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Forum Post: A Marxist Critique of the Occupation Protests on Wall Street

Posted 12 years ago on Sept. 25, 2011, 11:30 p.m. EST by RossWolfe (34)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have written up a brief critique of the recent protest occupations on Wall Street. You can read it here: Regressive "Resistance" on Wall Street: Notes on the Occupation

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[-] 2 points by MyHeartSpits (448) 12 years ago

If the impoverished would all come to Wall St., something might change...

I don't know if the time is ripe for revolution or not. I say that it "needs" to be, because the world is being destroyed in so many capitalism-related ways, but I don't know if it is ripe. However, whether or not it is ripe, I don't think the fact that we are at Wall St. is going to hurt the cause. Also, the fact that you don't even mention the horizontally-oriented general assembly process is a huge mistake on your part. That is the most important thing going on at this action, and it is fucking beautiful to behold, even at its height of chaos and frustration. It's still democracy, and anyone who speaks WILL be heard.

[-] 2 points by riethc (1149) 12 years ago

I read your article and I've been down to the occupation. There hasn't been that much "pacifism", it's been more about non-violence. Unfortunately, a few of the cops, especially the white collars, are not interested in keeping it non-violent.

[-] 1 points by RossWolfe (34) 12 years ago

Interesting to see a libertarian and a Marxist going at it over reasons to protest Wall Street. As I see it, both have equally legitimate cause to be upset with the current state of affairs. In terms of classical economics (as least as enunciated by Mandeville and Smith), the government's decision to intervene and "bail out" big business is antithetical to the idea of the state not playing favorites.

My own viewpoint is Marxist, though it is decidedly heterodox. In terms of my own position, the overcoming of capitalism will only become possible once a generalized anti-capitalist consciousness is awakened in the most advanced capitalist countries of the world (North America and Europe). In order to even begin to approach this, the Left must come to term with its own history of political failures while at the same time the objective volatility and perpetual crisis at the core of capitalism engenders the kind of political consciousness required to realize a postcapitalist social formation.

[-] 1 points by cephalopodsun (1) 12 years ago

If only we were dumb and rigid, that would make things SO much easier.

[-] 1 points by ProletariatComrade (13) from Burnaby, BC 12 years ago

I am saddened by your cynicism. We may not be the long-awaited revolution. But we are a collective of outraged voices, and we are very determined. You mention that our current actions are not doing anything to help the impoverished masses. What would you suggest we do?

[-] 2 points by Laurenceofberk (16) 12 years ago

"What would you suggest we do?" Right on Comrade. Anyone who disses us without addressing "What is to be done?" is mostly wasting our time.

One suggestion? Have a series of discussions about what kind of economic model we would like to see replace corporate capitalism. Obviously there is no consensus yet. That's OK. We have just begun to take in the fact that our present economic model is failing. But it would be great to publish the leading alternatives that are put forth, so we can all join in.

My own preference is for an economy of worker and community co-ops. But at this point an open discussion is preferable to anyone's single solution.

[-] 1 points by ProletariatComrade (13) from Burnaby, BC 12 years ago

I like your ideas, I think you're on the right track. Thank you for your input on this conversation. I don't feel particularly proud for arguing political theology when it is more hindering than helpful in our current situation. I'd like to apologize to Kahn, I can get pretty heated on subjects and I have a hard time letting things go sometimes. I can understand and appreciate his view point, after hearing a little of what his life experiences have been like. It was wrong of me to entice division when we want solidarity.