My interest in the Occupy movement[s]

Most of my G+ posts lately have been comments about the OWS / larger Occupy movement ( 0* hereafter).  I’m going to try to collect those wispy thoughts and organize them a bit.  Here are the ways I am interested in 0*.

O* as a lens through which to view society

Specifically a great way to reveal:

  • the continuing sacrifice of liberty to social comfort and security theater.
  • the hypocrisy and hysteria of tribal politics, the scorched-earth policies of partisan warfare.  Why do we fight so hard to be pawns?  We forge our own chains, and wear them with hangdog pride.
  • the asymmetries of power and privilege in the American polity.  Why do the tax sheeple submit to the fleecing?  Why do we permitting the beating with our own stick?    Why do we pay for law enforcement that sees itself above the law?  Why do we tolerate coercion?  Why do we tolerate institutionalized bullying?
  • our shamelessness in insisting all other countries be democritized when we have ceded our own democracy to bureaucracies, law enforcement / intelligence / defense agencies, and corporations.

Watching a group build an unfrastructure

The O* sites are not models of how to run a microCommunity but they are experiments that suggest what is workable and what is not when working with unfrastructure.  I find this deeply interesting.
How do you eat, drink, eliminate, sleep?
How do you manage resources?
What processes and what equipment are needed?
How do you build consensus?
How do you facilitate trade?
How do you interact with existing power structures (commercial, political, etc)?
These are important lessons to learn because I believe microCommunities will be the immediate reaction to loss of support mechanisms in a post-infratstructure world.

My frustrations with Law Enforcement

I am not anti-police;  I have volunteered with my local police and have been a police scanner dork for 30 years.  But OTOH I do not worship the police (or firemen, or soldiers) or believe whatever they do must be right.
The Good:  they are public servants doing a job I am unsuited for and unwilling to do. Most of the police I have met and interacted with are functioning at the high end of their capability for professionalism and propriety.  Many are degreed, although I suspect a generic Criminal Justice major will not cause them to think very deeply about their role in the world.  The choice of a Minor is probably indicative of how an officer will treat the public.
The Bad:  police are not, in general, well-versed in the law.  Too many are willing to leverage physical force in the discharge of their duties.  The are departmentally addicted to drug seizure money.  They enjoy the chase as much as criminals like to be chased.  They like high tech, tacticool gear, as SWAT-like as possible.    I’d love to see drug- and steroid-testing results posted publically for all LEOs.
The Ugly:  the police are the pawns in the game played by power centers in the city.  Police must have a solid grounding in ethics if they are to avoid being maneuvered into “hired muscle” status by monied and political interests.  It has been said there are two forms of power:  power over and power for.  LEOs must avoid the understandable temptation to use power over the citizenry.

WHAT O* IS DOING RIGHT

decentralized, loosely coupled.  An example of what some have called open source organizations.

Sticking with it.  Camping in the cold/wet gains grudging respect from folks otherwise unmoved by your narrative.

Fearlessness when confronted with media mockery

Where O* is skinning their knees

Doing things that lower public acceptance, like physically obstructing entrances to businesses or protesting inside stores (walmart, in the case of OD).

Failing to point out to the media that the presence of homeless and troubled is a reflection on local services, not on O*.  Point out that O* is providing services on a person-to-person level rather than govt-to-person.

O* could be a practical demonstration of renewable resource use:  solar, bio-diesel, windpower.  All are capable of working off-grid, reducing the level to which one can be controlled by manipulating access to the grid.

 

[Ok, I need to sleep now.  Will flesh out more when I am rested]

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