Where is the occupy movement headed? This is a question that needs to be a continuous part of our discussion. One observer that I regard as particularly astute is Richard K. Moore, visionary, activist, and author of Escaping the Matrix. Richard’s preoccupation is very similar to my own, i.e., to find answers to such fundamental questions as these: How does the world really work? What could a better world look like? How can we bring about the necessary transformation?
Here below is Richard’s very insightful expression (slightly abridged) of what is likely to happen UNLESS the Occupy movement can be informed of truly transformative options, motivated to share, cooperate and organize to implement them, and empowered enough to carry through to full realization of what I’m calling the Butterfly society.
In my view, that will mean a massive devolution of power, and herein lies the importance of the transition, relocalization, decentralization, and community self-reliance initiatives. But a necessary part of that is also a shift in values and ideals that motivate people to change their orientation from pursuing their narrow self-interest to acting for the common good.
Richard’s scenario is a pessimistic one, but it seems all too plausible. As he points out, there is always the risk with any movement, that it will be manipulated and co-opted to serve the interests of some particular group, most notably the existing power hierarchy. This may be the case with the recent regime changes in North Africa and the Middle-east, particularly Libya, where the change was achieved only by the massive intervention of NATO in a civil war that was waged against the government of Muammar Gaddafi by some pretty dubious characters. Now I make no apology for Gaddafi, but the avowed purpose of the NATO intervention just does not hold up to any reasonably close scrutiny. What will be the ultimate outcomes there and in Tunisia and Egypt remains to be seen.
Alvin Toffler, in his book, The Third Wave observed that the power of the nation state is on the wane, that it is being assailed both from ABOVE and from BELOW. The New World Order of the global elite is the “from above” part of that picture. Over the years, we’ve gotten a pretty good glimpse of what that looks like—ever greater centralization of power and concentration of wealth, and control of the many by the few who view themselves as “special” and destined to rule over the world. Carroll Quigley’s book, Tragedy and Hope is perhaps the most useful source on this because it includes a description of HOW their plans are being carried out. That is by their control over the entire machinery of MONEY—credit, currencies and exchange mechanisms; banking and finance; and markets. (The blocking of funds transfers, as in the case of Wiki Leaks, is only small weaponry in this “money war.”).
In Quigley’s words:
”The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching plan, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole… Their secret is that they have annexed from governments, monarchies, and republics the power to create the world’s money…”
Popular demands for change will, at best, end up changing nothing, and, at worst, put the masses of people in even deeper bondage than before UNLESS, the people carry through with the more difficult tasks that I mentioned above. Changes in leadership will not suffice. Our problems are structural, and nothing short of a thoroughgoing restructuring will suffice.
I’ve added some emphasis (bold type) to Richard’s essay below as a way of alerting the reader to some of the points I consider to be especially pertinent. The most important parts are toward the end, so please read it in its entirety.
I’m hoping that this and my other posts on the OWS can stimulate more such visioning and scenario planning that can lead to effective strategies for preventing manipulation and cooptation, and lead us to a truly free and compassionate New Civilization..–t.h.g.
On 10/25/2011 6:12 AM, Richard Moore wrote:
My concern, when I examine any movement or initiative, is to understand what its outcomes are likely to be, all things considered. Where is the OWS movement headed? If it’s headed somewhere I want to go, then I’d be likely to support it, even if I was uncomfortable with some aspects of the movement. And vice versa.
The OWS movement is based on two things, a critique and a process. The critique is a radical anti-establishment perspective. The process is about direct democracy in large groups, based on consensus. OWS is succeeding very well in communicating and promulgating its radical perspective. And the success of the OWS process, in maintaining movement harmony and avoiding divisiveness, has been impressive.
The success of the process offers hope that a better society is possible, based on direct democracy. Through participation in Occupations, that hope is reinforced by direct experience of ‘how things might be’. The enthusiasm of the Occupiers is communicated effectively to followers of the movement, and it’s a contagious enthusiasm. The hope becomes almost a confidence that a better world is coming, and the Occupations become almost proofs-of-concept of the new-world principles.
There is a direct relationship between the hope the movement generates, and the radicalness of the OWS perspective. People normally have a resistance to totally rejecting the current system. When I’ve offered those kind of radical critiques in my postings, many of you have objected to my over-negativity. The OWS perspective, and the hard-hitting viral OWS videos, make my negativity look like child’s play, but people can respond to the perspective, because there is also a branch of hope on offer. If one is in a lifeboat, one can stop pretending the ship isn’t sinking.
And the ship is sinking. The system, as we’ve known it, is totally corrupt and is in a process of collapse. The OWS radical perspective is right on the mark. As people suffer under debt burdens and austerity, they resonate on a personal level with these radical truths. And when they see the enthusiasm and hope generated by the movement, they are drawn to it. If they actually participate in an Occupation, or experience it vicariously on YouTube, they tend to become enthusiastic, promoting the movement in their own networks. It’s not surprising the movement has grown so quickly and on such a large global canvas.
