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Occupy Wall Street : Causes And Ideas To Stimulate The Movement

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The economical explanation and introduction is the part explained by me.The data sources have been mentioned and the actual part of the post,the ideas to stimulate the movement have been originally written by Fred Curran.You can check his profile here.
Let us begin directly with a chart showing the Economic Disparity in United States of America.
This chart shows the Annual Income of the richest 1% of the United States.Look at the three years mentioned and share percentage.It is just 0.4% less than what it was in 1928,during the Great Depression.If such a high amount of share keeps prevailing within the top 1% of the richest population,then it will definitely lead to Economic Stagnation.This does not only pose a threat to the economic conditions in the near future in the USA,this threatens the very present!Moreover,Mr.Obama's system is not very helpful,either.Often,the economically lesser powerful population has to pay higher taxes than those who are economically more powerful.(Doesn't that resemble the conditions of The Third Estate before The French Revolution?)The Italian government are introducing austerity for levying special taxes on those who are earning more than $410,000 or €300,000 annually.The French government is doing the same to those who are earning more than €500,000.We will discuss the impacts of such austerity in the overall economy of a country in our next venture on Economic Explanation.

Income inequality is a focal point of the Occupy Wall Street protests.This focus by the movement was studied by Arindajit Dube and Ethan Kaplan of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who noted that "inequality in the U.S. has risen dramatically over the past 40 years. So it is not too surprising to witness the rise of a social movement focused on redistribution...Greater inequality may reflect as well as exacerbate factors that make it relatively more difficult for lower-income individuals to mobilize on behalf of their interests...Yet, even the economic crisis of 2007 did not initially produce a left social movement...Only after it became increasingly clear that the political process was unable to enact serious reforms to address the causes or consequences of the economic crisis did we see the emergence of the OWS movement...Overall, a focus on the 1 percent concentrates attention on the aspect of inequality most clearly tied to the distribution of income between labor and capital...We think OWS has already begun to influence the public policy making process."An article on the same subject published in Salon Magazine by Natasha Leonard noted "Occupy has been central to driving media stories about income inequality in America. Late last week, Radio Dispatch’s John Knefel compiled a report for media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), which illustrates Occupy’s success: Media focus on the movement in the past half year, according to the report, has been almost directly proportional to the attention paid to income inequality and corporate greed by mainstream outlets. During peak media coverage of the movement last October, mentions of the term “income inequality” increased “fourfold”...tokens of Occupy rhetoric — most notably the idea of a “99 percent” against a “1 percent” — has seeped into everyday cultural parlance." As income inequality remained on people's minds, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney said such a focus was about envy and class warfare.

OWS's goals include a reduction in the influence of corporations on politics,more balanced distribution of income, more and better jobs, bank reform (especially to curtail speculative trading by banks), forgiveness of student loan debtor other relief for indebted students,and alleviation of the foreclosure situation.Forbes columnist Heather Struck wrote, "In downtown New York, where protests fomented, capitalism is held accountable for the dire conditions that a majority of Americans face amid high unemployment and a credit collapse that has ruined the housing market and tightened lending among banks."

Poster in Support of Occupy Wall Street


The assembly is the main OWS decision-making body and uses a modified consensus process, where participants attempt to reach consensus and then drop to a 9/10 vote if consensus is not reached. Consensus is a process of common sentiment. It is not agreement. Participants are given room for dissent and complex ideas are able to form. The process has been used in many indigenous traditions, Quaker practices, the women's liberation movement, anti-nuclear movement, and alter-globalization movement. In the assembly OWS working groups and affinity groups discuss their thoughts and needs, and the meetings are open to the public for both attendance and speaking.

During the initial weeks of the park encampment it was reported that most of OWS funding was coming from donors with incomes in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, and the median donation was $22.According to finance group member Pete Dutro, OWS had accumulated over $700,000.The largest single donor to the movement was former New York Mercantile Exchange vice chairman Robert Halper, who was noted by media as having also given the maximum allowable campaign contribution to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.During the period that protesters were encamped in the park the funds were being used to purchase food and other necessities and to bail out fellow protesters. With the closure of the park to overnight camping on November 15, members of the OWS finance committee stated they would initiate a process to streamline the movement and re-evaluate their budget and eliminate or merge some of the "working groups" they no longer needed on a day-to-day basis.


Met with increasing costs and significant overhead expenses in order to sustain the movement, an internal audit from the fiscal management team known as the "accounting working group" revealed on March 2, 2012, that only $44,000 of the several hundred thousand dollars raised still remained available. The report warned that if current revenues and expenses were maintained at current levels, then funds would run out in three weeks. Some of the movement's biggest costs include ground-level activities such as food kitchens, street medics, bus tickets, subway passes, and printing expenses.In late February 2012 it was reported that a group of business leaders including Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, Danny Goldberg, Norman Lear, and Terri Gardner created a new working group, the Movement Resource Group, and with it have pledged $300,000 with plans to add $1,500,000 more.The money would be made available in the form of grants of up to $25,000 for eligible recipients.


 


American Nurses for OWS

The People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street was started a few days after the protest when a pile of books was left in a cardboard box at Zuccotti Park. The books were passed around and organized, and as time passed, it received additional books and resources from readers, private citizens, authors and corporations.As of November 2011 the library had 5,554 books cataloged in LibraryThing and its collection was described as including some rare or unique articles of historical interest.According to American Libraries, the library's collection had "thousands of circulating volumes," which included "holy books of every faith, books reflecting the entire political spectrum, and works for all ages on a huge range of topics."


Following the example of the OWS People's Library, protestors throughout North America and Europe formed sister libraries at their encampments.


Noticed the Alphabets on the guitar? Tom Morello Playing the guitar for OWS


Data and Photograph Credits : Wikipedia 
Data Credit : The Economist 

Read on to find out how to stimulate the movement further and get rid of the setbacks and failures associated with the movement.The following post is written by Fred Curran (Click on the link to Read his other posts on IOPS),Chicago,Illinois,United States of America.He is a member of IOPS,about which I have previously talked about here.

With Occupy Central with Love and Peace in the media, and pictures of protesters flooding the streets of Hong Kong, a recent discussion with a friend was stimulated about Occupy Wall Street. We were critiquing why the Movement has been failing.
One point that came up was that in order to understand Occupy, we have to understand it did not exist in a vacuum. It did not simply collapse under its own weight, or fade out due to inexperience aimlessness or incompetence.
Highly sophisticated militarized police forces, government agencies, agent provocateurs, corporate powers and a largely complicit media and judicial system, played a significant role, and that any critique of Occupy should be done so with that as a backdrop.
With that being said Occupy quickly set itself up for failure. Once it became a movement that measured its success primarily as its ability to hold encampments it became weak. . Identifying itself in this way was a good start, but thus defined Occupy became less adaptable and easier to destroy.
No revolutionary group should define itself by any terms that are not necessary for its revolutionary goals In doing so it prevents itself from adapting. More important than encampments was the creation of a sustained alternative public sphere, with an inclusive vibrant and sustainable alternative decision making structure.
When Occupy began, it did so granting all participants a vote and a chance to participate in a new public sphere. This reality quickly eroded, as probably largely well intentioned but self interested small groups emerged, removing decision making from the public sphere. This created intractable divisions and without established systems for financial and decision making transparency, these divisions only grew.
As the system is scaled up these participants and others who understand the system and are more capable of interacting with it, remove themselves and decision making from the public sphere. With decision making going on within the public sphere there is every interest in having and providing easily navigable financial and decision making transparency. As this is removed from the public sphere, intentions aside, the chance of these things being put into action precipitously declines.
It was believed, prematurely, that an alternative public sphere and an alternative cooperative democratic decision making structure had been established. And organizing actions from this became the focus of the movement, rather than focusing their energy on the real and sustainable creation of these alternatives. Rather than working toward these goals, we, the Occupy movement began to work from them as if they already existed.
If Occupy had managed to maintain decision making in the public sphere, it would have moved toward more financial transparency which as it scaled up would have become necessary to manage public, inclusive decision making. With decision making transparency, The Movement would have been able to respond, to the overwhelming feelings of the need for strategic shifts.
Moreover, greater financial transparency and decision making in the public sphere, would have meant real participant control. As opposed to the more passive movement generated enthusiasm. This would have left Occupy, across the country and across the world, in a better position to withstand the ebb and flow of public sentiment.
Occupy was the fastest spreading, largest global movement in history, but it fell victim to some very common problems. The failings of Occupy, like those of any experiment, provide us with valuable data. It is important that we view Occupy as a scientist would an experiment, not as a media consumer would a passing fad. If we treat Occupy with what I would call scientific respect, then what we have before us is not a bungle but a rich collection of lessons that only experience can teach us. One being that we too often get ahead of ourselves, and in doing so rob ourselves of the ability to move any further. This next time around let’s take a sober look at how we can effectively make inclusive, public, transparent decisions together, and all along the way, be ever vigilant that our decision making process retains its integrity. In doing so we will infuse the next phase of our global movement with a much needed intelligence, which will make it more resilient.

Post originally from The Perspectives Blog.

Discussion 54 Comments

  • Alexander Androv 15th Oct 2014

    It clearly shows the level of the economic slavery in this country. If you remove the money as media between the resources and the people it is much more easy to find the important. Who owns the resources and who don't. It defines much. So from my corner the money are in fact one of the best ways to keep the economic slavery going. Money blurr the picture.

    • Titas Biswas 15th Oct 2014

      Hi Alexander,
      You are right.Most people,especially in the Asian countries and other underdeveloped regions of the world have a misconception about the economic condition of USA.Often,they forget to distinguish between economic growth and economic development.Even though there is more than enough of the former achieved even through oppression if necessary,economic development is missing to a large extent.You really cannot expect the capitalists who oppress other countries to support upliftment of the working class or the poorly developed part of the unorganised sector in their own country,either.

