“Protest is Broken.” — Occupy Wall Street co-creator

  • Posted on: 30 June 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Micah White

The Occupy movement was a “constructive failure,” which basically means it was a failure that taught us something about activism. The real benefit of Occupy Wall Street is that it taught us the contemporary ideas and assumptions we have about protests are false. Occupy was a perfect example of how social movements should work. It accorded with the dominant theories of protest and activism: it was a historical event, joined millions of people across demographics from around the world around a series of demands, there was little violence. And yet, the movement failed. So my main conclusion is that activism has been based on a series of false assumptions about what kind of collective behavior creates social change.

Advice for the next generation of social movements: “Never protest the same way twice.”

Attracting millions of people to the streets no longer guarantees the success of a protest, says Micah White, 33, the cocreator of Occupy Wall Street and former editor of Adbusters.

“Occupy was a perfect example of a social movement that should have worked according to the dominant theories of protest and activism. And yet, it failed,” says Micah in an interview with Folha de São Paulo, the largest daily newspaper in Brazil.

Micah White argues that the use of violence in protests is effective, but only in the short term. And he argues that learning to use social networks to benefit social movements is one of the greatest challenges of activism. “The biggest risk is becoming spectators of our own protests” he says.

Living in a rural community on the Oregon coast, with about 300 inhabitants, Micah, and his partner Chiara Ricciardone, now run Boutique Activist Consultancy, an activism think tank specializing in impossible campaigns.

Micah was in São Paulo, Brazil on May 26th to participate in the launch event of GUME (“Knife Edge”), an engagement agency founded by Regina Augusto.

Folha de São Paulo: How would you analyze Occupy Wall Street today? What went wrong?

Micah White: This is the big question and of course I've been thinking about it since the end of Occupy. For me, the Occupy movement was a “constructive failure,” which basically means it was a failure that taught us something about activism.

The real benefit of Occupy Wall Street is that it taught us the contemporary ideas and assumptions we have about protests are false. Occupy was a perfect example of how social movements should work. It accorded with the dominant theories of protest and activism: it was a historical event, joined millions of people across demographics from around the world around a series of demands, there was little violence. And yet, the movement failed. So my main conclusion is that activism has been based on a series of false assumptions about what kind of collective behavior creates social change.

F: What are these assumptions?

MW: First, the central idea of contemporary activism: urban protests, with large numbers of people in the streets, primarily secular, and that revolve around a unified demand. The idea is basically, “Look, if we get a million or ten million or a hundred million people in the streets, finally our demands will be met.” However, if you look at the last ten, fifteen years, we have had the biggest demonstrations in history. And the protests continue to grow in size and frequency, and yet they have not resulted in political change.

F: Now what?

MW: What we learned from Occupy, and also with the Arab Spring, is that revolutions happen when people lose their fear. So I think the main trigger for the next revolutionary movement will be a contagious mood that spreads throughout the world and the human community.

For me, the main thing we need to see is activists abandoning a materialistic explanation of revolution—the idea that we need to put people in the streets—and starting to think about how to spread that kind of mood, how to make people see the world in fundamentally different way. That's about it. The future of activism is not about pressing our politicians through synchronized public spectacles.

F: It's not about pressuring politicians?

MW: No. I think the standard forms of protest have become part of the standard pattern. It’s like they are expected. And the key is to constantly innovate the way we protest because otherwise it is as if protest is part of the script. It is now expected to have people in the streets, and these crowds will behave in a certain way, and then the police will come and some of the people will be beaten up and arrested. Then the rest will go home. Our participation in this script is based on the false story that the more people you have in the streets the higher your chances of getting social change.

F: Can you explain better what you're proposing?

MW: What I am proposing is a type of activism that focuses on creating a mental shift in people. Basically an epiphany. In concrete terms, I think there is much potential in the creation of hybrid social movement-political parties that require more complex behaviors of people like running for political office, seeking votes, participating in the city administration.

F: The use of social networks is quite controversial among contemporary activists. Some say it is a key tool to increase the reach of the protests, others say it exposes the movement to monitoring by the authorities. What's your opinion?

MW: This is one of the key challenges. Social media is one of the tools that activists have, and we need to use it in some way. But in fact, social media has a negative side, which goes beyond police monitoring.

