Ten arrests in 87 minutes: How the NYPD dispersed peaceful Occupy Wall Street protests

This is a bit of a tangent, but still but maybe someone’s got some insight.

A few Twitter accounts and blogs I follow are people who were very involved in OWS, and who are very concerned with digital privacy issues. Occasionally I see suggestions that they believe that some government agencies intercepted OWS’s communications, facilitating police action against OWS, and this is part of the reason that many of them are so concerned with digital privacy now.

From what I understand, the different OWS groups had open, public meetings, which police could easily have observed, most likely without even going undercover. OWS mostly took the form of public actions and encampments in prominent places in public. It’s somewhat remarkable that different police agencies took coordinated action to clear out encampments at the same time, but that’s mostly a question of how different authorities reached an agreement to coordinate – the actual coordination would have been a simple matter of a discussion on a phone conference. And as far as I know, OWS in general eschewed making any specific demands, so its goal was to stay publicly visible, calling attention to widespread dissatisfaction with income inequality, for as long as possible – at which they were fairly successful.

So I’m at a loss how any cloak-and-dagger business is relevant at all.

What I want is a good postmortem on OWS analyzing what went right, what went wrong, what was accomplished, what was not, etc… Is there one out there?

Someone else started a debate with this on Reddit with me. This was our exchange…

Part 1

Occupy had an enormous amount of potential but turned out to be a wasted opportunity.

First of all, OWS isn’t dead, but if all you do is get your info from Google search results and mainstream media television, print and online, then I can’t blame you for thinking so. In reality, OWS broke off into numerous factions that are still incredibly strong today. That was the point of OWS. Propping up a third party that was doomed to fail in today’s political reality wasn’t a goal at all. The goal was the political education of a vastly uneducated and indoctrinated populace. You haven’t noticed the change?

Most of the goals of OWS have been met and it continues to impact the populace at large (the entire point of OWS). OWS isn’t dead, it’s diversified. Its influence has spawned groups of Americans all over the country to finally (finally!) attempt to tackle issues like vast wealth inequality, wars based upon lies and the murder of our middle class. Politicians in this current reality aren’t going to be your savior, sorry.

This is a long term strategy and it’s slow, but it’s working. To expect fast change in our current reality is foolhardy and uninformed.

as if protesting forever without actually taking action was somehow going to bring about change.

You radically underestimate the action of educating Americans beyond what they’re taught in school and indoctrinated with via mainstream television and radio.

ADVANTAGES OF THE CORPORATIST RIGHT:

• Far more retired elderly at home exposed to corporate TV media and radio that influences them to vote conservatively. (This affects other points below as well)

• People who commute further distances than those who live in (or near) cities are heavily exposed to and influenced by right-wing radio in their automobiles. Furthermore, the electoral system leans in the favor of these more rural dwellers who are heavily inundated with corporatist propaganda.

• Corporations are vastly more likely to fund anti-regulation, conservative agendas. The most you can hope for is something like MSNBC that leans socially left, but is (overall) conservatively pro-corporatist. The rich support conservative media (even when they run at a loss) because they understand the long-term profits of influence.

• More people still get their “news” from the corporate TV media than online alternative media sources (source). Also, many get their online “news” from corporate media that’s simply moved online. This influences these people towards a pro-corporatist agenda.

• Many moderates and left-leaning people work more than many people do on the right (for various reasons). This gives them less time than those on the right to dedicate themselves towards getting involved in national and local politics, voting, etc. in general. On the flip-side, this also exposes more on the right who work less to more corporate TV media and radio.

• The rich are far more likely to support Republicans, even though they’re not more likely to be socially conservative. That confuses people who don’t understand the difference. Most of the rich hold their noses and vote Republican (and give them money) because it supports their corporatist conservatism. In other words, they prioritize the profit they gain by not paying for externalities (pollution they create, public health care, public education, etc.) over socially liberal agendas they may agree with (gay rights, women’s rights, anti-censorship of sex/violence, etc.).

• It’s much easier to organize and get media attention when you have money and influence over sheep people who have too much time on their hands, too little education and too little critical thinking skills. On the other hand, trying to organize moderates and people on the left is like herding cats.

• They can and do use their control of mainstream media to use fear to suck money and massive power away from average Americans to support their monstrously corrupt and extremely profitable military-industrial complex. There has never been anything with this much vast power in human history. They can spy on many average Americans communications to thwart everything from business to activism. This kind of power is vast and undeniable.

