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An Open Letter to Occupiers and Libertarians

Dear Occupiers, Progressives, Libertarians, etc.,

Greetings and Salutations. I've been reading about your exploits this week in the news. Protests are spreading around the nation, and though largely symbolic right now it must striking a nerve :) (though you wouldn't know it by the lack of media coverage).

But that's about par for the course, isn't it? The Status Quo doesn't want to listen; isn't that part of what this is about?

I admire your efforts to get out and be heard. More over, I encourage you stay out there as long as it takes to be heard.

In that regard, I hope the weather is cooperative and kind to you, because lord knows, the police won't be.

And it is for this reason that I wanted to write to you.

The Occupy! website suggests that this movement seeks to imitate the "Arab Spring".

I'm concerned when I read that friend, because, well, if we're going "Arab Spring" on this, that means we're talking revolution here.

If that's truly the notion, you're gonna need some help.

You see, the crucial strategy that made the "Arab Spring" so successful (for the Egyptians anyway) was non-violence.

Occupy! may not know entirely where it's headed yet, but a few things are clear. First, the longer it continues the more likely the top 1% will use violence to end it. Now is the time to ramp up non-violent rhetoric. Take every opportunity to emphasize the non-violent nature of your presence.

Second, we're going to need to help each other. The second party to that 'we' being libertarians and Ron Paul supporters.

On that second note, what I hope progressives can come to understand about libertarians is that we see that the State can't give anything to anyone without first taking it from someone else through force. Sure, taking from the rich by force seems righteous, particularly in light on the fact that the rich and powerful got that way by using the violent mechanism of the State.

But Violence doesn't make food come out of the ground. Violence doesn't build shelters. Violence doesn't make people more enlightened. Violence doesn't care. How can the solution to any problem be "add more violence"?

Again, if "Arab Spring" is going to be the inspiration here, I want to take the opportunity to suggest that libertarians and progressives can be united against State violence. This includes but is not limited to issues on Corporate War and Crony Capitalism.

I hope that Progressives can find compassion for their Libertarian friends by understanding that Libertarians see even mundane State operations as proceeding only through violence - and it therefore should be as limited as possible.

And I hope Libertarians can find compassion for Progressives who may be attracted by the apparent efficiency of State violence to administrate certain desirable goods and services.

I hope these two groups can find compassion for one another because joining forces can be huge.

Ron Paul's candidacy is potentially game changing because if he were to win it is highly likely that he would tolerate, and encourage in fact, need!, a massive non-violent campaign (like Occupy!) to assist him. He's just one man.

This has incredible potential. But the intention must be made now and it must be unwavering. I hope that we can start weaving non-violence into all of our rhetoric, both as an explicit admission of a tactic, and as an opportunity to connect with others across the political spectrum. We can only join together if we can learn to stop being violent with one another.

I hope we can hear that. Because we need to connect. Connecting through non-violence can be a powerful coalition building tool.

As Jim Morrison said, "They've got the guns, but we've got the numbers." But we need to hear each other first before we get the numbers.

And I wanted to talk to about that too. About how it is we can get together, or more specifically what it is specifically keeping us apart.

It's really no surprise that here again, the crux is violence. Violence, not just in deed, but more insidiously, in thought also. The insidious part is that, violence in the mind, makes us entirely predictable and therefore more controllable.

You see the State is an Authoritarian structure. Authority rules by a game that Marshall Rosenberg affectionately calls, "Who's Right?"

"Who's Right?" is an important game in which the top 1% uses violence to control large groups of people. I mean, there's only so much violence at the disposal of the few at the top of the pyramid.

"Who's Right?" judiciously rations the violence by setting up the following rules of the game: Rule #1) The Authority is always 'Right'. Rule #2) If you're wrong you've got only two choices: submit or rebel.

Take a moment to reflect on this and evaluate if it isn't true. You can see it in all social relationships where Power is at play; where, by virtue of one's position, one's needs are assumed to ecclipse another's.

Chew on that a while. What I want to point out in the meantime is that whether you submit or rebel...you're serving the Authority. How? Well, the submission option is obvious. The rebellion option maybe not as obvious, until one remembers that the ultimate Authority has violence at its disposal.

Might makes Right, remember? Rebellion transforms dissent into the very form the State is most adept at dealing with: open hostility. The minute you pick that option you're already outgunned. I was serious when I told you I was concerned about the police out there.

“Who’s Right” is the thought process by which dissent can be effectively contained without ever threatening the true balance of power. Real societal change, “is not reached…through an assessment of the rights and wrongs of the issues at stake.” [emphasis added]. It is achieved through “an assessment of the absolute and relative power situations of the contending groups.”

These two quotations immediately above are from Gene Sharp’s From Dictatorship to Democracy, a book that looks at the characteristics of successful non-violent revolutions. Sharp outlines that nonviolence opens a new door unavailable to those caught in the submit/rebel paradigm. In assessing the “relative power situations of relative groups,” Sharp reiterates the State’s uncontested advantage in violent conflict, and identifies nonviolent dissent as “the most powerful means available to those struggling for freedom.”

Gene Sharp’s writings were influential in the formation of the Serbian student organization Otpor! (Resistance!) which was instrumental in the removal of Slobodan Milošević from power in Bosnia in 2000. Significantly, the leadership of Otpor guided and trained the ultimately successful April 6th resistance movement in Egypt that removed President Hosnai Mubarek from power in 2011 - from which Occupy! draws as least part of its inspiration.

What always becomes obvious at protest events is that the police aren't there to protect you. They're there to protect the Authority. That much should be plain, and I'd point out that scaling the scenario up doesn't change the dynamic. The State is not there to protect you. It's there to protect the top 1% - the Authority - because they're scared. They're afraid of what will happen to them if all of a sudden, they lose power and are no longer "Right."

What I hope to impress is that this way of thinking - "Who's Right?" - is cultural. We are all trained in it. Even the top 1%. The top 1% is scared. That's why the police are out.

The hard part is that, much as we'd like to, resorting to violence is not going to get us anywhere. We will have to resist the temptation to exact political retribution. We're going to need all the help we can get to resist such a temptation. We're going to need each other.

The first step is to start listening to each other not with the ears we've been trained with. The ears given to us by the Authority, to hear who is 'wrong' and therefore deserves to be punished. We need to start hearing each other based on our needs.

We all have common universal needs: food, shelter, connection. I applaud Occupy! precisely because people are attempting to satisfy their need to be heard. What comes next and how we can support each other is crucial and potentially electric.

It all comes back to the question of how can regular people get what they need without resorting to violence, be it physical, political, or intellectual.

For everyone's sake, I hope we can begin to connect in this regard.

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I couldn't finish it

I gave up on trying to read this after about the third time he called me "friend." I don't trust people like that, just as I don't trust people who smirk.

To change the subject, I just spent about 45 minutes chatting up a business contact, and managed to wedge in "Ron Paul" about a half-dozen times. He said he'd never heard of him! I said something like, "please google him, you might be pleasantly surprised."

Don't know if I made a sale, but I feel like I've at least planted a seed.

Freedom is my Worship Word!

Thank you for the warm welcome

POW: I am not Russian. I was a local Ron Paul campaign manager for 2008 elections. He inspired me into politics and now I am a Precinct Committeeman, the lowest elected position. Our campaign was able to uproot the RINO controlled county central committee in the last election cycle. I am a state delegate and wrote a unanimously approved resolution at the state level. I really do not need to defend myself.

I posted a new topic on the current events forum today that may be of interest. It's titled: The long History & Friends of Occupy Wall St. http://www.dailypaul.com/node/181613

I have been researching this ever since I figured out that the U.S. is behind the uprisings in the Middle East and there are too many similarities between them and U.S. Day of Rage (aka Occupy Wall St). My concern is that Ron Paul supporters will not look deeply enough into the facade and fall for the propaganda. It seems that many may already have, due to a lack of research. Without questioning and researching, we may become sheep. I do not intend to udder a single baahhh.

I can't speak for everyone,

I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but in order to fall to the socialist propaganda, you'd have to disregard basic logic. Something I can't personally do. Though I do see it happen all the time. So I too urge people to stand true to their convictions.

I'm no longer going to be protesting with the OccupyDallas folks simply because I don't want to lend my presence to their movement. I'm not 100% happy about this because I believe I could turn a few people over to the truth and our cause. However, ending the Fed would result in a much bigger blow to the Establishment, and that's where I think my efforts will have the most benefit, so #OccupytheFed it is!

OWS is a LIE

Check this out people if you want some truth about OWS.

A book, just on this subject below, needs to be written....

"On that second note, what I hope progressives can come to understand about libertarians is that we see that the State can't give anything to anyone without first taking it from someone else through force. Sure, taking from the rich by force seems righteous, particularly in light on the fact that the rich and powerful got that way by using the violent mechanism of the State."

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

An Open Letter to WhiteWhale and all DP

members. Ron Paul supporters are at Occupy Wall Street and several Feds around the country. They have been there for WEEKS! The revolution has begun and you are here warning people not to attend. Whoops. OK, now get up and participate.

Ron Paul on Occupy Wall Street:
“But I think that the majority of them think government is the problem and taxes are too high and they know that the Federal Reserve plays a role in this, which, of course, is something I agree with.”

I'll take your word for it since

you are a DP member for 2 days. Just in time for OCCUPY WS.
How did that work out so well?

These aren't evil people. You

These aren't evil people.

You are supposed to be TEACHERS. Not smoke blowers.

Ron Paul never gave up on you.

Don't give up on these kids.

Everyone whining that they

Everyone whining that they don't agree with OCCUPY's goals, while correct, are missing the point.

Like us, these kids are humanitarians.

They have been tricked about who is responsible, and what the best solution would be.

I think the OPs implication was the opportunity for us to listen to each other.... and be educated.

Logic and reason leads to only one answer.

The first step to succeeding at a desired win-win scenario is to listen. And listen. And listen.

And ask... "what is important about ____ to you?"..
and then ask "ok.. but what is important about ____ to you?"
rinse and repeat.

Then collaborate how to reach the goal of that answer most effectively, with the least collateral damage. The effects of collateral damage will most likely be important to them as well.

Make it understood that we are all humanitarians. Young people always are.

They are not humanitarians.

They want to take not give. Don't you have ears to hear.
Communists and anti-christs.

If vegetarians eat vegetables...

If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

Freedom is my Worship Word!

blonduxo's picture

I beg to differ, Occupy has very specific defined goals

You write: "They are still developing what their goals are, and it seems really unclear at this point, but I can tell you it is safe to say that from my experiences these people have a lot in common with us, and are fighting the same fight. I feel we should unite with these people, and help them, because they're fighting the very same fight we're all fighting here."

Just giving their goals/demands a cursory read tells me, and I only speak for me, that I want nothing to do with this movement, and I do not want them co-opting ours and destroying all the hard work we have done or jeopardizing it in any way by anyone of them putting the good doctors reputation or candidacy at risk by any shenanigans they might perform. The press would have a field day.

Their goals/demands are: from their website http://occupywallst.org/about/

Demand one: includes a raise of the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr. This is anti free market.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. This is anti free market.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment. This is crazy.

Demand four: Free college education. So is this.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand. Well...

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now. We need to to cut spending.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants. Hello do we see a problem here...

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment. We already have this in the Constitution...no singling out of groups, freedom is individual.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live. Can you say secure borders?

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system. OK this I agree with.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Uh no.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies. No opinion on this.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union. Free market attack again?

I see nothing to gain here,,,see Kokesh's video, and back away.

You are right. Anyone

You are right. Anyone thinking that the liberty movement can co-opt these commies is not thinking clearly and certainly not looking behind the curtain.

You've been blinded by the curtain...

There is no curtain.

Misinformed? Yes.
The enemy? No.

I see you are another 2 day member here at DP

WOW just in time for Occupy WS , BS, go back to Russia.
Where were you for 3 years? Really concerned ?

I've been involved with

I've been involved with supporting RP since 2007, I just didn't have an account here.

I'm hoping to get at least a few converts to the movement tomorrow and Friday. People who see the injustice, but who don't really understand why.

I'm mad at the state of things here. I'm also mad that others think the solution is to use force to get me to pay for destructive programs. However, I'm not ready to attack people because they disagree with me, as you've done to me, or attack those have been brainwashed by the state.

In fact, it seems like you still have a little deprogramming to do yourself.

Occupy: Occupy Wall St

Another site OWS is posting to: http://www.reddit.com/r/occupywallstreet/

One posting there is very revealing: "Just got an OWS email from MoveOn, the co-optation begins"

One response to MoveOn announcing its presence: "I propose the community reject the support of moveon.org. Soros endorsing the movement is going to prove to be a big enough coercive influence." Another: "Bad news. OWS just became a left wing event. Just wait until the news gets hold of this."

Further searching. David Graeber is an organizer: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20111003154031 Look him up on Wikipedia. "David Rolfe Graeber (born 12 February 1961) is an American anthropologist and anarchist who currently holds the position of Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London." Some of his (painful) writings can also be read there.

