Posted by
Arv
• 10.12.11 12:00 pm


The most persistent criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protest is that it lacks clearly defined goals (also, that it’s just flagrant hippie bullshit).

The most persistent criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protest is that it lacks clearly defined goals (also, that it’s just flagrant hippie bullshit). But a group of Occupiers known as The Charter Collaborative have come together to draft what they call “The American People’s New Economic Charter,” a document that seeks to address the grievances listed in the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.”

A disclaimer in “The American People’s New Economic Charter” explains that the Google Docs file is a draft created through crowd-sourcing, thus it will inevitably contain internal contradictions and typical instances of democratic, free-for-all idiocy. The idea is to include as many contributors as possible, collaboratively refine that output, then ratify the final document through either the General Assembly or some other method online. From there the demands will have been listed and… uhhh… we’ll figure it out from there.

Anyway, apparently open editing of the charter has been suspended due to repeated attempts at sabotage. You can still view the document, and if you feel inspired to contribute or comment, you can contact Ralph or another member of the Charter Collaborative for access.

Like I mentioned, the charter is meant to provide possible solutions to the grievances listed by the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” which was ratified by General Assembly (a leaderless conference that is the demonstration’s primary method of decision making), making it one of Occupy Wall Street’s only “official” communiqués. It’s an interesting tactic, using a foundation of consensus in objections to build a consensus in solutions. Unfortunately, the charter is 65 fucking pages long.

Here are some of the Charter Collaborative’s proposed solutions to a few of the problems cited by the General Assembly. I chose to quote these because of their reasonableness, innovation or stupidity.

GRIEVANCE: #2 THE 1% TAKES BAILOUTS FROM TAXPAYERS WITH IMPUNITY AND CONTINUES TO GIVE EXECUTIVES EXORBITANT BONUSES.

Proposed Solution: “New legislation to prevent the bailout of commercial enterprise by action of Congress, the Federal Reserve or Executive Branch.”

GRIEVANCE: #3 THE 1% PERPETUATES INEQUALITY AND DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE BASED ON AGE, THE COLOR OF ONE’S SKIN, SEX, GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

Proposed Solution: “Strengthen anti-discrimination laws. Get media to scrutinize companies that discriminate; many large firms actually tout their diversity and GLBT acceptance. (I don’t think our charter will include media demands.) This, of course, implies that the government would be in charge of all media, which should help with distributing such propaganda. (I don’t think this is possible.)”

GRIEVANCE: #5 THE 1% STRIPS EMPLOYEES OF THE RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE FOR BETTER PAY AND SAFER WORKING CONDITIONS.

Proposed Solution: “Employers must not be allowed to require employment contracts or policies which penalize employees for lawfully exercising constitutional rights or require unilateral invasion of employee privacy. This includes the employee’s right to protect themselves on company property per applicable state laws (right to bear arms).”

GRIEVANCE: #6 THE 1% HOLDS STUDENTS AND OUR CHILDREN HOSTAGE WITH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF DEBT IN STUDENT LOANS. THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION IS FUNDAMENTAL TO BOTH FREEDOM AND PROGRESS.

Proposed Solution: “Teach character building classes from grade one, measure success based on drive / cooperation / interactions with others, not only final outcome. Impose universal morality for parents who do not participate in raising their children. Remove children from households with parents who refuse to educate them properly.”

GRIEVANCE: #11 THE 1% SELLS OUR PRIVACY AS A COMMODITY.

Proposed Solution: “Eliminate all gun registration lists so they cannot be published in newspapers for criminals to choose their victims (either for gun burglaries or home invasions of the defenseless). Do the same with all medical marijuana lists. (There are those lists too? Burn them all!)”

GRIEVANCE: #13 THE 1% DETERMINES ECONOMIC POLICY, DESPITE THE CATASTROPHIC FAILURES THEIR POLICIES HAVE PRODUCED AND CONTINUE TO PRODUCE.

Proposed Solution: “… tax lobbyist contributions at 50% or more [and use the tax] for publicly funding elections, with the lobbyist contribution also counting against the receiver so they can’t receive federal money in addition to lobbyist money…”

GRIEVANCE: #14 THE 1% BLOCKS ALTERNATE FORMS OF ENERGY TO KEEP US DEPENDENT ON OIL.

Proposed Solution: “Ban hydraulic fracking permanently and close all existing plants. Replace with geothermal, hydroelectric (including tidal), wind, solar and fusion. (If fusion is nuclear, I disagree.)”

