November 22nd, 2011
The Rift Within Occupy
Editors and readers expect pundits to weigh in on the brutal eviction of Occupy Wall Street from New York’s Zuccotti Park. People will ask: Does this mean the beginning of the end for the Occupy movement?
Now that we’ve dispensed with that, let’s discuss a major rift within the movement: Reformists versus revolutionaries.
Revolutionaries want to overthrow the government. They want to get rid of existing economic, political and social relations and create new ones. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are enemies.
Reformists want radical changes too. For example, Occupiers want to eliminate the corrupting influence of corporate money on politics. Unlike revolutionaries, however, they are OK with the basic structure of the system: the Constitution, Congress, 50 states, capitalism, and so on. They are willing to work with establishment liberals (MoveOn.org, Amy Goodman, The Nation, Mother Jones, etc.) and the Democratic Party.
You can see the reform-vs.-revolution split whenever Occupiers discuss actions and demands.
Reformists say: Let’s move our accounts from banks to credit unions. Encourage Black Friday shoppers to buy from locally-owned businesses. Demand that Congress pass a constitutional amendment abolishing corporate personhood. Restore the Glass-Steagall Act.
Those tactics leave revolutionaries cold. They don’t want to nibble around the edges of a system they despise. If revolutionaries get their way, there won’t be a Congress. Members of the House and Senate will go to jail. No one will need to boycott banks or choose which merchants are least malevolent.
Capitalism won’t exist.
Continue reading at: http://www.rall.com/rallblog/2011/11/22/syndicated-column-revolution-versus-reform