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Thoughts on Oakland

I followed a link in Eureka Springs' comment on DCbloggers' Tweet of the Day post to Zunguzungu and then followed a link in that essay to an essay by Darwin Bond Graham, which provides some interesting background on the events that have taken place in Oakland in the last few years. It is very interesting reading and I recommend it. After digesting his ideas for a while, I went back and browsed G. William Domhoff's site and then thought of the connections to Corey Robin's book, The Reactionary Mind, which philosopher Gary Gutting, in a post dated February 1, 2012, says "presents conservatives as fundamentally committed to stopping “subordinate classes” from taking power from the ruling elite."

I don't see how anyone could possibly improve upon Gutting's analysis and confirmation of my opinion lies in reading the essay by Bond Graham.

So, where does that leave the Occupy movement? I think the time for the occupation camps is over and marches in the streets are becoming counter-productive because they provide opportunities for Black Bloc elements to create the conditions for even more oppression. I'm not active in the Occupy movement, so I have very little "standing", but I'd like to see a move in the direction of workers' cooperatives, community gardening, and other similar initiatives towards independence from capitalism. I don't think it is useful to go up against the power of the elite any longer - they have clearly demonstrated that they will not allow dissent, in a thousand ways. It is time to move on and establish institutions that empower us and enable us to achieve our goals.

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Submitted by lambert on

I think that the Europeans moved away from encampments last summer. The Spanish indignados went into foreclosure prevention. That might work here.

The thing about Occupation, though, is that the use of public space is important and visible. It may be that encampment is not the way forward though. We'll see. While doing the same thing and expected a different result isn't the way forward, I freely admit that I'm not a tactician or even an original strategist. I'm a writer and a critic, and I'm good at using discourse as a lens and being prematurely correct on that basis. There are people a lot smarter than me who will propose -- exactly as in the original occupations.

Submitted by Alcuin on

While I agree that "the use of public space is important and visible", I don't understand how any lasting change will result from such use. I think it is time to start establishing a political voice - the agrarian populists in the 1880s achieved much by organizing and pushing back against the oligarchy of that day. Even though we Leftists like to cast aspersions on the political process, at the end of the day, that is the only way to achieve a measure of change. If the Occupy movement would support the Green Party, I think that would be an excellent start.