Probably one of the foremost criticisms of the US Occupy movement.
Too much in-camp micro-organisation, as Jason Hickel points out in his review of Occupy! Scenes from Occupied America (Verso) here, and too few attempts to make broader links with the labour movement (says Nikil Saval, one of the book’s contributors), or lower class occupants of the city and immigrants (says Audrea Lim).
Only a short read but it’s worth considering the main point; the fetishizing of political protest and failure to consider the millions of others outside of and beyond the confines of Zuccotti Park in New York and many other centres of the movement across the USA and the wider Western world. Grasping these kinds of actions less as coherent, long-run ‘movements’ and more as socio-political ‘events’ might go some way to understanding how they can often appear to fail. Especially in the face of widespread opposition in the media, across the political spectrum and in the general public. What we see there (‘direct democracy’) – singular, unique, specific – doesn’t fit in with what we see here (‘delegative democracy’) – routine, general, oblique. It requires action of a different kind, or simply a downgrading of the ‘pivotal’ nature of these events.