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Some Thoughts on What to Do

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This is a blurb expressing my thoughts on what the IOPS strategy should be, in hopes that it generates some discussion.  I talk too much on IOPS international in general and am by no means an expert on this stuff, but here's my perspective nonetheless, so thanks for reading in advance.  My fellow people in San Diego please chime in if you have beef, I don't mean to represent us per se...

BLUF (bottom line up front): We have all connected internationally and agreed upon a very broad, progressive, ambitious, optimistic, and well-written statement of purpose and vision, thanks to a few very dedicated veteran activists who had the guts to try something big and risk failure.  The foundational support is there.  Now - IOPS chapters at the city level are where things need to start happening, and the sooner the better, but dig your heels in for the long haul.  It's time to learn from past movements, get creative, and stick your neck out of your shell.  I submit that the first, most difficult and greatest priority is de-atomizing your community - bringing people together communally, opening their eyes, and creating a sustainable, long-term, organized network of communities from which real political power can be derived.  Once you have people power, I think the "what do we do" comes easily (and much later).  Wow, that was a long bottom line, sorry!

My list of points (and questions), in order of priority:

1. Priority #1 is solidarity among members, and at a personal, face-to-face level.  No petty disagreements should get in the way of working together.  If you have issues, sort them out.

2. Education among members - we know a lot already (some more than others), but most of us (well, at least I do) really need to know a lot more if we want to be the teachers of those left in the dark...

3. Reach out in communities - for my young idealist mind, I think that poor areas are the best place to start and get established, because they are the most disenfranchised and they have a raw, personal understanding of the deep problems within the system.  To what extent will there be competition with existing groups, such as churches?  What is the best way to approach people in a non-threatening way?  How the @#$% do you do this??

4. Education of communities (aka teach-ins): After the IOPS cadre (who are already well-aware of the situation) have oriented themselves, and you have managed to get some people to listen to you for 5-minutes, this is the critical moment.  Hook, engage and keep them engaged, while you explain the highly-sophisticated form of slavery we are all succumbing to...  I have no idea how you would even begin to to do this either, lol...

5. Provide for the community - we can't just be a school - we have to provide for the community in as many ways as we can.  We should be trying to replace the government, and that shouldn't be TOO hard this day in age, right??  Resources may be limited, but the bigger and more organized you get, the more you can provide.  Ideas?

6.  One last thing - kind of unrelated - I think perhaps IOPS should narrow down its vision to a specific system, such as PARECON.  I foresee a lot of discussion on this and I think the bigger we get, the harder it will be to come to a consensus. If not, when are we going to decide on this?  What do I tell people when they ask, "if not this horribly unstable, unequal system, then what do you propose??" Thoughts??

Sorry to be so vague, but again, I'm just trying to get everyone talking about the NEXT STEP for everyone in IOPS.

Shout out to my peeps in San Diego!

Discussion 32 Comments

  • Kim Keyser 24th Apr 2012

    I won't comment on most of your points now – other than saying that I'm in general agreement – but I think the point about getting IOPS members together for local face-to-face meetings (where there are enough members in practical reach to each other) should be a first, modest, but nevertheless critical step. I agree with this. (A good directly democratic scheduling tool might come in handy: http://www.doodle.com.)

    Immediately, I think every IOPS member who live in practical vicinity to each other should meet up at 1. of May. Tomorrow I'll make such a call for those who live in Oslo, Norway. I hope other will do the same for their respective communities/towns/boroughs/cities.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 24th Apr 2012

      Kim - yes - and thanks for keeping me on the ground. I think I got a little ahead of myself; I meant to emphasize #1, getting together and establishing local groups at the city level. The rest is very long term, but things for people to start talking about.

  • Dave Jones 24th Apr 2012

    That's a great first step Kim, organize a May Day gathering. Next, see if there is an IWW branch near you and what connections they might have to more militant unionists. There might be folks working through the Transition Town process ( just thinking of local allies in my neck of the woods) the Occupy folks, or more radical environmentalists (even 350.org)

    As for outreach into poor or marginalized communities, my experience is that this is necessary but challenging and requires tremendous patience for slow building of trust.

    As for Parecon, I would not use the frame of "narrowing" but perhaps prioritizing. The other components are mportant but I agree the economic base is the place to begin. In my discussions I have been most successful when I point to the contradiction between capitalism's hierarchy and democratic ideals.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 24th Apr 2012

      Dave,
      "necessary but challenging and requires tremendous patience for slow building of trust."
      -yes, my thoughts exactly.

