The Sum Stratagem–a strategic plan for the remnants of the Occupy movement by Zevin X Cruz
The Sum Strategem
by Zevin V. Cruz
“We’re not going to change the world one person at a time. We’re not going to clean up our ghettos one block at a time or save our national debt one dollar and one balanced budget at a time, or solve the crime problem in America one criminal at a time. It’s a nice fantasy, but that’s about all it is—a fantasy.
“Economies of scale make a difference. We live in a mass media, mass market, mass culture age—and we need some mass solutions. We need some sweeping changes, some aggregate solutions, and some all-encompassing reforms. Base hits aren’t going to do it. Not now. Not today. Not this late in the game. We need a couple of grand slams. And the first one, the most critical one, and the one that will pave the way for all the others is to remove all of our nationally elected officials from office, all at once in a single election of the new millennium. Nothing could be more appropriate, more timely, or more essential to revitalizing American democracy,” (Rob Nelson, Last Call, 2000).
THE SUM STRATAGEM
A 2016 Unified Mega-Movement Campaign For A Citizen Accountability Purge Of The Economic Oligarchy
INTRODUCTION: OCCUPY 3.0—The Cultural Creatives’ Convergence Of OWS, Transition US, USSF, People’s Climate Strike, Spiritual Progressives & Socially Conscious Conservatives
When the clarion call to “Occupy Wall Street (OWS)” came from ADBUSTERS in July 2011, I knew it had the potential to be big and bold. It proposed a different activist approach compared to past progressive protests in recent decades because it suggested two very difficult objectives: 1) rally around a “single demand” to mend the fragmentation of activist forces and 2) “bring a tent” to indefinitely seize a public space at the center of the financial capital of the world until that demand was met. Nothing like it had been proposed since the mass social, economic, political and cultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, which is why the Occupy encampments were so significant in the beginning.
Although Occupy failed to collectively agree on a single demand during their encampment phase, which I have designated as Occupy 1.0, nevertheless, by seizing public space and occupying it for two months they went well beyond the traditional protest demonstrations and marches that typically last no more than a day or weekend at most. Unfortunately this stage of the movement proved short lived and soon after the clean sweep of the encampments nationwide they reverted back to traditional forms of activism by functioning largely as a set of loosely connected, issue-based campaigns, what I call Occupy 2.0, signified by organizing around marquee events like Earth Day, May Day and S-17 Occupy anniversaries. “Occupy would become, in many respects, a protest about its own right to protest—valid, of course, but also a muddying of the message, and one with a less broadly populist appeal.” Back in 2012, Even RT America (the on-line TV news media outlet that tends to provide positive coverage of the Occupy movement) concluded their series of reports of the first National Gathering with their last segment titled, “Was OWS’ National Gathering A Bust?” According to many attendees I spoke to and RT’s report the answer was unfortunately—yes.
“Do you think this,” asked the RT newscaster, “could be the beginning of a revival?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t think so,” retorted the reporter Gupta, “because the revival was supposed to happen around ‘May Day.’ On that day, there were protests in something like a 120 cities across the U.S. [in a movement that at one point had 500 encampments nationwide, Gupta stated earlier]. It was sparked by a call for a general strike but of course that did not happen. But there were dramatic protests including over 30,000 people in New York and there were attempts to take public space in downtown Manhattan but it was surrounded by the most fearsome displays of police power [that] caused people to filter away one-by-one because there was no organization…” (RT America, “Was The OWS’ National Gathering A Bust?” July 4, 2012).
What we need now is to incorporate the best of both phases of Occupy (version 1.0 and 2.0) and jettison their deficiencies. The following is a list of Occupy’s positive aspects: 1) It created a national public dialogue of the prevailing problems and issues often ignored. 2) It shifted the national political debate from austerity economic policies to the massive income inequality between the “1% and the 99%” in the United States, so much so, making Republican strategist Frank Luntz advise his business conservative clients to avoid using the word “capitalism.” 3) It wisely chose not to be coopted into the tyranny of the two party political system where social movements go to die by running any candidates in the 2012 general election or officially endorsing any democratic party presidential candidate. 4) It created a public nexus that connected activists in person through General Assemblies, work group meetings and coordinated political dissent actions, while also having an online presence via live streaming, virtual work groups, bulletin boards and information dissemination. 5) The encampments became pseudo-activist centers for launching different political dissent protests, marches, demonstration and guerrilla art actions and activities. 6) During the daily struggle to maintain their occupation sites by providing themselves with food, water, shelter, clothing, waste disposal, teaching-ins, work group supplies, media equipment, etc., they had to develop strong social bonds among themselves that required trust and cooperation and thus becoming a living example of an emerging community (a precious social commodity sorely needed in the activist world. 7) Such a process led most of the occupations to create social capital by providing free, pseudo-public services for themselves and stakeholders in nearby areas thanks to the support of the surrounding community like churches, non-profits and individual donors there and abroad. Such creations allowed the encampments to successfully continue and achieve an unceasing national presence, which the tents themselves had come to symbolize. 9) The longer the presence of these occupations the more media exposure they got and the more media, the more it inspired people to flock to the encampments to offer support, encouragement and even join. 10) Those that directly participated in the encampments were invigorated and inspired—ushering in the inaugural era of a whole new generation of Millennial activists, which answered veteran activists questions on how to engage the youth. 11) When the nationwide, clean sweep of the encampments occurred almost simultaneously in a massive coordinated law enforcement crackdown, it demonstrated the repression and authoritarianism of the power elite. 12) This oppressive backlash proved that such activities were an effective and real threat to the authorities and the social system if the occupations continued here and around the world, otherwise they would have just been dismissed and ignored like so many protests of the recent past.