    • Alex of... 16th Oct 2014

      the economic slavery, or wealth disparity, in the USA is of course staggering. but indeed the move toward a global economy has created a global concentration of wealth that essentially supersedes nations, wielding influence in each government, be it considered a democracy or dictatorship. the methods are slightly different in each case, and we see further efforts to expand global “trade organizations” as independent bodies, with the TPP on the current forefront.

      money has blurred the picture, but maybe more important, as you refer to Alexander, the ownership. the question then, is how we value work and relate to natural resources or balance with our environment. big topic. some might suggest only local forms of trade can be sustainable, both culturally and ecologically. there is some logic there and many questions to consider for transition, given our current construct, and not necessarily an absolute. forms of credit through more participatory means could be considered a form of money, but the ownership is much more direct and meaningful. perhaps at that, the question is more about what pragmatic steps can be taken.

      while i suspect the steps are quite different depending on where one lives, i live in the USA, which may limit my perspective, but is also what i can affect best. clearly, existing on the bottom end of the economic scale in the USA is not comparable to the sweatshop (slave) conditions that supply the bulk of ‘our’ products, or the conditions in the other countries that lead to 4000 children dying daily due to lack of clean drinking water. while the personal plight and challenge is still very real, i’m sure some would gladly switch and see that as an opportunity. even our poor are priveleged, in consideration, but the real issue resides in the ownership that takes advantage of this “skillful terracing to stabilize the pyramid of wealth.” -Zinn.

      the good news may be, within limits of perpective and ability to affect, as the USA remains such a global influence, to create change here can have a tremendous effect. as for changing the degree of ownership, the coop movement is growing and uniting more and more. it remains difficult to start a cooperatively-owned business within a global capitalist market where local products are not affordable by most working class people, AND some of the more successful models for influence are coming from more amicable environments outside this country. IMO, it will take reaching some kind of breaking-point to become more viable, where enough local models have taken hold and can support each other. this, i also believe, must be in concert with other reform and political efforts, as well as visionary outlooks. more big topics and considerations.

      for where i live, the concept of Anchor Institutions is very appicable:

      http://community-wealth.org/strategies/panel/anchors/index.html
      http://community-wealth.org/content/cleveland-model-how-evergreen-cooperatives-build-community-wealth

      this concept of community wealth, Titas, i would say falls more inline with the idea of economic development rather than growth. growth could mean the GDP and Dow Jones, but has little to do with people’s lives, other than a select few. and, it has little to do with the finite aspects of our planet or reciprocal relationships, that we depend on, and should be respected for other reasons.

      of course, the most influential economists are those welcome to the table by concentrated power and wealth, not those that would place equality as a virtue, and seem to be completely ignorant on nature. or it would seem that greed clouds the judgments into justifications that become beliefs that sound confident enough for effective propaganda and control.

      i admit, i have a bit of a fetish for debating the Libertarian-Americanus. this is another story. i have heard some incredible means of justification for extreme wealth disparity through forms of valuations, that seem to only serve maintaining the original hypothesis (not scientific). many refer to the “zero sum game” to justify that value of goods and services can be created through innovation and technological potential, so we should not be concerned with the division of “the cake”, only that each slice could be more than it is. i’m sure that worked out well on paper.

      now here is an interesting statement by Julian Simon, respected ‘libertarian’ economist, praised by many such as Hayek and Friedman, member of the Cato Institute (Koch!), he champions infinite growth both in terms of resources and human population. this would all be laughable and not even worth noting if it weren’t for the serious influence. this ‘libertarian’ mentality is actually part of a major landscape in American politics and culture.

      "The word "finite" originates in mathematics, in which context we all learn it as schoolchildren. But even in mathematics the word's meaning is far from unambiguous. It can have two principal meanings, sometimes with an apparent contradiction between them. For example, the length of a one-inch line is finite in the sense that it is bounded at both ends. But the line within the endpoints contains an infinite number of points; these points cannot be counted, because they have no defined size. Therefore the number of points in that one-inch segment is not finite. Similarly, the quantity of copper that will ever be available to us is not finite, because there is no method (even in principle) of making an appropriate count of it, given the problem of the economic definition of "copper," the possibility of creating copper or its economic equivalent from other materials, and thus the lack of boundaries to the sources from which copper might be drawn."

      holy crap! ok, there was another point to get to but far enough of me now ;)

    • Titas Biswas 16th Oct 2014

      You made me read another valuable article in there!
      Thanks for this.It really has some 'wholesome' information.

    • LedSuit ' 17th Oct 2014

      Alex, a couple of articles (the last two are same from different sites) that may also be of use in regard to the above links you made just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons!

      http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/eco-localism-a-constructive-critique-by-robin-hahnel/

      http://www.garalperovitz.com/2014/03/conversation-michael-albert/

      http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/a-conversation-on-economic-visions/

    • Titas Biswas 17th Oct 2014

      The third article is very helpful,James.Thanks.

    • Alex of... 17th Oct 2014

      hi James. given my stack-up this weekend, anything of real substance regarding these articles, from me, will have to wait (if it matters). for what time i have at the moment, another conversation takes more precedence. thanks for the links as others have said! at least in brief, the common ground is important. part of my mild obsession with the libertarian-americanus (a peculiar breed) is to find common ground outside the choir.

      i’d like to find an appropriate way to share some of these discussions here. in particular, i have one ongoing from months with a recent graduate from the UW (University of Washington) majoring in philosophy. well, he gets some of his ‘libertarian’ values from father and some through ‘education’. now, i am happy to say i have introduced Chomsky into his thought process, and he has taken on some of that logic (having not been introduced to in this so-called education in philosophy). he once joked that there is no such thing as real journalists, i said, what about Jeremy Scahill? he was not familiar with the name, but turned out he was following his twitter feed from something passed. at his suggestion we watched Dirty Wars for discussion. ok, there is one way where we find our common ground, but still find a bit of impasse when it comes to the applications of markets as a form of freedom. that is, for him, dismantling the power structure of abusive government seems natural in the pursuit of equality, but he is less critical of the abusive nature of wealth and ownership.

      as Naomi Klein visited Seattle recently, she used a phrased i onced coined myself years back- “a war of ideas”. to be honest, i don’t like looking at it that way anymore. i prefer to view the common ground through people and natural needs, as the means for discussion. it is not a battle for the best idea, or to be anti this or that, but to identify our human necessities, relationship with our surroundings, the logic of science.. that we can focus on for steps to realize a better world. like i say, being brief.

      now i don’t know quite what you mean about cat and pigeon. elusive cats? bickering pigeons? but i enojoyed the little ditty. (bet you laughed about “holy crap” in consideration for the quote dropped). so here is one back. a metal piece written specifically for a scene in King Kong. i’ll consider it an analogy for the war against capitalists and kardashians. but really, the music is brilliant.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKkn-YjYmCA

    • LedSuit ' 18th Oct 2014

      Yeah, laughed but felt a little sick at the same time. Idiocy is scary sometimes, fun other times. The above quote is really just warped big time. Beam him up Scotty!

      For me it always seems vision is a problematic idea. Common ground, inclusivity, all good and well, but vision is usually just skirted over or asking for trouble. It's too hard to deal with. So when it comes to theory, vision and strategy, we should really just replace vision with, "look, they're all good ideas, but can we move on to more practical matters".

      The cat among the pigeons had more to do with throwing Parecon in among the far less controversial localism or community economics. Something rather divisive, as far as I can tell, compared to something far easier to handle. It's not that Gar and friends are not doing great work, but there are things that just don't get touched on for some reason. He admits there is a major problem with markets and admits planning is necessary and even uses the term particatory planning, but rarely talks of Parecon's existence. Why? What's he scared of? This was something I raised with Richard Smith, ecosocialist and member of System Change Not Climate Change. Often, when activist/concerned writers broach the issue of system change they neglect to mention the work others have already done, some for decades, in this regard. It's always, "we need to come up with a new system" as if there is nothing out there, when in fact there is, Parecon being the most coherent model, at least to me? Richard admitted as much himself and seemed to agree. I feel that already existing models should get a positive airing and exposure as often as possible. Not just short shrift, critique and move on to more pressing and practical things. Mention them, point to where they can be found, and even urge readers to go learn about them. There ya go, common ground and inclusivity. There is nothing wrong with talking about already existing models like Parecon when trying to figure these things out, as if we'll all get sick or turn into Parecon junkies and lose our marbles, but I often feel there is some sort of stigma attached to it. Some kind of bad smell, that activists somehow don't want to, well, smell. Or maybe intellectual jealousy or envy. But because Gar's work is closer in some way to the "let's do stuff on the fly" kind of idea, and is something we CAN do now, then let's talk about that. But that ain't "vision". They're good ideas and maybe everything will be solved through that sort of activity, but it isn't vision. It's a way of fixing broken communities and establishing other ways, not necessarily new, of structuring workplaces, but what about markets and what about remuneration and hierarchical structures within workplaces that create class division and hinder people developing much needed confidence to involve themselves in workplace decision making now that they have control and access to all information. These seem to be conversations that don't get had. Even though they could be because something like Parecon brings them out into the open. I don't wish to get mired down in conversations about hypothetical possibilities that a Parecon could unleash on society. That it may lead to a dystopia. To my thick head, anything could lead to a dystopia, and on the fly changes and reforms don't guarantee success. In fact thinking ahead, or thinking forward (pardon the pun), is a possible way to avoid serious problems. Not to mention give some idea of where we are headed.

      To cut a long story short, that's what I meant by throwing the cat amongst the pigeons. You know, James the Pareconista has jumped in again. Well, it's a real vision, a real model for system change. Yes there are others but not like it. Not as well thought out - see the book Thinking Forward. Inclusive Democracy poses more questions for me than answers, but I read about it and am willing to talk about it. Peer to peer stuff is embryonic. Ted trainer's A Simpler Way, isn't really a coherent model to me and many other localist/community efforts fall well short of the mark.

      We can beat around the bush all we like but eventually we have to bite the bullet and present robust alternatives, not ones that capitalism can absorb and possibly co-opt. Gar gives the impression that much of what Parecon offers is beyond certain people's ability to handle right now. Small steps. Don't hit 'em between the eyes with radical activist unrealistic ideas. Why, because the workers on the floor at the coop can't understand, right now, that the managers and higher ups don't deserve three times, four times or nine times more pay? That balanced job complexes are some radical idea from Mars, too much for their little minds? That looking at and learning from Hahnel and Albert's participatory planning model would be too much? Nothing to gain from that whatsoever?

