Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy My Imagination - Thoughts in Flux: A reply to Shoq

It is always a strange coincidence that I find myself with not only similar views as you, but similar trajectory in thought regarding politics. Maybe it's the demographic or maybe it's the DNA, but I just tweeted a link to the "Third Continental Congress" proposal with the lead-in, "Oh boy" (sarcasm).
    I was "on the fence" then I was "off the fence" in support to a degree. I wasn't quite sure how to express it, but I did blog it. Then I was confronted with the John Lewis issue. On the one hand, it makes sense to deny any elected official the opportunity to "steer the dialogue". In the case of John Lewis, the dialogue would immediately shift to the Civil Rights Movement. I'm a thinker, an ideas guy, and I can assure you this leaves OWS open to all kinds of spin and criticism with very little upside. Just as allowing Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich to be perceived as spokesperson and from that point, anything they say will be initially perceived as "endorsed" by the OWS. While I may agree with John Lewis regarding non-violent protest and the struggle, I haven't always agreed with the strength of his positions on legislation or candidates. My point is, the perceived "snub" actually does fit in with my perspective of OWS as a social, not a political "movement". But then I realized there is an alternative, a democratic alternative. That being, let ANY elected official speak and join the conversation. And the light bulb went on...
   I started by researching the rumor that Ron Paul was given an opportunity to speak. I didn't even confirm either way. I just kept thinking the movement is fundamentally exclusive, even though it's marketed, promoted or propagandized (take your pick) as an inclusive "99%". I was looking through the OWS forum when I found the "Third Continental Congress" and I finally just laughed and shook my head. It's an anarchist movement at the core. Sure, they utilize the language of democracy, but it isn't really democracy they want. They can't tell you what they want...for a reason.
  When I say "they" I'm referring to the core of the movement, not the additional thousands we recently witnessed. Those are well-intentioned people experiencing and expressing a catharsis. Most of them simply want to wash away the hate of our hyper-partisan government and politics. There's some blame being tossed around, but it's mostly a nonpartisan, collective scream of "ENOUGH!". And I'm fairly certain there are more Americans that will express themselves through OWS. But I'm equally certain that the numbers will not be sustained. As people "cleanse" themselves with a day of protest, they won't be returning at a high enough rate to offset attrition. It is still a useful "event" as it provides the opportunity for cleansing and serves as a reminder of the importance of being engaged and taking action. voting. And that has to be the focus for 2012.
   Does this mean I'm "anti-OWS"? No. I still see the positive as greater than the anarchist roots. It's still possible that the anarchist foundation could give way to a Liberal, political Leadership as well. Anarchists are fundamentally handicapped at leading "organizations", so it stands to reason that the "movement" will either be taken over or fall into bankruptcy of spirit. There is a concern, of course, that Pro-Left opportunists could position themselves to take up the torch and "the brand". This is something we all should be aware of and protect against, in my opinion. Should I see any indication that the "anti-Obama emoprogs" have commandeered this rudderless ship, at that point I become "anti-OWS".

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