Anarchism Caucus Formation Proposal

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Anarchism Caucus Formation Proposal

-As anarchists and politcal theorists we feel that our voices, ideas, and beliefs have been marginalized by our comrades in the OWS community.
-This caucus will be a platform and community which educates, informs and learns about anarchistic and alternative political theory.
-We seek to end the misinformation and negative stereotypes associated with these politcal beliefs,
-and to draw attention to the anarchist principals all ready inherent in our processes and community, in OWS.
We have met and drafted our mission statement, and plan to continue meeting every saturday at 4 (with some flexibility).

108 Responses to “Anarchism Caucus Formation Proposal”

    • Jordan McCarthy

      We will hopefully have the full mission statement up before GA tomorrow night; our proposal, very simply stated here, does cover a good deal of what we hope to accomplish (our mission) and is completely compatible with OWS’s solidarity pact. If we can’t get it online before tomorrow night, we will have copies available at (and atleast a little before) GA; we’re going to be one of the last proposals anyway, so there’ll be plenty of time to go over it (we keep it succinct).

  1. Yoni Miller

    Recodify this as the anarchist and FBI caucus, since the FBI plays a pertinent role in anarchist movements, :D

    • Jordan McCarthy

      Unfortunately Direct Action is the official FBI affiliate group, but no worries, we’ll be co-opting them soon.

      • Tom

        thank you jordan this has been apparent at least since december and I am glad we are addressing direct action in terms of sticking to the core principles of nonviolence, and making sure that there are designate ‘marshalls’ like act up successfully used with armbands on them so police would recognize that to make sure marches go peacefully and not with anyone throwing anything just to make trouble.

    • Dallas

      @yoni2b C’mon this is horse****.

      Though anyone that tells you that dumping trashcans is “diversity of tactics”…. well, come to your own conclusions. Mine is that cop or not, I’d rather be arrested for something useful.

  2. Alexander Penley

    After the Chris Hedges love affair going on the last few days- this is more necessary than ever!

  3. drew

    Twinkly. Anarchist get lumped in with “violent” activism far too often. Divorcing Anarchism from negative autonomous direct action would be a great thing.

    • Jordan McCarthy

      that is what we aim to do! if you have any ideas on how to best achieve this and educate our misinformed comrades, please come on out to the meeting saturday at 4 at 60 wall.

      • The Jokes Council

        Start with the difference between anarchists and Black Block members.

        That should be an easy conversation!

        • Steve Scher

          Black Bloc = TACTIC
          origin at least decades ago.
          Not a group, movement or philosophy.

          Concept to look alike as much as possible to create imagery of one solid bloc, and also stymie as much as possible any identification of individuals.

          All above I did not know until I read up on it in Wikipedia only about a week ago,

          What’s my grade teacher ?

          :D

      • Steve Scher

        Yes…by all means…but please make it the lower case “r” republicans.

          • Steve Scher

            Capital “R” indicates party.
            Lower case “r” indicates a form of government.
            Same for Democrat as in party, or democrat as in political philosophy .
            Not sure about what capital “A” or lower case “a” for anarchism.

        • Sean McKeown

          Anarchism is a political school of thought, and thus the distinguishing of one political school of thought with a “caucus” and no others is a difficult precedent. There is also the sticky question of the fact that every other caucus we have presently is built around something you cannot innately choose – race, sexual orientation, gender – while one’s politics are not only an intentional choice but something you can freely choose.

          Political beliefs and religions, while worthy of groups to host discussions, do not meet the requirements that seem to be in place for other caucuses – and I strongly hesitate to give any religion or political credo the ability to delay an agenda item at Spokes Council via calling their caucus.

          It was also noted, when this was discussed last night, that though anarchists can claim persecution (see also: haymaker riots, see also: deportation to the Soviet Union) and are misunderstood by the general public, they do not fit the “traditionally marginalized” or “long history” that the other caucuses do, and these groups spoke firmly last night on the fact that equating the one thing with another for a political ideology was trivializing the legitimate reasons behind the formation of those caucuses.

          So, yeah – the Republican caucus. As in, the Republican Party. They self-describe as traditionally marginalized, according to Fox News, and within the Movement are sorely misunderstood and suffer extreme prejudice for their political beliefs.

      • Steve Scher

        STUPID !!!! WHO YOU CALLING STUPID !!!!
        I’ll have you know I’ve been tested several times and I am not a stupid.
        Mildly retarded is what it used to be called.
        Now we use other more sensitive terminology.
        BUT NOT STUPID !!!!
        THAT’S A STUPID THING TO SAY.
        STUPID STUPID STUPID.
        I KNOW WHAT I AM, BUT WHAT ARE YOU?

  4. jim Fouratt

    i too would like to read the proposal before the GA … in order to give a thoughtful rather than emotional response. Also please explain why a caucus rather than a work group.

