EWG meeting on Friday 11th April 2014 – minutes
Present: Bharat, Steve B, John, Omar, Janos, Steve M, Schlacke, Clive
1. Review minutes – amended as per Dave – approved
2. CCMJ set up in 1960s. In 1990s meetings went to House of Commons but the planning people continued to meet in a café and then Friends House, followed by SES. SES is focused on Henry George exclusively plus there is a cost. SES funding – endowed. Radical economic ideas resisted by the “progressive” organisations and media. Georgist section in the SES library. This is the history of activism for political and economic change – groups disintegrate over time.
3. Opportunities – up to 3 opportunities each: unique opportunity to work on a focused agenda based on empirical evidence to dismantle the sources of concentrated power. Credibility and “brand popularity” to lead a global movement for change. Other organisations are now talking about guaranteed income; St Paul’s eviction time has now expired – other groups going to the City to meet and protest – meeting in April to remember Robert Lockyer, shot by Oliver Cromwell – Our proximity to the City of London as the nexus of power over the corrupt system to be the focus of dissent and action. Occupy needs educate the young about economics – alternative to capitalism v socialism. Update Little Book of Ideas focused on the what should be done to resolve the problems specified in the first edition. Opportunities to do things for ourselves – find opportunities within the the Weaknesses identified last week. Question time – house price bubble –assumption that BoE will fix it. Housing and Debt is a huge issue – David Harvey, Crisis of Capitalism. Topical report needed from the EWG incorporating other ideas. Get our work out there and gain credibility. 15Th October anniversary. Climate Change – slogan of the politicians; it’s the trade, financial, economic and
social climate is what’s important. Educational opportunities. UK has problems worse than in some “third world” countries. People are unhappy. Third way – new economic system needed. Main objective is to establish new financial systems independent of vested interests. Educating others and ourselves – promoting issues. Reading group for self education – as a separate entity. Duty to educate others about workable alternatives. Campaigning can be critical or positive. The Commons provides an alternative which is both critical and offers positive ways forward. Accept a narrower focus but would like to incorporate the Commons. City of London relationship with the
government. Collusion between government and finance. Reclaim the Commons. Prosecute the wrong doers for theft of the Commons. Class actions eg. Bank of Canada was sued, unsuccessfully but it forced the 1% to mount a defence. Difference is an opportunity – create a new positive meme
– within the group. Social mix of EWG doesn’t reflect the early occupants at St Paul’s. Need divergence of creative and intelligence (the young/gender). Listen to each other – empathy. Different creative process and how we relate to each other – opportunities have the potential to arise. Opportunistic input into events as they unfold. Take advantage of the cracks in the system. Backing of conservatives (eg. Balcombe) growing – clear, crystallised, solid focused ideas to draw on those people. We can’t anticipate but if we’re focused we’ll be ready to respond. Dissatisfaction with the Parliamentary system. Haldane agreed suggestion for a Bankers Charter. Occupy summer festival/camp in Hyde Park – profile. Occupy is a real force and are a threat to the system – the
establishment looks over their shoulder. FB Occupy Economics page to engage – it is an open group
– space – but access is restricted – not an issue. Fundamental necessity for truth. Post-modernist “relative truth”. Truth is what God knows and what I can discover. As a scientist you have to believe in truth. Elephant – do we see it all? Perspective co-joined by others. Declaration of certainty could repel others. Relativism and perspectivism – have a right to that. Enough shared perspective. Truth via community. Need to help people find the truth through sharing of information. Inner truths we have but some things are contextualised as truth. Not mutually exclusive. Problems understanding from different perspectives. We can be connected to the truth – it’s about love – beyond words.
Truth is objective – people are suffering.
4. Threats – Apparent political stance not to talk to politicians – unless we can show them up as cheats and charlatans – we will be defeated. Only strength is from words – with truth as far as it can be ascertained. Like a lawyer we need to destroy their arguments. Biggest obstacle – lack of clarity in what we are for and what we want to achieve. Divergence of views. Until we come up with something we can all agree on, we can’t move forward. Agreed – hence to agree the aims – set of principles through consensus (unanimity is not necessary) – reformism v revolution needs to be resolves. Nearly there in terms of principles. Road to shared Commons vision (stewardship). Occupy has only recently revived GA – in trouble internally. Governance of Occupy WG. FB page Occupy Economics – Oxford economists controlled. Infiltration – capitalism will become irrelevant in the face of truth. Truth will resolve all problems. Founded in ancient history. Lies dissolve in the light of truth, like a vampire in the sunlight. Ideas/concept has to be in the middle of mind and
spirit. Truth is born in selflessness and solid, impregnable and we look after everyone including the
1%. Truth rejects no one. We are own biggest threat to ourselves. Tendencies towards entropy. Internally may be chaos but on the outside horizontal decision making is popular. Experiences of the group may seem negative but are positive outside. Lacking organisational skills – lack of agenda. Lack of opportunities to implement individuals’ ideas. Clarity is the economic system. Lacking media coverage to attract. No fear – mustn’t be afraid to tackle contentious topics such as JFK, 9/11 and climate change. Don’t need to worry about MSM as attention will come on to us
when truth occupies the centre. Don’t be anxious about making mistakes. Threat of group think that causes self censorship Thought police on issues like JFK 9/11 Climate change. People need
personal space – everybody needs a home and place to retreat to. Sanctuary within ourselves. Treating ourselves and others gently and opportunities will emerge. Occupy “brand” is a weaknesses itself. When the aim is established, it works much easier. Commons and women’s movements had a shared vision. Horizontality, works when we’re critical but not when agreeing alternatives. Warning mechanism not a solution provider. Decisions on how Occupy organises is process. Need to make consensus works but need boundaries. Complete free for all. Future topic – governance by consensus takes a lot of time. Very masculine group – is a weakness.
4. Monday some will attend for business.
5. If they want to come to meetings they will come.