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October 11, 2011

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Robert Allen

Winer's "Emersonian" self reliance talk is what is wrong with the American psyche.. I blame the suppression of Marxism and the valorization of anti-Marxism that somehow gets privileged workers to identify with, and empathize with, their exploiters. Unpacking this stuff is what Jodi does best...
Am I the only one who's sick of the Steve Jobs love fest?

Alain

I second being fed up with the Steve Jobs fest. He was an excellent marketer who exploited other people's talents to create innovative electronics.

Robert Allen

I visited the Occupy Iowa campsite at 2:00 am, when I got off work and helped put up a tent with a young Justin Beiber lookalike and an older woman wearing a hajib. Then I jammed with a long haired kid who claims to be a "street performer" (he's licensed, he tells me)on guitar and banjo. I kind of got the vibe that these were mostly unemployed or underemployed highly educated,very articulate young people. I caught myself trying to impart my knowledge of political theory, which I think is limited but solid enough, to them but I pulled back because I was in awe of two things: one, they are finding their way just fine and I was almost forty before I was radicalized, and here these kids are experienceing this sort of revolutionary moment half a lifetime sooner than me. I'm like, not worthy! Two, and this is huge, for the last 15 years since I was radicalized, when I go to a political rally or demonstration, everybody's from out of town, they come in buses, etc and it's kind of hokey. But these people were all locals! WTF? I get that they have sort of unorthodox, possibly futile methods and some have ideas that capitalism could be reformed instead of overthrown (although there was an anarchist streak in this crowd a mile wide) but the fact that they are LOCALS is something brand new to me. This is real! Very exciting.

Jodi Dean

A student of mine (kinda shy, not radical, very young) went to OWS this weekend. He told me: "before I went, I was really afraid. I'm not afraid any more." It was thrilling to see someone who was scared of change, scared of radicals, more comfortable with the easy and predictable, become so moved so quickly. He, too, was absolutely convinced that this is real.

Your points are important, Bob. In the current discussion, there are all sorts of pressures--pressures to radicalized directly with political theory, pressures to move to some kind of violence, pressures to establish points of division so that the movement doesn't get co-opted by the mainstream parties. I am very much in favor of number 3 and also number 1, yet it seems crucial as well to have a sense of people's own time, after all, they are coming together and they are LOCALS!

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