WOW another 2 day member

we need to listen to. Go back to Russia.
Where else have you been?

Thank you for the Welcome Greeting

POW, I am not Russian. I am simply new Here and already put on the defensive.

Most people on this site feel like I do. I was a local Ron Paul campaign manager in the 2008 elections. He inspired me to get into the arena. A Precinct Committeeman, the lowest ballot position there is, but that is what I am, and we uprooted the entire Central Committee filled with RINO's. If you don't believe me, oh well.

I was able to start a new thread in the current events forums. Perhaps you should review it. http://www.dailypaul.com/node/18161 The long History & Friends of Occupy Wall St. I have been researching this hard because when I found out the U.S. was involved in training the malcontents in the other countries & listened to Hillary's speech, I thought there was a lot more than meets the eye. The deeper I dug, the worse it got. Still not done. It's all so nauseating.

On a side note, since the NC Governor leaked the Progressives may want to unconstitutionally cancel the 2012 elections, it appears that Obama may use his executive powers under the guise of an emergency to do just that. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/40770

Back in 1999, Ron Paul & 45 co-sponsors, presented HR 2655 `Separation of Powers Restoration Act'. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:H.R.2655:# It never got out of committees. It is my hope that he resurrects it again, and soon. E.O.'s were not intended to bypass Congress http://www.thisnation.com/question/040.html

Summarily, I am not a troll, cull, or sheep; I have just been busy networking.

This is about political strategy, not who's right or wrong

I see many comments on how this Occupy group is full of commies and socialists. While this may be partially true, the majority of the group is made up of malleable minds. This is becoming a significant movement and will be gaining more media coverage as it expands.

While I disagree with a number of the people at this event, I also see an opportunity to use it to our advantage in a broader political strategy. If we do not actively educate these people and steer the masses towards the liberty movement, they will certainly be picked up by another camp. Politics is a game, and liberals WILL take advantage of the Occupy movement if we do nothing. The masses are still undecided upon a central set of demands, so the time is right to send Ron Paul supporters out there.

Remember, the more our message is covered by the media, the more likely we are to pick up supporters. This is an open platform to share our ideas and we must take advantage of it before the Obama camp does.

I doubt that the Romney and Perry people will be able to gain support through this, but Ron Paul has a chance. If anything, by sending a flood of libertarian ideas out there, it will self destruct the crowd to prevent the liberals from winning.

Your statgey is obvious.

My statagy is not to fall for Socialist propaganda.
go back to your homeland, please let America to the Americans.

This is their house

Parents tell their children and teens that the house belongs to the family, but it really belongs to the parents. So the parents lay down rules that apply only to non-house owners...the kids.

The kids may successfully protest a rule...but that's a temporary thing. For the parents ultimately rule.

Similarly, the successful protest of the past mean little: Gandhi, MLK Jr., American Revolution, Civil War...cause the owners still own...thus, they constantly, actively, intentionally work to protect and enhance their investment.

I hate this metaphor, but it's the truth. We are the kids in their house.

So really we have four options.

1. Continue to be the rebellious kid and get punished or even kicked out (prison).

2. Be good kids (do our chores), and solicit the parents for goodies. Sell out.

3. Attempt a real power grab through force. In houses where the parents are weak, I've seen kids take over power. There are several nations that have been taken over. (But, um, the USA parents are NOT weak...we are weak).

4. Grow up and leave. Do the whole off-grid thing...like the Amish. Just don't be too big of an example of freedom or you'll become a target (Tibet, Ruby Ridge, Waco, and monastaries throughout time).

I think we were content just being good kids, but then we found out that our parents started doing illegal things (wars, drugs, child abuse, etc.). Our innocence-based patriotism has been lost...and we ponder what to do now.

Our faith in Ron Paul is hoping that the parents can become benevolent again...but really, there is no returning to our innocence. We will never again feel the same when pledging alledigence at a sporting event.

Like a child that realized he's been abused, we will never be the same. Staying under the owners is just crazy. Trying to take over the house by force is a bad idea because they are too strong. I say our only recourse is just leave and live on our own.

And by leaving, I don't necessarily mean physically leaving. Just an acceptance that the owners run things in companies, in houses, in nations.

WHAT are you talking about?