  5. HoaxCouncil

    I FEEL THAT THE “VANDALS” AS A GERMANIC ETHNIC GROUP HAVE BEEN UNFAIRLY MARGINALIZED BY THE ACTIONS OF GENERATIONS OF ROCK THROWING COWARDS

    BUT I FULLY SUPPORT THIS PROPOSAL. RECLAIM ANARCHISM FROM THE VANDALS, THE VANDELLAS, AND JOHNNY ROTTEN.

    • Dallas

      I feel that vandalism as a tactic should be a lot more wildstyle and wheatpaste, and a lot less bricks and bottles. But I digress.

      • Steve Scher

        You’re laughing at me.
        I can tell.
        Sure you can hide behind the anonymity of a screen name knowing I don’t know what you look like as you’re laughing, laughing at me over and over and I don’t feel my legs anymore doctor.
        Will I be able to play the violin after surgery?

    • Steve Scher

      Come now gentle folks…let us not make light or we shall risk blindness from our mirthiness.
      To not take a cry from those Vandal ancestors crying as crying can do is sad.
      So sad.
      I cry.
      My heart flutters in the abysmal summer breezes of the park to be August and yet while humid masses cling grapefruits amassing as Raymond did, god bless the child, non sequitur awaits.
      Brillig?

        • Steve Scher

          Digest?
          Was that a typo.
          Is that a chocolate thing?

          Oh my.
          I think I see the truth you know,
          In cocoa beans fattened slow
          From Hershey, and more as I seek truth without nuts
          Can thre be yet a cluster, or is it too much?

  6. Sally Marks

    The only problem I have is some are terribly serious. It is not like we are discussing chocolate.

      • Steve Scher

        Racist words of black and white,
        While sweetly chocolated disguised as night
        Only serve the pigs of wrath,
        And dour thoughts along the path.
        Verily.

  7. sumumba

    Anarchy ‘marginalized’ in OWS? HUH….LEMME get this right…the GA and SPOKES are for the most part Anarchist STRUCTURES….DA which has MANY Anarchists in it does NOT need OWS Consensus to do actions in ALL of OWS’s name…any PROPOSAL that have governance or government in its name gets BLOCKED by the Anarchist (Blockers Caucus) yea i made that up…but there ALWAYS seems to be one at the GA…if we even hold a door open for a politician or union member walking through any doorway we are called ‘reformists’ and if we speak of non-violence or even ‘violence’ that is strategic and makes sense we are called sell outs and NOT true revolutionaries? Yet Anarchy is ‘marginalized’ in OWS? MMMMK THIS ‘caucus’ is DEFINITELY needed!

    • drew

      While what you are saying is a bit hyperbolic, I would agree that “Anarchists” aren’t exactly marginalized in this movement.

    • Jordan McCarthy

      the history of anarchism in this country is closely tied to the struggles of the workers and unions. Two members of this group are actually working on an alliance building project with unions in NYC. and the reactions from the GA last night proved how much misinformation and negative (and false) stereotyping about Anarchism exists in the OWS community, regardless of how many “anarchists” are involved in this movement.

  8. Steve Scher

    But will chocolate be provided in a caucus as an expense payable from the 100$ a day fund?
    Or should a working group be the model so as to gain the higher caloric intake appropriate to the non-mitigating yet sedentary aspects of this form of political combat?

    • Sally Marks

      Let’s not marginalize Mint Chocolate. I want mine made with real butter.

      • Steve Scher

        I never realized there was or could be butter in a YORK peppermint patty.
        Are you sure ?

  9. sumumba

    ON THE SERIOUS side I’m wondering if such a ‘CAUCUS’ would be used to as ‘POSITIVELY’ to advance OWS as other caucus’s have? SEE minutes for SPOKESCOUNCILS at the Brecht and Walker locations…..ijs

  10. Steve Scher

    Well, it would be useful to be clear on terminology.
    For example, until I used Wikipedia I understood ( from context, not a good way to learn earth languages ) black bloc to be a political grouping, similar to anarchist groups.

  11. Steve Scher

    In turn anarchist could mean in the early twentieth century ( a time I’m rather fond of, good food, good people, good times….) the term would be applied as a generic term apparently such as in the case of McKinleys assassin, and if memory serves me well ( I was just a wee tad of a boy ) arch-duke Ferdinand’s assassin as well.

    Also one could automatically apply libertarian philosophy to the anarchist view if one were so inclined, usually at about 45 degrees I believe.

    Are you sure we can’t talk anymore about chocolate?

  12. Steve Scher

    But advancing ows?
    Only I suppose if we feel as a group anarchistic.
    So far we at times seem more masochistic .

  13. reginahny

    I have evidence that chocolate has been marginalized. I’m going to share that evidence in a post at my new group Strong Women Love Chocolate But Not The Way You Think. Look for our meetings Sundays at 7 a.m., location TBD. The contact info is: strongwomenlovechocolatebutnotthewayyouthink@gmail.com. Don’t even get me started on butter [trigger warning].

    The silliness is such a pressure relief, thank you all for giving me a much needed giggle.