• They have the money, power to lobby (bribe) and influence candidates to basically only fear being voted out of office and little more than that. Your little third party candidate doesn’t have the bribe money to stand up to this and many politicians and top advisors, etc. simply go into profitable business with the same corporatists they “legislated” after leaving office (and vice versa).

• They have vast money, power, connections and media resources to spread their chosen campaign over the airwaves. How many third party TV commmericals did you or any other Americans see in the last 20 elections compared to Democrats and Republicans? Exactly.

… And this list just scratches the surface of the power they have over third parties.

So… in this currently reality, what does your underfunded, true left (or true moderate), third party dream candidate have against that? Little or nothing because most Americans are’nt going to get exposed to their ideas or will only get a distorted, filtered view of them via mainstream, corporate media.

That’s our current reality. This is what we cope with and overcome. This is why there are only long-term strategies that will actually work against this vast, entrenched power.

If you don’t face the reality of our current, entrenched power structure… you’ll be doomed to keep spinning your angry wheels with lots of squealing and smoke, but no traction. - And that’s the difference between the teabaggers and OWS. The teabaggers created nothing more than a lot of squealing and smoke by propping up tea party candidates that only hurt America in the end. OWS is fomenting long-term revolution. This isn’t a video game. It’s not going to be quick, it’s going to take decades.

Let’s face it, it actually takes guts to push the establishment to the left and it very often requires civil disobedience for the mainstream media just to even bother covering it. You can gather five teabaggers in a park and it’ll garner far more mainstream media coverage than 5,000 left-wing protestors of wars, income disparity, etc. Why? Because the teabaggers aren’t a threat to the status quo. They aren’t a threat to the corporations that run the mainstream media.

That’s reality. And, it’s time to cope with it, deal with it and overcome it. While it’s certainly more difficult and takes GUTS to push the establishment to the left, there’s plenty of us still willing to do it and we’re never going to stop.

Sorry, there’s no quick-fix. It’s trying to build a representative democracy in a vast nation. Nothing “suddenly” is going to happen no matter what we do, but what we’ve been doing by embracing false equivalency is spinning our wheels. The teabaggers and those who support OWS and its vision have very little in common when it comes to tactics and lasting progress.

Suggested reading: Sun Tzu - The Art of War

With lots of commentary:
http://www.puppetpress.com/classics/ArtofWarbySunTzu.pdf

Pretty much just the translated book:
http://www.stanford.edu/class/polisci211z/1.1/Sun%20Tzu.pdf

What I want is a good postmortem on OWS analyzing what went right, what went wrong, what was accomplished, what was not, etc… Is there one out there?

Part 2

(see previous post for Part 1)

And that is the very problem with Occupy. People are too busy trying the antithesis of what appears to be their own lack of understanding of a political system.

For reasons I already explained (see ADVANTAGES OF THE CORPORATIST RIGHT above), focusing precious time, resources and money on a third party is foolhardy in our current reality.

It’s very much like piloting a ship out into the middle of a hurricane to “save time” to get somewhere. You end up in a shipwreck instead of reaching your destination. It’s vastly smarter to properly heed the weather (reality), strategize and navigate around what you cannot change and focus on where you can travel successfully instead. It may take longer, but it’s better to someday reach your destination (goals) than be sunk entirely.

Constantly throwing third party candidates to the entrenched wolves is a waste of time. We’re never going to win that way. Instead, there’s a focus on groundwork that makes a far “lesser evil” third party possible down the road. As I said, it’s going to take decades even just for that, but it’ll be lasting change.

If you think you can change this vast, solidly entrenched corporatist structure with a few elections, you might be a teabagger.

OWS isn’t about moving backwards like that. This isn’t about collecting politicians like little trophies. The myth that OWS is less powerful because they don’t directly push for a lot of specific candidates is nothing more than a mainstream media talking point. Educating one another is the long-term strategy that will eventually create lasting change from the ground up.

If you look at nearly every human advance in everything from civil rights to technology… the basis of all of it is education.

Required reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Douglass#Life_as_a_slave

“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” ― Frederick Douglass


It’s way to easy to sit back and complain that all politicians are evil

You obviously didn’t heed my chart near the end of my post explaining how we should battle the stagnating effects of false equivalency. While doing everything else we can do, most in OWS also understand the dire need to vote in lesser evil Democrats in the meantime. It’s called facing the challenges and reality of the day while steadily making preparations for the future.

OWS isn’t all or nothing. It’s obvious you gather your opinions on OWS from mainstream, corporate media instead of actually getting involved yourself and talking with very many of those within the OWS movement (or those taking action who are inspired by it). HINT: Camping out at places was for publicity and many people who support Occupy’s message take action in scores of other ways. It’s another mainstream, corporate media myth that most of OWS was simply about camping in parks and aren’t involved in politics at all.

