Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Inspiration for OWS Is....

Madagascar.  No, not the animated movie.

It was on this island nation off the coast of Africa that David Graeber, one of the movement's early organizers, who has been called one of its main intellectual sources, spent 20 months between 1989 and 1991. He studied the people of Betafo, a community of descendants of nobles and of slaves, for his 2007 book, Lost People.
Betafo was "a place where the state picked up stakes and left," says Mr. Graeber, an ethnographer, anarchist, and reader in anthropology at the University of London's Goldsmiths campus In Betafo he observed what he called "consensus decision-making," where residents made choices in a direct, decentralized way, not through the apparatus of the state. "Basically, people were managing their own affairs autonomously," he says..
And they even had their own way of dealing with criminals:
When necessary, criminal justice was carried out by a mob, but even there a particular sort of consensus pertained: a lynching required permission from the accused's parents.

Speaking of consensus, Occupy DC is working on seceding from the United States. They have a preamble to their manifesto, which made their spokesman cry. There's just one little problem: So far the group has only approved one sentence. That would make me cry, too!

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