Saturday, December 3, 2011

Background on the Occupy movement, Organizing World Revolution 2011

Here is some interesting background on the Occupy movement, straight from the horse's mouth, a post by former Yale Professor David Graeber, one of the "organizers" and promoters, on the Adbusters web site entitled "Situating Occupy - Lessons from the revolutionary past."
Graeber has a history of both direct and indirect involvement in political activism, including playing an organizing role in, and speaking in favor of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Comparing it to the Arab Spring, he claimed that this and other contemporary grassroots protests represent "the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire."
Ultimately, we are still left with the same question as before, namely, is the Occupy movement "just a protest movement" or is it "a revolution"? Protests can wax and wane and still contend that they have done their job, but a "revolution" ("the dissolution of the American Empire") either makes progress and achieves its goal or fizzles and dies. Or maybe Occupy will simply be a pseudo-revolution (revolutionary aspirations with lots of "big talk") that morphs into a protest movement and then claims "victory" in the sense of "we raised awareness of the issues."
The whole "occupy" meme is rather bizarre, with the tents and all. Were the tents supposed to be truly meaningful or just symbolic stage props? Now, after the "evictions", they talk as if they really didn't need the tents, but they still use the "occupy" meme.
Graeber is a self-admitted "anarchist", but it remains to be seen what his real motives are, as well as to what extent they are shared by the rank and file "membership" of the movement. What are participants in "Occupy" really signing up for? Do they know? Do they care?

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