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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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HEY!!!! wake up.

They are being shipped in to teach not to listen. GEESH!

The fact that this takes up so much space

on the biggest Ron Paul web site proves one of two things. Ron Paul supporters are ignorant or Ron Paul supporters are mostly progressives/liberals in disquise. I think it's the latter but what do I know.

the same thing is often said about...

people who make claims yet give no proof or reason backing up what they say, almost as if they didn't think it up themselves.

Occupy "Occupy Wall St"

...or at least occupy their forum...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/

Why is a Ron Paul forum

Why is a Ron Paul forum flooded with this?

We all support the free market.

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.

Statists Run Amok

I reject the occupy wall street crowd. The desires of the protesters are incoherent, contradictory and inimical to liberty.

Only Some

The protesters are made up of a small percentage of Michael Moore style progressives and a large percentage of unhappy people who are fooled into following them. Many of these people do raise the same concerns that many of our people had before discovering Ron Paul. Gently guiding them to the liberty movement, respectfully and patiently explaining the principles, and not wavering from those that we have will help us to swell our ranks.

So while I reject the OWS movement, I think it's important that we address the concerns of the crowds. Maybe this letter doesn't effectively do that, but it might be a good idea to produce one that does.

Michael Nystrom's fists can punch through FUD.

Where have they been then , for the last 4 years?

I don't think you can claim they are with us or they would have fund us before 2 days ago.

OWS = "our money not your money"

You are 100% right. These kids are anti-liberty fools.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Occupy WS = anti-liberty

The following list of "demands" is from the Occupy Wall Street website:
http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-for-o...

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
-(This will crush small business. It should be the market place that sets the price.)

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
-(Nice so these idiots want to "ban" private insurers." Yeah that all about liberty.)

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment. (LOL...what? So who is going to pay this? Oh I see, these idiots want to make money without working for it.)

Go to the website and read the list. Most of these demands are counter to a libertarians belief in individual liberty and personal freedom.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Careful now..

You might get flamed for suggesting OWS isn't the best thing since white bread.

- Liberty and Prosperity -

Thank you for your kind letter

and your concern for us. In the interest of our union against the PTB, I would like to share the following platform that has been proposed by the 'Occupiers'. It is my hope that this can be a starting point, from which we can "connect", as you put it!

7 Core Demands from the Occupy Wall Street Movement

1) End the Collusion Between Government and Large Corporations/Banks,
So That Our Elected Leaders Are Actually Representing the Interests of
the People (the 99%) and Not Just Their Rich Donors (the 1%).

2) Investigate Wall Street and Hold Senior Executives Accountable for
the Destruction in Wealth that has Devastated Millions of People.

3) Return the Power of Coining Money to the U.S. Treasury and Return to
Sound Money

4) Limit the Size, Scope and Power of Banks so that None are Ever Again
“Too Big to Fail” and in Need to Taxpayer Bailouts

5) Eliminate “Personhood” Legal Status for Corporations

6) Repeal the Patriot Act, End the War on Drugs and Protect Civil
Liberties

7) End All Imperial Wars of Aggression, Bring the Troops Home from All
Countries, Cut the Military Budget and Limit The Military Role to
Protection of the Homeland

http://www.goldstockbull.com/articles/7-demands-from-occupy-...

-
"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

7 points to bring people together

Katherine,
I think that is a list that could unite factions and bring people over to our side. Our enemy is ignorance. We need to connect with these people and try our best to educate them. Staying away is a losing strategy.
ONEDOLLARDVDPROJECT has a great "END THE FED" DVD compilation. Go on-line buy them in bulk and hand them out to the protesters. Great educational tool.

These are NOT the OWS demands.

It states clearly in the link you posted,
"I’ve pulled from the various sources and distilled the list to what I believe should be the 7 core demands from the Occupy Wall Street movement"

These are WHAT HE THINKS SHOULD BE the demands.
THEY ARE NOT THE DEMANDS FROM OWS.

The demands from OWS is basically the Communist Manifesto re-worded.

BIG T I'm glad your on it.

we usually see eye to eye.

He ALSO said:

In typical fashion, the media first ignored the protests and have now been trying to marginalize the efforts by either constantly stating that the protestors have no goals [or by stating the goals in outlandishly ridiculous fashion, as you see here (my addition)] . To the contrary, there have been a number of General Assemblies and online polls where the people have been voting on which issues are most important and which specific demands rise to the top. This is a lesson in true Democracy, something that we haven’t seen on Capitol Hill in quite some time.
And he continued with :
I've pulled from the various sources and distilled the list to what I believe should be the 7 core demands from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

His distilled list of demands is much closer to the truth than what YOU will ever admit to, BigT.

