April 15, 2012

Bringing back the state to the revolution excerpt from post here 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...
Occupy Wall Street: Division, Representation, Collectivity Here is my keynote from the Critical Themes in Media Studies conference put together by graduate students in media studies at the New School. The talk recombines and reworks themes that I've been talking about for a while in connection with the movement. (Addition: although the header on the text says "do not cite," feel free to cite if you want to.) Here's the beginning: Tonight I am going to emphasize three characteristics of Occupy Wall Street as an evental site and political form: division, representation, and collectivity. With these designations “evental site” and political form I am trying to get at both the event of the movement, its rupturing of our political setting, and the organizational shape of the movement, that is to say, the arrangement of capacities and intensities that has enabled Occupy to intervene as a new political subjectivation. How did Occupy inscribe a gap in our setting, cut a hole in Wall Street’s hegemony over our imagination, and make possibilities appear where before they were inexistent? How did Occupy effect a political separation between us as a movement and the communicative capitalism in which we’ve been entrapped? Clarity on these questions may provide guidance as to the sorts of practices, actions, and directions best for the growth and success of the movement. Bluntly put, some of the ideas that most galvanized people in the fall—those associated with autonomy, horizontality, and leaderlessness—have also come to be faulted for conflicts and disillusionment within the movement. One way to...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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