Well, there’s a taste of the charter. Keep in mind that none of the above solutions have been agreed upon and there’s a pretty robust debate happening on the document itself, with people being called out for bullshit and near insanity. If you have your own ideas about how these issues can be handled (who doesn’t?), get involved in the discussion on the Google doc.

-ARV
@ArvSux


Comments
  1. Drippy Dog Dix and Cum Bubbles or Something says:

    Greivence #0.67: My bumhole is a drumhole.

    Solution: Bang it.

  2. Dang, Mang says:

    Fracking is in there? What a fucking mess… take a hint from the ‘enemy’ about organization, leadership and storytelling. If ‘change everything’ is what this movement stands for, it also will be its demise.

  3. This nonsense needs to stop says:

    The myths and lack of basic knowledge of our uses of oil on the part of both the left and the right is really astounding. When will people realize that oil is used for more than just your energy needs, nearly every consumer product you buy, from cars, tv sets, computer casing, circuit boards in the computer, your iphone, toys, plastic bottles, cups, to just about all household products is made from plastic, rubber, or allows that all use oil as one of the basic components. Everyone’s entire consumer lifestyle would still depend on oil, even without using it for energy. You’d have to become a luddite to be completely oil independent…

  4. cheezdick says:

    the only good %’er is a 5%’er

  5. nrrrd says:

    Ye auld HXC already tried something similar to this OWS stuff years ago. In the first phase, they will have issues with “unity.” In the second phase, they will find that “things fall apart.” In the final phase, they will have “integrity” issues.

    Sorry, bros.

  6. some guy says:

    “Teach character building classes from grade one, measure success based on drive / cooperation / interactions with others, not only final outcome.” That was a good laugh.

  7. Blah says:

    I can’t believe these hippies are anti-gun control. This looks to be some interesting sabotage. I wish the document was open, I would love to see how long “Stop plate tectonics!” stayed in.

    While they’re at it, can they add some language about banning inane reality TV?

    Dirty hippies were outside my Starbucks this morning (in the DC Marriott). About 10 of them, mostly looking like Vietnam-Era protesters, chanted “keep Wall Street out of my healthcare!” I could not figure out what this meant. I wanted to chant “keep my tax dollars out of your dying old-person healthcare” but it didn’t look productive.

  8. Drippy Dog Dix and Cum Bubbles or Something says:

    Wow, this is priceless:

    “Impose universal morality for parents who do not participate in raising their children. Remove children from households with parents who refuse to educate them properly.”

    What?!? Impose? Fuck you. What is a “proper” education anyway? I thought these guys were going to actually get their shit together and make this interesting, but it’s just an ever-expanding clusterfuck. Nice work :)

  9. nrrrd says:

    “Impose universal morality for parents who do not participate in raising their children. Remove children from households with parents who refuse to educate them properly.”

    Canada already did that like a hundred years ago:

    http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/topics/692/

  10. diana says:

    Who’s to blame i don’t now, the politicians aren’t representing the people and are only thinking about the present and not the future. Left right, it’s all bullshit, who is stuck in the middle… They teach us in school when you’re young to respect laws to be generous politicians who can’t agree on anything, and rather see the other side fail, then to come up with solutions for the future… They are only out for their own interest, which are interest of the corporations who exploit and break what they cannot fix everything and anything to keep control of their wealth and power, they are the real crooks laws are made for own interest, they pick and choose who to put in office, and who makes them get away with this, complacency, the politicians. They are modern day monarchies and we are the serfs… The politicians only corporate puppets who put on a show and talk about bullshit morality, that has to do with nothing but nothing, and use the illusion of religion, to blind us about the realty of real issues, like health care, cancer And rather see Goverment go bankrupt so they privatize, government institutions. Things aren’t so black and white.. Excuse me..

    they clear the path..

  11. This nonsense needs to stop says:

    I just had to reread this list again. It’s like the drafters of this list sat around listing to The Dead Kennedys “California Uber Alles”, and totally missed the point that Jello was commenting on a future of dystopian leftism being just as potentially scary as right wing facism, and they thought “mellow out or you will pay!” was a great starting point to reframe our entire system.

  12. Gavin says:

    The Free Market handles all of these on its own.

  13. Wooderson says:

    @Gavin

    I guess the free market is at the core of OWS. It’s odd that the people protesting are actually trying to encourage government regulation and increase government size.

  14. Puke says:

    It is going to be great fun when the 1% decides to kick the living shit out of these fools.

