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OWS GUT CHECK

Three challenges Occupy must overcome.

LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Hey you nimble dreamers, believers and jammer tacticians out there,

Our movement has reemerged from winter hibernation to find that this spring we are different but so too is the political and tactical situation. Occupy now faces a series of existential challenges that will define the month of May and set the tone for our long-term future.

#1 challenge: Jump over the corporate media

It took the New York Times two weeks last year to wake up to the insurrection percolating in their own backyard. This May Day, we saw an insidious attempt to ignore and discredit us right across the mainstream media. Time to jam the corpo-commercial lie machine and shift the way information flows and meaning is produced. Here is occupier Charles Young’s take on the blackout:

“I know. It’s just a coincidence. Or conspiracy theory. The .01% who rule the United States would never stoop to such stunts to knock Occupy Wall Street off the front page and surround it with mentions of terrorism… But Occupy wasn’t on the Times’ front page, online or in print, either.”

Read more at Counterpunch.

#2 challenge: Block the co-optation of our movement

Last September, the old left didn’t want to touch us. Then Occupy captured the world’s imagination and now they are jumping in to channel our energy into electoral politics and symbolic actions. Founding Zuccotti Marisa Holmes warns that the co-opters are a deep threat to our movement:

“This is an election year. Everything is at stake. There will be many more attempts like The 99% Spring to come. The 1% have no intention of funding a movement that actually poses a threat to their power. They seek to manage social movements via foundations thru resource allocation, top-down structures, and co-opting language. In the past this strategy has proven effective at dividing, conquering, and integrating movements into respectable forms of activism, and it’s starting to take hold… We have realized our collective power, and we must not be pacified!”

Read more in the Occupy! Gazette #4.

#3 challenge: Occupy the future

Our most difficult task of all is to describe, build and sustain the post-capitalist future we want to live in. Here is Slavoj Žižek’s stab to get your juices flowing:

“It is not enough to reject the depoliticized expert rule as the most ruthless form of ideology; one should also begin to think seriously about what to propose instead of the predominant economic organization, to imagine and experiment with alternate forms of organization, to search for the germs of the New. Communism is not just or predominantly the carnival of the mass protest when the system is brought to a halt; Communism is also, above all, a new form of organization, discipline, hard work.”

Read more at the Guardian.

Hey occupiers: the old world has no future; their leaders have no solutions. Now everything from how we live to how we love and how the world is governed is up for grabs. Can we rise to the challenge? Let the tactical brainstorm begin.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

OccupyWallStreet.org / Tactical Briefing #29 and #30 / On May 12, retake the squares and on May 18, spark the #LAUGHRIOT then join the movement in Chicago

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217 comments on the article “OWS GUT CHECK”

Displaying 71 - 80 of 217

Page 8 of 22

st.just

Occupy should consider the U.S. Military the top decision maker in the world. The evidence of that
is all around us. Corporate media reports conform to DoD objectives ten of ten times, while legislative and judicial decisions are influenced if not command controlled by the Pentagon. What we're seeing
is what the Military does best; total operational control of the geographical, physical and psychological terrain.

So, in effect, our countries' and our planet's future and present are in the hands of exhibitionistic murderers who've yet to show any aptitude for restraint. As local police precincts and agencies continue to fall under the direction of Homeland, an agency under full operational controll of the DoD, it will only be a matter of time before the true face of Military rule becomes evident to us all. The prescription for action when that finally happens is up in the air. I'd be interested in discussing how Occupy should proceed once consensus is reached on where demonstrators should aim their focus once the realization hits that a Military Dictatorship calls all the shots on the other side.

Mic!

Anonymous

#3 challenge: Occupy the future

Our most difficult task of all is to describe, build and sustain the post-capitalist future we want to live in. Here is Slavoj Žižek’s stab to get your juices flowing:

“It is not enough to reject the depoliticized expert rule as the most ruthless form of ideology; one should also begin to think seriously about what to propose instead of the predominant economic organization, to imagine and experiment with alternate forms of organization, to search for the germs of the New. Communism is not just or predominantly the carnival of the mass protest when the system is brought to a halt; Communism is also, above all, a new form of organization, discipline, hard work.”

