direction, the only appropriate venue would be a General Assembly, presumably of my local outpost, but possibly of all those I could get to.

        Participating...

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:30:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I violently disagree with how you're (48+ / 0-)

    not giving advice. I agree with your basic aim not to advise anyone but you need to message your non-advice more effectively.

    Yami Yugi: Wait a minute! Did you just summon a bunch of monsters in one turn? Seto Kaiba: Yeah. So? Yami: That's against the rules, isn't it? Kaiba: Screw the rules, I have money! — Episode 1, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series

    by Setsuna Mudo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:12:24 PM PST

  •  IMHO, the Occupy Movement is doing a great job (48+ / 0-)

    In a less than two months since they first established Occupancy in NYC, the movement has effectively changed the public conversation from deficit reduction to equality of political and income access.  

    Anyone who watched the November 17th marches saw 30,000+ people from all races, ages, and walks of life marching.  It was mainstream America.  They have touched a chord in those who are paying and the powers that be are scared to death of them.

    Right now, I have no advice to give them because they seem to be doing it very well on their own without outside meddling.

    The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- We are fighting back to save our soul. Thank you, #OWS for empowering us all.

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:15:26 PM PST

  •  It's concern trollism for the most part. (34+ / 0-)

    I define CT as the pretense of expressing concern with what one hasn't and doesn't support anyway.

    Best ignored.

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:17:32 PM PST

    •  Pretty much. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul

      that, and a desire to be the first to pronounce the movement dead.

      Ask your barista what her degree is in.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 07:05:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree with this, (0+ / 0-)

      and at the risk of unfairly associating  the idea with something much, much more repellant, anti-[not part of, sympathatic with the OWS movement] criticism to some extent reminds me of W in 2001 mis-stating the verse from Mark that "those who are not against us are for us." Concern trolling often involves asking a group to be good Germans, that it is enough to not be one of the oppressers and that opposing the oppressers is impolite or untidy. That is happening some, but to say even most of it is that is to undermine the idea that the movement speaks on behalf of many more people that who participate in it.

      I wouldn't offer advice to people putting time and energy that I have been reluctant to offer, but I'm not a professional columnist. That's what they do, and when they do it from a position - as E J Dionne does - of also illuminating not only what the movement has accomplished but also what the pitfalls are for its well-meaning supporters who are not part of the movement.

      Armando, I have one issue with what you wrote: E J did not contradict himself because he did not say the OWS could not viewed through the lens of the 60s. He cautioned against only using that lens. It is good advice. The same advice would apply to only looking at it through the lens of the anti-globalism demonstrations that cropped up in the 90s and Oughts at G-whatever summits.

      The OWS movement is doing what a lot of people like me have wished was possible for - well, for me? - about 22 years, going back to the idiotic presidential election of 1988. That is, it has contronted the issue and the interest group outside of either confronting the GOP for what it (really) is, or attempting to purge the Democratic Party of its corporatism. Both approaches, it seems to me, tended to play into the hands of a private sector gone wild, and the end result was about of whiney brats on Wall Street taking a bailout and insisting  not just on an absence of oversight but threatening the rest that they would come in and take our jobs away if they felt at all threatened.

      Those people disgust me. A treasury secretary that would wait to start bailing out banks until the one he wanted to fail did so disgusts me. Confronting them at their symbolic home was and is brilliant. I'm not a part of it, but I support it. There are a lot like me, and if "we are the 99 percent" means anything, it means accepting those of us who support this but aren't actively involved, and at least politely dealing with the oens who have qualms after years of Orwellian clap-trap they've heard from both the media and the anti-media media.

      End of rant. None of it is advice.

      Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

      by textus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:44:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see the 60s movements as (0+ / 0-)

        being related to OWS, but OWS could speak to that.

        The reason I do not connect them is OWQS is a movement about economic issues.

        The 60s movements, civil rights, women's rights, environmental, were not focused on economic issues.

        I think it is a silly comparison.

        •  For the most part I agree (0+ / 0-)

          King was only beginning to turn the focus of the Civil rights movement toward the economic issue - and thus toward an issue that would beign on behalf of a larger group than even the sum of all ethnic minorities - at the time he was killed. But to go much beyond that is supposition.

          There is greater reason to analogize between OWS and the various economic issues that led up to WW1, the broken promises of the prosperity that followed, and the Depression.

          But again, any one period of history can at best supply a single lens to perceive something that requires at the very leasy multi-focal perspective.

          Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

          by textus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 08:14:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Gross generalization. (0+ / 0-)

      I proposed a D.C. occupation--an open-ended, on the ground, continually growing and active 24/7 demonstration on the Mall--in multiple diaries last winter. I fervently believed it was the only solution (and still do). Which is why, when the October2011 organization sprang up last Spring with a similar proposal, albeit a broader agends, I pledged to be there in D.C. on 10/6 and stay indefinitely. Since I live in D.C., that suggests more than just "support".

      First I spent two weeks in D.C., spending 12-18 hour days perpetually active. Since then I've been significantly involved with Occupy Salt Lake, near where I live. That suggests more than adequate support.

      Despite all that, and despite my gratitude for the accomplishments of the movement, I have misgivings about anarchism and the use of its organizational methods for developing a broad movement. I am a believer in Critical Mass, and a few hundred to a few thousand people in each city, to my mind, will not substantively move society or the power elite on a timescale appropriate to the situation, if ever. And anarchism does not promote rapid growth because it inherently produces a high rate of churn among people who do support the movement--in many cases with tremendous donations of time, money, goods & services--who simply cannot abide the ponderous, indiscriminate meetings and relative over-arching aimlessness. These are often people with great passion and talent to offer, but they are gone. In many cases, they are not being replaced by newcomers because more is known about the movement these days, enough to cause people whose time is valuable, whose patience is not infinite and whose experience advises them against anarchism to stay on the periphery or sidelines. These people, in my experience, outnumber those who remain active in the anarchist approach to the problem by at least 10:1, if not 100:1 or even 1,000:1. IMHO, their absence, a direct result of the use anarchism as an organizing model, is a shame.

      The 99% IS an idea whose time has come.

      Anarchism as a broadly applicable model for society that will soon be embraced by the majority, much less the 90% if you will, DEFINITELY NOT. Rightly or wrongly, we will have state sanctioned gay marriage in virtually all 50 states long before that happens, if it ever does.

      All this notwithstanding, I continue to be vigorously involved, because frankly it is too damn important not to and it is the only game in town that is even close to doing what my own instincts have told me needs to be done. For these reasons I will continue to work within this system, despite is astonshingly volatile intolerance for either outside critique or internal introspection. IMHO, this critical to organizational survival, but then, of course, what's my experience worth in comparison to mobs of people who have little or no experience in starting, rapidly growing and/or operating organizations of either employees or volunteers?

  •  Well, thank you for this. (118+ / 0-)

    The reality is on Sept 16, 2011 no one had even heard of OWS. Then a tiny group of people took residence in a tiny concrete plaza. And in 60 days they were the biggest story in American politics. They seem to be doing OK so far.

    I see them as the new shiny object people project their own hopes and dreams onto. When they say "OWS should do X..."

    The reality is SOMEONE is already doing "X."

    Someone is registering voters, someone is working on behalf of progressive candidates, someone is calling for the passage of a progressive piece of legislation.

    The advice somehow misses that. OWS didn't arise to transform in three months into a farm team for DNC, DSCC, DCCC, PCCC, OFA, Courage Campaign, MoveOn, Democracy For America...

    The vitriol directed at OWS for declining to play by the same old rules perplexes me.

    0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 4619: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/21/2011

    by Scott Wooledge on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:18:12 PM PST

  •  You know the old adage (21+ / 0-)

    about what to do when you find yourself in a hole.

    All the critics of OWS are pestering the activists, "Dig this way, dig that way, use a different shovel, dig faster, dig harder!"

    OWS says, "Stop digging."  Looks like the right answer to me.

    If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:19:33 PM PST

  •  Maybe doing it wrong (9+ / 0-)

    Is the new doing it right. OWS managed to get the issue in such a way that the powers that be were not prepared for. That sent them scrambling, and they are starting to incorporate OWS's messages into their own. No changes yet, but if even Eric Cantor and Rick Santorum can bring up income inequality in just the last couple of months, it surely is having an effect.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:21:02 PM PST

    •  Cute, but no cigar (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie
      but if even Eric Cantor and Rick Santorum can bring up income inequality in just the last couple of months, it surely is having an effect.

      They bring it up because the meme, the ideas are what people are focussing on.  They bring it up to carve out a defense of the same bribery and corrupt politics that can help them beat back any reform effort, presuming it will be like it always has been, a cyclic outrage thing to be managed, coopted and tamped down.

      for two political seat occupiers with nothing to contribute except a bowel obstruction, there aim is to ensure a steady stream of those big donor dollars. That's all.

      It took 203 years to ratify the salary self aggrandisement prohibited amendment: we don't have 200 years more to wait to make elections unbought and unbribed.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

      by BeeDeeS on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:38:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I say full steam ahead (8+ / 0-)

      If the OWS movement continues to insist on decentralization and consensus, spreads into smaller and smaller communities, spawning more and more awareness and discussion of economic justice, finds its way under the nationwide web of corporate press/propaganda, what could possibly be better than that? The nation is already polarized, voters on both sides of the divide continue to be starved for accurate and easily comprehended information on our current economic predicament. Yes Occupy is controversial, yes it is susceptible to being unfavorably painted by the right-wing media behemoth, but yes its message is continuing to spread, and it is mobilizing young people -- and our nation desperately needs its young people to give a damn.

  •  My advice- dump the tents, dump Wall street, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thePhoenix13, Leo in NJ

    I cant thing of any connection between income inequality and putting up tents.
    people who are poor these days live in their cars-not tents-and I am not recommending moving cars onto the streets.

    as for Wall street so you protest to a bunch of people sitting behind desks. that isnt going to hurt them. move the protests to shipping areas. i loved the port occupy in Oakland.

    and one more thing. dont be afraid to cause a stir. this isnt a garden party . no violence but come on it is a PROTEST.

  •  Isnt this thread (3+ / 0-)

    a whine about how successful pundits are doing it wrong?
     Just saying...

  •  Meh, I think it's fine to give advice. (9+ / 0-)

    Occupy is far from perfect, and it's not like people can't be critical while still supportive. I personally have a long list of criticisms for OWS, and if given a opportunity to put them to good use, I would gladly do so.

  •  OK. But if this isn't a 60s thing, can we end any (5+ / 0-)

    and all references to The Buffalo Springfield? Please?

    Please don't call yourself a "DFH." It's not helpful.

    by VictorLaszlo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:29:45 PM PST

  •  Bill O'Reilly Says OWS Is Dead, It's Over.... (15+ / 0-)

    & his cronies on FOX News back him up.  We're having a rally in Olympia Washington state tomorrow at the capitol.  3,000 people are expected.  

