Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy the World

OK, so - time to get grumpy. The occupy thing is cute. It's reaching out, and getting people to take notice; but it's not enough.
I was at Occupy LSX last weekend, and it struck me that the easy way to occupy the stock exchange is:
  • Win the elections.
  • Send the riot police to occupy the stock exchange.

  • That is -- political action will get results. Now, I'm not saying the grumpy leftist thing of: "we need a programme". Not at all. What I'm saying is simply that a political party (or parties - hell, why doesn't someone register 'Occupy the Council' as a party name?) is an effective outcome.
    Look, it costs nothing to contest a council seat (OK< if you want to print leaflets it'll cost a hundred quid) -- but if the occupiers can turn themselves into nominators then that is something.
    An absence of policies is a good thing, a determined movement of 'Vote the scoundrels out' will send shock waves through the political elite like no bugger's business. Once we've occupied the seats of power, then lets debate what to do -- in a way compatible with the democratic impetus of the #Occupy movement. But, but but. Political action is needful, elst it turn into simply pleading with the powerful.

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    Blogger stuart said...

    Grumpy? Rank ingratitude more like it! Before Occupy exploded, you were making this argument to yourself, your mates, and maybe a few pigeons in Hyde Park. Now socialism has exploded back onto the agenda again, and all some people can do is scratch their beards and say, "Hmm, this isn't *quite* what I meant..."

    I went up to Occupy London again today. Anyone who isn't gobsmacked by what's been achieved there didn't go with their eyes open.

    4:17 PM  
    Blogger Bill said...

    well, I went with my eyes open, saw nothing I didn't see at the Old Mayday events a decade ago, which kind of fizzled out. Reclaim the streets redux.

    If it doesn't grow beyond a street meeting into a movement for political action it will have been a cute waste of time.

    4:22 PM  
    Blogger stuart said...

    I don't remember the Mayday events being quite so global, massive, inclusive, peaceful, organised, democratic, fast-growing, radical, etc, etc, etc.

    Of course it might fizzle out. Unlike our own party, which has been positively fizzing with life for decades. We can't even manage cute.

    4:28 PM  
    Blogger Bill said...

    I do recall the Mayday events (and the accompanying G-whatever protests) being quite global, radical, fast growing (not quite so peaceful but then the big fighting back then was in Italy --oh, wait).

    I'm not knocking it, but I don't want it to meet the same fate as the globalize resistance thing, ideally a hundred different parties could come out of this; and that would be a good thing.

    4:36 PM  
    Blogger stuart said...

    I think *at the very least* the idea will take hold that, when you're pissed off with something the state or capitalism is doing, what you do is organise something big and lasting and democratic, not march from A to B then go home. We've not seen the last of this by a long chalk. Or if we have, I'll eat your Raskolnikov hat.

    4:44 PM  

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