A response to the "Occupy Movement"

Please read the post "Basic rules and guidelines" before posting comments on this blog.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Basic rules & guidelines

I have created this blog as a response to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which I see as having galvanized many people into a sense of power and purpose, and also see as creating a great deal of polarization, hostility and self-righteous mud slinging.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a safe, respectful space for people of all beliefs, genders and political persuasions to create a socio-economic system based on mutual respect and cooperation, and to take personal action to bring this system into operation.

In order to create a safe and respectful space for this dialog, I am establishing basic ground rules for participation, and will act as moderator for the dialog and keeper of the rules.

Here they are:

  1. No name-calling. It's okay to say "President Obama isn't keeping his promise about XXXX", it's not okay to say "President Obama is a @%$!&^ idiot commie traitor" or any variations on this theme, applied either to public personages or participants in this dialog.
  2. This is not a platform for attacking or defending any ideology(s) or belief(s). It's okay to point out specific things that we see as working or not working, equitable or not equitable in a given system, model or ideology, as long as it is presented in the context of cooperating to create something we believe will work better.
That's pretty much it. There may be additions and/or modifications later, and I welcome feedback on this issue. But for now I want to keep the actual rules (which I reserve the right to enforce by deleting and/or flagging comments I judge to be in violation of them,) as few and simple as possible.

I also propose some guidelines in creating the most open, supportive and respectful space possible for this dialog:

  • Use 'I statements' such as "I believe that cooperation is a more effective strategy than competition" rather than ex-cathedra pronouncements like "The truth is, cooperation is always better than competition".
  • Find something to agree with or validate about another participant's comment/posting, before moving on to areas of disagreement, questioning or refuting the data presented, etc. Example: "I agree with Peabody's comment about soft drinks being a major contributor to diabetes and therefore to skyrocketing health care costs, and I think that taxing soft drinks and channeling that money into diabetes education and treatment would be a more equitable solution than banning them altogether."
  • Cite sources for data, so that everyone can assess for themselves how credible it is, and can do further research if interested.
  • Bear in mind always that the purpose of this dialog is creating a system based on cooperation and respect, and acting to bring that system into operation. This will only happen (in my firm and passionate belief,) if and to the degree that we are respectful and cooperative in this dialog.
I am working on another post that outlines some specific issues and ideas that I have gathered under the label of 'Entrepreneurial Humanism', which I hope to have up in the next few days.

I look forward to seeing where this journey leads us!

Blessings to all,

Bob Olofson


  1. So, does this comment thingy really work?

  2. Greetings Bob and future bloggers,

    I have found "The Great Turning, From Empire to Earth Community", by David C. Korten, to have much to offer us in this transitional faze of humanity.

    This faze of social evolution can be stated in many ways. Here are a few that make sense to me; from ethnocentric to worldcentric, from dominator hierarchies to growth hierarchies, from flat earth "us and them" operating systems to round earth "human family" operating systems.

    I see the Occupy movement as a direct confrontation with abusive empire, dominator, ethnocentric, us and them, flat earth systems thinking.

    As with any confrontation, there is a victim, persecutor, rescuer psychological dynamic at work under the surface and/or out in the open.

    Some in the Occupy movement want to impose their individual (egos) or group (ethnos) control over the 1% and perhaps our nation state and humanity. This is where it gets messy or confusing.

    I will cover the primary markers that I think help to measure the impact each individual's choices have upon our world. I will use the multicultural model I have learned with the addition of the world.

    They are: Personal, Interpersonal, Institutional, Cultural, and World.

    Before I cover these though, I would like to use them as guides for what we can and in many cases are already doing to make our selves and local communities healthier and safer.

    Personal- Every person must have basic needs met in order to both fully develop the healthy social capacities of their brains. The nurturing and nutrients we get or do not get directly impacts our ability to be healthy or stunted social beings.

    To accomplish this I propose we advocate for and help to coordinate local food production, cooking, and storage in order to meet local needs to the greatest extent that we can given our climatic limitations/opportunities.

    This local food system is a method to engage all local people who need dignified work, integrates everyone in community care and providing, and serves as a teaching metaphor for getting enough of the needed nutrients and nurturing that most of us did and did not receive as we sprouted up in this society and this world.

    It also serves to reduce fossil fuel use, thus, reducing carbon dioxide.

    Interpersonal- What I say and do creates my connections and disconnections with all other people I come into contact with. If I am running a victim story, a magical story or myth, a belief story, or fixed cultural us and them story, I impact and limit who I identify with. I may unconsciously exclude others when I am in my culturally conditioned fictions of us and them.

    Institutional- The Transition Town movement has much to teach here. Basically, we adjust zoning to achieve a more integrated society with the earth. I'll share more of David Korten's Growth Hierarchy (life or biology hierarchy) later.

    Cultural- Culture gives us roots and can be a fixated prison of conformity. More on that later, too.

    World- nature is my teacher on how to live in environments that have successfully maintained and adapted over millions and even billions of years. More to come on that, also.

    Okay, there is my first offering. I look forward to doing much more than typing comments in isolation in front of a computer.