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View Diary: The Left Drops the Ball (244 comments)

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  •  I would describe it as a (1+ / 0-)
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    functioning, but nascent left.  

    In order for OWS to have a lasting impact, it will have to grow exponentially, which may be happening even as I write this. And despite extensive discussion elsewhere in this thread to the contrary, it will have to develop something resembling a political action arm capable of negotiating with TPTB. Because eventually, if things play out as we hope, TPTB will be forced to negotiate. We made them give us a place at the table in the 60's, and that's what's necessary now.

    Let's not forget that even within the past decade we've had street protests that dwarfed this one. The protests immediately preceding the invasion of Iraq are thought to have been the largest (world-wide) in history, but they had no appreciable effect on the people they were aimed at.

    The reason this one might have a chance of making a dent where those didn't, nor the enormous march on the Republican National Convention, nor several 250,000-strong marches (all of which I participated in) against various aspects of the Bush Administration is that OWS has no plans to leave. Merely making our discontent public isn't nearly enough. We have to make it a problem (though not a violent one), an annoyance, an ongoing embarrassment.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 05:18:24 PM PDT

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    •  It also needs to be understood (1+ / 0-)
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      as years in the making in terms of change rather than next week after I had a protest.

      This has to be a decades long willingness to fight.

      Its easy to get the middle class hot and bothered for a moment, but its the long term that concerns me. I am looking for life long people, not just in the  moment.

      I don't consider what's happening nascient until I see some long term thinking going on. Right now it feels more like what I see at Daily Kos on a daily basis. They need to think long term. That list of theirs is uninspiring- its the typical list that I expect from this kind of moment - a laundry list- much of it redundant - rather than a focused clear headed effort.

      I was lucky enough to have grown up with people who were involved in the civil rights movemnt. They were prepared to fight for years and decades and they did exaclty that. That's what needs to be understood here. I would love to know if people appreciate that point? I don't know yet if they do. time will tell.

      •  The only reason I called it (0+ / 0-)

        "nascent" is the apparent willingness of the demonstrators to stay as long as it takes. Otherwise I'd have no more hope for it than I did for all those huge demonstrations of the 2000s.

        I, too, have some criticisms of their list, both in redundancies and priorities (non-human animals?). It reads like what it is, something written with considerable thought and effort, but by a group of very young people inexperienced in such things.

        There's a distinct wariness among them of people with a history on the left, which may be a result of just the the blurring of the meaning of "left" that we've already discussed. But there's a price to be paid for that disconnect; it reminds me of the Vietnam-era "don't trust anyone over the age of 30" attitude. Turning their backs on those with more experience may give them the independence they feel is crucial, but it also condemns them to re-inventing the wheel.

        I hope they will eventually sort out which people/organizations are genuine allies and which ones are co-opters. They'll figure it out if they hang together long enough.

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:47:11 AM PDT

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