During Occupy, we experienced it: things started to look better on social networks than in real life. Then people started to focus on social media and to feel more comfortable posting on Twitter and Facebook than going to an Occupy event. This to me is the biggest risk: to become spectators of our own protests.

F: What do you think of the Black Lives Matter protests that are happening in the United States since last year, the result of racial tension in the country?

MW: Of course I fully support this movement. I am black, I have experienced the discrimination that they are protesting. But thinking strategically, I believe it is very important never to protest directly against the police. Because the police are actually made to absorb protest—the objective of the police is to dissipate your energy in protesting them so you'll let alone the most sensitive parts of the repressive regime in which we live: politicians and big corporations. We must protest more deeply.

F: What do you think of the use of violence in protests?

MW: Studies suggest that protesters who use violence are more effective than those that do not. I think violence is effective, but only in the short term, because you end up developing a kind of organized structure that is easy for police to infiltrate. In the long run, it is much better to develop nonviolent tactics that allow you to create a stable and lasting social movement.

F: But doesn’t violence exclude the public from the movement?

MW: People become alienated and become frightened when they see the black bloc tactic because they do not understand and can not imagine doing it. And movements work when they inspire people, when they are positive, affirmative and make people lose their fear.

It's a difficult balance, because you also do not want to be on the other side and only support forms of activism that are tepid and tedious—you have to find a middle ground that excites people and also leaves them with a little fear. No one really has a remedy to resolve the issue.

F: Your book THE END OF PROTEST decrees the end of the protest as we know it. Can we reinvent protest?

MW: Protest is reinvented all the time. Every generation experiences its own moments of revolution. The main thing is that we are now living through a time when tactical innovations are happening much more often because people can see what others are doing around the world and innovate in real time.

I think the future of revolution starts with people promising themselves that they will never protest the same way twice. This is very difficult for activists because they like to follow patterns. But when we are committed to innovation, we will invent totally new forms of protest. People did not expect to see something like Occupy when it emerged. And now we do not expect the next big movement... but it will come.

Micah White's first book—THE END OF PROTEST—will be published by Random House of Canada in 2016.

Interview source: https://www.micahmwhite.com/protest-is-broken



fresh troll bait! thanks @news!

As Andrew X said 15 years ago.

yes, Andrew X was totally right and even if he weren't Shit Zinger is always totally right and that's good enough for me.

Michah White is a third positionist and is BFF with Larry Page. Their vision of post-revolutionary society is basically a high-tech Somalia with smartphones as the interface for managing everyone - or, post-nation state anarcho-capitalism, brought to you by Google. The fact that anews is reproducing this shit is more than a bit dubious...

You're just playing politics. Politics is for people who are too lazy or stupid to address ideas directly.

If you read an article and don't like what it says, criticize the ideas directly.

Something something about you probably being white something something vote Hillary

you just playing dumb!? Commenter above's definitely right about Micah White being a phony and probably a maagement of dissent agent. But sure thing... All that matters is someone's written ideas about some subjects, not their positioning, actions or declarations, right.... Society's really just one big philosophy reading group.

Are YOU playing dumb? Their point wasn't making this a "big philosophy reading group" but attacking the position of the interviewee as it's stated in the fucking article. Why the hell should I give a shit whether this person is a crypto-trotskyist, liberal, or a fucking fascist? It's not like I'm voting for them ffs, or plan on engaging in some kind of terrorist plot with them. I'm interested in what is right and wrong about the things they said IN THIS PIECE. Anything else is basically just moralist posturing: "Don't listen to anything they said! Their ideas are the impure works of the devi- I mean capitalists!"

One thing that will never change about @news: ad-hominems taking the place of real discussion.

"Why the hell should I give a shit whether this person is a crypto-trotskyist, liberal, or a fucking fascist? It's not like I'm voting for them ffs, or plan on engaging in some kind of terrorist plot with them."

This speaks volumes as to your motives...

A big fucking non-sarcastic "indeed"!

