Movements cannot be organised, they arise spontaneously caused by the accumulating dissatisfaction of the 99%. When movements are controlled by organisations they wither away. Movements have vague concepts based on great ideas and clear goals that unite the 99%. They have neither leaders nor members, only enthusiast people who find they belong to a nationwide or even worldwide movement willing to do something to realise the goals of the movement.
Sometimes movements change in mass uprisings but it are not yet revolutions. In uprisings the 99% are still protesting, in a revolution they directly attack the power of the leading class. Therefore new action methods must be used because all actions in past revolutions did not succeed in changing the power and money relations to create a world without a 1% in which all people have the same status.
The bad housing situation in The Netherlands during the seventies forced some people to squat some of the many houses that stood empty. Suddenly the Squatters Movement came into being. It was a real movement. Unknown common citizens said to squatters “Hey, near me a house stands empty, can you squat it?” In demonstrations protesters were warned by unknown lookers-on for undercover policemen. In the anti-establishment movements of the sixties many individuals let their hair grow and protested against the strict rules without any support of organisations. The general ideas of these movements activated many people. That hardly happened anymore after 1985. But it can occur again.
A small movement recently started in the north of The Netherlands. The extraction of gas deep under the villages causes earthquakes. People become more and more annoyed. Suddenly many people took to the streets, people who had never been political active before. Then it is possible to introduce new action methods that directly put pressure on leaders who care more for money than for the well-being of the 99%.
Movements are always spontaneously and ignited by a single spark that started the prairie fire. But the basic cause is accumulated dissatisfaction – not enough houses, discrimination of women, continuing small earthquakes, growing corruption, increasing number of lies of politicians etc. The accumulation of discontent takes many years. After the decolonisation in the sixties the first twenty years were filled by a (dwindling) hope on a better society. The next thirty years the situation did not improve for the masses while the top of society became richer and richer and more and more greedy and dictatorial. Then people started to move. Movements sprang up everywhere. Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, The Arab Spring, The Ukraine, Venezuela, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, China, Greece, Spain, The Congo etc.
In the last fifty years I have been involved or have been present in many movements in Europe but also in countries as Indonesia, Thailand or Colombia. I have seen the fury of the masses and also the inspiration movements gave for a better future, a future that was destroyed by the greedy selfish top. Maybe it takes twenty or thirty years but then the masses break out. Then they are willing to fight, then they can learn how to attack the prime cause of all misery, the existence of a 1%, a bunch of greedy people who only care about their own future. These mass happenings are not caused by political organisations that strive to improve the situation of the people only a little bit. They are spontaneously caused by people who say “Enough is enough!” It is a wonderful time and leads to a better future when the energy of the masses is directly turned against the real culprits, the 1% and their political lackeys.
In movements, people move, they are freer, they reject the rules imposed on them by people high above them. Their behaviour becomes unpredictable, chaotic. It is part of the chaos that can lead to a revolution. Organisations are sitting ducks. Authorities can attack leaders and possessions. Movements don’t have leaders or possessions, they are elusive. There are no fixed points where security forces can attack. Actions are unpredictable. Disturbing the private living sphere of the 1% can happen anywhere. The 1% has become the sitting duck, the 99% have the initiative. The driving factor is the common goal, taking the money and power away from the 1% by controlling, vetoing and eventually punishing faulty leaders that violate the freedom, privacy and the well-being of the 99%.
Movements have no organisational structure, there are no rules, only ideas. Activists decide which actions should take place and which tactics may be used. Occupy withered away when self-appointed leaders demanded that the movement should be non-violent. Jean-Paul Marat said in the far past: “It was easy to distinguish sham magazines from the true “People’s Friend” because their authors always preached peace, tolerance, patience, submission to laws etc.”
A Movement for a Humane World has room for all 99%, be it street fighters of the Black Bloc, supporters of the Tea Party, football hooligans or people who live in old people’s homes, it is not right or left, it is an autonomous experience of the masses. Everyone can do something on his own way and in his own time to promote the idea that all people have the same status. Actions should concentrate on making the world of the 1% uninhabitable, making their life so chaotic that they can no longer use their power over the 99%. They need order, the people some chaos.
Movements are volatile, people move and should not occupy squares, amass possessions or have paid leaders. Movements are offensive, organisations must defend the organisation and its possessions. Organisations differ essentially from movements, they are dependent on the money paradigm having paid leaders, employees and possessions and a power structure that resembles the elitist power pyramid, powerful people at the top and foot soldiers down under. They are easy targets for the opponent. They do not comply with the same status paradigm. They have partial demands within the existing society about which they discuss with the top of society. Maybe they alleviate the inferior position of the 99% a little but they do not challenge why the 99% are in a bad situation. Some people advanced soon after the start of Occupy partial political demands. They wanted only small changes and changed the Movement Occupy in the Organisation Occupy. It had no success, the 99% withdrew from Occupy.
We do not need leaders who negotiate with leaders of society. In the words of Marat “we must not be involved in the process of making decisions ……….. we only punish the perpetrators of crimes against public and individual freedom or safety”. Movements only control, veto and punish faulty and corrupt leaders. That are already elements that we need in a future society. Small Autonomous Groups of interested and involved citizens put pressure on leaders at the top of the power pyramid. The new society does not have a power pyramid.
Another kind of society cannot be negotiated. Then faulty leaders remain on top, old powers have still the possibility to regain their power. That is not possible when the 99% have learned how to take the power and money away from any 1%. It is a protracted struggle that ends when the 1% has lost their privileged position, lost their surplus of money and power.
When there are no negotiations we do not need one-sided media. We must force leaders to behave differently and then the media may decide if they want to write about that change. Media are owned by the 1% and because the arrows of the 99% are directed at people at the top, you cannot expect that media write favourably about such a struggle.
Movements should never cooperate with organisations that curtail the initiative and creativity of active citizens to boost the organisation. The Dutch Provo Movement in the sixties withered away when some people participated in elections by using the name provo. The same will happen with the Pirates Movement and other movements that still trust the parliamentary structure. Taking part in elections kills the initiative of individual followers, redirect most energy to a goal that has very restricted results. Individual independence necessary for a Humane World is destroyed by changing movements in organisations.
Only a movement in which people independently decide how to be active can lead to a revolution and to a completely different kind of society.
Joost van Steenis