A Defense Of The Occupy Movement

One would be very busy indeed trying to counter all the tendentious nonsense being said and written about the Occupy- Movement these days. Now that it is over, and the oligarchy has once again been rescued from the leveling inclinations of its vassals, we find ourselves awash in scathing critiques. The empire’s media psy-op squads are determined, as ever, to win the war of words and thus control the aftermath. The bleeding has been staunched, now capital’s perception management teams zero in on eradicating the infection. The multitudes must not and will not be permitted to retain a favorable view of the Occupy- Movement and Occupiers, a public distaste for the thing must be created. This effort to sully the legacy of the Movement is now in full swing.

This is not to suggest that all criticism is invalid, some, coming from the Left, has been apposite, canny, and constructive. I too have been critical of the Movement’s conservatism, and in the initial stages became so disgusted that I began to write a critique entitled “The revolution has been canceled because we couldn’t get a permit.”

However, the great breadth of reproof to which we are endlessly subjected has been the exertions of vulgar propagandists in the employ of the state’s disinformation apparatus, professional liars whose partisan, diaphanous analyses are riven with omissions, distortions and outright fabrications. Much of the opprobrium has been the work of the empire’s media factota, whose sordid, treacherous task it is to keep the masses baffled.

For those who can hear over the roaring din of capital’s media claque, Occupy has some impressive accomplishments to its credit:

*For many who attended Occupy- events, it was the first (and possibly last) time they have ever encountered revolutionaries. A great many popular myths about anarchists and communists et al were debunked. For many it was an introduction to radical social theory. We made some converts

*As a result of participation in Occupy- mass actions, many acquired a much more realistic view of what the state is. There’s nothing like having a cop kick you in the genitals to make you understand just what it really means to be governed. One could almost smell the class consciousness forming in the minds of those who hitherto had a more prosaic view of the role the state’s enforcement troops. Many people understood for the first time that they are being herded, that their relations to each other and to the state were being monitored and managed from above, and that any threat to the existing order will be met with unscrupulous, barbarous violence in need be. This is the beginning, or the predicate, of revolutionary thought and action.

*We managed to depants the Democratic Party and expose it for the servant of plutocracy it is. We demonstrated beyond dispute that its claim to represent the interests of the working class is a grotesque, traitorous deception. It was satisfying (not to mention amusing) to see the overmatched Party sophists try to oink and squeal their way past a radical critique of capitalism and their servile role within it. In the end, all they could do was denounce radicalism and bray that Americans would never forsake free markets. Not a few saw through the Democratic hustle for the first time, and understood the electoral process for the cynical ruse that it is.

*Perhaps most importantly, because of our actions in closing down ports and in our support for the ILWU, many saw for the first time that power is powerless in the face of determined mass opposition; that we do not have to comply; that it is the ruling class and not we who are vulnerable; that there is, and has always been, hope for a future free of domination and exploitation. We demonstrated that the big, bad bear isn’t so big and isn’t so bad. And the praise and gratitude we received from the four corners of the globe was quite gratifying, and for me personally quite affecting. It was a small battle in the manifold  class war, but we won it goddammit. For the world’s oppressed we provided a little hope and a little confidence, and the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step…

For the rest of the argument I yield the floor to the incomparable Sylvia Federici:

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