Thursday, November 03, 2011

Occupying my time...

OK, so, clarification time. I didn't want to give the impression that I was against the #Occupy movement, or even thought it was just the usual suspects: my point is that our obligation, and even my own inclination, is to raise the issue of challenging for political power; and that unless the movement spreads into something that reaches into every street, then it will be smothered -- one way or another.

Let's put it this way, the image of Tahrir Square, and the Arab spring on which it is modelled were very dramatic. But the substance of the Arab spring happened the other week, with the election of the new government, the final grasping of the levers of political power by the new Ennahda Government in Tunisia (and the same old military in Egypt).

The old Trotskyist image of the steam and piston comes to mind: the popular protests were the steam on which the piston of the Islamist/Military parties came to power. Doubtless that image is still motivating Trotskyists here.

What I hope for, though is that we all become not steam, but small cogs, wielding a share in a precision mechanism in which we all can fine tune and control (and which we can brake by our refusal). Note how quietly the elections have gone, but how oh so determining they were in the future direction. The devil is in the detail.

Of course, in Oakland the protest has spread and taken the form of a "General Strike" -- lets hope our can do the same come N30; but I'm going to keep banging the tedious drum for the necessity for political action.

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