    For those who posted this proposal, I don’t mean to make light of it. What I seriously agree with is what @sumumba says above, if anything Anarchy is festishized, not demonized or ignored by OWS. I see activists struggling with how to be active and represented in a leaderless movement with no hierarchy. I see activists leaving the movement or forming affinity / non profits / etc. outside of the anarchist’s rigid structure. Yes, anarchys’ rigid structure — how odd is that?

    I know, no chocolate for me! ;-)

    • Dallas

      I’m more of a synarchist/holarchist. We all flow between leader and follower roles as needed and depending on context in my ideal vision of the world. That said, why the heck would we NOT have an Anarchist Caucus?

  14. Kenneth Henry Deome

    Here’s a simple graphic (Left-wing to Right-wing) of the U.S. political spectrum to help explain my perspective:

    Collective Tyranny

    Communism

    Individualism

    Socialism

    Liberalism

    True Moderate (Centrist)

    Democrat

    Relative Moderate

    Republican

    Conservatism

    Nationalism

    Aristocratic Rule

    Individual Tyranny
    ______

    You’ll notice both political parties are right of center and when you reach either extreme the result is the same for the general public.

    Democracy requires a balance between individual desire and group dynamics.

    Let’s react intensely to corporate personhood that seeks to dilute our rights against private authority; and let’s not forget the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act seek to dilute the guarantee that public authorities will not infringe on certain innate rights held by all people.

    But let’s also not react so strongly to authoritarian assertions that we simply trade one form of oppression for another.

    After all, with 312,000,000 Americans direct democracy isn’t likely to succeed, so there will be the need for leaders, and there therefore will be the temptation for leaders to corrupt power.

    No nation has ever aligned ideal with reality; so let’s be realistic in our goals, our own fallibilities, and the fact history will try to repeat itself.

    Thank You,

    Kenneth Henry Deome
    Salinas, Ca

  15. Mosheh Eesho Muhammad Al- faraj Thezion

    The problem with Anarchy…. is that it needs a good leader… with layers of… to make happen.
    The problem with Anarchists…. is that they hate leaders, and refuse to impose layers of control over themselves… which is of course why they are Anarchists.

    I happen to be an Anarchist… and I tell you all, there is only one way to have it.
    And that… is to abandon money, wealth and greed… and adopt a family concept where.. WE DO NOT TRADE.. WE SHARE… PERIOD… and we work… so that we may share it… and provide great gains for our people as one family.
    THESE… ARE FUNDAMENTAL RELIGIOUS VALUES.
    RELIGION… IS NOT THE ENEMY OF THE FREE PEOPLE…
    RELIGION… TEACHES… the foundation of freedom…
    meaning… it says… generally.. do not give yourself to the dominion of this world..(other people) but only to GOD.
    IN THIS WAY… God.. sets you free.. by proposing that you should always be free and only following god threw your heart if need be…. and not willingly subject to other men.. and their greed systems.

    Think about it…

    I propose an ARDD system… which is.. an.. Anarchistic Representative Direct Democracy.. which would have all aspects, and yet founded on Anarchy and freedom. (a long story)

    Freedom… in the past.. American past.. WAS ANARCHISTIC… it was… because the people were free from the government law making to control them.
    We lived… under the Common Law… a common agreement between free sovereign peoples.

    it was protected by the COMMON LAW LEGAL SYSTEM… which protected the people from the government and yet allowed for REAL BAD GUYS… to be punished…

    In 1938… FDR changed the legal system… so that now.. they can write any law they want to control you.
    that is a fact.

    If you want.. old west freedom back… then join the fight to RESTORE THE COMMON LAW LEGAL SYSTEM…. as only it… can restore freedom… as it was… freedom.

    AS close to full anarchy as you can ask for….
    We used to have it.. we used to be free.

    I say… we move mountains to get it back.

    -Mosheh Thezion
    mosheh.org
    1-818-397-1352

  16. Steve Scher

    you sir are a Libertarian.
    I cannot perceive you as an anarchist, Anarchist, or even ( redacted )
    3

    2

  17. JZ

    I like the idea of:

    “-We seek to end the misinformation and negative stereotypes associated with these political beliefs,”

    However, aiming this at people within OWS is not as important as aiming it at people working for various media companies who commonly express misinfo and negative stereotypes. And continuing that line of thought, aiming at talking heads associated with think tanks, policy making bodies, etc who appear at events and call-in shows.

    • Lucy

      You are not going to convince the various media companies that anarchy is one way or another, its of no importance in the scheme of things and hardly a national debate. The point Hedges was making is the perception given off by OWS to the media and general public if disruptive forces such as Black Bloc are presented as the new face of OWS. His point is if the movement is attempting to reach out to the mainstream public then it cannot marginalize itself by presenting itself ‘anarchist’ or using tactics that frighten the mainstream working and middle class folks. Because at the end of the day the 99% isn’t interested in ‘anarchism’, they just want their bloody jobs back, they just want corporate entities to keep their paws off of the public coffer, they want their representational government back, they want to be alleviated of their suffering. They are not interested in some dialectic on anarchism.

      • Dallas

        @redteddy True and well put. But: is this lack of a desire to hear about anarchism truly the decision and feeling of “the 99%” – or is about they way the MSM has trained us to think?

