November 11, 2011

You, Me, We or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Loved Leaderlessness

Some believe that the cream rises to the top, that destiny shines favor on those worthy, and that the others must serve by falling into line — if we’re ever to reach a greater good.

Every enhancement of the type ‘man’ has so far been the work of an aristocratic society—and it will be so again and again—a society that believes in the long order of rank and differences in value between man and man, and that needs slavery in some sense or other. – Nietzsche

This is a different sort of collectivism, not individualism as a Wall Street tycoon might profess it — although they may prefer more pleasant words, invoking lions and lambs.

Are all ‘men’ created equal? Some are stronger, smarter, and more creative — while others put themselves in charge. The caste serve and subordinate their interests for the greater good of the economy, collectively, so the worthy may be rewarded.

What luck for rulers that men do not think.  – Adolf Hitler

How else can one man spend more on a meal than 400 men make all day working? And this isn’t even an extreme example, but it illustrates the inequality of each along this ranking, and that some unarguably benefit more from the current arrangement.

My philosophy aims at ordering of rank not at an individualistic morality. – Nietzsche

A fool would confuse our current hierarchy with either individualism or capitalism — as they do when they prescribe inflexibly old ideas to new problems without adaptation. The world is too big and complex to control through management, caste, and requires true democratic equality.

A concept people on all sides’ fear, when on a day to day basis it is the only truth we seem to trust. Don’t trust me, trust yourself, and then trust those who will come to your aid. Mutual aid is the fundamental basis of all civilization, and the true wellspring of every true enhancement. The story of every invention, discovery, or great work of art began with an individual in a small band of individuals engaged in mutual aid, an essentially leaderless endeavor.

Some will strongly disagree, point to the great figures of history, those who through sheer force of will changed the world for the better. Individuals are paramount, they decide, but none of these people were truly alone.

Feral children aren’t high achievers, despite what Rand may romantically contend. And this romanticism, or celebrity, is a great disservice to those who follow, as it is not a formula for success. It is instead a formula for parasitism, rather than the more time honored human strategy of mutualism.

Democracy is the highest form of government, because it acknowledges this truism, that each is born into this world with freewill, and that it cannot be legislated without consent.  We must be free to succeed, and our success will only come through mutual aid, reciprocity.  One can facilitate, one cannot lead – the terms are not synonymous where people are concerned. Therefore, while the environment of the General Assembly is ideal for democratic decision making locally, any higher national or international organizational communication must be carefully considered, to avoid recreating the inequality, hierarchy which ranks our priority of speech in our own society. It must be akin to the consensus of a General Assembly.

I believe success, not just lip service success, will only be achieved through a global brain approach. Democratically harnessing the power of the noosphere, and developing into a true Noocracy.

Postscript:  If this has seemed wordy, or nerdy — I was just aiming for precise. Many people speak broadly to skirt their intent. Calling people Socialists or Communists or Collectivists or Capitalists without understanding what each means can be akin to McCarthyism or Beck’s latter-day John Birch Society (which apparently both has grown today, and supports ending the Federal Reserve — I hope they aren’t tied to this — beyond their various efforts at unitythroughscapegoating). Ideas aren’t teams — they’re tools. Sometimes they fit, and other times they’re wrong. Society must be a conversation. 

IRC maybe fine, while facebook page or website administration, like newspaper editing or mainstream media producing leaves a lot to be desired — generating a lot of fiefdoms. This is not an attack on the admins, who are doing the best they can with clunky technology. Mutual aid may find a way. 

While this all may work despite such limits, there needs to be a better integration of on-the-ground General Assemblies and virtual ones, as in many places the internet is a luxury.  I like technology, but there is something to be said about small, something akin to viral order

While it may sound fancy, all this is reminding me of how a number of Ben Franklin’s Junto societies might have mutually improved – and this alone constitutes success in a world such as ours.  

November 5, 2011

Move your MONEY!

November 4, 2011

What benefit is Occupy Wall Street Nonviolence?