      Re: Parecon - I think I see what you mean. I am just thinking that I would like to see some of the basic elements of Parecon become incorporated into our vision or mission statement (e.g. balanced job complexes, worker/consumer councils, etc).

  • Shirley Jane Hobbs 24th Apr 2012

    Thanks for the valued comments. One comment I might make is that the disenfranchised have very basic needs that are not met. They are wondering where their next meal, or toilet paper might come from. Wondering how they are going to provide for their children. What you can offer them is support to imagine and have a better life. There are many ways we can contribute there. When their basic needs are met, they will be ready to contribute to the cause.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 24th Apr 2012

      Shirley - thank you. Exactly what I mean. Our organization should be a small model of the society we are proposing to build, and that means that as far as practicable, it should attempt to provide the needs of its members.

  • 24th Apr 2012

    This is a useful set of questions to mull over. I admire the comments presented above. My thought is that when we inaugurate local groups of members who become acquainted with one another, perhaps a series of local projects may emerge. We work together according to the IOPS principles, and develop our abilities to speak the speech, as it were. Then we might invite prospective members to join in a finite task, where she or he is not expected to join. Then if they find they're having a pleasant experience among us, they may be inclined to show up the next time, and so on.

  • Will Henry Lapinel 24th Apr 2012

    Frank et al,

    Some of us in San Diego are meeting tonight at a coffee shop. Anybody else talked about getting together? If not, what are you waiting for?

    I am just excited to meet people who stopped drinking the Koolaid, but this is where real revolutions must begin.

  • Alex of... 24th Apr 2012

    Priorities:

    1. yes. i am wondering why so many members of IOPS have not put up a pic or bio. it seems to me if we want to move to face-to-face we should start by presenting our human element. i can understand some people have issues with anonymity but IOPS is not some clandestine outfit. i wonder if some people are intimidated by the experience of others and don't want to post their bio. but again, the whole point is that we all have a relevant voice and need to overcome that mentality. so, in the spirit of solidarity and member relationships i think our online presence as a whole needs to come up. how to do that? i just sent out out a message as seattle admin encouraging and am open to suggestions.

    2. education among members. yes, we all come from different walks of life and reasons to be here. right now there is not so much in the way of resources and i think there needs to be some projects dedicated to creating basic material beyond the core mission and values.

    3. big one. i see this as a huge topic and won't go on to 4 as such. reach out work, absolutely. but as shirley said, it's about basic needs in that realm, so it's not that one would really be addressing IOPS or Parecon. if IOPS peeps can create community programs that work, then there is credibility.

    here's where i split this. i think it's a good idea to focus on recruitment by IOPS members by creating material to approach left leaning folk who are unfamiliar. and i think it's a good idea to learn to examine existing institutions/projects/ideas for what they are by comparing them to our parecon style values.

    my strategy there is two-fold. instead of starting in disenfranchised communities, we enlist more folk on the edge of rejecting capitalism (strength in numbers and those honestly looking for answers). second, we become experts in seeing the reality of current structures so we know better what works (is consistent with our values) and we can improve or create.

    one example as food for thought:

    i live in seattle and have done a pretty good chunk of volunteer work in homeless camps and youth shelters. one organization i think is very effective is called Real Change. it's a small newspaper targeting the issue of homelessness. it's a non-profit that relies on volunteer work organizationally with limited paid staff members. the paper used to focus just on local an homeless issues but has expanded a bit to gain more mainstream appeal. homeless folk sell the paper on the street for a percentage. this gives them a job where they would otherwise not be considered to the point that some can afford an apartment and often some sort of subsidized housing. the paper also sells ad-space but is selective.

    so there we have something that yes, is really creating real change for people. the paper's content deals with a lot of local issues and gets people off the streets. but we have to understand that if we want to create new institutions, we also have to find a way to survive in a market economy. it exists, things cost money. catering for mainstream appeal? selling advertising? are these deals with the devil?

    i think we need to learn to evaluate positive ideas like this and be able to separate what we like and what we ultimately want to change to the point of natural reaction. i think we should be striving for sustainable programs but may not always be able to get what we want, yet still move forward with something positive. i think the key is realizing that those achievements are unfinished business. so i'm wondering if others might be interested in an evaluation project to start. break down how things work toward what can be applied with our parecon values.

    side-note
    - was also inspired to thought by this post by Mitchell Szczepanczyk

    http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/tasks-with-other-purposes

    • Will Henry Lapinel 25th Apr 2012

      Alexander: thanks for the above! "instead of starting in disenfranchised communities, we enlist more folk on the edge of rejecting capitalism (strength in numbers and those honestly looking for answers)."