        Do we want to make our decisions based on modes of thought that some might even call programming or brainwashing? Programming that has been applied to nearly all of us from birth by the very banks, corps, and corrupt governments we strive against?

        • Lucy

          Ok. How often have you heard the mainstream media discuss anarchism in ANY context whatsoever? When was the last time you ever heard ANYONE in the mainstream public discuss anarchism as a theory? I mean maybe I run with a different crowd but it hardly comes up as dinner conversation even within a political discussion. How many AVERAGE americans give a toss about anarchist theory? I mean I’m just asking because if you ask what resonates with the american people its jobs, disenfranchisement, police state whether represented by the patriot act, NDAA or TSA and other issues they are confronting daily at home or that they see taking place in government. Anarchism is a debate that only takes place on the far left? How many americans would classify themselves as belonging to the far left?

          • Dallas

            How many average Americans give a toss about anything other than their bills being paid and what’s on TV? It’s because they’re told not to by the 1% who would be in a s***load of trouble if the average American *did* think about ideas like anarchism.

            Also, as a member of the American (if not the global) 99%, I have to say this feels like you’re saying we’re too indifferent or stupid to care about political theory, which IMHO is bunk.

  18. sumumba

    ummmm not sure if its been said..but wouldn’t a ‘Caucus’ LIKE go against EVERYTHING Anarchists believe in? What’s next..will u all want **hark* like a ‘GOVERNMENT’ with ‘STRUCTURE’ too?? #socounfused.com

    • Jordan McCarthy

      how would a caucus go against any anarchist principals? if this is another attempt at bating from an individual who has never bothered educating themselves on what anarchist principals are, please stop.

      • sumumba

        many of the structures of OWS are founded on such principles, SPOKES COUNCIL THE GA, ‘HORIZONTALism’, leaderlessness, no? We’ve been force-fed all of this from day one…but in my IGNORANCE..i guess i need to ask…is there ONLY ‘ONE’ set of ANARCHIST PRINCIPLES? Blac Bloc included?

        • Lucy

          And the structures are a breath of fresh air! They are creative and inclusive which are two things I believe are welcome to mainstream americans ESPECIALLY if they work in group action. My point is let us all not get bogged down in theory or try to advance a theory as a political alternative which would only alienate people.

          • sumumba

            some of the structures are indeed functional and welcome but they are NOT some ‘new’ thing either…my issue isnt so much with anarchy itself but the fallacious belief that it is the FIRST, MOST EFFECTIVE and or ONLY alternative to what exists today..

  19. Lucy

    Look if OWS were only some kind of an intellectual university happening this wouldn’t be of any consequence, but OWS is supposed to represent a CHALLENGE to existing systems by REPRESENTING the 99%…no actually I am wrong. OWS is supposed to be a vehicle by which the 99% can participate in order to stick it to the corporate-government elite, but in order to participate OWS has to resonate. This means OWS has to actually represent them in theory as well as deed OR it has to simply be its own vehicle representing itself as a fringe movement.

    • Dallas

      So what you’re saying is that we all have to believe in God and become Democrats and Republicans? Because that’s what most of the 99% believe in….

      the 99% meme (as I understand it) is about income and net worth, not necessarily cultural or political values. Further, I hesitate to back the idea that we’re here to pander to the majority. Pandering to the majority is a big part of how we got in this mess in the first place!

      • sumumba

        but isolating ourselves from there and not speaking some of their language but taking them deeper will NOT bring about change but allow us to be CONTINUALLY co-opted by them…ie Obama now using ’99%’ language….

        • Dallas

          “The idea that we can’t be our own leaders is bulls***”. Vernacular enough for ya, @sumumba ? ;)

          lulz…

          • sumumba

            TOTALLY agree with that Dallas! I DONT mind being called a ‘leader’ or ‘bottomliner’ or whatever..in fact i take pride in it ..cuz i KNOW things will get DONE…and if they don’t i have no one to blame but me….i think part of the whole ‘leaderless’ ish is CRAP….i come from a history and tradition of LEADERS…STRONG Black men and women…who GSD…to NOT create and or change things by taking LEADERSHIP is what will split and kill this movement!

      • Lucy

        No. I’m saying we shouldn’t get caught up in a political theoretical dialogue which is of no consequence to the aims of OWS. Pandering to the majority? Why is OWS calling itself ‘the 99%’ if its not made up of the majority? Something you shirk when you use the term ‘pandering’. Why use the term ‘the 99%’ if it cannot represent the majority? Isn’t OWS supposed to address the concerns of the majority? You are being disingenuous if you assume that Americans are sick of what is going on, claiming to be one of that majority and at the same time disavowing that ‘majority’ by claiming its ‘they’, whom you of course are not part of, are responsible for ‘this mess’. My post was meant as a reminder that anarchism as a debate is inconsequential as a national debate, to the media at large and to most people who are interested in altering the present national demise. Anarchism is a fringe issue. I’m sorry I was under the impression that OWS was interested in challenging the corporate-state alliance and restoring democracy, I didn’t know it was a vehicle for the advancement of any particular political ideology. I thought it was working not against Republicans and Democrats but against Republican and Democrats co-option by corporate elites. Fact is there are only three voting positions in the US (reps, dems and independents), from what I understand americans have had it with both dems and reps as representatives. I was under the impression that OWS was interested in altering the corporate run government because most americans are worried about health care, jobs, economic stability, a growing police state and state-corporate commingling, THESE ARE NOT PARTISAN ISSUES, people affiliated with both parties are concerned with these issues.