However, despite these positive attributes of the movement, there were plenty of shortcomings that doomed the encampment phase of what I am calling “Occupy 1.0.” These included the following: 1) Offering a partial picture of the prevailing problems plaguing us by concentrating mostly on the exterior consequences of the individual (behavior and actions) and the collective (institutions and social system), while mostly ignoring the interior domains of the individual (intentions and consciousness) and the collective (values and worldview). 2) Due to this incomplete identification of social problems the analysis to the root causes was only partially accurate leading to symptoms-oriented-solutions like “creating more jobs” without distinguishing the types of jobs we need to evolve our economy into ecologically sustainable occupations that helps heal the planet and ourselves. 3) Such incomplete analyses led to a partially accurate picture of the economic oligarchy power structure and means of social control. 4) As such, the movement failed to provide new and necessary memes and mandates to base all our future social change actions. 5) Failed to unite around a single global demand like what I proposed The Grand Imperative: “Abolish Empire and Establish Earth Community,” depicting what we would be for and what we are against in one, simple, short, six-word-phrase. 6) Offered no new theory of social change to effectively overcome the common obstacles facing all activists. 7) Lacked the ability to create or endorse a new spiritual foundation to help inspire, encourage and retain the movement’s participants through difficult and discouraging periods of time by providing existential nutrition to continue the struggle for as long as it is necessary by incorporating it into our own personal life mission and authentic identity. Failed to draft its’ own alternative political policies beyond public proclamations. 9) Possessed an aversion to creating a cohesive program of a holistic and systemic deconstruction of the social system and the reconstruction of society through creation of alternative institutions. 10) Adhering to a fault the motif of a “leaderless movement” as a result of extreme egalitarianism, when in fact it should have been a “leaderfull movement” with many layers of integral leadership. 11) This of course was the result of anarchists’ correct view of pathological dominator hierarchies but it led to “throwing out the baby with the bath water” by rejecting all healthy growth hierarchies (holarchies) found all around us in nature and the universe, thus failing to create a sustainable organizing structure in order to endure. 12) They produced no official demands or ultimatums that could have been backed by the people through the threat and implementation of a mass civil disobedience campaign (like the one proposed in the “The Sum Stratagem”). 13) Failure to create a cohesive vision, grand unified strategy and well-articulated new philosophy but instead only provided a list of grievances and vague generalizations of how they want the world to be in the form of a wish list of issues ranked in order of importance like those that emerged from the well-intentioned, first Occupy National Gathering in 2012 at Philadelphia during the week of July 4th. 14) Failed to create long lasting alliances with the clergy and churches like the Quakers and Unitarian Universalists that often provided sanctuary and support for those in the movement. 15) No substantial or significant outreach to students, parents, teachers, veterans, blue collar workers and unions across the country, which is why their May Day call for a general strike in 2012 failed. 16) Although they admirably rejected succumbing to the lures of the two-party system, they mistakenly overlooked the need and importance for any movement to create an alternative governing body by foregoing the creation a new third party, a people’s congress or even try to unite most if not all third parties like the student revolution of Otpor in Serbia during the year 2000 (elaborated more later). 17) Failed to officially create a common code of conduct to denounce and abstain from counter-productive actions of violence and property destruction by negative rebels within groups like the “Black Block,” in order to safeguard the movement from being marginalize and justifying the authorities’ tyrannical repression in the eyes of the American people. 18) Inability to significantly subvert the existing social system by failing to offer an attractive and alternative parallel model. 19) Failure to win over the social institutions that serve as pillars of support for the economic oligarchy. 20) Movement participants were understandably blinded by the rage against the brutal and violent response of police but it failed to recognize that law enforcement officers (and for that matter the military) are also unknowingly victims of authoritarian conditioning by the social system and victims should not be fighting with fellow victims but instead win them over (a perfect example of a lost opportunity of the Zuccotti Park Occupation in NYC was to have two or three occupy participants assigned to each police officer stationed along the park’s perimeter in order to bring down the psychological barrier of “us versus them,” and perhaps cultivate a relationship by getting to know the officer and vice-versa, in order to establish empathy and making it more likely for them not to engage in any future acts of oppression, violence and ultimately disobey the order of conducting a clean sweep of the encampment). 21) The movement failed to act on its three greatest weapons—one, we, the 99% outnumber the 1% economic elite; two, the power elite require our obedience and consent to be ruled; and three, we, the 99%, run the machinery of society that the economic oligarchy depend on, therefore, we have the power to unplug the machine as a strategic leverage point through the social, political and economic noncooperation and civil disobedience of a general strike, instead of playing by the financial elites’ rules and field of battle like electoral politics, which substantial amounts of money tends to combat the large numbers of the masses.
It’s only through honest self-reflection and a courageous critique of itself that the Occupy Movement (what little remains of it in its current state of fragmentation much like activism in general for the past four decades) that we will be able to overcome our current limitations by jettisoning the weaknesses and preserving the best qualities and characteristics listed—in essence to transcend and include—the “artivist” motto of the Integral, Metamodern, Neo-Transcendentalists—Occupy 3.0. The SUM Stratagem is based on this new philosophy described in my first three books published in 2015 (The SUM, SUM II and The Dynamic Decalogue). It resolves all of the listed shortcomings of Occupy, while incorporating all of the best assets and positive attributes of the movement and subsequent sub-movements. An example, is integrating one of the movements’ greatest asset in its tool box, which was the occupation model that offered the opportunity to create what was mostly missing in the activist world—community. And community is usually created in shared spaces for long periods time as strong social bonds are formed when groups of people work together to maintain public spaces of occupation. I realize occupations are very time and energy consuming but if they were reestablished in “safe spaces” on or near spiritually progressive sites like the Unitarian Universalists and the Quakers or socially conscious conservative churches and progressive libertarian establishments that act as sanctuaries against police encroachment. It would also serve as activist nexuses and community centers for post carbon relocalization and national nodes of networking that will revitalize and unite all of the environmental, social, economic and political movements and sub-movements by developing a visually stable and consistent national presence once again, a constant reminder to all Americans of the work being done to prepare for a nationwide general strike.
An Integral Approach To Activism & New Proposed Plan For Profound Change
THE SUM STRATAGEM is an integral approach to art, activism and fundamental social change through a Nonviolent General Strike of social, political and economic noncooperation. It would begin on Monday, November 7, 2016 (after the weekend of the November 5-6, Million Mask March to Washington D.C. and one day before the November 8th U.S. Congressional and Presidential elections). This will be made possible by the Cultural Creatives’ Convergence of political third parties, the Green Shadow Cabinet, Move To Amend, the 2015 U.S. Social Forum, Transition U.S., the Occupy Movement, Religious Liberals like the Unitarian Universalists (UU), Society of Friends (Quakers)and the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) that includes Tikkun readers, in addition to conservatives within the Ron Paul Libertarian factions among the Tea Party and We The People’s 2009 Continental Congress. Not to mention the blue-green alliance of the Labor Network for Sustainability.
It begins with Zevin Cruz & S3K’s introduction of the 2016 SUM STRATAGEM at the June 25-28, 2015 U.S. Social Forum in Philadelphia. Then over the next three months work with the Occupy movement to unite most political third parties to form a “Grand Unified Alliance (GUA)” by signing “The Oath” and drafting a “Grand Unified Platform (GUP)”—a synthesis of Left-Right issues to address climate chaos, peak everything and income inequality by getting money out of politics. We will also integrate excerpts from the We The People’s 2009 Continental Congress’ “Articles of Freedom,” and the “99% Continental Congress’ 2.0 Declaration” to synthesize a final “Redress of Grievances (RG).” All of which would be publically proclaimed on Nov. 5, 2015 as a “Grand Ultimatum (GU)” for the U.S. government to ratify into law by Nov. 5, 2016. Within that one year countdown, the GUA will eventually go on to democratically elect a “People’s Congress” of 870 citizen legislators (one male and female in each of the 435 congressional districts), to form a mock parallel governmentlike the Green Shadow Cabinet (adding Libertarians), citizen supreme court justices, a people’s President and Vice-president—creating a new Third Continental Congress (CC 3.0)—to convene a Constitutional Convention to draft and ratify new amendments to create a new ecologically sustainable cultural, economic, political and social system based on the values, worldview and way of life emerging from the Great Turning of Earth Community, otherwise known by the Neo-Transcendentalists as the Society of the Third Millennium (S3K).
The one year countdown towards a nationwide general strike begins on Nov. 5, 2015. We will announce a massive mobilization of civil society for creating community resiliency through a post-carbon relocalization through the 154 Official Transition Towns & Initiativesnationwide in conjunction with OWS Reoccupation of America and in collaboration with the 1,000-plus Spiritually Progressive churches—all to serve as Community Convergence Centers (C3)—creating the necessary activist infrastructure to sustain the possibility of a long, nationwide general strike. During this one year period, Transition U.S. would help coordinate a national relocalization campaign with theRe-Occupy Encampments and Network of Spiritual Progressive (NSP) churches and organizations, while the Third Continental Congress (CC 3.0) will tour the states to spread the word of this National Unified Purpose (NUP) and gather input from the people of their suggested constitutional amendments until June 30, 2016. During the week of July 1-4, 2016, the CC 3.0 will convene a Constitutional Convention to debate and ratify the new amendments. On July 5, 2016, they will publically proclaim their success in a “Declaration of Re-Independence,” and the Cultural Creatives’ Convergence Quest (C3Q) will be launched, which is a four-month, cross-country, 48 site-specific, outdoor guerrilla art installations to create a “Catching Fire” crescendo campaign in order to produce the necessary momentum heading into theNov. 5, 2016, Million Mask March to our nation’s capital where the CC 3.0 will march to and set up a mock parallel government encampment with disgruntled war Veterans, religious leaders, students and unions to kick off the nationwide, general strike on Nov. 7, 2016. Those unable to go to Washington, D.C. will be encouraged to participate by marching to their local power centers like town and city halls, county offices and government branches—wherever they deem necessary to demonstrate people power and solidarity with the mega-march.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES & TIMELINE OVERVIEW
- THE TEN 2015-16 “CULTURAL CREATIVES’ CONVERGENCE” DATES & EVENTS
- CALENDER BENCH MARKS
- June 28, 2015 (US Social Forum) Zevin X. Cruz’s SUM STRATAGEM Proposal Introduction In Phil
- Sept. 17, 2015 (OWS 4th Anniversary) Official Public Announcement To Adopt The SUM Stratagem
- Oct. 5, 2015 (Otpor! 15th Anniversary) Third Parties Summit To Ratify RGS, GUP, OA, GUA & GU
- Nov. 5, 2015 (Guy Fawkes Day) Art Project, CC Election, GU Proclamation, Re-Occupation, Countdown
- Nov. 26 to Dec. 12, 2015 (People’s Climate Strike) Rehearsal For 2016 Nationwide General Strike
- May 1, 2016 (Transition US) A [National] Community Resilience Challenge & Transition Streets
- July 1-4, 2016 (Constitutional Convention) New Amendments & Declaration of Re-Independence
- July 5, 2016 (Cultural Creatives’ Convergence Quest) Launch Cross-Country Guerrilla Art Campaign
- Nov. 5-6, 2016 (Million Mask March) GUA, People’s Congress & Green Shadow Cabinet Occupy D.C.