Now I'm just curious as to what you think are my "motives"

Occupy didn't just 'fail' as if it was some natural consequence of its very functioning. Occupy was suppressed in one fell swoop by an unprecedented effort co-ordinated via municipal, state, and federal agents, along with various private security contractors, to clear away the encampments across the country within two or three days. Michah White, and those who perpetuate this myth that it was a lack of clarity in demands that lead to Occupy's 'demise', are - whether consciously or not - furthering this myth of 'effective protest' that the state and its cohorts are desperately using to recuperate the current wave of struggle and use it to make a more effective, compassionate capitalism. And you fucking apologists are helping them win.

This. See:


Also, 'Counterinsurgency and the Occupy Movement' by George Ciccariello-Maher.

Suppression of a mass movement by the capitalist state is hardly "unprecedented"! Consider the history of the labor movement, the black liberation movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the Palmer Red Scare and McCarthyism, etc., etc. That the Occupiers did not expect this sort of attack to happen only shows their lack of strategic thinking.

Suppression is not unprecedented, obviously. But the degree of coordination between local, state, federal, and private agencies, tightly integrated through 'fusion centers' whereby they all share operational premesis and intelligence, is a unique development in the history of repression. To entirely write off any implication it had on why Occupy 'failed' is disingenuous at best.

I don't think that you are right about the "unprecedented" degree of coordination, e.g. during the anti-Communist hysteria of the post-WWII era. But this may be a quibble about exactly how much coordination existed in previous repressions.

I certainly would not "entirely write off any implication [government repression] had on why Occupy 'failed'." Obviously the repression was a major factor and I would never deny it.

I'm not a fucking apologist for Michah White, I don't even know who the schmuck is. I do know a shitty politician when I see one, though, and someone who uses accusations about affiations to silence someone is a politician. Assuming that pointing that out equates to defending someone is also a classic politician move. I don't support Michah White any more than I support you, and I actually *AGREE* what you wrote of your analysis. What I don't agree with is that this guys ideas shouldn't even be given a forum. What are you afraid I'm too dumb to come to the correct conclusion? You gotta control what I'm exposed to for my own good? Politician.

Lol, poiting out why an author is a piece of shit is not tantamount to 'controlling what you read'. But keep up your hyperbolic whinging.

Three comments from three (apparently) different commenters, none of whom can be bothered to criticize anything in the interview itself:

"The fact that anews is reproducing this shit is more than a bit dubious..."

"shame on you for giving him any amplification of his hateful screed."

"This leaves me with serious doubts about this website."

These comments are clearly aimed at getting anarchistnews.org to not post any other articles by Michah White. You disagree?

Go protect freedom of speech somewhere else.

Now who would want to stop activists from reading interviews that challenge movement orthodoxy? Who would want to silence an activist who is trying to encourage us to make protest effective again? Who would deny us access to controversial protest theory?

Anyone who screams "don't read that!!" is doing us all a favor by pointing out what to read first.

I'd rather call such a pipe-dream "Dark Age 2.0", "digital feudalism", " technosociocracy"... Anyways you get the idea so do I.

Here is my favorite proto-fascist quote from Micah:

" I always tell people that the best forces at social movement creation are the CIA (witness the coup against Morsi)."

He used to have this posted prominently on the homepage of his bougie "boutique activist consultancy." It's since been removed, but there is still evidence of it in his disqus history (at least until he sees this and decides to remove it): https://disqus.com/by/MicahWhitePhD/

He is referring to the color revolutions against communism. Please read more history.

Also, I'm not sure you know what fascism means. Please read more history (again).

...that completetly were fascist coups led by a completely fascist organization. Talk about an half-empty jar, or an half-filled jar.

Micah White is a fraud who stole movement resources and considers all NYC activists to be trash: http://www.dailydot.com/news/occupy-wall-street-adbusters-twitter-hijack... shame on you for giving him any amplification of his hateful screed.

You're just playing ad hominem attacks. Ad hominem is for people who are too lazy or stupid to address ideas directly.

If you read an article and don't like what it says, criticize the ideas directly.

yeah, but it should be pointed out that along with his buillshit unsupported grandiose statements he's lying about his experience

Ad hominem would only be a valid criticism if the personal attacks were unrelated to the subject at hand. However, Micah professes to know all about activism and how to organize even though he himself has been ousted from organizing spaces for stealing shared resources and not working well with others. He uses activist spaces to promote himself. That makes him a fraud. The personal attacks, in this case, are directly related to the experience and knowledge that he falsely claims to have.

