The Occupy Wall Street protest is a classic example of a decentralized organization. There is no leader, no central organizing committee, and no established list of needs. It is more of a growing mass of various perspectives on why our current economic system does not include everyone, and what could be done about it. The solidarity against something that is not serving our needs is powerful and wonderful, and there are substantial, favorable arguments to maintain improvisational decentralization, but there are drawbacks that need to be considered. This inquiry should ultimately help us develop a decision and find a balance.
Improvised decentralization certainly has its merits. For one, it brings people of different beliefs together. They may disagree about the solution, or have different desires, but they agree that the common cause is oligarchical capitalism. Coming together creates a strong sense of camaraderie and solidarity that represents the kind of daily attentiveness and mutual support needed inside our communities. It's a world of difference when one is constantly giving and being taken care of. And yes, one's independence is acknowledged and respected during this.
This approach also makes it an authentic people's movement. It removes the possibility of one individual selling out, and it exists wherever the people are gathered together. There is no way to eliminate or superficially meet demands when everyone collectively holds the message. If someone is removed in this case, the movement as a whole would simply grow a new limb as a plant does. And this plant has no trunk to cut. Wherever it is challenged it improvises with the given people present to overcome the obstacle, while others in different areas focus on their distinct matters.
Colin Powell said in his autobiography in regards to the Civil Rights Movement that "a movement requires many faces." This makes no particular activity in the movement wrong, per se. Rather, different approaches only add momentum. They can be used concurrently to reach more ears, or during select times to overcome select challenges.
Planning, having specific goals, and defining demands (if not an overall vision), is focused on getting results. It lets people know what this movement is specifically achieving, and why. It encourages politicians to seek ways to create this vision at the level of policy, and it pushes big corporations to replace business as usual with value-led decisions and planning. When this movement shouts dissatisfaction at those in places of power, it is left up to those in power to make the recommendation on what to do. But when the movement determines a common vision, specific desires, and a road map of how to transition into this vision, it is the movement that decides what to do and whether or not each move made is genuine or besides the real point. The mayor not kicking people out to clean the park, for example, is beside the real point.
This approach also gathers people's energy towards specific destinations, creating powerful momentum. Collective thrust is critical, and when it is concentrated in one direction, the chances of arriving increase intensely.
Articulating appropriately will be important in accurately representing and communicating people's true concern and vision. The ideas need to be expressed clearly and in a way that the lay public can understand. Wording should be pithy and direct. Big ideas should be broken down simply, and the way these are explained should be considerate of the audience. For monetary reform, this could be, "We stand for government control of the creation and dispense of money. This can drastically increase the amount of money continually flowing in the economy, and increase the money supply when the economy is ready to grow. And it can all be done without paying interest." Or, "Imagine a world where all the money collected on interests from loans became the budget for public infrastructure. We want our government to be the main provider of loans, not the Federal Reserve." Or even, "We want government encouragement of community projects like time building to reduce our costs and build cooperation amongst neighbors."
For my part, I can recommend several ideological systems that may help define the vision. Based on the biggest themes that I observed in the park, 99% vs. 1%, and monetary reform, I suggest using the following established systems as the ideology behind selected pith statements:
NESARA (National Economic Security and Recovery Act):