 

The freewill of another cannot be forced or subverted without a push back. Freewill can never be taken, it is always given, therefore each has the ability to resist, but each method of resistance has consequences to the quality of the resolution. A lasting resolution will only come through balance, not retaliation or subversion of another’s own will.

The American Revolution was successful because it sought to empower freewill, and formally protect the freedom and liberties of its citizens. While some did leave, the push back came later when groups unrepresented in those documents asked for their own seat at the table.

Nonviolence resistance during the American Civil Rights movement may have succeeded because people cherish and empathize with freewill, self-determination. While a violent response often incites a violent push back of will, lacking resolution or innocence — a violent response to nonviolent action is clearly a subjugation of another’s freewill.

If freewill can only be given, then all authority is dependent on consent. Authority is a balance of will, and must not be made inequitable or it will collapse.

The French, Russian, and Chinese Revolutions did not achieve an equitable balancing of will, retaliated against their enemies violently, attempted to silence those whom they disagreed, and unsuccessfully resolved their will with that of their people.  Lasting equity or peace will never be distilled from violence, as it only postpones the push back, and the inevitable resolution of will.

No one can win when another is ruined.

Only through free conversation and balanced will can a society last.

 

How does vandalism and confrontational speech affect the quality of a resolution? Both can aid in postponing a resolution while each side punishes or attempts to conquer the other’s will.

Why fight the wind? Enjoy the breeze.

Some forms of ‘vandalism’ on semi-public property may constitute free conversation or art, if it is constructive rather than destructive — which also applies to confrontational speech. Humor is more effective than Hate.  Art more lasting than Advertising. Evolution is more significant than Revolution. Everyone should be mindful that their actions affect the lasting success of any resolution, and the regard which freewill, or freedom is valued within a society.

 

November 1, 2011

Occupy Decision

Humanity plausibly may be a very long conversation the Universe/God is having with itself.  If so, we shouldn’t be afraid to disagree.  Your opinion maybe the purpose of your existence.

Feel free to disagree, but your opinions matter. The people walking around today are as close to perfect as has ever been achieved. You are the product of countless choices — your parents chose, your grandparents chose — you are the pinnacle, the very best choice.

Everyone who ever died, died so you could have the opportunity to decide. Among all the generations standing behind you, you are the best looking, smartest, and the very best equipped to make the right decision.  It is our birthright, to decide this time.

Democracy only works when your will, your choice is communicated. And it is the responsibility of participants in a democracy to take the world in, and decide. If any citizen is silenced, or vital facts are intentionally withheld or misrepresented, then we are not in fact participating in a democracy.

Therefore each must decide we actually have a right to the truth of information and free communication. That freedom of speech is a fundamental right of everyone, and not a luxury, or a commodity to be bought or controlled. How else can we fulfill our birthright, how else may we decide?

This is not the world we live in, and we know. Education is a luxury, and Politics is a stock market. More fundamentally we let Advertising, formerly a clever way to pay for new communication technologies, control those technologies, and these companies now control our speech, decisions.

(There isn’t even a captain at the helm, only an inhuman structure and process, called incorporation. And what is best for its survival isn’t necessarily best for ours.)

How can Humans communicate in an inhuman world?

There are two types of communication, internally among individuals similarly disenfranchised and externally with the rest of the people of the world. Each poses challenges today.

The Occupations taking place around the world represent aspects of each. First the Occupation itself acts as a physical manifestation or representation of this disenfranchisement, a billboard. Second it provides easy access to direct communication and democracy through individual participation in the local General Assembly.

The model of ‘facilitating’ instead of ‘leading’ is fundamental to good decision making. Please investigate the process directly for yourself at your local General Assembly, or via the web and then in practice in your own community.

Unfortunately we cannot all live 24/7 at Occupy Wall Street, or we’d have a true worldwide democracy.

We could regularly attend, or Occupy in our own communities, but how do the individual Occupancies decide what is right for the others or those who can’t attend? Is the General Assembly in New York the leader? Currently this is being addressed via the internet and conference calls among individual Occupy groups. It is also being worked out in manners such as this, all part of the larger conversation.

