Open Source Protests Don’t Build Anything, They Break Things

Five years ago (September 17,2011) Occupy Wall Street came into the social scene with the intention of changing the official political, economic and social narratives. That makes the world a miserable, despotic, feudal and misgonyistic place to live in. People from different political, social and economic backgrounds. Came to agree with one another (well sort of). There was lengthy debates and shows of disgust towards the world’s largest money laundering, gambling and crony capitalist operation known as Wall Street. The people who participated in protests (on and offline) were fed up with income inequality, social injustice and political instability.

Decentralized Leadership

The movement was born on the Internet and began to spread. The first tweet which gave way to movement’s rise (which was eventually deleted) was on March 17,2010 it said this specifically.

We The People Shall Occupy Wall Street

Occupy may have been vision of one individual, but that individual never wanted to lead the movement in any traditional sense. So the idea was left to it’s own devices and grew into the movement it is today. One in which doesn’t emulate any kind of centralized, hierarchical structure as most social movements before it’s time. It’s was designed to be decentralized so it couldn’t be hijacked by powerful interests or overzealous politicians.

Rejecting Traditional Leaders

Fluid, constrained leadership is an important part of open source protest. Fluid in that there are no fixed positions. Contrained in that it is limited to managing a single function. There isn’t any overarching leadership.

So far, we’ve seen fluid, constrained leadership with the Occupy movement. The folks that successfully accomplished the movement’s plausible promise have faded into the woodwork, as they were supposed to do. However, the movement isn’t out of the woods yet: there isn’t any shortage of people on the sidelines anxious to take control of the movement.

Fortunately, the Occupy movement is organized in a way that makes taking control difficult. Here are some of them:

  • Consensus decision making (blocks leadership as per the above).
  • Geographic Decentralization. Not many people in any one location.
  • No hieararchy or bureaucracy. A coup d'etat requires a bureaucratic hierarchy. To sieze control, all you need to do get the bureaucracy to accept your orders. If it does, you are now in control. Occupy doesn't have a bureaucracy to sieze control of.
  • No behind the scenes space. Everything is out in the open/transparent. How do you cut a deal in a smoke filled room when there isn’t one?

Based On The Idea Of Open Source Software

The open source model, or collaborative development from multiple independent sources, generates an increasingly more diverse scope of design perspective than any one company or corporation is capable of developing and sustaining long term.

The Open Source Definition, notably, presents an open source philosophy, and further defines the terms of usage, modification and redistribution of open source software. Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition. The most prominent and popular example is the GNU General Public License (GPL), which "allows free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same licence", thus also free.