As Bill Maher once a supporter said "maybe it’s time for Occupy Wall Street to actually participate in the American political process.

Bill Maher is yet another person within the establishment who never really understood OWS. He proved it time and time again by saying OWS was just a bunch of hippies, etc. and spread the lie that there was no coherent message, etc.

I like Bill, but he’s never understood OWS and has never really tried, either. Alan Greyson smacked Bill Maher down in regards to OWS on Bill’s own “Real Time” show here:

http://firedoglake.com/2011/10/09/audience-cheers-as-grayson-explains-occupy-wall-street-to-maher-guests/

That means, boring stuff like canvassing neighborhoods, raising money, running candidates for office, manning phone banks

I know far more people percentage-wise that are involved with OWS that have helped to raise money for candidates, canvas neighborhoods, etc. than people who aren’t in OWS.

But, if you’re referring to supporting a third party instead of Democrats who are a lesser evil than Republicans, then that’s a waste of time and resources in our current reality. Far more Americans need to be educated before they realize who and what the problem is (and who and what to support to fix it). You can’t rally a bunch of sleepwalkers to support a movement. People have to be educated and energized by what they learn. You have to educate the populace first and we’ve got a long way to go for all the reasons I stated in my first post above. (see ADVANTAGES OF THE CORPORATIST RIGHT above)

There seems that there is an one excuse or another for all of the missed opportunities by OWS. “The mainstream media is evil”, and “rich people are too powerful to do anything about”, “The government is bad”, etc.

What missed opportunities? To support a third party that would have been defeated by the current, entrenched power structure? Oh, joy…

“The mainstream media is evil”

It’s not that simple. The mainstream media is run by corporations that support their own interests. Hell, it’s practically against the law for them not to do so. Are you in denial of this for some reason? While many mainstream journalists are left-leaning by their very nature, their editors are instructed by the corporatist owners to neuter their stories if they buck too hard against the status quo that protects their interests. Corporations aren’t too thrilled with publishing truthful things against their own interests. OWS is about the interests of average people over their interests (the small percentage of the richest Americans). That’s reality.

Like I said in my first post, it very often requires civil disobedience for the mainstream media just to even bother covering people on the left. Yet you can gather five teabaggers in a park and it’ll garner far more mainstream media coverage than 5,000 left-wing protestors of wars, income disparity, etc. Why? Because the teabaggers aren’t a threat to the status quo. They aren’t a threat to the corporations that run the mainstream media.

You can only utilize the mainstream media so far before they will simply strategize with editors to regain the corporatist narrative and push the populace against you with half-truths, lies, dismissiveness and a general campaign to malign you. That’s the reality of trying to change an elitist media. It’s not going to happen. Relying on the mainstream media to promote an anti-corporatist agenda is foolhardy.

Did you not read the Art of War book I recommended to you in my post above? I would seem you didn’t. We have to educate each other despite the mainstream media’s influence. That, in itself, has been the gargantuan success of OWS thus far. If you doubt the amazing difficultly of educating even a small portion of the American public then I, once again, refer you to the ADVANTAGES OF THE CORPORATIST RIGHT in my post above.

“rich people are too powerful to do anything about”

Um, I apologize, but I’ve gotta tell you. That’s silly. No one seriously involved with Occupy has ever said that or thought that to be the case. And, if it was the case, they’d obviously never bother to fight in the first place.

And, please don’t join the false narrative that the mainstream corporate media tries to portray against OWS. Occupy isn’t against success, nor reasonable wealth. We’re against income disparity that’s reached disastrous proportions. More on this here:

“The government is bad”

The government isn’t bad, it’s the fact that it’s infested with so many corporatists that’s bad. And, once again, it’s not some “excuse” for OWS inaction as you falsely portray. If anything, it’s inspiration to keep educating Americans on why so much money in government is a bad thing and help Americans find different ways to take action and actually do something about it.

The two groups have entirely too much in common for people to just ignore it because of this stubbornness of trying to be completely different in every way.

As I explained, the teabaggers have been a net detriment to society at large while unwittingly fighting against their own interests with poor, short-term strategy. The OWS movement, on the other hand, has successfully released many genies from the bottle that continue to influence, educate and progress the American public.

One of the only good effects of the teabaggers is they’ve often pushed the Republicans so far to the right that it’s helped to destroy the party. There’s reasons that’s happened, but I’m not going to talk publicly about why. But, if you’d like a clue… I once again strongly recommend you read The Art of War.

Lack of organization isn’t a virtue.