      It's similar to me, to talking about digital technology and the very disturbing negative effects it can have or is having. That's an important discussion to have, but the problem is it's HERE. and we KNOW it. That can't be erased or changed. So how to deal with it when there is a very good chance it will be absolutely necessary, much like high tech medical equipment and instruments, for information dispersal in a future post capitalist and better society. Well, who's gonna mine the shit needed for it? Are they gonna mine it all day long, for years? What because they like doin' it? How will they get compensated for such work while others reap the benefits? Who's gonna put the component parts together? They gonna do that all day long? Are these questions too far off in the future to deal with because they pretty much pop into my head immediately and I start thinking about ways of dealing with 'em and balanced job complexes come to mind. Rotation is too problematic.

      So Parecon introduces great ideas that can be talked about now. Not tomorrow, now. They ain't that complex and they ain't scary or problematic. And they do not get in the way of doing shit right now, on the ground, as Gar often says. They get the little mind a turning and talking about better and fairer ways to remunerate. A conversation that could easily have been had during and soon after the GFC. Better ways of organising jobs within workplaces in order to help build the necessary mental states to feel like one has something to offer and will and to help do away with class differences. To discuss possible ways of planning production to align more closely with consumption without usurping freedom of choice and so social costs and benefits are more accurate and reflected in their pricing. Discussions, awareness, awareness, discussions, ideas, creativity, more discussions, greater awareness, more common ground and inclusivity and hopefully less bickering pigeons.

      Part of the problem with Occupy and decision making is that many people who want to be involved just don't have the confidence to be or get involved in decision making or even getting up and saying anything at all even if they want to. There's still a good chance that if you say something stupid or weird, you may just get ignored, even if everyone pats you on the back and applauds. That don't mean shit sometimes. Balanced job complexes is an idea that tries to address that problem and could be used to inform even present day activities.

      Improvising may be a great way to make music but I'm not so sure it's the best way to construct a better world. Often musos who make a dash for complete freedom find themselves alone.

      To long? Maybe. Maybe just getting shit off my chest. Helpful? Who knows. But you started it.

      Here's something totally improvised with something you can hang onto that wasn't. Let's sat kind of like two quite contrary ideas coming together.



      And something improvised all by its lonesome.



      For some reason I don't want to submit, but gonna. Here goes.

    • Titas Biswas 19th Oct 2014

      Hi Alex,
      I hope I do not cause any sort of irritation by means of my interruption within the ongoing conversation but the whole comment looked intriguing and I could not help my urge to comment back.Well,my first contradiction goes here.The dismantling of power structure of abusive government(which I think forms the grammatical base of anarchy)would in turn mean that it will trigger other social changes and will help in getting equality within social classes (not economic classes).Here lies the point.I mean if there is no economic equality,I do not think there will actually be any impact of any social change at all.For social changes and economical ones are very intricately interrelated.So,when someone speaks about dismantling the abusive nature of a government,he has to bring this in consideration.I have never heard of a government with an abusive nature that has not got to do anything with economic inequality.I have been going through some of the revolutionary works in Economics by Amartya Sen and there is one book titled 'The Idea of Justice' (that I have not read as of now) but his contribution of how Economy is related with scientific social incidents such as Education,Health and a vast number of things is indeed very,very interesting.There are also questions like What is Justice?Is it something that is to be given or something that cannot be taken away from the people?However,the Americans and Europeans consume a lot more resources than 'the third world' does but even in USA,as an example,the number of street children keeps increasing and the richest 1% have a 23.5% of total income share in the economy. (The example with which you had elucidated this a lot better than me a few days ago that the workers cannot afford what they produce).So,even if it might look like this abusive government is being abusive to just other countries around the world,its wrong.They are abusive to the vulnerable classes in their very own country.Market has to be accepted as a form of freedom because the otherwise just threatens the idea of freedom.Of course,there are a lot many things that money cannot buy,even in the social context - but as long as a few people have all and a major part thrives on a very little,equality is not possible.Not from any perspective,either from an economic viewpoint,nor philosophical.
      And as I feel it,anarchy is necessary in some cases.For example,President Francois Hollande being elected from Partido Socialiste doesn't help to put all sorts of helps for genocides in Palestine off from France's side to USA.It depends more on a moral ideology,something people themselves should be given the chance to decode.

    • Alex of... 20th Oct 2014

      of course helpful, James! and of course not irritating, Titas!

      quite sure it is not too hard to show why the Julian Simon reference is a bit scary. downright ridiculous. seem to recall he applied that kind of logic to fossil fuel as well. why that is taken to any one’s heart is troubling, but part of the current reality to understand. to wrap something up real quick, or for the moment, for the sake of other thoughts, my little obsession with what i call libertarian-americanus comes out of my recognition of a recent trend of attraction. there’s a positive in that those starting to pay attention to politics and socio-economic conditions (USA) are attracted to Ron or Rand Paul, in rejection of two-party politics, foreign intervention, NSA, increased militarization of the police, with a focus on racial, gender and gay rights, promotion for decentralized forms of power. this of course, represents some of what i observe in the place i live, so applicable mostly in that sense, and represents some relationships i have with certain people, so applicable in that i’m trying to find the right language to communicate with.

      so as you mention the base of anarchy, Titas, yes, i hope the relationships between all forms of abuse are my point in the engagements i mention. what i see, in this trending American Libertarian mindset, are largely early to mid twenty-somethings finding some of these questions for good reason, but from sources that fill roughly half the necessary questions on abusive relationships, as it couples with laissez-faire forms of economics and general ignorance on ecology. the appeal is genuine from natural human needs, but distorted by some influencial figures and ideas that sound quite confident in their descriptions of freedom. positive messages about many forms of political abuse, but destructive in the message that a deregulated capitalist market will create some sort of even playing field. (now, this is a bit of my difficulty with placing confidence as too primary. confidence does not imply having the best answer.)

      in my personal interactions with this ‘genus’, i like to use specific examples when they come up, on how something could be more self-managed. without delving into specific stories/examples, the point is that i find, in the appeal already being explored that we don’t need “big brother” forms of governance, a place to move exists into questions on forms of other institutional relationships, particularly corporate divisions of labor and ownership. if one can see the application in one place, it can be seen in another, based on the critical thinking already established, based on the beliefs in equality and belief in basic human ability already established. it is a natural next step that i am attentive to, because it represents a large amount of discouraged people in this country seeking possibilities, which exists outside the general lefty-activist choir, and often coming from middle-class and academic backgrounds (as far as i can tell).

      another segment of the population seeking answers, is of course, the more disenfranchised and/or working class. after the Naomi Klein event, i inadvertantly found myself in a brief conversation with Jess Spear. she is currently running for a legislative position in Washington, with a background in climate science and organizer for higher minimum wage in Seattle, through Socialist Alternative that recently won a seat on City Council for Kshama Sawant. on the side, that group seems to have a little higher regard for Lenin than I, but Sawant has also called herself a Marxist and advocated forms of Democratic Socialism. i’m guessing there are varying interests, like most forms, organizations and parties. Spear was of course advocating strongly the need to run political candidates. rent control and taxing the wealthy for social investment are primary on the ticket. i did then mention the Labor Network for Sustainability. that network represents work on some agreements between some of the largest labor and environmental organizations to move beyond the false dichotomy that labor and environment are or should be at odds. there’s an old image of tree-huggers protecting an old growth forest VS angry workers concerned about putting food on the table. both valid. now i might hear propaganda about shovel-ready jobs for the Keystone Pipeline or Coal Trains in Washington, with fingers pointed at environmentalists that don’t care about “you”. but studies and basic logic would show that keystone and coal create a handful of jobs, in some cases destroy jobs, are massively destructive, while on the other hand, rebuilding our infrastructer holds wider and long-term employment possibilities that are more environmentally sound. problem there is one, that those jobs are not as attainable as they could be, given the lack of investment and current socio-economic structure. and two, the conversation between labor and environmental orgs needs to exist better on a local level, not just at head leadership (though that can provide steps, too). Spear agreed, but also re-affirmed that as being part of the need to run candidates to encourage and invest in. ok, it was my subtle intention just to mention there are multi-faceted approaches toward common goals beyond political office. and within that, i fully support her candidacy if it can help support those interests back. (though, she probably won’t win this round).

      now, i have not been too shy about advocating better means to hub multiple approaches and organizations, whether local or larger. as Hahnel mentioned, there is a time and place for everything. well, in that kind of place, i would see room for discussing vision, strategy, while also connecting currently active groups and projects that gain traction and expansion from the crossover, while also feeding into visionary development. i am finding most resonance with Gar in this manner, per the posted articles.

      as for the neglect to mention the work of other’s, James, i do not see much mention in Parecon or the IOPS descriptions that reciprocate either. so perhaps there are deeper issues, or forms of communication to work on. and Why is Hahnel not a member of IOPS?

      as Hahnel’s article goes, i appreciate that he has looked for the points of agreement in multiple models. but, the major critique seems to be addressed at the fact that there are multiple models experimenting with some common values, but some fail perhaps because they lack the correct vision? i am not advocating for or against a particular model of community-based economics so much, but i find this statement peculiar:

      “Unlike some versions of market socialism and democratic planning, no “model” of community-based economics is a real model in the sense that it specifies rules and procedures for how to make all the different kinds of decisions that must be made in any economy. For this reason, all versions of community-based economics are really “visions” rather than coherent “models.” Sometimes proponents are blissfully unaware that they have failed to address important issues that will inevitably arise. Sometimes proponents refer to the lack of specific, concrete answers regarding how something would be decided as a virtue compared to what they criticize as “deterministic” models of market socialism and democratic planning. But this response misses the point. It is impossible to evaluate a proposal for how to run the economy until it is a full and complete proposal.“

      suppose my confusion lies in the advocation of on-ground exploration by proponents of Parecon, yet advocation of a complete proposal to move toward.

