Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It"-More on Occupy Wall Street and Elections

If allies of the Occupy movements-particularly labor unions- want to get involved in electoral politics, that would be certainly advance the movements long term goals.

But for the movement itself to link itself to the Democratic Party, or to support President Obama's re-election campaign would undermine its moral force, dissipate its energy and destroy the very "visionary" quality that has energized a generation of young people previously regarded as apathetic or hopelessly materialistic ( Miley Cyrus, for God's sake, has just produced a video supporting the occupations)

Supporting the Obama re-election campaign, in particular, would be the death knell of the Occupy movements.

This is a President whose Secretary of Education just handed off responsibility for teacher recruitment to Microsoft, who is responsible for deporting more immigrants than George W Bush, and under whose watch Democratic mayors and college presidents unleashed a level of force on peaceful Occupy protests comparable to what Southern segregationists used on Civil Rights demonstrators in the early 60's

He is a President of the 1 Percent, just like his predecessor, and the Occupy movements need to hammer home that fact day in day out even while some of their allies mobilize the vote for him.

I think the abolitionist analogy is interesting, but I take a long view

Using the analogy of the anti-slavery movement, I think we are in the 1830's not the 1850's. It took 30 years for American Plutocracy to develop into the political juggernaut it is now, and it may take 30 years to dismantle it. The last thing we need is for forces who dream of a more just social order to compromise those dreams now by relinquishing mass protest for involvement in an electoral process corrupted by big money.

The Occupy movements should retain their role as the conscience of the progressive movement, and as the voice of a newly politicized generation who realize that their future is dismal unless they make huge changes in the way the society is organized

To quote a famous country song "That's my Story and I'm Sticking to It"

Mark Naison

No comments: