Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance


Joseph Cannon has a pretty good post about Occupy Wall Street:

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is morphing into a nationwide movement called “Occupy Together.” (Stupid name, but let’s not quibble about nomenclature.) Why haven’t I mentioned the protests in New York heretofore? Because I am unsure if any good can come of them. There is no leadership. There is no platform. There are no specific goals. No demands. No coherent weltanschauung.

Perhaps worst of all, this movement is primarily the work of young people — in other words, of idiots. They have no sense of history, no idea as to which past strategies have worked and which have failed. Never trust anyone under 30.

Naturally, these fetuses are reliant on Facebook and Twitter and cell phones with GPS — which means that Uncle is keeping track of their every blink, breath and cough, as they keep feeding more and more info to the data-miners. This is a revolution? The first job of a revolutionary is to get away with it — and you’ll never get away with it if you don’t know when to maintain radio silence. (Or computer and cell phone silence.)

As I said: These toddlers are idiots. Never forget that we’re dealing with the same college kids who thought that Obama was the Prog Messiah.


There is a bunch more and you should read it. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.

Finished? Okay. This is from a discussion Joseph and me in the comments:

What, then, is to be done?

Goals determine strategy. Strategy determines tactics.

The first thing is to agree on a goal.


Without a goal how will you determine where you are going? More importantly, how will you know when you get there?

This isn’t rocket science.

A few years ago when my dad died I wanted to go to Oklahoma for the funeral. That was the goal.

After considering my options (plane, train, automobile) I decided to drive, taking my two adult sons with me. That was the strategy.

We planned a departure time, mapped a route, made preparations, and then took turns driving, stopping for gas food and sleep as needed. Those were the tactics.

What is the goal of Occupy Wall Street?

On its website, Occupy Wall Street describes itself as a “leaderless resistance movement” drawn from people of all backgrounds and political persuasions.

“The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent,” the website says. The posters in Zuccotti Park speak to the lack of a narrow platform: “End financial aid to Israel”; “End greed, end poverty, end war”; “No death penalty”; “Tired of racism.”

Some supporters of the premise wonder how far Occupy Wall Street can go in galvanizing others if it does not translate its anger into specific demands.

“I see something beautiful here. I’ve never had a more interesting political debate,” said Carne Ross, a former British diplomat who resigned in protest over the invasion of Iraq, and who now owns a consulting business in New York. But Ross, who stops by regularly to advise Occupy Wall Street, said it needs “far broader outreach” and a narrower message.

“They need to get a message to people who can’t be here,” Ross said.

“I’d prefer to see a list of demands,” one fan wrote on the Occupation Wall Street Facebook page, echoing the concerns of a woman who tweeted something similar to Moore as he did his MSNBC interview. She asked for “some specific, tangible goals.”

Michael T. Heaney, a University of Michigan political science professor who has studied social protest movements, said such groups often bump up against pressure to become more focused and to either build or join institutions that can support them.

“What you’re talking about is a degree of buying into a political system,” Heaney said. “But the more you use tactics that we recognize as getting you influence, the more you buy into the system, and the more you buy into the system, the more you open yourself up to compromise.”

In Occupy Wall Street’s case, Heaney said demands could be as vague as simply calling for financial bailout programs to apply to individuals rather than banks.

Most of those in Zuccotti Park, though, don’t see the need for a change in tactics. At least not yet.


They’re talking about tactics when they don’t even have a goal. This is where the expression “The way to Hell is paved with good intentions” comes from.

BTW – a leaderless movement is a mob.


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38 Responses to Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

  1. Mimi says:

    Instead of going to Obama rallies they go to “occupy” Wall St. This same general group did not understand what they were doing in 2007-8 either. They seem to be a group that is generally dissatisfied with everything and do not have a clear understanding of why and what the remedies are or could have been. I have not made up my mind if they are dumb, lazy, or addled. They seem to be more of a social media inspired flash mob on downers.

  2. Nothing like making a meaningless outlet for the kids anger and frustration. Keeps them busy. Blows off steam. And most importantly, helps to keep them from noticing the man behind the curtain.

  3. votermom says:

    Perhaps worst of all, this movement is primarily the work of young people — in other words, of idiots.

    This is one of the few times I really 100% agree with Joe.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Veteran agitators flock to Occupy Wall Street

    The city’s most experienced agitators—the labor and community groups that typically organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins—have been largely missing from the Occupy Wall Street protest that is in its 13th day at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

    But that’s about to change.

    What could go wrong?

    • Mimi says:

      Are we seeing political payback to Wall St for not being sufficiently loyal, failing to cough up enough cash to the re-election, and in some cases openly jumping ship (Dimon supposedly donating to Romney)? It started out small (exactly who put the suggestion into the ear of the easily suggestible) to see if it would float. As it grew unions and political operatives begin to get involved with the press picking up on it belatedly. The fact that this WH openly encouraged and paid for the bad behavior, failed to punish open lawlessness, and has ruined the economy is ignored by all. The WH is not even looked at by this bunch. It also has the advantage of switching the media from looking at the energy scandals tied to every Obama pol and big contributor because they cannot walk and chew gum. I smell a rat.

      • myiq2xu says:

        “Dissipating progressive energies”

        While they’re busy protesting Wall Street they aren’t supporting a primary challenger to Obama, are they?