        • Dallas

          I’m not disavowing any people, I’m disavowing the habits they’ve learn from their enslavement.

          I haven’t owned a TV in 6 years. It gives one a *very* different perspective on cultural norms. Should I get a TV so that I can really be the 99% too?

          • Lucy

            Of course they are slaves and you are ‘free’. Pompous much? I’ve lived out of the country for more than seven years and it gives me a greater perspective on cultural norms. You are the one who has taken my comments and narrowed them down to who owns and watches a tv and who doesn’t. Very good. Another gold star but this time for selective reading comprehension and being so myopic as to chalk up american culture if there even is such a thing to the globally owned tv set. Well done.

  20. Lucy

    @Dallas How many average Americans give a toss about anything other than their bills being paid and what’s on TV? It’s because they’re told not to by the 1% who would be in a s***load of trouble if the average American *did* think about ideas like anarchism.Also, as a member of the American (if not the global) 99%, I have to say this feels like you’re saying we’re too indifferent or stupid to care about political theory, which IMHO is bunk.

    Your disdain for the American people are noted. God forbid if the average American carries on to pay their bills to feed their family and (Quelle horreur!) watch tv. Its almost like an episode of Roseanne isn’t it? Americans working low paying jobs and struggling to keep food on their tables and taking the time to kick-back and watch tv. Oh well. The irony is that these Americans who care about paying their bills also took the time to come out to Occupy events, they also sent you their money (I did too as well as bring water, toiletries etc), hell they even ordered pizza. Your position seems to be that ‘they’ are so dumbed down by the 1% that you, who are so smart and clued on and not influenced by the 1% and their bill paying, tv watching system, are wise and smart enough to think about oh so important theories such as anarchism. Well you can put a gold star on your cap for being so much smarter than the rest.

    Now I understand why you guys are having so much trouble reaching out to the working class people of this country. I mean with their bill paying and tv watching habits and all. Counter Punch was right about OWS when they wrote this article:

    “Escalating the Occupy Movement without having engaged working people with their most pressing issues will amount to strangling it (imagine a battlefield where the cavalry charges and the infantry stays put, unable to back-up those mounting the advance). The real organizing still needs to be done, but the activists’ impatience is fast becoming a threat. This weakness has its roots in the left’s inability to link their ‘more radical’ ideas to the needs and current consciousness of the broader population. . . . ”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/20/occupy-wall-street-at-the-crossroads/

    • Dallas

      I *AM* the working class people of this country. I live in the South Bronx and work as an IT support tech/systems admin.

      I didn’t realize embracing MSM propaganda and striving for mediocrity was required to be supportive of the 99% or the working class. Can you show me documentation to this effect?

      PS I’m a libertarian with synarchist leanings. None of which has anything to do with being a leftist.

      • Lucy

        Let’s back track. Where did I indicate that you or anyone should embrace the mainstream media? I personally couldn’t give a fart what people do for their own personal erudition or entertainment either, I am certainly not so vain as to judge them for it. Where do I indicate that you should strive towards anything never mind ‘mediocrity’? As a matter of fact, I cannot recall making any statements about you directly anywhere! JZ mentioned that he thought there was no need for educating members within OWS on anarchy but its important to aim such an education “at people working for various media companies who commonly express misinfo and negative stereotypes.” My response was that there is zero, ZILCH, being mentioned by ‘various media companies’ on anarchism period. Meaning its a non-issue, its not commonly being discussed positively or negatively except for a minute number of fringe media outlets that do not have a wide audience anyway. Its not that they are misinforming people because it just doesn’t get any air time. Its not part of an active media discussion, so its pointless to address media companies on a topic they hardly feel worth mentioning. I also went on to state that the average american couldn’t give a hoot about anarchism as a political theory, its just not on their radar. Now for some reason you decided to internalize that comment and to go on a rant about how informed you are, not a mainstream sheeple, enslaved and all that because you don’t own a tv as if NOT having a tv somehow is a sign of intelligence or authority or automatically makes you better informed, adding a worldly wisdom notch to your belt or some such nonsense. Intelligence, critical thinking and analysis or a sophisticated pov can be had whether you have a television or not. And if you don’t have those qualities throwing out your tv isn’t going bring you any close to them. I’m just sayin.