  15. Gavin says:

    The solution to government meddling? More government.

  16. @Gavin, if the free market handled these concerns, we’d have let those banks fail, as they should have.

    Privatize the profits, socialize the costs.

  17. Ravachol says:

    As stupid as this document is, I think it’s possible to come to a broad consensus on what needs to STOP happening, rather than what needs to start. Would anyone disagree with any of the below:

    1. Term limits of Congressmen and Senators. Seriously, some of these fuckers are in there for 3+ decades. If the Prez has to go after two terms, why not a Congressmen after, say, four terms?

    2. Restrict government regulators from taking jobs in the industries which they regulate after retirement from office. It’s a CLEAR conflict of interest. You can’t prevent them from working in those industries PRIOR to becoming regulators, or you would have a bunch of know-nothings in charge, but try to stop the revolving door.

    3. Further restrict the amount of money that an individual person/corporation can donate to Congressional/Presidential candidates. Or tax the shit out of that money. In any case, everyone can agree that big unions/corporations/lobby groups (whatever their political affiliation) have disproportionate political power.

    4. Regulate banks re: the amount that they can be levaraged. I’m in Canada and we’re doing fine because our banking system had a mini-crisis in 1993 and the gub’ment put in effective controls.

    5. Other stuff. Err….free blow-jobs on the last Thursday of each month?

    This is less about left/right than about a government that is no longer for/by the people. In both Ron Paul and Chomsky endorse #OWC, they gotta be doing something right.

  18. kremlins 2 says:

    They lost me hard at “Impose universal morality”

  19. The Cold Fist of Socialism says:

    The proposed solution to Grievance #6 is like something from a future dystopia. Education should be privatized. A monolithic education curriculum and institution is a solution from the past and is not applicable to modern society. Though there should be a collectively funded “Free School” K through Undergrad. Attendance is non-obligatory but available to all of any age free of charge.

  20. Miss universe says:

    I think the “impose universal morality/teach character building” thing is supposed to be a parody of communist indoctrination of children through education, but it’s actually not that far off what already happens in public schools. The wording seems to be designed to inflame our ingrained anti communist sensibilities.

  21. Blah says:

    The lefty dingbats should team up with the teabagger dingbats on the ”impose universal morality’ idea. Once they get this idea through, they could thoughtfully compromise on whose morality to impose. Notwithstanding the oil drum of condoms available at the lefty dingbat HQ, this should be doable.

  22. Universal Morality says:

    All your children are belong to us.

  23. Blah says:

    @Diana

    I appreciate your, and the “occupy” movement’s frustration. Free market failures and corporate political money cause great disparities in our system of capitalism and democracy.

    Like it or not however, luckily, you all have as high a likelihood of sweeping the system away and making real changes as the teabaggers have of dismantling the EPA and imposing Sharia law. After the next election, the U.S. President will either be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Do you know why we had to deal with GW Bush after the 2000 election? Because lefty idealists voted for Ralph Nader over Al Gore. I still think the GOP funded Nader’s bid.

    If you and the lefty dingbats don’t start wholeheartedly supporting our current President you will see what a GOP President and Congress will do. Even after you leave the system, the GOP core old-person voters will remain. Their healthcare and social security policies will cause you real, tangible problems. Take a look at the teabagger platform and reconsider your approach.

  24. @Blah says:

    Is there a special kind of brainwashing regimen and diet that allows you to be so ludicrously partisan?

  25. Blah says:

    I don’t understand your comment. Did I incorrectly assume that the Occupier’s agenda is closer to a Democrat one? Are you a Republican? If so, I accept your disagreement with me that GOP leadership would be a bad thing. As for Nader, even Michael Moore now agrees that Nader put Bush into office.

    By “partisan” do you mean that I wrongly believe that there is no alternative to the two party system?

    I’m intrigued. What does my alleged brainwashing cause me to misunderstand?

  26. Jakobi says:

    ” Proposed Solution: “New legislation to prevent the bailout of commercial enterprise by action of Congress, the Federal Reserve or Executive Branch.” ”

    That is so fucking dumb. Do you know how may more people would be unemployed right now if that didn’t happen?

  27. Anonymous says:

    #6 is scary as shit

  28. A.D.D.VisaVis says:

    This can not be real. Arv, please tell me these aren’t real excerpts, because they’re terrible.