      Yes, I agree with this. Some of my fellow members share your belief, and I would definitely modify my priorities above to focus on recruiting leftists for now. As one put it, this is "an organization by and for revolutionaries." Now, how we begin to do this I have no idea. I have only recently begun to realize how many different strains of left-radicalism there are out there!

      As for the paper - we were talking last night about what sort of local projects to work on or join, and I think this paper you mentioned is a REALLY great idea and I will have to bring it up. I don't think there is anything like that in San Diego, and yet we have so many homeless.

      I also like the other ideas you put here - if I get what you're saying, - let's basically incorporate parecon ideas into what we do, but let's not be too purist about our activities?

    • Alex of... 26th Apr 2012

      I was going to ask how your meeting went but you've somewhat beat me to it. Sounds like it was constructive but would love to hear more, or perhaps you could create a specific blog post as an example for others. As for what i'm waiting for as meeting goes… I have this week sent out a message to Seattle members inviting that we beef up our profiles, and have asked for some input on what they would like to see on our page and make some introductions. i do not know how often people are checking in at this point. But I'm hoping to see some input before attempting a meeting.

      "let's basically incorporate parecon ideas into what we do, but let's not be too purist about our activities?" It seems to me, humbly, that history has many examples of oppression hitting a breaking point that leads to complete overturn of a system and then replaced by another hierarchy, as well as mass movements for change that lead to minor capitulations of power to maintain structure. i don't think we want to see a bloody revolution to install a new top-down system and i don't think we want to become beggars of the current system… humbly. but yes, a system exists and we must find ways to make better systems within and by challenging. but no, it will not always meet all our expectations in that process. but yes, we we must be constantly mindful of that and see small wins as stepping stones to larger wins.

      "The way to seek a new world, which we certainly need to do, is to win changes, now, that empower us more, induce in us more desires, and induce in us the wherewithal to seek to pursue those additional desires even as we win immediate goals." Michael Albert

      I'll be starting a project based on the idea of dissecting organizations, institutions, projects, ideas, businesses and what have you. for me personally this seems like something i need, and i figure would be useful to others. All things that exist now must exist in one way or another within a market system whether positive or negative and almost all will have some mix of both. We cant wave a magic wand to change the whole structure so i think it is natural we must be able to see structures for their good and bad if we want to change or replace them.

      And if we say, want to create jobs for the jobless then we need to know the programs currently focused on that, if we want to help people build skills then we need to know the methods to create that, if we want to empower workers to have more influence in their work then we need to know the organizations that work on that. But we want workers to own their work, so we need to know co-ops, but that is still a market based answer falling short of the ideal. As long as we exist in a market we are subject to it in some degree. We can volunteer work but we still have to pay rent. We can solicit donations but that comes from good will based on our current market based work. We can sell products or services to fund good things and adhere to good principles as we do so, but it won't necessarily derive from the input of multiple councils as Parecon prescribes. We can even use tax money to do good things: a federal grant for forest restoration is great compared to funding missiles.. but is still not the future we envision, and doesn't stop the massive looting by the weapons industry. So, what is now? What can we improve? What can we create that are wins toward bigger wins? Where do we draw our lines when it comes to dealing with existing structures that we might judge as mostly negative? I'm looking for methods to assess some of this through IOPS member input toward creating some resource material that would be useful and, perhaps most importantly, accessible. By accessible, I mean something that just about anybody could pick up and start using. A lot to think about, so I'll draft a basic outline this week and start the group in hopes of participation, in hopes the idea proves useful and has interest and we can all learn something.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 26th Apr 2012

      More later, but definitely look forward to seeing the draft. Leaving the country in a couple days so my access may be a little more limited.

    • Alex of... 26th Apr 2012

      look forward to your input as well and appreciate the post. i like your jump in attitude. i need to explore some more of the current projects before i start this. i, one, don't aim to be redundant, and two, have more to learn from current activity, and three, will be be looking for connectivity. couple weeks maybe. but really, looking for some more feedback in general... which requires me to repeat and find the right voice and also others to participate (if to tell me my ideas resonate or have already been addressed and where, are off-base or whatever.)

