See Update1

I am not going to go into my entire history of thinking about the Occupy Wall street movement (OWS). It’s too painful and annoying, but I want to get this out. It’s late, I am tired, and this will probably be filled with really bad typos and worse grammar. It’s going to go out anyway. I’ll have the cat edit it in the morning.

After first being contemptuous of what I saw as an ill-conceived vanity protest movement, about ten days ago, I sensed a tipping point in public and global attitude toward the OWS “movement,” and feared it would sweep all of our hard work to rebuild the President’s stature away.

Uncertain of its origins, questioning of its founders, and entirely doubtful of its fundamentals, I was nonetheless disturbed by how dismissive the Progressive community was being toward an expression of anger at what has become, unquestionably, a dysfunctional society that is on the verge of total meltdown. Sure, the kids banging drums and holding up dog-earred signs were disheveled and disorganized, but… they were also quite right.  The system our ancestors built for us has devolved into a vicious plutocratic fireswamp that is consuming almost everything and everyone, and they are damned  right to be scared and angry about it. We should ALL be scared and angry about it.  And at least they were doing what mainstream progressives should have done years ago: taken this fight to the streets.

But I was also conflicted. I know the value of organization and planning. I know the value of messaging. I know the value of inclusiveness and pluralism, and I also know that anarchist societal modeling is fun theory to talk about over coffee, but as a practical matter, its track record at governance is exactly nothing.  After poking around for 10 days, I came to the realization that the structural deficiencies of this “organization” were enormous. Not the logistics of the protesting; that was actually being handled fairly well. But rather, they had no real collaborative scheme to craft any kind of substantive policy goals or legislative missions. There was just no there there. It was, in the words of @JAMeyerson, “all about creating the crisis” and “letting *them* solve the problem.” (Them, I assumed, being the very people who had destroyed our country in the first place. Just not my first choice of fixers.)

Whether it had any real chance of success or not, I felt there would be three primary outcomes.  It would either peter out and die quickly, or reach a take-off point where it would be in a position to hurt of help Obama’s re-election effort.  The latter was something that I feel must happen, or such protests may never be likely to happen again. Call that hyperbole if you wish, but I believe it. This right wing has virtually no respect for people or precedent, and they won’t give total voter suppression a second thought from here on out. A second-term Obama veto is the ONLY chance we have of mitigating what is almost certainly going to be a Republican Senate. We may not have solutions to anything yet, but losing control of that body to these quite insane Republicans would be like trying to fix a hole in the hull of a sinking boat by first widening the hole.

And yes, while it was helping the President’s re-election, it might also popularize some really good policy ideas which I’ve advocated for a long time, including campaign reform, financial reform, a short term capital gains tax, a stock share sales tax, and a return to a far more progressive income tax

Until Van Jones and Natalie Foster revealed the amount of planning that had gone into the Rebuild The Dream movement, I really had little faith in our fragmented Left doing much of anything by November of 2012, that could save the White House or the Senate.  Ironically, just a few days before they did reveal it at the Takeback11 conference, I decided to get involved with #ows and see if this “movement” was really as open and pluralistic as they were suggesting it was, and whether we could channel all that anger and energy in a productive way toward re-electing the President and enough progressives to actually reboot the nation.

Since I quickly learned that they needed server capacity at Occupywallst.org, I was able to get my friends at @alternet to underwrite it.  Doing this, and other good deeds for them, let me see some of the inner workings a bit closer up, and try to approach things as any good faith supporter might.

And I did see some good things. I saw an interesting process of formless, leaderless organizing, that, as with the Open Source Software community from whence it came, achieve some pretty interesting results in some cases. But I also so endless layers of disorganization and fail, and a Pollyanna vision of the world that seemed to suggest that revolution would be as simple as a first session of Angry Birds on an Ipad. I knew better.

Then came the John Lewis video. I had made many apologies thus far, but how in the fuck could anyone with any capacity to forge solutions or coalitions, not get that John Lewis wasn’t just another politician they could mute with their “no top down hierarchical leadership icons ever” dictum. He was the closet thing to a role model living today when it comes to  organizing and protesting for change. What the hell were they thinking?

And the disrespect of Lewis wasn’t even as hard to take as the uncomfortable squirminess I felt at the chanting and pop-psychobabble cum empowerment training seminar gooblygook I was hearing in this “General assembly.” While watching it, I was struck by just how unscalable the model really was. I mean, if it took six minutes to decide if one man should speak, what if there had been 50? And what if all of Atlanta wanted to be at this assembly? That couldn’t work, right? So they’d need “representatives.” And that would be like… like… a legislature! OMG! A “Congress.”

