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Leaning on the Party

The left must organize around clear goals, or else we will be sidelined. As readers are no doubt aware, since 2011 there have been numerous urban uprisings across the globe. A recent tweet from a BBC Newsnight presenter , Paul Mason, asserted that in a year there will be "2 categories: riot news and other news." While the optics of people marching the street may be similar all over the world, the actual circumstances are often very different. The purpose of this article is to examine three social uprisings in the US, Brazil and Egypt. The focus will be on the number of participants, class composition, political programs and the role of the security services.
(I wrote this in the summer of 2013) Read more about Leaning on the Party

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Help Support Freedom of Expression

My friend and compatriot, Samsarah Morgan has been the target of threats because of her involvement with editing a book, A People's History of Occupy Oakland. Read more about Help Support Freedom of Expression

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Punishment, Vengeance and the Banks

People sometimes ask me, if I was in charge, what would I want done with the bank that have broken the law and carried out epic levels of fraud in the United States. And it's not just the banks, it's the finance, insurance and real estate industry as a whole, commonly called the FIRE sector.

Specifically, people often ask, what should be done about the executives who masterminded the various frauds?  Some people expect me to say life in prison, brutal punishment etc. People expect me to say, that's what these people deserve, so screw them, they have to pay.  
But honestly?  That's not what I'm looking for.
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I thought this was pretty cool

Guy gets injured. Docs tell him he won't be able to walk again without canes.
15 years later, takes up yoga, loses 140 pounds, and can walk again unassisted.

Video Read more about I thought this was pretty cool

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Chains of Debt


I originally wrote the following essay in late 2009, almost three years ago. I never got it published, though I did circulate it privately. At the time I theorized that debt was the common element of oppression in American life across ages, ethnic groups, geography, etc.. Debtors were the largest oppressed group in the US if only they would recognize it. Therefore teachingpeople to recognize that fact would be a way of organizing people against the current system. Read more about Chains of Debt

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Thinking About the Chinese Revolution, Part I

Originally Posted at Hella Occupy Oakland
Last week I discussed the meaning of the term comrade, and this week's blog post was supposed to be, and is, about the limits to power. When I was writing the outline for the post, I realized that the only way to talk about limits to power was to use a case study, since talking about these things in the abstract is not as meaningful as pointing to real life examples. Read more about Thinking About the Chinese Revolution, Part I

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We're Not Comrades

Originally Posted at Occupy Oakland Media
Last week, I wrote about the tension between personal and institutional loyalty. This week’s blogpost will discuss the term comrade, and why I think it’s outgrown its usefulness. Read more about We're Not Comrades

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The True Colors of a Citizen

Crossposted from Occupy Oakland Media

Last week I wrote about the importance of seizing the American identity.

This week, I want to talk about the necessary tension between personal loyalty and institutional loyalty in oppositional politics. Read more about The True Colors of a Citizen

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Seizing the American Identity

Originally posted atOccupy Oakland Media

Last week I wrote about the continued relevance of the nation state. This week's piece is on seizing the American identity.

As leftists, we should seize the American identity from the moribund hands of dying bigots and refashion it into something that centers on economic well being for the majority of Americans. Ultimately a nation state depends on its citizens embracing a common orientation, or a common identity if you will. Read more about Seizing the American Identity

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Why the Nation State is Still Relevant

Originally posted at Occupy Oakland Media

First in a series on building a new consensus.

The nation-state still matters.

Although I have met and talked with many people in OO who believe that the nation-state is obsolete, evil and must be abolished, I do not agree. There are quite a few things that the nation-state does that I have not seen as possible otherwise. Among other things, this includes the maintenance of the physical infrastructure of civilization, such as water/sewage distribution and telecom, as well as the monopoly on violence. Read more about Why the Nation State is Still Relevant

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Occupy Portland, Report from Day 1

Sorry for the lateness on this report, it was filed via carrier pigeon from my erstwhile Pacific Northwest Correspondent, Lazlo: Read more about Occupy Portland, Report from Day 1

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Report, #OccupyOakland

Hundreds of people showed up for the first day. I estimate that at least 50 were planning on staying in tents. The space in front of city hall actually has an amphitheater and it's perfect for general assemblies.

A lot of people worked hard to make it happen, and it was an amazing and positive event. As far as I can tell from Twitter, people are still there, and a city council member is staying the night.

This is the largest "first day" I've seen yet. Not bad for a Monday in the rain. Read more about Report, #OccupyOakland

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Report, #OccupySF: General Assembly

I attended the Occupy SF General Assembly this weekend in Union Square. The General Assembly there was full of thoughtful people discussing how to best protest the increasingly dire economic/political situation in the United States. There were approximately 40 to 50 people gathered. I arrived relatively late in the day and by then the police had asked them to take down their tents. What follows is my impressions of the situation on the ground. Read more about Report, #OccupySF: General Assembly

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September 11th

September 11th revealed that our leadership no longer believes in the idea of a nation state that promotes the general welfare and protects the common good. They pantomime their beliefs, they talk of bravery and patriotism supporting the troops, but in the end, their actions betray them. Read more about September 11th


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