        Its impossible to support those you condescend, its impossible to dialogue with those for whom you harbor contempt. Its even more impossible to communicate with people you marginalize through your own stereotyping and generalizations. I’m not a working class person but I sure do know how to have a conversation with those who are not of my ilk nor members of my choir. The art of it comes from not being disparaging or arrogant, it comes from listening to and learning from another’s experience. You seem to have the mainstream everything pegged don’t you? With all the mindless rhetoric that goes along with it! Let me clue you, if you go to a country like Denmark you will find that they watch television too but they somehow managed to have regulated banks, universal health care and free education all the way up to university level. The Danes can sometimes be glaringly unsophisticated, some even would call them the peasants of Europe, hardly the most cultivated in Europe, some may even call them ‘mediocre’ by European standards but they don’t allow people in their society people do not go homeless and they have one of the highest environmental standards in Western Europe. So the fact that americans watch tv isn’t what has them in the hole here, the fact that they may have simple lives or considerations, lives you obviously consider sub-par to your glorious standards isn’t what’s dragging this nation down the whole.

        …Now what does this have to do with anarchism? Nothing….except I learned about Anarchism in Christiania (you’ve got internet look it up) in Copenhagen where the community engaged in oh so revolutionary activities like ‘consensus’ and were autonomous from the rest of society…to wit there was a sign s notifying people that they were now leaving the EU.

        But this isn’t Denmark, this is the US and again I will repeat that if OWS want’s to reach out to the rest of the people, indeed the bulk of those who really really are the 99% then it cannot come across seeming to push its own political theories. The same would be true for a libertarian, socialist or communist caucus. I mean hell don’t you have enough divisive groups as it is? Into how many more parts do you want to split the whole?

        I was asking whether this action really helps OWS with its aims, I thought OWS had aims all relating to economic inequality and corruption…unless of course I am wrong and this movement is nothing but a fringe group looking inward towards itself and its own agenda that has nothing to do with the rest of the population. If it is please let me know now and I won’t waste my time pissing about with it anymore.

        “Arrogance diminishes wisdom”
        “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.” Samuel Butler

        • Dallas

          I’m sorry you see my desire to change the 99% for the better as disrespect and disdain for them.

          I just figure that if this middle-class black dude with no diploma beyond a GED (I dropped out of college) can understand that anarchy != dangerous radical and that the left-right paradigm is BS, maybe I’m not the only poor undereducated slob that is capable of getting this.

          I also don’t see how an anarchist caucus runs counter to dealing with economic inequality. Hard to have financial inequality when there is political equality….

          It sounds like you’re really really unhappy with the direction we’re taking here at OWS. IF everyone normal feels the way you do, you should have no problem bringing 100 people with similart views to every GA to make us act more in accordance with the views and positions of the true 99%.

          I’d be *overjoyed* to see an extra 100 people at every GA… but I think if you really grokked what the anarchy thing or the 99% thing were about, you’d have already realized that the effective way to squash something at OWS is to stack the GA crowd in your favor, not to give proposers the biz for daring to be middle-class radicals.

          • Lucy

            No Dallas I don’t think the desire to see social change as being disrespectful. What I think is disrespectful is to assume that its up to you to change ‘them’. Other people do not exist to be transformed into the vision of any one person, group or institution, that’s what totalitarianism effectively does. I mean what gives you the right to change anyone to suit your particular vision?

            What do you mean by ‘political equality’? Within any given culture all things are never ‘equal’ especially when it comes to different ideological frameworks. I believe financial inequality can occur in no matter the political framework, its why nations claiming to be socialist or communist still have economic inequalities but that I believe is a broader discussion.

            Not really, there are specific things that bothers me about OWS in terms of strategy but not in terms of direction.

            It won’t be easy to get people to join every specific GA, especially when its difficult to know what GA is going to vote on what specific issue BUT that is not the problem really. The problem it seems is having an action or a specific goal where you can galvanize the majority.

          • Dallas

            Aren’t you trying to change me by telling me that my approach to improving the lot of the 99% is disrespectful and your way is better?

          • Lucy

            No I am not. I am pointing out the arrogance in thinking you can improve the lot of the 99% or that you even know what improvements they need and want for themselves. It comes across as if you want to change the values, thinking and ‘way of life’ of others. That’s not what people want from any movement, nor from their government, hell they don’t even want it from their religious institutions.

            There is something inherently obnoxious about people claiming to know what is best for other people. First of all it connotes that you somehow speak from way up above where you see everything and they see nothing, it implies authority over others because you somehow ‘know better’. It also indicates that you somehow think other people are stupid and without ability to think, reason and decide for themselves….as if they need you to ‘show them the way’. Its this kind of attitude that had foreign NGO’s creating proposals, all in good intentions, that were never embraced or worked on the ground. Its imperialistic in nature, like the American government somehow thinking that other nations need their democracy and they will give it to them unsolicited, as if they somehow know what is best for developing nations because the poor sod’s don’t know what’s good for them. Its also the attitude employed by communist and totalitarian revolutions whereby they decide what is best for society by demonizing everything they deem as ‘bourgeois’ and unacceptable which inevitably led to the loss of individual freedoms.

            What people ultimately want is the freedom to decide what they want for themselves without having to conform to anyone else’s ‘vision’. If we are to learn anything from history it should be at least that.