      Michael states to Gar “I think where we may have a difference, is on the importance not only of addressing what’s possible now, but also whether or not this leads where we want to go—which to me means that we have to have some understanding of where we’re trying to go.”

      honestly didn’t see that as a difference from what Gar was expressing, and not at all incompatible as the process. only incompatible if we over-determine where we intend to go by limiting our process. if we narrow into utopian goals based on limited works, we alienate the cultural and individual realities that move that general direction, as common or logical as needed.

      now, i didn’t go that deep into some of the discussions quote by quote, so i’m making some generalizations, but starting with a base. also, forgive, if i find most discussions on the best utopia to be pretty inapplicable to most people’s lives.

      so, here’s another direction for curiosity. i also found it odd how quick Michael was to condemn the concept of hiring a manager by a high-tech coop of individuals that had no interest in managing, as individuals go, but saw a need for a role, as if it must then be devolving into standard hierachical relationships. that reference is somehow ‘predictable’ and related to Yugoslav meltdowns under pressures of market competition. huh? the clarified part, which was obvious from the start, was that it was a choice. now, we can argue about whether that choice comes from ingrained mentality, was practical or has a better process to go back and forth on, but the real work is with real people as they decide.

      so, now i am familiar that South End Press held some experiments in pareconish concepts, just as Many cooperatives do to hash out better decision-making methods and ownership relationships, if They have recognition. some might take this as an attempt to take shots but i have some real questions, and am not familiar with Michael Albert’s biographical works. has he chosen over his life to live by a balanced job complex? has he split his time by choice to dig ditches or wash dishes in balance with working on Z and writing books? or how is that? are some incomes providing the means to go on speaking tours or take months of time off for discussion on his books (as proposed)? is he/you(M) also living on a cooperative community that embodies egalitarian values, actively creating that future as such? or are some of the travels and means within ends, such as maybe an anti-fossil fuel advocate might take a plane to New York?

      or, has Chomsky split his time at MIT on linguistics and writing with mopping floors (or is that more for hire to Matt Damon as he writes late night equations? (Good Will Hunting)). if not, would you prefer it or force it? and who would decide an how?

      i can move on to Libraries, Hospitals and Judo intructors. maybe a bit provocative as an endnote, but not intended as the end of notes. cheers.

    • LedSuit ' 20th Oct 2014

      Kind of running on the fly here. Just going for it so if I have misinterpreted, my bad. If I have flown off the handle, I say, why thank you!

      "if we narrow into utopian goals based on limited works, we alienate the cultural and individual realities that move that general direction, as common or logical as needed."

      We are already narrowed. I agree with much of what Gar says, have found his books and work inspiring and communicated with him re Parecon. My point is that by not talking about Parecon, which he doesn't, nor do many many other people doing good things, or writing about what's needed, THEY are narrowing the possibilities. Parecon may be only one possibility but there just aren't many others around that are an attempt at a complete post capitalist economic model. Just because it is probably the only complete one out there doesn't mean it shouldn't be added to the program for that reason. "It's just one and I don't want to restrict my options." Well, you aren't because you are adding it to your options.

      Nor do people talk at all much about Inclusove Democracy. Basic needs and non basic needs. Voucher systems. The demos. Is Inclusive Democracy really that much different than Parecon? Is Takis Fotopoulos' idea of self-management the same as Parecon's or IOPS's for that matter. What is this "artificial market" that Fotopoulos speaks of? Is it a good thing? Is it really 'artificial'? Is it really just a rhetorical devise to obscure the fact that it is really a planned economy'? If not, why is it an 'artificial' market and not an 'actual' one? Is it problematic to separate needs into basic and non basic categories? What is a basic need. Is an iPhone a basic need? That's for the demos to decide but is it an easy decision to make particularly considering the resource requirements for digital technology and their non local nature not to mention work and workplace ramifications.

      Social ecology, for instance, could be said to fall short in some regards, while Parecon could provide some answers. That is what I remember from the debate between it's advocate and Albert.

      Is any amount of markets compatible with planning in the sense that it would affect pricing and efficiency and perhaps, possibly, mayboo, inhibit or undermine other things?

      What really is a Peer to peer economy really advocating? Can it really work?

      The Hahnel quote is not peculiar to me at all. Parecon is a complete coherent model while much localism and community economics, while adopting and engaging with good and necessary ideas and change is still embedded in the market and falls short in many regards. That's important to acknowledge. Sharzer's book No Local points out much in this regard. However, he's more a Marxist in his thinking. Like David Harvey, he sees the need to deal with the contradictions of capital and from already existing socio-economic relations. I emailed him re Parecon and his problem is more in regard to the strategies that Parecon tends to induce rather than it as a programmatic tool. Gar is at least questioning the market and talking of planning, which is great, but I disagree with his feeling that more radical talk or ideas in this regard may be seen as coming from the activist "choir" and therefore kind of "smart arsey" in nature and off putting for those outside. They're just ideas Gar and what right does he have to limit the debate? As much right as others to extend it and throw radical ones into the soup? They ain't gonna kill anyone, and if doing so somehow ruins momentum, then I wouldn't hold out much hope for the future anyway. And maybe by throwing them in there, we discover areas that require much needed work.

      I don't care how people NOW are living. Whether Michael is practising what he preaches. It's irrelevant to me. A non-argument. It ain't about that stuff. Diversity actually speaks to me about acknowledging recalcitrance. Those who just won't come to the party, the nice all inclusive, common ground party. People who want to bury their heads and lives in the digital world. Who don't want the sun coming near them. Who want to sit and drink whiskey and make music. Who don't want to make their own clothes or grow their own food. Who like motor sports and hate surfing. So an economy needs to have a certain objective and neutral aspect to it, to be able to accommodate a huge variety of personalities and dispositions. A set of carefully worked out institutions that can be looked at to see whether they may embody possibilities for achieving maximum fostering of universal values. Do they find a good balance between individual autonomy, freedom etc., and collective needs, in a way that doesn't undermine future relations. That fosters and enhances the values we hold dear. The ideas of Albert and Hahnel are not of the future, they are of the present, no less than any localist or community effort. They put their hands up, and the rest of the class, in the name of inclusivity and common ground, tend to ignore them. You're just two, we are many. This ain't about personalities either. It ain't about Albert or Hahnel. It's about ideas and creative possibilities. "Hey people, I've got this idea about arranging work that I call balanced job complexes. Want to hear about it?"

      Ideas for organising workplaces to avoid negative practices that hinder or limit the fostering of agreed values, are no different to any ideas that someone unfamiliar with Parecon may come up with. The ideas found within Parecon were thought up by equally real people living in the real world. Parecon isn't a utopia. Not even close. (I have no idea really what a utopia actually is) It ain't even close to being a blue print. It only contains four major institutions based on four major values. It's merely a set of ideas for arranging an economy thought up by real people for real people to discuss. I don't like this use of the word real anyway. Placing it in front of other words. I know I do it sometimes but it often makes no sense and there is no need for it. It's as if Parecon is unreal and what Gar and localists are doing is real? Like saying uni students don't live in the real world. Well what friggin' world do they live in then?

      Sorry for any disjointedness, but that's improvising and that's what happens when I go back, reread and edit in (which paradoxically, is not improvising) Sometimes there is repetition. Like I have said before, brevity is not my forté.

      Hahnel also made an important distinction between a vision and coherent model. This is something I have been thinking a lot about. I reckon Utopias lie in the minds of those less likely to embrace Parecon, because what Parecon in fact does, is put the brakes on unrealistic ideas or questions direction because, as Hahnel suggests, things haven't been thought through clearly enough. I'll go a step further and suggest that people don't even want to think things through thoroughly because it's too scary and hard at times. I have a suspicion some old school anarchists are of this nature and why they like pointing to the Spanish example so often. I could be wrong and I hate psychoanalysing people because it's frought with danger. I find many do it yourself and localists to be of a far more utopian mindset-hoping for the perfect world eventually, with universal niceness as a key ingredient. Ken Knabb in The Joy of Revolution walks the reader through a future society like he's walking one through a park. Or at least that was my feeling. It was interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed the book but found that section somewhat annoying at times and far from seriously inspiring or instilling any confidence in a post capitalist future, as there wasn't much real meat on them there bones. Ted Trainer's vision I find incoherent. Nice in parts but kind of all over the place. People like Gar are starting from familiar, already existing ideas and pushing further. That's great and inspiring, though all I'm saying is, include other ideas. Parecon. Inclusive Democracy. Peer economy. He embraces market socialism and Schweickart's model a tad more probably because he sees a practicality. Mondragon and all that. Great. All good. But Mondragon is 70,000 people strong and like a pimple on the backside of capitalism. It's there but few people really notice because it slots quite well into capitalism. As does many of the things Gar is doing. Anchoring is a good idea. Planning is a good idea. But so are balanced job complexes and the reasons for them. Even just discussing them. So is, at the very least, merely discussing different ways of remunerating, even if it is just to alert the workers of any 'new democratic workplace', that managers, or any 'higher ups', do not deserve more than anyone else. The acceptance of even the smallest pay differential should be questioned, even if it is agreed upon by 'real' present day working people, because for me, a real person, not a member of the choir, or at least for any substantial length of time, and a worker, door mat, wage slave for thirty years, it's just blatantly wrong, and not even logical, absurd. The reasons workers may want or need a manager IS because they might not know any other way. Balanced job complexes don't rid the planet of managers, they are to rid the planet of those monopolising empowering work. Even just saying that out loud is friggin' revolutionary and absolutely necessary as far as I'm concerned. Gar probably wouldn't even think of mentioning it and most people, including Takis Fotopoulos, still completely confuse balancing job complexes for empowerment with rotation, which both Hahnel and Albert have said is NOT the answer and quite inadequate. You ask questions of Albert. Does Gar think the empowering, conceptual pat-on-the-back work that he does deserves greater remuneration than those workers on the floor of some laundry coop? If not why not? Can we discuss further, see the ramifications of where such discussions might lead? If he does think he deserves more, then he got a problem with me sister! I got a feelin' the old Schweickart kinda thinks the more clever deserve a little extra!

      Deciding on something us up to people to decide. Self management. As defined by IOPS or someone else? There is NO forcing anyone to do anything in Parecon. The notion is absurd to me. How is anything decided now in any alternate lifestyle? BJC's make you think about stuff. It ain't a disease and throwing it in for discussion along with ideas about remunerating for effort and sacrifice or participatory planning are worthwhile. NOT talking about them and WHY they were thought up is narrowing. Acting as if there is no coherent economic model of value out there when there IS, is downright ridiculous.

