It is time I said something about the new "occupy" thing that has started all over North America this fall, soon coming to Toronto. I have been watching it develop, wondering how long it is going to take for the super lefties to take it over or take it down.
With the U.S. group, it does not seem to have happened yet. The police crackdown happened as soon as the democrats decided they would not be able to co-opt it. I agree with the assessment of objective commentators such as Russia Today ( I am serious ) that the occupy movement is the beginning of a real social movement to overthrow the hypercapitalist system in the States and create a democracy.
Let me divert a moment about Russia Today. I get a kick out of the way even the self styled "alternative media" such as Real News get huffed about RT. Paul Jay sniffs that the Russian government complains about foreigners interfering in their elections, while RT does the same in the U.S.
Yes, the Russians are making propaganda in the U.S. and trying to influence U.S. public opinion. So what? This is one of these two faced arguments. We can destabilize them but they are not allowed to destabilize us.
The Russians and Chinese are starting to figure out that they have a war on their hands. The Excited States of America has been pretty much taken over by neo-fascists. Actually neoFascist is a mild term for these people. They are more like neoFeudalists. They want to own everything and enserf everyone through debt.
But they also want to rule the world. No, the Rockefeller, Chase bank, Oil business, Arms business, Republican party types want to rule the world. The New money, Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, Speculator faction is contemptuous of government and thus of civilization. They just want to own the world.
And they are getting ready for a war against the last alliance of powers against them; China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and probably Pakistan and South Africa. When it really gets going, you would likely include India and Brazil, in fact most of Latin America, in the "Yankee go home!" faction.
But the attack on Iran is now definitely on, and the war mongers think the road to Tehran goes through Damascus. That is what all the commotion is about in Syria. It is not that Assad is not a mean bastard, he is, but he is not the western alliance's mean bastard. He is allied with Iran. The road then runs from Tehran to Moscow and Peking. The Russians and Chinese know it.
One of the obvious defenses against the U.S. is to destabilize it at home. The U.S. as well as its toadies in western Europe are as vulnerable to destabilization techniques as is Syria and was Libya, was Yugoslavia. So the opposition cannot learn the American intelligence services "color revolution" techniques and use them to their own advantage?
I am sure there are plenty of Russian, Iranian, and Chinese intelligence people behind the 'Occupy". The occupiers seem to have quit a bit of money and organizing resources behind them. They seem to be withstanding the usual infiltration techniques of social suppression forces.
And Alyona is right there every weekday at 6 to cheer them on. She is my special sweetie these days. She is a propagandist for the Russkies. But it is the Russkies who are on the right side of it these days. The U.S. is in the same moral position as Nazi Germany in 1938.
But occupy Toronto people are only vaguely aware of all this. I think the transition to fascism is further behind in Canada than in the states, so they have a less difficult task than the American branch. I think the odds are against the Americans, even with outside support. The fascists have progressed so far there. I think the fashies will only be dislodged by military defeat.
That is the probable outcome of the latest U.S. aggressions. The Iranians and even the Syrians are not knuckling. The Libyan junta is already under serious attack. But the U.S. war machine is in no way as formidable as it are first seems. Spending as much on its military as the rest of the world combined does not mean that it is as strong as the rest of the world combined. Their domestic economy can no longer sustain an all out war. They will collapse.
The danger for occupiers is that they will be occupying a detention camp and maybe a grave while world war three rages. So am I taking a risk when I go and occupy a seat at the activist assembly? I think I will be one of the first rounded up anyway. I am not particularly good troublemaker; I do not have the energy for that. But I am definitely in the police files. I am also on a disability pension, so I am a useless eater, an untermensch.
So, what do they do at these occupy Toronto people's assemblies? What they do not do is get attack bitches and other wierdos to harass me out of their meetings. This is not something controlled by the phony left of Toronto. But they were definitely there trying to get control of it.
I talked to one person as I munched a tuna sandwich for lunch. He said there were eight different communist groups in Toronto. He could not name them all. I certainly could not enumerate them, although the International Socialists seem to have the highest profile. I did not see them there flogging their rag.
The New Socialists consist of Larry Weisbeder and his little puppy dog, Judy Koch. Judy was there flogging his paper, as usual.
More on infiltrators and their tactics. One workshop I attended was intended to teach us all facilitation. I found out it was facilitated by somebody I know from when the shoelace thing was going on.
She spends a lot of time abroad facilitating things in Africa. Despite her feely and touchy way of teaching, she can be fairly authoritarian. When we got into group discussions about what kind of good and bad facilitation we had seen, she swooped on us and announced that all three had to participate.
Well, I was grouped up with a couple of little old ladies. We were supposed to be talking about the best facilitation we had seen. I told them a little about his woman from Argentina a few years ago who talked about how they threw the I.M.F. out of their country and several of their presidents out of office all in the space of a few months. She did not even speak English, had to work through an interpreter, and still was able to control the meeting effectively. She was brilliant.