    The Fellowship of Reconciliation & American Friends Service Committee will be presenting a Joint Resolution to our legislature for the President & Congress to end the wars & bring the war dollars home.  

    I guess we didn't get Bill's memo.  

  •  This is one of your better articles (10+ / 0-)

    (a) I think you do best when you talk strategy and practical outcomes for actual Americans rather than focusing on the Democratic Party. When you do the later, your writing tends to be mush. Just my opinion.

    (b) Here you make a very good observation. Early on I was guilty to a small degree of this, but I soon realized if its working, don't screw it over.

    And, that's the real point of all of this right- that strategies should work? But, the mind set of many Democratic base voters is to keep trying things that don't work merely because its what they have done for the last 30 years.  The definition of insanity.

    The real lesson here is that may be the "experts" have no freaking idea what they are talking about. And why they are so willing to trash OWS is that OWS shows them to be at the very least incompetent (that's a charitable read).

    The less charitable read is Clark67's read of it above- that this is all about co-optation. I won't get into my views of why they want to co opt.

    (c) And really the real way we can see OWS is being effective is in the shifting of the Overton Window. I don't believe for one second that the Super Congress would not have pushed through some far right wing bullshit on us if the Overton Window had no shifted from deficit reduction to income inequality and economic injustice.

      •  Results tell the tale of what's right and wrong (7+ / 0-)

        as far as strategies and tactics.

        And I don't mean declaring victory and going on, but whether the result one wants to have happen is the result that happens.

        That's all Ia m saying. Clealry OWS is pointing out that the system needs to disruption (my point about shifting the establishment focus on deficits to a focus on economic injustice), and when you speak of disruption- as you did with the Mad Man Theory at the other web site, you capture something that is necessary, but does not exist in the debate. You were able to demonstrate why the theory made sense with concrete historical example just as OWS can point to how it has shifted the conversation as concrete example.

        There are a plenty of people able to articulate the status quo, but again, just my opinion, I think you excel at discussing things that are  may be not your comfort zone, but are going to challenge that status quo as far as the clarity of the arguments you are making showing that the disruption works.

    •  Of course the Dems want to co opt (8+ / 0-)

      But what most of the "professional" advice-givers don't understand is that the Dems will succeed if OWS succeeds, even if OWS gives the Dem establishment the cold shoulder.

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:41:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except unfortunately they are still (7+ / 0-)

        trying to control OWS and other disruption of the conservative narrative that dominates both parties.

        Having SEIU officials — fresh off endorsing the Obama re-election campaign — shape, fund, dictate and decree an anti-GOP, pro-Obama march is about as antithetical as one can imagine to what the Occupy movement has been. And pretending that the ongoing protests are grounded in the belief that the GOP is the party of the rich while the Democrats are the party of the working class is likely to fool just about nobody other than those fooled by that already. The strength and genius of OWS has been its steadfast refusal to (a) fall into the trap that ensnared the Tea Party of being exploited as a partisan tool and (b) integrate itself into the very political institutions which it’s scorning and protesting.

        As I noted several weeks ago, WH-aligned groups such as the Center for American Progress have made explicitly clear that they are going to try to convert OWS into a vote-producing arm for the Obama 2012 campaign, and that’s what “Occupy Congress” is designed to achieve. I believed then and — having spent the last few weeks talking with many OWS protesters around the country — believe even more so now that these efforts will inevitably fail: those who have animated the Occupy movement are not motivated by partisan allegiance or an overarching desire to devote themselves to one of the two parties. In fact, one of the original Occupy groups — as opposed to partisan organizations swooping in to exploit it — has announced its own D.C. occupation to, in part, “demonstrate the failure of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress to represent the views of the majority of people.”

        I disagree with the prevailing wisdom that OWS should begin formulating specific legislative demands and working to elect specific candidates. I have no doubt that many OWS protesters will ultimately vote and even work for certain candidates — and that makes sense — but the U.S. desperately needs a citizen movement devoted to working outside of political and legal institutions and that is designed to be a place of dissent against it. Integrating it into that system is a way of narrowing its appeal and, worse, sapping it of its unique attributes and fear-generating potency.

        http://www.salon.com/...

        Fear is the point of how the disruption works. Remaining on the status quo allows the status quo to predict and counter what most actors can do in the system.

  •  Heh. (7+ / 0-)
    I'll now add that I have no idea what is meant by "our disposition, our attitude, the way we carry ourselves, what we expect of ourselves."

    Get a bath, a shave, a haircut, clean clothes and a job ;)  Be a good little corporate drone clone so that the 'very serious people' will take you 'seriously'.

  •  well I think it's pretty obvious (15+ / 0-)

    that a huge chunk of the "friendly" critiques come from people who are deeply invested (either emotionally or professionally) in the Democratic electoral apparatus. Understandably there is a measure of resentment that the movement has been so separate and distinct from failed Democratic party politics (by design). They want desperately for the Occupy movement to be an ATM machine and GOTV operation for the party--essentially the Dem's Tea Party. It isn't happening and is not going to happen if this movement actually wants to accomplish anything--much to the chagrin of those party people. And so the protests automatically = the 60s all over again for them, or Seattle 1999.

    I did not forget kos's theory (which he promoted extensively) in the mid 00s that protest movements were dead, useless and counterproductive in light of the Iraq War protest failures. He claimed that physical protests were dead and that the best way to effect change was through the party apparatus. Well...I haven't seen a retraction from him on that end, but whether he admits it or not, his theory was spectacularly incorrect. Protests not only are relevant and useful, but his corollary about the best way to achieve political change crashed and burned before our eyes as the Democratic Congress and later on the Obama presidency unfolded with so much failure, leaving the party apparatus to claim the mantle of "less evil" as their last best hope.

    I don't pretend to know the answer to all our problems--but it is clear to me and millions of people that the old way of doing things will not work.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

    by michael1104 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:38:30 PM PST

    •  Different priorities (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, happymisanthropy
    •  I don't think that's entirely fair to Kos. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, JesseCW

      In Taking On the System, he does hate on the incoherent Iraq war protests, but he also praises the organization against the odious 2006 House immigration reform bill:

      Signs proclaimed “We are America.” Spokespersons reinforced that message […] The message was so clear, so universally intuitive, that every participant easily adopted it.

      Seems to me he could've been talking about OWS. And this chapter is called “Reinvent the Street Protest” – not “Street Protests Are Dead.”

      As for the failure of electoral politics, Kos never said the goal was just to get Dems back in power so they'd fix things. The slogan is “More and Better Democrats” – a decidedly long-term project.

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

      by Code Monkey on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:56:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  fair enough (9+ / 0-)

        Nevertheless, the past decade has shown that "more and better Dems" is simply not a realistic goal when working under the rules of the current political and electoral system. The very people who and want more of the same blind allegiance to The Party and cheerleading and tell us that this is the way to create a progressive country (despite the obvious lack of evidence it has worked) are the same people who poo poo OWS.

        Crashing the gates of the party by taking it over from the inside sounds like a great plan on paper--in reality it hasn't worked very well when the party is totally controlled from top to bottom by conservatives who think the status quo is perfectly fine. Or when the ones who did get through the gate stand there defending the indefensible Obama and Democratic record while running or acting as progressives--there is no better example of this than the toothless and perpetually wilted House Progressive Caucus.

        We don't have 50 years to "take over the party" (regardless of the fact that under this system, and under these leaders it wouldn't happen in 50 years or 100, or ever). OWS is a direct response to the deterioration of this country and the decimation of any semblance of left wing politics in this country, which the Democratic Party was a key driver in bringing about.

        "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

        by michael1104 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:16:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I certainly agree it's not the whole solution. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          In fact, I'd say it's arguable that Kos put the cart before the horse – crashing the gates becomes more realistic if there's a movement like OWS weakening the elites' grip on the system.

          In any case, see my other comment here – I'm glad we have people working on all the angles.

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

          by Code Monkey on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:17:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Its getting to that point like with (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, cybrestrike

          Trickle down Reaganomics, where the "more and better" needs to show results outside of electoral wins because those aren't producing better, which is the only reason to buy into the more in the first place.

        •  The reaganomics analogy (3+ / 0-)

          is about the fact that the true believers keep pushing it, but it has yet to yield results.

          The same is true of the more and better electoral politics arguments. Prove it or stop claiming its a winner.

          •  absolutely right (5+ / 0-)

            "more and better" has been an abysmal failure--even by the most generous of standards. If we look at the Democratic record disregarding actual bona fide progressive advances (which ought to be the standard) and even disregarding another easy standard: stopping right wing advances--let's use the standard of slowing down right wing advances.

            They truth is that they have aided an abetted right wing advances by leaps and bounds since they got any semblance of power after 2006. The Democratic Party that we put in power after so many years in the wilderness through netroots action and all that "crashing the gates" stuff from that era didn't even manage to slow down the right wing agenda. In the aggregate the policy conversation in this country has accelerated in a right wing direction since then--Obama has implemented policies that 5 years ago would have been considered extremely right wing, and the Democratic Congress under Bush was deathly afraid of him even up until his last days as a lame duck Mr. 23%. The only real success was stopping the Social Security privatization drive in 2005 (funny how they were out of power then), something which unbelievably, they are now  trying to mess with.

            If we can't even count on this party to slow down the right wing agenda while they are in power, expecting them to move this country left is a lost cause--no matter how many of them take seats in Congress or how many years they manage to keep the White House. The only group of people who have managed to move the discussion left are OWS--these so called dirty hippies who sit in parks and not in the halls of power.

            "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

            by michael1104 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:34:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  "incoherent Iraq war protests" (0+ / 0-)

        Wow. They seemed pretty damn coherent to me. But it was very instructional how easily they were ignored by the msm.

        How many divisions does OWS have?

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 08:00:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I suppose the message "You're doing it wrong" (6+ / 0-)

    means the critic shares the goals, if not the tactics. Better than "You're wrong."

    OWS is inspiring the heck out me. I'm investing my share of hope in these folks.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:39:42 PM PST

  •  Comment/critique OWS or let the right define them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thePhoenix13, raincrow

    as hippies vs cops. The choice is yours.

    I'm not sure what the point of this article was other than to sap energy for making OWS more successful.

    Also, Krugman never said Income inequality wasn't a problem, he said it didn't cause the financial meltdown.

  •  Or, perhaps, the exact opposite (0+ / 0-)
    Personally, I've shied away from offering "advice" to activists and especially, to the Occupy movement.

    Occupy Wall Street is purposefully an organic movement that can grow and adapt.  As the analogy goes, Occupy is an API more than a destination site.  Part of that is getting input from everywhere.

