Monday, 24 October 2011

Occupy: Out with the old, in with the new

I'm happy to say that since my last post Occupy Edmonton is doing very well. Edmonton (and the whole world) showed tremendous support tonight. I dare say Occupy Edmonton is nearing the amount of critical mass it needs to carry forward as a major movement. But where to?

All around the world it seems this is becoming the next big question: What is next for the Occupy movement? Will they start political parties? Will they make demands? I've been thinking about it for sometime from a theoretical point-of-view.

Some of the people who I talked with might remember me saying that ending compound interest for instance might be a good demand. But as this week has gone on I started asking the question 'why should there be demands?' What the people are upset about is obvious. Forcing them to make demands is almost an act of submission in itself, just wrapped in a confidence bow. Sure specifics need to be provided, by why is all of the onus on the people to come up with a credible "societal equitable business plan" and present it to big business/government when they would have us believe they make the big bucks because only they know how to make the big decisions or plan the big plans.

Obviously this stance by the system is completely contradictory. It serves a purpose though, it allows them to play both sides of the field. Say Occupy does make a plan or demands and we present them; it's highly likely the system comes back and says that it had it's "experts" analyze our plan and it simply won't work for one reason or another. When dealing with a systemic issue as large as we are the number of straw-man arguments is endless, there are countless ways we could restructure and everyone has a different idea what that restructuring looks like. Its simple to come up with an argument against any system, as the perfect system is yet to be invented. If no demands are made at all we make an argument for the system in that "we do not know what we want". This isn't desirable either.

So seemingly both avenues are cut off. But wait! There is another!! What if the demand is Occupy itself? Think about it. What if instead of demanding what the people need, the people are actually just doing what the people need? Could our society (for now mostly the U.S. although Canada's turn is coming soon) actually have already reached a point where confidence in the system is so low the people are simply shedding it?

Look at the U.S. right now, Occupy tent cities everywhere. They are beginning to turn into miniature self-governed communities. If these continue to grow.. what significance is the government anyway? If the government can't take care of the people and is just a revolving door and shell game with the banks, what good is it? What service exactly is it providing?

This week it occurred to me that the world just might have been looking in the wrong spot. While we were sitting and waiting for demands, we witnessed the birth of a globally supported, internet based governing system. A system based on direct democracy and consensus.

Lets be honest here and admit society is collapsing, and everything is not ok. As a society we have neglected and underestimated many fundamentals to life which have been lost in our current standard of living. Perhaps without even realizing it the human race is already adapting for the inevitable low-energy future just around the corner.

Katie from OccupyYEG says "As one voice, and one individual I am proud to state, I am a part of the Occupy Revolution. I will not stand silent, I will not relocate and I will not give up. We do not have hope, we are hope."

Maybe more than she even knows.


  1. This is awesome. Just read it to a few people here in the camp and we are all impressed and in agreement with this.

  2. Richard, I think you've stumbled upon the great secret about Occupy. It's not just a way to run a social movement. It's a way to run... a whole society.

    I think that it takes a kind of decentered and organic mentorship to make it happen. I always say that most of our social training teaches us to be good at being individuals, and stunts us at acting collectively. It'll take much time to make us be really good at both — which is exactly why the revolution isn't built in a day, and Occupy (and Occupy Edmonton) often seems "ramshackle." (Here's hoping direct democracy, horizontal coordination, and personal accountability wins out at the camp.)

    Also, I'm the "Rob" your friend handed your 'request by proxy' to. Hi!