Actions that hurt too much the 99% should not be organised or carried out. In the last fifty years too many activists have been damaged in actions and successes were scarce. We need a new kind of actions with more positive results and less damage to our people. Actions that care for the safety of the 99% and the activists, though any activity has some risks. Less damage to the 99% and a series of small victories prevent that activists become disillusioned and withdraw from the movement.
In the Arab Spring, The Ukraine, Thailand, Brazil or Turkey but also in our countries protesters from the 99% are arrested, imprisoned, wounded or even killed. The revolt of The People in town centres often ends in clashes with security forces, also part of the 99%. Leaders, the 1% and their political servants, are hardly disturbed. They can afford to wait. After a short time revolts die down and then they regain their privileged positions.
In Egypt some of the highest top were arrested but the rest of the 1% continued to live in their safe, extravagant and exclusive mansions and money continued to stream into their pockets. The power relations were not challenged. The 1% kept their power and money because actions did not contribute to the ultimate gaol, taking the power and the money away from the 1%.
Actions that do not comply with the Golden Rule for Actions should not be organised or carried out. Most fruitless protest actions as demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, petitions, civil disobedience, etc. are based on the belief that rulers can be trusted and will listen to The People. The old actions should be replaced by more powerful actions in the private living sphere of leaders to force them to change their decisions. These actions learn the 99% how to develop the Fourth People’s Power to prevent that any 1% uses power for their own benefit. After the revolution the 99% have power over leaders, now only the 1% have an incontestable power over the 99%.
Self-appointed leaders still call on activists to risk their life in out-dated actions on the streets in town centres while they know successes are rare because nobody in the top listens to demonstrations. They propagate short-term actions against ”small” injustices instead of long-term actions against persons who cause most of the misery in the world. They refuse to change tactics. In Occupy mass street actions were propagated and the initial slogan “Occupy the Financial Centres” that pointed to the real culprits of the misery and the crisis, was soon replaced by slogans that did not disturb the top.
A new kind of actions is needed. Mass actions are dangerous for activists because of possible clashes with security forces and do not pressure the 1% who live elsewhere. Also classical guerrilla actions should not be undertaken. These fights soon change into a war between two armies in which only the 99% is damaged. We should avoid getting any dead revolutionaries. The safety of activists and the 99% stands central in the Golden Rule for Actions.
Autonomous Clubs of common citizens should carry out surprising, unexpected small actions against leaders. Small is beautiful and emphasizes the individuality and creativity of humans. In these Clubs all people have the same status while mass actions have leaders and demonstrators. The new paradigm that all people have the same status is in contradiction to the present situation that money dominates all decisions. It should be applied in all actions. The old-fashioned idea that “together we are strong” (but controlled by self-appointed leaders) is wrong. Many small leaderless Autonomous Clubs are much stronger. Thousand people in a demonstration make less impact that hundred rocks thrown through hundred windows of a 1% by hundred activists.
The new paradigm emphasizes that people are important and that actions should be carried out against living people and not against dead buildings, corporations, institutions or other dead entities. The strength of individual actions grows when more Autonomous Clubs pressure the 1% by controlling, vetoing and eventually punishing faulty leaders who violate our freedom, privacy and well-being. We avoid damage to the 99% by “attacking the enemy in all places where the army cannot be used. This means that we can deprive the enemy of all his advantages” (Jean-Paul Marat). In this struggle a new kind of independent people comes into being that gives the new society a different basis.
In mass actions humans are reduced to beings without any own contribution. They are like obedient soldiers in a battle, carrying out orders from leaders who are not directly involved in the fight. Generals mostly die in bed. Autonomous Clubs care for many small successes and convince and inspire the 99% they get power when they directly pressure the 1%. Individual activists decide how, where, when, with whom and against whom actions should be carried out to disturb the private, privileged and cosy life of power bearers.
New action ideas spring forward by taking into account the Golden Rule for Actions, by judging action proposals first and for all by the idea that actions must minimise damage to the 99% and maximise pressure on the 1%. Arrested, wounded or dead activists cannot anymore participate in actions. The well-being of activists stands central. Actions that do not comply with the Golden Rule should be abandoned.
The 99% have suffered too much in street actions. It becomes time the 1% become the target and are forced to give up their excessive amounts of money and power.
That is thus the second Golden Rule: Attack only the 1%.
Joost van Steenis