- Nov. 7,8, 9, 2016 (Nationwide General Strike) Stratified Social, Political & Economic Noncooperation
- A MONTH-BY-MONTH BREAKDOWN OF OBJECTIVES & GOALS
- JUNE 25-28, 2015: US SOCIAL FORUM (Zevin & S3K’s Introduction Of SUM STRATAGEM & Next Steps)
- (July) Disseminate “The Sum Stratagem” To The Following Groups, Organizations & Movements:
- Occupy, Green Shadow Cabinet, Political 3rd Parties, People’s Climate Strike, Economic Justice Org
- Transition US Movement, Sustainability Groups, Environmentalist Organizations, 350.org, etc.
- Spiritual Progressives, Churches & Organizations Like Unitarian Universalists, Quakers & NSP
- Activist Coalitions: National Organizers Alliance (NOA), Labor Network For Sustainability, MoveON
- Socially Conscious Conservatives, Progressive Libertarians (Tea Party, WTP, Ron Paul Supporters
- (July & Aug) Draft & Distribute The Following Documents For Collective Feedback & Revisions:
- Redress Of Grievances Synthesis (RGS): Left-Right Common Proclamations
- The Grand Unified Platform (GUP): A Common Ground Agenda For The People
- The Oath Of Allegiance (OA) To The Grand Unified Alliance (GUA): A Coalition of Third Parties
- The Grand Ultimatum (GU): Drawing A Line-In-The Sand For The Corporate State Of America
- SEP 17, 2015: OCCUPY 4TH ANNIVERSARY (Official Public Announcement To Adopt The SUM Stratagem)
- Coordinate With OWS 4th Anniversary Occupy Groups & Activities For Public Press Conference
- Officially Endorse The SUM Stratagem (Affirmation List Of All Occupy Groups, Orgs & Affiliates)
- Announcement Of Oct 5 Political 3rd Parties Summit (Public Invitation & Challenge To 3rd Parties)
- Nominations For Nov 5 Online Election Of Continental Congress 3.0 (A Peoples’ Congress of 875)
- Planning Of Political Third Parties Summit (Venue, Time & Place, Reservations & Preparations)
- Nominations & Preparations For The 3rd Continental Congress (CC 3.0) Online Election For Nov. 5
- Seek Assistance From 2009 Continental Congress, 99% Declaration Group’s CC 2.0 & 2012 Occupy National Gathering Organizers To Create & Coordinate National Online Nominations & Election
- Create Website & Mechanisms To Facilitate The Online Nomination & Electoral Process
- Publicize Online Nomination & Election (30-Day Nominations Period Begins Aug 16 To Sep 16)
- Coalition Building Towards Grand Unified Alliance (GUA) Of Activists & Third Parties:
- Outreach To NOA, Transition US, Churches, Spiritual Organizations, Libertarians, WTP, Tea Party
- Outreach To Unions, Workers, Teachers, Students, Veterans, Police & Opinion Leaders, Media
- OCT 5, 2015: OTPOR! 15TH ANNIVERSARY—Political 3rd Parties Summit To Ratify GUP, OA, GUA, GU
- (Fri, Oct 2 to Sun, Oct 4) Debate, Revise & Ratify The RGS, GUP, OA, GUA, GU & Next Steps
- (Mon, Oct 5) Public Announcements (Press Conference) Of The Grand Unified Alliance (GUA) & Docs
- Continue Preparations For Online Election Of CC 3.0 (Website Of People’s Congress Nominees)
- Prep For National Re-Emergence Of OWS Encampments On Church Grounds w/Transition & CC 3.0
- Planning & Preparation For The Inaugural Guerrilla Art Project To Garner A National Media Spotlight
- NOV 5, 2015: GUY FAWKES DAY (Art Project, Election, GU, Re-Occupation & 1 Yr. Countdown Begins)
- Inaugural Unfurling Of National Breakthrough Guerrilla Art Project To Promote The Day Events
- Online Democratic Election Of 875 Citizen Legislators For Third Continental Congress (CC 3.0)
- Announce The Grand Ultimatum For The US Government’s Last Opportunity To Voluntarily Pass GUP
- Occupy Encampments Reemerge Nationally w/Transition U.S. & Spiritually Progressive Churches
- The One-Year Countdown For The Million Mask March To Washington D.C. & General Strike Begins
- Continue Collective Efforts For Relocalization In Preparation For The Nationwide General Strike
- Nationwide Campaign Tour Of The Third Continental Congress (CC 3.0) Begins At Re-Occupation Sites
- Launch A National Call For New Constitutional Amendments
- Visit All Participating Churches, Relocalization Transition Sites & Reoccupation Encampments To Solicit Input, Offer Support, Create Publicity, Be Inspired By Participant & Offer Inspiration To All
- Exhibit The Relocalization Efforts Of The Emerging Earth Community As Alternatives To The Status Quo In A Parallel Campaign Alongside The 2016 Presidential Candidates Itinerary To Offer Americans And The World True Alternatives During “The Silly Season” Of The Presidential Elections
- DECEMBER 2015: THE GLOBAL CLIMATE CONVERGENCE STRIKE (A Dry Run For The Nov. 5, 2016 Strike)
- Participate, Observe & Report: Noting Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT)
- Network & Promote The SUM STRATAGEM To The Mainstream
- Post-Event Assessment & Analysis (Participation Rate, Media Coverage, Logistics, etc.)
- MAY 1-30, 2016: TRANSITION U.S. NATIONAL COMMUNITY RESILIENCE CHALLENGE (Transition Streets)
- National Progress Report To Americans Of Current Relocalization & Strike Preparation Status
- Announce Second Leg Of Reoccupations & Relocalization Efforts To Re-Ignite Enthusiasms (If Needed)
- JULY 1-4, 2016: CONVENING A CONSTITUTION CONVENTION (Third Continental Congress Ratifications)
- Debate & Ratify New Amendments
- Draft & Discuss Declaration Of Re-Independence
- JULY 5, 2016: THE CULTURAL CREATIVES CONVERGENCE QUEST (C3Q) LAUNCH (Public Proclamations)
- Public Declaration Of ReIndependence >From Economic Oligarchy & New Constitutional Amendments
- Public Launching Of C3Q: The Cross Country, 48 Guerrilla Art Projects Campaign Begins
- NOV. 5-6, 2016: WEEKEND MILLION MASK MARCH TO WASHINGTON D.C. (Grand Ultimatum Expires)
- Govt. Expiration Of Legislating The Proposed Integral Policies Of The Grand Unified Platform (GUP)
- Nationally Broadcast The March Of The Masses To Occupy Our Nation’s Capital
- Establish The Third Continental Congress (CC 3.0) Encampment At Washington D.C., As A Mock Parallel Government Of The People (Green Shadow Cabinet, People’s Congress, People’s President, etc.)