      Lost the flow here. Not sure if I have even broached things you raised Alex, but shit, you know me and I know you so who cares. Them's me thoughts and if they're wrong, so be it, I just gotta say 'em anyway. Release that tension. It's a musical thing!

    • Alex of... 20th Oct 2014

      thanks James. some things of resonance and maybe others not as much. could be part of the point. but, since it is 3:30 AM where i am, and must get up for work in a few hours i can only offer what is perhaps my favorite classical piece below for now. other thoughts are tomorrow maybe, and perhaps just to pull out a couple points for my understanding.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvNQLJ1_HQ0

    • LedSuit ' 20th Oct 2014

      And just for fun, I'll raise the strict strictures of your 17th century canon, one anti-authoritarian, anti-hierarchical, stuff (replace with something more forceful) exchange value and market capitalism's colonisation of art, piece of solo free improvisation, by a true maverick pioneer of the guitar and recalcitrant bastard trying to wake us all up. (I know you won't hear this till morning, but it could be helpful in that regard)

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MMTnNanbMKE

    • Alex of... 21st Oct 2014

      well, it’s not my strict structure as a canon goes. but yes, maybe part of the point otherwise. i just happen to think it’s a beautiful piece and shared as it was what i felt like relaxing to as i went to bed. actually, it is the first piece of music i have in my memmory banks that i felt a resonance with, back when i was three. but, over time i have felt a resonance with many genres and pieces for different reasons. we could also break into sitar or rhyme scheme, or more.

      brevity is not always my forte either. but i’m going to try to be short just for the sake of trying to limit some points.

      “Parecon may only be one possibility” -somewhat agree. “Parecon is a a complete coherent model” -disagree.

      James, you had said not too long ago about the IOPS description something like ‘why wouldn’t you want to live in perfect world?’ for reasons that you couldn’t argue with the descriptions. now, i find that a bit of a Utopian mindset, while you embrace Parecon (though are reckoning Utopias lie in the minds less likely to embrace). personally, i like to focus on what is realistic and accomplishable now, and have been know to say ‘i don’t like to keep Utopia off the table’. we may actually agree there.

      now, of course, when i use the term “real” i don’t mean to say that Parecon concepts come out of a vacuum. they are similar to other concepts and based in multiple experiences both failed and positive. but those lessons are ongoing and have constant experimentation, to both determine the future and apply in the present to get there. so when i find it peculiar that a “complete proposal” must be defined or accepted before taking steps, this is why. it should not be a point of conflict or ego, just better means for the process. as you have mentioned the need for acknowledgments, i have also mentioned that need in reciprocation, that i do not see in Parecon or IOPS. but, i would extend that in a much broader sense for what i consider inclusion.

      when i refer to inclusion and common ground, i am not speaking too much on those burying their “heads and lives in the digital world” but that’s something to be spoken to as well.

      now, there are some differences in Parecon i have with the viewpoints on social spheres, particularly in that ecology is not included. should i just change that view and see it as a context, as expressed on IOPS, or was that a development to include? i am wrong to view life through a slightly different lens as that goes, thus should accept the coherent model as it is and not question?

      “The reasons workers may want or need a manager IS because they might not know any other way.”

      they might, but that might not be the reason. it might be that they simply don’t want to manage and so are interested in creating a specialized role that empowers their roles.

      “completely confuse balancing job complexes for empowerment with rotation, which both Hahnel and Albert have said is NOT the answer and quite inadequate”

      basic coop concepts, but are they applicable to every form of life and work? the old Marxist concepts focus on the proletariat VS bourgeoisie. Parecon focuses mostly on an alternative on how to assess that, but that is only part of our productive work, service, and needs as a culture. all of which involve human time, including time spent being a parent.

      “I don't care how people NOW are living. Whether Michael is practising what he preaches. It's irrelevant to me. A non-argument. It ain't about that stuff.”

      do not know what to make of this, but not too marketable, lol. maybe i’ll say some shit about force next time. not trying to be an asshole, really (just comes natural).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDGTwcMySIM

    • Kristi Doyne-Bailey 21st Oct 2014

      how does one live their principles/vision in a cut-throat competitive profit-based system....?
      it’s radical to even discuss non-market based systems...threatening on so many levels...but mostly to people that benefit from it or have high hopes of benefiting from it....since there “are no alternatives”...
      i don’t know...maybe i’m dense, but it seems that any alternatives that retain the profit-based system are simply prolonging inequity on all fronts...the inevitable results are hierarchies...or some form of centralized decision-making...it’s inherent...variations on a familiar, yet discredited theme...
      parecon addresses this inevitability thru the values-based institutions...i don’t see it as a blue-print...but as a viable, flexible starting point...and it does seem weird that it doesn’t get discussed by the progressive-left spokespeople...

    • Alex of... 21st Oct 2014

      not dense at all. which parts are flexible and which parts are not?

    • Kristi Doyne-Bailey 22nd Oct 2014

      using the 3 fanfare books, my in a nutshell interpretation...the inflexible parts are the values based institutions, a non-profit based economic system and individual participation in the decision making where it affects you...how a community goes about implementing everything else must revolve around those guidelines...

    • LedSuit ' 21st Oct 2014

      Yeah Kristi. It's a tad depressing at times really. Kind of feel I wasted time learning about it. Most of those progressive left spokespeople don't mention it as you say, and I've emailed others about it and some haven't heard to much about it or just don't think much of it really. Marxists hate it. Anarchist worry about it and ignore it. The doers just do stuff. There is a Doing it Ourselves group here in Melbourne and they have links to alternative economic ideas, and Parecon aint on it. It wouldn't actually hurt o just popit in there but they just don't like it for some reason.

      Maybe they're right. It's fairly pointless kind of thing. I don't hear many talk of Inclusive Democracy either.

    • Kristi Doyne-Bailey 22nd Oct 2014

      i don't feel like i've wasted time learning about it...i tend to think it's a concept that's ahead of it's time...
      where i see the value of institutions that help to reorient the worst of human proclivities...seems most see it as too restrictive...curtailing their competitive freedoms...as if we’re not already controlled, coerced and defined by the institutions we have now...

    • LedSuit ' 22nd Oct 2014

      The waste of time is in the sense that talking about parecon kind of reaches these dead ends or goes round in circles. It's like an unresolved note just squatting there, bamboozling everyone and no-one much likes it. It's weird and frustrating because it's not doing what you want it to do. Like Frank Zappa and Derek Bailey, a couple of recalcitrant bastards. So one returns to more familiar and common ground, putting the weird unresolved note out of mind, ignoring its value in what it has to offer.

    • LedSuit ' 21st Oct 2014

      Strict strictures it is. The "your" just meant your choice of tune. I enjoy the canon too. Always have. There was no point. There is some irony there however.

      Nice point re something I said. Those things always come back to bite ya. I don't see what I said as evidence I have a utopian mindset. What I meant was really quite simple. What IOPS spells out is pretty thorough and nifty. It would be hard to argue such a society wouldn't be good to live in. But you are right, it's a dream. A hope. So I try to snap out of its grip and try to wake up. Think practical. Gar doing shit "on the ground" now. Localism. Transition Towns. Doing it ourselves. Simpler way. Anything else you can think of, great. Occupy this and that. Yell and scream. Plant a tree. Maybe that's all enough. And then momentum. But there is something not connecting for me with all of it. Something not quite right. A gap of sorts.

      Maybe I'm just holding onto something I shouldn't. Maybe I should just let it go. When I said coherent model,I meant it is a complete system, well thought out and understandable. It's institutional structures and the relationships of those with the foundational values seems coherent and as complete as one could be without overstepping into strict blueprint territory. I don't think it's nonsense on stilts. You may have problems with it, but that's what it is. Maybe I'm just pushing this shit to see how far I can go or see how long it takes before I crumble and just chuck in the towel for the uselessness of it all. Parecon feels more and more like a dirty word, Parecon.

      “I don't care how people NOW are living. Whether Michael is practising what he preaches. It's irrelevant to me. A non-argument. It ain't about that stuff.”

      I wasn't really sure what all those questions you put out there about Michael and Noam, were for but I thought you were asking questions about whether Albert was living up to Pareconish ideals or something like that. Perhaps I was wrong. I mean shit I'm writing on a computer. What are those minerals called. Tantelite or something. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mining. Deaths. Mining. Prostitution. Deaths. More mining. Get it out across the borders into the legitimate market and wham, mobile phones, computers. I care about people doing it tough, and particularly fucked tough like in the DRC but I don't want to talk about personalities really or hassle some lefty because they bought a MacDonald's coffee. I don't really care because we're all caught up. Parecon makes me think about what it takes to rearrange an economy. About the difficulties. About how to achieve things in ways that don't undermine values and shared goals. It pushes you out a tad so you can turn and look back in and make adjustments, suggest other ways that may be absolutely necessary. It provides a nuetral objective focus for dudes like me so I'm not always looking at those like Gar and thinking, "no, he's much smarter than me, what would I know. So I'll just ask Gar or wait to see what he says". Gar could be anyone. You or someone else. People just sayin' do this, then do that. Inclusivity and common ground are great if you can get it but Parecon points to things in ways that they don't, for me. Parecon can't include because it's not a person.Only those who advocate or promote Parecon can include or acknowledge other things. I'm not gonna force anyone to acknowledge Parecon. I just talk about it, feel like a dick for doing so, and then leave. I mean truthfully, I could jump ship on all of this in a second to concentrate on my own shit till I cark it. I try to hang in but the exit is always there in the background.

      When I say that those running on the fly have a more utopian mind set it's because I reckon they're all kind of thinking that if we all just work together, we'll figure it out as we go and in their heads they have a dream of some "perfect world". Like Knabb, they can kind of describe it and they say it's possible to attain but it remains as a dream, a hope. It's too vague for me. Sorry. Parecon isn't that. It pops the utopian bubble pretty quickly and I reckon that annoys people. It's thinking quite practically, much like Gar. Albert and Hahnel aren't dreamers. Maybe I thought it was you that saw Parecon as a utopian idea or something. The point I was trying to make was that it aint. Anything but.

      Re the ecology. Don't see a problem with a planned economy like Parecon. Seems compatible to me. In fact it elucidates things that are directly applicable to ecological concerns by pointing out the need to really control production and consumption in a very balanced way without doing the nasty on future generations.