There seems to be nothing standing in the way of the movement growing to its own natural maximum extent. The victory against eviction by Bloomberg stands as a kind precedent, that the on-the-ground Occupiers can expect to be reasonably tolerated by the powers that be. In some cases municipalities are officially endorsing their own local Occupations.
This is all leading up to a kind of Global Tahrir-Square Moment: everyone, so to speak, in the streets, everyone wanting radical regime change, and a sense of inevitable success in the air. In Egypt, the original Tahrir Square, the ‘success’ was the ouster of Mubarak, and the outcome was a military regime whose fundamental orientation is probably not much different from that of Mubarak.
The OWS movement is more sophisticated than that, and has avoided being limited by specific demands. Nonetheless, this later Tahrir Square scenario is highly vulnerable to co-option. The OWS process keeps people harmonized and motivated, while specifically avoiding anything that smacks of organization-building or goal setting. The focus is on demonizing the existing regime, and on encouraging the expectation that change is inevitable: just keep doing what you’re doing.
The hope of movement participants is that out of this scenario a viable direct-democracy process will emerge. The fact, however, is that the movement has grown exponentially in the horizontal direction – greater numbers and more locations – while remaining relatively static as regards its process. The process has been mainly about managing the Occupations and promulgating the movement. It has not been about developing a consciousness about how a direct-democracy / anarchist process can deal with the practical issues faced by a global society in crisis.
So when we reach our Global Tahrir-Square Moment we will be in a volatile situation. We’ll have all that global energy expecting the regime to fall, and no more real direction or vision than in the original Egyptian Tahrir Square. It’s basically a crowd waiting for something to happen.
Meanwhile there is the current regime itself. Is it asleep to all these happenings? Why is the mainstream media being so supportive? Why hasn’t the movement been suppressed in the way the anti-globalization movement was suppressed? Why aren’t there any black-block infiltrators, providing an excuse for suppression, as there was with the anti-globalization movement. Could it be because the regime is not upset with where the movement is heading?
Consider these quotations, which reflect something about how the current masters of the universe think about regime change:
“We shall have World Government whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by Conquest or Consent” – Paul Warburg, author of the Federal Reserve Act, speaking before the US Senate
“Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.” – Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting.
“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” – David Rockefeller
The people at the top of the current regime want regime change. They want to eliminate those messy nations that interfere with their direct control of global affairs. How convenient it is that the demonization material from OWS focuses on nations, their political corruption, their exploitive corporations, their deadly wars, and their greedy banks. The revelations of evil stop short of talking about the regime’s own plans for regime change. From the OWS perspective, the old regime is incapable of adapting and will simply crumble under the weight of the global movement.
In my article about elite plans, cited at the top of this posting, I suggested that a new regime – a new global government – will need to have its own mythology, and that part of that mythology will need to be a thorough demonization of the old regime. The primary concrete output of the OWS movement thus far is precisely such a demonization, very persuasive, and with high production values. When the old regime is swept away, it will be clear to everyone that the people themselves demanded it. The new regime, whatever it is, will have a strong claim to democratic legitimacy.
Everything about the OWS movement, whether by design or accident, is playing directly into the hands of those who have long been yearning to create a one-world government. Notice, in Rockefeller’s quote above, that his concern is about nations accepting a global government, rather than being concerned with the people themselves accepting it. Meanwhile Kissinger talks about UN troops being called in to restore order. And both talk about the importance of an appropriate crisis, to help usher in the new regime. One can’t anticipate a particular scenario from such statements, but they give us a sense of the ‘range of options’, that are ‘on the table’, as regards bringing about the regime’s own plans for regime change.
Taken altogether, I see the following as the ‘most likely outcome scenario’. The OWS movement will continue to grow, generating a general consensus that the existing system is illegitimate and failing. The ‘establishment’ – that is the police and the national governments – will continue to show themselves to be incapable of responding to the aspirations of the movement. In some cases, as we’ve seen in Greece, there will be violence. In other cases, things will stay peaceful. Meanwhile economic conditions will continue to rapidly deteriorate, nations will go bankrupt, and basic infrastructures will be threatened with breakdown. So we’ll have lots of people in the streets demanding regime change, conditions getting desperate, and governments unable to resolve the situation.
This scenario fits the definition of a ‘failed state’, a society that has become ‘ungovernable’. We’ve been conditioned over the past few years to accept the notion of a ‘failed state’, and to expect some kind of ‘humanitarian intervention’ as a ‘solution’. This is the formula that is likely to be employed to usher in a global takeover. Just as our corrupt leaders gave in to the banks when bailouts were demanded, so will our corrupt leaders ‘invite’ outside intervention, when they are told to do so by the same folks who told them to go along with the banks.
