How “Occupy Wall St.” Could Succeed

October 11th, 2011   Submitted by august

The thousands of protesters in New York and cities around the world are likely to achieve nothing if they continue down their current course. Instead of calling themselves “the other 99%,” they should adopt the tagline  “the odds are 99-to-1.”

The protesters have not realized that all of the issues they want to address are only symptoms of a deeper problem. The singular objective should be the abolition of the state.

Even 2,000 years ago, the book The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, listed three reasons why the protesters will most likely lose this battle of ideas.

Know Your Enemy

The demonstrators have dozens, if not hundreds, of different concerns they are complaining about. They accurately identify many injustices and major problems with our society, but they fail to connect the dots.

They imagine they can use the state to take money from the richest 1% and deal it out to the bottom 99%, but they don’t see that the state was the primary instrument used to amass the wealth of the top 1% in the first place. They complain about corporations but do not blame the state for their very existence. They grumble about greed but fail to point out the primary lever of power, the state, which exacerbates it. They rail against the merger of state power with corporations, or corporatism, which for some reason they call “capitalism.”

They moan about the wars, but not the state that creates them. They scream about the millions of unemployed but make no mention of the state’s role in driving businesses out of America. They call to “End the Fed,” but do not fault the state for its creation. They moan about the millions of foreclosures but do not refer to the housing bubble — intentionally created by the state. They criticize the cost of education but fail to cite the state financing that drove up the price.

The protestors have not yet realized that all of the problems they are concerned about are symptoms of a deeper cause — the power of the state. Everybody sees that the state has nothing but contempt for “the will of the people.” It is frustratingly futile to try to change the system using the system.

The state has grown so large and powerful that it cannot be harnessed, and it will likely crumple in the near future under its own weight. It would be much better to deliberately abolish it now than to wait around for it to collapse and take the economy and society down with it.

A Focused Attack

The Art of War says the source of strength is unity, not size. The protesters are far too fragmented, so that none of their points carry much weight. If they focus all of their energy on abolishing the state, they might have a chance at affecting change.

By focusing on abolishing the state, they could also recruit many of the tea partiers to join the cause. The Right could be shown that their own complaints are also just symptoms caused by the existence of the state.

Both parties need to realize that the two-party paradigm is just a smokescreen. The true battle is not the Left versus the Right. It’s the state versus the individual!

A Clear Objective

The singular objective must be the abolition of the state.

The state is nothing more than a concept. It only exists because we pretend its power is real; so we need to expose it as an illegitimate authority over us. We must withdraw our consent in every way.

A recent poll showed that only 17% believe the government has the consent of the governed. Why are we still allowing this state to exist?

There are many ways in which people legitimize the state. In what ways can you withdraw your consent? Do not obey bad laws; do with your body and your property what you believe to be moral despite threats by the state; do not do with your body and your property what you believe to be immoral despite threats by the state; ignore their licenses; take cases to court instead of paying fines or taking pleas; while on a jury, do not convict people of bad laws; always videotape the state’s underlings; protest the state’s bad behavior; and, last but not least, do not pay taxes!

As Reagan’s secretary of state, Alexander Haig, is reported to have said in response to antiwar protests, “Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes!”

What Will We Replace It With?

One of the problems with the state is that it owns, not only all of the land and buildings in America, but also all of the people. This is how they justify applying the taxes that add up to over half of your productivity, dictating what you can and can’t do with your body and property, and sending you off to kill and be killed to defend them!

We need to replace this with a system where all individuals own themselves. This means you can do whatever you want with your body and property as long as you do not violate another person’s property rights. Nobody can lay claim to any portion of your property or productivity.

Another problem with the state is that it holds a monopoly on violence. Everyone is taught that monopolies are bad, which is true, and one on the use of violence is the worst type imaginable.

Our next social structure needs to be based on the principle that it is always bad to initiate violence. We need a justice system where no one has the right to initiate force, or a substitute for force such as fraud or theft, against any other individual. We need a justice system based on mediated restitution instead of medieval retribution.

The great news is that there is already a philosophy based on these principles; it is called Voluntaryism. There are already thousands of people who have learned these principles of freedom and started living this lifestyle. There are many books and podcasts out there, explaining why a Voluntaryist society would be better and how it might look.

It’s time to up the ante. Don’t let the Occupy Wall Street protests fade into oblivion; the stakes are too high!