      "The reasons workers may want or need a manager IS because they might not know any other way.”

      they might, but that might not be the reason. it might be that they simply don’t want to manage and so are interested in creating a specialized role that empowers their roles."

      All I see here is Balanced Job Complexes. Create a job, a group of tasks that includes empowering ones among those not so. If workers don't wish to manage, find the empowerment some other way. But that's not what's going on in coops now, particularly Mondragon, necessarily because they don't know about BJC's. So they stick to tried and true ways maybe with some rotation. But the marketplace will screw 'em over eventually. Probably. If they came up with the idea of BJC's on the fly, and someone came along and said, wow, funny, that's what Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel suggested in their Participatory Economic model. Maybe they could read it and see if it helps. Maybe they don't want to read.

      Parecon is not meant to be anything other than an economic model so it doesn't deal with parenting or culture. But it is supposed to be sensitive to those things, compatible with them, malleable to the needs of other spheres. If it isn't or someone can show it fails in this regard, then show it.

      I don't know if I've addressed your points. Got a headache. Eyes hurt. I realised when I posted my first long one above that I was asking for trouble introducing Parecon, hence why I didn't want to submit. I reckon Parecon is coherent. It may be shit and stupid and I'm an idiot for not seeing it but for me it is a real vision, while much of the rest is just groping in the dark. Even Occupy. It's almost as if a soon as something like Occupy starts, it's doomed and everybody kind of unconsciously knows it but what the heck, let's see where it goes. Well, where did it go and did it impress those outside the choir? I don't know where I'm going now. But that's just me.
      I'll just stop.

    • Alex of... 22nd Oct 2014

      Kristi, i absolutely agree with the notion of individual participation in the decision-making process where it affects one. as for the values based institutions, i mentioned where i might have a difference in the 4 social spheres. i actually used the term ParEcology in some of my earliest comments on IOPS before the Fanfare book that used that term was published. i view ecology as something different than a context for those spheres. it seems to me that ecology gained more attention since the original writing of Parecon, and was also added as part of 6 on IOPS, yet 2 or contexts as i’ve been told. it’s not too clear. it’s good that ecology has been included more, and maybe that came from ongoing influence. so maybe that’s an indication of how form can be flexible to evolve by more experimintation and influence.

      but there is part of my problem with over-dertermination. early on, in this forum, i was told how Marxists had it wrong to not include these other 3 spheres, which should be considered equally. while i agree on the limitations of Marxism, i don’t entirely agree on the way those spheres relate and find them also limited.

      as i see Marxism very parallel to Anarcho-Syndicalism, an interesting quote by Murray Bookchin:

      “As "practical" and "realistic" as anarcho-syndicalism may seem, it represents in my view an archaic ideology rooted in a narrowly economistic notion of bourgeois interest, indeed of a sectorial interest as such. It relies on the persistence of social forces like the factory system and the traditional class consciousness of the industrial proletariat that are waning radically in the Euro-American world in an era of indefinable social relations and ever-broadening social concerns. Broader movements and issues are now on the horizon of modern society that, while they must necessarily involve workers, require a perspective that is larger than the factory, trade union, and a proletarian orientation.”

      so perhaps that is pretty agreeable with some of the Pareconish values, yet Communalism came with more focus on environmental issues and was organized a bit different. as much as Parecon describes the need for equal attention amongst multiple spheres, that i personally find limiting, i think it is largely describing the means of ownership, which has some general elements i agree with.

      as for non-profit, i thought Parecon describes some methods for remuneration based on how work is valued. i guess we could nuance on what ‘profit’ means. as a market goes or not, there are valuations based on personal output, and some kind of profit or gain based on the investment. that could be in a capitalist system that sucks in it’s ownership or Leninist in top-down centralized planning system (that creates bad outcomes for the majority), by a decision-making process in a coop that is based in what is our semi-capitalist market system moving toward less capitalist goals (steps), or perhaps the profit comes through simple trade and a cultural idea to constantly give away what one starts to accumulate, or has to do more with what one can offer and no longer even considers credits or money, has a way to respect the value of time and effort it takes to raise a child while another must provide food or clothing, and that is just a part of what we know to be our reponsibility as well our gain.

      James, there are a few things i wish to respond to, but a minimal portion is in the context, and just what i chose and had time for at the moment.

    • Alex of... 22nd Oct 2014

      from form to formlessness (and the reciprocation) in one of Bruce's attempts to explain, not to say anyone else doesn't get that from their own studies, but just one thing i like...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtZNvK3fTlM

    • Kristi Doyne-Bailey 23rd Oct 2014

      well, why is the environment in such dire straights...?
      same question about gender, minorities, classism...you name the issue and it all comes back to a hierarchical system geared to profit at the expense of everything else...
      my hope is that the environmental crisis could be the rallying point for a new system...one that would address all the issues, cuz the environmental crisis didn’t happen and won’t be solved in a vacuum...
      aside from parecon, nothing else i’ve read about has worked it out so all encompassing-ly...so inclusively...
      connected all the dots down to the core...that being the ‘power over others’ issue...and where to go from there…yet constantly referring to solving all issues with adherence to the core values and how that vision should be the goal...
      hell, what’s not to like ?
      is it a hard “sell”...yeah...what isn’t that questions authority/status quo...i find, like anything, you can lead that proverbial horse to water...but...

    • Alex of... 23rd Oct 2014

      given my desires for a more inclusive format and the curiosities on why certain forms are not more talked about, let me ask one question again. why is Hahnel not a member of IOPS?

    • Lambert Meertens 23rd Oct 2014

      Some time in the past Albert and Hahnel had a falling out. I think that has a lot to do with it.

      To me, the question, "why is (say) Gar Alperovitz not a member of IOPS?", is at least equally significant.

    • Alex of... 23rd Oct 2014

      a good question Lambert!

      just want to say first that my original post here was only to mention a thought on ownership, and my reference to community-wealth is partly due to some current webinars being offered on tangible ways to create cooperative structures that both affect people’s lives and connect more ecologically sound methods.

      this to me, is a very healthy way to create a better world.

      another thing raised by Naomi Klein, that i have also said in my past, is that climate change and ecological issues are often a bit abstract compared to some movements that relate to what is directly affecting an individual. that is, there is ‘some thing’ that will happen in the future, but right now i just need to put food on my table, or i’ve still got food on my table so what’s the problem?

      on the former, there is probably more opportunity to connect the dots in the immediate. if we are to put violent revolution to the side for the moment, then we come to the reality that people are struggling based on a global semi-capitalist system that is also destructive to our environment.

      now, i don’t know what falling-out Albert and Hahnel had. like i say, i haven’t read Albert’s biographical work. as i recall, David Jones had asked about this, and the response was ‘you can read about it there to as much that ‘i’ am willing to offer, or ask Hahnel.’ so maybe i’ll ask Hahnel some day, as he lives not too far from me, and i have thought it might be interesting to organize a little event, mostly through the local Green Party and 350 chapter to discuss some economic dot-connecting.

      though, maybe one can understand, i find it a bit odd that the two people that put so much energy into a concept can not find it in their ability to maintain a friendship and mutually support an idea that i have been told was ‘informed’ by Parecon. i have had my own falling-outs with Albert, but i am not a long-term relationship at that. we probably agree more on things than most would, but i have also been told we’re not even on the same wavelength.

      as for Gar, perhaps he doesn’t see a place for his work on IOPS. maybe he doesn’t want to start a chapter but also sees a relationship and there is no way to really include that relationship in a constructive manner here.

      it’s part of my assertion that people must experience cooperative ownership for it to develop and overcome the capitalist form. to do this without a vanguard, we have to prove it within a market system and also be open to where the market might work with it. it is not that we must all agree before we can take those steps, it is that we must be experimenting now in every practical means necessary, and we need better ways to connect that. this includes reforms and political candidates as well.

      maybe i should not be on IOPS if i think this way. maybe Albert should not be on IOPS if he is not forming a chapter.

    • Lambert Meertens 24th Oct 2014

      We must not send ourselves or others on guilt trips for not doing more than we can. We all have different experiences and different ideas on what may work, which is a good thing. We need a variety of ideas, including wild ones. If we cannot be flexible and encourage experimentation and an open discussion guided by a willingness to find out what works in practice instead of by preconceived armchair ideas of what ought to work, then the IOPS project is never going to take off.

    • Alex of... 24th Oct 2014

      IOPS or not, i'll second that.

    • Alex of... 30th Oct 2014

      James, it is not so much that i disagree that a more planned economy is not beneficial for ecology in the world we live in right now, but i consider ecology a more primary element of life than what has been given attention. the point being, the Parecon model is never going to match my perspective or that of many others. some might say that starting with an understanding and reconnection of our relationship with the rest of the natural world is the necessary cultural shift to find our way to non-exploitation and sustainability. i think that has importance, but given our exploitive systems, it is not enough. but neither are the notions of parecon. so you see a gap and i do too.

      while i have my own personal utopia in mind, i like to think i am also practical, and that is for one, where i see coops actually affecting change in people’s lives and ecologically through practice. i’m not sure why you think coops are not employing the concept of rotating and electing roles as a generality. there are many that do, as well we could include egalitarian communities. as for Mondragon, it is not perfect but seems to me a pretty beneficial and useful experiment, and it seems assumptive no one there has ever heard of BJC’s unless you know something about that i don’t.

      there was a webinar i took part in on a coop development group that had primarily got its start with female mexican immigrants in california to do house-cleaning. ok, not glamorous work but worker-owned and thriving. in fact, an interesting note is that during the economic recesssion, while many of their family members were getting hours or jobs cut in standard ownership models, they were able to support each other and make decisions to maintain work, while also having planned with a bit of a money pool. seems positive and empowering to me. there are some that helped create this coop and i have no idea if they have ever heard of BJC’s. should all those workers have read parecon and agreed with it, too? or are BJC’s more a reflection of these types of coop work? is there some entity you wish to see training people in BJC’s? is it IOPS?