  29. (not published or required) says:

    Here are some of the many reasons why people dont like OWS:

    – it has faults

    – it doesnt have a perfect plan to fix the world

    – i dont like the way some of the protestors are dressed

    – there are hipsters & hippies there

    – there are left wing people there, i dont agree with the left wing, therefore its all bullshit

    – its not cool to try and do anything or change anything

    – in order to know that something is wrong you must have 150,000 statistics and percentages mapped out in an easily read manifesto that is impossible to debunk by anyone, anywhere

    – i am just basically really really really fucking lazy (but unwilling to admit it)

    Isnt this whole thing about PARTICIPATING IN DEMOCRACY?

    that is a good thing, otherwise pack your shit and defect to north korea, or similar

  30. . says:

    @not published or required

    Thank you. That was perfect. *You win ONE INTERNET*.

  31. Joe Queer says:

    Fuck “participating in democracy”. Boring American shit. Non-corporate personal Fascism, now!

  32. d.kramer says:

    The OWS Folks Still Don’t Get It
    Posted by David Kramer on October 13, 2011 07:30 AM
    The latest “protest” from the economically-ignorant OWS folks:

    Bank Transfer Day: A Protest With Your Money
    [KRAMER NOTE: If the OWS folks did get it, then the real title of this article would be, “Bank Transfer Day: A Protest of Your “ Money.””]

    The social uprising — called “Bank Transfer Day” — encourages bank customers to take their cash out of big banks and put it in smaller banks and credit unions instead. The movement is ostensibly in response to aggressive fees institutions are rolling out to recover profits lost from new financial regulations, notably Bank of America’s decision to stick debit card users with a $5 monthly fee and Wells Fargo’s $3 test of the same.

    On the movement’s Facebook page, protest organizers say that, even with new government regulations in place to keep banks in check, they’re still making out like bandits. [You mean more government regulation made things worse?? I’m “shocked.”!!!]

    MEMO TO OWS: It’s not the size of the bank that’s the problem; it’s the entire fraudulent fiat currency/fractional reserve banking system itself that’s the problem. (And it’s not the quantity of the medium of exchange that you own that matters; it’s the quality of its purchasing power. Just ask all of those “rich” people in the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe.)

  33. Blah says:

    @Not published…

    I dislike OWS because it plays into the GOP strategy to disenfranchise and take over in the next election. The strategy goes like this: Cause disruption and discredit the governing institutions of the country. The average American can’t tell the difference between GOP obstinance and a general problem with the whole system. The folks barely motivated to vote to begin with, (e.g., the OWS folk, minorities, labor) will lose all interest in voting and strongly supporting the alternative to the GOP dingbats. In a perfect world, you will gin up a Ralph Nader and split your vote.

    No matter what you and the OWS folks do, Grandpa will be there voting in November. In our democracy, it’s not the strength of your ideas, it’s the people actually voting for them that counts. Notwithstanding the GOP complete lack of a candidate, they have a reasonable likelihood of winning–because of movements like yours.

  34. John Rambo says:

    Take children away from parents who refuse to educate their children properly? Who determines what properly means? This a good way to get a lot of public servants shot to death if you ask me. Why about home schoolers?? Do we all have to be part of the Collective Borg hive or do we have the right to determine the course of our own life?

    How about no initiation of force by the state? Leave mother fuckers alone. self
    Ownership.Personal
    Responsibility. The magna carta, get into it.

    Most of our problems would correct themselves simply by taking the power to print money like it’s toilet paper away from the banks an regulating closely what a dollar is worth instead of letting a bunch of control freaks and gambling addicts at the fed reserve play with it like it’s theirs.

    Also usury, there’s a reason why fucking toga wearing nomads 2,000 years ago cut peoples heads off for running this scam. We can send a man to the moon but we can’t figure out that when you let the banks act as dungeon master in a d and d game they’re going to rip you the fuck off! Fractional reserve banking. Look it up. Get rid of it.

    These people are well meaning but don’t want to address the full blown AIDS that the system has now. They just want to react to it’s symptoms.

    -Rambo

  35. John Rambo says:

    Fuck all you anti gun retards too. You can’t have the cops and the military be the only people Armed. Have you talked to a cop recently?? You honestly trust them with guns?! Just look at them. They look like a bunch of Pro wrestlers!

  36. mattyfranny says:

    Excellent of these people doing this shit. Funny it took this long, sad that if it works its going to indeed mean freaked-out 1%’s causing the deaths of protesters, which will be the badly needed accelerant for the whole goddamned thing to work anyway… makes me wanna die. cheers protesters.

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