Yet another mainstream, corporate media talking point. OWS has spawned many people to organize for all kinds of goals that are continuing to this day and into the future. Occupy isn’t against organizing to say the least. As I said in my first post…

The goal was the political education of a vastly uneducated and indoctrinated populace. If you haven’t noticed the change, then you aren’t looking. Most of the goals of OWS have been met and it continues to impact the populace at large (the entire point of OWS).

OWS isn’t dead, it’s diversified. Its influence has spawned organized groups of Americans all over the country to finally attempt to tackle issues like vast wealth inequality, wars based upon lies and the murder of our middle class. Politicians in this current reality aren’t going to be our savior, sorry.

This is a long term strategy and it’s slow, but it’s working. To expect fast change in our current reality is foolhardy and uninformed. You didn’t address a single point I made in the “ADVANTAGES OF THE CORPORATIST RIGHT” section of my post above. How do you overcome that entrenched power structure that has vast reach and influence of most Americans?

Like I said, you can steer your little ship straight into the hurricane and end up in shambles with nothing more than a sad shipwreck. Or, you can strategize and navigate around the powerful entities and reach your goals by taking a smarter, long-term route.

You’re not articulating an argument for voting for the lesser evil, since you keep arguing that things will improve if people consistently voted Democrat, which is to say you don’t consider voting Democrat an evil at all. To say that people should vote Democrat and engage in moderate activism, is the the most standard, mainstream political strategy there is.

To say that people should vote Democrat and engage in moderate activism, is the the most standard, mainstream political strategy there is.

I said and implied much more than that, but if that’s all you got out of it, then c’est la vie.

you keep arguing that things will improve if people consistently voted Democrat, which is to say you don’t consider voting Democrat an evil at all.

You completely missed the concept then. A lesser evil is still evil. If that’s all you got out of that, then c’est la vie.

No, I didn’t miss it at all. Choosing evil makes things worse. The premise of “choosing the lesser of two evils” is that you’re in some situation in which there’s no way to avoid making things worse, so you make things worse as little as you can.

You’ve hammered away at the idea that if everyone voted Democrat consistently, it would make things better. You keep linking that graphic, over and over, that argues that voting Democrat consistently will mean significant improvements.

No, I didn’t miss it at all. Choosing evil makes things worse.

You’re not using much logic, then. Choosing a greater evil is worse than choosing a lesser evil. If you’ve got a “good” candidate in mind that can win against either evil, then name that person, please. Otherwise, you’re just all bark and no bite, lil’ doggy.

How about dismissing consecutively voting in a lesser evil once we’ve ever actually tried it? We never have and my chart (you despise) proves it.

You’ve been incredibly dismissive, overally reductionist and oversimplifying my points from the start. You have nothing positive to say about what I wrote. I get it. You don’t agree. How about making some of your own suggestions, then?

Again, I’m dying to hear about this “good” candidate that we should all support that can win despite the obstacles I showed under “Advantages Of The Corporatist Right” in Part 1 of my post. Who is it?

You’ve hammered away at the idea that if everyone voted Democrat consistently, it would make things better.

It would, but we’ve never tried it. Not once.

You keep linking that graphic, over and over, that argues that voting Democrat consistently will mean significant improvements.

Thanks for stating the obvious. You’re obviously upset. Calm down. And, tell us what the solution is. What should we do? Who is this “good” candidate that’ll save us? You’re full of criticism, but I’m not really hearing any ideas coming from you. You think I’m wrong, what do you think is right?

You’re taking my words out of context. My logic here is simple: the lesser evil is evil. Choosing the lesser evil means choosing evil. It means things get worse. If you’re arguing that making a particular choice will make things better, then you aren’t articulating a “lesser evil” argument.

Who is we? There are several major cities, and large regions of the US, in which one party effectively has a lock on the electoral machinery. In urban areas, it’s usually the Democrats. Many people have consistently voted Democrat, for a long time, and by most estimates, most registered voters prefer the Democrats.

Famously, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most progressive parts of the US. The Republican Party seldom bothers to run candidates in the urban Bay Area. So, given the solidly progressive electoral base, you might expect that the Bay Area’s Congressional delegation would be exceptionally progressive. But given your positions on civil liberties and privacy, I’m sure you’ve had some moments of real anger at Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein.

You are rather given to insisting that we follow up on your links.

I don’t think that a “good” candidate can save us. Beyond local ballot measures and the like, which are directly voted upon, I think the only real use for a vote in this era is to register a protest, or at best to elect a candidate who is effectively an enduring protest vote.