    But mostly, I agree with Armando.  It isn't advice that is needed.  If you really think something should be done differently, go out and do it!  No one has to ask permission from the Central Occupy Command Central.

      •  Nor am I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        live1, Armando

        Technically, at least.  I've visited Occupy Portland a few times while the camp was up.  I've shared stuff and facebook and so on.  I've almost participated in marches, but downtown is a ways away and I have to work.  I'm a strong supporter, but not really an Occupier.

        I realize you are picking on the professional talking heads, which is why I largely agree with you.

        But this should be a conversation.  We should be suggesting new ideas and giving our critique of others' ideas.  More importantly, we should be discussing what we think Occupy is, or should be, about.  I think it is mostly about the cycle of wealth of the few corrupting government to increase the wealth of the few.  But others have their own ideas.  (And I have several others as well!)

        We should be having a national conversation over what the end game should be, such as a constitutional amendment.  But even the phrase "end game" involves tactics.  Many might disagree there should even be an end game.

        To me the real problem of the articles you mention aren't that they offer advice, but they play the Washington insider distraction game of focussing on process.

  •  The triumph of style over substance (10+ / 0-)

    like form over function, words over actions, and "culture" over principles. That's what the sturm und drang over OWS is mostly all about. People are either having a problem with, or pretending to have a problem with, the hippie "style" of OWS, to enable them to gloss over the clear substance of OWS, which while all over the map on details, is inherently and undeniably about economic and political justice, fairness and equality. I.e. the principles that this country was supposedly founded upon and which we all claim to revere and support.

    Sure OWS could be doing many things better--what political movement couldn't? And sure there's room for constructive criticism (and even non-constructive, since everyone's got the right to express their opinions no matter how asinine). But at its core OWS absolutely has it right--our political, economic and legal systems are not fair or just and something major has to be done about that.

    But hey, who cares about that if someone found a pile of human kaka in the middle of Liberty Plaza and finds bongo-playing to be annoying and silly?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:43:51 PM PST

    •  That is actually my number 1 frustration with OWS. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1

      The issues that they are raising are absolutely vital to the continuing prosperity of this nation, but OWS is making it too easy to dismiss because of the "hippieness", camping in public parks, and (insert other counter-cultural [yes I said it] device here). If enough people find bongo-playing to be annoying and silly, then people get distracted from the powerful messages of the movement, and nothing changes. And apparently a majority of the U.S. finds bongo playing to be silly, because OWS has less approval than the goddamn Tea Party! THE @#$#ing TEA PARTY!

      •  And what exactly was changing before the movement? (10+ / 0-)
        If enough people find bongo-playing to be annoying and silly, then people get distracted from the powerful messages of the movement, and nothing changes.
      •  No, the establishment media is making it too easy (8+ / 0-)

        to dismiss OWS, not OWS, which a majority of Americans sympathized with UNTIL the establishment media decided to do something about that, at the behest of its rich and powerful owners and their buddies who were worried that it might crimp their own "style". They made the bongo playing and alleged feces incidents more important than what OWS was and is clearly all about. Because they knew that it would resonate by a populace made way more conservative than is healthy.

        And some of us are playing right into it by agreeing with this BS spin.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:11:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as if people in cities have never heard drummers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, kovie

          on the streets or people using the street as a toilet.
          or people who dont bathe.
          yet the msm treats it like it is so outrageous

          •  One could ask: (5+ / 0-)

            why are there no public lavatories in North American cities?

            Why do the media not ask? Because they would not like to publicise the answer, which is social control and criminialisation of the use of public space for non-commerical purposes.

            Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

            by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:02:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because we've abandoned the concept (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cybrestrike

              of the commonweal, in which society accepts that it has certain common interests and we're not all atomic individuals who have nothing in common. The whole has become less the sum of its parts. And the idea of public anything has been tainted with the evil "S" word: public schools, libraries, roads, parks, and yes, bathrooms.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 08:02:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I think that is a valid point (0+ / 0-)

          The media is definitely portraying certain things very poorly. However, even I, a musician and member of a drum ensemble, think that it would be easier to be vigilant and stop playing the bongos instead of re-establishing the establishment media.

          Maybe you can change my mind, but I feel that when fighting such an important fight, it may be more important to quell the urge to participate in activities that can be used against you by the media, even if it is something as mundane as a drum circle.

          •  I understand your point but respectfully disagree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thePhoenix13, cybrestrike

            Sometimes you have to annoy some people to get what you want or need, either deliberately to get their attention, or simply in the course of being who you are and demanding better conditions for yourself and others. In fact you usually do (the American Revolution was EXTREMELY annoying to the British royalty).

            If it was ONLY bongo playing and the occasional pile of poo, I'd understand how the public would get turned off. But it's clearly not just that, far from it. It's just that the establishment media is deliberately and unsurprisingly overplaying these aspects, and underplaying the far more serious and substantive aspects of OWS and the overall movement against oligarchy, corruption and exploitation, as it always does, because it makes for great narratives and ratings, and is in line with its corporate interests and that of the people at its upper levels.

            Of course, OWS and the overall movement of which it's but one loosely connected part would do well to find a way to connect better with mainstream America, in ways that it was never likely to in the first place (due to its hippy dippy nature and downtown urban focus), and is now even less likely due to the police and media crackdown. But I see no problem with the "countercultural" version of OWS staying around, because its message resonates with many people, especially the young and disaffected and more liberal-minded, and as I said it's just one face of a multifaceted movement that is evolving in real time.

            In fact, I suggest an ironic new motto for OWS:

            Occupy Wall Street--now with more bongos and less feces!

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 07:59:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  What hippies? (5+ / 0-)

        They're all like 65+

        Bongo players? Like Maynard G. Krebbs? Werk??!

        That was the Beat generation.

        Do you mean OWS? The 60's were almost 50 years ago!!

        Also, please define "counter-culture."

        Please.

        Does it involve tattoos? Yes or no? Does it require veganism? What is the prevailing music associated with this counterculture of which you speak, daddy-o?

        Are they draft dodgers?

        •  Hippie has managed to rollover into current (0+ / 0-)

          generations, so I'm using that to generalize those who seem to fit that image, regardless of age and era.

          I'll indulge you. Yes, it involves certain kinds and amounts of tattoos, as well as piercings. Veganism is not required, but, is a sure sign of counter-culture when used. There are not really any prevailing music types, although african drumming, indie music, and possibly electronic and punk could all count. Prolific use of "daddy-o" is also a tell-tale sign of counter-culturism. If there was still a draft, they would be dodging it.

          I would just generally try and imagine a less-crazy burning man set to music from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Not that it can all be completely generalized, but I think that is fairly close.

          If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I know a few professors nearby that I could talk to tomorrow that could probably give an academic answer if you like.

      •  And yet the bongo playing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, cybrestrike, wu ming

        Hasn't scared Democratic inside player Van Jones from coopting OWS for his own initiative "Rebuild The Dream." They are promising to field "2000 candidates for the 99%" for the next cycle.

        Van Jones is all over the TV looking like he's a spokesperson for OWS, while professing he's not. Meanwhile his salary is paid to elect more Democrats through "Rebuild The Dream."

        If OWS is as repugnant to such large swaths of Americans as they are to you, what are Van Jones and Rebuild The Brand trying to coopt on OWS's branding?

        Seems you should warn Rebuild The Dream to stay away from associating with bongo players.

        0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 4619: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/21/2011

        by Scott Wooledge on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:34:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well it's awesome that there is that intiative (0+ / 0-)

          and it is of course, due to the work of OWS that it's happening, but still, those 2000 candidates will have to be elected by popular vote. Try not to forget that OWS's popularity has dropped recently. On one hand, Van Jones and Rebuild The Dream are smart to associate themselves with OWS because of their strong populist message, but it is precisely for the sake of the success of those 2000 candidates that I think it would be better if OWS looked at a different, more relatable approach to protesting.

          Also, there's no need to tell me how I personally feel about those in OWS. I actually have hung out with the bongo player and guitar player at my local Occupy a couple times, and they were great. As a musician myself, I made a point to see what they were up to. However, hypocritical or not, I am under no illusion that the broader American Public sees the appeal in such things.

      •  Previous successes (8+ / 0-)

        Yes, because all the previous, socially acceptable attempts to change the system worked so well!

        The reality is, camping in public parks was the only thing that actually got anyones attention.  And quite honestly, I don't mind people saying "I agree with the message, I just don't like these camps," because those people are agreeing with the message.

        But I do think we need to reach out to a more mainstream audience.  I agree there.  Actually, that is what I really find so disappointing about E.J. Dionne's column.  He should be taking his role as a liberal, mainstream opinion writer seriously.  Instead of offering advice, he should be taking the advice himself.

        Dionne should be writing articles explaining how the OWS movement is correct.  If needs a sentence or two to point out how some kids get carried away, fine.  But the focus should be on what the real problems of our society are and suggest possible solutions.

        •  Great comment (4+ / 0-)

          And on a smaller scale, so should we all, including me.

        •  Yeah, I agree with you there. (0+ / 0-)

          I only post these comments here because I know people are already believers in the message of OWS, and by criticizing it I'm not changing anyone's mind. If I was discussing it with right-wingers I would be defending OWS to the death.

          Just the same, I think that they need to move on while they are still popular. The camping got people's attention, and was the right move at the start, but I don't want to see that attention turn away because people can no longer relate to the methods of OWS.

          •  Your advice rings hollow (0+ / 0-)

            You have no practical solution to offer - you've admitted this more than once. You're critical of OWS yet offer no alternative. You're supposedly a student in your profile and you "hang out" with bongo players, but you don't sound like one.

            Be careful: No ideas, no alternatives + "friendly advice" that things have run their course might get you labeled a concern troll. You're knowingly or unknowingly demonstrating the premise of this diary.

            •  I understand the annoyance at the lack of (0+ / 0-)

              alternatives, but it's not like that automatically makes any criticisms invalid. You might disagree with them for other reasons, which is fine, but I don't think that OWS should move along unchallenged by its supporters. It's not a perfect system, and it is healthy to recognize that, even if it's hard to see what a better path would be.

              I'm resisting the urge to be an ass responding to the first bit, but I hope you don't seriously think that anyone who is a student or has played bongos is automatically a full-blown follower of OWS. And I'm not really sure if you're implying that because I'm a student and/or bongo connoisseur, then I should be easily able to come up solutions for the problems, but that is also strange.

              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                I'm saying you don't sound real.

                I'm also saying:

                Be careful: No ideas, no alternatives + "friendly advice" that things have run their course might get you labeled a concern troll. You're knowingly or unknowingly demonstrating the premise of this diary.
  •  Economic rights movement (5+ / 0-)

    I like that framing.

    We demand to share in the prosperity created by our productivity.