While all this is going on, my trusted “liberal friends” were abandoning me, because they felt I betrayed them by “cheerleading” for an angst-ridden, pro-left-pimped fantasy revolution without a chance in hell of doing anything but firing up the Paulites, the Fedbusters, and the general cadre of anti-government types who might completely undermine Obama and the chances of saving a Democratic senate with their amorphous concepts of a sleep-over rebellion.

Perhaps my friends were right all along. But I don’t do group think, and I could not know more unless I looked further. That’s just the way I approach everything. I am loathe to condemn things which I don’t understand. So I did look, and what I saw was not completely weak, but that is not the same as being very strong. Most disturbing?  While quite cordial and pleasant, the people were not particularly open, nor eager to explore alternative ideas for approaching our problems. They were mostly… well.. anarchists. And they do what most anarchists do:  they aspire, while sounding as if all human problems can be solved with enough seminars, high-minded theories which are not open to debate, a lot of personal self-actualization, and far too much economic hooey.

Long story short? I am now of the opinion that while I sympathize with the anger and frustration of the protesters, their chances of success are so spotty, that I am just going to wish them luck, and move on to what I feel are more productive interests, such as trying to get the President’s Jobs Act past, pushing to interest progressive billionaires in rebuilding our infrastructure, and preventing these insane Republicans form gobbling up what is left of my country.

I will focus my energies on the political process I still have some faith in. I will continue to support the 99%, as I always have, but do it by helping Van Jones and the more conventional players who are working tirelessly to change the system from within the system.

I have spent my life feeling that such change is possible without first completely burning down the house. I am not going to sell out that conviction, nor lose all my friends, over an intriguing, but ultimately romantic effort that seems to only capture anger in a bottle, but does not yet, and may never have a message to cap it with. I will not oppose them, but nor will I endorse them. I will simply watch them, cheer for my country,  and defend anyone’s right to be heard in what remains of this fetid Democracy.

I am sorry this journey has been so unpleasant for my friends who may not  always understand my process, and whom I may have been less than diplomatic with, as my views and insights fluctuated with my experience. I hope we can all get past it and be friends again.

If things change, I will do what I have done all of my life: change my mind once again to fit the practical or moral dictates of the moment, as it happens, or as my conscience insists.

Thank you all for the support so many have shown me. I can only hope to repay you half as much in time.

Shoq

Update 1

As I said, I wrote this quite late. I imply above that the lack of clear policy goals and messaging were big issues for me. They never were. In fact, I defended OWS quite strongly in that regard. I do believe their primary role is to make a lot of noise, serving as that proverbial alarm clock to wake the 99%, and progressive America which aspires to serve them from their slumbers. But that doesn’t mean they can just leave all the policy making sausage to someone else and walk away. Because in fact, that’s simply telling the status quo “you made a fucking mess. Now please fix it with a bigger fucking mess.”

It’s politically immature to assume a serious movement can only be about the problem, and abdicate the solutions to some unseen force in the universe. So while they don’t need specific prescriptions for remedy, they should absolutely have clear ideas about what form the discussion to find them might take.

  • https://www.facebook.com/rachelcdodd Rachel Dodd

    I
    think the OWS protesters MUST define SUCCESS if it is to occur. I
    believe everyone, both left and right, agree that change is a
    requirement and that change must occur NOW! But who, what, where, when,
    and how, WILL be defined at some point by someone and my hope and
    efforts will be toward…..well, uh, I haven’t defined it yet!

  • Lucia Jameson

    Thank you. Excellent post that helped me solidify what was bothering me about OWS.

  • http://twitter.com/BobberDC Bob Rouse

    These have been my feelings as well. While I agree with the anger and the fact that they are taking action, it will go nowhere unless they can funnel that energy into productive action, which means legislation. The problem has been created by legislation (or a lack of it), and – in a nation of laws – only legislation can fix it. “Shame” will not work.

    There is also the need for clarity and a point-of-contact for their messaging. The media has delighted in showing various protesters voicing their pet peeves that are all over the map. If they don’t define themselves, their concerns, and their desired outcomes, then someone else will do it – likely the right-wing (and we all know how good they are at framing the message to their advantage).