Outside intervention is not necessarily about UN troops on street corners, although that might be likely where violence has erupted, and the UN would then be seen as a ‘neutral buffer’ between the people and the hostile security forces of the state. Intervention is also about yielding sovereignty, of one kind or another, to global entities. Permitting external troops on your soil is one kind of yielding sovereignty. Submitting to some new financial regime, controlled globally, would be another form of yielding sovereignty. Agreeing to conform – on penalty of severe sanctions – to some global charter or constitution, would be another form of yielding sovereignty.
Behind the scenes, there will be an architecture for a global governance system, and you can be sure that despite what promises might be made, or whatever democratic-input mechanisms are established, this architecture will guarantee the continued dominance, openly or covertly, of the current masters of the universe. Lots of intermediate heads may roll; those are all expendable, and their demise will be counted as ‘victories’ for the movement, ‘proving’ that the movement is creating the changes that are occurring.
In the public arena, a ‘solution paradigm’ will emerge, and it will seem to be a product of the OWC process. We can expect breakthroughs in communication, where OWC leaders (non leaders?) are invited to participate in some kind of dialog with ‘important world leaders’, discussing the ‘great problems facing us all’.A vision of a participative global society will be developed, and it will be presented as an outcome of the OWC process, in collaboration with those enlightened ‘important world leaders’.
You may wonder how I come up with these scenarios, and whether there is any way to determine whether they have any validity. I come up with these scenarios by looking at things from the point of view of the masters of the universe, taking into account the means at their disposal, their typical modus operandi, their candidly stated goals, and the current actions they are taking or not taking.
By both their actions and their inactions – expressed as favorable media and a lack of suppression – they are encouraging the OWS phenomenon. By disempowering nations via austerity measures and privatization they are ensuring that nations will not be able to respond to the aspirations of OWS. A crisis is thereby created that is crying out for a solution. It’s the classic paradigm of manipulated change: failed system, crisis, handy solution being offered – by those who have the power to implement it.
And the masters of the universe do indeed have the power to offer a solution. As I suggested above, that solution is likely to be perceived as a vision of a participative global society, emerging out of the OWC process. But when push comes to shove, and it’s time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, it will be the behind-the-scenes architecture that actually gets implemented. It’s like with the American Revolution, where the Declaration of Independence promised everything, but when the Constitution came along lots of the promises had gone missing. And somehow the old colonial elites continued to run things.
In the case of the Constitution, it was necessary to tack on the Bill of Rights, before the people would accept it. In the case of the charter of the new global government, given the OWC link, it will be necessary to include what we might call a Rights of Participation – some mechanism of direct popular input to governance, most likely modeled on the OWS process.
We end up with a situation where the masters of the universe establish their long-desired global governance system, where sellout national leaders relinquish sovereignty on cue as requested, and where we the people are left with a process that some of us participate in, and which the new regime has promised to ‘listen to’. We can expect some immediate and significant benefits to be doled out, involving the forgiveness of debts, the establishment of a new financial system, and some kind of revival of economic activity and employment.
In this way OWC will perceive that it ‘has achieved victory’, and people will leave the streets and enthusiastically seek to play their roles in the promising new system ‘they have created’ – and which is already showing concrete, positive results. OWC then no longer exists as a massive grassroots uprising, and anyone who takes to the streets after that will be seen as a counter-revolutionary, someone who ‘wants to destroy’ what ‘OWC has created’, namely, the ‘enlightened new global regime’. With an apparently credible claim to democratic mandate, the new regime will not tolerate opposition outside the framework of the designated participatory process.
The details in these scenarios have obviously been speculative. They are ‘one possible way things might unfold’, that I offer as a ‘plausible possibility’, given the power relationship between the masters of the universe and OWS movement, and given each of their methods and goals. I put in details so that we (both reader and writer) can think in concrete terms about what these power relationships might lead to in various situations, and at various stages as things unfold.
I think it is clear that the masters of the universe have a global architecture in the wings, and we can already see lots of it already operating in the various global institutions that have been set up, none of them so far interested in grassroots input. I also think it is clear that the rapid growth of the OWS movement, combined with the principled lack of attention to articulating a practical future vision, is speeding the movement to a situation where it will be highly vulnerable to co-option: a situation where the offering of significant carrots, in terms of material benefits and participatory opportunities, will be eagerly embraced by the masses in the streets, when we reach our Global Tahrir-Square Moment.
To the extent these basic perspectives are valid – what seem to me to be ‘clear observations’ – I have a hard time imagining a realistic scenario that has any final outcome other than the very one desired by the masters of the universe.
If anyone out there would like to articulate a more positive scenario, and say why it is plausible, I’d be very happy to see it. I’d be quite pleased if my current conclusions turn out to be wildly pessimistic. But so far, unfortunately, the evidence seems to suggest the contrary.
rkm website: http://cyberjournal.org
dialog, ‘Occupy Wall Street’, misc
The Elite Plan for a New World Social Order
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