Three years after the May 1968 uprising that swept the world, the great French philosopher Michel Foucault observed that a key strategy of power is to “appear inaccessible to events.” Power, Foucault argued with a nod towards 1968’s failed insurrection, acts to “dispel the shock of daily occurrences, to dissolve the event … to exclude the radical break introduced by events.
Forty years later, in light of Occupy, Foucault’s observation still strikes home. Despite achieving the impossible at unprecedented speed – sparking a global awakening, triggering a thousand people’s assemblies worldwide, and giving birth to a visceral anti-corporate, pro-democracy spiritual insurrection – Occupy is now struggling through an existential moment. Our movement has been dealt a blow: our May 1 and follow-up events have been dissolved by power; the status quo has shown itself to be far more resilient than many of us expected.
Now a passionate debate is emerging within our movement. On one side are those who cheer the death of Occupy in the hopes that it will transform into something unexpected and new. And on the other are patient organizers who counsel that all great movements take years to unfold.Read the rest at Adbusters
Occupy's Spiritual Quest — The fork in the road ahead
Posted by Adbusters
What this will do is separate the revolutionaries from the evolutionaries both strategically and tactically, as well as over policy. Pretty much the same thing happened pretty early on in the Sixties, too.
The scene was very different in the Sixties, at the beginning of the protest movement, however. The Democrats held the presidency and solidly controlled both branches of Congress, and the courts were dominated by years of Democratic administrations, with the interruption of the Eisenhower moderate Republican years. Still, all hell broke loose at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
This time promises to be different. We are still it the early stages, and this has gone viral globally through social media and networking.
All the conditions that sparked Occupy and Indignados remain in place, and TPTB around the world are determined to press their hand. This promises to be another "long march." Expect the unexpected.
The protestors now realize just how asymmetrical this is and how determined TPTB are to crush social protest and political dissent. They will have to adapt.
However bad things get though, it will be nothing like what the anarchists faced in the lead up to the failed revolution of 1848 and the aftermath. However, they changed history in unexpected ways that are still unfolding.
This is shaping up just the beginning of the next awakening predicted by Strauss & Howe in The Fourth Turning (1997) and Ravi Batra (2007) in The Next Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos. It's not going to happen overnight.
If this lasts through the decade at least, as I believe it will, the issues will be decided by an electorate that will be very different in demographic composition and culture. The chances that neoliberalism will survive are extremely slim. It's just a matter of time.
However, youth is impatient and will attempt to push its hand, so there are going to be rough spots, especially when the next financial and economic crisis hits and global warming obviously starts to bite.
This will be the predominant trend of the decade and it will have broad and deep consequences socially, politically, and economically.