11.9.11 – Visions and Goals Group

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The following will be proposed to the GA for feedback/to pass as an official document for Liberty Square. It will serve as the basis for our local movement’s visioning questions for the future, and help us generate a list of goals to achieve those visions. We will record the breakout group discussions as a part of the official document drafting. We may invite the public to answer the questions creatively to be possibly included as links to the final document. In the end, we aim to publish a complete open, modular, vision and goals blueprint that will guide our piece of what is becoming a global movement.

While reading the following vision questions consider the major bullet from the GA’s Principles of Solidarity, which states the importance open source solutions for the world’s problems.

  • How can we answer these visioning questions with solutions owned by all?

What will the world look like…

When we help mobilize a global method to stitch localized people’s assemblies?
When we free ourselves from the banks that own us?
When we invent a modern economic system in harmony with nature?
When our work and businesses place people and service before profit?
When we provide mental and health care for all?
When we liberate every level of education for all?
When we free ourselves from discrimination and prejudice?
When we establish human liberties from the bottom up?
When we harmonize our spiritual traditions?
When we end all forms of war?

The finalized vision and goals blueprint could be organized as follows. It will be posted in a Wiki format – old style wiki or semantic wiki.

  • Preamble statement describing the dire situation humanity is in, the short comings of previous governing documents like the US.  The importance of the indigenous voice.  Principles of peace from the Iriquoi nation.


  • Purpose of the document as a modular blueprint to be stitched across people’s assemblies to form a meta vision and goals document for the world.


  • The vision questions
    • Links to videos of vision discussions and especially popular online vision renditions
    • Corresponding goals for assembly of Liberty Square
    • Links to pieces of other Visions and Goals Blueprints that harmonize with our document
  • A refinement process and amendment process that aims to improve clarity, flow and accuracy of this document as it represents our piece of the movement – reflective     of our local cultural, economic and political assents that can have     positive global impact.

11 Responses to “11.9.11 – Visions and Goals Group”

  1. Ross Wolfe

    I made one edit, simplifying the one line to “What will the world look like…”

    Otherwise, I still consider the wording of this document very problematic. It takes many things from the world of today and assumes that they will be carried over into the world of tomorrow.

    For example, would “businesses” (i.e., private enterprise) persist in an emancipated world?

    Despite the popularity of the catchphrase “People before profit,” can production serve the ends of people when the possibility of profit still exists? The more technical (but more correct) phrasing for an emancipated society would be as follows:

    1. Would socialized production be undertaken for the purpose of capitalization (augmenting value, making money into more money)?
    2. Would socialized production be undertaken for the purpose of satisfying the needs of society and its individual members?

    “Harmonizing our spiritual traditions” is extremely vague. Is this just tepid liberal bourgeois tolerationism? Or does it mean some sort of spiritual synthesis, as in Unitarian Universalism? Why valorize any particular tradition, spiritual or otherwise? Many spiritual/religious traditions include sexist, homophobic articles of faith. Why not the overcoming of our spiritual traditions? Especially those that disempower or marginalize certain peoples.

    I don’t think it should be “liberate our education.” I think it should be “make education equally available to all.” And allow for education as an end-in-itself as well as a vocational means.

    I would say that discrimination and prejudice should be eradicated, as Frederick Douglass held. “The peaceful annihilation of prejudice,” as he put it, “is impossible.” And “eradicated” here in its strictest sense: “rooting out.” (radix = root).

    Also, it’s not just the banks that own us. It’s the means of production in general hold sway over the reproduction of society, rather than society holding sway over the means of production. Society is presently subservient to capital. In other words, it is controlled by a heteronomous entity. Until society becomes an end-in-itself, it will not be truly autonomous.

  2. Chris

    “When we invent a modern economic system in harmony with nature?”

    This whole notion is absurd. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, mass extinction, etc.

    Nature is not in harmony with itself, how can an economic system be in harmony with it?

    • Ross Wolfe

      I completely agree.

      As my friend C. Derick Varn put it in his commentary on this point: “Nature is the totality of all that is, therefore anything that exists is theoretically in harmony with nature. Furthermore, biological systems are not peaceful equilibrium generators. This is a problematic notion. The animal world is violent and constantly in flux.”

