Without a united 99%, all will be lost to a patient 1%…

Oct 24, 2011 by

It is with a deep sense of malaise that I write today after reading multiple accounts of infighting among the various Occupying groups throughout the world. My previous posts “So you’re a social activist are you?”, “So we don’t have an objective do we? No you don’t!” and “A message of profound hope…”, were all based on the premise that unless an organizational structure was put into place and specific demands made, what is happening now all over the world was certain to happen.

In what we might call the home base of the movement, Zuccotti park, there are growing divisive factions which I accurately predicted earlier this month. Naomi Klein and many others have pointed these issues out with varying degrees of acuity. From what I have read I was one of the more outspoken critics, and every time I wrote another article, I braced for another onslaught of attacks.

While I feel vindicated, vindication wasn’t desired. On the contrary I wish that I was writing an apology, which I was prepared to do the instant it became clear that I was marvelously wrong. There still is a chance for this – but time is running out.

It seems that the protesters have split into two major opposing camps which I will call the intellectuals and the soldiers. The speakers for the soldiers group argue vehemently against any semblance of leadership or structure.  I’m assuming this thinking, or lack thereof, is based on the idealized notion that the movement is “by the people for the people” and choosing leaders will lead to another organizational structure that many seem to protest as much as the excessive incomes of Wall Street.

It has been clear for some time that there is as much animosity on the US side of the movement towards their own government as there is against Wall Street itself.  The American Congress is an extension of big business, and many members of the US congress have personal or family fortunes that run into the tens of millions of dollars a year in income. These are obviously not people in touch with their electorate, and their wealth is indicative of direct ties to big business. This is no conspiracy – it is an undeniable reality. Things are no different in Canada.

What the soldier faction doesn’t seem to understand is that those in warm offices drinking Scotch and smoking cigars can afford to have patience. I’m sure after many raucous meetings about this bête noire group camped in Zuccotti park it was decided to see how the group’s solidarity would stand the New York winter. If the winter does not disperse the group in its entirety it will surely decimate them and then it will be politically safe to mop up the remnants.

What needs to happen I outline below. If this doesn’t happen within the next fourteen days I suspect that it will start becoming more and more politically tenable for the government to take swift decisive action against this group.

The sable rattling, drum beating rabble rousers can’t seem to get it through their thick fucking heads that a disparate group that lacks any kind of political or ideological cohesion will fail. It’s only a matter of when, and the when will be largely defined by the very cold New York winter.

I’m writing a much longer and detailed post about all of this but I felt that this needed to get out today.

      United 99% – State by State, Province by Province in Every Country in the World

  • Each city’s general assembly must decide on no less than 10 and no more than 20 specific remedies for declared injustices.
    • The writing of drafts must be assisted by those with legal experience.
    • These demands must be tempered by reality. Asking sympathizers with industry experience will help.
    • They must show as simply as possible conservative roadmaps for implementation.
  • Each city must choose via open ballot two official representatives.
  • An international site must be selected IMMEDIATELY where each city’s representatives meet in two weeks or less. I suggest London, England.
  • Selected representatives shall have no more than 72 hours to decide on a final list of 15 remedies brought forward by the international group. Obviously the number of remedies was arbitrarily selected by this author. The idea is the list should be inclusive of important issues, but not so exhaustive as to be unrealistic for the immediate future. All great things are always accomplished by measured and even-handed effort.
  • Once this internationally agreed-upon set of remedies is finalized, representatives of the “UNITED 99%” should appear before the UN to present them.
    • One representative from each country should be nominated to appear before the UN.
    • Each representative must draft a speech on behalf of their respective country; speeches should be kept under 15 minutes, avoiding rhetoric as much as possible. This is not about passion – this is real life and we must stick to the defined and actionable demands agreed upon by the international assembly of the UNITED 99%.
  • Each group will submit to the federal government of their respective countries this internationally ratified charter of the UNITED 99% demands.
  • The full document should be released to the media at the time of the UN general assembly.
  • The UNITED 99% declares solidarity until all demands are met.
  • If the demands are not met then we stand together shoulder to shoulder until they are. Work stoppages, bank withdrawals, etc. The international group should immediately start working on a document of necessary actions to be taken by each country in the event that demands are not met. Clearly these are demands of the 99% so peaceful action should suffice worldwide. We are the economic system of the world and if we just simply sit down and refuse to work, spend, etc., this will be enough to shut the entire system down.

Some suggestions from the author for remedies: (2)

  • Anatocism (Cumulative Interest) banned on all loans to those who earn under $250,000(1) per year.
  • Anatocism banned on all home mortgages of a specific value. This value should be stated and arrived by using a clearly understood mathematical method. Values should be based on each city’s property values and the median income of that city’s population. For example in Vancouver B.C,. average house prices are $800,000 – $1000000 a year. Anything below this threshold should be considered middle class housing and simple interest is charged. The idea is that if you can afford a 5-10 million dollar home you better save or pay cumulative interest.
  • Anatocism banned on unpaid government taxes by anyone who earns under $250,000 (1)  per year.
  • Corporations are to be given 5-10 years to retool and reengineer product lines that have artificially-imposed limited lifespans. A private citizen-run industrial watchdog should be funded by each country. If a corporation is found to be engaging in this common, deceitful, and environmentally damaging behaviour they should be fined not less than 5% of their capitalized value.
  • All banks worldwide should be split such that the investment and banking divisions are separated by an easily defined firewall.
  • Each country should nationalize 33% of the value of their banks. This should be done legally and democratically through a government enforced buy out. The idea is that once the banks are partially nationalized there will be strict banking regulations put in place on all the players in the field. With each government having a 33% stake in the banking sector of their countries they will see to it that these regulations are strictly followed.
  • Credit card companies restricted to charging no more than 5-8% above prime lending rate. Late penalties outlawed. Credit card companies in North America made 22 billion dollars off this last year and it must stop.
  • 1% tax charged on all financial transactions. This money MUST go into social and education programs.
  • Universities and colleges should be nationalized in every country. Big business has no place in providing education. Period. Non-negotiable.
  • Corporations that have built global hegemony in products and services such that there are no viable alternatives must be broken up. Corporations should not be large multinational holding companies that profit from every step a product takes from the resources taken from the ground to the consumer. If a corporation participates in more than 3 discrete steps then they must decide on which parts of the company must be sold off. This makes the world a fair competitive market place again.

