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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some Animals are More Equal Than Others

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement is spreading, even overseas.  Thus, it is attracting a lot of media attention.  As we all know, this is a movement of pure democracy, with no leaders, or so they themselves say.

Over at the Instapundit we have this note:
Michael Ubaldi emails: “The Occupation movement is doing for anarchist theory what the Obama administration has done for European-style socialism: put all the myths festering on college campuses over two decades to the test so the world can watch them falter utterly.”
Now that is interesting.

And couple it with the first President of modern Poland, Lech Walesa, electing not to go.  He apparently didn't like the people who seemed to be in charge of this grand organization that has no leadership.  In the words of Adam Andrzejewski of Andrew Breitbart's Big Government:
He is not comfortable with the “organizations” behind the movement.
Hat tip to the Althouseblog.

But, back at the Instapundit we have a link to this article New York Magazine, which talks about the OWS organization.

Early in my days in Catholic Charismatic Renewal I listened to a tape (cassette tapes were the blogs of the day, back in the 1960s and 1970s) in which the speaker noted that in any prayer group that claimed to be lead solely by the Holy Spirit, and not by man, to pay attention and the human leaders would soon stand out.  And so it has become with OWS.  Here is what Professor Glenn Reynolds quoted from the magazine article:
All occupiers are equal — but some occupiers are more equal than others.  In wind-whipped Zuccotti Park, new divisions and hierarchies are threatening to upend Occupy Wall Street and its leaderless collective. . . .

Facilitators spearheaded a General Assembly proposal to limit the drumming to two hours a day. “The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out,” said Lauren Digion, a leader on the sanitation working group.

But the drums were fun.  They brought in publicity and money.  Many non-facilitators were infuriated by the decision and claimed that it had been forced through the General Assembly.

“They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music,” said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia.  “The GA decided to do it … they suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”

To Shane Engelerdt, a 19-year-old from Jersey City and self-described former “head drummer,” this amounted to a Jacobinic betrayal.  “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest,” he said.  “They didn’t even give the drummers a say … Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement. Look around: This is dead, you need a pulse to keep something alive.”

The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips.  “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt.  “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting.”

All belongings and money in the park are supposed to be held in common, but property rights reared their capitalistic head when facilitators went to clean up the park, which was looking more like a shantytown than usual after several days of wind and rain.  The local community board was due to send in an inspector, so the facilitators and cleaners started moving tarps, bags, and personal belongings into a big pile in order to clean the park.

But some refused to budge. A bearded man began to gather up a tarp and an occupier emerged from beneath, screaming:  “You’re going to break my f***ing tent, get that s**t off!”  Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.
It will be interesting to see how OWS evolves, especially as the winter approaches.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The Jacobins were identified with the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.  Originally moderate, they moved to the use of force to impose their own ideas and to prevent counter-revolution.  With the death of Robespierre, a leader, the Jacobin Club went away.


Craig H said...

It's always entertaining when idealists who believe people can govern themselves without any other structure than majority popular voting find out the hard way that as groups grow, bullies always emerge, many times by necessity to get things done. Or, put another way--Republicanism is yet one more beautiful brilliance chosen for us by our founders.

Now are you willing to concede a point about the TP having its own not-so-invisible hands?

Anonymous said...

Of course there are, as you put it, invisible hands at work in the TP. That is simply part of group dynamics...ANY group. Doesn't make the TP "bad," only normal. I think what Cliff.....and certainly I argue is that the underlying philosophy of the TP "movement" is attractive if not compelling. NOW...where the current and emergent "not-so-invisible hand" take the "movement"....publicly....remains to be seen.

"Democratic Party" thought is not all bad, nor is that of the Republican Party. But in every group there are folks who always go to the extreme in order to impose their own personal agenda on the rest....and to do that...they must exclude everything that the opposing group holds as "truth."

Fact is.....the ideal is a mix of both dirty little camps. Just the same as there IS a great amount of similarity between the Occupiers and the TP'ers. There is much to admire and embrace in "liberalism" and the same applies to "conservatism." I think that is pretty much what drives "independent" voters and perhaps to some degree, in its purest form, the "libertarians."

The only purpose for groups is to advance an agenda...and the agenda always has its roots in the mind of an individual who then seeks others of the same mind....and eventually...out of that group of like minds...comes one crusader who takes the group agenda to its natural extreme.

This is the place that I would suggest that those extremists are our political candidates, but I don't want to give any of them that much credit. I think most political candidates are insecure people who desperately need the fawning attention of others in order to feel "fulfilled." Sad that our greatest "leaders" are simply and profoundly "neurotic."

But then....who isn't?

Jack Mitchell said...

Stupid teabaggers! You should join with OWS.

But, Noooooooooooooooo! You're going to follow the lies puked forth from your corporate feudal masters that liken OWS to the dirty hippie, throw dog poop on returning vets, anti-nuke, black panther loving, ACORN aiding, european socialist following, muslim Kenyan worshiping straw men they have conjured over the last few decades.

Of course, the young are idealists because they don't own anything. Once they become endentured, their vision gets much better.

Stupid, stupid teabaggers!!!!

Some levity.
Some classic video levity.

Jack Mitchell said...

I get lost when Neal and I sorta agree.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jack......

I AM old and set in my ways....but not "indentured"........I still have my own teeth......:>)))

Anonymous said...

This just in (well...sort of):

An article this morning written by, Douglas E. Schoen a political strategist. His most recent book is "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System" published by Harper

"Occupy Wall Street ... Demands Group has put forward their agenda...

The core essence of their proposals involve $1.5 trillion in new revenue to create 25 million public sector jobs paying union wages, free public transportation, free university education, a single payer health care system and other initiatives.

They also favor "reappropriating our business structures and culture, putting people and the earth before profit."

Further, they want to end free trade, spend a trillion additional dollars on environmental programs, and forgive all debt."

Read more:

C R Krieger said...

To Kad's point as comment number one, I am sure that there is money flowing to the big Tea Party events.  I just don't see it flowing to local gatherings and demonstrations down at the Greater Lowell Tea Party level.  I say that having put my money in the cookie jar to help move things along for the GLTP.

Given how OWS seems to be all big events and few local events, I sense that they are, to a greater degree, getting money to sustain themselves, and media advice.

I am sure that Barbara, when she took over from Sandi, would have loved to have had a lot of outside resources, although not control.  Didn't happen.

Some argue that OWS and the local Tea Parties are two sides of the same coin.  To the degree that they think things are messed up in DC, I agree.  However, they don't seek the same solutions, to the extent that we know what the OWS wants.

Is Neal's latest list of OWS demands the real list?  We have been down this road before.

As a side note, do I need to buy Neal lunch somewhere here in the Lowell area (not Wednesdays) and show him how to do imbedded links.  If others would like to help me pay for lunch at Chili's or some other eatery of their recommendation, EMail me.

Regards  —  Cliff