A spectre is haunting the neoliberal world order. The IMF-WB, the G7 leaders, the economists and their allies in the semi-colonial states have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise the Occupy Movement worldwide. But it is the anarchistic tendency within the Occupy Movement that needs exorcising. This is not a shot at sectarianism. It is about going back to the painful split between the anarchists and the Marxists whose stakes back then are being repeated in the discourse and practice of the current Occupy Wall Street and similar movements. Today, more than ever, we need to sharpen the line separating the revolutionary road to social change and the pseudo-pro activism of the post-political activists who insist on challenging everything with the effect of leaving things exactly the way they are.
Currently, the anarchists and post-anarchists are very active in organizing campaigns against globalization and neoliberal capitalism. Self-identified “anarchists” have often taken centre stage at protests directed at state-like international institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Leonard Williams provides a profile of this new- generation anarchists who join the Occupy movement: “Today’s anarchists (particularly those profiled in mainstream media coverage of major protests) are primarily a group of young people noted more for their cultural apparatus and their penchant for direct action. Very few of them seem to refer to such theorists of anarchism as Bakunin, Proudhon, Goldman, or Rocker; even fewer perhaps have bothered to study their classic works.” But anarchism unites these diverse movements. As David Graeber, one of the gurus of the Occupy Movement avers, “Anarchism is the heart of the movement, its soul; the source of most of what’s new and hopeful about it.”
But their basic tactic remains the same – the principle of direct action. Anarchists understand direct action as a matter of taking social change into one’s own hands by intervening directly in a situation rather than appealing to an external agent (typically the government) for rectification. It is a do-it-yourself atomizing, Nike-like version of postmodern politics based on people power, with a lack of interest in operating through established political channels. By ignoring the power of the state, such politics miserably fails to address the brutality of the former, including its creation of new camps for homo sacer, and its gross violation of human rights worldwide. The said disposition may be dangerously true for the Occupy Movement that does not advance beyond the slogan: “We are the 99 percent.” So what if we are the 99 percent? How do we seize power from the 1%?