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You are here Editorials Guest Commentary "Occupy 'Vision Statement' a Gift to the Elites."

"Occupy 'Vision Statement' a Gift to the Elites."

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TVNL Note: On July 4th, 2012, attendees of the first Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia announced their "Vision For A Democratic Future."  The following is a challenge to that vision and a warning about its message originally stated in an email to Mike Malloy's radio show.

by Tara "dacktyl" Devlin, founder of

Hi, Mike.

I wanted to share my feelings with you about the Occupy statement you read last night.   

Frankly, the statement pissed me off because it sounded to me, not like a beautiful vision for the world in stark contrast to the CON vision of greed, hierarchy and intellectual incuriosity - but the death knell of a once promising movement.

"Our process is our message?!"  WHAT?  Really?  I know that was probably meant to be a radical, bold, daring attempt at a fundamental shift in consciousness about how we organize our society, but it sounded more like a gift to the elites who are giggling with delight by the way Occupy just solidified itself as a fringe movement.

Crafting a "vision statement" that is SO incredibly broad and all encompassing is nothing but wasted time and energy.   The struggling working classes need champions to fight for them in the HERE AND NOW - not paint a "peace and love" picture of an airy-fairy utopia that is SO FAR from fruition to make it frustratingly laughable.

The "vision" is so painfully, consciously all-inclusive, I was honestly waiting for "Free Mumia," "Save the Whales" and "call your grandma at least once a week so she may feel 'loved and unafraid.'"  Yes, these ALL good causes, but we need reality-based "visions" rooted in the HERE AND NOW.  The only way this movement will ever reignite the spark lit in Zucotti Park is by giving the average working stiff something he or she can relate to and pour their frustrations into.

All this, "a non hierarchical society," "people feel empowerd, free and unafraid," "more humanity, kindness and selflessness," are all wonderful concepts, but don't resonate with the struggling single parent who is barely keeping a roof over their head.  I can see it now.  

"'Humanity and kindness...' How wonderful.  Can you please leave me alone now, I'm trying to get to my third 'uniquely American' low paying job before I get fired for being late."    

"Hey, Lady.... don't you get it?  Our process is our message!"

A REAL, EMPOWERING, vision would be something ALL PEOPLE - including the dupes who think they're Republicans - can rally around.   Here's one... SIMPLY, "the middle class restored to economic vibrancy."  They want a "process?"  Here you go... SIMPLY, "get money out of politics."

It is frustratingly sophomoric, feckless and immature to think that EVERY SINGLE ISSUE AND NEED has to be addressed, right here and right now, or someone might "feel disempowered and afraid."  

The elites were really nervous about Occupy - with good reason.  It was built on the idea that MONEY had corrupted democracy and destroyed the middle class - an idea whose time has come.  Now, that idea has been lost in a sea of "feelings" and diluted by every issue that could ALL be addressed by SIMPLY taking care of the ORIGINAL issue.  

The working class - even those who've been propagandized to THINK their interests and the interests of billionaires are one in the same - all know that MONEY is the rot in our system.  EVERYTHING - from "a non hierarchical society" to "people feeling empowerd, free and unafraid" could be addressed ONCE the fundamental rot is eradicated.  

Here's a quote from an article about the Philidelphia gathering:
"In a circle of about 100 people, many complained that even Occupy - known for its lack of a unifying demand or a recognized leader - was not inclusive enough.   In a discussion lasting about two hours, Occupiers stood up to say women, minorities, American Indians, people with disabilities, gays and lesbians, homeless people, and anarchists were all being treated unfairly by the movement."  

Trust me, I know.  I've been to Occupy working groups, General Assemblies and participated in numerous actions here in NYC, and there is a feeling that everyone's "feelings" should always be given the utmost priority. For instance, I was at a group where people discussed that neighbors were upset about drumming late into the night.  There was MUCH discussion about how to tell the drummers to cool it after 10pm.  After all, no one wanted to hurt the drummers' feelings - because they were ALREADY feeling bad that people wanted them at the marches, but not outside someone's apartment late into the night - and that wasn't "fair" - after all, they really liked "drumming" and they were vital at the rallies... There was also discussion about respecting "diversity of tactics," which is code for the anarchists, who... if you ask me... are MORE sophomoric tools playing right into the hands of the elites and don't deserve to be "respected."

I mean, what the Hell?  Is this a political movement for change - REAL, ACTUAL, CHANGE that might REALLY, ACTUALLY, help fix a broken system, or the G.D. "Rainbow Gathering?"

One thing is for sure... the income disparity and economic injustice that gave birth to the Occupy movement is still the sickness in the system.  Whether Occupy is the remedy or just a footnote on the path to REAL revolution is yet to be seen... but with these impotent tactics, I fear the latter.  

Thanks for letting me share.... I HAD to get that off my chest.  Now, I have to rest and dream of the revolution and living in a land where the government works for ALL.

Your Friend,


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