    We demand to govern ourselves against the wishes of our corporate masters.

    We demand that only people get to be people and that we are all equal under the law.

    This is not too much to ask, it is what we deserve.

  •  This is probably true for the reason that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    both parties were complicit in Vietnam, just as they are both complicit today...

    And in case you are wondering, I think it is indisputable that in terms of electoral politics - the "winning power" thing -the aftermath of the Civil Rights and Women's Liberation movements had much broader effects on elections than the Vietnam War protest movement.

    I don't think occupy will have the electoral thrust that liberals hope it will, which is why folks like booman and Chait go out of their way to belittle and marginalize it. Occupy has more in common with the indignados in Spain than with OFA GOTV campaigns.

    If only donkeys could have elephant balls... Occupy!

    by chuckvw on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:53:51 PM PST

  •  So here we are (7+ / 0-)

    The Occupy movement (which is not totally dissimilar to 1960s activism but which is different in many ways) basically is doing something right based on results to date.  In this regard, we (I'm one of those hectoring professional left types so I'm part of that group) need to back off and let the proven performers continue to perform.

    On the Occupy side, the organizers need to think about the scalability of what they're doing.  (How do you involve those of us who are neither physically able nor have the life situation that allows to to hang out in a tent city waiting to be pepper sprayed, and who would be risking our jobs if we supported them openly?  How does Occupy mobilize its latent support base?  How do they make politicians, business groups, and others afraid of them and/or compliant?)  

    On the professional-left side we can do a lot of things besides tell the protesters not to be such DFHs.  For example, why are liberal Democrats we helped getting elected allowing the cops to pepper spray Occupy protesters?  "No pepper spray for legitimate free speech" is a pretty reasonable slogan for the mainstream left.

    •  Depending on what happens in the (0+ / 0-)

      next election, OWS will be as much, probably more, of a power broker as the tea party.

      Remember, they weren't much, and while they got a lot of press (and a lot of 1%ers money to get that), they weren't looked at as powerful until after the election - when they swung enough primaries to show that they had more clout than the GOP thought, and were more independent.

      •  never happen (0+ / 0-)

        the tea party wanted what business wanted.
        OWS has no agenda the business driven power brokers want to advance.
        i dont see any int in trying to get this into the current political/corporate arena.

    •  I think you need to figure that out for yourself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberaldregs
      How do you involve those of us who are neither physically able nor have the life situation that allows to to hang out in a tent city waiting to be pepper sprayed, and who would be risking our jobs if we supported them openly?

      Involve yourself by doing what you do. Work off the results of Occupy. Use it to your advantage.

    •  I think what will make it scalable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimreyn, Boreal Ecologist

      is for those of us who cannot live in tent cities but who know how to work in local politics to use the Occupy buzz to register as many new voters as possible, keep local Democratic Party organizations loaded down with income inequality data, at both the bumpersticker and white-paper level, and spread the idea that we all help bake the pie and it's about damned time it's sliced more fairly.

      I think we should ride the movement's coattails to elect more and better Democrats.

      •  basically the antidote to Tea Party? (0+ / 0-)

        electing more and more conservative demagoging chavinist misogynist, and even more  racist Republicans?  

        We get  a balancing act to restore the "two party system"?

        That's a goal that is much too low for the effort and sacrifice people  actively supporting Occupy are making even now.

        4,690 or more arrested for Occupy.  0 Bankers arrested.

        To spend this time and effort to put some butts in the same swamp that drowns everyone's hopes year after year after year.  

        depressing to set your goal that low.

        If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

        by BeeDeeS on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:39:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  For those who cannot Occupy, but wish to help, (0+ / 0-)

          what would you have them do if not try to turn this energy into political action? Would you have them try to invent a Third_Party_That_Is_Not_An_Antidote_To_Tea_Party, where nobody has yet successfully brought a 3rd party into sustained being? Would you not have them try to bring the Democratic Party to heel? (And if not, why are you here at a "more and better Democrats" website?)

          Would you rather those who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not physically participate simply ignore the movement and not attempt to further its goals and build on its message in their own way?

          •  this is an example of multitask: vote in Nov 12 (0+ / 0-)

            but work every day to bring about the genuine alternative.

            There are hundreds of decent people in the Democratic ranks. they don't have much of a chance unless there is a massive popular uprising that scare the hell out of all elected officials.

            and that is the way you get "more and better democrats"
            Scare away those that can't stand the heat and the crossexamination or who have dirty hands.  There are plenty of those, too.

            If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

            by BeeDeeS on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What form do you want the uprising to take? (0+ / 0-)

              What do you have in mind?

              How about a 50-state grassroots effort to pass a Constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not persons; money is not speech; and local, state, and federal legislatures may restrict the political speech of corporations?

              That is still the bottom line, because without it, whatever we try to do, the Supreme Court will undo.

  •  Only Thing I See Wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, raincrow
    The annoying 'friendly critique' of activists

    Is that in your subject title. These aren't 'activist', in this time they're individuals sitting at computers focused on one or more issues and that's it, little in critical thought nor common sense and not seeing the whole picture.

    The actual activist each have their own important to their lives issues and are combining them with the others they understand have some same and many different, they are camping with or marching with or meeting with. Those others 'activist?' get quickly upset if they hear or read one report from say an NPR that doesn't follow their liking so they quickly jump online, if they ever left, and start blasting away.

    Oh some may hit the streets for a march or two, but like their brethren they call the other side they're really no different, comfortable in their surroundings only they may have a three dollar so called coffee next to them, that other side may have a cheap beer and often types comments like they've had a few to many.

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:54:29 PM PST

  •  No doubt everyone would do things differently (5+ / 0-)

    with any movement. What I do find interesting is that with many past civil protests, we can look back and identify their leaders, but I could not really tell you the "leaders" of the Occupy movement. Is that because they don't have one or because we are too close to it right now to recognize its leaders?

    Maybe the people who argue that OWS needs a leader and to set goals are making the mistake of viewing OWS as the "storm." Maybe OWS is really the calm before the storm, and will serve as the inspiration for the leaders who will rise up to lead a more organized fight against income inequality.

    Look at what we consider the French Revolution (note: I am not saying these two situations are synonymous). While there were those who talked about inequality between the rich and poor and who stirred the pot so to speak, the throngs of people who initially rose up against the injustices were disorganized and leaderless. Only later, did leaders float to the surface to take the movement in a specific (and not necessarily good) direction.

    Obviously we live in different times where we have tools to organize and effect change that do not require the kind of violence seen in the French Revolution, so OWS did not begin as a violent mob storming Wall Street. And we do see some organization and coordination going on--someone is leading that--it is not as "rudderless" as it might appear.

    What I do find odd about OWS is the seeming conviction of the people I have seen speak about it that it should not have a leader and no one should be elected to speak for anyone. I personally believe in the principles of democracy and would be happy to see someone democratically chosen for their ability to communicate the concerns the people who make up OWS have.

    I also hope someone does come forward to start leading the march against institutionalized inequality and government corruption by big money because otherwise, we're just complaining and leaving it up to the people who put themselves in charge of everything to decide what to do about it--and that's the whole problem. We, the 99%, need to push the 1% aside and seize enough political control to ensure that the interests of those not in the 1% are also being addressed and that the 1% pay their fair share.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:54:38 PM PST

  •  Countercultural n.s. Involving or Relating To Pot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, mahakali overdrive

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:56:35 PM PST

  •  Not to be a dick... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind, JesseCW

    But might not one interpret this post as telling people to "clap louder"?

  •  You can't be "counter" American culture (6+ / 0-)

    because there is no one American culture, despite what some on the right would like to think.

    There is no majority culture in the US. Although it is surely true that most Americans are "White" and "Christian", both of those groups are so large and so diverse as to dispel any attempt to be a single culture.

    America has been called a "melting pot", but I think that is inaccurate; I think a better metaphor is "salad bowl" with lots of different ingredients mixing together and becoming something greater, but with each maintaining its character.

    The religious right and the bigots want a salad that is all lettuce.

    Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

    by plf515 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 01:59:09 PM PST

  •  I had a big laugh when I read that (9+ / 0-)

    Bit about the Occupy movement being "counter cultural".  Talk about a seriously confused individual. If he means it's just a bunch of dirty fucking hippies, has he ever bothered to go to his local occupy site?  I've been down to Occupy Denver  every Saturday except one for the last 8 weeks.  Talk about diversity!  Whatever you want, we got a dozen!  But if you're looking for a majority, you're looking at a lot of suburban 40 and 50 somethings.  Folks largely too young to have been part of the 60's counterculture.  But old enough to have watched our culture be warped by the powerful and greedy, and old enough to watch that culture begin eating our newly adult children.  It isn't just students, and the unemployed, and the homeless, it's their middle class parents.

    •  The opposition has to paint Occupy as (4+ / 0-)

      spoiled college kids to mislead low-information, emotionalistic middlies and rightists, the better to create the very same wedge Nixon did between the "hardhats" and the DFHs.

      They are doing everything in their power, aided by the press, to ignore the diversity in the movement because, heavens, we can't allow the low-information public to be contaminated by the inconvenient truth. Might give them uppity ideas.

      •  Particularly, (and falsely) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, pot

        mostly white spoiled college kids.

        Every visit to Occupy LA tells me the movement is ethnically diverse, but the Daily Kos front page and the mainstream media both tell me it's "white".

        She's the sort of person who would not only happily stay in Omelas, but would ask "Couldn't life be more wonderful if we threw a few more kids in there?"

        by JesseCW on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:11:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Reason the Resistance Has Always Looked (9+ / 0-)

    nonmainstream and imperfectly organized is that for half a century and counting, almost everyone and almost all institutions that could bring progress through mainstream politics and economics has been and still is still making everything worse.

    There is no reality party in the United States.

    That's why there are laborers, kids and intellectuals in the streets.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:01:07 PM PST

  •  the occupy movement (12+ / 0-)

    has changed the conversation in this country. all summer long it was debt and deficits and austerity, now people are talking jobs and income disparity, and the concept of 99% has penetrated wide public consciousness. i doubt dionne or booman ever will change the conversation in this country or penetrate wide public consciousness.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam (The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers)

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:01:11 PM PST

  •  Good Diary.* My only regret (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, raincrow

    is that Occupy didn't start in Spring.

    *yes I know they're not called that.

  •  1930s (10+ / 0-)

    Maybe instead of thinking of the 1960s we should recall the late 1930s factory sit-ins? They likewise occupied space as a protest, and they met violent responses (much more than what OWS has endured). On the other hand, the 1930s workers had a single objective (Unionization) and threatened their employer's profits.

  •  If Daniel Ellsberg was a major (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, live1, raincrow, Kimball Cross
    hero who provided a catalyst that brought a quick end to the senseless Viet Nam War, then what is Julian Assange?

