Theophilis Goodyear: InterOccupy Should Have No Ideological Litmus Test, Especially with Respect to Electoral Reform

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Theophilis Goodyear

InterOccupy Should Have No Ideological Litmus Test

Even though some of the people who started this movement identify themselves as anarchists, the actual 99% of world humanity are diverse beyond description. They come from an incredible array of different cultures, religions, races, world views, and ideologies, and they face different local realities. If anarchists think that the way to get all these people to start working together is by first converting them into anarchists, then they’re being unrealistic.
The Occupy movement needs to embrace anyone and everyone who feels an affinity toward the movement. It doesn’t matter who started it; everyone is joining it for their own reasons. To be brutally honest, the people who actually started the movement now make up only a tiny sliver of it because it has grown so much. Adbusters and other early movement organizers need to understand that the movement is succeeding because they tapped into thoughts, emotions, hopes, fears, and grievances that already existed. They may have found a way to focus it, but they didn’t create it. So they have no right to claim in under the banner of anarchy. It’s simply not accurate.
InterOccupy is  great idea. But having an ideological litmus test for people who join the movement can only be divisive and counter-productive. Everyone should be welcome, otherwise it’s not truly a movement of the 99% but just another example of one group of elites—–in this case anarchists—–trying to micromanage the general populace and tell them what to think. If anarchists don’t understand this, they may soon find themselves on the outside of the movement looking in. In fact, the movement may be reaching that point already.
If anarchists don’t want a later litmus test that denies anarchists, then they shouldn’t have a litmus test that denies people of other political persuasions now. If it’s truly an egalitarian movement, then it should be egalitarian in every way.
Phi Beta Iota:  Occupy seems to be developing its own “middle” that is now very serious about trying to reform the existing system, distancing itself from the “overturn everything” crowd.  The same holds true for excluded political parties that want to level the playing field.