Thursday, December 01, 2011

Will There Be "Son of Occupy"? Will its Saturn side start to show?

As the Occupy Movement's visible presence begins to fade, as we suspected it would, either by force or due to winter weather, journalists and bloggers are taking sides for and gainst the view that either OWS has been either an abject failure, or alternatively has done a worthwhile job of raising awareness and will winter "underground", revitalising come springtime 2012. (Photograph from

It's obvious that, if OWS's main aim was to raise awareness, they succeeded. The movement's best known signature: 99% versus 1%, in spite of its over-generalisation has caught a mass attention that was absent this time last year.

If I had to give a zodiac sign to the Occupy movement(s) it'd be Aquarius. Aquarius has 2 rulers: Uranus and Saturn. We've seen the Uranian, surprisingly unexpected side of Occupy, now I believe its Saturn side should come to the fore, at least for a while.
"The end of consciousness-raising leaves people with no place to go, and the lack of structure leaves them with no way of getting there...."
That quote comes from a feminist book Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader . The feminist movement aimed to be "structureless", using "horizontal" decision making rather than hierarchal. OWS has aimed to emulate this and to remain leaderless. With no figurehead(s) to act as targets, they feel individuals remain less vulnerable to attack. The feminist movement must have dealt with similar problems. There's a very good good piece on these very issues, written by Jo Freeman :

The Tyranny of Structurelessness

(Highlighting is my own)

"Contrary to what we would like to believe, there is no such thing as a structureless group. Any group of people of whatever nature that comes together for any length of time for any purpose will inevitably structure itself in some fashion........

....... A "laissez faire" group is about as realistic as a "laissez faire" society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony can be so easily established because the idea of "structurelessness" does not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones."

"The more unstructured a movement is, the less control it has over the directions in which it develops and the political actions in which it engages.... Given a certain amount of interest by the media and the appropriateness of social conditions, the ideas will still be diffused widely. But diffusion of ideas does not mean they are implemented; it only means they are talked about. Insofar as they can be applied individually they may be acted on; insofar as they require coordinated political power to be implemented, they will not be."

I've been on the side of OWS from the get-go, but lately have wondered about their insistence on remaining leaderless. Leaders are a part of our nature, human nature, and the nature of many of our fellow creatures on planet Earth. Think of a V-shaped flight of geese, a pack of wolves, the bees with their Queen - and so on.

OWS would argue that "hierarchies have been tried - look what happened. We must try something different", they'd say. Hierarchies, of one sort or another, have been part and parcel of human history and experience - forever. Like it or not, they are an embedded part of our nature. The 21st century trick will, in my opinion, be to allow for hierarchies of wealth, but to protect those at the base of the pyramid. Legislation should be put in place to ensure that the wealth of the top tier should not be allowed to subjugate those beneath. I'm using a bit of hyperbole there -subjugation was more Roman Empire style.....Hmmm - I don't know though, maybe I'm not using hyperbole after all.

One of the biggest problems (I believe it to be THE biggest) for the 99% in the USA is the now unlimited ability of the most wealthy 1%, both corporate and individual, to buy power via lobbying with "benefits" and HUGE contributions to political campaigns of those running for seats in Senate or House or as president. Not to mince words: bribery.

To make such a dent on the status quo would require a Constitutional amendment. That would involve an impossibly high level of politicical support. Politicans are bought and paid for by the very people who would lose out badly if such a dent in the status quo were to come to pass.

Catch 22!!!

If OWS would adopt, initially, a spokesperson to present a single defined aim (the one above for example), publicise it among supporters online and elsewhere, also offering a means of showing support - e.g. financial support for TV adverts or billboards. A strong, charismatic leader might eventually emerge. A figure from their own ranks, or a known public figure. (Importantly without links to the two-headed one-bodied Democrat/Republican monstrosity). Such a figure, wielding a certain amount of clout, with intention to influence other heavy-hitters, could herald the next stage of OWS or "Son of OWS".

I realise that this idea isn't in line with the ideology OWS has embraced, so far. But - when you're playing on a square-shaped sports field, it's not helpful to keep complaining that the game would be better played on a circular one. Use what skills are available to try to win the game on the field as it stands, then the ability go about shape-shifting would be yours.

For a more positive assessment of Occupy's current situation see Occupy: We Are the World, by Patrick Kingsley and Adam Gabbatt at Common Dreams.

And - one I've just seen, re our Oklahoma City contingent - good on 'em, and especially on Jay Vehige!

Arrested for Supporting Local Business: Occupying Black Friday at the Big Boxes in Oklahoma City, by Lori Spencer


Anonymous said...

GP: Son of OWS? or a "bis", organized this time? I doubt it. Who manages this sort of thing much better are the plutocrats of this world. Over 50% of US Senators are millionaires. 50 million Chinese communist party officials (about 3% of the total Chinese population) are not all millionaires but if not already so, on the way to become so one day.

Obama/Bernanke now took their money-printing helicopter (Bernanke's speciality) "international". Stockmarkets world - wide roared on the news. And oil is again above 100$/bbl.

Henry Paulson (former Goldman Sachs, turned Secretary of the US Treasury, now confirmedly having leaked insider information to his cronies, but difficult to be indighted...) is only one in a chain of plutocratic Goldman Sachs public servants: the latest trio of that sort (all 3 former Goldman Sachs executives), are the head of the European Central Bank, Draghi by name, the head of the new Italian government, Monti, and the new head of the Greek government, Papasomething. That's what I mean by "organizing", as Lenin, Trotsky knew was necessary, and effectively then did.

