It’s true we must guard against becoming devoted to the “brand”. “Occupy” as a brand is not the aim; it’s not the point to see that this name survives as the main narrative title. If the media succeed in discrediting that, then the aims and goals still remain. We simply need to articulate it and present it through new actions and new channels, and help create a new politics independent of the one presently failing us.
“We had a very powerful first six months,” Kevin Zeese, one of the original organizers of the Occupy encampment in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., said when I reached him by phone. “We impacted the debate. We impacted policy. We showed people they are not alone. We exposed the unfair economy and our dysfunctional government. We showed people they could have an impact. We showed people they could have power. We let the genie out of the bottle. No one will put it back in.”
This is the sense I have that made me disinterested in what was being said last night at the DNC. The RNC stirred me up more, because what they say and insinuate and express is truly scary. I’m BORED and jaded by the narratives of the Democrats, not that I won’t agree with some of it; but the level of acquiescence to “the same ole same ole’”; that “politics as usual” that Obama claimed would end has taught me to take it with many more “grains of salt”. The perpetuation of the free pass given to Wall Street started all this for me. I now support the Democrats and Obama ONLY as a buffer against a more aggressive, insane, sick group of cynical or deluded politicians bent on opening up the lines of infusion of further resources UP from the lower 99% up to the 1%. I simply want to forestall the destruction these people would do to our injured, struggling infrastructure. I see nothing approaching a New Deal from the Democrats. They truly haven’t learned from history. They’re simply locked into the least common denominator game of politics, too politically wimpy to even suggest anything so bold as the kinds of measures that would put people back to work again, and cower in the inane arguments of the GOP that the deficit all of a sudden matters immensely more than it did when they were handing out the favors; and matters more than the struggling , unemployed masses of employable, working people . I am not moved by the Democrats promises that “they know better than the other guys”. What good is that without the political will to fight for it? They have thus far handed renewed power and emboldened the banks to simply continue their manipulations and irresponsible gambles with money. Not exactly a shining testimony of the state of our politics, but there you have it.
The hope seems all the more “audacious” now. It has shifted for many into the hope of an increased upswell; an even more popular uprising that keeps building until the elite see that the only way to calm it is to give in to demands. As Hedges says, quoted in three earlier tweets:
Under a rational ruling class, one that responds to the demands of the citizenry, the energy in the street can be channeled back into the mainstream. But once the system calcifies as a servant of the interests of the corporate elites, as has happened in the United States, formal political power thwarts justice rather than advances it.