There's no point in politely arguing or criticizing polticians. Politics are conflict, not a philoophical debate. So fuck off, you reformist shill.

Boutique activist consultancy..... Can I hire them to tell me how to get my mom to let me out past 10pm?

(1) If Micah White really is a "third positionist," that is, a fascist, this is relevant, especially when discussing such topics as violence or democracy in the movement. Is this true? (Generally I agree that it is wrong to label people in the movement instead of focusing on what they are saying, but fascism is beyond the boundary--if it is true.)

(2) To discuss the failure of Occupy, or at least of the encampments, I would point to the failure of the movement to raise demands which most people could support, as opposed to limiting ourselves to broad consciousness-raising about inequality. Many anarchists fought against raising demands.

(3) To discuss the possibilities of success, it would have been necessary to have more than numbers. It was necessary to have leverage, to reach a layer of society which potentially has strategic power--and this is the US working class, in all its multinational, multiethnic, bigendered, multisexual orientation, and range of occupations. The working class is not morally superior to anyone else (small businesspeople, for example) but has the potential ability to shut down capitalist industry and start it up again. There was only the beginning of an effort to reach workers (limited of course by their conservative union officials). Anyway this was an important issue.

> To discuss the failure of Occupy, or at least of the encampments,
> I would point to the failure of the movement to raise demands

Go fuck yourself.

Thank you forthe profound nature of your arguments which show me, and other readers, where I went wrong. Clearly I was mistaken to want to think about our failures and how we might do better. How wise you are to point this out in such detail. And, btw, you go fuck yourself.

Hey Wayne. I'm not the person who told you to go fuck yourself; I would never do so. I have a high regard for you, actually, as someone who has stuck to it for a long time. Unfortunately, the moderation on this website is so low quality that you can expect to have that sort of interaction on the regular.

But I am interested in the discussion about demands. It seems to me that it's not just a matter of people having "forgotten how to organize," but rather that demand-based movements are not proving effective. Others have written about this recently, notably Crimethinc:


What do you think of those arguments? I'd love to hear. Please just ignore the trolls, if they hassle you. Thanks!

I am pleased that you are not that rude person and that you have a high regard for me. It is hard to tell one Anonymous from another. Anyway, You ask me to comment on Crimethinc’s “Why We Do Not Make Demands.” http://crimethinc.com/texts/r/demands/

Briefly: (1) Demands are not “well-behaved appeals”. They are demands.

(2) The point of demands—that is, radical, “transitional,” non-reformist reform, demands is not to get “the authorities to grant protesters’ demands.” This may or may not happen. It is to win over the majority of exploited and oppressed people who do not yet support the movement.

(3) While it is desirable to be “able to implement the changes we desire ourselves, bypassing the official institutions” this is something which can only be done in a little area—since the ruling class really does rule, dominating the state and the economy and the culture. So we make demands on them. (Such as stop waging such and such wars.)

(4) “Limiting a movement to specific demands” is bad, but why limit it? Nor do we expect the government to create full employment by creating self-managed public enterprises, any time soon!

(5) Making demands does not presume that we want things the rulers can grant. Demands should be based on what the people need, not what what the rulers can grant.

I could go on, but instead I recommend my article, “Should Anarchists Raise a Program of Demands?” http://www.anarkismo.net/article/26648?search_text=Wayne+Price

and “Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises: A Revolutionary Program”

I dunno. Every time I go to a socialist rally, some speaker with a bullhorn says "Now I am not asking, I am demanding!" and people applaud. But it seems like the same thing to me. Functionally, it's hard to tell the difference between demands and “well-behaved appeals”--and the people who have been doing demand politics successfully lately (NYC People's Climate March for example) have really made it look like its function is to pacify. What I like about the Crimethinc text is that it proposes the alternative of setting goals, which it seems to me does everything that you want making demands to do, as far as connecting with the public.

Because, as you say, making demands may not presume that we want things the rulers can grant, but it sure does give the impression that they are the ones who have the agency. Look at Syriza, have they been able to fulfill the demands of our Greek comrades? They can't (which is just dispiriting all the Greeks who voted for them, rather than mobilizing them), and if they could, that wouldn't be any better, would it (we'd be back at the beginning of the Fordist / Keynesian compromises).

