Most political messages on Facebook, Twitter etc. are sulking, whining and complaining, crying out loud, saying there is a problem but then it stops. A next message sulks, whines and complains about a completely different subject. Something terrible is happening, the government is bad, a new law restricts still more the freedom of common citizens, the rich become richer and richer, the poor are growing in number, ……….. All comments are about what others do, but what do the whiners? They have not even an inkling of an idea how to change the bad situation, only saying it is bad and then it stops.
There is not a beginning of change, laws are criticised but when an even stricter law is proposed the old law is forgotten and all attention is drawn to the new law. They jump from one subject to the next without even thinking what is the result of their twaddle. Some groups stick by one subject and analyse to the smallest details what is wrong. But they do not know what to do with this knowledge. The 99% can only use it to show their dissatisfaction in talks with other 99%. Not very inspiring.
Such protests are not successful, they do not force authorities to take different decisions. It is not resistance but at the most contributes something to a certain awareness. But most awareness actions underestimate what people know and feel. Street actions in Turkey showed that The People were very aware that something is terribly wrong. They joined in great numbers a not so important struggle for the preservation of a small park in Istanbul. Dissatisfaction with the general political and economic situation caused massive activities against the powers that be. Awareness actions had not been necessary.
Why should the 99% join actions when they know those actions do not change anything. The restriction of our freedom and the massive collection of data continues to intensify. The masses know but keep silent because nobody listens when they complain. Complaining is depressing, you better keep your complaints to yourself and only bring them forward when there is real action. Why should you read time and again that the world is bad, you know that already. Just look for the bright sides of life because complaining does not bring relieve.
Many people like it when the masses come out on the streets. Alas, the fights are only with the police and not with the real culprits, the 1% or the lackeys in the public and private sector. The results are mostly disappointing and after a short time mass revolts wither away. Unconsciously the 99% agree with the Golden Rule for Actions. Fighting with security forces changes nothing. It may have some positive effects but only the 99% have to lick their wounds. It is an important reason why the 99% withdraw in their private circles to make the best of it.
Most activities on internet or on the street are reactions on what the other side just has done. A new law was introduced in the USA about the NSA to spy on all citizens. Protest! But the state spies already a long time on citizens, this law is only one more step to control The People. It is striking that crime, corruption and greed seem to fall outside this control. George Orwell described in his book 1984 already a long time ago the future of a controlled society.
Protests of the past are forgotten and new laws result in new protests, new complaints and new whinings. What about the myriads of cameras that control our whereabouts? What about our financial activities that can be seen by the state? What about the registration of our whereabouts via GPS on phones. Or the spying on our financial data and habits, on our email and other electronic messages. On where we travel to by car, bus, plane or train. Many personal data are collected by the private and public sector in huge storage tanks that only can be used by authorities who control and restrict our freedom.
Before the NSA our freedom was already restricted and all protests did not have any influence on the coming of even worse laws. Awareness actions are depressing, you listen for a while, agree with what is said, but then you close your ears and listen to more agreeable things. Because leaders do not listen.
There is no continuity in actions. In the Squatters Movement I proposed long-term actions. When we had squatted a house from a greedy house-owner, the house was sometimes retaken by the police. Why should we not make known that the house could not be used by anybody. That people who bought this house should know that even after ten years their house could become a target of actions. The movement did not agree. They were too busy with short-term actions, squatting other houses, sometimes keeping it for new residents, sometimes losing it to people who wanted to earn a lot of money. The movement had many small successes but when the government was more and more repossessing houses, the movement withered away. You do not squat anymore when you know that the squatted house will be lost in a few months.
Carrying out actions must not be whining and complaining, not protesting and begging authorities to change decisions but forcing authorities to do otherwise. That is resistance, acting in our own way against targets we select and not reacting on targets authorities select. We should not be dependent on what the other side does. Attack those points that are difficult to defend. We must act and not react!
Hackers and Anonymous have more initiative. They attack not yet the 1% but they are unpredictable. The other side hardly knows what to do against them. We should be offensive and not defensive. Offensive activities are connected with a beautiful future, with what we can do to reach that future. But there is no initiative, no pressure on who decides. We need new action ideas to get a better world. There are hardly discussions how to develop an offensive policy against decision-takers. Actions against the 1% are non-existent.
Where were actions of Occupy against greedy grabbers? By attacking the 1% you go outside the system. Political groups had too much influence and restrict themselves to acting within the laws. (We have freedom of expression! We are allowed to demonstrate! Camping on squares is allowed according to the law!). The power of the 1% has to be attacked. We must transgress and evade the boundaries of the law. We must not be controlled by laws made by the people we attack.
The slogan “We are the 99%” is beautiful because it unites all people except the 1% who are different. We have to find the best means to attack this target with our common sense and without complaining. The 1% are motivated by money. We must use new tactics to creatively disturb the separated, extravagant and exclusive world of the 1%, build on blood money extracted from the 99%.
When we complain nothing changes, when we have the initiative, we win!
Joost van Steenis