Exponential Potential if Occupy Could Solidify

English: Day 3 of the protest Occupy Wall Stre...

English: Day 3 of the protest Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The theory of non-violence is both an underrated and overrated starting point for protest. Gene Sharp’sThe Politics of Nonviolent Action” provides us with a comprehensive list of methods usable to achieve an ultimate political goal by utilizing a specific model of non-compliance. The effectiveness of the methods being used is not in question; however, the application of methods do need to be reassessed by some of today’s more practical contrarians. *cough* OWS *cough*

Obviously, I’m on an Occupy Wall Street kick this week. I don’t want the movement to fade out; and with the elections nearing, I’d like to see the group itself become a more intrinsic aspect of the debates we’re about to have.

So – here’s the thing OWS; this movement that has been created by your activism is still alive and well. The majority of people in this country would support your effort – IF, you evolve to become a part of society.

There are rules that are broken, and laws that only exist to make rich folks richer. American’s get this. American’s also know that sitting in a park and using a human echo machine to make your points is not getting us any actual change. You’ve had 1 year – this month – to make the case for the direction you’ve chosen, Occupy. That battle is over, and you won. Believe it or not, the protests worked by changing our conversation; the 99% is part of the discussion now. But now the question needs to be: Who is representing the 99% in office.

I’m going to keep making the case that revolution is not in our collective best interest. And because of that reality, an evolution of mindset by the leaders of Occupy must take place. This isn’t a politician pandering for your support in an upcoming election speaking; this is a plea from a supporter asking you to look forward – with Americans – so we can begin to move forward, together. If revolution is not the answer, and that’s my view, and I’m asking leadership to evolve and listen to what the people are saying they want. And if what the people are saying is: “we’re still going to participate in our current system, but we’d love for you to join us in a more formal way” – then the evolution I’m asking from Occupy is to develop a political force that can take on the issues they’ve helped clarify.

The name of the group doesn’t matter, but I’ll call it an OccuParty because that just fits.

Organize – turn the anger of the protest’s core purpose into an engine that builds energy, and then release that energy strategically to push forward. You know what works in America? It’s not continual protest. Protest only helps to make us aware. Peaceful participation in society is what works. And participating in society is still the same act of non-violence but it’s being applied correctly to the source of the problem, rather than the systemic failure caused by it. It’s time to get some volunteers willing to make phone calls and ask for donations to fund the development of a political platform. Make it clear that the investment is not to fund protests, specifically, but to initiate a re-branding of the Occupy movement into something that will become main stream.

Oh, is that term too controversial to sign on with? Main stream occupiers, ha! What a joke. Is that what you’re thinking right now? Sorry to be the one to burst the carefully constructed bubble you’ve created for your thinking, but main stream is where our country lives. You don’t have to like it; it’s not up to you. People have made their decision about what they’re willing to fight for; but more importantly, they’ve decided how they’re willing to fight.

Without getting into a theoretical supposition of herd mentality; I think it’s safe to say that we humans are not exempt from the phenomena of cooperation and group think in society. 9/11 is a perfect example of how herd mentality can be applied to the human condition. People came together after 9/11, and for quite a while we had the support of the world as well. But, we never cultivated that into something bigger than a war on terror. I don’t want this to sound as if I’m comparing or associating 9/11 with Occupy, I’m simply just trying to point out that both 9/11 and Occupy created a wave of opportunity.

We may have failed to cultivate the positivity that came from the horrible events on 9/11 into something more important than war. But, we don’t have to fail with Occupy. War does nothing but beget more war. When you approach violence with violence, escalation is inevitable. At the same time, Occupy’s humanitarian struggle is hardly getting the numbers required to sustain the movement’s momentum; so a new method of non-violence must be implemented if the goal of change is to be reached.

What I’m proposing is not threatening to any hierarchy or leadership. All that I am asking for is to take the next step, and continue to take the following steps until we can finally start to see some action, and give you our support. We’re here; ready, willing, and able to participate. But, you’re going to have to come to our field if you want us to play. Voting is a powerful tool. You can laugh at that assertion all you want, but if Occupy grows into a group that presents electable candidates; people will vote for them. If the group can take over 15 congressional seats in 2 years, and 30 in 4, the movement will have the same legislative power as the Tea Party does today. Continue that trend of exponential growth over 10 years, and you begin to see just how effective the idea can be overall.

Imagine that thought, stopping the abuse taking place in our country by stopping ourselves from being ignorant of the obvious path to victory.

So, OWS – stop ignoring your support. Stop pretending that success can only be achieved through revolution. We, the people you insist you are fighting for, don’t want revolution. We want accountability, and justice. We want our voices to be heard by our representatives, and we want our representatives to be practical, whilst remaining virtuous. The effort Occupy has put in over the last year has not gone unnoticed; but, the group is slowly bleeding support as we get closer to November 6. That should be all the evidence the group needs to prove that the path to victory in America isn’t going to come through an awakening process that ultimately leads to a massive rebellion. Americans like their system of government. Occupy needs to come to an understanding about that fact, and transform the movement into a powerhouse which is capable of tackling the tough issues of our day with policy initiatives.

We’re here, ready to give the support needed – Give us something we can act on.

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  1. #1 by youngleftie on August 7, 2012 - 1:17 am

    I’d agree that Occupy needs to move into the mainstream as, let’s be realistic, no movement in a country such as the USA makes political waves large enough to destabilise any kind of regime unless it is considered mainstream and not extreme. Therefore, I think Occupy needs to shed its too far left image and interact with the country at large. The same point stands here in the UK where Occupy movements have slowly fizzled out having sat in our city centres for a few months. I find the slow demise of Occupy saddening and believe the only way to save it is to move from sit-ins in parks and city centres into affecting policies and politicians more effectively.


  2. #2 by Wade on August 7, 2012 - 1:30 am

    Exactly. The feeling I get from the movement lately, is that those who have taken the lead – if you will – are just unwilling to admit that they won their battle; but that their battle is now over.

    At some point, the group has to move out from the parks and streets and use the path’s available to make an impact. We’re starting to see a few stand outs lately – those who are suing over the unlawful detainment’s and cases of brutality. They’re using the legal system to set precedent. That’s a more realistic approach than taking to conspiracy boards or YouTube and exclaiming “The Police-State has Arrived!” Even if that is the case, what good does it do for THEM.

    Thanks for the comment by the way, glad to see we could reach the UK!

  3. #3 by John Ross on August 7, 2012 - 11:02 pm

    TBH, all I imagine when i hear about another Occupy “X”, is a bunch of hippies, who are too lazy/proud to use a system that has worked for over 200 years, and yet the very system they shy away from is the same system that allows them to Occupy “X”. Give me something I can be proud to say I believe in.

    • #4 by Wade on August 8, 2012 - 12:32 am

      @ John.
      It’s understandable to think this, in my opinion. The images most media outlets give us are that of hippy crowds or youths engaged in riotous behavior. So it’s almost expected that the identifying attribute of the group is that of the hippy, I even said in another post that if they fail to evolve, they’re doomed to be categorized under a hippy banner, rather than their own.

      But, where do people turn when their representatives aren’t listening, and when banks are blatantly changing tax rules to give them advantages at the expense of those who cannot afford to lobby congress. I think people forget sometimes, that tax cuts for the rich really represent a loss of revenue to government, and must be made up for operating costs from somewhere else in the budget.

      We can have the discussion about government spending being out of control, and I’d agree that it is – but, we shouldn’t begin our government spending revamp with cuts to programs that help the least fortunate. Not when we spend more on defense than the next 26 countries combined, or when we have a tax code that is so broken.

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