You often point to Rootstrikers, so I expect you’re familiar with Lawrence Lessig. Rootstrikers started out, I believe, as “Fix Congress First”, and I think the name change is significant. In Lessig’s book, Republic, Lost, after going in to some considerable detail on the corruption of Congress and the tremendous pressures on members of Congress to adhere to the system, he concludes that it is effectively impossible to reform Congress directly through electing representatives to it; that the only way to reform it is from the outside. Lessig proposes a national convention of delegates selected by lottery, to draft amendments to the Constitution, hopefully to end the system of corporate sponsorship of politicians and establish a more equitable electoral system.

In short, Lawrence Lessig, who is given to describing himself as a liberal, believes that our political system cannot be reformed through the election of candidates. I don’t think his specific proposal is likely to work, but I think it’s something in the right general direction.

I don’t have a solution. Broadly speaking, I believe we need some sort of social revolution. In the past, I was an ardent Leninist; these days, I find myself somewhere between Leninism and anarchism, dissatisfied with both approaches. But much of what’s recommended anarchism to me in recent years has been what I’ve seen of OWS; in particular, the ways in which it did not fail.

I have seen, and participated in, incipient mass movements. In particular, there was the anti-globalization movement in the late 90s, and the wave of anti-war demonstrations in 2003. In both cases, I saw activist groups completely disintegrate as the election season began, as many activists insisted that it was of utmost importance that they participate in the campaigns for the Democratic Party candidate. These were explicitly “lesser evil” arguments; given that Gore did not represent the views of the anti-globalization movement, and that Kerry did not oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, campaigning for them effectively precluded continuing to work on the issues those activists most cared about. This was disastrous for those movements.

When Occupy Wall Street first became prominent in the public eye, all political factions tried to lay claim to it. I was struck by how every partisan journalist quickly tried to claim that OWS was simply doing a poor job of expressing their regular talking points – most ironic was probably a journalist on Bloomberg trying to claim OWS. OWS managed to both capture widespread popular sympathy, and maintain its political independence. I believe this is in large part because of the wide influence of anarchism within OWS.

What most astonished me was that, despite the liquidation of encampments, many OWS veterans managed to maintain some sort of organization, and flew into action in organizing mutual aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Instead of being disrupted by the 2012 presidential election, OWS maintained continuity and entered a new field of activity.

My sense is that far fewer people have participated in OWS than in the US wing of the anti-globalization movement or in the opposition to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. But whatever criticisms I can make of OWS,the development of a network of activists, with an accumulated body of shared experience, which has successfully evaded the primary trap for popular movements in the modern US and maintained its continuity.

As I said, I don’t have a solution to offer, but I think that OWS may represent part of the beginning of one.

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Perhaps a bit simplistic but I like the ‘None of the above’ option… option.

My logic here is simple: the lesser evil is evil. Choosing the lesser evil means choosing evil. It means things get worse. If you’re arguing that making a particular choice will make things better, then you aren’t articulating a “lesser evil” argument.

Choosing the lesser evil means choosing a lesser evil. You seem to be under the illusion that in our current reality we have a third choice (nationally). In reality, we don’t.

I didn’t show the “advantages of the corporatist right” list to fill space. That’s vital to everything else. Those advantages of the corporatist right are insurmountable to overcome quickly by any stretch of the imagination.

As I showed, their power is vast, entrenched, smart, devious and self-sustaining. It feeds sick megalomaniacs who are addicted to the the “God of More”. They are never satisfied and they don’t care who they hurt and kill to gain… more. Trying to thwart vastly powerful, lustful, greedy, manipulative, unethical addicts is never going to be easy, ok?

As my list also shows, the Internet as a medium can’t stand up to corporate-controlled mass media (yet). And, it also shows that civil disobedience and actions, while necessary, can only go so far when there’s zero support from a lesser evil in place. How can you read that list and not understand the raw, entrenched power we’re up against? That’s reality. That’s the obstacles. That’s why the political choice is lesser evil and greater evil and not much more. Hey, I don’t like it any better than you do. But, that’s reality and the best thing to do is cope with our reality and strategize.

You’re trying to kill the messenger because you don’t like the message. What the rest of us are doing instead is continuing to make change where we can instead of spinning our wheels trying to fight entrenched power head on… on their terms, where we can’t win.

Surfers who try to paddle straight into large, powerful waves to reach the lineup will be smashed against the reef. The red “X” is the lineup, the goal…

While it may seem brave and quicker to take a direct route head-on, you’ll only get smashed. Those that use long-term strategy achieve success when faced with power much greater than themselves.