    • Alex of... 30th Oct 2014

      not meant to be directed anywhere particular, just keeps coming to mind…
      http://www.plyrics.com/lyrics/badreligion/turnonthelight.html
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOuBrXS8fuM

    • LedSuit ' 30th Oct 2014

      I wrote a reply. Fairly detailed then deleted it. No point. The Hahnel article says it for me. Quite simple really and practical. I have no Utopias in mind. Parecon needs to be part of the discourse as far as I'm concerned and I don't wish to use up Titas's blog any more but suffice to say I try to feel inspired by localism, community economics, ideas of inclusiveness and people being nice to one another, but it ain't enough for me. A post capitalist model like Parecon brings some much needed meat to the discourse. I'm not sure about this "reconnecting with nature" idea. I've never really felt unconnected. The economy is though. Disconnected. Parecon helps reconnect it. If someone wants to come up with a better idea than do it. I don't trust winging it in this regard. Practical economic sense is needed for ecological balance. Paul Street's latest article kind of almost drops Parecon into the readers laps. About time. Klein needs to do some thinking in this regard. Occupy needs to add some of this thinking to it as well. I could say more about Mondragon and a Pluralist Commonwealth and BJC's but just, well... Parecon's a dirty word and I'll probably keep hurling it into the mix whether people like it or not because I get to hear people talk about all this other stuff constantly, but rarely Parecon. It may not be the panacea but it's important, as important as anything else going around. And if it pisses people off, stiff.

    • Alex of... 30th Oct 2014

      i doubt Titas would mind much some useful interpretations, but if there is no point, that is okay too.

      i would have to say that spelling out a post-capitalist society in the form of parecon is a kind of utopia, given the desired results compared to our current reality. that’s the way i see it, you may not. when i mention my own personal utopia, well, there is a world i will never see that is possible all the same, and parecon does not really describe it. i will have to accept finding bits and pieces of that utopia in moments while striving for as many elements that move somewhere in common direction, and with respect for where that is only my personal wish, knowing others will not fully agree.

      as for what is enough… honestly, i don’t think anything will really be enough. as far as we know, we have accomplished some serious climate disruption we’ll see down the road more and more. and our reliance on fossil fuel has pushed a population bubble that excedes so many landbases, coupled with other forms of over-consumption and disrespect, we should likely expect some chaos and mass death in transition no matter what.

      what transition will take place cannot be fully predicted, but i would guess we need as many on board as possible.

      when i mention reconnecting with nature, it is not aimed at you. i have no idea on your reverance or feelings or actions. i have watched people pull up to a grocery store as close as possible, pop an umbrella and run twenty feet just to save drops on their hair, as if water from the sky is some acidic threat to vanity and even life. insects are something to be smashed or sprayed, the woods are a place to take a four-wheeler, or at best to get away for a moment. a fish is something that comes wrapped in plastic. this is not just economic. i could theorize on how councils might vote on whether there is interest and resources to create umbrellas. but what does that really tell me now? if choosing to eat, is a fish just something to be allocated? or is it something to be revered as a lifeform that is part of a cycle and thanked for? maybe, James, or parecon, you would consider this just a part of some four spheres, but for me, it is part of a loss to be human, as connected to all living things and the energy of the universe.

      so i am only offering that as part of a perspective, of many. i’m not sure what experiences have led to seeing Parecon as a dirty word that pisses people off. that is not what i think i have offered at least. i have argued in multiple ways for connecting visions, practice and perspectives. i would think that Parecon is a useful piece. forgive me if i am interpreting wrongly, i am just sharing thoughts.

      http://www.newmodelarmy.org/index.php/the-music/lyrics/167-i-love-the-world
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnZD61tynS4

      yes i often like to end with some analogous song that comes to mind :)

    • LedSuit ' 31st Oct 2014

      The pisses people off thing was not directed at you. A general throw away remark. Again,the Hahnel article pretty much says it for me. Out of the three I linked I find it the pivotal one. Parecon doesn't prohibit, mitigate against,stop,hinder,restrict,obstruct,impede,
      hamper or arrest actions, discussion, debate or ideas relating to any other concerns people have regarding radical systemic change. It just makes the discourse aroundit it a bit richer, for the better. I reckon.

      http://musicwithmyinsanefriend.com/insaneblog/

    • Alex of... 31st Oct 2014

      and of course, one might ask of me “on board with what???”

      i hope you know i have much love for you James. somewhere long ago we talked about Post Nirvana and Tapping Out and some such. these things have not left my soul. i am glad you are pushing discourse in multiple directions. some things i’ll ask you later perhaps.

      you know, i don’t always like writing or even reading. i am on a weird kind of break here from some other efforts and living. i’ve talked about it here and there, but there is something i want to see created for increased connections and i’m trying to decide the best way to go about it before i engage myself. i have appreciated this forum and effort as a unique means without much censorship, yet it still seems limited, and a few things have bothered me. it is a perfect step for what it is.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXap5hZaqZ8

    • Alex of... 31st Oct 2014

      i wonder if my notions on ParEcology seem “deliberately vague”?

      i agree that Parecon does not prohibit…ideas. guns do, not ideas. though, sometimes presentation of ideas also prohibit. “if someone wants to come up with a better idea then do it.”

      there is much i agree with in Hahnel’s article but:

      “How best to organize a system of equitable cooperation is not a trivial intellectual problem, and the answers will not be obvious without a great deal of deliberation, which must take place before the answers are needed.”

      …is som of where i find a possible obstruction. the deliberation is a matter of combining practice and vision in each step, not that an answer must be developed and accepted first. answers are found in this relationship perhaps. this is not winging it, but the method is important. sometimes what i am hearing sounds a bit like christian debates with science. if not God, then who did create life? oh, science can’t answer that, then our document must be true. but science is about the process, not a defined answer.

      on the side, i am re-looking at the description in Parecon on bioregionalism. there are certainly some things i agree with. but also some amazing assumptions. the latter is problematic. i can quote some if you like. just IMO.

    • Alex of... 31st Oct 2014

      https://zcomm.org/qagreeneconomics-2/

    • LedSuit ' 1st Nov 2014

      Not sure why you quoted my phrase. So my phrase prohibits ideas? The way Parecon is presented prohibits? Not sure what you mean.

      Hahnel makes sense to me here. It is no trivial matter and what he suggests in no way prohibits what you are saying. In fact I think you are basically paraphrasing him. Hahnel, or Parecon doesn't deny practice, localism, community economics, going simple, or deliberation that combines practice and vision step by step, it's really just asking the question about where we are going and how. They're important questions. It's not just a matter of saying we have to reduce our energy usage or whatever by 90% or else we're doomed, so Parecon isn't useful in this regard, so forget it. It's being helpful.

      Don't want to argue with the analogy but science is really just discovering stuff already here. It's not building the universe, it's unravelling it after the fact. And Parecon is nothing like religious scriptures or documents. Nothing like it. Far more practical than that.

    • Alex of... 1st Nov 2014

      hopefully, i am trying to find an answer to both our questions, or others, and perhaps prodding around to find a way to get there. i honestly have no idea how set in stone Parecon ideas are meant to be. i do not know if the current conclusions are meant to be taken as absolutes, but sometimes it sounds that way and that is what i might find prohibiting for some. four spheres with equal consideration as i’ve been told. that’s it and done, the answer has been written. ipso-facto, other ideas and experiences are not relevant if they have not defined themeselves in a similar manner or do not match the definition.

      you are right, i have to some degree paraphrased Hahnel. my underlying question is on by who and by what means a more participatory society can be realized. maybe yours is too. of course, participatory, in many ways did not just originate with Parecon, by the word or act. it’s part of life. and there are past social or economic or natural experiences to draw from as well as current, and more to come.

      is the deliberation for a handful of people to discuss that are inclined to read on it before the direction can be established, and then once established are expected to follow those conclusions? or by what means can we bring the experience to life?

    • LedSuit ' 1st Nov 2014

      The equal four spheres thing is more liberating theory (complimentary holism) than Parecon. Parecon was developed with that "holistic" notion in mind, that all other areas are of equal importance and would/can/will bear on a Pareconish economy. However, Parecon is just an economy that I think also helps one to see how a complementary polity may be developed, hence Stephen Shalom's ParPolity. The other two areas are problematic. Far harder to envision as it is harder to elucidate any clear institutional structure.

      The deliberation is for anyone and everyone who wants to get involved. No different to anything else as I see it. Someeople know more about stuff than others.

      I was recently reading some stuff by Ted Trainer re TSW (The Simpler Way) and the way he was talking about committees and organising things actually just reminded me of Parecon. IFB's are merely info/monitoring/recording workplaces and they have "committees" called workers councils etc. what he described about working out how to know how much of product x to produce just sounded like Parecon's planning procedure, just kind of matter of factly described by Trainer in a very informal casual way as if it wouldn't be a problem , "as long as...". There's the rub, "as long as..." That always means as long as we can get people to do this this and this. As if it's an easy solution. Hahnel says working these things out is not a trivial matter and I agree. Particularly when one extends beyond one's backyard.

      Parecon only contains four institutions crated to foster and maintain what one would consider rather universally embraced values. They are workers and consumer councils, remuneration for effort and sacrifice, balanced job complexes and a participatory planning allocation procedure. Each of them are meant to work together in an integrated way to maintain and foster equality, solidarity, diversity and self-management. Self-management is defined a little differently than say Takis Fotopoulos defines it, and others, as having decision making rights in proportion to the degree one is effected by those decisions. OK, some of the institutions or all may be problematic, so people work through those issues. While all this is going on, nothing prohibits people getting on and doing things NOW, but what gets done NOW, may be informed, maybe better informed, by an idea of where things are headed with a clearer idea of how possibly to avoid future mistakes. A clearer direction may also help bring others from outside the choir into the fold because the "lefts" actions seem far more defined.

      Gotta go.

