paradigm :a thought pattern in any scientific discipline or other epistemological context. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines this usage as “a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.”
With the OWS movement and protests there has been a lot of talk and thought concerning the way our culture, society, economy and government needs to respond to and become integrated with the people who make it up. How we can insure justice and fairness and equality within our social structure. To provide for the least among us – the old, the young, the poor and the well off – with equal participation of all and equal facilities for all.
It should come as no surprise that the initial attempts at some of this even with the occupiers and protesters themselves have hit some bumps in the road and had difficulty even within the groups at maintaining a cohesiveness and singleness of purpose.
Being a leaderless assembly of people who have only their current predicament and feelings about it as their main connection, then wanting to remain on the same page about their message is a tall order indeed. For each individual to have an equal voice in the decision making is not what we as a culture or society are accustomed to.
Quite the opposite. Our culture is used to being of of pyramidal authority where those at the top – either chosen or self installed – make the decisions and give the instructions for those underneath to follow. In our families, schools, work place, social gatherings – nearly everywhere. We complain about this a lot but the reality is that from the time we are born, this is the structure we have had. To leave it quite often makes us feel out of control even though we have little control under it. Yes a paradox.
There have been a few societies and groups that have had this type of arrangement such as the Quakers and Six nations as well as the SNCC group of the 1960s. It takes work and commitment to maintain this kind of organization. It also requires a good deal of emotional maturity as well since you have to be able to deal with various peoples personalities and egos and each has to be able to let go, at least for while, of their own personal agendas.
Besides that there has been a great deal of consideration given to a different business model that puts the people – workers and consumers – ahead of gain or profit for a few. A mode not based on the single private ownership top down authoritarian one that we have today. This would require people to look past their own self centered agendas concerning business. No small task here.
But the mere fact that these things are being discussed at all now gives one some hope. And that they are not only being discussed by those in the OWS movement by by others as well. I just hope that they do not get forgotten about or fade away do to lack of interest. And that those involved keep their singleness of purpose to work towards these ends. It will not be easy and may take a while to accomplish but well worth it.