    Anarchy and/or pure democracy can work on a small local level, but on a national level with a nation as large as the US is impossible. Here’s hoping they choose pragmatism over purism. 

  • Us

    Sometimes that amount and kind of growth and maturity (ie, evolution) takes more time than you want it to take – ask your mom (she’ll tell you how that works). And remember: “out of chaos comes pattern recognition”. Patience.

  • Barry45

    I like that the group in DC got violent. I wish more violence would come out of OWS. I think that is the only way people will listen. There might come a time very soon where we have to start killing people to make our point.

    • Anonymous

      “There might come a time very soon where we have to start killing people to make our point.”

      If you really think that’s going to aid the cause….then you’re insane.

  • Barry45

    I like that the group in DC got violent. I wish more violence would come out of OWS. I think that is the only way people will listen. There might come a time very soon where we have to start killing people to make our point.

  • Huladeb

    Maybe you could start “your better world” by not calling people names. Teabagger is a pejorative term, and no one I have ever seen at a Tea Party deserves that. They have a right to protest and state their views just like you. The big difference is we don’t occupy, we assemble. We obey laws. We would never think we could use the bathrooms of a nearby business to bathe in. We didn’t get arrested – we were actually complimented by police. We don’t leave trash and stench behind.

    What kind of people do you want to be? Because if you lack civility and morals, the government you influence cannot be any better.

  • Anonymous

    This historic occurrence is a near infinite set of potentials. A shame to see this sub-set of positive influence on it wane.

  • Anonymous

    Superb piece. thank you so much

  • http://machopineapple.wordpress.com Christopher

    So what really happened with John Lewis? I googled it but the only places characterizing it as a snub are Big Government, Stop The ACLU, Human Events, and Hot Air (Sample Headline: “Finger-Waving, Child-Like Protestors Refuse to Allow Left-Wing Congressman to Address Crowd”). CNN mentioned that he wasn’t able to speak, but he doesn’t sound too upset about the incident either: http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/09/us/occupy-wall-street/ 

    “Lewis said he visited the rally near his Atlanta office “to lend my support and to encourage the people because I support their efforts all across America.” He was unable to speak to the crowd, he said, but not because he was refused. Lewis said the group told him he could speak after they finished their business, but that he had to leave.”

    I’m not all that gung ho about the #OWS crowd. I’d have more respect for them if they were a little less wary of being “co-opted” by sympathetic lawmakers and more wary of being co-opted by professional media showboaters like Michael Moore, but I like some of their message like the We Are the 99% thing. It just seems like the incident with John Lewis is a lot of amplified blog and twitter noise without much substance to back it up.

    • Anonymous

      Creative Loafing has a blurb: http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2011/10/08/4092153-photo-of-the-day-john-lewis-at-occupy-atlanta.  I asked @JohnAtlanta if the CL version was true. It says Rep. Lewis didn’t want to speak but was asked to THEN was voted down because of the agenda.  I just tweeted him so no response yet.

      • http://jron.tumblr.com/ jron

        WABE has more than CL, they interviewed him the following day. And @RepJohnLewis has continued to comment. He’s been nothing but supportive of occupyatlanta and understanding of the slowness of leaderless direct democracy in a movement. And I agree w the source of the outrage; it’s an attempt to foist the TPers horrible treatment of Lewis & Clyburn –the spitting, namecalling, and immense disrespect from last year–onto the occupy protesters, and it’s unsurprisingly succeeding. Whenever I see OccupyAtlanta blasted for the delay, I can’t help but think it’s coming from either wingnuts or suckers.

        Frankly, this group has been far more successful than I imagined they would in shifting the national dialogue. Two weeks ago the only economic stories in the news were about the deficit; the protests have changed that, even as most media derides them as dirty hippies or trustafarians.

    • Walter67

      What happened with John Lewis is racism. That pasty white crowd would not let him speak because he was black.

    • Walter67

      What happened with John Lewis is racism. That pasty white crowd would not let him speak because he was black.

  • GN

    Shoq, I may not be your friend, but I admire you and think that you’re pretty damn wise. 