    I say he might very well be far greater hero in this surveillance society among overly secretive governments.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:04:06 PM PST

  •  20-26 year olds were busy at card tables on the (7+ / 0-)

    streets, registering new voters, going door to door, kicking ass & taking names in '06 and '07. They were working hard to get a politician elected to oppose ANY Republican that came along. And they succeeded brilliantly, electing Obama by an overwhelming historic majority. 20-26 year olds made all the difference!

    Through mediocre/centrist public policy advocacy on taxes, on health care, and on action for the jobless - and through direct "hippie punching" - Obama deployed an array of voter alienation tactics that have left his 20 to 26 year olds without a great political cause to work for - without a political candidate they can believe in.

    Four years later, Obama's policies and tactics have put them on the street (on WALL STREET), in the workplace and at the university.  Obama did that.  It was a natural outcome of mediocre or feckless legislation.  Pretty good for Obama, but not nearly enough drama.  Not nearly enough meat on the bones.  Not nearly enough justice, nor social justice.  

    I credit him for preventing another Great Depression and slowly turning the ship of state around without being too disruptive.  But disruption is precisely what is needed.  OCCUPYWallStreet has changed the conversation among the villagers, but it will have succeeded when Obama, in his second term, prevents another French Revolution through radical advocacy of progressive legislation and prosecution of miscreants and sociopaths who, left unchecked, will defraud us once again.  

  •  Good points... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, chuckvw, raincrow

    Especially regarding the vacuous "counter culture" label.

    "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

    by assyrian64 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:05:52 PM PST

  •  One good point (7+ / 0-)

    The Civil Rights Movement came at a political cost.

    Are people really suggesting that supoorting OWS and putting income equality on the national agenenda is not worth the political cost...

    (and I have heard words to that effect).

    For this movement to suceed there will be a political cost at some point in time

  •  EJ Dionne, desperately in luv with the shallow (0+ / 0-)

    drivel that drips out of his mind onto his keyboard.... I picture him preening and thinking how clever he is, a giant, featherless budgie.

  •  "Occupy Wall Street is fine just the way it is." (0+ / 0-)

    Met my definition of good enough from the beginning and it's better not to critique good enough.    

    Occupy Wall Street is fine just the way it is.  If there is anything wrong with this effort, it's with those observing it and not the participants.  OWS is getting what has eluded protesters on the left for decades.  KISS (even at the expense of complete accuracy and clarity).  100 people protesting for a 100 days is more difficult to ignore than 10,000 for 1 day.
  •  The anti-war movement did NOT grow out of the (0+ / 0-)

    counterculture. It came to overlap -- most in clothing style and taste in music -- with the counterculture after campus based youth started turning against the war.

    Lea: "You're not going to fly into an asteroid field, are you?" Han Solo: "They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?"

    by Kimball Cross on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:20:51 PM PST

  •  More crap from Armando (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Simpson

    I don't know if Armando has a point regarding what Dionne had to say - and since I know the part of this regarding Booman is so laughable, I'm not going to bother.

    I mean this comment about Booman is just hilarious:

    I can only assume his "advice" was directed at the Occupy movement

    Booman wrote a commentary based on this piece by Jonathan Chait.  Whether one agrees or not, it was about progressive attitudes toward Democratic Presidents.  And it sketched a history back to FDR:

    Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president. They can be happy with the idea of a Democratic president—indeed, dancing-in-the-streets delirious—but not with the real thing. The various theories of disconsolate liberals all suffer from a failure to compare Obama with any plausible baseline. Instead they compare Obama with an imaginary president—either an imaginary Obama or a fantasy version of a past president.

    So, what if we compare Obama with a real alternative? Not to Republicans—that’s too easy—but to Democratic presidents as they lived and breathed?

    Booman wrote a thoughtful response to that and while I can't agree with all of it, the piece had some merit.  The main gist of Booman's piece was that the Vietnam War was a watershed event for a shift in the "progressive attitude toward power".

    Not once does Booman mention OWS.  He concludes with this:

    We need to act like we trust power to do great things, and project that we are the right people to hold that power. And we need to take our positions within that power coalition rather than positioning ourselves as always outside of it serving as the gadfly.

    Liberals used to be able to do this. But since the disaster in 1968, it seems like we just want to attack all forms of power, even when they are our own.

    I would not be surprised if OWS had some small part in his thinking throughout this piece, but his topic is much broader and the scale of time he is thinking about is much longer.

    Now, Armando does not include the Chait posts of even Booman's first post in his links above.  They set the context for what Booman wrote, but Armando doesn't want the reader to understand the context.  He would not want us to see these first two links because his reaction was particularly obtuse and distorted:

    Booman laments the emergence of the "hippie"

    And now back to your regularly scheduled distortions....

    And folks who want to respond to my comment, please at least go back and absorb the substance of the Chait and the original Booman piece.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:26:09 PM PST

    •  The problem in trusting political leaders (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      is Vietnam and Watergate.

      The idea of trusting power to do great things has been gone since then and I don't think that it's coming back anytime soon.

      and of course, you make this, in some sense, all about President Obama.

      •  ok (0+ / 0-)

        1) So you agree Vietnam was a watershed for how progressives regard power?  That was Booman's thesis, so I guess you agree with  him.

        2) Your second sentence you could be right.

        3) Your third sentence.  No, in the context of Booman's writing you have to realize CHAIT was bringing in Obama. And comparing his place in history among other Dem Presidents.  I didn't make it all about Obama.  Obama was part of the context from the beginning of this discussion.

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:50:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is Booman's original post (0+ / 0-)

      the response to Chait:

      http://www.boomantribune.com/...

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:34:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No link to my original post? (0+ / 0-)
        •  you're (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Satya1

          really having very bad reading comprehension difficulties lately.

          I don't know why my post really has anything to do with what E.j. Dionne wrote.  My post didn't mention the OWS protests at all.  Even what I wrote about Vietnam wasn't really about the anti-war protests as much as the way liberals changed their attitudes towards our government and their own role within it.  

          So, first you assumed that I was blaming Vietnam for the loss of the South, when I never mentioned the South.  Then you assumed I was giving advice to OWS protestors when I wasn't.

          Not a good start.

          You also seem flummoxed by my use of the word counterculture.  I think most people understand the term broadly, and not as synonymous with hippies and protestors.  In fact, I said that the hippie ethos was only the most extreme end of the counterculture, and I meant "extreme" in the sense that they renounced the culture most thoroughly.  

          I wasn't aiming my arrow at hippies, but at a shortcoming in progressive culture that makes it so suspicious of power that it seems unwilling and ill-suited to seize it and use it.  

          In short, people in the counterculture position themselves outside of the dominant culture, including the political culture, and they stay there.  The remain there as strident critics of the dominant culture.

          What I said was that we need to stop standing outside and go back inside.  We need to act like our values are part of the dominant culture (because, increasingly, they are) and ask people to let us have power again.  

          It's partly an attitude adjustment.  

          But I'm not going to write this piece again in this comment.  You have shown no sign you'd understand it better the third time around.  

          •  That's just idiotic (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pot

            I never said you said Dems lost the South because of Vietnam.

            I said that you ignored that losing the South was the biggest political event of the 60s. And it s was die to the Civil Rights Movement.

            I said that your attributing "the Vietnam counterculturw"  for "progressives losing power" was simply stupid.

            Progressives do not win elections. They win battles over ideas.

            Your claim that "progrressives are winning" so act like it - based on gay marriag, etc,, is so myopic as to be laughable in the face of OWS.

            Liberals and progressives are losing the economic battle is th point of OWS.

            You can keep writng that piece in comments and at your site. IT is an absolutely asinine argument, bereft of understanding of activism, the 60s, social movements and electoral factors.

            It may be the single worst piece you have ever written.

            I mean honestly, read this:

             "In short, people in the counterculture position themselves outside of the dominant culture, including the political culture, and they stay there.  The remain there as strident critics of the dominant culture.

            What I said was that we need to stop standing outside and go back inside.  We need to act like our values are part of the dominant culture (because, increasingly, they are) and ask people to let us have power again.  "

            This is Westen/Lakoff stupid.

            You think it is profound obviously. I think it is one of the dumbest things I have ever read.  

            •  It's a pleasure (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Satya1

              to be called stupid by a man who can't read.

              You are confusing or conflating "Democrats" and "progressives/liberals."

              Liberals never owned the South and they didn't lose it.  Why would I talk about liberals losing power because they lost the South?  

              Liberals lost power because they checked out.  And I don't mean this is the sense of a Joe Klein, for whom George McGovern was the ultimate betrayal.  It's not about the message liberals sent or being all about peace and love.  

              Liberals literally changed from being the intellectual leaders of this country to positioning themselves outside of the political process.  They didn't so much lose the argument as decide that the prize wasn't worth winning.  

              Think back to Halberstam's Best and Brightest.  That was basically about "how could liberals screw up this badly?"  

              And then it was about self-flagellation and on to turning on the system itself, as if it was inherently corrupting and rotten.  

              Before long, the real heart of liberalism was closer to the Owl Farm in Woody Creek than a real thirst for power.  

              “Hubert Humphrey is a treacherous, gutless old ward-heeler.”

              You say liberals have been losing the economic battle.  Well, yes.  Liberals lost power in Washington and within the Democratic Party a long time ago.  But we've been winning the cultural battle, for the most part.  And we've been more right than wrong recently on the economy and on foreign policy, too.  We're in position now to step back up and stop acting like perennial critics.  But no one will give us a chance until we start acting like we want and deserve power.  Most of the time we act like power is beneath us.  Compromise is beneath us.  

              It's a loser's game.  It's a loser mentality.

              •  You don' know what you are talking about (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pot

                "Liberals never owned the South and they didn't lose it."

                Only if "liberals" only means social issues to you, as I imagine it does.

                The funny thing is you write this  -  "You are confusing or conflating "Democrats" and "progressives/liberals."

                That is you specialty.

                You confuse activists with pols for some reason.

                As for "liberal intellectuals," who you now seem to want to talk about, who in Gawd's name do you think is "acting like the counterculture" then?  Who? Dean Baker? Bob Kuttner? Paul Krugman? Stiglitz?

                Now that you follow the word of Geithne/Summers,  a mea culpa on Bill Clinton from you seems in order.

                I read you perfectly well - you wrote a ridiculous piece.

                •  No (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Satya1

                  you really don't seem to understand anything I am saying, even on a basic level.

                  It's probably because you can't envision a liberalism that is ascendent, confident, and normative.

                  But that's what we had from about 1933 to 1968.  

                  We can have it again.  

                  •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pot

                    Sez the new fan of triangulation.

                    You are a j0oke.

                  •  I've read Talkleft and BT for a number of (0+ / 0-)

                    years.

