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Denunciation and Disruption: The Vision That Drives Occupy Wall Street
Posted on Oct 25, 2011
“Across the world—”
“Across the world!”
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The beauty in all this is that there is no mere demand, not a sliver of legislation the occupiers want passed or special interest they want satisfied—nothing by which to be hemmed in ideologically or politically. The habit in the mainstream media to date has been to bitch and moan that the protesters don’t know what they want, or won’t say what they want, won’t offer up the pre-masticated bullet-point list easily consumed by reporters suckled on press releases and toilet trained for TV. An ex-Marine named Brian Phillips, 25, who traveled to Zuccotti Park from Washington state, tells me what he wants. “We want to start a new way of living,” Phillips says. “We want to start a new society. We want to destroy a system that benefits only the 1 percenters. It’s not working for us. It’s putting us in poverty. We say: ‘No more making laws that benefit corporations or banks.’ ”
The norm in the political economy of the United States is that the corporations and the banks run things and we all suck it up and smile. With the rise of the occupation, the disruption of this degraded normalcy of affairs is the message and the meaning. The message is that the future of American democracy is not in casting the meaningless vote in the two-party shell game, nor in lobbying over fine dinners, nor in writing letters to robots like Charlie Rangel, nor merely in Facebooking and Twittering one’s dissent. The future lies in people gathered in the streets in solidarity and making trouble.
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