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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:37 AM
Original message
About all this "leaderless" talk--
I have come to suspect that a lot of critics are applying old and invalid paradigms here.

I think that a freewheeling quasi-organization like OWS can be a highly creative force. I think there are some implications of our instant-communication links that have not yet been explored in terms of group structures & functioning. I suspect that highly interconnected groups may have some emergent properties that we haven't even begun to recognize.

In their book The Starfish and the Spider, Brafman & Beckstrom make many interesting observations about leaderless organizations. One of their examples is the Apache groups in the late 1800's, and how hard it was for the US & Mexican military to deal with them.

Now just imagine all those Apaches with Twitter.

A model that keeps springing up before me is that of the Noosphere. Pierre Tielhard de Chardin discussed the possible consequences of humans uniting together into a sort of world-consciousness. He was writing at a time long before the Internet, and was thinking of a paranormal linkage, but our social media are serving the linkage function quite well. I am waiting to see what happens when enough people link up to create a critical mass of intelligence and start functioning like a global brain.

And then my old 60's self rears its shaggy head and yells out, "Power to the People!"

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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Emergent" is definitely the right word :)
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Tippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R for "Power to the People"
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. Exactly.
the power of instant messaging and the internet in general has given rise to a formless, ever evolving new concept in protesting.

Just when those in power think they figure out who the "leader" is, it could easily be passed off to a person, a group or a movement.

What we are witness to is something truly ground breaking in the concept of protesting.

I think it's absolutely wonderful. :)

So many times the powers that be try to keep protesters off balance via various nefarious means, it appears now as if the shoe is on the other foot.
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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Think "Hive Intelligence," a phrase I read on the Twitter feeds last night. n/t
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. Since you mentioned Apaches, reminded me of one of my all-time
favorite jokes:

Q: What were Custer's last words?

A: "Where the fuck did all those Indians come from?"

:)

And now back to your regular programming.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. People learn
that leaders are sitting ducks when they stand up to the corporate pirates currently rampaging round the globe. Enough good people have died. Many people are finally starting to get mad about it.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't think OWS needs an icon, but they do need spokespeople and coordination.
That's the problem to this point. Even in the 60s, while there was no "one" leader, there were leaders or leader-like operatives with varying perspectives, spokespeople who could give a quote or a reliable piece of information to the media, coordinators who could tell you what time the march was starting and where everyone should meet--that kind of thing. They do need some focus around which to provide rallying points. It doesn't have to be a top-down thing; it can be organic and still be organized.

I don't like seeing this effort being all about feces piled up and rats in parks and sex in sleeping bags. I don't like it being all about fighting the "evil" police. That's all just too cartoonish.

There comes a point when the attention-seeking behavior no longer offers the rewards it did when it was a novelty. That's the point where things need to get serious and focused, and I think the time has come for that sort of effort.

I know I'm in the minority here, but that's life. I'm not going to pretend I think everything is swell out of fear of some keyboard commando calling me "unliberal" or some other "meanie" name!
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randome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Yes! A spokesperson!
Someone who can deliver the message.

Maybe OWS via the Internet IS a group consciousness -of a sort. But the people we want to communicate with are not.

We need someone who can deliver the message.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Spokespeole will come forward as each new situation demands.
There need be no superstars,
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
20. *
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 02:38 AM by Dover
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes indeed! These worldwide 'occupiers' are creating/living the new paradigm.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 12:11 PM by Dover
And the technology is providing not only the linkage but also the assurance of what we all already know within.
We ARE all connected. I believe that even if that technology link were to fail we can now trust that we are all
on the same basic course. It's empowering as individuals and small groups to understand we are not alone and can
trust that our individual experiences, instincts and efforts are meaningful within the context of the whole.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Interesting article at CNN (of all places)
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/25/opinion/rushkoff-occupy-p...

Occupy is anything but a protest movement. That's why it has been so hard for news agencies to express or even discern the "demands" of the growing legions of Occupy participants around the nation, and even the world. Just like pretty much everyone else on the planet, occupiers may want many things to happen and other things to stop, but the occupation is not about making demands. They don't want anything from you, and there is nothing you can do to make them stop. That's what makes Occupy so very scary and so very promising. It is not a protest, but a prototype for a new way of living.