                    I don't agree with everything you said in your piece but your central thesis was interesting and worth reading about - and it was worth going back to read Chait's piece in order to better understand your thoughts.

                    In this diary Armando left out context, claimed he didn't understand what you meant and then made assumptions about it anyway.  What kind of basis for thinking or writing is that?  The term "strawman" doesn't quite cover the scope of the distortion.  And since early on he successfully avoided responding to your central thesis, any healthy discussion has by now been sabotaged.  

                    I'll choose your brand of writing any day Booman.

                    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                    by Satya1 on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 12:18:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you liked that piece by booman (0+ / 0-)

                      I can only say I'm glad you are not a fan of my work.

                      I've got some Westen and Lakoff you'll really love.

                      Of course your accusations ar4eflase but that's the least of it.You actually liked that piece is the most of it.

                      I can't imagine any sentinet being liking that piece.

    •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      There are links to all of it.

      Also, too, there was nothing thoughtful about what Booman wrote.

         

  •  Dangerous to think we have nothing to learn (0+ / 0-)

    There is nothing more dangerous to this new movement than to think that it has nothing to learn from others just as we can learn from it. As long as any of us are members of the 99% we have every right and an obligation to try and shape it and help it grow, and I don't mean just in size. So here is a link for the author to my "annoying" advice, I plan to be out at occupy LA today to do some peacekeeping, and later this week will write another article for the Journal of Peace and Justice with more advice because I believe that failing to challenge a movement whose cause I believe in makes me responsible for its failure. Ignorance is believing we have nothing left to learn.  http://www.laprogressive.com/.../

  •  Income Equality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, Calamity Jean, Caipirinha

    I'm not sure it makes sense for OWS to focus on 'income inequality.'  The fact that some people have a lot of money does not in itself bother me.  Concentration of wealth sometimes leads to very good outcomes (charitable donations, schools, hospitals, libraries, national parks, etc.)  

    But the fact that people with big money have a disproportionate effect on our democracy is a huge problem.  The rules for campaign donations need to be completely overhauled, and we need reinstatement of Glass/Steagal to keep the banks from making a mess of our economy.  But as far as I'm concerned, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can keep their money;  all I want is for the schoolteacher, the cop, the librarian, the factory worker, and the janitor to have economic security, healthcare, and a decent life for their families in accordance with the Middle Class Dream that defined America in previous decades.

    At the moment I'm invested in a medical technology company that is close to pulling off a miracle, and if they are successful, I could find myself among the 1%.  Seems to me there is nothing wrong with that.  Inequality doesn't strike me as the root of our problem--  a corrupted democracy is the real issue.

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:28:41 PM PST

    •  A majority of Americans see income inequality as a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      problem.

      Every part of our economy and society would improve by by shrinking the gap between rich and poor. Concentration of wealth has never led to a net gain by society. A larger middle class reduces the need for charity, provides more people with health care, better education, less corruption in the political system. It goes on and on.

  •  The fear among the pundits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, Calamity Jean

    The fear among the pundits is a change is coming and it's passing them by.  

    We need to remember that the 24 news cycle wasn't always so.  Talk radio didn't always exist.  News/opinion tv shows were rare and most of those were of the Joe Pyne/David Susskind variety.  

    The pundits like Dionne have become used to being asked their opinions.  Many of them now see themselves as newsmakers instead of news reporters.  

    They're losing their place in events so they have to create a new place:  If you don't do it my way, your movement will die.  

    Of course, when the pundits had a chance to make a difference such as report on the Iraq non-WMD's, they were too busy commenting on Fly Boy George's package.  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:29:20 PM PST

  •  I was always annoyed (0+ / 0-)

    by attempts to make anti-Vietnam protests into ideological battles. The fools chanting "Ho Ho Chi Mihn." I'd  be sitting in the college pub & one after another came the Trotskyites, the Maoists, the various anarchists with their tedious single-spaced manifestoes. I noticed they didn't pester the Vietnam vets, many of them anti-war activists with no agenda but to bring home their brothers-in-arms. Occupy reminds me of Soiidarity, I mean the word; set it free in the world & watch it gain meaning & significance, & wonder at its flexibility.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:29:44 PM PST

  •  not just income disparity. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, Calamity Jean

    a sub for thom hartmann pointed this out. guess what else ows put on the freakin' map?

    corporate personhood.

    and how this faulty concept has taken over, distorted the system and how it needs to be challenged and taken down.

    i don't know if the chattering class has focused on this, but everywhere i turn, this is being discussed now. sure, this has been touched upon in lefty blogs, but ows brought it up to the surface.

  •  naysayers who find fault ows point to MLK (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, fayea, Calamity Jean

    as someone the movement should emulate. but look at what MLK had to say in his letter from birmingham jail:

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    the cynics who fault ows now, i would bet my last dollar, would find fault with MLK too if we were to be transported in time.

    •  I am stealing this! absolutely explains "moderate" (0+ / 0-)

      Dem mayors breaking up encampments.  Substitute poor, jobless, indebted, victim of the banks, etc and see what you get for Negro in the original, or better yet add it as MLK did when he went to help the sanitation workers in Memphis.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

      by BeeDeeS on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:59:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if you ask me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, Chitown Kev

    these critiques that nitpick superficialities about the movement is symptomatic of something deeper. what people are really worried about is this:

    they fear change.

  •  The police response suggests that OWS is doing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, Calamity Jean

    something effective, even if they aren't doing it "right".

    It may be more worthwhile to consider past protest movements that have failed, and why... but honestly, I can't think of any.

    Vietnam: Sure, the war raged on for four more years after 500,000 people marched on Washington in 1971. but Congress felt confident enough to impeach the damned President to end the war.

    Earth Day: Huge rallies and the creation of local organizations to protect, rivers, beaches, old-growth forests, open space and ag land... not to mention the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

    Nuclear Power: There hasn't been a new plant built in thirty years.

    Nuclear Weapons: The SANE/Freeze movement in the 1980's moved Reagan from nuclear sabre-rattling to the START 1 treaty. It's still going as the Peace Action PAC.

    Central America: There were big rallies against Reagan's "anti-communist" crusade against Nicaragua and his support for the thugs ruling El Salvador. I believe that those marches helped stiffen some spines in Congress, who cut off aid to the Contras in 1985.

    South Africa: I was initially annoyed at all the Ivy League students who chained themselves to embassy gates to protest apartheid (but would not march against their own government's criminal policies in Central America). But they helped change minds in Congress, and called attention to the disinvestment campaign that changed minds in JoBerg.

    First Gulf War: The anti-war movement did not respond strongly. Hell, a dictator had invaded a neighboring country. But there was enough resistance to prod Congress into debating sanctions vs. military action.

    WTO: This protest movement went worldwide, but there were so many competing issues it was hard to follow through for effect. At least the WTO was brought out of the shadows and put on a defensive footing.

    Conquest of Iraq: Huge rallies failed to sway the Governments of the U.S. and Britain. It was an accomplishment to get as much support as we did in the face of 9/11 jingoism and the ruthless dishonesty of the  Bush/Cheney regime. I believe that the dissent set the stage for the outrage over Abu Grahib and the "buyers remorse" expressed by the American voter in 2006.

    Tea Party: Say what you will about their authenticity, but they played a major part in crippling HCR and focusing a white southern backlash against the First Black President into major electoral gains. Yet they've been unable to adapt to any new purpose.

    I haven't even mentioned ongoing civil rights efforts, the Chicano Moratorium and the Gay Rights movement.

    I'd say that the lessons of the past tell us this:
    - Dissent rarely achieves 100% of it's goals, but it does have significant effect over time.
    - No demands are better that too many demands.
    - Movements must evolve, go local and go to Washington.
    - Preparation and persistence pay off.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:52:10 PM PST

  •  me too: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Chitown Kev
    Personally, I've shied away from offering "advice" to activists and especially, to the Occupy movement. I like what they are accomplishing and well, they are not going to listen to me anyway. My priorities may not mesh with theirs. When they do, as they have lately,  I cheer them on.

    And I thank them for their efforts every day. They are making a difference.

    but frankly... it feels like me and my lady are on an island when it comes to that sentiment, IRL.

    my real world (almost all black) circle sounds more like ABL and The Peoples View on the topic, truly.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:52:14 PM PST

  •  Now this is some irony. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, Jeff Simpson

    What you're saying is true, but it's also exactly the same things I and other supporters of the President had to make against certain people whose idea of civic engagement was to bitterly, angrily demand a POTUS whose every word and deed parallels how they think they would do things in his place.  Now some of those people (and I'm not saying you're among them, Armando) are bitterly, angrily rejecting the opinions and advice of people who are less directly involved.

    •  Huge difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, BentLiberal

      The President works for all of us and we all have a good reason to address our policy preferences to him--in whatever legal manner we choose.

      OWS owes nothing to me or to any of these pundits. Indeed, in large part the pundits have failed members of OWS. That is why the movement exists in the first place.

      It seems axiomatic to me that activists can tell the President what to do, but not vice versa.

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:13:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems axiomatic to me (0+ / 0-)

        that people should collaborate rather than trying to make each other into tools.

        Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

        by Troubadour on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:28:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can assure you (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruh1, Armando, BentLiberal, stolen water, pot

          that the White House sees us as tools primarily.

          Ok, so I read the polls.

          by andgarden on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:30:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed, thats how they see OWS (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stolen water
            " Leading Democratic figures, including party fund-raisers and a top ally of President Obama, are embracing the spread of the anti-Wall Street protests in a clear sign that members of the Democratic establishment see the movement as a way to align disenchanted Americans with their party."

            http://www.nytimes.com/...

            Not as a way to address policy. As a way to gain power in DC.

            More

            He said Democrats are already looking for ways to mobilize protesters in get-out-the-vote drives for 2012. “What attracts an organization like CAP to this movement is the idea that our country’s economic policies have been focused on the very top and not on the bulk of America,” Mr. Legum added. “That’s a message we certainly agree with.”

            But while some Democrats see the movement as providing a political boost, the party’s alignment with the eclectic mix of protesters makes others nervous. They see the prospect of the protesters’ pushing the party dangerously to the left — just as the Tea Party has often pushed Republicans farther to the right and made for intraparty run-ins.

            Mr. Obama has spoken sympathetically of the Wall Street protests, saying they reflect “the frustration” that many struggling Americans are feeling. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, have sounded similar themes.

            The role of groups like the Democratic campaign committee and Mr. Podesta’s group, sometimes working in recent weeks with labor unions, moves support from talking points to the realm of organizational guidance."