- NOV. 7-9, 2016: NATIONWIDE GENERAL STRIKE BEGINS (Indefinite Period Of Noncooperation)
- Mon, Nov. 7, SOCIAL (School Walkouts, Sports Boycott, Withdrawal Of Social Events)
- Tues, Nov. 8, POLITICAL (Delegitimize Elections By Withdrawing Consent Through Voting Boycotts)
- Wed, Nov. 9, ECONOMIC (Unplug The Corporatocracy By Withholding Labor & Boycotting Purchases)
THE REVOLUTIONARY SUCCESS OF THE OTPOR MOVEMENT:
A Contemporary Example Of The Nonviolent Overthrow Of A Dictatorial Regime
For those of you who are extremely skeptical at such an ambitious plan and bold Unified Mega-Movement Campaign (UMC), I offer the following from the documentary Bringing Down A Dictator from “A Force More Powerful” website, which provides an overview of actions during the Otpor movement in Serbia.
[…] While Milosevic’s overthrow was widely reported as a spontaneous revolution, most of the world’s news organizations missed the real story—a year-long battle involving thousands of Serbs in a calculated strategy to strip the tyrant of his legitimacy, turn his own police and army against him, and force him to call for elections, which he lost and then tried to steal.
By the mid-1990′s the brutality and corruption of Milosevic’s regime were affecting most Serbians. In 1996, a coalition of opposition political parties won a clear victory in municipal elections, but Milosevic refused to acknowledge his party’s defeat. For 88 days, nonviolent protests brought normal Serbian life to a standstill. The building of the Electoral Commission was covered in toilet paper, and when the administration cited a mosquito infestation in the Parliament building as an excuse not to convene the legislature, crowds armed with aerosol cans of insecticide marched on the building. Finally Milosevic capitulated to pressures both internal and international and allowed the opposition to be seated.
Milosevic’s popular support was declining even in 1998, when a dozen students met to form Otpor, Serbian for “resistance.” Analyzing the mistakes of 1996-97, they realized they needed much better organization, a strategy, planning, recruiting, and all the other ingredients necessary for a sustained fight. Galvanized by outrage over new laws that imposed political control of their universities and harassed the independent media, the Otpor students called for the removal of Milosevic and the establishment of democracy and the rule of law.
Declining popular support had no effect on Milosevic’s command of a massively corrupt system, with the despot’s usual instruments of repression, secret police and informers. But the Otpor kids had seen what happened to other resistance movements, and learned from their failures. The fate of Tiananmen Square’s democracy movement taught them not to challenge the armed might of their opponent. Seeing that Milosevic maintained control by fear, they chose a kind of cheerful insolence, methodically mocking the state’s power and renouncing any ambition to political office themselves.
At the start, Otpor simply improvised, using their wits & good instincts. Later, they studied nonviolent strategy, primarily through the writings of American scholar Gene Sharp, and discovered they had intuitively done the right things. They immediately adopted Sharp’s ideas as the basis for their training manuals, combining them with a natural flair for marketing—evidenced in their catchy slogans and wry humor—and the creation of a sophisticated bilingual website launched even before officially opening an office.
By choosing irony and sarcasm as their means of confrontation, Otpor’s student activists not only achieved the moral and political high ground; they also clung to a fundamental belief, quoted by one of the organization’s leaders from a story by Jorge Luis Borges, “Violence is the last sanctuary of the weak.”
By mid-1998, the time was ripe for the tactics of Otpor. While most Western powers continued to deal with Milosevic as an elected president—even as horrific evidence was uncovered of massacres of ethnic Albanians—these young people began to challenge the autocrat. Their spray-painted symbol, a clenched fist, started to appear on buildings throughout Serbia. While the outside world recoiled at Milosevic’s brutality and intransigence, and NATO air forces began a bombing campaign to stop the ethnic cleansing, Otpor’sappeal grew.
Says filmmaker Steve York, who began thinking about Bringing Down A Dictator in the unsettled period while Milosevic was still in power, “Every nonviolent movement has as its first obstacle the problem of overcoming fear. The Otpor kids were brave. They expected to be arrested, but they prepared for arrest with all sorts of publicity stunts and by training their activists how to behave when interrogated, by recruiting lawyers to help, by building solidarity. They calculated that their arrests, combined with their use of humor and ridicule, if sustained long enough, would persuade ordinary people to overcome their fear.”
In place of barricades, Otpor staged raucous rock concerts and guerrilla theatre in the streets: a lunar eclipse observation featuring the gradual obliteration of Milosevic’s image; a New Year’s Eve party in which the year 2000 was rung in with the names and pictures of those who were killed in Milosevic’s wars; a public parody of Milosevic’s socialist party congress.
Otpor’s ideas caught on quickly among young people, who had little to lose and saw a bleak future under Milosevic. In just over a year, Otpor’s membership list grew to 70,000, mostly in the provinces where discontent was strongest. Their symbol—the [black and white] clenched fist—and their slogans—“Bite The System” and “Resistance, Because I Love Serbia” blanketed the country on stickers and leaflets. Otpor became a ubiquitous brand-name, as familiar as Coca-Cola and Nike.
A self-proclaimed nonviolent movement, Otpor’s stated goal was to remove Milosevic at the ballot box, not an easy feat against a regime that controls the electoral machinery. In the spring of 2000, with scheduled elections a year away, Otpor mobilized its national network, using neighborhood kids as organizers, building an email network, distributing leaflets, drafting quick response plans to meet the repression and arrests which they expected. Increasingly threatened by Otpor’s successes, the state information minister went on national television to declare Otpor a terrorist organization. Otpor responded by sending out thousands of clean-cut kids, well-known in their communities, wearing T-shirts with the words: “Otpor Terrorist.”
Against Milosevic’s traditional weapons of oppression and control, Otpor used intelligence, creativity, and irony, preserving its unblemished image by refusing to align with any political party. Meeting in cafes and communicating by cell phone and e-mail, against a government apparatus that was technologically hapless, they organized a sustained and disciplined effort to create a nonviolent army.
In the meantime, opposition political parties, whose bickering and rivalries had strengthened Milosevic, came under intense pressure–from Otpor and others—to join in a unified front. In the summer of 2000, as Milosevic saw his popularity slipping badly, he called for elections ten months ahead of schedule. Seeing their chance, the opposition formed a coalition behind a single candidate, a law professor and the leader of a small party, Vojislav Kostunica. Otpor went into action, with a national organization far superior to anything the political parties had. And Otpor’s marketing department came up with a slogan—“Gotov Je” or “He’s Finished!”—that took off like wildfire. Printed on stickers, “He’s Finished” was attached to cars, walls, traffic signs, even faces. Otpor distributed six tons of the stickers in seven weeks. The regime tried frantically to choke off free expression, but Serbia’s scrappy independent news media, especially in the provinces, refused to be intimidated.
By the September 24th election, independent groups had trained 30,000 volunteer election monitors assigned to some 10,000 polling places to prevent fraud. By midnight, independent tabulations showed that Kostunica had won.
When a desperate Milosevic demanded a runoff vote, a transparent ploy to buy the time needed to manipulate the official count, Kostunica called for a general strike. As more and more workers joined, and as Otpor mobilized to build road blockades, the country ceased to function. Ten days after the election, hundreds of thousands of Serbs – miners, farmers, men and women from all walks of life–converged angrily on the capital, in convoys that clogged the highways in every direction. Police, with whom Otpor and the opposition had quietly worked for months, acknowledged their orders but refused to carry them out. On October 6th, Milosevic conceded defeat and stepped down. He was “finished” at last. In his victory speech, Kostunica declared, “We have answered their violence with nonviolence!”