The old ladies were more interested in talking about ancient Hawaiian customs for whenever someone feel ill. It seems all the ill person's relatives would get together and try to determine if someone harbored ill will toward him/her. I dunno; this sounds about like deciding that somebody is casting a hex on somebody else. I had trouble connecting with these two.
I had better luck with the next group I got paired up with. This time we were supposed to play act out an example of bad management. With this group, which included a couple of people who had actually been at the St. James park camp, I had a more productive time.
One of them even understood pretty well what I was talking about by disrupters. He tried facilitating a meeting there, and had people trying to shout him down. One of them threw a potato at him. A rotten potato? He did not say. But the potato thrower was in the room.
I looked about. Sitting half hidden by the back door to this room, leading into the other room where I think they were talking about "direct action" was a strange character. He looked like these Trotskyite types who tend to hang around meetings. He was not interested in participating in the class, but not in disrupting it either.
It was our turn to get up and do our skit. The girl started a talk, the potato target started heckling her, and I was supposed to turn on her. I dug into my memory file for personal experiences of the most disruptive possible behavior at a meeting, without which most disruptive behaviors fall flat.
" What are you people fighting about? Why don't you just get along here?"
I kept on this track for awhile, and the mock moderator followed the scenario and announced that she could not do anything here and walked out.
"Where are you going? I want my money back?" I emoted after her.
Afterward, one of the audiences told me that our group was particularly well acted. So bring me my grammy.
My experience with "occupy" have been limited but when the camp was up I tried to do my spiel about Citizen's Income at their "people's classroom" right between the Yurt and the firewood pile. I could not find anyone who was in control of scheduling. Some one advised me to just chalk in my name and then show up.
When I got back with my easel and charts, someone had removed the chairs and the classroom space was looking pretty decrepit. I sat out side on a wood block from the fire pile and tried doing it at people who were passing by. I could not get many people to stay long.
I was not outright harassed out of the place as I have in some venues, by the sickening anarchist types. But it was ironic that I had these two odd looking young guys coming up and asking me about this "Citizen's Income" thing. They were the kind of people who can't get it that to understand something, you have to listen for awhile. They kept interrupting me.
"So, you're an anarchist."
"No, I am not an anarchist."
They kept asking me questions about the idea of a basic income.
"So, you're an anarchist."
" No, I am not an anarchist"
They seemed very confused, and wandered away.
A bit later they came back. "You're an anarchist."
"No, this has nothing to do with anarchism."
"But what you are saying is anarchism."
"So what about this is anarchism?"
They look at each other, stumped, and shuffle away again.
But this is my point about any movement like "occupy". You get all these people who are so locked into an ideology that they can't grasp anything or relate to anyone outside of it. They are that way because they are complete dimwits to begin with who need some sort of prophet to tell them how to think, to give some direction to their lives.
But even "occupy" can become like a cult. I was sitting in the dining room waiting for the next class, when somebody walked in and hollered "mike check". Everybody just looked at him. No, deary, that is for when you are in a large crowd, not everyone can hear without using a bullhorn, and for structural-relational reasons you do not want to have one person controlling the bullhorn. So he got on with announcing the room changes in the normal way.
One other seminar worth mentioning. We talked about what was going on in Latin America and once again had a latin lady among us. She had been living here for awhile and spoke pretty good Canajun. She was not as forceful as the above mentioned woman but had some interesting things to say. I think she was from Venezuela.
The question became; why is it so hard to get people motived in Canada? She thought that Canadians have had it too easy for too long. Chavez in Venezuela did not come out of nowhere. The people were determined to support him. This was because of the hardships they had endured during the 1980s, fighting military rule and Friedmanite economics.
So, before we can have a serious revolt against the crap going on in Canada, we all have to starve and be gunned down or "disappeared" by the cops for the next twenty years.
No, she did not think we had to do that. But she had no real ideas to break the Canadian apathy and credulity except for people to be hit on the head by reality enough. I think the big take away is that we need new political organizations and leaders, but the problem with that is how to these new organizations get going given the obstacles. The biggest obstacle is the professional revolutionary types who think they have The Truth and a patent on revolution; my same old theme again. Plus, of course, the electoral types who want to coopt all energy into their voting machine.
One of these days I would like to get into a really deep discussion of this. But it was not going to happen there. I guess it is not yet ready to happen. One bright thing about the Occupy people is to not make any demands until they have worked out what to demand. That is what the talks are all about; an attempt to create a synthesis, to let it fall out organically. At least some of the discussion was about analysing problems, and by that I mean really analysing, not just applying a pat ideology to every situation. It was not just a bunch of true believers and "we just want it to go away" types talking past each other.
That is encouraging. I will continue to watch how occupy Toronto develops.