-
"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

"True Democracy"

is the enemy of liberty.
It should be universally opposed, because it is inherently oppressive.

A true Democracy is Majority rules.

An independant thinker gets a screwing.
That's the BRILLIENCE of a Republic. The individual can overule the majority when in the right.
Way to go BIGT.

We don't live in a Democracy,

We don't live in a Democracy, we live in a constitutional republic whihc was designed to protect the individual from the tyranny of the masses.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

How did I know

you were going to go there?
Look, you know that Benjamin Franklin stated that we have a Republic, if we can keep it. Well, unfortunately, and, as you also know, we couldn't keep it - thanks to the elite who gained control over this country and who are still controling it. But we have to start somewhere! This is a good starting point, T.

-
"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

We're here to elect Ron Paul

We're here to elect Ron Paul in the Republican Primary and than as President of the United States.

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.

Max, please stop going into

Max, please stop going into every room of this house and screaming for attention. The adults are trying to have a conversation.

-
"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

It's a site for electing Ron

It's a site for electing Ron Paul as president. If that isn't your goal, maybe there isn't any rational reason for you being here?

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.

Yes!

Occupy!

Occupy WS = Progressive Comminist BS

Sorry but while I agree with a very small part of this protest, I done like the underlying premise. I've read and heard these people speak. The complain about student loans for example. Are not individuals responsible for their side of a contract. Also, many if these idiots want Obama re-elected but it is Obama that has bailed out wall street and the banks. I've also read a lost of demands from these people and it is pure Communist bullshit.

$20 minimum wage? Are you serious? Tariffs on all imports, that will do nothing but increase the cost of everything.

Sorry but as a libertarian I can't support communist ideas. Although I do support these kids right to protest.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Student loans are a trap for young people to join the military

An outright military draft would start a violent revolution in this country. Since we will be at war in the near future with Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China, our government needs to drastically increase our military. Desperate young people drowning in student debt loans have no other choice but to join the military, and they can have their student debts either reduced or entirely forgiven, depending on how long they enlist for.

Interest rates are at their lowest historically, and yet students have to pay 6.8% interest (which is compounded) on their student loans, while banks are paying almost "zero" interest.

Do people see why young people are upset with this scenario? Yeah, they made a choice to get the loans and promised to pay them back, but the students were not aware that the Fed and its banker buddies would bring on a great depression where there will be no jobs and no way to pay back the loans. This was planned a long time ago, and now young people who have student loans will have to pay off their debt by giving up their lives. Isn't it interesting that you can't go bankrupt on your student loans?

As we all know, the bankers make their biggest profits from World Wars. WW3 will be no different.

"I support the Declaration of Independence and I interpret the Constitution."

Good idea about the draft

Good idea about the draft part, but student loans can currently be forgiven in 10 years if you donate time to a non-profit, or forgiven after I think only 20 years for some other reason like didn't make enough income. You should look into it, they changed that recently.

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.

Wrong. I served 10 years in

Wrong. I served 10 years in the Marine Corps. I had student loans when I joined. The the Marine Corps doesn't pay off student loans, although the other services do help.

You know what pays off student loans? I do because I paid my off early - I worked and paid them off. Instead of going to a concert, I put more money down for my loans. Instead of buying and smoking pot, I put money down on my student loan. Before buying an IPhone or IPad I put money down on my student loan.

These people sign a contract, and they should be held to account for their side of the contract. It's called personal responsibility. What we don't need is some BS government program to forgive their debt because that is nothing but redistribution of wealth since these loans are all pretty much government backed. The taxpayers would have to foot the bill.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

The military is changing since you left

My friend just joined the Navy and is in Nuke school. He enlisted for 5 years and they have forgiven his student loans and paid him a bonus on top of that. He was told he would not be deployed into battle, now he found out he is going to Iran.

I agree that people should be held accountable for the choices they make, but why are the bankers let off the hook? Why are they not being held accountable for the "choices" they made? Why are they still determining the fiscal policies of our Nation? This is totally unfair to the average citizen who is at the mercy of corrupt powers. While "two wrongs don't make a right", people are not going to tolerate the bankers walking away from being accountable for their wrongdoings while they continue to stab the average citizen in the back.

Somehow, you think that forgiving student loans will bankrupt this country. I disagree. The country is already bankrupt. Just be glad you are no longer serving in the military and you are alive. Many young people strapped with debt won't be as fortunate as you.

"I support the Declaration of Independence and I interpret the Constitution."

I totally agree. We should

I totally agree. We should never have had to bailout these banks that made bad decisions. Good decisions should be rewarded, not bad business moves such as giving loans to people for homes they couldn't afford.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."