            More on the co optative goals of turning OWS into an apendage and a tool

            The 2012 election is almost a full year away and nobody knows who is running against President Obama, but that didn’t stop Mary Kay Henry, the D.C.-based National President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), from announcing last week that her organization endorses President Obama for re-election. That’s not surprising — while many unions have exhibited political independence, SEIU officials have long been among Obama’s closest and most loyal allies in Washington — but what was notable here was how brazenly Henry exploited the language of the Occupy movement to justify her endorsement of the Democratic Party leader: “We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent . . . .Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent.”

            http://www.salon.com/...

          •  They see us as 300+ million people. (0+ / 0-)

            And as a result, there is no end to the minority of activists who go all Fatal Attraction because the specific aspects of their agenda on their mind at any given moment are not being specifically and loudly addressed at that moment.  Every objection made in this diary to constructive criticism of OWS applies equally well in both (indeed, all) directions.  I personally made the observation many times that a lot of the people railing against the President wouldn't respond well to having the scrutiny turned around, and now we have proof.

            Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

            by Troubadour on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:14:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You think the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pot

              "counterculture" crioticsm was helpful?

              How do you feel about the complaints that OWS is excluding POC?

              •  It is helpful to say that OWS (0+ / 0-)

                should not allow itself to become the instrument of parochial agendas, be it countercultural or whatever.

                I don't know what "POC" refers to or the issue it references.

                Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                by Troubadour on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 11:37:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What is a "parochial" (0+ / 0-)

                  "countercultural" issue?

                  What is "countercultural?"

                  POC of is People of Color. Booman sez OWS is having trouble with POC.

                  •  All counterculture is parochial. (0+ / 0-)

                    Its entire basis is rejection, exclusion, and implicit condemnation of the "mainstream" - an attitude that doesn't quite jibe with 99%.  Of course, not at all parochial issues are countercultural - only when they're insulated from context and perspective.  

                    Can't comment on race relations within OWS - haven't had any experiences to draw on.

                    Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                    by Troubadour on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:13:32 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                      All "counterculture" is parochial because it "condemns the mainstream?" Then every disagreement on anything is "parochial. That is a pretty meaningless statement.

                      And of course, vice versa, "the mainstream" is, by your definition, a condemnation of "the counterculture," what that means.

                      You didn't provide me with much guidance on what you think "countercultural" means.

                      For example, is disagreeing with "austerity" countercultural? If not, why not? What is different about that? Why is that not a "condemnation of the mainstream?"

                      Labels are pretty useless unless you provide some definition to the labels.

                      •  A disagreement is not a condemnation. (0+ / 0-)

                        Counterculture does not "disagree" with the mainstream, it rejects it; it utterly, totally, and in the starkest moral terms condemns it as something fundamentally corrupt that must simply be thrown away and replaced.  That's what your "end capitalism" and "abolish private property" type of messages are.  That's counterculture.  Most of what is advocated at OWS is not, and more properly occupies the domain of reform and innovation.

                        Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                        by Troubadour on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:42:34 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Identify one "countercultural" issue (0+ / 0-)

                          that is current in your opinion.

                          I agree with your last statement BTW.

                          One of the points of my post.

                          •  Other than the mythical "end capitalism" (0+ / 0-)

                            stuff.

                            I mean, that really does not exist does it? Unless, you know, in a "kenyan socialist" sort of way.

                          •  Uhh, I've seen "end capitalism" repeatedly invoked (0+ / 0-)

                            right here on Daily Kos, and had discussions about it with the advocates, so no - it's not "mythical."  And it certainly isn't trivially small in the number of people supporting it.  But it is a minority position.

                            I would also say counterculture doesn't only apply to issues, but also to how an issue is approached.  For instance, I don't know what the deal is with drum circles - I honestly don't see that they communicate anything.  But for some reason they're a relevant, highly assertive bloc within some large Occupations.  That's counterculture for sure.

                            Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                            by Troubadour on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:01:32 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

                            it is trivially small.

                            That you are pretending it isn't is bothersome to me.

                            What about some real "countercultural" issues.

                            I mean is that really all you can think of?

                            Then there is nothing to discuss on this point imo.

                          •  A bit defensive reaction, IMHO. (0+ / 0-)

                            There's no condemnation here, I'm just telling you my experiences.

                            Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                            by Troubadour on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:49:53 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  More offensive I think (0+ / 0-)

                            I am criticizing your argument.

                            Try again.

            •  jesus. (0+ / 0-)

              alarm at police brutality isn't a boutique concern.

              •  Indeed, but it's a secondary problem. (0+ / 0-)

                A waitress single mother can't sleep at night because she's worried about providing for her children, not whether the people fighting for her are being brutalized.  I'm sure she would care if it were brought to her attention, but it's not the thing at the heart of this.  

                Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                by Troubadour on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 11:44:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  our complaint with the president (0+ / 0-)

              is that he plays it too safe and is reluctant to stand up for principle.

              surely one can't accuse ows of cowardice.

              how are the arguments against the president and the arguments against ows even comparable? they're not the same thing.

              •  They're the same thing because everyone (0+ / 0-)

                is a person, regardless of their profession or political role.  Does it really matter if one is a plumber armchair-quarterbacking a fighter pilot from their couch with a bag of Cheetos in hand, or an activist reading sinister implications about the character of a President into the fact that they haven't painted "99%" on the White House, or someone with limited direct involvement with OWS telling it how to do its business?

                Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                by Troubadour on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 11:52:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  HAve you brought this up at Occupy meetings? (0+ / 0-)
                  •  Brought what up? (0+ / 0-)

                    The whole point is that the diary raises valid points that are every bit as valid when people are ridiculing President Obama's performance as denigrating how activists are doing their jobs.  Basically, accountability comes as a package deal.

                    Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                    by Troubadour on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:05:17 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Brought THIS up (0+ / 0-)

                      "They're the same thing because everyone is a person, regardless of their profession or political role.  Does it really matter if one is a plumber armchair-quarterbacking a fighter pilot from their couch with a bag of Cheetos in hand, or an activist reading sinister implications about the character of a President into the fact that they haven't painted "99%" on the White House, or someone with limited direct involvement with OWS telling it how to do its business?"

                      Have you made that argument at an Occupy meeting. I assume the answer is no.

                      •  I haven't physically been to an Occupy. (0+ / 0-)

                        Haven't had the opportunity.  But if I had, I'm not sure how the point I'm making here - or indeed the points you make in this diary - would be of relevance.  We aren't talking about the movement; we're talking about talking about the movement.  It's pure meta.

                        Republicans are a party of seven-digit inherited wealth, two-digit IQs, and subzero conscience.

                        by Troubadour on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:03:41 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's some advice for OWS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, stolen water

    Keep up the great work. Alright, I know that isn't really advice. Just trying to be mildly clever, and not clearing even that bar.

    My forthcoming book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity will be published in Summer 2012 by Potomac Books.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:54:31 PM PST

  •  Three comments: (4+ / 0-)

    --Thanks for your critique of the "concerned" pundits who want to be more important to the movement than they presently are.

    --One of the good things about having the physical occupation, at least in this beginning stage, is that they are available to people who don't really understand the meaning of OWS.  My husband's brother was visiting us last week, and he was bad-mouthing the movement as "having no message."  My husband took him down to Occupy Albany, where he saw a gathering, a rally, spoke to people, and witnessed the quiet arrest of about 15 people.  He came away thoroughly on the side of the movement, and eager to go home and get others to sign on in their own way.  That was because he had witnessed it first hand.

    --Clearly, OWS is doing something right.  Not only has the theme of income inequality and the mantra 99% thoroughly saturated the country, pushing aside the constant austerity talk, but the police crackdowns all around the country have proven that those who are being singled out are really nervous and worried about what changes might be coming for them.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

    by SottoVoce on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:54:37 PM PST

  •  If the Eurocrisis crashes the global economy... (0+ / 0-)

    ...in the next few weeks, how successful will OWS look in retrospect?

    Is OWS the movement that will counter the amazing blizzard of lies that will start coming from the right, blaming Obama and retirees for the implosion?

    2010: An Unforced Error Odyssey

    by Minerva on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:55:59 PM PST

  •  Occupy should listen only to its own... (0+ / 0-)

    ...collective conscious and not some leader bearing advice. We don't need leaders, that's us, and I hope we decide our direction as a group; one person, one vote, majority rule.

  •  Advice is often suspect and (3+ / 0-)

    rarely welcomed.  However, those who fail to learn from history....
    As far as comparing today's OWS with the 60's:
    We DFH's were right in nearly everything philosophically - environment, anti-war, racial equality, women's rights.  And if you don't think we moved the culture forward a pretty good quantum leap, just watch some movies from the early 50's,  Yes, we were counter-culture and thankfully so because a lot about the culture prior to our little revolution truly sucked.  

    But here is the big difference:  we of the 60's had not yet thought our way out of having a leader or leaders.  Sure we "questioned authority" but we really didn't make the mind leap to go leaderless.  And that became our Achilles heel.  After the series of horrible assassinations of our various cultural and politically inspiring leaders (JFK, RFK, MLK, John Lennon) we became disheartened to the point we mostly turned inward to ourselves, our families, our little local spheres of influence.  The regressive forces had shut us up allowing Reagan in and shit to flow.

    OWS has made a point of staying leaderless.  The hivemind thing.  It is much less vulnerable since you can't assassinate an idea.  At this point in the history of the world, the survival of all warm and furry species is at great peril.  I see some hope in the global uprising of which OWS is a part.  I see it as our last hope.  If this doesn't change our world from competitive greed and power games to cooperative mutual survival enhancement, we are toast.

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:57:36 PM PST

    •  here's a leader that came out of the 60s (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea

      Karl Rove (born 1950). While everyone else was protesting against the establishment he was taking over the establishment. As were Bill and Hillary, born in the late 40s.

      We need to find the future's movers and shakers NOW.

      •  There's always a bully ready to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        take power if the structure allows someone to take power.  It doesn't matter which generation.  There are 3 year olds alive right now who could become horridly powerful bullies if allowed.  The point is to change the structure such that no one is allowed that much power.  That is why it is important to move away from reliance on leaders.  This is a huge conceptual change for the world.  The question is, can it be done?  

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:22:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good points being made. I enjoyed this diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana, stolen water

    I think it is funny that the so called, counter culture people think that people who are really too young to remember them clearly would be doing a retro counter culture thing. And "too young" is anyone 50 and under.

  •  Good OWS website to bookmark (0+ / 0-)

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:58:34 PM PST

  •  Free. Wow, pretty sexy. And apropo? (0+ / 0-)

    Meh.  Maybe.  Guess I just like the guitar player.

  •  Now to do something right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana, Setsuna Mudo, fayea

    Thanks to all for participating in the thread.

    Later.

    NYC kossacks, see you at the meetup.