    • Alex of... 2nd Nov 2014

      i like your description here James. i AM actually familiar that Parecon is one of the four spheres i was referring to, so apologies for not saying Parsoc when doing so. the ‘four spheres and done’ comment goes to that and just a question on defined directions i’ve been informed of. yet, if i start thinkin on Parecon in the holistic notion, the first thing that i think of in relation is Parecology, as i would think in the whole allocation planning concept, institutions for existing within the laws of nature are key. this doesn’t seem to be a very developed area as of yet. given how fucked it all is right now, probably need some pretty serious assessments for transition. and transition to me is also key.

      some of what i mentioned before about reverence for nature is also more in the cultural realm, but not limited to of course. i worry that most people view the world around them as nothing more than a product to serve US, whether in a market or planned economy, as the experience is missing. a gap i see. the capitalist culture aint the first to be so anthropocentric, but now the worst, particularly when coupled with fossil fuel. and yeah, i’m worried that we’ve dug a deep enough hole now, that we’re going to see some collapse, as many regions are just not sustainable, and people have no idea how to live. this is where some folks start turning to resilience. do i think more participatory planning would be helpful in all this? yes. as for what is considered participatory, that’s where i am seeking the process of transition itself, if that makes sense.

      i agree about science discovering what is already here. everywhere i turn there is a group saying THIS is what we must focus on the most! THIS is the answer we need now or later. i don’t think we really need a better idea than parecon or some of the other models both you and i find a relationship with. but, there seems to be a problem with people working together better on these things once they are locked in. at the risk of also being locked into ‘THIS is what needs to happen’, i keep finding myself returning to two things.

      one, is that we need better models for working together for all these groups with slightly and sometimes radically different approaches, as well more narrowly on issues. for me i like to categorize it positive if working within the realm of ‘human equality and ecological balance’. it’s general, it’s a thought, could be improved, but as long as both are being considered, then i consider the work a positive direction. the hope is that each group in their philosophy or action can be better linked under the general idea to create crossover, become better informed, build solidarity in transition as we go, yet allowed to focus autonomously in the way they feel most inclined. and since we have the internet, at least for now, i am trying to hash out possible ways it can be used as a tool to help facilitate this.

      two, is that people simply lack experience in direct decision making models, and for a participatory society to become more relevant it must become part of life’s necessities as well. i hear cooperative workplace and community. i can tell someone parecon or can tell someone coop, but for most its meaningless unless there is an opportunity to exist in it and it’s a living working model. well, quite the chicken and egg scenario sometimes. whether the parecon concept can and will apply to all forms of economic life in the future? maybe, maybe not. not willing to make a determination like that. i see some other possibilities, too. i agree that the ideas, as well as some similar ones can help inform better decisions on how to approach NOW, and tweak as we go. so when i see a tangible model like community-wealth helping use what we got to get a start, as well some other coops, i am seeing something tangible to move forward with, and i support it (see ‘one’ above). that’s where some of my original comment derived, in that it will take some breaking point of local models in mutual support to take root before it really takes off to prove itself a replacement for the current economic system of private ownership. any tangible model aint going to be too perfect (if there’s such a thing) within an existing market system.

      and if, for example, some are focused on political reform like taxing the wealthy for social investment and can accomplish that so it helps create more cooperative and sustainable development, then great. not my cup o’ tea to focus on, but welcome. and if more people gain experience and empowerment through multiple forms of coop models, i imagine there may be more potential to push reforms.

      naw, no easy solution. keep on going.

  • Kristi Doyne-Bailey 17th Oct 2014

    thanx for those articles, james...hadn't read the hahnel one...

  • Max H 22nd Oct 2014

    James, no need to ever feel like a dick about it. We are not machines who can always accurately gauge our audience. We can't know perfectly how direct or subtle we should be, or in what exact way we should express parecon and participatory ideas in a given situation. And let's face it, some people are too dogamtic or close-minded to be reached in an amount of time that is not prohibitive.
    I feel positive about just making the effort/taking the chance and view them as learning experiences. I, for one, feel esteem that you are out there trying.

  • Titas Biswas 24th Oct 2014

    And if I am given the space to speak,the article was on Ideas to stimulate Occupy Wall Street.

  • Alex of... 25th Oct 2014

    you of course should have the space to speak Titas. i hope i have not deviated too far from the original intent but sometimes original intents just spark into an organic process of discussion. your post has been very useful as a means for thought, and great that to have done a collaboration with Fred.

    i had posted an article by George Lakey recently, about Occupy:

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2013/10/08/revolution-comes-stages-occupy-or-otherwise

    and there is also an article linked there:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/176142/breaking-occupy

    for those not familiar with Lakey, one of his works includes a collaborative effort to expand on Gene Sharp’s list of methods for non-violent revolution, by building a database of examples

    http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu

    as for Occupy, some of what may be interesting about the articles as i read them is that:

    1) let’s not get too depressed to think that Occupy was a failure just because it swelled and dropped

    2) some of the problem in this spontaneous outbreak is a lack of vision

    3) there is plenty of common ground in diversity and tactics to work with

    as for (1): i see many positves. the resonance on wealth disparity was broad, and also brought in other related issues on class, gender, individual choices, rights, consumerism, climate etc. it has helped push this concept of the 1 percent into the modern lexicon, which has pushed debate on social structure. in this sense, it was very consciousness-raising and built new forms of solidarity. people, found some new experience in attempts at decision making beyond reliance on power structures, even if some melted down. locally, a number of autonomous groups were formed based on specific issues through connections developed. again locally, it helped push a socialist onto city council. beyond locally, while rooted in other movements, it also trickled outward. and i believe that many who did not participate, were also supportive.

    as for (2): some criticism to be had is that there was not enough direction, and part of that is also due to lack of experience. it’s a new experience for most to start coming together this way, and the expectations are a bit too high, often grasping in multiple directions for immediate answers. part of that i feel is also that just taking to the streets and engaging in the discussion is only part of the process. there needs to be tangible ways to address the issues at hand. there needs to be equitable forms of employment that relate to our ecological problems.

    as for (3): there are mutliple perspectives and tangible efforts going on that can actually address people’s lives. when we start to see the common ground, connect the dots through mutual recognition, and create real alternatives, we move beyond just discussion or grievances.

    so, everybody just freaking out for a moment is healthy. but then we get to the relationship of 2 and 3. we should have some vision and we should have some action, but they must continuously compliment each other. it must be lived, and it must be discussed. it is not some distant idea we must all agree on first, that is simply based on what happened before, even if valuable to think about. it is our experience of truly taking ownership of this life that refines our vision.

    and no, not everyone will be studying too hard on all the nuances between each method. and not everybody is going to pick up a particular book and say, oh, perfect, let’s all agree on that and i totally see that it will change my life or solve the world’s problems. but, maybe there are better ways to connect the kind of energy that comes out of Occupy or the NYC protest, and a host of other things, that can be explored.

    so maybe in that, i have not deviated too far from the original post. and hope this is constructive.

    • Titas Biswas 27th Oct 2014

      I am currently going through the article by George Lakey and I have to thank you for that.

      Obviously not everyone will be agreeing on one thing and that is probably why we are trying to get rid of anything absolutist,so that at least hopefully,everyone can be a part of 'the living revolution'.

      Thanks for the responses.

  • Emily Corrado 27th Oct 2014

    Thank you Titas for the blog, It takes me a while to read and write, but I do enjoy it.

    Is it important to practice what you preach? I have always understood that as important.

    We should consider why people do not join, anyone who does not want to join who we think "should" want to join especially. I don't know anything though. Thank you all for the articles I will be reading for the next month.

    Thank you Titas, I did not know that people did not know the great wealth disparity here.

    • Titas Biswas 27th Oct 2014

      Hi Emily,

      I'll be a little humourous first.I think you cannot preach unless you have practiced.Yes,that is important indeed.

      A lot of people in here are never able to think themselves as 'we'.Moreover,we need to spread the very idea of IOPS,a lot of people who are concerned about their participation in the society don't know about the existence of IOPS.

      Actually,the economic aspect is often ignored,even within people.Even if the direct impact may seem material,economy does impact almost every other thing that takes place in the society,even the psychology of the people belonging to separate classes.I just tried to give an introduction by giving the economic data and explanation.The original ideas to stimulate the movement are that of Fred Curran. This post is co-authoured.

      A lot of people in Asia (and especially in India) think USA is economically 'heaven',which is not true,of course.

      Thanks for the response.

    • Alex of... 30th Oct 2014

      hi Emily, too. i reckon you know plenty from what i read before.

      a brief take on my notion is that practicing and preaching go hand in hand.

      there are of course directions to head we should preach about, but we have obstacles to actually live up to them in the current moment. at the same time we must try to live up to them and overcome these obstacles to create the direction we are heading.

      sounds like a zen riddle perhaps, but i consider this the living and ongoing revolution. it never seems to be happening as quick as it could or seems should, but i feel we need to constantly find better ways to connect perspectives and efforts to be more effective.

      my perspectives of course come somewhat from where i live, so i am much less able to understand the necessities elsewhere. say, a violent revolution may be necessary at certain times in certain places, but not what i feel is the right time and place where i live.

      i am looking toward more opportunity to bring practical solutions and visioning together.

      thanks Titus for a stimulating post!

    • Titas Biswas 1st Nov 2014

      Hi Alex,
      You have stated - 'we create the direction we are heading to.' But there are so many external factors affecting it.Though partially correct,what if these external factors (that instigate the obstacles) are extremely tough? How do you think we can create our direction then?

    • Alex of... 3rd Nov 2014

      the short answer Titas, is that i don’t know.

      my guess is that we have to be both pragmatic as well as theoretical, and choose our battles as we go. as i’ve mentioned, i have no real context to understand the situation in which you are living. but the obstacles here are clearly different.

      i have stated some response above under mr Androv’s comment, and in response to James as well just now on what i am drawn to, for a process where i live. but, i know the politics and social conditions where you live are not the same. i don’t like to think that someone just has to accept their oppressive conditions at any moment for the sake of a better day. but i know this happens sometimes just for fear of the present outcomes. sometimes we really need to fight our way through, but i know of so many situations where that can even mean facing death. i hope this is not the kind of extremity you need to face.

      perhaps there are ways to find allies to face those obstacles, here or there. solidarity provides support and strength. all the same, i think we all still live a back and forth between where we are headed and how we live now to create that future. i hope you will both take care as well make change, as it seems you are.

  • Titas Biswas 31st Oct 2014

    "The Occupy Wall Street camps setup throughout major cities have become homes to rape, violence, anti-Semitism, death and heavy drug usage." - http://www.habledash.com/the-nook/1400-more-rapes-deaths-occurring-at-occupy-wall-street-protests

    Has anyone else ever heard asking for economic equality turns to anti-Semitism?

    Note that - There is a Page of that website titled Obamacare.