From:   shaista husain <>
Sent time:   Sunday, October 16, 2011 12:41:11 PM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] MoveOn Execs Now Official Spokespeople For OWS, According to MSM Execs

oh really outdated huh? let there be just one strike in this city to paralyze all the cynics ---that is old marxism? really, let the MTA workers stop for an hour and we will see what reverberations are shot through this planet in two seconds. Brothers and sisters... there are many fronts to battle. we are not machines yet. we can not allow our fears of the spectacle nor some idea that we are fighting something totally beyond our control, we have our human consciousness, and we created machines, they don't control us. we will be creating alternative sustainable economies --just like we are feeding our comrades on the ground at OWS, our ability to act and change the world is not determined by a machine. this is where conspiracies leave us paralyzed.

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 2:11 PM, Charles Lenchner <> wrote:
Fighting 'corporate power' is a 70s innovation that reached a certain kind of peak with the wave of anti-globalization movements after the Battle of Seattle. See David Korten's excellent books on the topic.
That said, the whole personalization of class struggle around 'corporations' as opposed to 'the owners of the means of production' or some such Marxist phrasing, was just an effort to use language creatively and avoid the pitfalls of old school politics. Making it about 'corporations' depersonalizes the struggle. It's not YOU Mrs. Vanderbilt, it's those horrid corporations, you see.....

The 1% meme is just another iteration of struggle language looking for a way out of dated messaging. It competes and complements 'corporate power.' Both are just labels we stick on something well hidden by the spectacle, something meant to be invisible and beyond contention. Blaming the financial sector might be useful right now (because of the growth of FIRE profits in the last 30 years) but it's not like some radically different elite is involved and our guns have to be redirected towards them, not those less awful industrial blue chips.

That said, I honestly don't care what messaging and language ends up being used. What matters is the impact it has. If the messaging grows this movement and builds power, then it's fine. But 'this movement' won't be the one translating power into legislation. Or financial regulations. Or candidates, parties, and institutions. The very horizontalism that succeeds so well in channeling a popular moment is an utter failure at building change making institutions, which is why we don't find that many horizontally governed institutions in modern life.

Snafu, that's a long winded way of saying, yep. Won't change a thing anyways.


On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 1:58 PM, Snafu <> wrote:
I am sorry but you are completely missing the point of what I said below. The automation of financial transactions is what produces the sudden swerves that generate financial collapses and massive volatility on the markets (with all the political consequences that this has). Such massive volatility is due to the democratization of finance through the Internet--i.e. to the fact that the average Joe has, by choice or necessity, some part of his savings invested on the stock market. Corporations, in this respect, are also submitted to this power as their equities are exposed to the same volatility.

Fighting corporate power is a twentieth-century struggle, fighting financial capital requires a whole new set of tools of analysis and modes of intervention that still escape this movement. In this respect, the first declaration of the NYCGA is backward-looking. And so is this whole thread on cooptation, imho. But I'll stop here, as this is not the real domain of struggle. If you guys wanna pass this statement about the evil party politics go ahead and do it, it won't change a thing anyway.  

On 10/16/11 11:07 AM, wrote:
This statement was designed to let the world know we are not beholden to the democrats or their support groups.  I am not sure that it is necessary either.  I do think that the main mechanism that automates predatory power is the corporation.  The single mindedness of their bylaws, their insulation from any responsibility, their inability to see the long term consequences of their actions, and their ability to corrupt the key humans in the debate, let them suck more and more wealth out of the world.
On 10/16/11, Snafu<> wrote:
I like the original one better because the focus is on financial capital and the parties are indicated as instruments of this power--i.e. they are subordinated to it.

I'll quote from a text on FINANZISM recently circulated by Berardi and Lovink:

"The real process of predatory power has become automated. The transfer of resources and wealth from those who produce to those who do nothing except oversee the abstract patterns of financial transactions is embedded in the machine, in the software that governs the machine. Forget about governments and party politics. Those puppets who pretend to be leaders are talking nonsense. The paternalistic options they offer around ‘austerity measures’ underscore a rampant cynicism internal to party politics: they all know they lost the power to model finance capitalism years ago."

So the question is how to confront a power that is abstract, automated, and that incorporates the desires of millions of Americans to take risks and make money through a simple click. If we keep anthropomorphizing the enemy (e.g. the Repubblican and Democratic leaders, or corporate CEOs) we completely miss the target--i.e. the shift from an economy driven by the dyad production/consumption to an economy driven by the financialization of everyday life.