  • Mark Evans 25th Apr 2012

    William - I like much of what you write except point 6.
    To prioritise parecon would imply issues of classism are of greater importance to IOPS than any other form of oppression. This is a mistake make by the old revolutionary left (especially Marxist) with serious negative organisational consequences.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 25th Apr 2012

      Mark,

      Thanks for the response. I don't think that adopting parecon or any system as an ultimate goal equates to class reductionism (just learned this term last night) or necessarily has much of an effect on priorities in our projects. I think I may have been unclear in my wording.

      I only mean to say, what exactly are we going for? Ultimately we are calling for a very different society - but why not have a specific model in mind, or at least talk about it? The discussion will need to be held eventually, won't it? I certainly do not mean to say that gender or race discrimination is less severe than class oppression, and I actually don't understand how adopting parecon implies that. Perhaps the basic tenets of parecon are already ingrained in our vision and mission, so it would be unnecessarily constrictive to put a name to what we are calling for. But perhaps some current and future IOPS members have a different end-state in mind?

      Do we want to have some sort of roadmap for revolution so that people can call for specific actions with a unified voice? Or will capitalism will just fall on its own and the institutions that everyone wants will rise in its place? Not trying to be sarcastic, just trying to express what I see as an apparent need for a defined strategy.

      In other words, is your objection that it too early to decide on a specific model and a procedure for getting there from here, or do you find the idea of deciding on a specific model itself objectionable?

      Not something I feel strongly about, but I've just been wondering how complete a vision and mission can be without a clear desired end-state decided. I hope this is somewhat clearer - wish I had more time to organize my thoughts. Appreciate your reading again, Mark.

  • Mark Evans 26th Apr 2012

    William - the specific model you want is participatory society (sometimes abbreviated to parsoc). Parsoc is made up of four models and parecon is the model for the economy.

    It is these models that have informed and inspired IOPS. You can read about them on ZNet or in book form - the latest of which (Fanfare for the Future) is available from the top page of this site.

    Let me know if this helps and how you get on.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 26th Apr 2012

      Ok, I think I get it now. Parecon is just one aspect of parsoc, and basically we have already adopted parsoc (as implied by the name), so we have already adopted parecon as an organization. Correct?

    • Mark Evans 27th Apr 2012

      Almost, but not quite.

      The IOPS organisational description is informed by parsoc vision and strategy but it does not include the actual models like parecon, parpolity etc.

      That said, most of the key aspects of all four models can be found in the organisational description it is just not made explicit.

      But members should familiarise themselves with these models if they want to participate within IOPS in a constructive and meaningful way.

      Is that clear?

    • Alex of... 26th Apr 2012

      "Parsoc is made up of four models and parecon is the model for the economy."

      Mark. Can you please explain as you see what four models make up parsoc with parecon being one?

  • Mark Evans 27th Apr 2012

    Alexander - the theoretical framework that participatory vision and strategy is developing within claims that all human societies are made up of four social spheres. In no particular order they are:

    1) the kinship sphere - for sexual needs and nurturing etc.
    2) the political sphere - for legislation, adjudication etc.
    3) the economic sphere - for production consumption and allocation etc.
    4) the community sphere - for spiritual, identity etc.

    So we are developing participatory systems for each one of these sphere - participatory kinship, participatory politics, participatory economics, participatory community - which together we call parsoc. And it is these models that have informed and inspired IOPS.

    You can read about this in the latest book on the subject (Fanafre for the Future) which is available on the home page of this site.

    Does that help?

    • Will Henry Lapinel 27th Apr 2012

      That helps a lot, thanks. I had actually started reading that but didn't get into that yet I guess. While we're on the subject, could you explain why exactly the volumes of that book are called "occupy vision, strategy, etc"? I mean I kind of get it, and maybe if I continue to read it, it will be explained, but is there any particular reason the word Occupy is in the title? I

    • Alex of... 27th Apr 2012

      You are correct William, an explanation is found in Occupy Theory. You will find it but just thought I'd respond for the sake of the question.

      "This volume is titled Occupy Theory, and the next two are titled Occupy Vision and Occupy Strategy. The three names obviously pay homage to the Occupation Movements of 2011 - 2012 and hopefully beyond.
      An occupation takes some domain or space for a new purpose and a new constituency. And that is one sense of our titles, taking theory, taking vision, and taking strategy for the purpose of creating a better world, and for the constituency of all those intent upon doing so. A second sense, however, is that the contents of these three entwined volumes seem to us consistent with and hopefully aid to the upsurges of the time. And finally, there is also a third sense. Why not call the books
      Occupied Theory, Occupied Vision, Occupied Strategy? The problem is, to do so would connote a finished status. And that is not the intent. With the word Occupy, which is a verb, we instead imply an ongoing project that keeps altering, maturing, and developing which is precisely our aim for ideas as well as actions."