------------------------------

So, you people finally admit it: You're Communists who are trying to install a Communist system in place of our current form of government.

I guess those 125,000,000 people who died under Communism in the twentieth century weren't enough of a lesson for you? Or, has Communism failed as a system so far only because we haven't tried it in the United States yet?

125,000,000 dead is nothing to scoff at. And, to add to that number by bringing this system of death and degradation to the United States is abhorrent. The idea that anybody might even want to try such a system, with its long history of failure and death, only speaks to the ignorance of those who might support it.

I'm starting to feel very sad for the OWS people. Such ignorance paired with such idealism is something truly pathetic to observe.

Anonymous

No they are not communists, Zizek is a communist. The occupy movement and its model is anarchist, so the new organization model they intend to "build in the shell of the old" is anarchist. You know consensus collectives, no state etc. Those who do espouse communists ideas within the movement believe they can do better than what was before them. You should read David Graeber as they are essentially using the ideology he espouses. You'll see for yourself that they are not as practical as the communists, they are idealists.

markdixon

As for condemning anarchists as mere idealists... those who think there's any future in democracy are the heads-in-the-clouds idealists. The anarchists are willing to face up to reality and then go out and build something new from the ashes of the old.

Anonymous

Direct democracy as opposed to the Swiss model (referendum on individual issues) is idealistic. The Swiss system works because its population is small and they are not very diverse. To expect direct democracy to work, horizontal system to work in a country of over 300,000,000 is indeed very idealistic indeed. If the anarchists are willing to "go out and build something new" then they should go out and build something new but that would still be a small model not a national model. Free Town in Copenhagen did go out and build something new based on an anarchist model but they did so on a small scale, if they had tried and get that model out into the mainstream Danish society they would have failed. They succeeded precisely because they were small, homogenized and shared the same values. You will not find that on a national front, to attempt to do so is indeed very very idealistic. It assumes that you have the nation's understanding of what the future would look like and what society should look like and run when you do not.

markdixon

What alternative is there? Democracy? Look around you, it's DEAD. Unchecked capitalistic greed has destroyed democracy and left the common people to suffer the economic, environmental and human consequences. Democracy is no longer a viable option unless the swine at the top (the elite .01%) can be toppled, and since the rabid right worships the swine as sacred "job creators" and since the swine themselves control the military and police forces, removing the elite is going to be hellishly difficult.

Think of anarchism as "compassionate libertarianism" and you won't have a problem with it, I promise you. Here, I have a Guy Fawkes mask for you. Try it on.

st.just

Don't be so hard on the commies, soldier.

The communists haven't really had a chance to get a toe hold in the world, yet. And if they do
you shouldn't get so worked up over it. Communism, as you, ahem, know, is rooted in the word
commune which really isn't much different than a barracks or a trailer court. You know what
those are don't you.

Anonymous

communists cannot be trusted - they want state power, and they'll turn on their allies in the street in a second in order to win favor with the state. anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool. likewise, marxism is just another attempt to subdue dark-skinned people under european ideology - where will the worker's collectives get THEIR raw materials from? the same mines that the capitalists operate, over the dead bodies of indigenous peoples around the world. ya'll (first worlders) really need to come to grips with just how destructive your "lifestyle" is to this planet.

the above article was a warning about just such toxic opportunism. seriously - we need to think far beyond "outside the box." we need to envision a world without the ability to produce such boxes in the first place.

we need to envision a life without banks, bankers or commerce. "economics," like "communism," is a concept that should be forgotten. dependence on money is exactly the same as dependence on drugs or alcohol.

Anonymous

Bet you're okay with the Military though.

More scripted misdirection. Clumsy grade 4 stuff.

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