Regarding "Asking General Assembly's Permission To Form A Committee"

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Re: Regarding "Asking General Assembly's Permission To Form A Committee"

Post  Michael_Donnely on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:21 am

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Regarding "Asking General Assembly's Permission To Form A Committee"

Post  Michael_Donnely on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:34 am


by Londoner

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There is a fundamental theoretical question being raised: If Victoria Park has become any Londoner's forum to exercise his/her constitutionally given democratic rights, then, why are such rights again subjected, at least, to the emotional endorsement, or the emotional disapproval of an office called a Committee, whose power is in turn invested by an institution called General Assembly, which can be understood at best, to be a participatory experiment?

To raise such question, is not to exclude the possibility that the abovementioned process as legitimate. It is merely to raise the question, and then to investigate, so that the spirit of the understanding of the theoretical concepts used to analyse such process, can aid us in 1) encouraging virtue and sound spirit 2) discouraging control of power, hierarchy, passive aggression, corruption and divisiveness, 3) moving beyond inertia, stagnance, false deference AND 4) promote spontaneity, dynamic energy, commonly shared and not monopolized privileges, creativity and truly productive collaboration.


First, it is necessary to understand that the ontology of this local movement of London, has changed since October 22. The source of empowerment was once entirely vested in an embryonic body of democracy called the General Assembly, or to be precise, the General Assembly At East-Village Cafe. That has evolved. Now, the source of empowerment is in fact, the very physical presence of the act of occupying Victoria Park, which has created a democratic public space which empowers all present, occupiers or common Londoners, who are In Its Spirit. However, an institution persists, and continues to drive this public space of empowerment through processes quite similar to the embryonic existence of Occupy London at East Village Cafe. And this institution is ALSO called General Assembly.

It is safe to understand that, the name and form of General Assembly remains constant. However the source of empowerment evolved from the original General Assembly, to Occupy London.


This said, it can be understood that, while the process of seeking endorsement of the original General Assembly at East Village Cafe to form the founding committees, can be well understood to be necessary, and even crucial, now Londoners who are simply In The Spirit of Occupy London, are given a freer arena to release their potentials, and to exercise their democratic rights.

From the Kingdom of Necessity to the Kingdom of Freedom.

The now evolved institution of General Assembly, integral to Occupy London, is still much necessary, and is perhaps still fulfilling a crucial role.

But, do not let the institution limit Occupy London's greater potentials.


Do not follow illusions. Be grounded on empirical reality. Be very careful not to create inequality of power and privilege at will, out of our selfish instinct, and at the expense of a participatory democratic body.

Let me emphasize "at will". It is actually OK to have some form of exclusion, inequality of power and privilege Only If Necessary. It was necessary to create those original founding committees and many of them are necessary to create committed offices of authority that derive their power either from election, appointment, or volunteering.

Was such power invested through the endorsement by the original General Assembly at East Village Cafe? I would say yes.

Were such offices created through the General Assembly process, after the greater source of empowerment, Occupy London, came into fruition? I would say yes.

Will similar offices be created through the General Assembly process in the future? I would say yes.


But also be careful.

Be careful not in a sense that we should be more passive aggressive in criticizing more and more creative ideas coming from enthusiastic Occupiers or Londoners. Passive aggressiveness, especially when misunderstood, turns away many many people.

Be careful in a sense that, we should examine, whether the old process of creating offices that monopolize/controlled a certain authority/power, should be privileged and proliferated.

=============================================


Regarding "Asking General Assembly's Permission To Form A Committee" (continued)

My suggestion is: Occupiers and Londoners in the spirit of Occupy, continue to be creative, and continue to have ideas presented. But, do not privilege the original process of seeking General Assembly endorsement for your creative ideas in the form of "new committees". There are two aspects to this:

One:
An idea for a new committee may be a sound idea. But in most cases it in fact is not.

In a participatory democratic public space that has evolved beyond the original General Assembly at East Village Cafe, which is Occupy London, being In The Spirit of such a public space, already empowers all.