They paddle into the deeper water of the channel where the powerful waves aren’t crashing directly onto their bodies and they utilize the deeper water backflow current (lesser evil) that actually helps to slowly (but consistently) push them towards their goal instead of being outright smashed backwards entirely.

With that strategy, timing and some healthy duck-diving, these people are able to pass otherwise insurmountable, massive walls of hydrodynamic power that obliterates the uneducated novice who rejects proper strategy, facing the reality of the situation and overcoming it in the long-term.

I think the only real use for a vote in this era is to register a protest, or at best to elect a candidate who is effectively an enduring protest vote.

Protest votes and candidates do not take away votes from the greater evil, they inevitably take votes away from the lesser evil that at least leans closer to them. And when third parties inevitably lose in our current reality when faced with greater, entrenched power, they very often usher in greater evil that gets even further entrenched.

Trying to tackle the current, entrenched power structure head-on isn’t going to work for all the reasons I already gave in my “advantages of the corporatist right” list. You’ll just be flailing in the water, never reaching your goals and drown. The corporatists laugh in the face of protest votes and candidates that do nothing but further entrench them.

You often point to Rootstrikers, so I expect you’re familiar with Lawrence Lessig. … In short, Lawrence Lessig, who is given to describing himself as a liberal, believes that our political system cannot be reformed through the election of candidates.

I think you summed up Lawrence Lessig’s strategies about as well as you summed up mine and that’s not a good thing. Lessig absolutely does believe in electing candidates and picking the lesser evil and he’s made that case many times.

Of course I support rootstrikers, but it’s just one of many attacks I’m supporting.

The problem is you keep oversimplifying the strategy of others without offering much of your own. His attack is multi-pronged (as it should be) as mine is (that you oversimplified and distorted as well).

Our other forms of attack aren’t going to get anywhere as long as we continue to usher in greater evil by ignoring reality and not supporting people who can actually triumph over greater evil. The alternative is more stagnation and that’s what we’ve already done as a country by ping-ponging back and forth between lesser and greater evil instead of making long-term progress.

Long-term progress in the face of the raw push-back power of the corporatist right is only achieved by supporting lesser evil consecutively until we’re in a better position strategically down the road to actually push through agendas that won’t be smacked down from a short-term head-on assault. Like I said in a post above, the Art of War is required reading here.

Once again, how about dismissing consecutively voting in a lesser evil once we’ve ever actually tried it? We never have and my chart proves it beyond any doubt. That’s the reality.

Who is we? There are several major cities, and large regions of the US, in which one party effectively has a lock on the electoral machinery.

“We” is the entire United States. It should be obvious I’m referring to national elections by my chart. Have you not looked at that chart and studied it? You act like you’re tired of seeing a chart you’ve paid no heed to.

I have never stated that local third party candidates who can actually win against both parties should never be supported. But on a national level, we don’t have that. Of course it’s vital to vote locally, but that can only do so much against superior federal power that keeps greater evil corporatists entrenched via the ping-pong effect I showed in my chart.

Like I’ve said and shown, it’s a multi-pronged attack. And, once gain, I refer to the Art of War. If you haven’t read it, then please get the pdf’s I linked to in my previous post in this thread. It’s extremely germane to the OWS (and factions thereof) strategies.

But given your positions on civil liberties and privacy, I’m sure you’ve had some moments of real anger at Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein.

They do what lesser evil will always do when we keep ping-ponging back and forth like we have for decades (see my chart again). That’s the best lesser evil you can expect with short-term strategy. We as a citizenry haven’t opened the doors to better candidates over decades with a long-term strategy and this is the end result. Corporatists, in general, thrive on false equivalency and that’s why their corporate media spends so much time and effort conflating lesser and greater evil as one in the same.

Do you really think it’s by accident that most Americans think that Democratic Representatives at large supported the Iraq War resolution when they didn’t? Democratic Representatives who voted against the war vastly outnumbered Republicans. If the American public had resisted falling for false equivalence and had voted in more lesser evil Democrats up to that point, we wouldn’t have entered the Iraq War. That’s just one of many disasters that could have been averted if less Americans embraced false equivalence, short-term thinking and voted in more lesser evil instead.

Unlike pushing a third party that can’t win into the face of the raw power of the corporatist right, we can educate Americans to at least stick with a lesser evil and make long-term progress that way. We’ve never done that and it’s time we did.

The best we can do is educate the American public to resist the very concerted effort to ping-pong back and forth via embracing false equivalency and inducing stagnation. Stagnation benefits the corporatists and that’s well documented.