On April 1, 2001—April Fool’s day—Milosevic was arrested. He was extradited to The Hague for trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. His trial began February 12, 2002. (http://www.
WHY THIS WAY FORWARD? The Demise Of The Democrats
For the past several decades, if not centuries, activism has failed to bring about systemic change despite past and present local experimentation with new social, economic and political alternatives. Why? There are several reasons (read my book, “THE SUM II,” for a complete list and in depth analysis). Briefly, despite successfully winning four out of the last six presidential elections, electing a “community organizer” and the first African-American President in United States history twice, (which says more about our political culture than its supposed triumph considering that South Africa, a country that had Apartheid elected Nelson Mandela a whole decade before us), we have actually gone backwards. It’s almost as if electing Barack Obama, provided the power elite with the necessary cover to lull progressives into sedation, allowing the economic elites more free-reign and gave American imperialism a face-lift to achieve even more authoritarian policies here and abroad, more so than the Republican President George W. Bush could ever do. And there is no better indictment against this “Change We Can Believe In,” than Adolph Reed’s March, 2014 article in Harper’s Magazine’s titled, “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals.” In it, he pulls no punches by throwing cold water into the faces of misled liberals to wake them up and perhaps acting as a sobering warning not to make the same mistake in voting for the first female President in 2016: Hillary Rodham Clinton. “For nearly all the twentieth century there was a dynamic left in the United States grounded in the belief that unrestrained capitalism generated unacceptable social costs.”
Today, the labor movement has become in has been largely subdued [due to their shift away from social justice to mainly fighting for salaries and benefits, thus, becoming just another special interest group] and social activists have made their peace with neoliberalism and adjusted their horizons accordingly. Within the women’s movement, goals have shifted from practical objectives such as comparable worth and universal child care in the 1980s to celebrating appointments of individual women to public office and challenging the corporate glass ceiling. Dominant figures in the antiwar movement have long since accepted the framework of American military interventionism. The movement for racial justice has shifted its focus from inequality to “disparity,” while neatly evading any critique of the structures that produce inequality.
The sources of this narrowing of social vision are complex. But its most conspicuous expression is subordination to the agenda of a Democratic Party whose center has moved steadily rightward since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Although it is typically defended in a language of political practicality and sophistication, this shift requires, as the historian Russell Jacoby notes, giving up “a belief that the future could fundamentally surpass the present,” which traditionally has been an essential foundation of leftist thought and practice. “Instead of championing a radical idea of a new society,” Jacoby observes in The End of Utopia, “the left ineluctably retreats to smaller ideas, seeking to expand the options within the existing society.”
The atrophy of political imagination shows up in approaches to strategy as well. In the absence of goals that require long-term organizing — e.g., single-payer health care, universally free public higher education and public transportation, federal guarantees of housing and income security — the election cycle has come to exhaust the time horizon of political action. Objectives that cannot be met within one or two election cycles seem fanciful, as do any that do not comport with the Democratic agenda. Even those who consider themselves to the Democrats’ left are infected with electoralitis. Each election now becomes a moment of life-or-death urgency that precludes dissent or even reflection. For liberals, there is only one option in an election year, and that is to elect, at whatever cost, whichever Democrat is running. This modus operandi has tethered what remains of the left to a Democratic Party that has long since renounced its commitment to any sort of redistributive vision and imposes a willed amnesia on political debate. True, the last Democrat was really unsatisfying, but this one is better; true, the last Republican didn’t bring destruction on the universe, but this one certainly will. And, of course, each of the “pivotal” Supreme Court justices is four years older than he or she was the last time.
Why does this tailing behind an increasingly right-of-center Democratic Party persist in the absence of any apparent payoff? There has nearly always been a qualifying excuse: Republicans control the White House; they control Congress; they’re strong enough to block progressive initiatives even if they don’t control either the executive or the legislative branch. Thus have the faithful been able to take comfort in the circular self-evidence of their conviction. Each undesirable act by a Republican administration is eo ipsoevidence that if the Democratic candidate had won, things would have been much better. When Democrats have been in office, the imagined omnipresent threat from the Republican bugbear remains a fatal constraint on action and a pretext for suppressing criticism from the left.
Reed goes on to point out that the differences between Democratic and Republican candidates are exaggerated and exclusively social, which regardless who wins, does not threaten the overall financial structure of society. So when it comes to economics they are neoliberal parties, which means they both adhere to the free-market, and utopian ideology of infinite growth that create concrete programs to redistribute wealth to the top. The social wedge issues like women reproductive rights and identity politics like gay rights serve to perpetuate the façade that fundamental differences exist between both parties to keep the masses divided, especially between conservatives and progressives, despite the emergence of overlapping issues and analysis between anarchists and libertarians (the latter statement being my assessment and not Reed’s). Nevertheless, Reed does go on to write, “Exaggerating the differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, moreover, encourages the retrospective sanitizing of previous Democratic candidates and administrations.”
Anticipation of jobs and “access” — the crack cocaine (or, more realistically, powder cocaine) of the interest-group world — helps to make this scam more alluring, especially among those who have nurtured their aspirations in elite universities or the policy-wonk left or both. Such aspirants can be among the most adamant in denouncing leftist criticism of the Democrat of the moment as irresponsible and politically immature.
But if the left is tied to a Democratic strategy that, at least since the Clinton Administration, tries to win elections by absorbing much of the right’s social vision and agenda, before long the notion of a political left will have no meaning. For all intents and purposes, that is what has occurred. If the right sets the terms of debate for the Democrats, and the Democrats set the terms of debate for the left, then what can it mean to be on the political left? The terms “left” and “progressive” — and in practical usage the latter is only a milquetoast version of the former — now signify a cultural sensibility rather than a reasoned critique of the existing social order. Because only the right proceeds from a clear, practical utopian vision, “left” has come to mean little more than “not right.”
The left has no particular place it wants to go. And, to rehash an old quip, if you have no destination, any direction can seem as good as any other. The left careens from this oppressed group or crisis moment to that one, from one magical or morally pristine constituency or source of political agency (youth/students; undocumented immigrants; the Iraqi labor movement; the Zapatistas; the urban “precariat”; green whatever; the black/Latino/LGBT “community”; the grassroots, the netroots, and the blogosphere; this season’s worthless Democrat; Occupy; a “Trotskyist” software engineer elected to the Seattle City Council) to another. It lacks focus and stability; its métier is bearing witness, demonstrating solidarity, and the event or the gesture. Its reflex is to “send messages” to those in power, to make statements, and to stand with or for the oppressed.
This dilettantish politics is partly the heritage of a generation of defeat and marginalization, of decades without any possibility of challenging power or influencing policy. So the left operates with no learning curve and is therefore always vulnerable to the new enthusiasm. It long ago lost the ability to move forward under its own steam. Far from being avant-garde, the self-styled left in the United States seems content to draw its inspiration, hopefulness, and confidence from outside its own ranks, and lives only on the outer fringes of American politics, as congeries of individuals in the interstices of more mainstream institutions.
With the two parties converging in policy, the areas of fundamental disagreement that separate them become too arcane and too remote from most people’s experience to inspire any commitment, much less popular action. Strategies and allegiances become mercurial and opportunistic, and politics becomes ever more candidate-centered and driven by worshipful exuberance about individuals or, more accurately, the idealized and evanescent personae — the political holograms — their packagers project.
