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Labour through the looking glass: 15 early-morning speculations on the Corbyn surge | Dougald Hine
As the newspaper columnists woke up to what was happening, they reached for easy historical parallels. Among the most popular was the Militant tendency, the Trotskyite group whose entryist tactics saw them expelled from the Labour party in the 1980s.

The comparison reflects a failure to understand how the world had changed in the intervening decades. A takeover might be under way, but it was of an entirely different kind.

Militant was a party-within-a-party, a Marxist sect with an ideological leader, hierarchical, disciplined in its tactics, wedded to its own ‘correct analysis’. It belonged to another era, an era in which you met someone who told you a totally different story of how the world worked to anything you’d ever heard, gave you a newspaper and invited you to a meeting. An era in which almost the only way to develop and sustain a critique of the society in which you had grown up was to adhere to an alternative orthodoxy, a support group of people who schooled you in a different way of making sense of the world.

This mode of politicisation belonged to an era in which Google and Wikipedia were unimaginable. You had no way of checking or filtering the information and analysis on offer from your new friends, little chance of exploring and developing it. The experience resembled joining an evangelical sect.

The survivors of these sects may have got excited by the Corbyn surge, but the character of the surge was quite different: it resembled the waves of networked disruption that first broke into view in the events of 2011. This was not a stealthy entryist takeover, years in the planning, it was a spontaneous movement to Occupy the Labour party, a suggestion taken up with an energy that took everyone by surprise. Such networks are like a mood in action, a rolling conversation that gathers momentum and brings the boundaries of possibility into question.
corbyn  labour  democracy  politics  society  speculation  occupy 
23 days ago by timcowlishaw
Harnessing Mistrust for Civic Action « … My heart’s in Accra
In his 2012 book, “Twilight of the Elites”, Christopher Hayes suggests that the political tension of our time is not between left and right, but between institutionalists and insurrectionists. Institutionalists believe we can fix the world’s problems by strengthening and revitalizing the institutions we have. Insurrectionists believe we need to abandon these broken institutions we have and replace them with new, less corrupted ones, or with nothing at all. The institutionalists show up to vote in elections, but they’re being crowded out by the insurrectionists, who take to the streets to protest, or more worryingly, disengage entirely from civic life.
politics  revolution  occupy  2015 
5 weeks ago by jju
Occupy Wall Street just won - The Washington Post
The secret to having your idea gain traction is to get the idea right. That’s what Occupy did. They didn’t know what to do about it because the game was fixed at every level. No agenda items they proposed stood a chance until more people got clued in to how the political terrain had frozen. So they stood there in the rain and cold, and the idea got into the back of everyone’s head that maybe they had a point. Some further reflection was all it took.

Now it’s all anyone is talking about.
occupywallstreet  occupy  occupywallst  inspiration  elections  usa  activism 
5 weeks ago by msszczep
Rich people are jerks, explained
[I]f one accepts, at least for the sake of argument, the notion that the wealthy exert substantial political power, our findings may shed some light on the current state of American politics. For example, the contemporary emphasis in Washington on reducing the federal budget deficit addresses what is, by far, the most important public problem in the minds of wealthy Americans—though not of the American public as a whole. The willingness of many policy makers to cut popular social welfare programs, and their reluctance to increase taxes on people with high incomes, may be explained in part by the fact that social welfare programs and increased taxes on the rich are much less popular among wealthy people than among ordinary citizens. And the turn away from economic regulation in recent decades—a turn that left exotic financial derivatives unregulated before the 2008–09 financial crash in which they played such a prominent part, and that left Washington surprisingly inhospitable to more rigorous banking regulation even after that crash—may be attributable, in part, to the distinctive antipathy of wealthy citizens to government regulation of the economy.
10 weeks ago by mattkelly
Turn on the Heat: The Underground History of Occupation
“Dancing, in its many forms and contexts, from rent parties and block parties to raves and riots, often involves the active and intentional occupation of spaces that are highly regulated and controlled, and not intended for popping, locking, or any similar kind of social relation. Young people from marginalized communities have long politicized this everyday practice simply by insisting on doing it wherever they want, whenever they want.”
dance  activism  race  occupy 
11 weeks ago by coreycaitlin
Too Much Violence and Pepper Spray at the OWS Protests: The Videos and Pictures - The Atlantic
“The Occupy movement is both very new and rather diffuse so far, and appears less interested in gaining power than making power uncomfortable and raising far-reaching questions and public awareness.

Just over two months old, it has succeed in changing the terms of the national debate about income inequality in this country with shocking rapidity. And whether it flames out in a rash of alienating and chaotic street clashes or builds into a goal-oriented and sustainable force in American life – sustainable as any protest movement, that is, which is to say not very – it’s clear it has already made one of the most significant interventions into the national debate on economic equality in years."
occupy  politics  violence  activism 
11 weeks ago by coreycaitlin

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