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On Consensus

Posted 1 year ago on Feb. 14, 2013, 3:02 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: consensus

Consensus

Editor's note: This article was submitted to us in response to Occupiers! Stop Using Consensus! and is part of the series To Consense or Not To Consense?

Consensus is a group process by which people determine their own ideas and actions. It is the most democratic of all forms of decision-making for it negotiates conflict without the use of force.

As long as there have been people talking to one another there has been consensus. In what is now known as the United States, the earliest documented consensus process was by the Haudenosaunee in the 12th century. By the 16th century a league formed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. This is often cited as the Iroquois League or Confederacy. They used a council system with elders, who acted as delegates or “spokes” of the different nations and came to consensus on matters concerning the Great Lakes region. In times of war elder women had the ability to veto over the other elders.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the Anabaptists were mounting opposition to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. By the 16th century there were many heretical sects the most prominent of which were the Quakers, who became known for their “rule of sitting down.” Rather than rely on priests or ministers they would sit in circles and listen to one another. It was thru this practice that they achieved divine revelation.

Modern American Quakers claim to be inspired by both by the Iroquois and their own history of the Anabaptists. Throughout the 19th 20th century Quakers played an important role in U.S. social movements from abolition to women’s rights to every anti-war movement.

In the early 1960s Quakers acted in solidarity with the civil rights movement and trained many of its early members in consensus including the founders of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), which emerged out of the youth division of the NAACP. SNCC went on and organized the freedom rides and lunch counter sit-ins using consensus.

The women’s liberation movement took inspiration from the Quakers in response to the top-down and patriarchal structures of the anti-war movement and adopted a consensus process. Consciousness-raising groups, modeled after the Quaker “listening” circles, were central to feminist practice.

At the same time the Quaker Action Group gave birth to a national network called Movement for a New Society (MNS), which fostered both intentional communities and non-violent organizing campaigns. The group struggled to keep a balance in their work, and many became involved in the anti-nuclear movement.

The Clamshell Alliance was the largest group of the anti-nuke network and coordinated decentralized shutdowns of various nuclear power plants throughout the 70s and 80s. The most infamous was the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant shutdown of 1977 in which 2,000 people organized in affinity groups and blockaded the construction site. The network used a formal consensus process and affinity group spokes councils to plan their actions.

In the late 80s and into the 90s an offshoot of the Clamshell Alliance formed Food Not Bombs, a viral network of cooking collectives, which also operated by consensus. The aim was to live off the waste of the capitalist system and enable people to feed themselves. This became a staple of anarchist communities throughout the U.S.

By 1999 the alter-globalization movement was beginning to take shape. In the U.S. a network of mostly young anarchists created the Direct Action Network (DAN) to shutdown the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle. During the months leading up to the convergence activists were trained in consensus and formed affinity groups, which then descended on Seattle in a pie-like formation blocking access to the convention sites.

They successfully shut it down, which sparked a wave of similar actions under the banner of the Continental Direct Action Network (CDAN). These were all coordinated via affinity group spokes councils in the style of the anti-nuke movement. Unfortunately, internal divisions in CDAN, 9/11, and the following anti-war movement tore the network apart.

Since this collapse many vestiges have remained including an archipelago of bookstores, Info shops, Independent Media Centers, Food not Bombs chapters, and housing collectives. These institutions carried the culture of consensus and served the basis for the anti-authoritarian movement before Occupy Wall Street.

On August 2nd, 2011 New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts (NYABC), the group that had organized Bloombergville, called a People’s General Assembly at the bull to coincide with the debt ceiling debate and organize around the Adbusters call to “Occupy Wall Street.” At this convergence, NYABC, which was comprised of the authoritarian left including groups such as the ISO (International Socialist Organization) and Workers World, held a rally with speakers, so a group of anarchists and other anti-authoritarians broke off and formed an assembly. It became known as the New York City General Assembly.

For weeks people met in Tompkins Square Park and planned to “Occupy Wall Street” on September 17th. These meetings used a modified consensus process. We reached consensus on many points including a tactical plan for the day of action. After many weeks we grew to know one another thru face-face communication. We established a common set of principles including horizontality, participation, and autonomy. The intention was clear and the group was small enough that we were able to communicate effectively.

On September 17th the action was the process. Upon arriving at the park we had hundreds of people in small groups talking with one another about the economic crisis. As the night went on the small groups formed one massive assembly of hundreds upon hundreds of people that consented to occupy. Thus began the occupation.

Now, not everyone in the assembly actually occupied. There were roughly 50-100 people that stayed and held down the park in the first few weeks. We used consensus, because we had used it in the planning process, but it was also re-affirmed by additional people staying in the park. We drafted the Principles of Solidarity and the Declaration using consensus and set off a wave of other occupations that also used the process.

Eventually, though, there were many challenges with using a consensus. Large groups are a logistical nightmare for consensus. There is the underlying assumption that everyone will be able to speak but the reality that not everyone will be heard- at least not by the entirety of the group. Starhawk, the anarchist and feminist writes, “Consensus works best in smaller groups, where everyone has a chance to be part of discussions. In a large group, there simply isn’t enough time to let everyone speak.”

As the weeks went on the original members did not find the assembly useful anymore. It was overrun by opportunists and tourists, who did not understand the meaning or context of the process. They modeled the hand signals, but reduced the assembly to a set of procedures. In a body of strangers there was no respect for one another.

Starhawk writes, “Consensus works best in a group that cultivates respect, where people care not only what gets done but how we treat one another in the process. Consensus asks us to put aside our egos, our need to win and to be right and open our ears to listen, to appreciate the contributions of others and to co-create solutions to our problems.”This was sorely lacking in the assembly and later on in the OWS Operations Spokes Council. We fought over proposals, ¾ of which were about money. It became a competition rather than a collaboration.

David Graeber and Andrej Grubacic write, “Consensus is often misunderstood. In fact, the operating assumption is that no one could really convert another completely to their point of view, or probably should. Instead, the point of consensus process is to allow a group to decide on a common course of action.”

In researching for this article I decided to focus on the American context, but I also found that in nearly every instance of consensus, regardless of cultural context, and over the course of a thousand years, there are two main problems: size and membership. Whether a Chinese village, Mayan jungle, or the streets of New York City these seem to be common threads, and they are always addressed by some sort of confederation or federation of small groups. These may be assemblies, working groups, or affinity groups. The terms change but the form has been essentially the same throughout history.

As consensus is a collective process I reached out to fellow occupiers on the question. A movement historian and day one occupier wrote, “In terms of OWS I think the issue may have actually been less about how our decision-making procedures work and more about who the people were that were making them.” His main concern was the heterogeneous nature of OWS and lack of participation. A well-respected Zuccotti Park facilitator in OWS said, “People weren’t stakeholders, so they didn’t really have to hear one another. We relied too much on rules and not enough on building culture.”

How can we build a culture of consensus in Occupy Wall Street? This is the question that we face now. I hope that we engage it.

Related: To Consense or Not-to-Consense Occupiers: Stop Using Consensus!

141 Comments

141 Comments


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[-] 2 points by rickMoss (435) 1 year ago

If you noticed, the movement is not working. The problems enumerated above are enormous. Having a movement without a leader is smart. But having a movement with a new vision for the future and a plan to achieve it is just a wast of time. We need a real revolution. People are tired of hearing what's wrong with the world. They want to know what to do about it. Protesting, shouting and carrying around sign are not a solution.

“Be Smart!” - FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM

U.S. Citizens Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://revolution2.osixs.org )

Non U.S. Citizens Read “Common Sense 3.2” at ( http://SaveTheWorldNow.osixs.org )

How else can I say this? "We Are Free!"http://WeAreFree.osixs.org "Spread the News"

How else can I say this? "We Are Free! U just have to open your eyes. http://WeAreFree.osixs.org "Spread the News"

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What it boils down to is that consensus creates situations in which the majority is dictated by the minority. That’s wrong. There should be discussion, lots of it, but things must be decided democratically by the participants.

As I mentioned before in another post, organizing should be based on libertarian socialist principles, with direct participation and democratic decision-making. Libertarian Socialism is about building democracy from below, with non-hierarchical structures:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

[-] -2 points by peacehurricane (293) 1 year ago

Labeling our process of coming to decision removes potentiality in that the definitions of these labels can place constraints toward an ends. Because of the size of our task the solutions may need to meet that level in order to repair drastic misconducts. Ways are available and are so good they have not yet been named. I look forward to celebrating with all brothers and sisters having enough fun to bother not with calling anyone anything. Happy, kind people are simple and fun just is OUR FUTURE!

[-] 1 points by barbtutor (1) 1 year ago

On Consensus

It seems that two fundamental principles of agreement are missing from conversations on consensus.
1. What is being sought as a result of consensus?
2. What is the process of consensus?

Background: Most people in the US have been conditioned to approach collective decision-making as a means of proving one’s point-of-view over all the other points being presented – in other words a competitive game that one is trying to win. It’s like the old story of the “Blind Men and The Elephant.” This attitude implies that a metaphysical thing being sought is either like this or that; thus ignoring the probability of this and that and more. Such an attitude cannot bring about consensus. Voting for a winner is democratic, but doesn’t fulfill the need; it only provides a means to produce a decision to which everyone submits.

The consensus process is contrary to the ideals of Supremacy, competition, and dominance that have been established by the ruling elite of: 1. Religious Fundamentalism as patriarchal rule over the people and Earthly dominion, 2. Royalty as monarchal class rule over the people and Earthly dominion, 3. Capitalist Supremacy as hierarchal wealthy class authority over the people and Earthly environment. 4. Communist Supremacy as totalitarian rule by political elite over the people, institutions, industries, and the environment.

US social processes for capitalism’s “law and order by authority” are instituted via systemic dominance. Global Monopoly’s systemic dominance has become an entrenched status-quo, maintained by fantastical marketing propaganda, to which people willingly submit; promoting ideals of global monopolists–by any and every violent and/or deceitful means conceivable to accomplish both: 5. Capitalist financial supremacy over all nations and their people; and 6. Industrial supremacy over the Earth and beyond.

Conditions of modern capitalism discharge social progressives into the margins of societies that are framed by global monopoly’s systemic dominance. The margins contain the dialectical weak force of humanity, where the fields of intensive quantitative change are developing into a qualitative ripening.

Personal Point-of-View: As I have experienced the process of consensus, it requires that all participants assume an attitude of, “Seeking better understanding of a multifaceted process, system, strategy, etc.” The expectation of the participants is that, with all the different pieces of the puzzle in place (proper relationship), a broader composite picture will emerge and reveal a more complete understanding of the whole subject; thusly reconciling previous conflicts.

While each person has an interpretation based upon their particular background, no one has the perspective of the collective group. It is therefore vital to encourage each person to relate their understanding of the subject; while the others listen with empathy, i.e., trying to put themselves into the experience of the speaker to visualize and feel her/his personal experiences and point-of-view.

A facilitator simply oversees this process to insure that everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts. Facilitation must also expose expressed attitudes of supremacy and self-righteousness towards others. Should a person express belligerency; the facilitator calls upon the group to address the disruption of the consensus process. The group may decide to expel the offender or allow continuance with his/her recognition of the process of consensus and agreement to participate cooperatively.

Consensus is the creative result of common sensibility + synergy that resolves conflicts and envisions an inclusive wholeness.

[-] 1 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 1 year ago

This isn't really a counter argument on why consensus is the best model as much as it is an outline of where, when and how consensus has been used. The opposing argument in "Stop Using Consensus" actively fleshed out HOW consensus can fail and why he believes other traditional models are more successful. This piece doesn't successfully outline how in practice consensus trumps other processes.

[-] 1 points by mdarling (7) 1 year ago

I would rather have a king who seeks consensus and answers his letters than preselected elected shetheads that don't

[-] 1 points by occupycrisis (3) 1 year ago

In 4 days, drastic austerity measures (the "Sequester") are going to be passed, cutting off federal funding of millions of dollars for basic material needs to the "99%", and you are debating "consensus"? The class war from above is not over. Get back on track!

[-] 0 points by jemcgloin (63) from Staten Island, NY 1 year ago

I'm not sure that there is a consensus in Occupy that the sequester is worth fighting over. A lot of people would like to see the military cut, for one thing, and others don't want to get involved in Dem v Repub politics. How can you create that consensus? Read on...

[-] 1 points by occupycrisis (3) 1 year ago

If Occupy rallies around the slogan "we are the 99%!", then fighting austerity is a key part of the movement, whether you personally think it is "worth fighting over" or not. The "Sequester" will have deep negative material impacts upon us (the "99%"). Going beyond the current party system does not mean ignoring class war from above. It means opposing it, whether it is being advanced by the Dems, Reps, or a bipartisan compromise.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26974) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Maybe it would be better to ask occupiers to understand consensus.

Consensus is not unanimity - it is reaching an understanding agreement of a majority in any group or collection of groups.

I could be mistaken.

Consensus | Define Consensus at Dictionary.com dictionary.reference.com/browse/consensus majority of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month. 2. general agreement or concord; harmony.

[-] 2 points by ProblemSolver (79) 1 year ago

From what I have been reading on this site it would appear they had a completely different definition on consensus. Something where if one person disagrees they whole plan is thrown out !

..and we were wondering what was taking so long.. why haven't those at the front of the meetings been accomplishing anything.. turns out they got shut down at every attempt.

[-] 1 points by jemcgloin (63) from Staten Island, NY 1 year ago

The part about the origins of the NYCGA is incorrect. Bloombergville included socialists, anarchists, and even a few capitalists. Both Bloombergville and NY Against Budget Cuts used consensus based assemblies to make decisions. The Aug 2 event was billed as both a Rally and an Assembly. There was a one hour permit for a rally, during which a PA was used so that individuals could communicate their ideas to the public. The assembly was to start after. One rude person got on the mic and declared that this was not a "real" assembly and led off a small group to start one. When the rally was over, instead of being divisive and starting another assembly, the rest of us went to join the first. For the next few hours we debated and then consensed on the occupation of wall st, together. The next meeting at the Irish Famine memorial included people from many isms and countries and we all made Occupy happen, together.

[-] 1 points by Brandon1980 (2) 1 year ago

I think the last question posed in the article is the right one: "How can we build a CULTURE of consensus". Consensus is not a serious organizing method for large groups. There has to be elections and accountability. That said, a CULTURE of self-leadership and deep skepticism of implicit and explicit authority structures is beautiful and should be fostered.

[-] 1 points by mdarling (7) 1 year ago

I would rather have a king who seeks consensus and answers his mail than preselected elected party shitheads that don't.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

list poetry

consensus

consensus

consensus

consensus

consensus

consensus

consensus

consensus

[-] 1 points by Shule (2030) 1 year ago

Personally, if somebody is out there who wants to run the show, and is honest as in looking out for my and everybody else's best interests, I'd let him run it. I really can care less if I have a hand in running a government or not, 'cause I'm too busy with my own life. So, if somebody picks up the work, great! It is then one less thing I have to do. Government does not have to be democratic, be run by consensus, or be collective. It just needs to be honest.

[-] 1 points by jemcgloin (63) from Staten Island, NY 1 year ago

Power corrupts, so when you delegate your hand in government to someone else you end up reducing honesty. You would never hire an employee and then not keep track of what they are doing, but everyone wants to elect a representative, hope they are honest, and forget about them for a few years, then wonder why they got robbed.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2030) 1 year ago

Yes, unfortunately I must agree to that.

I had some bad experiences with some consensus run managements, and come to the conclusion it doesn't really work. I found when an organization can get one leader type person who knows what he's doing, who can delegate duties to the rest of a team, and who has a modicum on conscience, an organization can do many great things. So, I think that way of governments. Granted, as you mention, one needs to be able to keep such a "leader" on "ice", and should he start running foul, one needs a way of disposing of him. I think the accountability factor is what is lacking in our government here in the States today; which is not necessarily this consensus idea that is floating around.

That employee analogy is a good one. One would not hire an employee, and then turn around and do the job you hired him to do. However, one would certainly oversee and keep check on him.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I am not going to participate in these threads. I'm reading them and I like hitting the links.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 1 year ago

Just curious, why not participate?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

At the time there were none, or few, comments. Most everything that I read in this section is there to inform. Initially it looked like a one way conversation, a "so that's it,huh?" type of thing. I was/am under the impression that this is an ongoing dialogue.I didn't want the author to think that noone was paying attention.

This little series is way different than what I read in the forum. Many of the points of view seem very genuine and are well thought out. I would rather listen for the moment.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 1 year ago

Thanks for the reply

[+] -5 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Thank you for abstaining. Your trollish rants are usually quite annoying.

[-] 4 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Only if you're a troll.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

The good part about not being able to agree on "To Consense or Not-to-Consense" is that it has spurred the growth of many grass-roots, and affinity group progenies

Who have modified versions of consensus, and seem more conerned and adept at progressing this struggle.... than process

We love our parents dearly, and we will be forever grateful to them for having woken us up from the darkness we had grown accustomed to,

But really we're 18 months old now, it's time to start focusing here, as the task we have taken on is monumental

Or to put it more simply, it's time to get our shit together

~Odin~

[-] -2 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

You mean it shattered the movements into tiny fragments?

Isn't that separating our shit instead of getting it together?

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

No NOT "tiny fragments", but rather vibrant grassroots and affinity groups that have 'modified consensus', hence are focused more on getting things done

And it is probably only natural that people get involved with the things that interest them most, or that have negatively impacted them or a loved one most

The advent of these many groups is causing a phenomena, a decentralization that arguably has not been seen since the time preceding the passage of the New Deal, and it becomes more difficult for our opposition to fight, as it was then.

Picure a dam with a bunch of holes in it. As 'they' try to placate us and plug one hole, another one starts leaking more profusely, until 'they' finally realize we need a whole new dam

People are beginning to awaken and they are beginning to feel EMBOLDENED,

We are feeding off each other's enenergy, both radicals and reformers who have had a long history of working well together, and we realize that UNITED, and WE are.... because we know that we have a common oppressor....we can get this done

My uncharacterisic critique of OWS. on the issue of "consensus" is one that is done out of love, much like that between a parent and his child

So if you are here to create divisions...which your -106 suggests, i would say that you are wasting your time. It is amusing tho....

~Odin~

[+] -4 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Is there still a connection between these affinity groups, or do they operate in complete separation?

I never came here to create division. I always wanted Occupy to succeed, that's why I criticized certain aspects of it since day 1. I talked about how consensus was hurting Occupy more than a year ago, but nobody listened. They called me a troll because I criticized. Now that the anarchists agree with me everyone agrees with the concept of dropping consensus. That's Occupy for you.

It's amusing though... that you once called me a troll for being against consensus, but that now that anarchists approve you salivate at the idea. Do you do everything the anarchists want you to do?

[-] 4 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Nobody called you a troll for expressing your opinion on consensus. You were called a troll because you were a disruptive troll.

[+] -5 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

You're just a divisive party liner like DKAtoday, shooz, and the other members of Twinkle Team. Occupy is for everyone, including, but not limited to, gays, libertarians, socialists, communists, republicans, etc... the 99%. You sound like a member of the 1%.

[-] 4 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

So you have a problem with many people.? Occupy is for everyone except me, Dka, & Shooz?

[+] -4 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Yes, indeed. You are not Occupy material. You are like a child. You should be accompanied by an adult when you come to this site.

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Why do you care so much about me personally.? Do you have intelligent contributions thread topic related?

If not then you should just leave the schoolyard bullying tactics out of your comments.

You must realize that your comments indicate great frustration and failure on your part. Have you no dignity?

Stay on topic, try honesty. There is great reward in that path.

Good luck.

[+] -7 points by VQkag1 (-112) 1 year ago

You don't like 99% progressive solutions? Why are you here? Go back to your republican site!

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

What republican site? I am here to spread info in support of the 99%. Why are you here?

[-] -2 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 1 year ago

dude...you have serious issues.....like...serious issues

I hope to hell you're getting paid...anyone crazy enough to get on here and talk to themself has got a few screws loose if they aren't getting paid.

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Why would you say that? I aint talkin to myself. No need. Plenty wackos to engage, and plenty good users to converse.

[+] -5 points by VQkag1 (-112) 1 year ago

Just go! Just go! Don't you care about progressive solutions for the 99%. Why all the anti-dem talk? You against Obama because you love Romney? Who's paying you, the Koch brothers?

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Stop harassing me

[-] -1 points by VQkag1 (-112) 1 year ago

Who's harassing you? You are against Occupy. It's you that comes here to harass everyone else. You should vote for progressive solutions that help the 99%. Why are you anti-dem? Why are you pro-conservative? Haven't you seen the light?

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Stop harassing me.

[+] -4 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 1 year ago

you should seek mental help.

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Stop harassing me

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 1 year ago

Did you jump on your 20 different screen names to down vote me?

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

PLEASE stop harassing me!!

[-] -3 points by freakzilla (-161) from Detroit, MI 1 year ago

Wow Just wow. Maybe VQ's been hacked.

[-] 10 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Yes, it's a hack !! 'VQkag1' = 'Trashy' !!! He has tried to absorb the idents of others here too. Eg. Ex-forum-posters TIOUISE, 'Proteus' and even recently, The 'TrashBucket' has been caught signing himself off as forum-poster ~Odin~ .. Ergo, caveat - anguis in herba ! For more insights, also see :

He's also 'oldJack' ; 'oldJim' ; 'oldJohn' {Daniels, Beam & Walker !!!} as well as 50-100 other monikers - mostly now redundant !! Ergo, caveat - fallaces sunt rerum species & relevant to this thread and forum :

“When people speak up and stand together it frightens corrupt and undemocratic power”, and also - “True democracy is the resistance of people armed with truth against lies.” (Julian Assange)

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by freakzilla (-161) from Detroit, MI 1 year ago

What a shame that a few bad apples have to spoil a good time for everyone by breaking the rules.

[+] -4 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

VQ was banned for breaking the rules, but came back as VQkag1. Unfortunately, there's no stopping him.

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

And so what if? Is VQ that important to you? Why not comment on the topic of the thread.? I don't think the 99% care about VQ.

[-] -2 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

VQ's just another freak with a big mouth who very likely gets paid for each and every post.

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Wonderful.

[+] -4 points by BlueMonday (-154) 1 year ago

YOU are vq.

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

We are all VQ. And VQ is all of us!

But the thread topic! Can you state a position? Or are you too mesmerized by the great VQ?

LOL

[-] -3 points by BlueMonday (-154) 1 year ago

no, we are not YOU. vq was / is a lot things , but " great" isnt one of them. pretty bad when you have to compliment yourself.

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

You are the one talking about VQ constantly. As always it is a weak, pathetic attempt to distract from your vacant position on the issues/thread topic.

Comment on consensus. I don't need to discuss VQ.

[+] -5 points by BlueMonday (-154) 1 year ago

that why i typed in TO FEZ.

[+] -6 points by BlueMonday (-154) 1 year ago

but you love to talk about yourself. TO FEZ,...... the article was written by soros empoyees.

[-] 4 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Now I'm FEZ?

I am repubsRtheprob. Get over it all already.

Stick to the issues. Try to accept the fact that whatever user confronts you, you get your sorry ass beat like an old salvation army drum!

[+] -6 points by VQkag1 (-112) 1 year ago

What? repubsTtheprob is not VQ! He's an impostor, and a republican at that!

[-] 3 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

So you are not the VQ that the freak is referring to.? Why are YOU so interested in me?. Why not comment on the topic of thread. I don't think the 99% care about me or VQ, or you for that matter.

[-] -1 points by VQkag1 (-112) 1 year ago

You're an impostor. A republican spy. Change your ways and start helping the 99%. We need progressive solutions. Enough of these partisan politics you come here to spit at us.

[-] -1 points by VQkagI (-4) from Great Neck, NY 1 year ago

Who are you calling an imposter?

[-] 0 points by VQkag1 (-112) 1 year ago

You and repubsRtheprob.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

No...I am an independent thinker. I never thought that anarchy could be implemented in a country of 300 million plus people,

But I do believe it is the ideal, and that something better than what we have is not only possible, but very probable, and necessary even if we want to survive as a species

Any yes, there is a very strong connection, a brother/sister-hood between the affinity groups that I know of and OWS

Within these groups though, there are people who would be considered radicals, and others who you could more aptly label reformers

As more of us become even more educated on how rotten our system has become....yes like me, they become closer to being the former

Those differences are put aside though while they work together on whatever their mission is

When you come on here thinking of yourself as having divine soothsayering abilities, and spend most of your time here bitching, criticizing, and complaining about people not listening to you,

While ignoring the very evident accomplishments of this movement

You should not be surprised when people become suspect of your intentions

~Odin~

[-] -3 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I never ignored the accomplishments of OWS. I remarked them and congratulated them many times. Read my posts and comments.

I never thought that anarchy could be implemented in a country of 300 million plus people, But I do believe it is the ideal...

Something that cannot be implemented is not an ideal. It's useless. The ideal system is one that works in practice, not only theoretical fairy tales.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

OK....I will read more of your comments.

What i am trying to say though is; no organization, group, party, etc. is a perfect fit with what your conscience dictates is right and true

When you seem to dwell on the possible mistakes the WE have made, which all past movements have made, without seeming to celebrate the victories

It does not portend well for OUR struggle, if indeed it is even your's as well

And if in fact you are 'older' as your pseudonym oldJohn suggests, you have probably, like me been around long enough to know

That living your life in negativity which is what comes out in many of your comments, is a very prevalent malady in us older folks

Well....it is not only not useful or productive for the movement you profess to care about, but for yourself as well...after you shut your LT down

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I criticized the violent imagery in the posters. Occupy then made wonderful non-violent posters which I commended them on. Criticism is not being negative, it's the fuel towards positive change.

We shouldn't be proud that Occupy fragmented into unrelated affinity groups. This is not a good example for the better world we want to create. We fragmented because we could not agree, essentially because the anarchists wanted to run the show their way without any compromise. If we can't come to agreements of what Occupy is and isn't, then we aren't the next thing that will create a better world.

The consensus articles were not honest. One day you have an open question "to consensus or not", and the next you have the answer "consensus is no good". The comments on both these articles were ignored. The writers remain unknown. They should have posed the first question and let us debate, and debate with us.

The people who run this site do not care about you at all. That's why they didn't even talk about your wonderful suggestion of putting up a PDF file. There's not connection between this site and Occupy in the street, between this site and the affinity groups you participate in. I would say your affinity groups are what Occupy is today, and this site is not.

When people write news articles without publishing their names it's a problem. When they write news articles and never respond to any of the comments it's a problem. When their news articles call for debates and they don't respond to comments it's an even bigger problem.

This site does not help Occupy, it hurts it. It presents a false view of what Occupy is because there is no interaction between the news writers/organizers of the site and the people who come here to post and comment.

This site needs to connect with the people or be shut down. It should be replaced by a site from one of your affinity groups which seem much more like Occupy and which seem to really be doing something and listening to people other than anarchists.

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

As you said in your own words, you have criticized aspects of OWS since Day 1, and you have continued to constantly criticize OWS

You took my positive somewhat playful flippant slant on the up-side of the contentious Consensus issue, and all the grass-roots and affinity groups emerging,

And you turned it into a negative saying that, "you mean it shattered the movement into tiny fragments?"

You took my uncharacteristic (for me) critique of OWS, and with an intricately woven bunch of truths, half truths, compliments, lies, and conjecture based on erroneous suppositions

And you extrapolated from it that neither the forum, the anarchists, or OWS are any good, but of course we and the affintiy groups are cool lol

Hmmmm? Where is it I remember these kind of divisive tactics from, where groups are 'picked off'...one by one, and are pitted against each other???.... Hmmm?!

OH yes, I remember now!! This is the same modus operandi the 1% used to gain control over our country, and its people...isn't it oldman?

I think it may be time to go back to the drawing board, and devise a new plan of attack

~Odin~

[-] 0 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

My plan is clear and is the only good one. Create a website that is transparent (no hidden moderators, programmers, writers), and connect it directly with affinity groups on the ground. The site will be the glue between all the affinity groups so that we can communicate our plans between each other. The site will be run communally instead of being run by a few like this one is. People will be able to vote on issues, website rules, bans, etc... As a community.

This is the only answer. This will give meaning and power to the fragmentation on the ground.

You know I'm right, but can't admit it. Like all my other ideas, they will be adopted, but only in 1 year from now. That's how it works. Occupiers are afraid of improving the movement because they are afraid of criticism. It's sad really. But, there always comes a breaking point where people finally understand. I'm convinced you'll realize I'm right and I hope one day this site can truly be a bridge for Occupy affinity groups and show the world that things can truly be run in communal fashion instead of a hierarchy with a few hidden puppeteers at the top of the pyramid.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Yes, I know that you have a long history on here of mixing good ideas with divisive tactics

Without the former, faux altruistic concern..... the latter would have no validity

Would they?

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I never espoused divisive tactics. Not sure where you got that beef.

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

You make some good points, T.

You know a thing or two about computers so I have a question. What do you think it costs to run a site like this? Not setup costs, monthly costs for bandwidth and such. Got anywhere near a ballpark figure?

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

I did that Conglomerate site for free in no time. I didn't even know about groupspaces really but it was so easy. The forum you can add to your site seems ok but I haven't used it. You can only allow up to 250Megs of file uploads before you have to upgrade. And you have to allow ads on your site unless you upgrade.

[+] -4 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Good info. Thanks.

[-] 0 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Since the programmers are not paid, the servers are the biggest cost. That can vary a lot depending on the load they are receiving. Do you have any idea how many hits this site gets in a day, in an hour?

I have a feeling they are running their own server, so it wouldn't cost that much once that server is bought. I also have a feeling someone who started the protest donated that server.

http://www.whois.net/whois/occupywallstreet.org

As you can see, the domain is the property of Kalle Lasn, the founder of Adbusters. The email is domains@adbusters.org, so I would assume they are running the servers. They probably have many domains with many servers, so they must have their own setup.

Since Adbusters already have servers going, adding another site is not very costly for them. It must be insignificant. They also already have admins for their other sites, so no worries for them.

[+] -4 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

I have no idea how many hits this site gets a day. Gates had some numbers a little while back but I don't remember what they were. He had info from three different sources, two of which seemed to be fairly consistent, but the third source had the number a lot lower. I think the two were somewhere in the ballpark of thirty or forty thousand but I could be wrong.

The rest of what you say makes sense; this site is probably just a small part of what they have going on.

I guess I could do some on-line research to find out the average cost for a site that gets 40,000 hits a day. Not that I have that kind of capital, of course, but I'm in agreement with you that this site doesn't live up to it's potential and, being the curious sort, would like to know what it would take to start up a real OWS site. The server cost would be easy for me to compute, I'm just clueless as to bandwidth costs.

[-] 0 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

With hits like that, you'll most likely need a dedicated server which starts at around 90$ a month and goes up from there depending on your load. Of course, you can start with a cheaper package and move up once you have more visitors. You most likely wouldn't need to start with a dedicated server, i.e. I don't think you'll be getting 40,000 hits a day when you start. Also, it depends how long people stay on the site. How many of those hits are just people coming and leaving right away, or bots. Many factors.

If you're interested in starting a real OWS, here's my take on it.

Don't start it by yourself. This would only repeat the problem we have now (a few people controlling the show). It needs to be created as a community effort, and it needs to have links to the ground from the get-go. This is where Odin comes in. He's an honest hard working man, and has good contacts with some of Occupy's affinity groups. You need to get the blessing of these groups, the more the better. The website would become theirs as well as ours. It must be clear from the beginning that no one will rule the website. It's a community project, and that means everyone participates in paying (if needed) and deciding how things on the site should be run. A meeting could be held in the street, and also online to decide what the rules of the website will be. Then, we hold one online meeting a month to make modification to rules, and hear ideas from everyone that has any. There could be a part on the site where people post ideas and discuss them before the meetings. This gives the ideas the chance to mature before everyone can decide on them. Programmers and website administrators must be open to rotation if there is someone new that wants to try, and if everyone agrees. You can't run a community site like this one is, with a programmer that is in charge and hidden administrators. People should be out in the open. We should know who the admins are. There should be at least 3 admins (moderators) and they must all agree when someone is to be banned. There also needs to be a warning system. A person is warned if he breaches the rules. Next time he's banned by a moderator, but he can challenge the ban at which time all three moderators convene to give a decision. Finally, the community as a whole can challenge the moderators if they don't agree with the decision.

One problem is that this site and the Occupy anarchists have control over donations. Now, if you get some affinity groups involved, they could gather donations specifically to run the website. Also, I'm quite sure someone somewhere would be able to donate a server. There must be a few affinity group members, or someone on this website that has a company with servers to spare. I don't think finding a server would be too difficult if the site is built by a community.

As for news articles, they could be screened by the community before being posted. Anyone should be able to submit an article for screening, provided they attach their name to it. No hiding behind the scenes, and no small team that has full control over news articles. There could be a team of writers in case not enough articles are submitted, but they should be known by the community, and their articles should be screened as well. Writers should be expected to contribute to comments following their articles.

In a nutshell, it needs to be a true community effort from the get-go. You can't start this by yourself.

Think about this. This site accepts donations from the community, but there is no way for you to find out exactly how many hits it gets. You don't have that data because it's not open. The people who run the website should submit this info upon request since this is our site, the site of the 99%.

Also, this site has not received a code update in 5 months. This is a red flag, and this is the reason Odin's PDF submission went overlooked even though it was a great idea. I don't think the people who run this site even care anymore. They're nowhere to be seen. When's the last time you saw a post by jart or zoe?

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

I see you've put quite a bit of thought into it. I agree completely with it being a community effort, that was my thought as well. And transparency, absolutely.

I was just about to log off so I'm going to save your comment and re-read it tomorrow so I can absorb it all.

Thanks, T.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Hey Odin.

oldJohn is Thrasymaque. He's been around since October 2011 in one incarnation or another.

[-] 6 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Thanks, I kinda figured that after i read some of his other exchanges here,

Considering we both arrived here at the same time, it's amazing to me that I know so little about his tactics, but i am coming up to speed quick

Just from these few exchanges I have had with him, I can see that he gets a perverse satisfaction in wiggling his way in between the small differences between us, which is common for anyone who is part of any group....and then exploiting them

That is..... trying to deepen those differences/cracks into chasms

He doesn't seem to understand that the divisiveness that he tries to perpetuate is very similar to what we have realized for quite some time now is what the rotten system needed to get us here, and we are 'on' to that

In any event his modus operandi is passe, and amusing to me

And besides he gave me a good opportunity to improve my wordsmithing abilities, so all is not gone to waste, eh? ;-) lol

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I can see that he gets a perverse satisfaction in wiggling his way in between the small differences between us

I didn't foster differences, Occupy did by refusing the ideas of everyone but anarchists. Read the minutes of past GAs. Read the minutes of the first affinity groups who crashed and burned when they realized they couldn't explore ideas that weren't approved by anarchists.

I always promoted exchange of ideas, that's why I want this site to be connected to the street and why I want the news article writers to name themselves and participate in the discussions that follow their articles. They never ever once ever participated in the comment exchanges for their articles. This is a huge red flag.

In any event his modus operandi is passe, and amusing to me

There's nothing passe about wanting to improve a movement.

If anything, it's the other way around. Occupy is finally catching up to what I said a year ago about consensus, just like they finally caught up to what I said about violent posters. In time, they will finally catch up with what I say about connecting this site to the streets and naming the writers who contribute here and asking them to contribute to the comments of their own articles.

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Once again, your divisive tactics remind me of the modus operandi that the 1% used to put the 99% out of business

Divde and conquer...right?

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Stop fantasizing. You read too much in what I write. I think that stems from fear. Try listening instead of putting words in my mouth.

A group can be stronger with various factions if that is a planned goal. But, in the case of Occupy it wasn't. The group shattered in tiny pieces because of infighting. This is a fact. You can read the minutes from early GAs and affinity groups yourself. Many people were disillusioned because the anarchists wouldn't budge on any issues. Trying to hide this and passing off the fragmentation as some kind of happy ending does not help Occupy.

The problem is most of these affinity groups do not communicate together. They operate individually. This is not good.

What we need is a website that is connected to the affinity groups directly. The website could serve as a hub and reconnect all the fragments. You know I'm right, but won't admit because you're convinced I'm a troll. That's sad. If we could create a truly communal website which is transparent in every way and reconnects everyone together then we could start growing exponentially. Right now, this website has no connection to the reality on the ground and we don't even know who the moderators are. Very bad indeed.

Keep doing like the others and call me a troll. Then in 8 months you'll finally adopt my ideas, like all my other ideas that were adopted in time.

Thing is, I'm usually right. 99% of the time. And, you know that. And, the others know as well.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Another thing, your believe your soothsayering abilities are unique or divine with your predictions, and hence add the needed validity to promote your campaign

Let me tell you about one of my 'divine-like'..(lol) abilities. Throughout my life, i have found that I have an extraordinary ability to see the character in a person far sooner that anyone else. It is extremely rare that i have been wrong. This is true. There is no reason for me to go further, is there?

Many of us had criticisms of Occupy which we tempered for the Greater Good, and concentrated our efforts in progressing our struggle

We didn't dwell in criticizng because we knew that promoting UNITY is imperative

Your curious insidious, mix of doing both is disingenuous, and once again, it is indicative of an ulterior motive....DIVIDE and CONQUER...right?!

You really must think of some new, more sophisticated tactics to divide us, as yours are falling on deaf ears

~Odin~

It may be time to pull out your army of multiple pseudonyms. Oh I see they are already out. lol

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I enjoy debating with a person who derives his beliefs from his conscience I work hard at seeing that these debates do not degenerate into hostilities, as I know that the world most of us want starts NOW Hence, I have the mutual respect of many people here who diasagree with me on different issues I am sorry, not to you, but for my own state of being that I cannot accord you the same etiquette ~Odin~

That's fine. Don't be sorry. If you feel it's important to spend your time dropping logical fallacies it's all good. I'll keep posing criticism, solutions, and arguments. If you ever feel like debating seriously drop me a line. Until then, farewell my friend.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Debating on how Occupy could be better amongst people who dearly want this movement to succeed is constructive

However debating with a person who pretends to have the success of this movement as his primary goal is rather useless, altho.... stimulating..lol...

I work hard at never saying what I don't mean, hence I made it clear that I was not "sorry" to you in one of my previous comments, and it is also the reason I have omitted the word 'amigo' in my sign-off

Hasta la vista.....~Odin~

[-] -2 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Debating on how Occupy could be better amongst people who dearly want this movement to succeed is constructive However debating with a person who pretends to have the success of this movement as his primary goal is rather useless, altho.... stimulating..lol... I work hard at never saying what I don't mean, hence I made it clear that I was not "sorry" to you in one of my previous comments, and it is also the reason I have omitted the word 'amigo' in my sign-off Hasta la vista.....~Odin~

Appeal to motive. You're like a creationist trying to avoid a constructive debate because he knows he's wrong and doesn't want to blow his cover.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I have tried to have constuctive debate with you, but found it was impossible

~Odin~

[-] -2 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

In this thread I posed a clear and precise criticism and also offered suggestions on how to improve the situation. You are not able to counter argue my criticism so you resort to lame ad hominem. That's the crux of it.

Are you able to debate, or do you always simply try to slip away by insinuating that your "opponent" has crooked motives?

How old are you? 10?

If you have arguments against my suggestions let's hear them, otherwise there's no point in spitting a flurry of logical fallacies. That's just boring beyond belief, and extremely easy. Don't be gratuitous. You're better than that.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I enjoy debating with a person who derives his beliefs from his conscience

I work hard at seeing that these debates do not degenerate into hostilities, as I know that the world most of us want starts NOW

Hence, I have the mutual respect of many people here who diasagree with me on different issues

I am sorry, not to you, but for my own state of being that I cannot accord you the same etiquette

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Our struggle has grown far beyond any problems that Occupy has/is had/having

I am confident, those problems will be healed in time

But i also know that you will never stop your crusade of criticism, because as to do so would defeat the insidious reason you are here

For you not to appreciate...celebrate even the fact that despite problems Occupy is maturing...morphing,

And realize that in some ways at least, Occupy has become stronger more diverse, less centralized

Well you have blinders on, and i believe they have been put on voluntarily

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I think despite your obvious intelligence, that you might have some comprehension problems, at least with people who disagree with you But on second thought, I believe that my arguments are dismissed by you because they interfere with your divisive agenda So that is good news....I guess... I suggest rereading all of my arguements ~Odin~

I didn't see any arguments from you, only logical fallacies, i.e. appeal to motive and ad hominem.

You just did it again "divisive agenda". All your thoughts are based on logical fallacies.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

ho hum

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Why are you only able to spew logical fallacies like ad hominem and appeal to motive? Didn't you learn how to properly debate in high-school? I posed criticism and also posed solutions to fix those problems. Do you have any arguments at all about this?

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I think despite your obvious intelligence, that you might have some comprehension problems, at least with people who disagree with you

But on second thought, I believe that my arguments are dismissed by you because they interfere with your divisive agenda

So that is good news....I guess...

I suggest rereading all of my arguements

~Odin~

[-] -2 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

I celebrate this all the time. Just last week I visited the Occupy group in my area and helped them with some volunteering. I'm not sure where you are getting all your fantasies from? Do you always make up stories, or do you sometimes listen to what others have to say?

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Call it a fault if you like, but when people intersperse SOME legitimate criticisms, with a bunch of BS, yes i do have a tendency of not listening

It's a fault...errr..or attribute, I am working on tho...lol

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

It's a shame because he's actually a pretty smart guy. And he did some good early on. He was absolutely right when he pointed out the militant aspects of the early OWS posters, which they must have agreed with, since they've toned them down since then.

But I believe he's wrong in his assertion that this forum is ineffectual. Aside from people like me that actually have learned things here that I was completely unaware of (things I've passed on to others), I think it's too much of a coincidence that a lot of topics discussed here have made it into the national dialog. Things I don't believe were being talked about much before the inception of this website.

[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

As you know, this forum has gone through some changes over the last 18 months, and most recently for the better

Although I believe i have been 'justifiably' critical of it in the past, I have always maintained that it has been and continues to be a wonderful place to learn, and to share our commitment to the cause

And this is the place where so many of us, including me have put all the peices of the sordid puzzle together

Perhaps this spring, we can work on linking with the streets better

~Odin~

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Boycott the forum. Hilarious!

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

It does seem to have improved quite a bit recently. The question of how to link it to the streets, or how to expand the message quicker and further, has puzzled me, tho. I believe a redesign of, or additions to, this website would do wonders. There are a few things lacking, but of course, it would probably take a bit of cash to do so, I think.

One thing I thought was ideal was that page Matt was working on that kept the threads organized. I wish something like that would be incorporated. It would easy for a newcomer to go directly to threads about a particular subject. As it is, threads disappear into the ether quickly and any newcomer or casual guest doesn't have a chance to read them. Some of these threads should stay visible indefinitely without the need for continually bumping them.

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Growing the movement has to be a top priority, hence I had suggested to another poster here that the the OWS web site put up a PDF that was tailored to reaching out to the middle, so that people could print it out on their own, and make copies of it to leave off at different businesses, libraries, etc. in their local area

Not everyone has the time or inclination to come to this website, and having a low tech tangible flyer that could be shared has an appeal, especially to a generation that is not on line much, if at all in some cases

I have promoted this idea in NY to different people, with a La Marea style flyer that i had made up several months ago as an example (that could be a lot better), but so far, no bites

As i have said many times before, letters to the editor are another good way to progress this movement, although admittedly i have only written one defending OWS from an attack by the editor of my local paper

Improving this forum by categorizing the threads is also a good idea. Matt should forward his idea to the forum people

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Growing the movement has to be a top priority

You can't grow a movement by fragmenting it. The movement will start growing when it has a website that caters to all and which truly represents what Occupy is on the ground. The Internet is crucial in making this protest grow. You should convince your affinity group to start a website. You should convince them to discuss the articles they post and contribute in the comments, unlike what this website does. You should convince them to name their names without fear when they pen articles. We need a website where the organizers of said website, and the writers of said website don't ignore the people commenting on said website. There needs to be an exchange with the people in charge, else the users feel they are at the bottom of a hierarchal pyramid.