    • Will Henry Lapinel 27th Apr 2012

      Thanks very much Alexander - you saved me some time!

    • Alex of... 27th Apr 2012

      Yes Mark, very helpful. While I've read Parecon, and much related material, I was partly asking for sake of clarity when responding.

      That is, you are already familiar with a concept that someone is delving into. So to be clear, it is helpful to give just a little more breakdown for exploration.

      And while I've read about those four spheres, for me, I perceive that most focus has been on Parecon as the core of a participatory society which implies politics and is constructed by our communal and personal needs. So I've never really thought of it quite as you describe but I see no division in that either. I think there are a multiple ways to say the same thing.

      But, also helpful, if saying ParEcon is one part of ParSoc, to also mention ParCulture, ParKinship, ParPolitics.

      Does that makes sense?

  • Mark Evans 28th Apr 2012

    Alexander - you are right that parecon has a higher profile than any of the other three models. But it is a mistake to think that this means that parsoc advocates see the economic sphere / parecon as being more important that the others spheres / models. The theoretical framework presents all four spheres as of each importance.

    This is a mistake that Marxists tend to make due to their view that society has an "economic base" and that history can be understood in terms of class dynamics. Such a view results in a distorted analysis where other forms of oppression that have their roots in the kinship, community and political spheres - namely sexism, racism and authoritarianism - are seen as secondary in importance to that of economics / classism.

    I think this is important because it have consequences for organising. One of the main hopes for IOPS is that it can transcend many of the problems that have led to splits within the revolutionary left of the past. Seeing all four spheres as of equal importance should help a lot here.

  • Dave Jones 28th Apr 2012

    Without opening the whole Base/Super-structure can of worms again, I do want to point out that people spend a tremendous amount of their life energy as producers or consumers, as actors in the economic sphere. This is where the alienation and dis-empowerment are often felt the strongest. As a worker all your liberal, democratic "rights" disappear the moment you walk through the shop/factory door. Often we are forced to be consumers (products, ideas, media, culture) the other ten hours of our waking day. Almost every one has both of these identities/subjectivities.

    All this to say that as an organizer, I find intense dissatisfaction in this economic sphere (both the micro and macro)to be something I can use to engage average folks with and the radical concepts of parecon a real, material alternative I can present and challenge them with.

    I'm glad to see this discussion and believe producing explanatory materials a good project. Besides just print, film and theatre and music mediums need to be explored.

  • Alex of... 28th Apr 2012

    I like the way you've framed that Mark. And perhaps the higher profile of Parecon falls inline with what Dave is saying. That is I think many folks might ask 'well, if not Capitalism, then what?' Their entry point is economic dissatisfaction, which is integral to all spheres. I didn't intend to diminish the importance of each sphere, i fully agree. But I haven't really seen it put that way before, so that gives me a new language to adopt.

    As that goes, I have plenty to learn. But, I think if that's the framework IOPS is meant to reflect, teach and grow with, it should be made more obvious. The IOPS Vision statement outlines those spheres without actually introducing that specific framework and terminology. One thing that came to mind about the four spheres you outlined, is that something is missing that I see as very important.. ParEcology, for the reasons mentioned in the Vision statement, as it is included there. Another category is also listed under Vision.. International (if that's considered directly part of ParPolitics or not?)

    No doubt IOPS will attract many activists and organizers and others that have not spent time on Znet, and have not been following the build up to IOPS. Or be like me, who has read a good chunk of material but had a little different interpretation. And I think it's important to be accessible. So what may seem obvious to those that have been pursuing ParSoc ideas for awhile, needs to be introduced to newcomers in such a way that one can easily identify that framework and then expand outward.

    My thought would be to identify each of the categories under Vision as the spheres of ParSoc, whether that's 4, 5 or 6 spheres, and labelled as such. That also makes a handy single page pdf. Each one of those link to a more in depth explanation, perhaps 4 or 5 pages each. Each of those will deepen understanding, re-enforce the language as they point to understanding the other spheres to grasp the whole content. That make a handy 20-30 page pdf out together. And those explanations can also be pointing to existing literature and content on Z where ParSoc and it's spheres have been explored in much greater depth.