We need to politicize the debt (that's why for instance the campaign to forgive student debt is paramount) and understand that it is only by re-empowering public control over the economy we will be able to go somewhere. If we keep attacking the government we play the game of the Tea Party and the libertarians. The dividing line between us and them is whether the people (and whatever institutions the people decide to build from below) take control of the economy or the markets rule like Gods.

That's why I say YES to a text that clearly identifies the primary enemy in financial capital, and NO to a text that identifies the primary enemy in the political class. They are not one and the same thing, because they do not function in the same way.

On 10/16/11 7:16 AM, Winter Siroco wrote:
Snafu, I understand that we are splitting in two versions this one after a lot of discussioin:

Both the Democratic and Republican parties are responsible of our problems. 
Both the Democratic and Republican parties rescued from collapse the
top 1% to the expense of everybody else.   
Both parties are bought and corrupted by Wall Street, and they do not represent the 99%.
Therefore the Occupation will never endorse their politicians.
We must not allow them to divide or distort us.
We are stronger than them, and we don't need them to build a better world.

And the original one with minor modifications from David recently brought back to the table:
The problems we face cannot be solved by either the Democratic or the Republican parties. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall Street and we must never allow them to divide us. This is because *we are the 99%*, not just the 25% that votes republican, not just the 25% that votes democrat—we're much bigger than that.  We The People, from all different walks of life and with opinions across the political spectrum, are uniting to find common ground and fight back against a common enemy - the global financial interests that have bought off our government and hold our economy hostage. 
There has been a Lot of discussion of this second version that would need to be given proper consideration.

On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM, Snafu <> wrote:
I like this version because it clarifies that the real enemy is financial capital, not the politician, who still has a face and can be contested and thrown out of office. A derivative or a hedge fund are faceless and not accountable to anyone.

On 10/15/11 2:24 PM, David DeGraw wrote:
EXCELLENT Justine.  our edit suggestions:

The problems we face cannot be solved by either the Democratic or the Republican parties. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall Street and we must never allow them to divide us. This is because *we are the 99%*, not just the 25% that votes republican, not just the 25% that votes democrat—we're much bigger than that.  We The People, from all different walks of life and with opinions across the political spectrum, are uniting to find common ground and fight back against a common enemy - the global financial interests that have bought off our government and hold our economy hostage.

On 10/15/2011 10:29 AM, Justine wrote:
Winter, I can assure you can the group running is as far left as left goes, or post-left, or whatever the heck you want to call it :P  And to be honest, I don't like the "American Dream" nonsense either.  This is part of Patrick's PR strategy.  He thinks he can make it work to our ends so for the time being we've been warily deferential to this particular judgement.

Anyway we've listened to what you've all had to say in this thread and we're thinking of putting this statement, (or something similar) on the website:

The problems we face cannot be solved by either the Democratic or the
Republican parties. Both parties are controlled and corrupted by Wall
Street and we must never allow them to divide us. This is because *we
are the 99%*, not just the 25% that votes republican, not just the 25%
that votes democrat—we're much bigger than that. Therefore the Occupy
Movement will never endorse any politician. They are the 1% and we
don't need them to build a better world.


On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM, Winter Siroco <> wrote:
I am more concerned about the limited ability of raising our voices than the fear of co-option and I do not mean on the street, where it is a pleasure to be rounded by that many spirited people breaking their voices everyday.    

I have not heard any reason against having an online voice directly responding to the people at Liberty Plaza either and I am not  not holding my breath because NYCGA  and particularly are independent groups that may or obviously will not answer your question, Jem. Jon Good, do not hold your breath for your questions either. These groups may be very small and/or lazy,  which has an advantage, it would keep them from being co-opted.  But then again, the reduced functionality of articulating, or better said, amplifying very much needed revolutionary voices above those of watered down reformists. 

With 300.000 visitors a day is in a great position to help to raise marginalized discourse, but these voices can not even get to through the backdoor, or perhaps the apparently small group is less "radical" than I wish. I have read the infamous "American Dream" sentence in instead of the  "American Delusion". Even common sense sounds radical during these days of conformism and resignation, and we were so thirsty that we are prone to see mirages. So, those who just turned off their TV sets today will  most likely end up being exposed to a lukewarm version of radical changes some of us would like them to hear, instead to the truly transformative discourse that we mostly talk to each other, converts.

Mainstream press, is in crisis. It is a content a content and credibility crisis of their own making, and we should provide the alternative too. 