    The system our ancestors built for us has devolved into a vicious plutocratic fireswamp that is consuming almost everything and everyone…What every single phenomenal human being who has advanced this country understood, as our founding fathers understood, is that this country has always been and will remain a work in progress.  The founders built an imperfect system which made huge and painful concessions to the numerous fireswamps of its day: slavery, Native American genocide, indentured servitude.  I can’t shamelessly compare the experience of high unemployment and endless student loan debt with being forced to exchange labor for free upon fear of death of myself or loved ones, or giving birth to a child sold from me and never to be seen again.  A lot of people had to die in a war to do away with that system, and the problems resulting from it are *still* not resolved…We have to remember where this country has been in order to appreciate the progress of the moment, and have true hope that we can continue to make progress in this country.

  • Anonymous

    Like you and many here I have thoughts that have gone in multiple directions on this. On some level I applaud yet am fearful it will get ugly. I don’t really see any other ending. Everyone is angry, that is understandable. The corporate monster that rules our politics and our lives is massive. In that sense I think OWS is unfocused and probably tackling a too-big target. I don’t appreciate those people who try to dismiss this out-of-hand but at the same time I don’t like trying to defend by GUESSING and surmising what it is about.
    Perhaps the worst part is that the majority of them do not appear to be the voting-type and I am not sure this is going to motivate anyone to make that all-important move to the polls. If anything it could easily have the exact opposite effect: people thinking it is some kind of “statement” to not vote at all. If that happens we can watch the GOP ride off into the sunset with any remaining hopes of a fair and caring society we may still harbour.

  • Anonymous

    Like you and many here I have thoughts that have gone in multiple directions on this. On some level I applaud yet am fearful it will get ugly. I don’t really see any other ending. Everyone is angry, that is understandable. The corporate monster that rules our politics and our lives is massive. In that sense I think OWS is unfocused and probably tackling a too-big target. I don’t appreciate those people who try to dismiss this out-of-hand but at the same time I don’t like trying to defend by GUESSING and surmising what it is about.
    Perhaps the worst part is that the majority of them do not appear to be the voting-type and I am not sure this is going to motivate anyone to make that all-important move to the polls. If anything it could easily have the exact opposite effect: people thinking it is some kind of “statement” to not vote at all. If that happens we can watch the GOP ride off into the sunset with any remaining hopes of a fair and caring society we may still harbour.

  • Lisa

    The AtlantaOWS incident with Rep Lewis points to complete absence of agility, they had a
    perfect opportunity to get visibility with a more diverse
    audience and an ally in the political machine & they blew it.
    Good lord, Rep Lewis is an American hero whose blood was
    spilled in the fight for basic human rights.

  • http://twitter.com/SherrieGG Sherrie GG

    Excellent piece, my friend.  The treatment of John Lewis is what crystallized it for me, too.  There is so much potential here, and it is being frittered away by a movement which has no idea what it wants to move, how to do it and who, rather than their current infatuation with Michael Moore, they think should lead.  Meanwhile, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class is extinct.

    • http://twitter.com/NervyBastard Nervy Bastard

      This, completely. I’ve been watching from my armchair with some skepticism, and was blown away by the self-indulgent self-actualization I witnessed in Atlanta. I was embarrassed for them watching them debate for 10 minutes whether to allow John Lewis to speak. Unless they can find some disciplined leadership that nips this crap in the bud, I fear this will fizzle out.

  • http://twitter.com/BobKincaid BobKincaid

    Ultimately, if there is a solution component to OWS, Shoq, it can’t help but be political. Pitchforks and torches are out. So, too, is the idea of waiting for Wall Street’s Saville Row-suited terrorists to mend their ways. That leaves nothing but politics.

    There’s a reason FreedomWorks, et al. jumped in to manage the TeaBaggers at the first flickering of that gramatically-challenged anger. Unfocused anger leads to no appreciable change.  By co-opting the anger of the ignorant, however, FreedomWorks created a sea change in 2010. 

    It is worth remembering that the so-called Left by definition operates with one foot in a bucket, climbing uphill.  Our side doesn’t have the de facto advantage of an authoritarian streak.  For us, it’s not so much the oft-mentioned metaphor of herding cats.  With an open can of Whiskas, you can get cats moving.  Unfortunately, we’re wrangling butterflies, a signficantly more difficult task. In butterfly-wrangling, it’s far more effective to put the attractions where they can find them on their own.  As such, the Left’s best chance is to put the solutions out where the OWS folks can see them and light on them, and even claim them for their own. 

    The political left, while unlikely to actually be able to co-opt OWS (they’re smarter than TeaBaggers, for starters), needs to go forward by offering solutions that independently address the issues of inequity OWS has raised.

