October 12, 2011

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On #OWS, Co-optation, and the Growth Phases of a Social Movement Important message from Beka Economopolis: PART 1: On #OWS, Co-optation, and the growth phases of social movements Here's the thing: our messaging, our strategy, and our tactics must change based on the external landscape. When we become embraced by the Democratic Party and its allies, we must go further than what makes them comfortable. That's if we want to win more than concessions and easy reforms (that currently exist within the realm of possibility), and achieve game-changing substantive/structural reforms (that currently live in the realm of impossibility, that we didn't imagine we ever could see in our lifetimes). We should aim for nothing less -- why aim for closing up shop soon when we have no idea what we're capable of? Phase 1 = vanguard moves in, initiates occupation, largely dismissed, but staying power piques curiosity, and police misconduct/violence draws attention and wins sympathy. Phase 2 = vanguards in other cities recognize potential, initiate occupations. At the same time, initial occupation gathers steam, grows, large membership orgs endorse and give legitimacy that wasn't present before, now the mainstream media start to change tune. Focus of coverage is human interest story of life in the park; and what do they want? Phase 3 = mainstream media interest explodes, NGOs, labor, community, and establishment orgs engage supporters, connect existing campaigns to #occupy frame, amplify visibility and suggestion of social movement. Democratic leadership embrace movement, as do party-related and electorally focused orgs. Media coverage attributes power to movement, queries whether it's a Tea...
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Franco Berardi and Geert Lovink: A call to the army of love and the army of software By Franco Berardi and Geert Lovink October 2011. The fight opposing financial dictatorship is erupting. The so-called ‘financial markets’ and their cynical services are destroying the very foundations of social civilization. The legacy of the postwar compromise between the working class and progressive bourgeoisie has all but disappeared. Neoliberal policies are cutting back education and the public health system and is cancelling the right to a salary and a pension. The outcome will be impoverishment of large parts of the population, a growing precarity of labor conditions (freelance, short-term contracts, periods of unemployment) and daily humiliation of workers. The yet to be seen effect of the financial crisis will be violence, as people conjure up scapegoats in order to vent their rage. Ethnic cleansing, civil war, obliteration of democracy. This is a system we call financial Nazism: FINAZISM. Right now people are fighting back in many places, and in many ways. Occupy Wall Street inspired a mass mobilization in New York that is extending across the USA every day. In Greece workers and students are squatting Syntagma square and protesting against the blackmail by the European Central Bank, which is devastating the country. Cairo, Madrid, Tel Aviv, the list of the ‘movements of the squares’ is proliferating. On October 15 cities across the globe will amass with people protesting against the systemic robbery. Will our demonstrations and occupations stop the Finazist machine? They will not. Resistance will not resist, and our fight will not stop the legal crimes. Let’s be...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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