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themadstork

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Member since: Thu Mar 10, 2011, 07:52 PM
Number of posts: 899

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Not neccessarily a bad thing

I mean, sure, he's spewing the standard reactionary swill (A+!) but he's clearly been exposed to the movement in some way, and it's affected him deeply enough that he takes a fairly strong (absurd but strong) position on it.

Not all the work of influencing public opinion and resetting the conceptual framework is roses and baby butts. The abolitionists were often mocked as impractical unserious ridiculous etc. etc. etc. by slavery reformers who advocated the much more popular (and seemingly sensible) view that black americans should be re-colonized to Africa (!!!!) following their emancipation. How far would we have been set back if the Hard Line Abolitionists had played the pussyfoot polite-society game and withdrawn their contention that not only should the slaves be free, but they should be free Americans? - that this is also their Home?


We are accused of breaking up traffic - they were accused of trying to break up the UNION for the sake of their silly egalitarian views.

Sometimes all one can do is make their case with coherence, generosity, and persistence - and accept that they cannot control others' opinions.

Just a few months ago

seems like many DUers were convinced that the general populace was too lazy and apathetic to actually get out in the street and fight economic injustice.

Now that they actually are, we get the chorus of DUers who are convinced that they know the One True Way to Protest, and who seem very eager to see OWS "flame out."


First, I think generally you should be very suspicious of anyone who claims that in order to be successful OWS must use one certain tactic only, or conform to one line of thinking only. I'm not sure if it stems from simple narrow-mindedness and ignorance re the history of protest movements, or from some other less innocent desire to see OWS fail, but it commits the basic error of mistaking the simple answer for the accurate one. It would, after all, make protesting a hell of a lot easier, wouldn't it, if one certain protest-strategy were proven to Always Work? If there were one true way?

Second, I think something underpinning a lot of this is a general distaste for the masses, in the mode of our founders: the "great beast," etc. The masses are too lazy and stupid to protest. . . and when they do protest, they're too lazy and stupid to do it "correctly". . . There are some who will always be pointing out what the masses are too lazy and stupid to ever do.

It's a pretty normal reactionary impulse to think of the masses in that way. People in huge groups are stupid, loud, and stinky. Right? Why should we even consider trusting their judgement? Why should we value their collective action over our precious armchair quaterbacking?

In scanning the various criticisms of OWS (here and wherever) I think it's worthwhile to try and determine what amounts to authentic constructive criticism and what comes from a place of automatic contempt for the masses. And if anybody is surprised by the "with us or against us"-type replies, it's probably because your post came off as being the latter.
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