  • http://twitter.com/BobKincaid BobKincaid

    Ultimately, if there is a solution component to OWS, Shoq, it can’t help but be political. Pitchforks and torches are out. So, too, is the idea of waiting for Wall Street’s Saville Row-suited terrorists to mend their ways. That leaves nothing but politics.

    There’s a reason FreedomWorks, et al. jumped in to manage the TeaBaggers at the first flickering of that gramatically-challenged anger. Unfocused anger leads to no appreciable change.  By co-opting the anger of the ignorant, however, FreedomWorks created a sea change in 2010. 

    It is worth remembering that the so-called Left by definition operates with one foot in a bucket, climbing uphill.  Our side doesn’t have the de facto advantage of an authoritarian streak.  For us, it’s not so much the oft-mentioned metaphor of herding cats.  With an open can of Whiskas, you can get cats moving.  Unfortunately, we’re wrangling butterflies, a signficantly more difficult task. In butterfly-wrangling, it’s far more effective to put the attractions where they can find them on their own.  As such, the Left’s best chance is to put the solutions out where the OWS folks can see them and light on them, and even claim them for their own. 

    The political left, while unlikely to actually be able to co-opt OWS (they’re smarter than TeaBaggers, for starters), needs to go forward by offering solutions that independently address the issues of inequity OWS has raised.

    • SteveLeo

      I agree with some liberal causes but just hate liberals because they think they are so much smarter that everyone else. Your post continues to strengthen this belief.

  • http://twitter.com/buybk buythebookcvcom Cass

    You say that the protesters are “creating the crisis” and waiting for others to solve the problem and also that they are anarchists not temperamentally suited to crafting long-term solutions. 

    On the other hand, you have Van Jones, who can definitely stir up a room and who can lead the forging of long-term solutions but who has not vaulted to the front of public consciousness like OWS.

    Yes, it’s a shame that the left can’t be coordinated and efficient in how it deploys its resources, but even the right wasn’t that good right out of the gate. Plus, who would have considered OWS as serious disruption resources until they proved they could be? 

    So instead of blaming OWS for not having the ability to forge solutions, why not just give them credit for stirring things up and let real policy crafters leverage that? 

    And as for the generalists who want to “throw all the bums out” including Obama, let’s start thinking in terms of getting rid of politicians in the order of damage they do to the country and with an electable improvement standing by. That means the first to go would be people like McConnell, DeMint, Coburn, Boehner, Cantor, and Mr. “I never met  a Democrat I wouldn’t put  a secret hold on” Shelby.  If it makes them feel better to put Obama on that list, fine, but he will be way, way down the list because he’s done much more good than harm and more importantly because there is NO electable improvement standing by. In other words, putting Obama on such a list is an empty gesture because nothing will happen by the 2012 election.

    • http://www.angryblacklady.com/ ABL

      “[L]et’s start thinking in terms of getting rid of politicians in the order of damage they do to the country and with an electable improvement  standing by.”

      Brilliant and a great way to make the anti-Obama crowd act in a productive manner.  

  • Anonymous

    You are right. Right now #OWS is, in fact, being run by anarchists. This is something that should scare both sides of the aisle. The kids are a ticking bomb. So much youthful exuberance and angst being funneled into small spaces. It’s only a matter of time before it explodes into something we both will regret. The peaceful left and right have many things in common. These anarchists have nothing in common with us. All they are after is the complete destruction of government. If their little movement isn’t taken over and organized by reasonable a Leftist, we will see far worse things than a little mace here and there. 

    Thanks for your insightful article,#RWNJ who doesn’t want to see violence from #OWS

  • Anonymous

    You are right. Right now #OWS is, in fact, being run by anarchists. This is something that should scare both sides of the aisle. The kids are a ticking bomb. So much youthful exuberance and angst being funneled into small spaces. It’s only a matter of time before it explodes into something we both will regret. The peaceful left and right have many things in common. These anarchists have nothing in common with us. All they are after is the complete destruction of government. If their little movement isn’t taken over and organized by reasonable a Leftist, we will see far worse things than a little mace here and there. 

    Thanks for your insightful article,#RWNJ who doesn’t want to see violence from #OWS

  • http://twitter.com/Butterose Sharon W.