As the “human cipher” Matt Taibbi described, Obama is the pure product of this hollowed-out politics. He is a triumph of image and identity over content; indeed, he is the triumph of identity as content. Taibbi misreads how race figures into Brand Obama. Obama is not “without” race; he embodies it as an abstraction, a feel-good evocation severed from history and social relations. Race is what Obama projects in place of an ideology. His racial classification combines with a narrative of self-presentation, including his past as a “community organizer,” to convey a sensation of a politics, much as advertising presents a product as the material expression of inchoate desire. This became the basis for a faith in his virtue that largely insulated him from sharp criticism from the left through the first five years of his presidency. Proclamation that Obama’s election was, in [philosopher] Žižek’s terms, a “sign in which the memory of the long past of slavery and the struggle for its abolition reverberates” was also a call to suspend critical judgment, to ascribe to the event a significance above whatever Obama stood for or would do.
In fact, Obama was able to win the presidency only because the changes his election supposedly signified had already taken place. His election, after all, did not depend on disqualifying large chunks of the white electorate. As things stand, his commitments to an imperialist foreign policy and Wall Street have only more tightly sealed the American left’s coffin by nailing it shut from the inside. Katrina vanden Heuvel pleads for the president to accept criticism from a “principled left” that has demonstrated its loyalty through unprincipled acquiescence to his administration’s initiatives; in a 2010 letter, the president of the AFL-CIO railed against the Deficit Commission as a front for attacking Social Security while tactfully not mentioning that Obama appointed the commission or ever linking him to any of the economic policies that labor continues to protest; and there is even less of an antiwar movement than there was under Bush, as Obama has expanded American aggression and slaughter into Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and who knows where else.
Barack Obama has always been no more than an unexceptional neoliberal Democrat with an exceptional knack for self-presentation persuasive to those who want to believe, and with solid connections and considerable good will from the corporate and financial sectors. From his successful wooing of University of Chicago and Hyde Park liberals at the beginning of his political career, his appeal has always been about the persona he projects — the extent to which he encourages people to feel good about their politics, the political future, and themselves through feeling good about him — than about any concrete vision or political program he has advanced. And that persona has always been bound up in and continues to play off complex and contradictory representations of race in American politics […].
An equal longer-term danger, however, is the likelihood that we will find ourselves with no critical politics other than a desiccated leftism capable only of counting, parsing, hand-wringing, administering, and making up “Just So” stories about dispossession and exploitation recast in the evocative but politically sterile language of disparity and diversity. This is neoliberalism’s version of a left. Radicalism now means only a very strong commitment to antidiscrimination, a point from which Democratic liberalism has not retreated. Rather, it’s the path Democrats have taken in retreating from a commitment to economic justice.
Confusion and critical paralysis prompted by the racial imagery of Obama’s election prevented even sophisticated intellectuals like Žižek from concluding that Obama was only another Clintonite Democrat — no more, no less. It is how Obama could be sold, even within the left, as a hybrid of Martin Luther King Jr. and Neo from The Matrix. The triumph of identity politics, condensed around the banal image of the civil rights insurgency and its legacy as a unitary “black liberation movement,” is what has enabled Obama successfully to present himself as the literal embodiment of an otherwise vaporous progressive politics. In this sense his election is most fundamentally an expression of the limits of the left in the United States — its decline, demoralization, and collapse.
The crucial tasks for a committed left in the United States now are to admit that no politically effective force exists and to begin trying to create one […]. We need to reject the fantasy that some spark will ignite the People to move as a mass. We must create a constituency for a left[-right] program — and that cannot occur via MSNBC or blog posts or the New York Times. It requires painstaking organization and building relationships with people outside the Beltway and comfortable leftist groves. Finally, admitting our absolute impotence can be politically liberating; acknowledging that as a left we have no influence on who gets nominated or elected, or what they do in office, should reduce the frenzied self-delusion that rivets attention to the quadrennial, biennial, and now seemingly permanent horse races. It is long past time for us to begin again to approach leftist critique and strategy by determining what our social and governmental priorities should be and focusing our attention on building the kind of popular movement capable of realizing that vision. Obama and his top aides punctuated that fact by making brutally apparent during the 2008 campaign that no criticism from the left would have a place in this regime of Hope and Change. The message could not be clearer.
THE GRAND UNIFICATION OF ACTIVISM:
Maximizing The Movement Of Movements’ Collective Impact By Addressing The Four Terrains Of Reality
We are currently experiencing the converging calamities of civilizational collapse due to a multiple of reasons: climate change, peak oil and a second great depression as a result of the dominating mode of imperial consciousness otherwise known as Empire. We are quickly approaching the precipice of mass extinction or at the very least a societal breakdown, oppression by the soft authoritarianism of the surveillance state and ruled by the imperialism of a plutocratic corporatocracy. Conclusion—we must cure ourselves of this cancerous malady by cleansing the system. There is no reforming it. Nothing less than comprehensive change of our thinking, behavior, lifestyle, and economic, social and political systems will do—half measures avail us nothing. However, failure to realize this reality is at the crux of the problem for activists. It’s only by addressing the true sources of our societal ills that we take the first step towards “Integral Activism.”
Using the Integral Philosophy of Ken Wilber’s AQAL model (All Quadrants, All Lines), I have classified the true sources of our social problems into four categorical causes: 1) Stunted CONSCIOUSNESS—Individual Interior (I); 2) Maladaptive BEHAVIOR—Individual Exterior (It); 3) Pathological CULTURE—Collective Interior (We); and 4) Dysfunctional SOCIAL SYSTEM—Collective Exterior (Its). Another way of putting it is the unsustainable manifestations of human Thinking (I), Practices (It), Worldview (We) and Institutions (Its) under theDominating World Order of EMPIRE. It can be broken down even further in more specific terms: 1) the western worldview of infinite growth (We); 2) the self-destructive values of prioritizing profits over people, the environment and life itself (We); 3) the wasteful way of living in an over consumptive lifestyle (We); 4) the unfair income inequality (Its) due to the concentration of power and wealth within a monetary market system of debt, fractional reserve banking, compound interest and fiat currency (Its) among all three existing social systems of Capitalism, Socialism and Communism (Its); 5) the class stratification of the social system (Its) based on dominator hierarchy, excessive competition and coercive violence (Its); 6) the obsolete social institutions (Its) and corruption of big government, big business and big media (Its); and 7) the psychological (I), emotional (I) and spiritually (I) dysfunctional individuals derived from psycho-social stress (I)due to the underlying economic structure (Its) and the misinformed masses (We) manipulated by the mainstream corporate media (Its), inadequate critical thinking skills (I) and the inauthentic cultural trance of societal myths (We) that make up the false map of reality (We)resulting in a citizenry feeling powerless, cynical and disillusioned (I) leading to disengaged behavior (It) and indirectly complicit by being unwilling or unable to withdraw consent to be governed accordingly (It). Without this proper integral analysis of the root causes of our social problems, conventional activists will continue to tinker around the edges of a system-wide collapse of industrial civilization.
Some anthropologists cite other causes of our problems like our failed relationship with the universe based on false myths and maladaptive ethos that has created a deep disconnection from the natural world, a separation of humans and the earth, instead of adhering to a new cosmology that we are the universe being conscious of itself. We need to redevelop this relationship with the sacredness of the earth and universe through emotions, a psycho-spiritual process and not solely through an intellectual awareness of it. Therefore, it is major mistake to be content with “winning” reforms that alleviate the symptoms but never truly address root causes.
What we need then is a redefinition of winning based on what kind of social change is really needed and what that looks like. Then and only then, will we be in agreement as to what to strive towards without capitulation through “uncompromising integrity.” This is the reason why radical transformation has not been achieved. Activists have failed, again and again, to identify and address the four broad domains of our social problems and instead they put most of their time, energy and limited resources towards fleeting media events, issue-focused-movements and symptoms-oriented-solutions.
