Sunday, October 30, 2011

On OWS

It's pretty exhilarating to see a mass movement that actually seems to be getting some traction and also seems to be largely independent from the usual political actors, at least for now.  Some links:
Looking for something deep to say about this rare phenomenon, a bottom-up spontaneous large-scale collective action with no clear goal and no clear boundaries. What binds it together? The slogan "we are the 99%" is brilliant. There's a deep vein of anger at the manifest economic injustices that have become baked into the structure of society. "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out" was another good slogan being chanted the last time I was there.

I believe that a sense of injustice, rather than mere resentment at the economically fortunate, is what animates most of the participants. The sense of fair play, that everyone in society is playing by the same rules, has been virtually destroyed in the last few decades; we want to get it back.

And about that "we": it feels odd for me to include myself in anything this massive and populist, to use the first person plural as if I can speak for it, but also feels oddly right. I don't pretend to be near the center of it, or even a fraction as involved as many other people, but it doesn't matter. We're all doing what we can.

3 comments:

hoyhoy said...

I've been down to OSF about eight times. It is exhilarating. I like that their library is stocked with David Harvey and Noam Chomsky books. Although, every time I go down there, I feel like I'm a "protest tourist".

mtraven said...

When I went last time I donated some books (I have whole boxes of books on anarchism sitting in my garage where they aren't doing anyone much good) and brought some food for the kitchen, that was enough to (somewhat) reduce my feelings of being a lookee-loo tourist.

David Xavier said...

Noam Chomsky??? Isnt he one of the 1%, a tax sheltering multi-millionarie.