This is from a Facebook Note written in October 2011 as Occupy was taking off. I thought it was interesting reading considering everything that happened after.
Hey ya’ll, like a lot of you, I’m trying to process this #occupy stuff. I’ve talked to a fair number of people whose opinions I really respect, as well as thought about all this stuff a lot on my own. In any case, here are some underdeveloped, thesis like rough things I’ve come up with and I was wondering what ya’ll thought of them?
1) Involves a large number of new, inexperienced people. Many of these people are part of the leadership or main/principal organizers.
2) Seems to also be a significant amount of, for lack of a better term, Huffington Post liberals with at least some amount of experience with the radical left (probably bad experiences).
3) On the fringes there are right wing “libertarians” (mostly the young set) and some conspiracy loons.
4) Much of the radical left or activist left feel outflanked, as if people have encroached on their turf. This has lead to non-participation or participation based on critiques alone, justified by questionable decision making structures and/or responded to by inflammatory blogposts because of a lack of race, gender, anti-authoritarian, anti-electoral stances and/or an insistence on pacifism.
5) There is an almost across the board insistence on pacifism and some anarchists/socialists are concentrating on breaking this as an important strategic move to concentrate on. I’m not convinced and find this very questionable as a primary target.
6) It has much in common with portions of the spirit of Madison, in that a self-perceived (white) middle class is feeling angry at not getting what they feel they were promised or entitled to. This sentiment is generalized to the extent that it limits the appeal of participation to demographics who never had that promise, or whose small feeling of entitlement ended decades ago during the 1970s/1980s assault on the working class.
7) Social media is playing an enormously important part, but there are elements of “paper tiger” syndrome because of it heavy reliance on it.
8) Who controls these media outlets or who and to what degree they are accountable, whether they be social or traditional, seems of vital importance when advancing issues that will be potentially controversial with possible problematic leadership/main organizers.
9) That has played out in Chicago and Denver by those who control said social media, making public accusations of anarchists/radicals being provocateurs through these channels.
10) That in LA, public identifying and redbaiting individuals who are advancing a less conciliatory outlook has also happened. If this kind of conduct represents a continuing trend, how are we going to deal with it without tit for tat condemnations and accusations that equal a scorched earth policy that is ultimatly destructive?
11) This movement has less in common with anything in the Arab World, but much more in common with the assembly movements in Greece and Spain a few months back, with many of the same issues.