(1) This value must obviously be derived by mathematical means. For the year 2011 it is representative of where income levels become divergent. Less than 1-3% of the population earns above this level. This should be the indicator. Those trained in these matters will know how to enact these measure so they become a “leveling” function for all the world’s middle and lower classes, and still remain fair to those who earn millions.

(2) Obviously these “suggested remedies” are from one man, and can’t be represensative of the world’s wishes. I include them only to indicate that we need to be taking this direction very fast or all is lost. I do believe items 1,2, and 3 are powerful and should be included in any eventual demands.

I will be adding to and editing this very rough draft over the next few days. So please come back. I’m VERY OPEN to suggestions, amendments, etc.. This is a living document.

Please crazily Digg and share this. We need all of those on the ground to know that unless they organize fast, all will be lost. I’ve paid for this to be shared through StumbleUpon and Facebook because I feel we need some ideas to go viral – quickly.

The article found here is a followup.

Until next time,

R.

6 Comments

  1. stax

    Too many demands. We US based occupiers need a single demand: immediately convene a constitutional convention for the consideration of the US Constitution amendment addressing campaign finance reform. Without such an amendment most, if not all, of our demands set forth above are non-starters in the United States. Once money is out of federal politics, we can move on to address other issues. Please watch this video and reconsider your position: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

    • RedIron

      First thanks for the comment and dialogue, much appreciated!

      The list was not meant to be anything other than some tangible ideas for a list of demands. One could say it was a mere illustration of what real demands look like, as opposed to the ephemeral ideas that we the general public were becoming used to hearing.

      If I was to be invited into a general assembly somewhere to help serve in whatever capacity I could. I would certainly argue as best as I could the validity of the first 2-3 points. I believe that these points are an important aspect to leveling the field once and for all. It is through anatocism that we, quite literally, are enslaved by debt for our lifetimes. If anatocism was outlawed for certain mortgages as I generally outlined above the financial system would have much of its speculative capital taken away. There is no reason to charge cumulative interest on these types of loans, perhaps for chattels and such things that lose value and bear much greater risk.

      With home mortgages the risk is very low for a bank – the land isn’t going anywhere and nor is the house. When they make it such that we pay $750,000 (or more) for a home we purchased for $250,000 they spend the next 25, 35, etc. years as long as our mortgage is, selling our debt and making money off of us. This in no way adds to jobs, except for jobs in the investment divisions of banks and brokers on Wall Street.

      Releasing us from these loans, which at one time were considered usury would put more real money into the economy. When people of the middle class are released from the primal struggle to have a safe place they can call home and have more excess income to spend on education, health care, etc. then there is more money in the economy and real jobs are created on the ground. The selling of our debt does nothing for the economy other than line the pockets of bankers.

      On Huffington post a trader was arguing with someone, trying to goad them into explaining why derivatives were bad. I shut him up with one simple question, “Could you tell me how shorting a nation’s currency adds value to the financial system? Does it create jobs? Does it create opportunity?” Needless to say we never heard another word from him.

      The outlawing of anatocism would without doubt change the world.

      Look forward to more dialogue with you – I’m off to view the video you posted.

      R.

    • RedIron

      BTW About getting the money out of politics – I can’t agree more. Though my opinion, and is only an opinion is that this getting the money out of politics will be part of the process, just not sure if it should be the focus – yet.

      peace,
      R.

  2. stax

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think your proposed demands are unreasonable or misguided. I only think that campaign finance reform is a necessary precondition to achieving most, if not all, of your demands. Thus, I think it is of the highest priority. It is also a goal shared by a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Occupiers and Tea Partiers alike think we need to get money out of politics. I think the Occupy movement would do well to adopt campaign finance reform as its priority issues, even to the exclusion of all other issues. Without meaningful campaign finance reform, all other reform is a pipe dream.

    • RedIron

      I still haven’t got a chance to look at that video. I want to give full attention. So when I settle down before writing tonight I’m going to look at it. I’ll comment back here, Thought you might find this article intresting.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opinion/sunday/friedman-did-you-hear-the-one-about-the-bankers.html?_r=4&ref=opinion

    • RedIron

      The video is an excellent piece. Many thanks for drawing me to such an erudite explanation of this particular malaise that has a deep and profound negative effect on both of our countries. I’m going to point some people to this video directly on this blog as well as some friends on FB. Regardless as whether you and I agree on whether this should be a primary or secondary target it is indeed an important target. So much so that I can’t believe I didn’t point a fatter finger at it myself. Please anytime you have any great information to share I’ll help get it out. Truly, thanks again stax.

      R.

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