Reaction to Chris Hedges -- Pgcuninghame 00:03, 13 August 2013 (PDT)
I'm somewhat sceptical about one of his claims, that Occupy has been destroyed by the US state. While the twin process of repression and discrediting on one hand and political recuperation/reintegration of some parts of the movement on the other, has taken place and has had an effect in lowering its public profile, I think that news of its death has been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase a famous aphorism. After all, this is what the State does best: carrots for those who play ball, and a big stick for those who don't. The interesting question is why are some commentators, including evidently radical ones such as Hedges, so anxious to announce the death of Occupy? Is it because Occupy is a disturbance and annoyance for those on the "Left" who wish to impose state-based solutions and view society-based ones, such as Occupy, with distrust? I don't wish to brush over the failings and weaknesses of Occupy for one moment, but a street-based directly acting anti-capitalist movement, such as Occupy-Indignados-Far Left of the Arab Spring seemed to be offering in 2011-2012, and which again we have seen in Turkey and Brazil this summer, not only challenges corporate capitalism but also the old way of doing politics, based on fixed organizations, whether parties, unions,NGOs or even social movement organizations, all of which in the end exist in reference to the State. In fact we have seen a similar diffidence expressed by the Latin American institutional and historical Left towards the Brazilian revolts against the centre-left PT government under Dilma, because there are no "leaders" to make (demobilization) deals with behind closed doors and because the demands they make are not classically leftist, but pragmatic and based on needs rather than ideological positioning. The class composition of these movements is also varied, closer to the idea of "multitude" in Hardt & Negri, than the proletariat or "people power" movements of the past. So overall, these movements, which are still embryonic and only just beginning to flex their muscles, both politically and organizationally, are already beginning to break down historical notions over how struggle is to be conducted and by whom. Therefore, I think Hedges discomfort with Occupy, which pushes him into a mistakenly premature announcement of its death at the hands of the US state, is a sign that he has not completely broken with the Establishment after all, or at least not yet.
I follow Mr Hedges on YouTube and that is where I found this episode and therefore this site Mr Hedges is an honourable man and stands up for his convictions. Watching him being hauled off to jail during the Wall Street protests was heart wrenching; though I sensed that his jailers were doing a job they did not want to do—though they may have been warned to be careful with all the camera’s rolling. Please include as many posts on this great man as you wish. I shall watch them all. Namaste and care, mhikl