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

"You can't grow a movement by fragmenting it." That's FALSE

You defineitely can grow a movement with different groups working for the same goals

And in fact, that is probably preferrable as the 'goal' becomes bigger than any one group, and the RESISTANCE is multifaceted hence more difficult to squash

I suggest that you take out your history books and read up on past struggles, and cool it on the logical fallacies

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

You defineitely can grow a movement with different groups working for the same goals

They are not working on the same goals, they barely communicate between each other. A lot of these affinity groups resent the originators in NYC who are all anarchists and who run this site from behind the curtain. They remain in control. Occupy does not function as a community effort, and that is the problem. We need a glue to reconnect all these affinity groups together so that they can really strive towards the same goals in full force.

[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

We are definitely working towards the same goal of having a sea change in the way our political and financial institutions are run

Once again, my critique of OWS is similar to one a child might give his elderly Dad or Mom in a loving way

Your criticisms are divisive, and we are tired of the crap because that is what has been going on for the past 30 plus years

Some of us believe the rotten system can be reformed, others do not

Radicals and reformers with slightly different agendas have a long history of working well together. SEE the 20 plus years leading up to the New Deal

Was it a smooth melding together of the many groups that were pushing for change? No, it never is.

I respectfully suggest once again for you to take your history books out, and you will see this to be true

Then again, I really do not beleive you are here to promote truth, or the success of our struggle

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Unfortunately, I do not believe that the forum administration has a lot of time to put into it as they would like, and that is probably the reason why Matt did not get a response, and why my idea has not been accepted either We should not be deterred though, and perhaps our next goal should be to link the forum contributors with the forum admin.... Maybe a boycott is in order! lol ~Odin~

Why the excuses? The forum administrators, moderators, and programmers were never interested in ideas provided by users. You know this. It has nothing to do with them being overworked. This should be a community website, if they don't have time to fully participate and take ideas from the users here, they should step down and let others in the community take over. It should be an open system. There should be rotation. Jart hasn't made a code change for this site in over 5 months. This is not a good sign. She should let other programmers take over. They won't because they love control. That's the problem with anarchists. They only like "anarchy" when they are the ones controlling the hierarchic pyramid from the top. Occupy was never anarchy, it was always controlled by the anarchists. You know that.

Your PDF idea was great. It was overlooked because they don't care what the users here think, that's also the reason they never comment on their own articles.

Your ideas do not matter here. They never have. Not to the ones in charge at least.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Your criticisms, some legitimate, are not coming from a person who wants this movement to succeed

That's the major difference between us

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

Your criticisms, some legitimate, are not coming from a person who wants this movement to succeed That's the major difference between us ~Odin~

Logical fallacy: appeal to motive.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

that's phooey

~Odin~

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

I saw that comment the other night about putting a PDF on the front page to print out a flyer. It thought it was an excellent idea, one of the best forum improvements I've read on here in a long time. But it was one of those nights when I was distracted by personal issues and didn't really comment on anything, just lurked a while.

Do you remember that page Matt had going for a while? I'm not sure what became of it, tho. I think someone may have suggested it to the admins and got no response (no surprise there, unfortunately) so he may have given up on it. Personally, I thought it would've improved this forum immensely. Maybe when I see his name pop up I'll ask him about it.

I think with just a few upgrades, these two included, this site could be improved quite a bit.

[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Unfortunately, I do not believe that the forum administration has a lot of time to put into it as they would like, and that is probably the reason why Matt did not get a response, and why my idea has not been accepted either

We should not be deterred though, and perhaps our next goal should be to link the forum contributors with the forum admin....

Maybe a boycott is in order! lol

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

This forum is not ineffectual. Everything can have an effect. The problem is it could have a much bigger impact if it were connected to what is happening in the street and various affinity groups. It would be so much more efficient that way. It would also be improved if the news article writers provided their names and actually contributed to the comments their articles generate. They are never part of the discussion. They write something that everyone reads, and we comment without getting any feedback. You never have the chance to write something that will hit the masses like their articles do (those articles are not only published here). That's hierarchy. Masterminds writing articles and not bothering to discuss them. They feed you stuff than you digest without being able to discuss it with them. This is a huge red flag.

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

I agree with you. In fact I just read your answer to Odin above and commented on it, with a question.

[-] 1 points by toobighasfailed (117) 1 year ago

"The point of consensus process is to allow a group to decide on a common course of action.”

"How can we build a culture of consensus in Occupy Wall Street? This is the question that we face now. I hope that we engage it."

Two great points.

My view is that OWS needs to propose a common course of action in order to build a culture of consensus. That is, we will never completely agree with each other, but there may be some course of action that enough people can say "Yeah, I can get behind that" to lead to real-world reform.

To this end, I'm prone to endorse an effort to break up the Wall Street banks. 1) It directly has to do with Wall Street. 2) Matt Taibbi recently declared that it should be the Holy Grail of activist goals.

Achieving the Holy Grail of activist goals ain't too shabby.

[-] 0 points by jerseystar111 (-1) 1 year ago

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[-] 0 points by FluxRostrum (4) 1 year ago

Consensus is a SKILL that this uncredited writer obviously did not master LEARN HOW to agree and how to handle blocks in this video http://fluxview.com/USA/Original-deProgramming/Tools-Movement-Leaders-Lisa-Fithian-OWS-Facilitator-Workshop

[-] 0 points by Sammyseed (12) 1 year ago

Consensus is not capable, it's been proven, it's why we write articles about it. The only arguments I see now are along the lines of "Free Market has never been tried" etc, aka a load of nonsense. We need to be realists, outside the perfect environment of the classroom is a messy world where theories fall apart, there are no utopian conditions that allow consensus to work.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Consensus is not supposed be "utopian". It's supposed to prevent the abuse of power by the majority and the individual.

Consensus dent have mean liberum veto.

[-] 1 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Giving everyone in a group the power to be the boss and tell others "no" is not how you prevent authority and abuse of power.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

yes, everyone should be the boss of themselves. that is exactly what I want and think will prevent the abuse of power over others.

You can have consensus with the liberum veto....

[-] 0 points by wasav (0) 1 year ago

Consensus is a mechanism for a group of people to come together to work as a government. However, if the process of consensus allows some individuals to come in to stop people to work as a government, there is a problem. Consensus should only be used for pro-government work, not anti-government work. Measures must be introduced to stop individuals from using the process of consensus as an anti-government tool. Conservatives and libertarians are anti-government. Liberals like Occupy Wall Street should be pro-government, not anti-government.

[-] 0 points by Fez (20) 1 year ago

So the initial article assured us that "both articles are written by respected founding occupiers," but with no names given on either of the two, the question still remains...

Who wrote these?

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[+] -6 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

The secretive anarchists behind the Occupy curtain. Their names are jart and zoe.

[-] 0 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 1 year ago

We should build a culture of Love. There is no power but Love strong enough to become the 99%.

The Revolution is LOVE!

[-] 0 points by urza9814 (1) 1 year ago

Many of these examples are NOT consensus-based governance, but are in reality simply various forms of a republic. Which makes sense -- a consensus-based system would be impossible in any large organization, particularly one that spans continents.