Now don't get me wrong. The occupiers are not proposing a world in which we all live outside on pavement and sleep under tarps. Most of us do not have the courage, stamina or fortitude to work as hard as these people are working, anyway. (Yes, they work hard.) The urban survival camps they are setting up around the world are a bit more like showpieces, congresses and "beta" tests of ideas and behaviors the rest of us may soon be implementing in our communities, and in our own ways. . . .

Whether or not we agree that anything at all in modern society needs to be changed, we must at least come to understand that the occupiers are not just another political movement, nor are they simply lazy kids looking for an excuse not to work. Rather, they see the futility of attempting to use the tools of a competitive, winner-takes-all society for purposes that might better be served through the tools of mutual aid. This is not a game that someone wins, but rather a form of play that is successful the more people get to play, and the longer the game is kept going.

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. WOW! WOW! By George I think they've got it! That's significant
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 12:30 PM by Dover
with regards to the MSM even if it's only illuminated in ONE reporter.
It's really so simple....all we need to do is BE the change. That's it.
Don't get all caught up in the chaos...just keep that focus.


BTW I'm gonna keep my eye on Douglas Rushkoff who wrote that enlightened piece.
Thanks for sharing it! Very encouraging.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Yes indeed. He gets it.
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. I second that WOW
great article.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
9. Teilhard's "noosphere" is the model for the "blogosphere"
His writings may not be that widely known, but his ideas have infiltrated the language.

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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. Nice thoughts to contemplate in the current turn of events
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 02:57 PM by robdogbucky
The flash mob tactic used so well elsewhere depended upon those communications (social networking sites) to be up and running. It was easy to shut it down in Egypt and it would be, I believe just as easily shut down here and elsewhere. World opinion came down hard on that effort in Egypt and I believe the security forces realized their error and had it back on shortly after shutting it down. I am not so sure that will eventually happen here, but likewise I don't put anything past a desparate system trying to survive and remove its growing opposition.

You mentioned Soglin and the 60s in the thread about the demos and tactics back then, and I think you most likely saw Hearts and Minds, the documentary about bringing the war back home and its weight in finally bringing the VN conflict to a close. Soglin said in there, I believe, that one key to movements of dissent like that one was to be media savvy in new ways. One of those new ways was to constantly change tactics, to be a sort of moving target. I am originally a townie from Madison, and was present for many of the events that you speak of, although by '67 I was splitting my time between Bay Area and the Pearl of the Prairie. I konw what Soglin meant by changing tactics and saw it demonstrated well by the SDS, et al back then, as they masterfully impacted public opinion by judicious use of the media for their cause. The media is no longer so susceptible to that and new tactics need to be developed. From all accounts last night's General Assembly in Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oaktown was very inspiring.

If you monitored any of the events of the last two nights in Oaktown, you may have stumbled across the Livestream and accompanying twitter traffic. It amounts to an ad hoc wireless local area network, except with the twitter feeds it is international in its participation. It is exactly what we saw in Tahrir Square. Ours will evolve out of necessity, these specific ad hoc collective communication systems, and it already is beginning to morph into the most effective means to respond to aggressive, oppressive tactics by the establishment. I think it will be tested as it proves ever more effective against the tyranny and steps will be taken to shut it all down.

Here we are, it is now taking place on my own turf and it is time for the people to assert their collective will. Participate, organize, take action. I trust we can overcome any obstacles to our re-establishing a government of the people, by the people, and for the people in the years ahead.


We will not be silenced.

Hearts and Minds




Hands off my Social Security!
Hands off Latin America!


robdogbucky



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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Thanks, Bucky.
The other day I read an article somewhere saying that there was a new highly-secure Internet under development, just for "vital functions" like banking & the military.

Ahah! I thought. This is what will be left standing when they shut everything else down in order to silence and control the people.

But ya know what? It ain't built yet. Their timing is off, & they're very vulnerable right now. Witness the spyware that got into the Drone computer system. This isn't Egypt. They can't shut down the Internet without shutting down a helluva lot of very high-priority activities. The economy will certainly collapse if they do it.

And as far as that super-double-secret system goes, whatever one group can build, another can crack. And the cracking is orders of magnitude simpler than the building.

In short, I am coming to believe that the Internet will ultimately provide us with the avenue for an end-run around the Corporate State dinosaurs.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. horizontal leadership
rocks!
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. Yup I made that point as well
And from the POV of authorities this is actually scarier.
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 03:12 AM
Response to Original message
21. Excellent observations Jackpine R
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 03:15 AM by Matariki
and one of the best threads seen on DU.
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