We need a way of organizing that frames us that the protagonists of history, not the state. That's why I'm personally not invested in demand politics. Rather than WE DEMAND.... I'd say something else, like OUR GOAL IS TO...

Please see my response to the next Anonymous, below.

I take it from your third point that you think the demands of occupiers should have been the demands of the working class. What the fuck kind of demands are those? Higher minimum wage? Better health care? More channels on the teevee?

Fuck those demands. Those are not my demands so how would you propose to have made me support them? You think if you just make the sign, I'm bound to hold it up for you since I'm sleeping a tent and eating your donated food?

The occupying villages were never meant to be a representative body. It was not their goal or job to represent anyone but themselves. That was the whole point. Everyone wanted something different, so they were encouraged to say what it was they wanted. The working class, too, were come and say what they wanted. That's great, but don't ask anyone else to also say that it's what they want, too. Why should I represent someone who won't represent themselves?

You're probably right. If Occupy had formulated the right demands, it might still be around today. Just like the Tea Party, CNN, and the Green Party. If only we'd thought to become something worthless, we might be living in our tents yet!

In response to the not-rude Anonymous and to the Anonymous who rejects "the demands of the working class"--I too have goals. My goal is a cooperative, radically democratic, decentralized federation of workplace councils and neighborhood assemblies self-managing society. That is Anarchism (as I understand it). My problem is to persuade enough of the general population (most of whom are in the working class at some level) to also want this. I have to start with what they do want and show them that only an anarchist-socialist revolution can let them get it. What do they want? Anonymous sneers at such demands (needs) as a higher minimum wage and better health care. I assume that low wages and expensive health care are not his problems or problems for his family, friends, or co-workers. Lucky person! I wish I was him/her. But to the first Anonymous, having goals are not enough. A program to achieve them is necessary, which includes "demands." Of course, there are good demands and bad demands, demands which are smart to raise and those which are stupid, ones which are very vague (such as was raised by the PCM, Stop Climate Change!) and ones which are specific and needed (a program for a transition to renewable energy, at the local and national levels).

Hey, I'm non-rude anonymous. (Or at least, I aspire to be well-mannered, to others who are.)

Listen, we can have intermediate goals as well as long-term goals, without those being addressed to our rulers. Some of those intermediate goals could even be to do small things on our own strength, like forcing the police to change their protocol by making a whole lot of trouble when they kill someone. In that case, the agency still lies with us, because the emphasis is on our ability to make trouble, not trying to reform (and thus re-legitimize) the laws (which have a lot less impact on police conduct than police protocol does).

In your framework, we can only make individual changes, whereas the state is the only protagonist that can make systemic changes. That's what you're arguing, right? I think that, from an anarchist perspective, that is basically a defeatist view. Also, it simultaneously grants too much power to the state and assumes that capitalist power structures could solve the problems they create if only we pressure them enough. See even some liberal authors like James C. Scott for an argument that decentralized horinzontal actions can add up to huge effects comparable to those of state action.

In the 19th century, many of our anarchist forebears foreswore reform completely in favor of insurrection--Cafiero and early Malatesta, to name a couple examples out of countless comrades. When a strong working-class movement came together around the desire for material improvements rather than the total transformation of life, it turned out that it was easy enough to co-opt that into the Fordist compromise (and its equivalent overseas, state socialism). We should not make that mistake again! Not least because even if what we want is just reform, it doesn't even seem like the capitalist state is capable of doing that in a globalized world.

As for your ad hominem speculation about the other anonymous, you and I both know that people's ideological values don't always match their interests, so even if you were right that it is in the interests of the suffering poor to support demands for state reform, it's unfair and unrealistic to charge that those who don't agree with you are well off. Myself, I am well under the poverty line, serious medical problems in my family, etc. and all those things just make me more furious, more unwilling to compromise, more urgently desirous of creating situations in which no state can regulate access to medical care. I don't want to risk deferring or canceling the possibility of truly autonomous victories in order to get short-term solutions, because that sort of thinking produced the catastrophe of the entire 20th century.

Nice to be talking with you! All my best.

"It is true, we hold deals [with the bourgeois class] in horror. Historical experience demonstrates to us that in all the political and social struggles they have always only served the possessing and powerful classes, to the detriment of the workers."
-Mikhail Bakunin, 1869 (http://blog.bakuninlibrary.org/mikhail-bakunin-madame-leo-and-legalite-1...)