Better luck next time though.

Also, a note to the webmaster(s) if you happen to see this -- having it say 'you must be logged in to post' but then not providing a login link is kind of annoying. I know, it's at the usual place at the top of the page, but this is the first site I can remember seeing that doesn't provide a login link with the comment box, and it's particularly annoying since it appears that it will accept anonymous posts until you actually click submit. And then you have to copy/paste your post so you don't lose it when you login...and then you have to go find the article again since the login link dumps you back to the homepage. That shouldn't take more than half an hour to fix -- I'm a web developer myself...if you don't know how to code and are just using an off the shelf CMS you can contact me and I can try to help out if I have time; this username at gmail.com.

[-] 0 points by CPAG (1) 1 year ago

This is a formal response from the Consensus Practices and Advocacy Group (CPAG) to both this post and, more pointedly, to the previous post titled: "Occupiers! Stop Using Consensus!"


We were formed in the aftermath of the failure of what was purportedly called "consensus" at Occupy Wall Street in New York. This response has been consented to by all members of the CPAG group. You can find some of our materials at the following links:

1) What Occupy Wall Street called "consensus" was frequently not. It aspired to consensus, but failed to attain it and frequently degenerated into a surreptitious quasi-parliamentary (a.k.a., "voting") process.

2) Consensus tackles the problem of "the tyranny of the majority" (as foreseen by the authors of the U.S. Constitution, and as frequently experienced with the mob rule at the park). Parliamentary process, as advocated by the author of the anonymous post "Stop Using Consensus!", does not address this issue. Consensus process on the other hand requires much more effort than parliamentary. It requires training, evaluation, and review; above all, it requires a consistent commitment of time. Most of Occupy's participants were unwilling or unable to expend the sufficient time and effort to make it work; nor did those who initially organized consensus at Occupy Wall Street make clear the essential, required responsibilities for participation in consensus process.

3) The decision-making process that a movement uses must be agreed upon by its participants. If its participants do not want to use a particular decision-making process, they should not be forcing the use of that process.

We would bring to your attention Randy Schutt's article, "Consensus Is Not Unanimity" (link). It addresses some of the prerequisites for consensus process to work, and which were sorely lacking from Occupy.

Also please take time to read advice offered to Occupy Wall Street by two distinguished professional facilitators at the following links:


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[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Consensus is when the majority and the minority agree.

Libertarian Socialist? Talk about an oxy moron.............

Socialism is the process of making people all have the same clothes, money, job, house, opinions.

Libertarianism is the near lack of a rule of law.

Neither Socialism, nor Libertarianism is desirable, as both defeat the whole purpose of making people 'freer'.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Libertarian Socialism is only an oxymoron for the ones who are not familiar with the history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1rK4PsP0zY

Libertarian Socialism is about creating a society in which people are in control of their own lives and workplace.

[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Are people in control of other's lives.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

People are in control of their own lives, work and community. Libertarian Socialism is about creating more democracy and freedom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

I don't want others to have a say in my life and I don't want a say in other peoples lives.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

If your actions affect other people’s lives, then they should of course have a say in those actions. People should have a say in the things that affect them, and that includes the institutions in which they work. The economic institutions must be democratized.

By the way, a society where no one has any say in an individual’s life, can not exist with an all encompassing economy like ours.

[-] -3 points by Zoogamwa (-9) 1 year ago

Just a tired old man, trying to say a few things here. A movement is not much.

It all seems a lot of talk to me. You discuss this with that person, or that group, or whatever. I guess I am just a writer, trying to get a job. Any criticism is welcome.

War. We have all had enough of it. Especially when it is for the wrong reasons. How many people were 'inadvertently' killed in the American police action in Iraq? They did not want to go for a long time. You know the number is over a hundred thousand. I think that 'we' lost about a thousand. Excuse me if I am wrong. But was not that loss celebrated more than the loss of Iraq? The loss that stung.

I know a lot of you will be critical of this. But all you are is a bunch of marauders. The definition of which... includes no religion. I am sure that you want your organization to stand true. But there is no mention of God in any of you.

What a worthless organization. You want to prey on the homeless. I don't care what movie stars back you.

Russian. They want no peace. China, wants no peace. I only see people wanting pollution. And there is where you stand. You stink as much as the next guy. I put a thread in. I guess it was too rude for you. Where did your organization come from? I asked for support to close down the nuclear plants. It was not forthcoming. I guess you don't want to do anything there. Any comments are welcome. Perhaps I am not good enough for you guys. I guess I don't play enough music. You don't want to talk to the press. What the fuck for? Do you all want to become famous? I am very sad now. Because I see your organization doing nothing. I see you sitting around in circles, and talking. And then talking to people about what they are doing. I guess that is all alright. If you want a revolution. But you don't understand. You don't state that. Are you all fucking stupid or something? What the fuck are you doing there?

I don't mean to be rude. But I find you a rude organizaton. You just want to talk peace. I am feeling sick inside, because I am so angry. I dare you to put this on your front page, because you cannot take the heat.

Other issues. I guess there are no other issues. We continue to remain in Afghanistan. The soldiers ready to kill. Why did they make a fighting force like that anyway? I find no excuse for it. We just go into one war, and into another. Where is no intelligence. There is no excellence. You know I am talking shit now.

We continue to remain in Afghanistan. I do not know why. We send drones into there, and we are supposed to be the best fighting force in the world. Some fucking cowards we are.

I am filled with sadness. Because most of you are cowards too. Most of you come from army families. I guess that is where you stay. Waiting to support your folks in the next war.

There can be no more wars. I hope that some of you understand. I guess there are a lot of bad folk out there, that agree with all this shit. The coming of the wars. The end of the world because of pollution. I guess you all agree on that. The only way to the Wall Street you talk about, is by protest. You protest. World revolution. Is that not what it is really about? The world does not want anymore pollution. It wants it stopped. But you old folks that run this thing. You would rather say Occupy Wall Street is a success, and be done with it. I guess all the snakes have come out to choke this thing. I agree with you. There should be a world... revolution. But you have no business in those other countries. Something should be done here. I do not know what.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2030) 1 year ago

I see I'm not the only tired old man out there...

[+] -4 points by oldJohn (-646) 1 year ago

As the weeks went on the original members did not find the assembly useful anymore. It was overrun by opportunists and tourists, who did not understand the meaning or context of the process.

You mean that as more and more people joined the general assemblies, the anarchists suddenly found themselves to be the minority instead of the overwhelming majority and realized their ideas weren't as popular as they were when the general assemblies were made up entirely of anarchists. At that point, they started pulling strings from behind the curtain, much like you are doing now by writing news articles without revealing your name.

“People weren’t stakeholders, so they didn’t really have to hear one another. We relied too much on rules and not enough on building culture.”

Indeed because they were trying to hide the anarchist roots of Occupy since they knew that would scare the majority of Americans. They should have come clean. There are great things in anarchic thought.

[-] 5 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

How very odd. Questioning consensus, yet using it at the very same time. Trying to get consensus about consensus.

[-] 1 points by jemcgloin (63) from Staten Island, NY 1 year ago

anarchists were never the majority. There was always a mix of many isms at occupy.

[-] 0 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 1 year ago

OJ never did know what Anarchist thought was till Occupy.I did not know that the people at Zucottie had a secret agenda.In fact I found most to be very open on what political views they held.At any rate you do bring up some thoughtful points.And yes there are some good things in anarchic thought.The majority of Americans do not have a clue about it.What they do think has been shaped by the corporate media.