If this whole body understands a particular need well, then all people who are In The Spirit, should go out and do it. Now, there's just a little problem: The need is not articulated enough. There is not enough awareness of it. Among the whole who are In The Spirit, few can be found to be "committed" to that particular need.

Well, in this circumstance, what is needed, is not a "committee", but the presence of "drivers". Drivers articulate that particular need, drive the whole who are in the spirit, to be aware of such need, and eventually "commit" some volunteers to devote their energy, creativity and collaboration in catering to such need.

Are drivers a sort of "committee". Ye....s and no. Actually language is much more powerful than we think. Using the term "committee" automatically conditions us to a particular form/structure of governance, which in many cases, may be detrimental to the fulfillment of potentials of drivers.

If "drivers" is an obscure term, I believe we can substute it for "group", "circle".

However, I'd say "group" is perhaps a very wrong substitute. There are boundaries between "groups". "Groups", like "committees", have structural limits to its membership, and limits to how many groups a person can belong. And such boundaries are jurisdiction distinctions. The egos of groups constitute Denominations within a fluid, but united movement. Exclusion and disagreements among groups constitute sectarianism and partisan politics.

Being "committee member" and "non-committee member" creates walls between the whole that is In The Spirit of Occupy London. It creates distinctions and inequality of power and privileges.

And, such distinctions are not dynamic. They are static. Once I am a committee member, I need to resign, or to be relieved of my duty in order not to be a committee member. But, I may be creative enough to cater to the need that justifies my office initially, but not later. Someone else should be given the chance. It will only make sense that the act of "committing" a volunteer for a need, is Dynamic, as in the "drivers/circle" scenario, but not Static, as in the "committee" scenario.

Like I said, in the case of the founding committees, such distinctions and walls, are necessary. It may even be necessary to create new ones with moderation in the future. But please do not create such distinctions at will. Especially do not create such distinctions that may become self-serving, and may foster partisan politics.


Language/semantics conditions the human mind in a way more powerful than you think.



Two:
Privileging the process that "seeks permission from General Assembly", creates unqualified and fictitious investiture of power.

In a participatory democratic public space that has evolved beyond the original General Assembly at East Village Cafe, which is Occupy London, being In The Spirit of such a public space, already empowers all.


All who are In The Spirit, are already empowered, precisely because this is a space where they are now able to exercise their constitutional democratic rights, and also to exercise their inborn human creativity.


One lesson we have learned from the corruption of Wall Street is: One should not derive value/power from fictitious investiture of power/authority. In other words: The mongers of this debt-based currency, never really Earned their wealth. They fictitiously created their wealth on a blank cheque.

Such words may be too strong. But we should be fully introspective and self-reflective: Value should be empirical. Earn our power and authority through selfless service to Humankind.

Kings and despot never quite figured out how they could earn their unbridled powers. That's why they invented some kind of God that had the power to invest powers in kings and despots.

The Wall Street traders must have known an honest way to make a living long time ago. But they invented such supernatural power that could give them the license to manipulate value anyways.

Let's not invent such God in the concept that we've created called the General Assembly.

The institution of General Assembly is necessary. It is a focal point of our evolved public space of Occupy London. It does have a lot of power. It is also a process in which we can actually honestly Earn our power.

But the General Assembly cannot be the power-investing God of the Kings and Despots, or the fictitious hand that grants Wall Street trader the carte blanche in staking claim to all the riches of the world.

How to *do service to Humankind rather than to *create fictitious powers invested in us?

Simple: make suggestions, bring them up to circles, General Assembly, and friends---not to "get their approval to get power", but to "get their critical opinions"---and then, get down to the Park or to wherever in town you should be, and do them. Do them with friends. Meet friends at Occupy London, foster mutual trust, and do them collaboratively. Articulate these needs, drive awareness, and drive volunteers to do them.


These are your Democratic Rights. These are your chances to be Creative. Don't let anyone take them away from you. Don't take them away from others. Especially, don't transform our dear institutions, which we have created to Serve Humanity, into institutions that take them away from us. Have faith. Have Spirit. Have Trust. Have Confidence.













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