The path of least resistance is lesser evil in the short and mid-term and in our current reality (once gain, please closely read the “advantages of the corporatist” list), it’s regrettably the only path on a national, political level. Only this will allow for third parties and public participation down the road in the long-term on a national level.

Otherwise, we keep doing what we’ve done, keep spinning our wheels and inducing a narrative where Democrats can blame Republicans for inaction instead of being held responsible and forced to make slow change. If the country is wrecked after decades of voting in lesser evil Democrats, then it’s time to pounce. Instead at most what we’ve done is further empowered greater evil by jerking back and forth and even doing the entire opposite in the past (by electing a vastly greater evil Reagan & then HW Bush Republican admins back to back in office).

I have seen, and participated in, incipient mass movements. In particular, there was the anti-globalization movement in the late 90s, and the wave of anti-war demonstrations in 2003. In both cases, I saw activist groups completely disintegrate as the election season began, as many activists insisted that it was of utmost importance that they participate in the campaigns for the Democratic Party candidate. These were explicitly "lesser evil" arguments; given that Gore did not represent the views of the anti-globalization movement, and that Kerry did not oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, campaigning for them effectively precluded continuing to work on the issues those activists most cared about. This was disastrous for those movements.

Campaigning for Democrats wasn’t disastrous for the movements. Two GW Bush terms, mass media influence and violent protests is what really thwarted them. Bush further entrenched every aspect of corporatist control of mass media (by radically enabling consolidation at a ridiculous rate) among many other factors he exacerbated as I covered in my “advantages of the corporatist right” list.

You also called them mass movements. It may have seemed that way when you were in the thick of it, but please understand it was considered a fringe element to most Americans overall at the time. It had zero impact of stopping us going into war because at the time there was very little Internet reach to counteract mass media influence.

Don’t get me wrong, the actions of the 90’s are appreciated here and I took part in some of it as well, but overall, it failed in the face of greater evil taking control, not lesser evil. Hence, two GW Bush terms with a mostly greater evil, conservative, rubber-stamp congress to push his agendas and entrench corporatism at an alarming rate. Gore was defeated because too many of Americans embraced false equivalence in the face of greater evil. That’s how is really went down. And, to focus on the similarities of Gore to GW Bush like a laser instead of their numerous differences is exactly what corporatists want you to do and they prove it all the time by actively promoting false equivalence (as I’ve repeatedly shown).

It’s no coincidence that OWS was fruitful at a time when spreading info via the Internet was getting much more mature than it was in the past. The dynamics have changed and comparing the actions of the 90’s to our current reality isn’t a good strategy. It’s also no coincidence that OWS gained so much more mainstream traction and success after voting in a lesser evil Obama administration.

If McCain had won, he would have put down the ban-hammer much more quickly on OWS in the streets. With Democrats in office, warhawk Crazy-McCain has only later pandered to the OWS as a strategy. He wants to see if he can possibly use OWS as pawns against Democrats and not much more. Obama sucks, didn’t support OWS in many meaningful ways, but he could have also put far more pressure to end the protests far more quickly than he did. To ignore that is to embrace false equivalence. If you need more evidence, just look at Syria. McCain’s only gripe with Obama is that he hasn’t threatened to go far enough. We’d be at war with Syria right now under a McCain presidency. He’s made that very clear. Sometimes lesser evil is more.

I was struck by how every partisan journalist quickly tried to claim that OWS was simply doing a poor job of expressing their regular talking points

You shouldn’t have been. That’s the actual job of the mass media as I showed in detail with my “corporatist advantages” list. While most journalists lean to the left by their very nature, they have editors that are instructed to neuter and restrict them by the corporate owners. This is the reality of mass media and as I’ve already shown in my list, it’s going to stay this way for a very long time.

But, instead of being dumbfounded and caught off-gaurd by the actions of the mass media, it’s much wiser to understand how it works, strategize and manipulate this media to work within it where we can and around it where we must. It’s an Art of War thing, once again. One of the only weaknesses of the mass media is the hubris and greed of it owners. But that strategy lends itself to another discussion entirely.

What most astonished me was that, despite the liquidation of encampments, many OWS veterans managed to maintain some sort of organization, and flew into action in organizing mutual aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Instead of being disrupted by the 2012 presidential election, OWS maintained continuity and entered a new field of activity.

Yes, and it’s with this tenacity and long-term strategy that we’re going to win.

I don’t have a solution.