The pledge of alliegence to America has NOTHING to do with abusive politicians. They do get voted in you know.
They do represent the people's wishes. GET a GRIP on yourself, you embarse the rest of us.

And yet Ron Paul is beating

And yet Ron Paul is beating them on their own terms.

We should be grownups and realize we've been acting like kids towards our free country. There are ways to run elections and ways to win elections - and not the crooked ways, but the right ways.

We have to stop pretending it doesn't matter to not get involved in the political process, and sign up at all levels including delegates and the precints.

We were idiots and let other people tell us it was ok to do it for us. You can't have a government that way. *You* are in charge.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

the analogy (LOL!) only works . . .

if the children are 'good'.

What about the parents whose children are tyrants who wanted to be 'served'?


In real life, children can be very demanding and exhausted parents sometimes respond by saying, "no, no more!"--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Only the working class have children like that...

cuz they don't really have parents...just old children in adult bodies

Yeah, I'm casting a wide general net over all working class adults.

I am not impressed with them.

It's one thing to see the deception of the ruling class, but when you let the other shoe drop, you see that working class adults needs a virtual parent. Look at how people have lived without civilization throughout time. They live like children would live...huts, caves, shanties. They don't naturally work together to create a civilization for themselves. They just don't care enough beyond their animal instinct...that's why there is all sorts of rape, murder, disease, etc. in those areas...people just live in the muck.

Only when some tiny percentage become enlightened and FORCES these adult children to live well, do civilizations occur. And even then a substantial percentage just refuse to do so...so we have the welfare system, prison, etc. for them.

I'm still with Ron Paul, but I refuse to be blind to certain truths.

Personally, I think the people CAN handle the truth. That's why I like Ron Paul. He drops truth bombs, he gets people to question everything, etc.

The elite likes to think we can't handle the truth, so they feel justified hiding the horrible stuff they do. That stuff needs to be exposed...and BEFORE they get their global government!

Let's get real transparency, see the real picture...and THEN judge...not judge before...cuz, I believe the ruling class aren't all that wrong on some things.

I know some 'working class' adults who are very decent and . . .

(I'm religious, so I watch for these things) "Godly" people--and I know people in the 'upper class' who are not.

Yes, I think you are generalizing, and I think that, generally speaking, people live in 'squalor' when they can't find a way to do better, often because they have been repressed and exploited by people who are living better but whose souls are sick.

Sorry; I can't agree with this.

You sound like an elitist.

Explain the people of Appalachia who came over from Scotland and Ireland (some from Germany and England) and lived in the hills in order to be independent--

yes, many of them began to live in squalor, but they had a knowledge of the basic need for true education and would work very hard to get it--

and worked very hard to remain independent, all while living in 'squalor'; some of them were hard and rough, and life was hard for all of them, but some of them were refined people.

They were exploited by the heavy taxes for 'home brew'--

I don't agree with the making of liquor, but I am suspicious of the high taxes these people had to pay.

And, if that is your idea of civilization, I certainly don't want it. You've been reading too many 'mainstream' history books--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

You DO like the word FORCE.

I don't see how you made it here, all this time.

reedr3v's picture

whitewhale, this is a wonderful letter.

You have distilled the key message that could turn Occupy! from an incoherent assembly being lured in an ultimately self-destructive direction. If that one fundamental idea, consistent nonviolence, could sway the many, the people would at last be empowered to overcome economic and political oppression.

I am much encouraged to see the openness of thinking people within Occupy! The others will follow the flow, most people are not original thinkers but can see common sense logic when the true costs of authoritarianism and benefits of nonviolence/freedom are cleared from empty, demagogic pandering and promises.

For those on this forum who cannot see the opportunity to educate these angry activists, please consider the OP for you as well as the protesters. Occupy! is the market in action; yes it's not trading in fiat or in gold. It is pure energy at this time. Energy that's been bottled up tight by the Establishment that won't let these young people enter their creativity into the free economic arena, to build their futures.

That energy has to go somewhere. If peaceful and productive outlets are not opened, it will burn destructively. We might be able to make a difference if we offer our insights and knowledge.

Many of those who are

Many of those who are protesting are INDIVIDUALS who see a corrupt system of corporate/government control. However, they believe the problem lies at the corporations feet rather than the government. Many will not have their minds changed, but just like the Tea Parties, there is a mixture of individuals involved and others willing to learn. If we get them to understand the root of the problem being the Federal Reserve and government, then some might come to our side.

liberty lover in Nor Cal!