  •  Yeh who dresses up like indians anymore and throws (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    Stupid ass argument.. If they want to camp to remind people  that the are here want to be heard I am not against at hat. inf fact their was a day when public property meant public..  same with freedom of  s peach and assembly.. Now its not obeying the law to do such things.. America is a shit hypocritical country. In Tampa there are only three free speech zones.. the libraries outside where you must remain silent until someone comes out or  the library  in Brandon  with same rules. Also the public parks.  

    "I reffuse to eat Satan sandwiches or wraps."

    by hangingchad on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:07:09 PM PST

  •  participating, not meta, useful leaflets (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, stolen water

    I tried working with the local occupy group, writing some leaflets, etc. Guess what- it went well. Here's a link(leaflet pdf) to a leaflet that's already gone out by the hundreds, received well both in a black neighborhood (this town's pretty segregated) and by lubricated tailgaters at a college game. (Side two was only for the latter, side one is easily adaptable to to other places.)

    Favorite interaction with tailgater:

    TG: So, you occupying?
    Me: Nope, too old.
    TG: What, say 42, 43?
    Me: Hey, you must have something extra in that thermos.

    Favorite interaction in the black neighborhood.

    Young mother: I'll take all those [about 25 leaflets] for passing out at work, start some discussions.
    Me: Great.
    YM: I can always run off more when they run out.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:10:50 PM PST

  •  an inspiring david vs goliath story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea

    that didn't get enough attention.

    how union miners whose jobs were under threat managed to come out on top.

    if you can't relate to ows, watch this movie.

  •  I'm not qualified to give Occupy advice.. (0+ / 0-)

    But here are my observations thus far

    First, it has changed the national conversation. There's a lot more talk about corporate greed, wealth inequality, & so on.

    Second, President Obama is doing better in the polls. That may be partly due to the change in national conversation, partly due to the public seeing more of the Republican primary, or other factors..

    Third, I feel it is providing energy going into next years elections. Before Occupy, so much of the energy seemed   to be on the right.

    Also, I think it will make things a lot tougher for Mitt Romney should he be the nominee. He is the poster  boy for slash and burn economics.

    At this point, far more people have now been arrested for protesting Wall Street's mortgage fraud crimes than have been for committing and presiding over them.

    by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:22:32 PM PST

  •  Booman is lamenting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    the defensive posture of liberals, progressives, and Democrats in the cultural and political space. He should be totally onboard with Occupy because it's the best means in more than a generation to change that. Even Al Giordano, his fellow progressive-basher when it comes down to supporting Obama over his own progressive principles, gets what the real potential of Occupy is:

    Wall Street, ahem, isn’t just in your wallet: It’s in everything you own, rent, use, borrow, find or steal. It’s also in the “identities” and roles we put on and take off in each department of our daily lives. And one should never worry as much about the police on the street – there are time-honored tactics for working around them, developed by pioneers in nonviolence, available to every person who wants to learn them – as much as one should be very concerned about the cop in one’s head. There are also tactics available to make that police force – the invading army in our innermost thoughts and fears that polices our very behavior, officers of the psyche that we all have, through unspoken fears, invited into our brains and hearts – retreat and even disappear....

    If we were to try to put some of the key concepts into Twitterspeak (that is, into phrases of 144 characters or less), we might say:

    Occupy your daily life. Occupy your body. Occupy your home. Occupy your building. Occupy your neighborhood. Occupy YOUR STREET. Occupy your own head! Occupy your own media. Occupy your own school. Occupy your own workplace. Occupy your own time. Occupy your own space. Occupy your own life story! Yes, it requires collaboration with others to win those terrains back. But they're not the people already protesting. They're the authentic 99 percent. The ones right next to you already.

    Or maybe they’re not right next to you. In a world where the advertising industry shouts that “everybody is connected,” that’s really to distract from the alienation imposed by an over-mediated technological society. Maybe your family, your relationship, your classroom, your workplace, your home, your building, your neighbors are so caught up in dysfunction and the food chain of domination of one person over another that everything within you screams for an EXIT sign and that you must go out and find that place where you can see a path to begin to drive Wall Street out of your body, the cop out of your head, and the imposed loneliness of residing in a technological “paradise” out of your aching heart....

    [E]very individual involved has immensely more power than a consensus assembly could ever provide to determine how he and she will proceed from here, if and when it seems that everybody else scatters and goes home. That’s the revolution: the one that lives in the hearts of those who immerse themselves in struggles larger than them. The revolution belongs to those who simultaneously develop their own tactics and strategies, and figure out how to sequence them. The revolution comes to those who study what has worked and what hasn’t worked for others who have gone before them, and who organize others into collaborating in that quest, on the most local scale, to win back the terrain of daily life. Occupy that, and the revolution is yours.

    The physical Occupy encampments should be seen as just the initial staging for the true struggle - reoccupying all the facets of our own lives that capitalism, financialization, and economic inequality have taken away.

  •  can I marry a corporation? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    Or should I just be a prostitute like many congress persons and senators.  

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:50:16 PM PST

  •  Very important diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, stolen water

    Occupy was so key in helping fight the Keystone pipeline.

    And an update: just got back ten minutes ago from speaking at Occupy Boulder, which is strong and resolute (and everyone is extremely handsome, what is it with Boulder?)

  •  Criticize Obama = Good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, live1

    Criticize OWS = Bad

    Got it y'all.

    Abandoning the Democratic Party b/c Progs Lack Influence Isn't a Strategy, It's a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

    by Maimonides on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:57:18 PM PST

  •  Do we even read what they're saying? (0+ / 0-)
    Dionne writes:
    Let’s first dispense with a kind of narcissism that exists among Americans who lived through the 1960s and insist on seeing Occupy as nothing more than a rerun of the battles over Vietnam, Richard Nixon and the counterculture. This frame is convenient to conservatives who hope to drive a wedge between working-class voters and the occupiers, much as Nixon brilliantly played construction workers against privileged hippies. [. . .] It’s not the ’60s anymore. The protests of that era were rooted in affluence. Too often in those years, the left cut itself off from the concerns of the white working class and disdained its values. That’s the history the right wants to revive. In fact, the Occupy demonstrations are precisely about the concerns of Americans who have been sidelined economically. This is why polls show broad support for Occupy’s objectives of greater economic equality and more financial accountability.

    Really? Dionne thinks the problem is people are thinking that this is "a 60s thing?" Ironically, Dionne invokes the Civil Rights Movement (psst, that was a 60s movement too)  as a model to emulate:
    Martin Luther King Jr.’s lessons on nonviolence are useful here.

    Methinks you are misreading Dionne here.   He's making the exact opposite of the point you think he is.  The emphasized point above shows that Dionne is disagreeing with the right's attempt to put Occupy in a sixties box.  He's correctly pointing out why this ploy doesn't work.  The sixties were a time of affluence.  Now it's precisely the opposite.  He's praising Occupy and criticizing his critics.  As far as I can tell he's not giving Occupy advice (at least not in this passage).

    Please, learn to take yes for an answer.

    sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

    by stivo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:40:27 PM PST

    •  Er (0+ / 0-)

      He's praising Occupy and criticizing its critics.

      sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

      by stivo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:46:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Okay, Armando, I now see where you are coming from (0+ / 0-)

      I read the full Dionne article and its tone is more in line with what you said it was.  You're guilty of nothing but quoting the wrong piece of the article to support your argument.

      The right piece would be this:

      Thus the question going forward: Will the Occupy movement play into the hands of its enemies by living up to the stereotypes they are trying to create? Or will it instead move to a phase that builds on its success?

      Here, Dionne is criticizing Occupy in an avuncular way that some will not appreciate.  However, I don't think it completely unjustified.  It's healthy discussion.

      sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

      by stivo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:55:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One historical note: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, stolen water

    You write in your posting:

    The South became a GOP stronghold because of the Civil Rights Movement (To be sure, it is a price all Democrats should have been more than willing to pay.)

    That is exactly what happened.  And Democrats knew it at the time.  When Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, he mentioned that (not a quote, really) "This means that the idea of the Solid (Democratic) South will be no more."

    He understood the South as much as or more than any politician of the era.  He was a product of the South.  And he understood that the price he was paying electorally was more than worth the gain of justice that he was bringing to our nation.

    What really gets me, though, is the harridan idiot Anne Coulter saying that it was "Democrats" who carried out the lynchings of the Jim Crow era, and these are the same as the Democratic Party of today.  Yes, Democrats like Jesse Helms, Trent Lott, and Lester Maddox.  Those Democrats.

    Are there so many blind and ignorant as to accept this lie, outside the sycophants of the Fox News bunker?

    "... there is no humane way to rule people against their will." Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

    by Noziglia on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:29:50 PM PST

  •  If the elites can not longer exploit... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    I ran across an article in The Nation while randomly googling the other day:

    Occupy Wall Street and the Importance of Creative Protest by Allison Kilkenny.

     She argues that traditional protests have become thoroughly co-opted and rendered pointless and ineffective. And that Occupy has turned that upside down:

    After a while, all protests began to look the same. Protesters show up, march around, chant X or Y slogan, and if it’s super-exciting, clash with the police and everyone goes to jail. Repeat chorus. It’s no wonder the corporately controlled media were so easily able to write off protest culture as being unimportant or ineffective. The horrible truth was, it had become futile.

    That is, of course, until Occupy showed up and refused to play by the city-written rules. No, they wouldn’t be getting permits. No, they wouldn’t be going home at curfew. They would remain in camps as permanent monuments to the injustice and inequality of America’s society. There was no “normal” anymore. There was only what Occupy chose to do, and to not do.


    and
    But resistance also occurs when activists adopt guerilla tactics, including non-traditional protest. Much like Anonymous, OWS is a new wave of protest, a direct and significant challenge to the elite who are unaccustomed to such confrontation.

    And the one percent find such evolved protest—this kind of global awakening—absolutely bone-chillingly terrifying. If the elites can no longer exploit xenophobia, red state–blue state civil war, racism, sexism or homophobia, how will they keep the underclass bickering while they run off with the country’s wealth?


    So it looks like there is at least one columnist who gets it.
  •  Advice from Abbie Hoffman: "The first duty of (0+ / 0-)

    a revolutionary is to get away with it."

    After that, it's a matter of imagination, because every situation is different.

    So a piece of advice from The Grand Wazoo: Read Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, which provides no set blueprints, instead training the organizer to understand and make use mass ju-jitsu needed to confront the powerful

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 10:31:46 PM PST

  •  Questioning the effectiveness of (0+ / 0-)

    strategy, tactics, messaging, etc. and suggesting alternatives and other options is helpful.

    Unless, of course, OWS puts itself above the people and turns a deff ear, as it has done on a few occasions by shouting down citizens that wished to address GAs or when attending civic meetings, which I have criticized and made suggestions about.

    Of course, you are welcome to criticize the critics.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:32:18 PM PST

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