Over ten days ago on Twitter, I was saying that the criticism that the #OccupyWallStreet protest “needed a message” in its early days was nonsense. Americans, nay, most citizens of the world already knew what the message was.And that message was this:
“The 99% have a very big problem, and the 1% better address that problem soon, or things are going to get pretty ugly for everyone.”
Nope, the problem was definitely not the message. Not then, and not now. This Occupy Wall Street wake-up call to America is really so very clear and simple, this just-released video shows just how easy it is to get that message out. (I continue below the fold after you’ve watched it.)
See? Messages are easy!
Blog posts, tweets, and videos like this are a snap for anyone who knows the problem. And there’s a lot of those around, and soon they will be making hundreds if not thousands of such expressive message pieces all over the world. In fact, they probably made 100 of them as I typed this sentence.
And they should. But messaging about the problem is merely messaging about the problem.
Messages about the problem are not messages about the solution
The much bigger hurdle #OWS (and all of us) face is the problem of building bridges between the expressions of the message, and the policies and laws that can be enacted to respond to the messages in a free and still modestly democratic society. And that is an outcome that most mature citizens that I know still value highly, and would like to see evolve to respond to this challenge. They don’t want to toss the baby of civilization out with the bathwater of global corporatism.
Change is good. Too much change is a Mad Max movie, and not everyone looks good in rich dystopian leather.
The long term solution (and even if the short term, if you get off your asses and drag people to vote-in some real change candidates), is to @OccupyCongress. Unless you have a better near-term legislative body with it’s own military that we need to hear about, it remains our most immediate path to building a new tomorrow with the tools which our ancestors died building for us yesterday.
And if you think just @OccupyWallSt or even an @OccupyCongress movement can produce lasting revolution and social justice on a broad scale? Well, you might want to look into present day Egypt for another kind of wake up call.
It’s all pretty easy on paper and via Twitter and Facebook. But making civilization work using actual civilizations is a whole lot trickier.
Agree or disagree with their concept and tactics, the Occupy protests are gaining momentum, and are going to be around, and growing, whether you, me or Goldman Sachs approves of them. So I think it's important that people know what their process is. It's really rather fascinating. Those familiar with open source software communities will recognize the ideas of Consensus, Consent, Stand asides, Objections, Block, etc. The video is long, but it really is worth viewing in its entirety, to fully grasp what works and doesn't.
Please see my discussion following the video.
Those familiar with democracy will recognize the problems of holding such assemblies on a city, state, or national level. You'd need "representatives" to attend them. And dang it all, those are so hard to appoint by consensus in some accountable way. It's been tried. Many times.
Thus, GAs, as they are known, useful on small scales for some kinds of actions or ordinances (like that one above), are lovely exercises in what we might call, a pre-representative democracy.
In practical usage, those often lead to the need for some form of representative democracy, often called a republic. You remember those, right? They're kinda like the United States of America before someone broke it.
As things progress…
I will be blogging more of these concept posts as this movement gains steam. I was a skeptic, then a skeptical believer, and now I am a skeptical critic interested in helping the people of America, and the #OWS expression of rage, to find constructive missions and goals that might dovetail with the larger republic in which we are all pretty invested. Then it will either influence our debates and future, or perish into history as just another footnote of fail by those who felt it easy to casually change a system that was designed to resist change—no matter how much it needs to. I sincerely hope it will be the former.
@shoq: IN THE END, contempt doesn't make laws, and rage won't govern nations. The final frontier must be @OccupyCongress. #ows #p2 #tcot