Jean Quan speaks at ILWU
Date: Mon, February 6, 2012 9:14 pm
Subject: Re: [psysr-disc] The Cancer in Occupy
Thank you Uuu and Aei and Gfe for your comments.
Chris Hedges is, as expected, informed, involved and angry at the people who put a blot on the non-violent character of the Occupy movement. I share the concern but question the value of demonizing them. Progressives I know love to romanticize social movements from Cuba to South Africa to the Zapatistas to the Arab Spring and more. Our own developed country is so unresponsive to needed changes that we tend to over identify with symbols of non-violent experiments in which we are not ourselves participants. I have been more inspired by Occupy than by any other effort in a long time. It will undoubtedly tap the anger of some who have no patience for careful planning.
I have heard Chris Hedges speak and I've found him – as above - somewhat simplistic and broad-brushed in his approach to radical phenomenology.
But I do not think we help Occupy by dehumanizing the rock throwers. And I do think that some of the latter groups are able to hear that they are helping the provocateurs and their non-destructive ideas are welcome. The place to encourage a discussion of the limitations of destructive actions and the need to dissociate occupy events from such actions would appear to be at the assembly meetings. And for those not able to attend, we need to tell our neighbors that the vast majority in Occupy have a great respect for non-violence and have already changed the dialogue.
I do think that there are "degrees of organization" in the Black Bloc (and perhaps other groups) which do present a problem. There's a difference between spontaneous destructive responses and "cult" type of organizing which manages activism with damage, control and exploitation of the situation in mind. The Occupy needs to be able to discipline or marginalize such activity. Psychologically, there is a kind of "behavior management" by the cult organizers. It is historically a kind of "classical conditioning" paradigm which works to keep the Occupy ineffective.
Thus teaching non-violence is important but having psychologically informed capacity to deconstruct the behavior management is also needed. The "general assemblies" would have to develop such capacity, as an upgrade. I didn't invent that idea, and I've seen such organizational practices in the past. The topic of ways to do such a thing and remain in the spirit of "Occupy" should invoke discussion among psychologically informed people.
We are all 'psychologists'. I'm reminded of a comment by Bishop Samuel Ruiz of Chiapas. I heard him present at a meeting (on the campus of Stanford Univ.) and he mentioned becoming bishop and visiting a Mayan village. The elders asked him, "When do we do mass?" And he replied, "When do you want to do mass?" Ruiz welcomed the Zapatistas in the "Occupy" spirit of liberation theology.
ABO "Andrew Behavior Object"