      Here he was echoing something I wrote on my own commentary on the Blueprint: “Nature is not some sort of self-harmonious, delicate equilibrium with negative feedback loops and all that Romantic nonsense; it is incredibly cruel, chaotic, and catastrophic — continuously destroying and reconstituting itself. Species extinction and environmental collapse are regular features of the natural world, with or without human involvement. From the Chicxulub asteroid to Krakatoa, certain events engender massive crises within the natural world.”

      Also, I am unclear about the wording of “stitching” together localized “people’s assemblies.” While I would welcome a certain level of flexibility at the local level to come to decisions more specific to each assembly’s individual situation, I think that there should be some inviolable universal (global) tenets laid forth by the Vision. There are profound limits to the virtues of celebrating multiculturalism. For example, I believe that female genital mutilation is inherently sexist, regardless of cultural tradition or convention.

      This might be covered by point seven, regarding inalienable rights.

      But this comes to a pivotal question regarding the nature of these questions. Yes, the interrogative format of the document might spare it from being penned in by those looking for concrete demands, but at the same time, it doesn’t explicitly articulate a vision. At most the vision is implicit or tacitly suggested, and the questions seem to be designed to elicit a certain response.

      But again, this seems to come back to whether we want to try and actually present a vision, or just release another questionnaire to try and find out what other people’s visions are. Using a question here or there can have profound rhetorical effect, but centering the entire document around questions just leaves in the position of the Sphinx, spinning riddles out into the ether.

  3. Person



    • Person

      This draft does not take into account the feedback from the past GA Breakout Sessions and does not take into account the hours of discussions and other documents that other people have presented at the Vision and Goals group. We need to work harder to incorporate all the voices and suggestions. This document is unacceptable in its current form.

    • Ross Wolfe

      I second Abe’s request that this document not be presented at the GA without consensus (and at least for me, thorough reworking).

      And at the risk of alienating myself, I also take some issue with the emphasis on the “indigenous voice,” or the voice of any particular group for that matter. I respect Native American culture and other marginalized cultures well enough, but frankly modern white culture’s obsequious obsession with the “simple,” “homespun” wisdom of native peoples strikes me as condescending and insulting. It’s almost neo-colonialist in its perverse fascination with tribal traditions, and “Fenimore Cooperesque” in its Romanticism and sentimentality.

      Part of what I appreciated so much about Bill Record’s and Calvin’s presentations of these principles was their straightforward, matter-of-fact delivery, without the presumption of representing the token subaltern voice. For them, the principles they espoused were important because of their historical basis and fundamental soundness.

  4. Ross Wolfe

    I also find the fetishization of open-source technology somewhat baffling and confused.

  5. Rich Woytowich

    I hope this isn’t coming too late, but the group DID consent to it. I don’t remember which meeting – I think it was yesterday (Thursday).
    It DOES take into account the previous work – in that the questions have evolved.
    I say this after having drafted a document – which more or less remains on the table – that took the previous GA results (as summarized) plus some other people’s documents, with some editing to try to put the pieces together (that’s what I titled my posts).
    Since the new document doesn’t contain many of the WORDS from my document – or from any or the documents I based my work on – I could have responded just as negatively as anyone else. But I see the IDEAS from the original document – refined and made more coherent – in the new document. So I supported it in the meeting where it was presented, and I still support it now. I see no rational basis for reversing the group’s consensus.
    As for open source, I do think it’s better to rely on technology which is freely available to all than to use technology which is controlled by one or two corporations. It sets a good example of what a world freed from corporate control would look like. The number one open source product is Linux. It only continues to exist independently because it is not for sale. If it were for sale, Bill Gates would probably have spent his entire fortune to buy it. A pearl of great price, if you like. OWS’ use of open source isn’t going to put a dent in Microsoft’s balance sheet (or Apple’s – their OS X is the only other viable alternative to Windows), but it does support the Linux community.
    Unfortunately, there is not (to my knowledge) an open source hardware platform to run the open source software on.

  6. Ross Wolfe

    “Visioning questions” is an ugly and stupid phrase. Just “questions.”