    The point is, a newcomer can come up to speed with this framework and the language being used in an evening and know exactly where they might want to spend further exploration. Seems very useful toward having constructive discussions and opening the door.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 2nd May 2012

      Alexander - very short on time and connectivity as I am sweating it out here on a ship in the middle east, but I wanted to express my agreement here. Why NOT put the words parecon, parkin, parpol, etc. in the vision/mission statement - that was my main point in the first place. And yes, as you and I have said before, we really need to get all this down into a short introductory pamphlet so people can get up to speed pretty quickly, but also be introduced to more informative and empowering books, sites, and other resources. Also, all that about the old left revolutionary left notwithstanding, I still think that parecon is the most important part of this whole idea of a different world. I finally got around to reading parecon (2003) and I'm 3/4 of the way through. I mean, basically the important thing is giving people the power, right? Parecon is precisely how the power is shifted. Now, I don't have time right now to look at the vision/mission statement again (on a ship at sea it can take quite a while to load) but I don't remember balanced job complexes, worker consumer councils, etc. being part of it. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But anyway, I don't know much about the other spheres, but it seems to me that parecon is truly the central, pivotal point of the whole idea of Parsoc, so I don't share Mark's fears about overemphasizing the economic sphere. I think we all agree generally though so I won't beat this treestump.

  • Alex of... 3rd May 2012

    William, I am dropping a link to what I think is a related conversation where I linked to this one. so I'm making a little relationship for connectivity, while soaking up perspectives.

    http://www.iopsociety.org/forum/strategy/making-iops-understandable

  • 11th May 2012

    I'm going to post this in a few blogs, so I apologise for the repetition.

    With some key Occupy events coming up, I’d just like to offer a few thoughts about engaging with non-IOPS, even resistant, Occupiers about our organisation. I have more to say, but don’t have much spare time, so I’ll be short.

    I first want to say that Danny Schechter has discussed much of this already in his excellent Al Jazeera article, so what I say here should really be seen as an engagement with that text.

    In my limited knowledge, there are some key areas where Occupiers resist an organisation like IOPS:

    1) Structurally: this is the whole issue of GAs versus hierarchy and authority. This has been addressed several times here and in Znet.

    2) Culturally: the above gives rise to several cultural issues.

    a) IOPS is seen as just another old, fuddy-duddy, crusty, authoritarian, hierarchical institution, replicating the structures and culture of what they are fighting against. This is in part a standard generational, cohort issue, but is also because they see these structures as responsible for our present predicament.

    The irony is that this is exactly what IOPS is also working towards, albeit in a more programmatic and systematic fashion.

    b) Dynamic issues, such as the sexiness, street smarts, media-friendliness, and thrill of Occupy happenings. In Zucotti park, this also took a divisive class form, in the clash between the drummers and those ‘intellectual elites’ wanting to restrict the drummers’ free-expression in their arrogantly perverse desire for more structure, and silence!

    3) Technologically: this includes not only specific technologies, such as the internet, but their modes of use, their cyber-cultures. The major distinction can be made between the older users (like me!) and the younger users, the ‘digital natives’. The most obvious divide can be seen in the discussion here in the ‘IOPS and Facebook’ blog.

    The most salient element within Occupy is Anonymous. Now, Anonymous members, even within Occupy, get immensely frustrated by the whole GA tar-baby. They have a much more cyber-punk attitude. So, while they have a real alliance, even identification, with Occupy, their dismissal of much of the niceties of Occupy processes in favour of dynamic, forceful, effective, impulsive, media-savvy, sexy, risky actions put them even further out from IOPS.

    So, I would like to offer a couple of thoughts about interacting with Occupiers, Anonymous, and other potential IOPS members.

    Apart from the obvious humanistic things like listening to and having respect for the other, truly attending to and acknowledging their expressions of their experiences, meeting them where they are in their life-worlds, rather than imposing a vision on them, it is good to emphasise how IOPS, and also ZNet, can give much substantial, long-game support, resources and structure to the more dynamic, fluid, and situational Occupy.

    This can be done by ensuring that IOPS is presented as a balancing, complementary, connecting presence, rather than a competing enemy.

    By showing that IOPS is not wanting to rescue ideological apostates, nor to win converts to the old left/right hierarchical political bodies whose rotting corpses we presently inhabit, but rather that we desire to join with, enable, fertilise and give birth to, that vision of a more just and equitable world that we, or ‘the 99%‘, all share.

    This can most effectively be done by radiating an open, human warmth in all our interpersonal interactions, both face to face, and online.

    These are just a few personal thoughts. All the best for any activities anyone is involved in! Have fun!