So what is the solution. It would help to create a blog that would redirect the readers to the enormous amount of great articles and discourse that is being generated out there by people recently awaken and those who have been loosing their sleep for many years now, not necessarily celebrities. The blog should have some bone and ambition, and  it should be linked to and NYCGA.
Of course, substantiation will redefine the economically-bound 99% into real subgroups that will explore alternative strategies and confront problems beyond the economic realm. The alternative seems transient mobilization without long-lasting and deep political transformation. 

On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM, <> wrote:
There are some good points here.  I am against official spokespeople, but I am very for an official web page that posts the official consensus of the GA on all important issues (and unimportant ones wouldn't be bad either.)  If the GA decides that we will not have demands, or puts out a list of demands, that decision and the fat that it is the official position of the NYC General Assembly should be easy to find for the lazy and/or understaffed media.  I have still not heard a good reason why we can't have an official web page, or even why a website with the name NYCGA is not the official site of the NYCGA.
On 10/14/11, Charles Lenchner<> wrote:
1. One of the reasons Chris Bowers' post on DailyKos was so helpful is that OWS and OccupyTogether had done a poor job of making it easy to find and join occupations around the country. That post, which has been liked/shared/tweeted more than 40k times and has appeared on countless other media, was a tremendous service at a time when OWS didn't have it's own 'official' web presence. While I've heard that is such a thing, I've also heard that the official site lies in the future, and that 'there is no can there be an official site' because of how OWS is organized.
2. Such an approach to the website is mirrored by the general attitude towards binding decisions and hierarchy. No one has the authority to say 'this is official, this is inside, that is outside.' Only GA decisions can do that, and if the past is a guide, the GA is openly resisting efforts to be explicitly for or against any other entity, candidate or political effort.
3. On those ground, as long as these people are identified as MoveOn, then the MSM is just doing what it should do: locate credible, reputable spokespeople who can give insight on current events. It's likely that these MoveOn people are known personally to the producers, and with the recent support (with bodies!) given by MoveOn to the OWS, MoveOn is defacto in the same position as any other group whose members are involved in OWS. Which is to say: present, accounted for, and not entitled to represent themselves AS the movement, but only as part of the movement. 
4. If there is a quote showing that a MoveOn spokesperson claimed to represent the GA, I'd like to see it.
5. The MSM need not do anything special to help the 99% look like it belongs on the Dem side of the aisle. It is enough that we live in a two party political system. I can only sympathize with the Paulites who have shown real dedication in supporting OWS. Their presence might not last, but it must be incredibly frustrating to be seen as supporting something that is de-facto on the left, liberal side of the political divide, where you might find elected Democrats like Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, but not any Tea Party loving Republicans. Democracy For America, the DCCC, Progressive Democrats of America aren't joining the OWS bandwagon because of some political error; it's because this movement includes many Democrats and overlaps with many of the forces on the left side of the Democratic Party (*cough* LABOR).
6. Want the MSM to give more deference to a clear OWS voice? No problem. Create a diverse cadre of spokespeople trained to appear on television, stick to carefully thought out talking points while conforming to cable tv culture. Let them represent ONLY positions approved by the GA, and have the ability to say, explicitly, that they are speaking on behalf of OWS. This would take about two days of hard work. Ah, but who has the right to embark on such a project? Until then, expect the press to look for folks they know how to handle, be they MoveOn, Democrats, Naomi Klein, Van Jones or Michael Moore.


On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM, David DeGraw <> wrote:
top MoveOn leaders / executives are all over national television speaking for the movement.  Saying We, We, We, We and directing people to, which redirects to the DailyKos.

again, fully appreciate the help and support of MoveOn, but the MSM is clearly using them as the spokespeople for OWS.  I just had an off-record discussion w/ NBC executives who say that other news execs there plan to use them to divide the movement. This is an blatant attempt to fracture the 99% into a Democratic Party organization. The leadership of MoveON and the Daily Kos are Democratic Party operatives.  They do a lot of great work, but they are divide and conquer pawns.   For years they ignored Wall Street protests to keep complete focus on the Republicans, in favor of Goldman's Obama and Wall Street's Democratic leadership.

if anyone at Move On or Daily Kos would like to have a public debate about these comments, we invite it.

if MoveOn leaders / executives are going to keep going on National TV to speak for OWS, we need them to make a clear statement.

please urgently propose that statement or a plan to call them out in an effective way.

know there are some people who think any attempts at co-option will be unsuccessful, and there is some truth to that, but we can't let blatant co-option attempts continue w/out a response.  the longer we remain silent as people get on national tv claiming to speak for and lead the movement, the more damage will be done.