8 Responses to “How “Occupy Wall St.” Could Succeed”

  1. RichNo Gravatar says:

    The state may well collapse under its own weight, but that could take a hundred years. In the meantime, everybody within its gravitational pull will suffer, more or less depending on many factors, not the least of which is money.

    There are no alternatives to actively dismembering it if there is any hope of escaping its ruinous throes of death.

    As you said, using the state to correct the problems arising from the existence and power of the state is futile. It is exactly analogous to ‘creating’ ‘printing’ or willing into existence – more debt-based currency (it is not really money but a sham for money) to solve the problems arising from immense debt. Creating more of the problem-causing stuff top alleviate the pain – is just like using methadone to relieve yourself of drug addiction, except that methadone is (reputedly) less harmful than heroin.

    Being addicted to the state is fatal.

    Unfortunately for us, the people who are here now are (generally speaking) incapable of taking care of themselves and eliminating the state will lead to wars with all sorts of gangs and tyrants vying for power over the superstitious and unscrupulous (which I believe is a large fraction of the trained – not educated populous) . This is hazardous for anybody in the kill radius.

    There are no good alternatives now. No Galt’s Gulch, no Shangri-La, We may have to segregate into small groups and camouflage ourselves to survive at all.

    I wouldn’t be so optimistic about voluntarism. You have a few problems to solve on your way to that state (pun intended).


    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I am optimistic in the long-run, but I tend to agree with your glib attitude in the short run. That’s why we need to huddle together and protect ourselves the best we can. I believe New Hampshire is the best chance for that to happen, at least in the United States.

  2. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    Seth, I appreciate your points, and I’d love it if you came down to Occupy NH, Veterans Park, Manchester, NH starting at noon on Sunday, October 15th and take part in this movement. Add your voice of reason to the discussion, your focus on the root cause of all these social, economic, and ecological abuses we are witnessing: our enemy, the state. Let’s work together to build peaceful, voluntary, sustainable alternatives, and let’s focus on the means of abolishing statism: agorism, voluntaryism, and non-cooperation with systematic aggression.

  3. Steve PNo Gravatar says:

    I think a counterprotest would be more beneficial to spreading the right ideas. It would be interesting to find out what percentage of the OWS protesters voted for Obama in the last election. My guess would be a vast majority of them.
    Therefore it could be argued that the protesters themselves are partly responsible for much of the bailots that occured on Obama’s watch. The OWS movement is a complete contradiction. Rather than allying themselves with OWS, voluntaryists, anarchists, minarchists, etc… could gather together and confront this huge mass of hippocrites and blame them for the conditions they helped create. The absurd cotradiction of their stance needs to be placed right in front of them. THEY are the ones whose President further bailed out the banks and other gov’t susidized corporations. I don’t think they should be allowed to get away with trying to grab the moral high ground and acting as if they have nothing to do with the conditions they object to. F ’em.

  4. RichNo Gravatar says:


    I empathize with your position, but I don’t think it would be effective. The protesters are ignorant, possibly complicit in the problems they are ‘protesting’. While this is true, I don’t understand how, given the way the event(s) are being presented to the mass audience, teh message of liberty would make it through the filters of ignorance, short attention-span directed ‘stories’. It is more ilkely that we would be portrayed (and believed to be) an angry and dangerous ‘mob’ attacking teh poor dears who just wanted to stand there (and be beaten and arrested, no attacked by evil libertarians…) and present their message of shame on ‘the ones who stole Johnny and Leslie’ ‘ future…
    You get the drift.
    It would be more productive to (I think) associate with them and teach them (one on one if possible) where they are right and wehere they are wrong. We might learn a few things in the process that could make us more effective.
    Being right is really not the hard part of this. Being something that people can look to for answers is more important. Let the cops and bankers be the bad guys.

    vaya con dios.(don’t accuse me of being superstitious 🙂

  5. TINA BNo Gravatar says:

    “May your wild identities remain pleasantly captive among the artificial flora of their social habitat.”–Sam Pulitzer (2011)

  6. PericlesNo Gravatar says:

    The Democracy Parasites will hasten the Political Terrorist’s demise…The morons will vote for their own destruction and they will never know what happened. These are the same mental retards that refer to politicians as “Leaders”…It is like referring to rapists as “Lovers” yet they are FAR too stupid to comprehend. The only thing a thinking man can do within a Democracy is to run and hide…Never get involved in anyway with Democracy Parasites or their Terrorists…And never let these bratty little psychopaths own you!