If one studies cultures and history carefully, even organizational structures such as corporations, there appears to be a fundamental issue with scale:  the larger human organizations get the less democratic and more problematic they become. I believe that the Hopi even had a specific number of people, a population cap, which determined how big a village could grow before they broke from one another.

If we can step beyond the avatars of corporate power brokering, or the fundamentally flawed Two Party system in the United States, this could be the core discussion which unites the disenfranchised within each here. When we are given only two choices, we can’t call it democracy. The US Federal Government, Free Trade agreements, the European Union, OPEC, the World Bank, G8, even the United Nations — each suffers from their scale, yet within the current corporate centered global culture each serves a need.  If the Corporation didn’t rule the world we might not need such power brokerage.

While the hunter-gather was purported to only work an average of four hours a day — I don’t think that lifestyle would be the choice forward for most, nor a Mad Max existence.  There are more elegant solutions, between here and there.

It is all about the decisions we make.  Seven billion people make quite a think tank, the best of the best.

Trust people, we got your back.

The hunters have a machine they place up next to prey in a metal fence, which kills the pray instantly before machines disassemble it. So bored are the hunters with this activity, that they turn their weapons on each other, in various most dangerous game scenarios, taking place in many a dark alley, backwoods, or whatever new and challenging terrain can be conceived. I think both the gathers and hunters have kind of messed it up — what was good about the fire.

 

October 31, 2011

Occupy the Scary Thoughts

ows occupy wall street image

I watched him carry his enormous burden to the top, and when he carefully placed it at the peak — it slipped from his grasp.  And I watched his eyes fall — as if it was pulverizing everything.

I thought he’d broken at the bottom, yet he just gazed up, and measured a path.  And shouldering his burden he began again to ascend.  Hallelujah Man.

People are not lazy – by design or birthright — the majority just works longer for less. Some people’s time and lives are just more valuable.

The most valuable people aren’t even people, they’re Corporations. Because they’re not human, we must carry them to the top – yet again.

How else can Humanity succeed?

October 26, 2011

Who is the 99%

It is impossible and irresponsible to define or attempt to lead the 99%, except as individuals in collective opposition to the 1%. Only by defining the 1% can this opposition movement be understood.

The 99% must be taken as anonymous and leaderless, as each individual need only share an opposition to the 1% and otherwise may differ in almost every other conceivable way.

Who is the 1%

The modern conspiracy of the 1%, both planned and as product of laziness, is to rob Humanity of its diversity through their economic leadership and investment. Wall Street is a cult which worships money in the same way Pythagorean number cults once worshiped numbers, and have clearly and cleverly defined what each of our lives is worth.

At the opening bell each of us is bought and sold in a low stakes video poker game, relative to the staggering income gap. And unlike the 99%, the 1% is small enough for their self-interests to coincide exactly, and so they’re the only ones in the position to value us according to their own criteria of what they feel is important in life.

when the laws undertake… to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society… have a right to complain of the injustice to their Government.

Andrew Jackson

What the 1% Value becomes Valuable

Since the 1% have defined what is valuable, and have gathered the most of it, only they can now choose what is on television, which movies are green lighted, what businesses get loans, which literature and cultures survive, how we travel, where we get our energy and how much we pay, and who gets medicine, who lives and who dies, who gets elected and how they vote, and so on. They invented the purse, and now hold the strings.

[Anonymously, I’m not writing as a Marxist, but with more of a Small is Beautiful/Jeffersonian bias.]

It is inconceivable that some read Adam Smith’s ‘The Wealth of Nations’ not as a historical case study, but instead have conceived a myth that a Free Market has ever or will ever exist on our planet in nature, let alone will place an ultimate faith in such a concept, and worship it like a Platonic ideal. Is a mathematical formula more important or complete than a person? Or is it just a useful but incomplete likeness or model, a tool? There is no such thing as a perfect tool.

Democracy is our Tool

Humanity has invented many tools over the course our time on Earth, and societies have been shaped complexly by these inventions, both positively and negatively. Towns sprung up next to railroads, and the automobile shaped our sprawling cities, each innovation altering our social interactions and forcing us reevaluate ourselves and what we want. We have all learned to adapt to communication technologies, and then have replaced them when something better or less cumbersome is devised. Yet, like the failure of the Commonwealth of England (1660), it is if we have too little faith in democracy to self-govern even today, and have allowed another selfseated ruling class to dictate our course.

