The rather amorphous 'organization' or lack therof has been a source of snide opinion from mainstream pundits. But like Mr. K. observed, "You're the only one that you are screwing. When you put down what you don't understand." — Kris Kristofferson, If You Don't Like Hank Williams
THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION has an article on the origins of the OWS that is worthy of your attention. It's no wonder the gang at FOX don't get it.
The movement has an academic heritage that spans political science, economics, and literature, but its organizing principles owe a debt to an ethnography of Madagascar.
It was on this island nation off the coast of Africa that David Graeber, one of the movement's early organizers, who has been called one of its main intellectual sources, spent 20 months between 1989 and 1991. He studied the people of Betafo, a community of descendants of nobles and of slaves, for his 2007 book, Lost People.
Betafo was "a place where the state picked up stakes and left," says Mr. Graeber, an ethnographer, anarchist, and reader in anthropology at the University of London's Goldsmiths campus.
In Betafo he observed what he called "consensus decision-making," where residents made choices in a direct, decentralized way, not through the apparatus of the state. "Basically, people were managing their own affairs autonomously," he says.