        • Mimi says:

          That is the third benefit from it after diversion from other scandals, and punishment to anyone disloyal. Will it work? It is not going to divert the Republicans from the scandals because they smell blood. Wall St does not like to be dicked around so they may just pick up and go on vacation until it dies down. It will probably just scare Democrats so they will go down with him. If anyone gets wind of the WH involved in it, which they are, then it may be their last stunt with unions.

      • Mary says:

        Van Jones on Larry O’Donnell’s show The Last Word:

        “Hold on to your hats, we’re going to have an October offensive to take back the American dream and rescue America’s middle class.” He warns of an “Americn fall” like the Arab Spring.

        Coincidence? Uh huh.

    • crawdad says:

      Watch them push aside the original protestors and co-opt the whole shebang.

  5. 99% vs 1% is a good message to start with.

  6. r u reddy says:

    For what it is worth, Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism offers a Matt Stoller guest post offereing a different view of the Wall Street camp-in.
    ” OccupyWallStreet is a Church of Dissent, Not a Protest.” He suggests that it is a first step in people reaching out to eachother and discovering lots of similar people feeling a similar way about “Wall Street” and its protecting and covering government and establishment institutions. He hopes and even suspects they might move on from their to evolve movements with goals and therefor strategies. The commenters take it from there. Some noted that the Madison Capitol protests began with the same sort of much-derided students and when they were visibly not-dispersed after a time, all kinds of respectable older people joined their protest and made it much bigger and stronger.

    • r u reddy says:

      Here is the link. (Something about the computer I work on makes a bunch of little icon-boxes prevent me from leaving the link above.)
      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/09/matt-stoller-occupywallstreet-is-a-church-of-dissent-not-a-protest.html

    • crawdad says:

      How did those Madison protests work out?

      • r u reddy says:

        It may be too soon to say in the long run. If enough of those people and their sympathisers got in touch with enough of eachother to form a long-term organized movement which will keep working to do things till they get those things done; then it will end up being just as successful as the number of useful things they get done. I think they got a Republican State Senator recalled so far and replaced with a State Democrat. If they can get enough State Democrat Senators and a State Democrat Governor elected next time to overturn all the Warren-Republican laws, then the Madison protest movement will have been productive. If they can get Governor Warren recalled at the earliest legal opportunity, that will be a a revenge victory. They will have made an example of Warren, IF! . . they can get him recalled.

        The Wisconsin State Democrats look to be a different quality of people than the DC Federal Democrats. If appearances decieve, than Wisconsonians will just have to try something else.

  7. plasticshaman says:

    It’s so nice to see a bunch of jaded bullies taking jabs at young people expressing their dissatisfaction with backsliding living conditions. It must be such a thankless job defending the status quo with your tireless cynicism, but thank god you do it.

    i’m not sure why it is you feel the need to come to the defense of those corporate interests which would just as soon step over your dying body to get a better parking space as they would allow thousands of breadwinners to lose their pensions while floating gently down in gold parachutes.

    Honestly, I think if you could look past the fact that there are groups of individuals you’re used to being so vehemently opposed to present in the movement and embraced a bit of bipartisanship I don’t think you’d disagree with the general consensus of the group.

    after all, no one can argue that corporate elites are the ones who have gained the most from the continued floundering of the economy.

  8. Three Wickets says:

    California breaks from 50-state probe into mortgage lenders

    California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will no longer take part in a national foreclosure probe of some of the nation’s biggest banks, which are accused of pervasive misconduct in dealing with troubled homeowners.

    […]

    A spokesman for Schneiderman, Danny Kanner, welcomed Harris’s move.

    “Attorney General Schneiderman looks forward to his continued work with Attorney General Harris and his other state and federal counterparts to ensure those responsible for the mortgage crisis are held accountable and homeowners who are suffering receive meaningful relief,” said Kanner.

    Refusing to settle with the banks…hope it means CA and NY AGs are going for more, not less.

    • crawdad says:

      I voted for Kamala, but not because she’s black.

      • Three Wickets says:

        General left consensus seems to be that this means taking a stronger position against the TBTF banks. We’ll see.

    • r u reddy says:

      Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism thinks that’s exactly what it means. When the Obama Administration first began pressuring Schneiderman to drop his separate investigation; that’s when Yves Smith first began using the phrase ” the corrupt Obama Administration”.

  9. ruralcounsel says:

    It will all come to naught. The demonstraters of the ’68 didn’t learn a thing by getting beat up by Chicago cops. Look at em now, all lawyers and politicians (well, at least the ones that survived their drug overdoses.)

    It would really only be a generic good if getting the crap beat out of them taught them something about the kindness and morality of authoritarian government. I.e., that it’s an oxymoron.

    And that if their principles really meant anything, they’d put that knowledge to work making government smaller and less powerful and condemning coercive utopians. Unlike the 60’s generation, which only learned that they wanted to be on the side with the authority and tear gas guns.

    • r u reddy says:

      I was just a little too young for the sixties and I kind of “lived in a cave” anyway in my youth. What percent of the sixties people became the stockbroker lawyers etc? What percent did something else? Does anyone have any actual figures?

  10. Three Wickets says:

    This administration has been central to what has and has not happened with Wall Street. How are these protesters positioned re the administration. If they’re Obots, they’re either being used or doing the using.

  11. Pingback: The peasants are revolting! « The Crawdad Hole

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