You're right, low wages and expensive health care are NOT my problems. I get paid shit wages for shit work and if I were ever unlucky enough to be forced into using our health care system, I'm sure it would be ridiculously expensive. However, I'm not stupid or shallow enough to think that these things are the problem. Wages, period, and a monetary system are my problems. Dehumanized institutions masquerading as "health" and "care" are my problem.

There is no path from a living wage to abolishing work. There is no path from universal health insurance to a humanized care for one another's health.

You're wasting your time. Don't try to waste mine.

So, if I understand both Anonymous writers, they do not believe in supporting any calls for reforms or limited improvements under capitalism and the state (except for ones people can carry out themselves with their own limited resources). Instead they want the whole thing, the transformation of our society into a libertarian communist society. Nothing less will do. Demands on the state to stop any particular war it is waging, or on a firm to raise its workers' wages, or on the state to stop racial discrimination, are worthless, even if successful. No effort should be made to show people through struggle that only a revolution would really give them the benefits they want. I suppose this means that they would tell workers and oppressed people, we anarchists know better than to support your struggles for a better life. Instead we are for doing nothing until you see the need for a total revolutionary transformation of society! With such an attitude, I do not expect you to fail, but to not even get started. Considering that you and I share the same values and goals, I find this sad.

To be clear, Wayne, I am a worker and (to some extent) an oppressed person. I'm already engaged in the same struggles you are, whether I like it or not, and I'm doing my best fighting them. And like I said, I'm all for specific short-term goals, like making a particular war unwageable or compelling a boss to pay overdue wages.

What I'm against is dialogue with the state. This comes out of my 20+ years of experience in various kinds of struggles (though I don't identify as an activist). Every time we ended up in dialogue with officials or even just NGOs, making deals or proposals about how they could improve (and thus stabilize) their system, I've looked back afterwards and concluded that we didn't come out ahead. I think we shouldn't address ourselves to the state, but to each other. What would it take for us to bring about the changes we want, or at least to force our enemies to back off a little so we can get started in some small way?

Whenever we put off asking that question in favor of something that seems more "practical," we are putting off the real changes that we want to see, the real power we want to build as anarchists. There's no shortcut. Anarchism is not militant reformism, it is the process of building up our own power, in autonomous and horizontal configurations.

Anyway, we don't have to agree on this. I hope our paths cross at some point. If they do, you can use my/our intransigence as a bargaining chip in your negotiations. Just don't sell us out afterwards--those who think of themselves as pragmatists have a bad track record in that regard. Not that I doubt your sincerity or good intentions--it's a structural risk of that approach.

This is a quote from Micah that I found particularly troubling:

" I always tell people that the best forces at social movement creation are the CIA (witness the coup against Morsi)."

I originally saw this in an article that he had posted on his "boutique activist consultancy" page. It's long gone on his website, but still exists in his Disqus history (for now, at least): https://disqus.com/by/MicahWhitePhD/

For the record Micah's full comment is below. I don't see any hints of fascism at all.

Micah wrote:
Interesting question. I've been asked this before. You are right about the connections between CANVAS and CIA. The founder of CANVAS also worked for Statfor and was sniffing around OWS. I always tell people that the best forces at social movement creation are the CIA (witness the coup against Morsi).
However, the truth is that Occupy Wall Street is one of those rare movements that truly arose from the bottom-up. It's origins are fully authentic which is why I am happy to be friends with many of the founders. There is no truth to the conspiracy theories. Adbusters is not funded by Soros or Buffet or the CIA or anyone else with an agenda.
Adbusters is funded by subscriptions. Right before OWS, the creative collaboration between Kalle Lasn and I was at a good pitch and a donor gave Adbusters $20,000. This rare boost gave us momentum for the event but it wasn't directly connected to OWS. The nytimes blog wrote a piece about this donor: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes....
that was one of the very few gifts that Adbusters ever received.

He is referring to the color revolutions against communism. Please read more history.

CIA's history of anticommunist containment programs is rooted in post-war Nazi establishent and its closet allies in the US, and is everything about imperialism, from the killing of Mossadeqh all the way to the fascist coup in Ukraine and the civil war in Syria.