        • Dallas

          Lucy, isn’t anarchy about the freedom to determine one’s own path and approach to life?

          “absence or denial of any authority or established order”

          If thinking my vision of an ideal has absolutely no higher merit than anyone else’s is arrogant, aren’t we all being arrogant by protesting at all? After, if people aren’t rising up with torches and pitchforks in hand, it must be because they think everything is fine. How dare any of us tell them different?!

          /sarcasm

          OK, I’m done. I’m an arrogant elitist who thinks lifelong education and expansion of horizons is a good thing, even for the vast majority of people who are too busy worrying about rent/mortgage, employment and kids to consciously consider these ideals.

          I’m real OK with that.

          /shrug

          • sumumba

            i hear u…and im doing my best to learn MORE about anarchy..but the more i see or folks pontificate on it…the more self-indulgent it seems…i see admirable aspects of it…but i also DON’T see it contributing to the COLLECTIVE advance of community nor humanity…if everything is everything what is the meaning of ANY thing? Except the things our ‘egos/autonomy’ says it is….i guess we should all be cool with that if so…but it seems there’s or should be MORE to life than just that… theres a book called LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN…that really helps with these question…Marimba ANi i believe is the author..

  21. Lucy

    @Dallas

    For some reason I cannot find the edit button, here’s the edited version:

    Let’s back track. Where did I indicate that you or anyone should embrace the mainstream media? I personally couldn’t give a fart what people do for entertainment or their own personal erudition, I am certainly not so vain as to judge them for it. So where do I indicate that you should strive towards anything never mind ‘mediocrity’? As a matter of fact, I cannot recall making any statements about you directly anywhere! JZ mentioned that he thought there was no need for educating members within OWS on anarchy but its important to aim such an education “at people working for various media companies who commonly express misinfo and negative stereotypes.” My response was that there is zero, ZILCH, being mentioned by any media company on anarchism period. Meaning its a non-issue, its not commonly being discussed positively or negatively except for a minute number of fringe media outlets that do not have a wide audience anyway. Its not that they are misinforming people, how can you misinform on something that doesn’t get any air time? Its not part of an active media discussion, so its pointless to address media companies on a topic they hardly feel worth mentioning. I also went on to state that the average american couldn’t give a hoot about anarchism as a political theory, its just not on their radar, which is why you probably don’t see various media outlets stumbling over themselves to cover the subject. Now for some reason you decided to internalize those comments and to go on a rant about how informed you are, not a mainstream sheeple, enslaved and all that because you don’t own a tv as if NOT having a tv somehow is a sign of intelligence or authority or automatically makes you better informed, adding a worldly wisdom notch to your belt or some such nonsense. Intelligence, critical thinking and analysis or a sophisticated pov can be had whether you own a television or not, and if you don’t have those qualities throwing out your tv isn’t going to bring you any closer. I’m just sayin. Why those comments got your back up is beyond me but since you’ve kicked off I will at least make sure it was worth your while.

    Its impossible to support those you condescend, its impossible to dialogue with those for whom you harbor contempt. Its even more impossible to communicate with people you marginalize through your own stereotyping and generalizations. I’m not a working class person but I sure do know how to have a conversation with those who are not of my ilk nor members of my choir. The art of it comes from not being disparaging or arrogant, it comes from listening to and learning from another’s experience. You seem to have ‘the mainstream’ pegged don’t you? And you sure don’t waste any of the mindless rhetoric that goes along with patting yourself on the back as if you were better than the hoi polloi! Blaming the masses for the dire state of the union and having it all lay at the feet of their bills and tv sets. Well let me clue you, if you go to a country like Denmark you will find that they watch television too but they somehow managed to have regulated banks, universal health care and free education all the way up to university level. The Danes can sometimes be glaringly unsophisticated, some even would call them the peasants, hardly the most cultivated in Europe, some may even call them ‘mediocre’ by European standards but they don’t allow people in their society to go homeless and they have one of the highest environmental standards in Western Europe. So the fact that americans watch tv isn’t what has them in the hole here, the fact that they may have simple lives or considerations, lives you obviously consider sub-par to your glorious standards isn’t what’s dragging this nation down the whole.

    Now what does this have to do with anarchism? Nothing….except I felt free to mindlessly expound on something inconsequential since you decided all of my comments came down to msm and tv sets. I experienced a form of Anarchism while living in Christiania (you’ve got internet look it up), a freetown in Copenhagen where the community engaged in oh so revolutionary activities like ‘consensus’ and were autonomous from the rest of society…to wit there was a sign at the entrance notifying people that they were now leaving the auspices of the EU.

    But this isn’t Denmark, this is the US and again I will repeat that if OWS want’s to reach out to the general population, indeed the bulk of those who really really are the 99% then it cannot come across seeming to push its own political theories. The same would be true for a libertarian, socialist or communist caucus. I mean hell don’t you have enough divisive groups as it is? Into how many more parts do you want to split the whole?