I do and I’ve offered it. It’s unglamorous, it’s long-term and it’s based upon research and coping with our current reality within an entrenched, “corporatist right” power structure. It’s easy to think more people are educated on issues like you are if you surround yourself with like minds and stick around forums like boing boing. The brutal reality is most Americans aren’t educated like you are and reaching them with information that will empower them is very concertedly blocked by the corporatist power structure. The only way to reach them is:

  1. Via the Internet (over time). As I showed already in my corporatist power list, it’s currently rather weak, but it’s gaining more and more power over time and cannot be ignored.

  2. Through civil actions (over time). Like I said in a previous post, it gets thwarted by mass media, but if you do it enough and for a long enough time, it has some impact.

  3. Canvassing neighborhoods and educating one another directly (over time). This should be self-explanatory. The power of grassroots canvassing cannot be denied, it helped Obama win, that’s for sure.

  4. Keeping greater evil at bay by focusing on where we can win. This means educating the public on the differences between the Democrats and Republicans (see Iraq War resolution I mentioned above, for example) instead of focusing like a laser on all their similarities like the mass media truly wants us to do. If false equivalence wasn’t a powerful deterrent to change, then the mass media wouldn’t put so much concerted, methodical effort into propagating it as they do.

  5. Supporting local, third party, occupy-friendly candidates that have a clear, viable chance in winning against Republicans and Democrats who support the status quo.

  6. Do everything we can to educate one another on issues like income disparity. Teach others that the status quo isn’t written in stone (over time).

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m referring to broader, long-term goals and not every last detail of what needs to be done in the meantime. I’m getting a little tired of people thinking I’m dismissing every alternative just because I don’t have hours on end to mention them.

As I said, I don’t have a solution to offer, but I think that OWS may represent part of the beginning of one.

I agree. :smile:

Perhaps a bit simplistic but I like the ‘None of the above’ option… option.

For the many reasons I’ve shown above, there’s not another viable option (nationally). If there was, I’d be all for it as well. It’s extremely telling that no one can even name a single, third party person who has a chance to unseat the current power structure.

If someone is out there and can do it. Please name this person now. I’m not saying this to be facetious. If you’ve got a better plan and can at least name someone, anyone to support on a national level, then now is the time to tell everyone. Otherwise, it’s just chasing a pipe dream instead of doing the hard groundwork that needs to be done now for a chance in the future.

Who is this “none of the above” third party person who you’re referring to? Let’s not chase ghosts here.

I don’t think ‘none of the above’ necessarily indicates a 3rd party candidate as it’s proposed usage, as I’ve most recently heard it applied, concerns the question of whether voting in the UK should be mandatory and if that were the case, what caveats would have to be introduced to balance that legal requirement.
Rather, I believe, the intent is to force the competing parties, however many there may be, to submit new participants upon whom to vote in the re-cast (if it were required by the votes of no confidence).

If the implication is that the parties will just keep submitting hollow shells filled with party-aligned innards , surely a political process that assists in drawing attention to that situation not being acceptable is some kind of a start.

Rather, I believe, the intent is to force the competing parties, however many there may be, to submit new participants upon whom to vote

For reasons I’ve already shown, you’re not going to get entrenched power to work against itself quickly and directly like that. And you not going to get a mass movement of citizens going in the near future either for reasons I’ve already shown as well. Look, I’m not happy about either, but I’d rather focus on what we can actually accomplish in our reality in the long term than spin our wheels facing a vast, entrenched power structure that can swat us away in the blink of an eye.

surely a political process that assists in the drawing attention to that situation not being acceptable is some kind of a start.

And, that’s what factions of OWS are already doing. It’s a symbiotic thing and it’s strategy. Keep the greater evil currently at bay while you seek to undermine the lesser evil in the longer term.

So far we’re doing that. It’s not going to be quick and it’s rather irrational considering the huge obstacles we face to think otherwise. It’s going to take decades. Too much damage has already been done.

I am also of the opinion that forming any kind of a mass movement of citizens is basically impossible.
The tipping point where everyone suddenly always supported the new idea comes early on, when people realise a majority uptake is under way. If a new way of doing things is evolved into practice, it will be to no-ones shocked surprise.

And I also agree that short term solutions are not only impractical but probably actually unwanted and maybe even harmful to the cogent participation of interested and becoming-interested parties.

So, please don’t mistake my suggestion of ballot reform to imply I imagine any kind of an immediate solution to the problem of vested corruption. But I do see it as something to push for. Discuss.

That and proportional representation.

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Or you could do it this way

So there is a law that pre-empts the right of the people to peaceably assemble as protected by the first amendment and these people broke that law? Pardon my confusion, but aren’t our lawmakers specifically prohibited from passing any law that abridges the peoples right to peacefully assemble? Does NYC have a special exception to be able to do this?

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