Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Unlike Occupy

Well, today I gave the Occupy Wall St facebook group the ultimate teenage girl's act of disrespect.  I 'Unliked' them on Facebook.  OMG.  One too many obnoxious and blatantly racist posts came across my computer screen.  Thus I decided my life would be better off if I didn't have to see that junk on a regular basis.  In other words, I unliked Occupy for pretty much the same reason I use the obscenity controls on my tv systems to block CNN, FAUX, MSNBC et al from my screen.  I find life is better if I don't even see the various forms of junk that each puts out.

These days, being involved with much of the left means being constantly subjected to a barrage of racist and sexist comments, ideas, pictures, memes, videos, etc.  All of this comes with the thoroughly obnoxious attitude that says the person putting this stuff forward can't possibly be sexist because of their sex.  Or that the person putting forward this junk can't possibly be racist because of their skin color.

I believe that to try to lump together hundreds of millions or even billions of people by their skin color or their gender, and then try to say anything about that group that is true is virtually impossible.  Its only possible at the very basic level of saying something like "if they are alive, they must be breathing."  Try to go beyond that, and the only thing that is certain is that you are wrong.

Thinking in stereotypes is wrong and just plain stupid.  There is no way on earth you can say anything about hundreds of millions of people and have it be true.  Its absolutely, 100% certain that whatever you say won't be true for a significant portion of the group.  Of course, you'll hear equally stupid rationalizations, such as 'well, that's the exception that proves the rule' offered in response.  If you hear that, just know you are listening to a moron.

Since whatever is said can't possibly true for everyone in the group about which the statement is being made, then each and every statement should be followed by a qualification that says "except when it isn't true".  Of course, if the racists who were writing this tripe were to take every claim in their racist works and put "except when it isn't true" right after it, then their thinking would be revealed as the shallow, stupid racist garbage that it really is.

So, white people are privileged over black people, except when it isn't true. Men are always lazy, except when it isn't true.  Just always remember every time you hear or read any comment along these lines, that its not true for tens or hundreds of millions of people.  The 'except when it isn't true' group is probably as large or even larger than the group for which the statement might be true.  And even if the 'except when it isn't true' group is actually smaller, its still so large as to be a significant amount of the individuals you might meet.

This is made more of an obnoxious affront by the blatant assertion that for instance a person who has people from Africa as ancestors can never say anything that's 'racist' simply because their skin has a darker color.  Thus, the nastiest, most hateful, racist crap can be put forth with the assertion that you couldn't possibly call it nasty, hateful, racist crap because of the skin color of the author.  Racism defended by racism.  Or, to use a Talking Heads lyric, "same as it ever was".

There are always people who are going to say that they are somehow better or superior because of some reason or another.  And if they've got nothing else going for them, they'll try to claim its because of their skin color or their gender.  My experience with Occupy and other leftist groups is that the odds of human nature prevail and that you'll almost always find someone trying to grab power for themselves using these sorts of racist or sexist attacks.  For example, I've been in supposedly democratic Occupy General Assemblies where its been stated that white men are not allowed to speak in the meeting because history says they've always had too much power.  This of course comes from a woman who's using this tactic try to shut down people who oppose her in a meeting. Same as it ever was.  The roles have changed a bit.  But that obnoxious streak of human nature that tries to use anything to attack others to grab power for themselves hasn't changed a bit.

I saw an article a few months back that claimed that one out of four activists are really spies.  When you consider how many police forces, political parties, business associations etc have an interest in spying on activist activities, and when you know there are lots of private 'security' companies that offer such services if a police force or political party doesn't want to keep this 'in house', that article didn't really surprise me.

It is certainly seems very, very common to see self-destructive actions from so many people who are supposed to be activists working for change.  From third party politics to movements like Occupy, you constantly see very loud, aggressive people pushing positions and tactics that are so politically stupid and bound to fail that you really have to wonder what is their motive?  Could they really be that stupid?  Or do they really want this to fail?  Remember, the article said one out of four of the activists around you are really spies.

Occupy began by Americans seeing the success of the Arab Spring protest.  They especially took note of the Tahir Square protests that toppled the long-time American puppet/dicator in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak.  Except, while these actions apparently provided inspiration to the Occupy Wall Street movement, they obviously missed a very important point.  The Tahir Square protest was a 'big tent' movement that unified everyone from leftists and anarchists all the way across society's spectrum over to the Muslim Brotherhood.  That's why it succeeded.  Find a picture of that massive crowd that couldn't even fit into the huge expanse of Tahir Square, and then  you'll understand.  That wasn't your typical American protest of 42 lefties chanting slogans.  Tahir Square was an inclusive movement, and by being such, it managed to turn out the huge numbers of people required to create change in a state ruled by a dictator for life. 

Occupy deliberately went the other direction.  At the key moment when the Occupy movement was starting to get some momentum, a bunch of loud, divisive, leftist activists took over and drove the movement the other direction.  I remember sitting in Occupy general assemblies where any notion of working together with MoveOn's campaign about the Citizen's United court ruling was loudly shouted down by these apparent lefty activists.  That MoveOn had already been working on exactly the issue that was the core of what Occupy Wall Street was supposedly about wasn't considered important.  What was important was that MoveOn wasn't considered to be intellectually pure enough for these loud, lefty activists.  That was when I started to hear a lot of talk about how these lefty activists weren't going to let their movement be 'co-opted'.   When I heard all the talk about not being co-opted, then that's when I knew the Occupy movement was doomed to fail.  Because a movement has to grow to succeed.  Because a movement has to be inclusive to grow.  Because to be inclusive, a movement has to be willing to accept the views and issues of the people coming to join with the movement.

To succeed at generating change, you need crowds the size of Tahir Square.  These lefty activists have been holding protests where 50 people get together and yell a lot for the past few decades.  How's that working out?  The difference at Tahir Square was the huge size of the crowd.  They got this by being inclusive and welcoming everyone.  Leftist democracy activists joined with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, and by doing so, both finally achieved what had been denied to them for decades. 

In American terms, that would have been the Occupy Movement joining with The Tea Party.  Which of course would have been very smart, and might just have created a successful opposition movement.  But instead, the Occupy movement couldn't even work together with MoveOn without screams that Occupy wasn't going to be co-opted.  And today, if you see Occupy out on the streets, what you'll see is the same 10 or so usual suspects out yelling loudly as if ten people yelling will really change anything.

Remember, one in four activists are spies.  The question is, do you think that it was an accident that Occupy Wall Street did exactly the wrong things and failed?  Do you think its an accident that even in what's left in the Occupy movement, you see certain people constantly putting out highly racist and sexist opinions that can only be divisive?  If you understand that to be successful, a movement needs to be inclusive, then when you see people committed to being divisive, the very best you can say about them is that they are fools.  Or, you can remember that one in four activists are really spies.

PS 2/12/14 ...  After writing the above, my perusal of the days news brought me to this story.  If you doubt the idea that there are spies amongst us activists, then read this.
How the American Petroleum Institute Spies on Environmentalists
In 2010 the American Petroleum Institute (API) paid the global intelligence firm Stratfor more than $13,000 a month for weekly intelligence bulletins profiling activist organizations and their campaigns on everything from energy and climate change to tax policy and human rights, according to documents published by WikiLeaks in 2012.

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