An open space for global conversation
I would like to use our Monday Vital Conversation Cafe Call as a setting to explore the intersection of these two movements. We might even broaden the scope beyond Transition to include permaculture, climate and other related movements.
If this interests you, please contribute your thoughts here. We could start by identifying initiatives, gatherings and conversations that have already taken place or are in the works, such as the one in the UK that Anna Harris attended (or perhaps even helped to convene?). Based on a "map" of the current terrain, we can then consider what might be possible going forward, and perhaps also how the Cafe can serve to promote such synergies.
Lengthy? This is a sound bite coming from you, Mark! And I like what you're saying to boot. Except for the part about "NVC types" trying to block things, but lets's not start that whole conversation up again here!
Excuse me? C.A., did you just say "So lets ease in to an approach that builds the police and army on our side?"
Homeland Security has identified Occupy as a threat. All military and law enforcement come under Homeland Security. If individuals come over to our side, they forfeit their jobs, their careers, their paychecks (which means their homes, cars, health insurance, and pensions, among other things), and become subject to the same organized state violence as Occupiers.
Despite that reality, it is indeed possible for individual military troops and police officers to be on our side, and many are. But not "the police and army." Those are not individuals. Those are institutions. State institutions.
We can't get state institutions on our side unless the state itself is on our side. In our case, we are the 99% and the state is on the side of the 1% that funds them. In fact, the Constitution was written to ensure that the 1%, or as the Framers put it, those who own the country, would always rule it.
Instead of "more tangible and pithy phrases," why not go for phrases that make sense?
Occupy is non-political, or at least it started out that way. Many Occupies have been co-opted by well-funded and well-organized political forces, but the original intent was direct democracy, not politics as usual.
New people need to evaluate if what we're saying makes sense or not. If we try to gain support by catering to the lowest common denominator, the way that political parties do, we'll end up sunk down in the mud where they are.
Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton types react violently against innocent little sleeping babies if they think it will bring in more defense contracts and benefit their stock portfolios. They aren't reacting to provocations, they often send in their death squads to create provocations where none exist so that they can start more wars and get more defense contracts.
If a focus on core ideas of change is so intense that it loses contact with reality, it won't bring about real change in the real world. Having compassion in our hearts and acting from compassion is beautiful and worthwhile, but it hasn't stopped a single drone bomb. In fact, many people who believe themselves to be compassionate, vote to delegate the power to decide whether or not to use drone bombs, to a government that hasn't shown any compassion for the innocent babies it bombs, since they are merely unimportant collateral damage. Compassion has to stem from caring, and if you don't care if your government kills babies, because that's the government's responsibility, not yours, you have no compassion.
Of course I can distinguish between the influence of Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney, C.A.
Dick Cheney is no longer in office and no longer has much power or influence. Hillary is Secretary of State in the current administration and has a lot of power and influence. US government violence both at home and abroad has increased drastically. Bush and Cheney were moderates with fewer wars and smaller bailouts. Obama and Hillary are extremists with more wars and bigger bailouts. Anyone can see that. Why do you ask? Isn't that a bit off topic?
Okay, maybe I'm stupid, C.A., but I don't see how foreign policy approaches or governance of the United States in general by puppets of the military-industrial complex and the big corporations, has anything to do with making Occupy, or more specifically, Occupy Cafe work, or with expanding the scope of OC. I think making Occupy and OC work is our responsibility--something that we have to do ourselves. I think if we delegate such important decisions and responsibilities to government officials, it means that we are apathetic, irresponsible, and heartless. But if you think that Hillary or Cheney can do it for us, and that Hillary would do a better job than Cheney, why don't you explain your thinking and tell us why your preferred political party or candidates would be more likely to help, or at least allow Occupy to work, as oposed to other political parties or candidates. I'd suggest that it be a separate topic, but that's up to you. Do you think that we should ask Hillary, Obama, or other members of the 1% for suggestions?
Is this what you are referring to C A?
Consulate General of the United States of America in Rio de Janeiro
Secretary Clinton Launches New Financing Mechanism to
Increase Clean Energy Investment in Africa
Rio de Janeiro, June 21, 2012 - At the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce Friday the launch of a new financing mechanism for clean energy. The announcement will be made in conjunction with Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The mechanism plans to align different types of U.S. financial support to catalyze higher levels of private sector investment in clean energy projects, primarily in Africa.