Help restore our democracy and lend your voice to our future!

Our system is broken but we can fix it. The solution will not come from a leader but this conversation within the 99% of us. A conversation about what we value and how we value labors of each other. In the age of the internet, social networking, open source, wikis, the Wiki-Tree concept (see video below), and countless innovations and tools I’m yet unaware, there must arise an elegant series of solutions from this conversation.

We owe it to ourselves, and the 1%, to provide our own solutions.

 

1% =  Bottleneck of Ideas

The same diversity which causes the press to ask who we are, and makes choosing one voice impossible, is our greatest strength. The lack of diversity of ideas, the bottleneck within the 1% is their greatest downfall, currently our shared downfall.

We all must be aware within the 99% that we cannot speak for everyone, as our diversity will lead to problems in communication. Therefore, as in Allegory of the Cave (the Matrix for some), it is the responsibility of each individual to take ideas and tools we discover and make them their own, begin your own important journey of discovery, and share it with your family and friends in ways that mean something to them.

We each can occupy where others cannot; we each experience what others cannot. We each can say what others cannot.

We are each invaluable, unique.

 

October 20, 2011

Occupy Art: Against the Machine

“And if I haven’t fought for my country at least I’ll paint for her,” stated Delacroix while painting Liberty Leading the People which helped the diverse groups involved in the French Revolution see themselves as a people united in their efforts against their own 1%. The painting later inspired the gift of the Statue of Liberty to the United States.

Liberty Leading the People

Liberty Leading the People

Because artists, musicians, and creative individuals often shape how we see the world through their own vision, it is important that they participate creatively, lend their voice in imagining our future. Medium can be mightier than all the swords!

banksy

From Street Art to its cousin the mural, poster art or comics, music or performance art — each can communicate what words co-opted by politics and advertising cannot.

 

October 17, 2011

Take a Seat! : Those who fast outside the house of thieves

Another related tactic of civil disobedience is the Sit-in, which Wikipedia says Mohandas Gandhi may have borrowed from the Indian principle of Dharma where a person fasted outside the home of someone who owed them a debt.

While the Occupy movement has generally chosen to demonstrate in public spaces, the Sit-in tactic has often been employed in semi-public spaces (segregated restaurants in the past, but banks might be ideal today). Individuals across the country might consider employing other tactics in conjunction and support of the ongoing Occupy efforts.

 

Bailouts:

October 16, 2011

Flash Occupancy

As in the game of Go, it is easier to surround an opponent, thus gaining their territory, if they only choose to occupy finite corners of the board. In fact, this is the only manner in which the 1% may appear to surround and hold the liberties of the 99% . . .

Liberties cannot be taken, they’re always given.

Sieges are often won by the force that lasts, as they’re logistically difficult to maintain. Within the history of civil resistance encampments often have been broken, such as at Ludlow or the tent camps of the Bonus Army, but their impact has resonated beyond their isolated corners.

The occupancies that are occurring today are unprecedented, yet benefit from a strategy that served the Freedom Riders, in that coast to coast, or worldwide,  all our hopes are not ultimately invested in the success or failure of one specific action or location. The aim is for a tipping point.

Occupy Flash Mobs

An innovative new tactic in civil resistance is the Smart Mob (Flash Mob), wherein a smaller group of activists is covertly dispatched to stage a coordinated creative action at a specific public or semi-public location within a comparatively brief window of time. The advantages of this tactic, used in support of the ongoing Occupy actions, would be that would allow the temporary occupancy of a larger territory of the social and physical landscape, better facilitating a GO strategy of expanded influence (corner, side, and then the center of the board).

 

If each action of these individual Smart Mobs, creative Flash Protests was YouTubed, then their viral value would be more important than their brief physical existence. And the more artfully they’re done and entertaining, the more they might virally pierce the media blockade, and spread awareness of specific issues.