The real solutions lies in addressing all four domains by doing the following: 1) Supplant The Superstructure (We), which is the prevailing paradigm, worldview and collective values of the dominant culture; 2) Subvert The Social System (Its) by creating alternative institutions that will undermine the stratified society that supports the Superstructure); 3) Change Of Consciousness Among Individuals (I) in order to have the people withdraw their consent and refuse compliance with both the social system and the superstructure; and 4) Alter TheMaladaptive Behavior Of Individuals (It) by resolving their economic hardships and addressing their personal dysfunctions, bad habits and neuroses that impede the citizenry’s engagement on a bigger scale of resistance for radical transformation. This integral approach to activism is how we can begin to unite virtually all of the social change forces for coordinated strategic action in the immediate future. The next step is to adopt the integral vision of the Society of the Third Millennium (S3K), the ten philosophical pillars of Neo-Transcen-dentalism called The Dynamic Decalogue that serves as the new activist framework of creating a common code of conduct, Grand Unified Strategy (GUS) and the slippery-slope of the Seven Strategic & Interdependent Initiatives (SSII).
All address the four “root cause-quadrants.” In doing so, it will allow us the best opportunity to resolve the following differences that have often divided progressives in the past by: 1) integrating all four different activist roles (citizen, rebel, change agent and reformer); 2) incorporating all five different activists parameters (local interests, idealism versus pragmatism, radical change versus moderate advocacy, types of thought processes); 3) synthesizing the six basic progressive modes of thoughts (socioeconomic, identity politics, environmentalists, civil libertarian, spiritual and antiauthoritarian); and 4) encapsulating most of the activist causes and even some libertarian issues—as a “monumental milestone” that is briefly described below.
This groundbreaking strategic framework is based on my three books, The SUM, The SUM II and The DYNAMIC DECALOGUE, which has been in the works for the past 15 years since the 1999 “Battle In Seattle”—the trigger event of the Economic Justice/Anti-Corporate Globalization Movement—which has its modern roots to King’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign and its Resurrection City encampments. It offers what has been missing from the activist community for decades—a new FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK (The Dynamic Decalogue: The Ten Philosophical Pillars of Neo-Transcendentalism). It consist of the following novel synthesis: 1) An Evolutionary Cosmology (Conscious Evolution), 2) An Integral Philosophy (The IOS/AQAL Model), 3) An Integral Theory of Activism (The Grand Unified Strategy of Evolutionary Transformation), 4) A New Narrative (Cultural Evolution from Empire to Earth Community), 5) A New Collective Identity as the Integral Metamodernists (Neo-Transcendentalists), 6) A Common Code of Conduct (The Ethos of Evolutionary Enlightenment), 7) A Cohesive Vision(The Society of the Third Millennium), A Coherent Plan (The Sum Stratagem: Seven Strategic & Interdependent Initiatives), 9) A National Unifying Purpose (The Grand Ultimatum) and 10) The Ultimate Goal (The Grand Imperative)—“Abolish Empire And Establish Earth Community!”
The DYNAMIC DECALOGUE is a comprehensive framework for swift and sweeping social change derived from a deep, full-spectrum analysis that incorporates the ideas of Ken Wilbers’ “Integral Theory of Everything” otherwise known as the AQAL Model (all quadrants, all levels) comprise of three main perspectives personified with pronouns and subdivided for symmetry as “I,” “WE,” “IT,” “ITS.” It begins with “An Accurate Assessment of the Present Predicament” that we are running out of time and creating a new sense of urgency (Pillar One). The Ecological, economic, cultural, social and political crises have converged to make 2016 “The Year” for radical transformation otherwise we could traverse the tipping point of human extinction. It then becomes imperative to identify the true source of our societal ills, “The Crux Of The Crises” (Pillar Two), which is the Pathological Culture of Empire consisting of Value Disorder (“We”), Dysfunctional System (“Its”) and the Manufacturing of Stunted Individuals (“I”) leading to Maladaptive Behavior (It) due to economic distress, plagued with feelings of powerlessness, crippled with neuroses, ineffectively coping through overconsumption, inundated with constant environmental health threats, and distracted with electronic gadgets, trivial lifestyle pursuits, political scandals, celebrity worship and other pop culture addictions and dysfunctions. >From here it becomes necessary to understand how we are ruled and the means of control by “Deconstructing the System of Dominance” (Pillar Three) through the identification of our common opposition, the prevailing paradigm of infinite growth, and the maladaptive social system of oppression, economic inequality and social injustice. Such power mapping analysis has led to a synthesis of suggestions from various groups, organizations and publications that has been designated as “The New Millennium Memes & Metamodern Mandates” (Pillar Four) that provides diverse strategic courses of actions. Resulting in an all-encompassing purpose: “The Grand Imperative—Abolish Empire & Establish Earth Community—The One Global Demand & Ultimate Goal,” (Pillar Five)that can finally mend the fragmentation of all of the new social and consciousness movements. Analysis of the current state of activism has resulted in the organic development of a new integral theory and stratagem for social change called the “Grand Unified Strategy (GUS) For Radical Evolutionary Transformation,” (Pillar Six) that prioritizes cultural change (Phase I: Cultural Evolution), which is divided into three Continuums (X: Separation, Y: Transition, Z: Integration) before institutional change (Phase II: Structural Revolution) that comprises of Continuum A: Deconstruction and Continuum B: Reconstruction leading to Phase III: Global Transformation (Continuum C: Dynamic Equilibrium Through The Post-Carbon Third Industrial Revolution of the worldwide Hydrogen Energy Web (HEW). However, to accomplish such a comprehensive feat in the long run would have to be based on a new set of beliefs about the nature of reality, knowledge and the essence of being, forming a new narrative: “The Ethos Of Evolutionary Transcendence” (Pillar Seven) based on “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” the AQAL Model and Integral Life Practice (ILP). “Envisioning & Exhibiting Earth Community” (Pillar Eight) offers a concrete alternative to the self-destructive status-quo in order for a “radical acceptance” to emerge and make the necessary paradigm shift required to accept a new alternative vision. All of which provides the guidance to formulate integral “Proclamations, Policies & Plans For Earth Community otherwise known as the “Society of the Third Millennium (S3K),” (Pillar Nine), which is comprise of (on the global scale) “The Earth Charter,” the “Peak Oil Protocol,” on the national level the “Second Bill of (Economic) Rights,” by FDR in 1944, the conservative-libertarians’ “Articles of Freedom,” the liberal-progressives’ 99% Continental Congress 2.0 Declaration and (on the local level) the “Community Bill of Rights,” drafted in 2010 to preserve our local sovereignty to safeguard our environment, our health and natural resources against corporate pillaging. The catalyst for comprehensive change is (Pillar Ten) The SUM Stratagem: Seven Strategic & Interdependent Initiatives (SSII).
The SSII consist of the following: 1) Cultivate Counter-Institutions like OWS through Bill Moyers’ Movement Action Plan (MAP). 2) Build Alternative Institutions through the revolutionary act of relocalization by the Transition movement. 3) Create a Mock Parallel Government cabinet and congress consisting of at least 870 nationally elected citizen legislators (one male and one female from each of the 435 congressional districts) that pledge to end the infinite growth paradigm and get money out of politics. 4) Convene a Mock Second Constitutional Convention to draft new amendments like The Second Bill of (Economic) Rights, a Common Ground Agenda for the People and a new Declaration of Re-Independence from the corporate tyranny of the economic oligarchy. All publicly proclaimed on July 5, 2016, (for example) along with 5) The Grand Ultimatum to launch a “Massive Mobilization of Civil Society” by “Drawing-A-Line-In-The-Sand,” and creating a sense of urgency as a National Unifying Purpose (NUP) to accelerate all relocalization efforts in preparation for the possibility of a sustained, nationwide, general strike by November 7, 2016, two days after Guy Fawkes Day (Nov. 5) and one day before the U.S. national elections to unplug the machinery of the system through withdrawal of our consent by abstaining from political participation within the two-party system. 6) The Cultural Creatives’ Convergence Quest (C3Q) is launched to promote a profound paradigm shift required to trigger a tipping point in this cross-country, site-specific, outdoor, guerrilla art installations as a live Reality TV show of a change of consciousness campaign culminating during the weekend of November 5, 2016 as a “Million Mask March” to Washington D.C. If the government refuses, implementation of Gene Sharp’s methods of nonviolent actions begins with 7) a Nationwide General Strike that countdown in the following strategically staggered manner: Mon, Nov. 7, 2016—Day 1: Social Noncooperation (school & sports boycott);Tues, Nov. 8, 2016—Day 2: Political Noncooperation (boycotting the U.S. Presidential & Congressional Elections); Wed, Nov. 9, 2016—Day 3: Economic Noncooperation (withholding of labor)—all done until the government complies or forced to relinquish their power in a peaceful political purge to usher in the Society of the Third Millennium (S3K).
