"Since individuals require the assistance of groups to self-actualize, individuals have a strong self-interest in the good of the community to which they belong. It follows that (freely associating) collectives of individuals working for mutual improvement and mutual goals must form the basis of any anarchist society."
"A voluntary association is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body (or organization) to accomplish a purpose."
"Whatever rules are set in place must be freely agreed to by the entirety of the community that is to be governed by them in a setting free from coercion or intimidation. Such freely given consent constitutes a social contract."
"Free association also implies the right of individuals to form those exact social contracts. This freedom to not associate means if the terms of a social contract become unacceptable to an individual member or sub-group(s) within a society, the discontented have the right to secede from the contract."
Why do I have to go to anarchist websites to find definitions of terms used on this website? Why do Anarchists (like religious fundamentalists) cherry-pick from Anarchist Law to support their preconceived notions? Why can't the Anarchists subordinate their nebulous theoretical concepts for a greater good? For the purpose of providing sharp focus to the issue, I'll use Anarchist terms to define the alternative to the "umbrella" concept.
Millions of INDIVIDUALS believe our current political system is inherently corrupt. Since these individuals require the assistance of groups to SELF-ACTULIZE, they welcome the opportunity to FREELY ASSOCIATE in a VOLUNTARY ASSOCATION and form a SOCIAL CONTRACT to achieve such MUTUAL GOALS as overturning Citizen's United. Since this is the stated Goal of Occupy, it follows that the PURPOSE of Occupy is to form a SOCIETY for these individuals and facilitate their activities. Success of this concept would change history.
The Umbrella concept is a loose federation of pre-existing groups. The social contract between these groups is to mutually support each other, no matter. The groups get better recognition if their actions are successful and anonymity under the Occupy banner if they fail. The individuals not in one of these groups do not have a contract with anybody. The elaborate consensus process is show. The Occupy movement and individuals have no specific purpose but to be used. If carried forward, Occupy continues to lose support because it stands for everything, and nothing.