As far as the Chinese plutocrats goes: They all know that Communism is a thing of the past. But since they are in power, the one way to keep their priviledges going, is to stimulate their economy, all the time, create zillions of greedy consumers. It's the one human species which can be manipulated forever! And they even pay for the publicity they adore to ingurgitate. and it's all included in the price...

PS: I may sound pessimistic. But the problem needs much more drastic measures then some sit-in type of revolt. Stop following any politician telling you "yes we can" or some similar bs. To boycott some consumer goods and services, but in an ORGANIZED WAY sounds like a good start, possibly also to watch TV (at least when a politician appears on the screen).

Anonymous said...

GP: Of course I mean to boycott, stop watching TV whenever a politician appears on the screen.

Someone may develop a gadget for that. Turns off your TV automatically, as soon as a politician's face appears. Should earn him some millions, even if only charging some 25 bucks a peace. Imagine the "stink" that would create in Washington D.C. !?!

Anonymous said...

OWS is not leaderless: it is LEADERFUL. This radically new idea of leadership (as in THE SHIP that holds us all, the mothership, the earth ship), is articulated beautifully in an article by Micah Sifry at Alternet.

As for the astrology, think it through: The co-rulership of Aquarius by Saturn and Uranus = a radical rebellion against the old idea of leader (Uranus upsetting the status quo of Saturn), AND, reciprocally, a new form of structure for a new idea of leadership (Saturn giving structure to the new Uranian vision).

Senex Saturn old idea of leadership as a single, virtually always male, leader is destroyed by Uranus; a new and fundamentally Aquarian idea of leader, a leaderful group, a group that fills up with leaders whose aim is to represent the whole group rather than lead the group in the direction I-individual want to go.

Leader IS 'what democracy looks like,' and single heroic leader is what patriarchy and domination and old ideas of the hero look like.

OWS is a collective of leaders re-inventing leadership from single leader full of himself, to a group full of ideas and energy and passion to lead us all out of the mess we are all in together.

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~~

Those people you mention can have their wealth and stew in it for all I care. They should NOT be able to use it to buy politicians.
That is the single issue that could make a difference - at least in the USA. That is the issue "We the People" have to realise should be the target of protests. It's an almost impossible target to hit though. But so were many other targets - votes for women, civil rights, etc. Dedicated campaigners made a difference and eventually hit those targets.

I agree that more drastic measures are needed. Boycotts of corporate goods wherever possible is something everyone can do. I felt proud of what a small contingent of Occupiers in Oklahoma City did on Black Friday in Walmart stores, for instance. They were eventually arrested - but that was no surprise.

As you say, turning off political waffling on corporate-owned TV (all of it) would help too. Even the best of the commentators there are beholden to their corporate employers and are not allowed to go beyond certain points of criticism of the status quo.

Organisation and structure, from our viewpoint anyway, is essential for any kind of success - local, national or international. Maybe, GP, we're too old to appreciate that there could possibly be any other way forward.

Much as I admire what the Occupy movement is trying to do, I have to stand by my last para

when you're playing on a square-shaped sports field, it's not helpful to keep complaining that the game would be better played on a circular one. Use what skills are available to try to win the game on the field as it stands, then the ability go about shape-shifting would be yours.

Twilight said...

Anonymous #2

Hi there!

Thanks for adding your viewpoint.
I admire your optimism, but as I've just written to the other Anonymous/GianPaul
I stand by my last paragraph, astrology notwithstanding

when you're playing on a square-shaped sports field, it's not helpful to keep complaining that the game would be better played on a circular one. Use what skills are available to try to win the game on the field as it stands, then the ability go about shape-shifting would be yours.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anonymous #2 - we're witnessing a change in consciousness- and the old paradigms are fast leaving us. The secrets will not be concealed for much longer- the energy just doesn't support it. Very exciting times!

Twilight said...

Anonymous#3 ~~ I want to believe as you do, and in the long term - very long term -you are going to be proved correct. In the short/medium term though, I stand by what I've already written here.

Anonymous said...

Structureless worries me. What happens when you have a group of emotionally charged people with no defined leadership? Sounds a lot like mob mentality to me. I would rather see the choice of a leader be made by OWS, than for someone to sweep in and take over with their own goals.

Here is the thing tho. Yes, if raising awareness was the key point, they have succeeded. But, there are all these people in the various OWS groups that now realize they have a common mindset. Can you imagine if they collectively started sweeping humanitarian efforts? Do they not see the power they have in thier vast numbers and media attention now if they were to take action?

What I'm trying to say here is, they could very well demonstrate (actively demonstrate) the change they want to see. People are awake. They are paying attention. Be leaders in community action. SHOW us what you mean.

Tons of physically able people who could use this time to actually physically help people by devoting their talents and trades. On their own, they may have very little funds to confront lobbying..but collectively?

I hear a lot about Pluto in Cap. But what about Uranus in Aries and Neptune conj Chiron approaching Pisces? That's healing and innovative energy that can be used while Pluto in Cap does it's thing to wipe out the structures within the world that are no longer needed. I mean, it's already happening (the stuff with Pluto in Cap). The ground is being prepared for new growth. Why not start the flow in that direction instead of pushing and begging for more destruction.

Twilight said...


I "hear" what you say re a leader from within being preferable. Yes, thre's no doubt about that. I think an outsider with some influence or name recognition would be a great help though, if not in leadership, as an identiafiable face and voice, for those people who respond only to that kind of thing.

Re the astrology - The Neptune in Pisces thing can cut two ways - more and stronger delusion/illusion and dreams, as well as, or instead of, more compassionat outlooks. Could be a danger there.

The good they've done so far in raising awareness could evapourate if not backed up with more practical efforts. Efforts to make even minor changes with the tools and methods available - much as they despise them.