Orientation toward Occupy
The Occupy protests continue to dwindle in the Unites States. This is expected. The weather has played a role. It is harder to organize in the winter. The police repression has played a role. The inability of the Democrats to fully co-opt Occupy has resulted in Occupiers losing their status as media darlings. The media has turned against them. Media coverage is much more hostile today than it was at the beginning of the movement. Also, people in the United States have short attention spans. They are easily bored. People lose interest. However, most importantly, Occupy is running up against the social forces of trying to sustain a movement for social change in the First World. The vast majority of First World peoples do not have an interest in radical, egalitarian social change. They simply benefit too much from the system. They are too comfortable. Occupy is not about Leading Light Communism, is not about a radical reorganization at the deepest levels to bring about a world without oppression. Occupy is dominated by social-democratic and populist rhetoric. Even though social-democratic reform is often in the interests of most people in the United States, most people are simply too comfortable to fight very hard for it. People are too a-politicized and comfortable to even stand up for their own bourgeois interests. This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, increasing the living standard of First World peoples as a whole is almost always connected to impoverishing Third World peoples. Nonetheless, Occupy still lingers on.
Could Occupy get a second wind? It will pick up a bit in the spring, but probably not return to previous levels. If the economy goes downward, then we could see more people at Occupy in the spring. However, at the moment, it does not appear the economy is falling. Rather, the latest numbers indicate a slight improvement in the situation. Occupy may be able to get a boost of energy by combining its efforts with the May Day efforts of the migrants. Occupy may get some kind of traction out of combining its efforts with the NATO/G8 protests this year. The “full-moon factor” could also boost Occupy’s numbers. It is 2012. Many New Religious Movements believe that 2012 heralds the transformation of the world. This idea, based upon, often chauvinist, misappropriation and misinterpretation of the Maya calendar, is widespread in pop culture. Movies have been made about the supposed significance of 2012. Many tomes have been written on the topic. There is a long history of apocalyptic “Great Awakening”-type movements in the United States. There is a possibility that Occupy could get a second wind if its numbers are boosted by people thinking that Occupy is somehow connected to the end of the world. In a country where economic contradictions are not sharp, culture plays a more significant role in social motion.
The correct orientation toward Occupy is the same as before. Do not bother trying to lead directly. For those who can, create a Leading Light pole in the movement. Look for the most caring, the most daring, and the most intelligent. They are the ones who will be drawn toward the Leading Light. Educate. Recruit. If the economy does go downward, we need to have the organization ready to mobilize that minority who break left, toward internationalism. Discipline. Organization.