Some journo had better ask about the prior scams by Washington, e.g. Clinton's 2009 promise of a $100 billion Green Climate Fund; or Gore's 1997 promise that in exchange for carbon trading, the US would endorse the Kyoto Protocol.
C.A., the primary focus of OC is doing good. I know that micro-gradations of evil are extremely important to you, and that you'd prefer to focus on politics as usual than on change, but some of us would prefer to focus on change.
I'm not saying that Hillary is as bad as Cheney. Cheney didn't promote as many wars, wasn't complicit in as large bailouts, and although he may have wanted to, didn't accomplish as much evil as Hillary has.
What I'm saying is, and please listen carefully, that delegating power to the 1% is not a core concept I'd like to see OC focus on.
I don't care which war criminal is a bit more or a bit less evil than another war criminal, I don't think that the goals of OC can be achieved by focusing on war criminals. I don't think that trying to elect a less evil war criminal instead of a more evil war criminal should be a goal, focus, or even topic of discussion on OC.
Some of us are opposed to war. Just because the Democrats have started more wars than the Republicans, doesn't mean we are going to vote for Republicans because they start fewer wars. Republicans also start wars, albeit fewer wars, and those of us who are opposed to war are opposed to both Democratic and Republican wars. We don't believe that the fact that Bush and Cheney drone-bombed fewer babies than Obama and Hillary, is a reason to support any of them.
I don't suppose that I can possibly communicate with you, no matter what I say, because I've had many decades of experience with lesser evil voters and political operatives, and they all keep repeating the same scripts. I don't want to discuss politics as usual with you here or anywhere. I don't value having this discussion with you and I wish it wasn't necessary. There are plenty of political websites where you can discuss political candidates.
What I will say is that if you were in prison, and the guards gave you a choice between being put into a cell with a cellmate who had killed seven people, or a different cell with a cellmate who had only killed four people, I'm sure you would be grateful to be able to choose the cellmate who had only killed four people, because that one is obviously less evil than the other one. What you may not realize in making that selection, is that both potential cellmates are contract killers who work for the same crime syndicate, and that the only reason that one killed fewer than the other is because they joined the syndicate more recently. You also might not be aware that the one who killed fewer people is jealous of the reputation of the one who killed more people, and is hoping for a chance to kill more people to catch up--even if it means killing people without getting paid to do so, as reputations can be very important in prison.
My advice to you and to all those who believe in the importance of lesser evilism is to stay out of prison. You don't understand the system and you don't understand how systems shape people's behaviors. I'd suggest that you read Philip Zimbardo's book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, but since it won't help you pick up chicks or register voters, I don't think you'll look at it.
I feel that we have "an OC culture issue" emerging here. Not in your disagreements with C.A. but in the way you are choosing to express them. If I'm in C.A.'s shoes (and I have been during past exchanges with you), I'm feeling disrespected.
Zingers like "since it won't help you pick up chicks or register voters, I don't think you'll look at it" are judgmental evaluations of someone else's character or thinking. I request that we all refrain from such judgment. No judgment, no blame.
Also, I request that we refrain from giving advice, even when asked. That's hard to do, and even counter-intuitive for many of us (it was for me when I first encountered the concept of an "advice free zone). However anything less is, in my view, a form of patriarchy.
Rather than leaping into debate when someone offers ideas you dislike, what if you empathized with them? What if it was more important to be connected with that person as a fellow human being with their own gifts and brilliance, struggling as we all are to find the most meaningful way to offer them in service to the greater good? That doesn't mean we have to agree, or even be "sweet" or "nice." We can (and must!) be real. And we can (and must!) be compassionate and empathic.
You might want to link up with these guys.
That's terrific, Anna, thank you! I hope OC does link up with Reclaim America.
I find it exciting and inspirational to see the potential for Occupies and Occupy Cafe to learn from and network with others who have the common goal of creating alternative economies to heal and build.
This is practical, constructive, and a good way to focus our energy.
What Mark said! Woot woot! Do you have a contact person, Anna?
No contact given, only a date for the call (Sun Jun 24 2012 4:00pm PT / 7:00pm ET - 1 hour) and invitation to register with Maestro conference