anarchism and occupy wall street
A few comments, in no order, about anarchism and OWS:
- OWS is probably the most important anarchist event in about 100 years of American history. Probably more important than the Battle of Seattle, in my view. You would really have to go back to the late 1800s when people really did fear anarchists.
- OWS represents a rebranding (sorry!!!) of American anarchism from black masks to (mostly) non-violent protest.
- It is an open question of how much anarchist identity penetrates the movement. It’s safe to say that anarchist egalitarian practices dominate, but does the average participant buy into a goal of a stateless society?
- Black bloc: OWS made anarchism come above ground. In my field work on the antiwar movement, I always found it a little disappointing that people resorted to the black bloc and often hid their identities. I am glad that OWS had allowed this movement to have a public face.
- Did OWS push distinctly anarchist ideas beyond organizational structure? Unclear to me.
- Question: Is OWS an distinctly American anarchism?
- Question: Will anarchism go underground again, or can OWS be used as a stepping stone to more fully integrate anarchism into American politics and culture?
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