This is an imperialist war that's lasted far longer than Soviet "communism" and has made several millions of victims, just on the account of the CIA.


And yeah sure, go ahead with your lame bitching about me being an "antiimperialist third-worldist" or whatever. The blood on their hands will never wash clean, shill.

The reason that it failed starts with three things,

ALL Post-Modernist (Contemporary Anarchist) theories about any social phenomenon are simply incorrect. Everything from how or when change is possible, which tactics to utilize, and from what coalition could form to achieve those goals. Everything, literally EVERY god damn thing is a consistent failure.

Here are some examinations of missed opportunities courtesy of the all important, all-entertainment, all-the-time faction of Occupy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Better wear your hoodie and balaklava while reading them:



I wonder if the gal in the foto eats poor guys like me, I'm yummy! ;)

...and a racist, sexist pig!

Its called repartee. I have a short chapter in my CAI manuscript about the lost art of conversational repartee as satire and critique. Oh, but yeah, you're PC fascist lacking a sense of humor right?

Look at yourself. Your life has sunk to such a low point that you have to post your "repartee" as comments on the only site that won't bother to delete you, and you have to do so while carefully concealing your true identity, so none of us knock your teeth in. Why don't you take a step back and figure out where you went wrong?

There is no low point in my life. I am merely criticizing the direction that modern anarchism is heading, what it has become. I may sound like a troll, however, I only wish to offer alternative perceptions and blueprints of how a permanent change to the global fiasco can be realized. Sure, I can be irascible and cantankerous some of the time, but I must be blunt and not dither with words or the splitting of intellectual hairs. I am I, raw and unblemished by indoctrination. The occupation movement and Graeber's surrender to bourgeois values and his adhering to the Western currency of wage labor exchange depressed me. Despite his knowledge of the potlatch diffusion of accumulated wealth amongst the multitudes, he did not offer this option to the ignorant yet lovable peasants that occupied the economic machines heartland; rather he compromised himself to the leviathan contract and perpetuated the frustrations of those seeking a savior to materialistic desires whilst denigrating the intuitive spiritual concept of the creative nothing. We must consider the futility of struggle against the Empire of destructive automaton dominance, in the same way that the Borg will forever churn onwards minglessly and without empathy and a sense of whimsical humor, life has become so miserable to 5 billion folk that they are hopelessly entwined within the chains and yokes of their masters, yet it only takes the CAI, The Creative Aesthetic Insurgency, not an external material occupation, but a unified inner insurrection against conditioning that will overcome leviathan.
I was away sleeping on the mountain top for 2 nights, solitary and without any modern appliances, except for my cigarettes and lighter and torch, and I know how ancient neanderthal felt so many years ago, and it cleansed me of the Western constructs, I delved into the individual power of my autonomous self, I knew I would never be a sheep to the authoritarian commands of masters, that I would create and bring joy to all who met me, I would never tell anyone to do something that I could do myself, or learn to do. We must all become skilled at life and self-suffient. The occupation was the opposite, it only drew lost souls together without offering a working plan, just as the Spanish revolution regimented naive peasants, the Occupation congregated likewise those folk of only instinctual desires without having a method of action or the power to implement the cleansing of their tortured desires which like poison leaked out and destroyed what may have been the lost opportunity of the century,,,,yes, they were zombies and didn't realize it!

Yeah, tell us some more things we don't care about. Listen, have you received any positive reinforcement for all the space you take up around here? I mean, besides from yourself. It seems like you've got that part down.

Is all that matters

Exactly! That's why I masturbate gazing into a mirror, thrice daily, as it explains in the explosive conclusion of my guide to CAI. Like a thousand year Wilhelm Reich, the reich of the great I! Maybe you and I could form a union of egoists and do this together over skype?

I think the direction of modern anarchism has been problematic from the very beginning going back to Proudhon. Anarchism is belief formed and fueled by negation. It can only ever stop halfway. Stirner on the other hand is disbelief fueled by affirmation. Provisional belief only driven by anarchy.


Anarchism is negation, anarchy is affirmation.

Nobody has ever liked Ziggy, going all the way back to Proudhon. This is the fault of the anarchist movement.