    I was asking whether this action really helps OWS with its aims, I thought OWS had aims all relating to economic inequality and corruption…unless of course I am wrong and this movement is nothing but a fringe group looking inward towards itself and its own agenda that has nothing to do with the rest of the population. If it is please let me know now and I won’t waste my time pissing about with it anymore. I mean the more I think of it the less likely it seems someone such as yourself would want to sully themselves through association with those tv gaping enslaved masses who’s mediocre intellectual standards you consider to be the cause of this nations downfall.

    “Arrogance diminishes wisdom”
    “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.” Samuel Butler

  22. sumumba

    wow this thread has gotten very interesting but far too long…lol…i will say this…Anarchists played a big but NOT the only role in getting this movement started. I am NOT a Anarchist, however but i am reading up more on it, as we all should. We must also examine how many of our structures are Anarchist and if they truly suit the needs of not only this movement but America as well. I think there’s aspects we can and should keep and others we need to throw out. This is a big country and movement, certainly we must create the room for other forms of thought and structure to exist and certainly others have and will continue to do.

  23. Tom

    just to remember my individual personal experience while doing sanitation in the park through october, d n a kiss were always loved and arrogant, and very confrontational often laughing at people when they suggested anything than their philosophy.
    I get that we can always spend lots of time on how many occupiers can dance on the head of a pin centene “what do we want ? when do we want it?now!”, but at around 1 am on november first when 1 anarchist young the man went across the street to the world trade center corner and burned the flag of the united states to taunt the 911 responder at the camp and sneer back the entire camp, I knew it was trouble and all of the sudden occupied might become something that would scare people instead of bringing them into the movement to create change nonviolent lee and efficiently because time is of the essence. too many people have suffered and and will suffer if we get ourselves bogged with the anarchist need to be validated all the time. in my opinion this has already hurt occupy a great deal and will still help us to get nowhere fast. perhaps we can have a philosophy working group?

    • Dallas

      So…. why would an anarchist feel a need to taunt a 9-11 first responder?

      Are we sure this had anything to do with “anarchy”? Sounds more like someone getting their jollies from being shocking. We usually call those “trolls” not “anarchists”.

      • Tom

        thank you for that very important correction Dallas.
        like Lucy, I hope to find the edit button because indeed it was the act of an individual and I should not ascribe my opinion of the event to a group of people.

        • sumumba

          as i mentioned below…but not exactly…thats one of the problems with individuals taking ‘autonomous actions’ in this movement, who may or may NOT be blac block

          • Jordan McCarthy

            black bloc is not a group- it is a tactic used by people of various backgrounds and political beliefs during actions- in DC at the inauguration of Bush in 2001, we saw people doing black bloc- they went ahead of the strictly ‘non-violent’ and non-confrontational protesters, and removed barricades; they did this with the support of their comrades, and indeed on behalf of them, so that the larger groups could take over wider spaces.
            As for the man burning the flag- he may have in fact proclaimed to be an anarchist, may believe in anarchist theory, but endangering a movement and its members and hurting (atleast emotionally, as I’m sure was the goal when taunting a 9-11 responder) an individual for no other purpose than shits and giggles, is not an anarchist principal.

  24. sumumba

    or so-called…Blac Bloc or people doing ‘Autonomous Actions’ perhaps Dallas??

    • Dallas

      Of course it’s an autonomous action. Was the schmuck in question actually even wearing black? I wasn’t there.

  25. sumumba

    well i guess deeper for me is the entire question of ‘autonomous action’ and how it can be detrimental to the movement…or perhaps we need to define or codify what is a MOVEMENT building ‘autonomous action’…

    • Jordan McCarthy

      non-hierarchical decision making based on consensus has been used by anarchist groups for more than a century; you think the anarchists are going to stop using this method and begin using “autonomous action” on behalf of a group thats been using these methods for 5 months?

      • sumumba

        they already have Jordan on several occasions…but i see your point..

  26. Sally Marks

    If I may.
    Violence begets violence. Destruction begets destruction and so on right to (often but not always, unfortunately) Love begets love.
    I my opinion, every time a OWS supporter identified themselves as a supporter, they have a responsibility to the entire movement.
    A person meets an OWSer, it could be this persons first time interacting with a OWS participant. The news clip or article they read, likewise. For the outsider who has been a victim previously of an act against them that has been identified as related to OWS, is going to view all with a very wary and cold eye. What kind of picture do we want to have in peoples minds when they think “OWS”?
    Every single person who is not currently a OWS supporter is a potential one. They are not enemy’s. We want them to be our friends. We want them to want to be with us. Acrimony is not a good thing to cultivate and pursue.

    • Jordan McCarthy

      anarchism and violence are entirely separate things; the OWS communities failure to understand this is exactly why we wanted a caucus.

  27. Alexander Penley

    Is there a meeting at 4PM tomorrow and, if so, where? I have someone asking from out of town and that person needs to know as they are broke and can’t really come to the city if it’s not happening.

    Thanks

    lawyersymp

    • Jordan McCarthy

      Hopefully this coming saturday; check out our facebook page (anarchism caucus/ rebel (A)lliance) for updates, seeing as we’re not ratified and can’t post our meeting times on this webpage.