Opinion Pieces: Occupy Movement
An ‘excess of democracy’: what two generations of radicals can learn from each other
It’s not easy to sum up succinctly what the managers of the ruling order felt so threatened by in the 1960s/70s, so let’s use the words they employed themselves. It was ‘an excess of democracy’ that lay behind ‘the reduction of authority’, concluded the Trilateral Commission when it investigated the causes of the political and economic crises of the early 1970s on behalf of governments of the dominant western powers. The elite alarm at that time was thus more than just the regular ruling class fear of the mob. The notion of ‘an excess of democracy’ implied a fear of intelligent and organised opposition, which was hence less easy to counter.
Working Groups: the self-organising revolution
Anyone interested in emergent self organising processes that occur when diverse individuals assemble for a common cause, cannot fail to be impressed by how the Occupy movement has demonstrated a capacity for well structured engagement through the working group protocol.
How r’evolution carries itself forward by the Working Groups of Occupy
Collective consciousness is the intimate knowing of our collective self, who we are as a movement, as a social force capable to change the future. Connective intelligence is much more than a wordplay on collective intelligence. It is the act of connection that gives rise to new life forms, thought forms, and forms of organizing.
Social Media and #OccupyWallStreet: Is This Revolution 2.0?
From the Arab Spring to New York’s ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, social media and online organising are clearly transforming the way that small, isolated campaigns develop into mass movements in the streets. But how do we separate the genuinely useful aspects of social media from the “data smog” of media hype?
The Occupy Movement & Social Media
It wasn’t just a bunch of university students. In fact, as we analysed the age groups, we found the average age to actually be 36. We also found that across the 5,000 profiles and commentaries we looked at, over 50% had a university education. We also found they weren’t poor either. Perhaps the “working poor” – yes. We estimate an average income of about $45,000CAD from USA, Canada and UK. We suspect this median would hold up in many other countries as well. Certainly there were those who are on the margin of society and the students or youth movement. But they do not represent the majority. Involved were doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs.
Nor was there racial or religious divide. All forms of faith and races were represented as were men and women.