I wasn't aware of this excellent essay. Thanks for the link. I guess you can tell the real biceps critic from the fool who impersonates me, regards ;)

In my Riga, Latvia we occupied a park next to our governments building almost a year before Occupy movement in December 2010.

And we also failed.

Creators and co-creators of Occupy Wall Street had to do the planning better, they repeated our mistakes once again, and the movement was destined to fail from the beginning.

Was there also an upfront rejection of violence against authorities and collaboration with them in some ways?

To say the thing failed strikes me as a posture of at least two logical fallacies;
-it was not ever a definable thing, occupy is not a noun, not an institution
-failure would require having an established goal.

personally, i had a lot of fun and i do believe that many a mind was blown. images were shattered, idols destroyed, attachments were severed and doorsteps were defecated upon! what fun!
have the volume of participation in the conversation increased,? have so many been encouraged to delve deeper? perhaps there be some success, i say

Why in the world would you publish anything from Micah White? And on top of that, why are you billing him as the "co-creator of Occupy," after all the uproar from actual organizers on the ground who described him as a narcissist who's main concern seems to be using social movements as a launching pad for himself. I highly doubt that somebody as widely hated as Micah, someone who has a track record of hijacking shared resources and getting kicked out of organizing spaces, has any useful information for organizers and activists. This leaves me with serious doubts about this website.

Then don't read it. But others are free to judge his ideas without considering anonymous ad hominem attacks.

I, for one, judge his ideas to be utter shit. Rest assured it isn't because of the comments here.

"I think there is much potential in the creation of hybrid social movement-political parties that require more complex behaviors of people like running for political office, seeking votes, participating in the city administration."

...wat? This was supposed to be a response in the negative to a question about pressuring politicians? This person is just tacking party politics onto the list of everything that ought to be occupied. Their solution is to yell, "WHERE IS THE POLITICAL PARTY WORKING GROUP!?" Here is Micah White's Occupy:

1) The revolutionary party gains support at the GA
2) Occupation tactics turn into a carnival of fresh, new hotness to annoy people in novel ways
3) Micah White runs for office with an enhanced constituency
4) Micah White does complex behaviors
5) The End

Ineffectual protest isn't a result of anything Occupy did or didn't do. There's no draft anymore, nor is there a lot of sympathy for street activism, nor a culture of solidarity strikes, nor a large Christian peace movement, etc. etc. Occupation is a decent tactic when this is all taken into consideration. It is at least a step in the direction of creating places where people can go on a daily basis to participate in a different arrangement of things (and social experiences).

Another fucking representative administration isn't any sort of improvement on everyday life. Presenting passers-by an experience of another way to do life together is way more potent than ten thousand new ways of attention-grabbing protest: the equivalent of internet click-bait... for teh party of revolution at that. The Tea Party already did that, anyway. I want something more than another jerk pushing regulations for my safety/well-being/interests.

Occupy was at least a movement towards disrupting everyday life while using direct methods of meeting needs/desires. It couldn't hold off the State, but who thought it would? Who thought it would last longer than a few days in a couple cities? Did you know that even Occupy would be possible before some lunatics in NY shivered their asses off in their refusal to return to the everyday life this shit order offers us? The take away is that eventually, the State will leverage more force than we could possibly accumulate to shut down revolts. The turning-point for the political revolution in Egypt was the participation of the military... Not to mention that, as far as I know, it has required the participation of military or militia forces for (most?) revolutions throughout history. Y'know, something that would make a "demand" an honest statement.

I like your comment especially the end part. Let's get acquainted someday, shall we?

That's because the Occupy Movement had to much groupthink conformity. I tried to warn you it was doomed to failure here:Occupy Eugene F-bomb Re-upload https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFAliBZcAhc. This is old news. Here's something more refreshing: http://exponentialaltruism.blogspot.com/2015/05/httpexponentialaltruismw...

OWS failed because it was infiltrated by agents of the millionaires and billionaires of wall street who posed as social justice warriors but had the hidden agenda of setting all the groups who joined together to form OWS against each other, they set the feminists against the men, the blacks and whites were set against each other and free speech which was a core principle of OWS was openly being mocked as "Freeze Peach" towards the end of it once the infiltrators had appointed themselves as the leaders of what had once been a leaderless movement.

Divide and rule strikes yet again, they tore OWS apart from the inside.

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