An open space for global conversation
One of the appeals of this movement, and perhaps one its challenges as well, lies in its diversity. Occupy Cafe is a space for all views to be aired. Whether you're a full or part time Occupier, a general supporter of the movement, or simply interested in discussing what is going on, we want to hear your thoughts.
What is the Occupy movement to you and why do you care? Have you been touched or moved in some way by what is happening? Does it make you angry or afraid? Inspired and hopeful? Dazed and confused?
I guess inspired and hopeful and a little dazed as well. Perhaps not so much confused. My inspiration comes from the diversity, from the widespread, leaderless but connected aspect of the movement. My hope is that Occupy could become a healthy movement and not just one more dysfunctional organization.
An article in the online version of the Cincinnati Enquirer caused me to recall the book "The Starfish and The Spider -- The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations." A couple of links about the book:
In the Enquirer article, this is the quote that got me going down the path to the Starfish and the Spider.
"Turning a protest into an organization requires making choices," said John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. "An organization of people who can make choices and stick to those choices needs to emerge. To sustain itself, it has to have leadership."
Later on in the article:
"Ironically, Green said, the best model for the Occupy movement may be the group many see as their ideological opposite: the Tea Party."
I certainly hope not I would not like to see the Occupy movement follow the Tea Party and become a compromised organization funded by the wealthy and powerful. Let it emerge as an unstoppable, leaderless organization -- or for me, more accurately, an unstoppable organization in which leadership flows organically to the person and place where it is needed. Something truly alternative.
Food for thought: The Church of The Savior in Washington, D.C.
W.L. Grace, the makers of Gore Tex
How am I dazed? Well, it's just a little overwhelming to me at this time. This really could be the start of something big. Really, really big.
Thanks for the thoughts, Eric! Great to have you with us, not only for your insight, but also for your skills as a host and with MaestroConference.
As Peter Block says, leadership is convening. By that measure, I'd say the the Occupiers are doing a pretty good job so far.
Thank you Eric...I downloaded the book...it looks great...and thank you for your insights as well...
The movement is an awakening/enlivening for which I wished and worked. It's a shift of attention from empty promises to human being that may responsibly and reliably deliver what fosters social and ecological well-being, and truly satisfies.
How could I not care about it?
I am excited to be part of a group planning a local (Boise) occupation in support of the original OWS mission. I want to join the national conversation about how to increase our relevancy and affect changes in the way big business and Congress conduct their affairs. Ultimately, I would like to see FDR's Second Bill of Rights passed as a constitutional amendment.
OWS is a good counter-balance to the so-called Tea Party movement which is obviously funded by Big Corporations and fueled by Corporate media more specifically the Fox News Network. Why is it that when people question the powers given to corporations by Republican and Democratic politicians there is suddenly a news blackout ? It is so obvious that the Establishment's interests are directly in converse with the OWS. It took a month for the media to cover the OWS and in the meantime thousands have already been arrested for merely exercising their freedom of expression, freedom to peaceably assemble and freedom of speech.
Its a good thing we have the social networks, otherwise the OWS like the opposition to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be silenced by the media. As one great reformer put it, "Civil disobedience is NOT the problem. Obedience is the problem." When people see injustice and are paralyzed by fear to do something about it, that, in a democracy is a problem.
OWS should stay unfettered by the influence of political parties and vested interests, it should always be on guard against parties/entities that wish to use the movement to advance their narrow agenda. More power to the occupiers all over the world !
Hi Ben, et al.
Eric, Thank you for the book recommendation. I just bought it and look forward to reading it.
I am very excited about the OWS phenomenon primarily because it seems to be emerging as both functional AND leaderless. That to me is key. If we can improve functionality and maintain leaderlessness, our best human nature may rise to consensus delivery that both exhibits the best of human nature and considers the perspectives of all. Wow, wouldn't that be awesome! Maybe it's a new way of human interaction that may help us survive. If you look at human history, our key to survival has been cohesive group process that has allowed us to work cooperatively to solve problems that threaten our survival. It's only been in the last 10,000 years of so (of almost $100,000 of homo sapien history) where you see the development of socially domineering hierarchies like governments. It may be the nature of these hierarchies to over-dominate the individual. Before these hierarchies, homo sapien lived in more egalitatrian social groups or tribes. Perhaps we are ready to expand our tribe to include our whole family of human beings. After all, there's some strong evidence that we all evolved from a small population of less than 5,000 or so in Africa because of a threat to life caused by a huge volcano that erupted about 70,000 years ago which caused a bottleneck in our demography. There's not much happening in my small college town of State College PA but I plan to visit the Wall Street folks when I go to NYC later in November. I have a lot of hope for our human compassion, intelligence, and ingenuity.
I guess, the Occupy movement came as a surprise to me. However, I have LONG believed we are in a time critical - environmental, population and financial. As a spiritual person, I work from within my self; and from within my social online communities (Living Metaphysics & A New Gaia) towards the transformation of human expression - to value a better quality of life for humanity, in general; and as good stewards of the planet, that provides EVERYTHING we are.
I see much to be concerned about overall; and I find in the Occupy movement, the visibility that shakes people out of basic survival mode or apathetic complacency. I try to be informed, keep an open mind and be supportive, of whatever seems "good" to me. I don't relish a crumbling or collapse of the world I have known; but I am willing to experience hardship and challenge, if it brings a more equitable type of circumstances, to humanity as a whole. I don't feel that "business as usual" is sustainable much longer.
I believe that humanity must "evolve"; or humanity may cease to be sustainable on this Earth, as a species. As someone who came "of age" in the early 1970s, I missed being able to be significantly involved in much of the 60s activism; but I was shaped within my soul, by many of it's values. I do what I can for the Occupy movement, as I can; and when the opportunity seems appropriate.
Hello to all of you! i look forward to building relationships & a powerful inclusive movement.
I want to help to help to capture the heart-based aspect of the movement and how love is the transformative key to financial, health and social solutions. I'm hoping to do this through the relaunch of the radio show Power Shift which will be integrated with a global online collaborative media project.
Cool! (That was fast!). Wonder if we might collaborate somehow?
Are you joining the Occupy Heart Cafe Call today from 3-5pm EST? http://www.occupycafe.org/forum/topics/occupy-heart-inaugural-journey