Occupy the Crisis

13May12

A new blog you should check out: Occupy the Crisis

“….on the U.S. “Occupy” movement as counter-hegemonic force in the current political conjuncture”

Here’s some posts; go read em:

On Occupy, reproduction and the commons

In an earlier post, I pointed to David Harvey’s text on reclaiming the city as a site of the commons. Below, Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis highlight Occupy’s efforts towards “building [the] reproductive commons” as an oppositional struggle. And Jodi Dean and Marco Desiriis discuss “the commons” as a political demand, as well as the limitations of the commons as a practice divorced from an oppositional political strategy. Continue reading →

Neoliberalism and De-Democratization (in Detroit)

Many are arguing that political crisis management involves processes of de-democratization. The most clear examples lie in the introduction of technocratic leaders in Greece and Italy, to act as fiscal managers for the servicing of (predominantly foreign) debt. Yet this is also occurring in the United States, where a “reorganization of state apparatuses” is taking place involving the “strengthening of neoliberal administrative modes” (Albo and Evans 2011: 287).

The new fiscal control apparatuses are being given greater power over departments; tend to be more insulated from parliamentary oversight; have greater freedom to bypass public sector unions and challenge collective agreements; and are mandated to explore asset sales, commercialization and other modes of administration of policies.

A concrete example? Enter Detroit. Continue reading →

FAIR: Bored With Occupy—and Inequality. Class issues fade along with protest coverage

Occupy Wall Street is rightly credited with helping to shift the economic debate in America from a fixation on deficits to issues of income inequality, corporate greed and the centralization of wealth among the richest 1 percent. [….] As Occupy slowed down for the winter, though, would corporate media continue to talk about our increasingly stratified society without a vibrant protest movement forcing their hand? The answer, unsurprisingly, is no.

As mentions of “Occupy Wall Street” or “Occupy movement” waned in early 2012, so too have mentions of “income inequality” and, to an even greater extent, “corporate greed.” The trend is true for four leading papers (New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, L.A. Times), news programs on the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), cable (MSNBC, CNN, Fox News) and NPR, according to searches of the Nexis news media database. Google Trends data also indicates that from January to March, the phrases “income inequality” and “corporate greed” declined in volume of both news stories and searches.

[FAIR: Bored With Occupy—and Inequality. Class issues fade along with protest coverage. 05/2012]

Anticipating Occupy

In a journal entry in Summer 2011, a few months before Occupy Wall Street began, I jotted down:

There is a vicious campaign underway at the moment against ‘communism’, this despite the utter lack of a Left with any social power. The most meager Democratic Party proposals, or defenses of remaining aspects of the social safety net, minor extensions in unemployment aid, are branded ‘class warfare.’

This comes off as completely unnecessary in face of the absent Left, unchallenged neoliberalism, and the further concentration of wealth following the financial meltdown. Is it a preventative measure against a potential Left? An attempt through discursive power to disarm any possible counter-hegemonic forces from emerging? Do they hear and anticipate a coming insurrection (like Glenn Beck did back in 2009)?

It seems like the Right is pushing too far though. Are they not inadvertently creating an opening for a Left with all this talk about ‘communism’, a potentially different form of society, and about ‘class’, the unacknowledged fact of social life? Are they not over-stretching themselves and putting themselves in danger, by pushing (in the middle of a recession) to raise taxes on low-income households on the grounds that those households are not really poor because they in fact own luxury items like refrigerators? (This is when record percentages of people are living below the official poverty line, alarming levels of malnutrition are being recorded, increasing numbers of people are skipping meals to get by, and even taking their own lives). Is the Right not producing the very discourse which at any time could be turned against them?

Continue reading →

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One Response to “Occupy the Crisis”


  1. 1 Love, nothingness, Weimar and Greece « Anti-National Translation

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