Due to the converging crises of climate and civilizational collapse currently under way, it now require us to accelerate our efforts for a profound paradigm shift in order to save ourselves from possible mass extinction as early as 2030, if it’s not too late already. The book proposes that in the coming months, the “Integral Neo-Transcendentalists” among the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and the Millennials that emerges from the Cultural Creatives’ subculture to quicken the revolution of everyday life through a post-petroleum, community relocalization (like “Transition US”) that is commonly referred to by Neo-Transcendentalists as the stratified vision of the “Society of the Third Millennium” (S3K 1.0). It is a rallying call to embark on a nationwide guerrilla art campaign called the “The Cultural Creatives Convergence Quest” (C3Q) to disseminate the vision of S3K that encompasses a National Unifying Purpose (NUP) of creating a new financial system through an innovative energy regime based Jeremy Rifkin’s idea of a worldwide Hydrogen Energy Web for a “Post-Carbon Third Industrial Revolution” (S3K 2.0) to be solely powered by renewable energy like solar, wind, geo-thermal and wave technology in order to lift us out of economic collapse and mitigate the negative effects of civilizational collapse, climate chaos and the peak oil energy crisis. All of which will serve as the necessary stepping stones for the creation of a Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy (S3K 3.0) described by industrial designer Jacques Fresco’s “The Venus Project,” featured in the third documentary film “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward.” It also serves as a summoning to accelerate the implementation of the Grand Unified Strategy (GUS) for Evolutionary Transformation” by creating community convergence centers across America to build a sustainable activist infrastructure that supports a “Unified Mega-Movement Campaign (UMC)” called the “Citizen Accountability Purge.” It is through this underground construction of a parallel social system before the ignition of a nonviolent, nationwide, general strike of social, political and economic non-cooperation that leads to the peaceful political purge of all 535 nationally elected officials, the President and the Supreme Court as the final advance of cultural change. This type of comprehensive change will transcend the dysfunctional elements of our society and include its best features by supplanting the superstructure, subverting the social system and humanizing the machinery of society that facilitates the transformation of the individuals who operate it through a change of consciousness. And with 80 million Cultural Creatives in the United States, approximately 100 million in Europe and about 20 million in Canada, a global constituency of at least 200 million and counting are awaiting the ultimate millennial moment of epic convergence. So the new rallying call for the third millennium will not only echo Thomas Paine’s—“Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!”—and Karl Marx’s popularly paraphrased slogan—“Workers of the World, Unite!”—but go beyond both by proclaiming, in the spirit of the emerging ethos of evolutionary transformation:
CULTURAL CREATIVES of the EARTH—CONVERGE! To Transcend the Great Unraveling of Empire and Transition to the Great Turning of Earth Community, the next global revolution must be the cultural evolution of humanity. Behold! The Integral Metamodern NEO-TRANSCENDENTALISTS have EMERGED!
ZEVIN X. CRUZ IS AN INTEGRAL PHILOSOPHER, ARTIST, ACTIVIST & AUTHOR
As an “Integral Metamodern Philosopher” he founded “Neo-Transcendentalism,” a holistic approach to art and activism (“Integral Artivism”). His “Ten Integral and Neo-Transcendental Tenets of Radical Evolutionary Transformation” otherwise known as “The Dynamic Decalogue” is based on Ken Wilbers’ “Theory of Everything—the AQAL Model (All Quadrants, All Lines)—serving as an Integral Operating System (IOS) for humanity.
As an Artist, Cruz has pioneered a bold and new Integral Art movement called Neo-Transcendentalism: Culture Jamming, Trans-Genre Recontextualization, Community Co-Creation, Vision Building and Mission Oriented Strategic Art. The latter consist of guerrilla art projects known as “cultural interventions” on controversial public spaces that received some public notoriety through print and local television media.
As an Activist, Cruz was in the Natural Leaders Initiative, former Founder and Director of the San Diego Cultural Creatives (SDCC) in 2002, which in 2004 its steering committee voted to approve his “Grand Unified Strategy (GUS) of Evolutionary Transformation.” John Falchi, an elder in the activist community and former steering committee member of SDCC, referred to Cruz’s work as “Genius. Pure genius.” The writer was a member of the World Future Society (WFS), the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), the National Organizers Alliance (NOA), Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN) and the Ithaca Unitarian Universalists Church. He trained with the Ruckus Society in preparation and participation for the “2001 Biodevastation Protest” in San Diego. Cruz has been featured on WS Internet Talk Radio, community newspapers, a panelist in community dialogues, given lectures and conducted workshops on comprehensive efforts for fundamental social change.
As an Author, Cruz was a newspaper reporter in 2006 for the Dryden Courier, Lansing Ledger and Groton Independent in upstate New York. In California, Cruz wrote freelance articles for the Light Connection and Street Light where he honed his skills to become an ambitious author and an advocate for bold and transformative change. He also writes “conceptual poetry” fused with experimental visual art, which typically begins as a concrete poem that “evolves” (by transcending previous parameters and including its prior favorable features) through six other different artistic genres only to be integrated into a grand, seventh holistic piece.
Cruz’s formal education consist of two AA’s in Journalism and Philosophy, BS in Criminal Justice, Minor in Sociology and Master’s in Human Services: Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College in California, where his academic graduate advisor, Gil Ontai, called his project thesis (Grand Unified Strategy of Evolutionary Transformation) as a “modern update on Karl Marx’s Thesis, Anti-Thesis and Synthesis model.” And Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, senior managing editor of Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., referred to Cruz’s “Decalogue” as “a new philosophy for activists and humanity.” Cruz has also participated in the 2012 “Transition U.S. Weekend Training in Kingston, New York,” and the 2010 and 2007 U.S. Social Forum. He formed the “Cognitive Work Group” of Occupy Cortland (a local OWS think tank in upstate New York) and collaborated with Occupy Ithaca. Cruz has visited Zuccotti Park during the early weeks of the occupation and was an active member in the NYCGA’s online work groups and think tank. His series of seven books is a synthesis of all of his experiences and work with these various groups and diverse people.
“THE SUM: A Cohesive Vision, Coherent Strategy & Comprehensive Philosophy Of Integral Activism For The Cultural Creatives’ Convergence Of Movements (Book 0.1),” is the first book in a series of seven. It also serves as a 140-page summary to the second book “The SUM II: A Critical Analysis Of The Current State Of Activism To Create A Cohesive Vision, Strategy & Philosophy Of Neo-Transcendentalism,” (Book 0.2)” (700-pages) released in March, 2015 and the third book (1,000-page) called “THE DYNAMIC DECALOGUE: The Monolithic Milestones From The Ten Philosophical Pillars Of Integral ‘Artivism’ For Evolutionary Transformation (Book 0.3),” will be out by Aug 2015. To order any of his books, go to Facebook and friend him with your request or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a crowd sourcing campaign to raise funds to finish writing and self-publishing the 3rd book at fundly.com (called “The Decalogue” under the “creative projects” section).