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I spent some time going through different Occupy Wall Street websites and reading about their recent events, protests, workshops, etc.  Although I've reached my conclusions about why social justice movements stall or fail long time ago, analyzing the activities of the different Occupy Wall Street "chapters" only confirm those conclusions.

At one level, there is a lot of great work done by members and supporters of the movement.  There are many study groups and research papers about everything from what is ultimately a worldwide global criminal banking enterprise, to local sustainability, food production, housing, non-profit initiatives, social activism, civil disobedience protesting,  and many other topics.

I read about groups earnestly protesting about many different injustices, including illegal foreclosures and evictions, police brutality, homelessness, and workers' rights, among others.  Good people, carrying mainly handwritten signs, and even musical instruments; maracas!--to make some noise.

It breaks my heart... Reading about the litany of abuses, of militarized police forces cum-corporate goons violently removing protesters from public plazas and trashing their belongings.

But what frustrates me the most is that there is so much energy, so much intelligence, so much commitment to social justice, shared by all these passionate activists standing up against oppression and corruption and exploitation--like true sentinels--that in the final analysis is being wasted, misdirected, and most sadly, dissipated by the lack of cohesion, a clear agenda, and discipline.  And understanding about the true nature about the forces we are confronting.

Pick any city in the Occupy Network: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, among many others... The story is very similar.

The governments (town/city, state, federal) have basically turned into racketeering criminal enterprises.  The local "officials" are in bed with local big-business interests in a sort of pay-for-play soft-bribery arrangement where politicians and business leaders and other influential people are constantly meeting in private or at parties and fundraisers, exchanging favors, plotting to acquire more control and power, and money.  Spouses of politicians get lucrative lobbying positions with business organizations and then use their positions in what are clearly insider influence peddling activities.  Politicians and business leaders are constantly going through a revolving door of greed and treason to the concept of public service; once a politicians, then a lobbyist, then a politician again.

This type of precise and systematic endemic corruption is a new phenomena.  Yes, there has always been corruption by the political class and their business owners, but there was always the possibility for good, honest public servants to be in the mix, trying to ameliorate the effects corrupt or unethical politicians.

But the work of the myriad of fascist-like organizations financed mainly by odious, greedy, megalomaniacal billionaires has been very effective in helping develop a new ethos of influence peddling corruption, in a systemic way, very precise, and effective.

Folks, that's how fascism creeps in in a society; it's about shared interests--those of the plutocratic class.  They have the time, the money, the patience, and the ruthlessness to do whatever it takes to subvert democracy, to use their money and power to get what they want.

So, when in San Francisco, or New York, or Seattle, or Portland, people go a protest, and rise their voices against the brutality of the growing corruption and exploitation and subjugation and outright sadism against the poor, who are we trying to reach?  The authorities?  The major of San Francisco, or Oakland?  At this point, these folks, their class, is so caught up in their "reality bubble" that they don't even know what you're talking about--and so they send the militarized police, who has already branded you as a potential terrorist, to brutally suppress your protest; in the name of order.  In the name of the status quo, which by the way works just fine for them.

It works fine for Nancy Pelosi and her husband and their investments and their growing bank accounts, and it works fine for Obama and his family and friends and associates.  It works fine for Major Bloomberg, and for Speaker Bohenner, and for Harry Reid.

It does not work for you.  It does not work for the environment, and sustainability, and peace, for our children.

So what is the solutions?  Well, that's a tall order--to come up with the right answer.  But at least let's try to understand the true nature of what we're against.

It seems to me that "the answer" is complicated, but that if we put the effort to get it, we can do it--together.

So if you agree that there is endemic corruption in our cities, and that politicians are being bribed with favors, and lucrative positions in private industry in a sort of quid pro quo, influence peddling, pay-to-play arrangement, let's then talk about that.

Let's get to the details; every detail; every player.  Let's expose them in San Francisco, and Oakland, and Austin, and Portland.  Then let's communicate that information to the general public; let's make sure that the information is easy to understand and irrefutable.

Then let's remove them, one by one; what does it take to remove them?  Is it money, lot's of money?  How do we do that?  How do we identify true, honest public servants and propel them to public office, with the understanding that they are not to seek special favors, nor enrich themselves or their families and friends using their position as currency.

How do we make sure they behave?  Well, we have to keep an eye on them; that's our job, as citizens.

But right now, the urgent matter at hand is ascertaining how to drain the stinky nauseating entrenched democracy-killing corruption that has spread throughout country like a cancer--with the help of both major political parties, which have become criminal racketeering enterprises.

Information is power!  How do we flush out the relevant information?  Again, how we then communicate the awful corruption to the public?

It seems to me that we'll need a "propaganda" strategy, a clear agenda of how to bring about systemic changes, a way of becoming truly empowered through numbers, resources, clarity, conviction, and discipline, and then flex our muscle in a very powerful way; in a way that engender fear and apprehension in the hearts and minds of the political class that's currently on the take, in their belief that we don't know better.

How do we exact revenge (using democratic peaceful means)?  How do we target the enemy with laser-like precision?

It can be done, but again, we need to have a very clear understanding of our priorities, of the root causes of the corruption, of who is financing the corruption, of who is benefiting from it, of how then to come up with clear strategies, with focus, commitment, relentlessness, zealotry, and cohesiveness, and with a clear and concise agenda.

Let's get to work on it...

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think it's also going to take leaders to make (5+ / 0-)

    it happen. A Samuel Gompers, an MLK Jr., someone (or a few someones) who can focus the efforts. I think it's a fundemental part of human nature that they want to pass some of the responsibility for their possible failures up the chain of command and at the same time feel like they are truly contributing to an effort larger than themselves. I really liked the "nobody leads Occupy" mentality early on but I do think it was part of the problem. Of course the plutocrats are chomping at the bit to attack such a leader (or leaders) if they do appear on the scene. But every great social cause in this country has had its recognizable leaders and I think Occupy (or what ever it becomes) will need them as well. Maybe the Age of Social Media can change that? It hasn't seemed to work at this point.

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:27:00 AM PST

  •  I think the election diverted people for a while (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    for them to deal with the immediate matter at hand - keeping Republicans at bay and out of elected office.

    But, now it's time to get back to focussing and fixing the bigger broader social justice issues that confront the majority of the American people. Very shortly we should find out exactly who is on our side and who is not when the fiscal cliff /debt ceiling agreements are forged.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:54:02 AM PST

  •  It's not revenge, though. (4+ / 0-)

    Let's not look at it that way, as it has such a negative connotation.  It is accountability that we are after.  We need to make them accountable for doing or not doing their jobs, for participating in cronyism (hiring wives, husbands, etc.).  This is not easy, I've tried it and they are merciless on those of us who work to expose their corrupt practices.

    As difficult as it is, it should not be a deterrent.  When I was young, public exposure was the last thing anyone wanted.  Now, there are no negative consequences for bad behavior, so it is rampant.  That needs to change.

    Thank you for your thoughtful diary, Ray.  You nailed it!

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:04:02 AM PST

  •  Was reading Gene Sharp tonight. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Ray Pensador

    (Someone printed out From Dictatorship to Democracy for me) and wanted to google him and learn more. Apparently he's on the website of every major movement for change in the Mideast including Syria. But first I went Dkos and found this diary saying much the same things. Our study group in Portland Or. found that Portland's shortage of funds is due to the creation of urban renewal zones with tax breaks lasting up to 50 years. Contractors get rich. etc.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:11:16 AM PST

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