    In some ways this “movement” represents the best of American spirit while at the same time representing the worst of the internet generation spirit. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” is not an emotion that generally leads to solutions. Some people, in trying to be supportive, have advanced the theory that this can be used to register more voters. Nice idea, but doesn’t address the issue of registered voters who simply don’t go to the polls because they’re “too busy”. 

    I was reading yesterday and stumbled on the data that in any given election somewhere between 27% and as much as 50% of REGISTERED voters don’t vote. I can’t see how Occupy Wall Street is going to change that. I also can’t see how they’re going to create jobs, which is where our efforts need to be focused. As a matter of fact, I can’t really see that this movement is going to do much good overall. I can see how it can be subverted by those whose intentions aren’t peaceful. 

    America has issues. Camping out in the street with no agenda which includes solutions for those issues isn’t going to cut it for me. That being said, I climbed up onto a fence with pillows for comfort and will stay there until someone says they’ve found a way to create jobs. At the moment, all I see are supporters attacking those who are asking for clarification of goals. Which makes me tend to shut them out and not listen to them at all. 

  • Miranda

    THIS RIGHT HERE:

    pro-left-pimped fantasy revolution without a chance in hell of doing
    anything but firing up the Paulites, the Fedbusters, and the general
    cadre of anti-government types who might completely undermine Obama and
    the chances of saving a Democratic senate with their amorphous concepts
    of a sleep-over rebellion.
    *gives Shoq a cyber hug*………yes, its tiring isn’t it?

  • http://twitter.com/BlueTrooth Rich Baska

       It is always a strange coincidence that I find myself with not only similar views as you, but similar trajectory in thought regarding politics. Maybe it’s the demographic or maybe it’s the DNA, but I just tweeted a link to the “Third Continental Congress” proposal with the lead-in, “Oh boy” (sarcasm).
        I was “on the fence” then I was “off the fence” in support to a degree. I wasn’t quite sure how to express it, but I did blog it. Then I was confronted with the John Lewis issue. On the one hand, it makes sense to deny any elected official the opportunity to “steer the dialogue”. In the case of John Lewis, the dialogue would immediately shift to the Civil Rights Movement. I’m a thinker, an ideas guy, and I can assure you this leaves OWS open to all kinds of spin and criticism with very little upside. Just as allowing Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich to be perceived as spokesperson and from that point, anything they say will be initially perceived as “endorsed” by the OWS. While I may agree with John Lewis regarding non-violent protest and the struggle, I haven’t always agreed with the strength of his positions on legislation or candidates. My point is, the perceived “snub” actually does fit in with my perspective of OWS as a social, not a political “movement”. But then I realized there is an alternative, a democratic alternative. That being, let ANY elected official speak and join the conversation. And the light bulb went on…
       I started by researching the rumor that Ron Paul was given an opportunity to speak. I didn’t even confirm either way. I just kept thinking the movement is fundamentally exclusive, even though it’s marketed, promoted or propagandized (take your pick) as an inclusive “99%”. I was looking through the OWS forum when I found the “Third Continental Congress” and I finally just laughed and shook my head. It’s an anarchist movement at the core. Sure, they utilize the language of democracy, but it isn’t really democracy they want. They can’t tell you what they want…for a reason.
      When I say “they” I’m referring to the core of the movement, not the additional thousands we recently witnessed. Those are well-intentioned people experiencing and expressing a catharsis. Most of them simply want to wash away the hate of our hyper-partisan government and politics. There’s some blame being tossed around, but it’s mostly a nonpartisan, collective scream of “ENOUGH!”. And I’m fairly certain there are more Americans that will express themselves through OWS. But I’m equally certain that the numbers will not be sustained. As people “cleanse” themselves with a day of protest, they won’t be returning at a high enough rate to offset attrition. It is still a useful “event” as it provides the opportunity for cleansing and serves as a reminder of the importance of being engaged and taking action. Action…like voting. And that has to be the focus for 2012.
       Does this mean I’m “anti-OWS”? No. I still see the positive as greater than the anarchist roots. It’s still possible that the anarchist foundation could give way to a Liberal, political Leadership as well. Anarchists are fundamentally handicapped at leading “organizations”, so it stands to reason that the “movement” will either be taken over or fall into bankruptcy of spirit. There is a concern, of course, that Pro-Left opportunists could position themselves to take up the torch and “the brand”. This is something we all should be aware of and protect against, in my opinion. Should I see any indication that the “anti-Obama emoprogs” have commandeered this rudderless ship, at that point I become “anti-OWS”.