In Bill Wasik’s article, #Riot: Self-Organized, HyperNetworked Revolts—Coming to a City Near You, Clifford Stott, senior lecturer in social psychology at the University of Liverpool, was told by a “philosophical fellow Brit” at a particularly dicey moment that “If you are on your own you’re going to get fucked.” Harsh but fair. Teamwork is important, and it is this sort of mentality that seems to act as fuel for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“You must act [against] the forces of exploitation and oppression who want nothing more than your silent and idle acceptance.” Occupy Wall Street’s mission statement is fraught with “We”s. It creates a very distinct sense of team, of Us vs. Them. Furthermore Stott mentions this idea of a crowds “unstoppability” so to speak. That a crowd’s numbers grant it both legitimacy and power.
“We have ourselves decided. We will no longer be complicit in this destruction…We will no longer conspire against ourselves…We will no longer conspire against humanity.”
This We must sure be a righteous bunch. It is adorably obvious that the writers of this statement see themselves as an underdog Rebel Alliance up against the Empire. They’ve created sides, teams, battle cries, and an excellent example of the mentality of intergroup conflict.