ROTM at Re-Volt Radio
Live Blog for #OWS: Day 34, Touring the Other Occupations.
Lots of folks have lots of things to say about the #OccupyWallStreet phenomenon. Even to peel away the obvious slander attempts, and the patronizing and clueless advice being given to the movement, there still remains a great deal of sincere commentary variously aimed at well-intentioned buttressing or even prognostication on "how it will all turn out." It is very difficult for the majority of us to think outside of the very large box of our paradigm of "how the world is." In that spirit, I'd like to say something, and to all of my 99% brethren out there, most of whom are not Americans, I welcome any grains of salt necessary to mitigate my lingering myopia.
This is a (r)evolution of the mind.
I am talking about one aspect of the movement that is really not something that should be discussed in "polite" company. At the risk of being marginalized as a loopy "Utopian," I have to say that I am seriously transfixed upon the leaderless inclusiveness of this nascent democratic movement. A form of democracy that may well turn out to topple the common aside of all serious thinkers about this form of organization - I will not call it "government": That true democracy is impossible, or impractical.
I put "Utopian" in scare quotes for a reason. The history of the Utopian movement(s), especially the rash of schemes that were hatched in 19th Century America, were constrained by the lurking belief in authority. This belief often went unnoticed and unacknowledged - just as if you asked a fish to describe its immediate environment, it would most likely not have a thing to say about water. But this milieu of the mind poisoned every movement, no matter how egalitarian these arrangements were intended. As a result, many often ended up relying on Draconian and outright totalitarian efforts.
The General Assembly model, originally designed merely as the organ of decision making about the nature and direction of the movement itself, is looking more and more like a model of what the outcome of this movement may be. This is a copacetic development - its efficacy in homogenizing the peaceful imperative in the face of the drumbeat of violence insisted upon by its foes (and many of its participants), and the fact that it is retaining and honing an inherent character of its own without the dictates of any charismatic philosophers, is demonstrating the principle "greater than the sum of its parts" in a living, organic manner. For all the world it looks nearly like a brand new life form.
The problem with revolutions in general is that at the end of it all, they have all resulted in a reconstituted hierarchical stratification - old boss meet the new boss. I think this organizational stasis is at the root of the relentless recurrence of the same old issues, repeated throughout the (mostly Western) history of about the last 8,000 years (and we are far older than that.)
I have a strong belief that this is not the only available organizational model, and these "kids" are actualizing something that I have only dreamed of. I have often declaimed that I did not expect actualization anywhere within my lifetime - that it was a far off evolutionary, not merely revolutionary, probability. I say probability, because I expect the human race to settle into an harmonious state if it doesn't kill itself off while in its adolescence. (e.g., Daddy just gave us the car keys, and his fingers are crossed...)
I purposely eschew, in these thoughts, the strategic success of being leaderless, which is so baffling to the "authorities," because I feel this is secondary, and because I care less about "winning" than I do about what happens afterward.
This may not be the (r)evolution of the mind that I hope it is, but I am willing to watch and learn from the "kids" who have exceeded my imagination thus far.