Radical media, politics and culture.

'Occupy' Goes Global: Is Another World Possible?
Francesca Rheannon

The Occupy movement is birthing a new global paradigm of democratic
governance. Can capitalism adapt?

On October 15, 2011, a tide of protests swept across 1,500 cities in 82
countries as the Occupy movement went global. The largest were in Spain,
where more than a million people filled squares in Madrid, Barcelona,
Valencia and other cities all over the country. That’s not surprising,
given that Occupy Wall Street, which sparked the global day of protests,
itself took inspiration from (among others) the massive demonstrations
of the Spanish “indignados” in May of this year.

In Santiago, Chile, 100,000 marched; Lisbon: 20,000; New York: 20,000;
Berlin: 10,000—to name only a few. Building on the protests occurring
earlier this year, from the Arab Spring to Spain, Greece, Chile, Tel
Aviv and now the USA, the Occupy movement is spreading a new culture of
participatory democracy around the globe.

The Original Mad Men
What Can OWS Learn From a Defunct French Avant-Garde Group?
Gary Kamiya

Strange bedfellows don’t get any stranger than this. To the joy of a few
dozen graduate students and culture jammers, and the utter bemusement of
just about everybody else, the most significant American protest
movement in years has been spending time under the sheets with an
obscure French avant-garde movement whose ideas are so crazily
millenarian they make Jacques Derrida look like Mitt Romney.

I’m referring to the peculiar liaison between Occupy Wall Street and the
Situationists – creators of one of those whacked-out intellectual
commodities that have constituted France’s most lucrative cultural
exports for more than a century.

"Pluto's Republic"
John Michael Greer

The Archdruid Report (October 12 2011)

Last week's Archdruid Report post ended with what might, without too
much exaggeration, be called a cliffhanger. Talk about magic, as we've
been doing for the last few weeks, and point out that using magic to
help people think more clearly has to be done one at a time with the
active cooperation of the person in question, and it's a safe bet that
very quickly someone's going to ask, if people en masse can't be made to
understand, might it be possible at least to make them behave?

That's the question I posed last week. It's a common notion, and unlike
most common notions about magic these days, it has some relation to the
actual possibilities of magic. To answer the question, though, it's
going to be necessary to start with a corpse in a bathroom.

The bathroom in question was on the University of Chicago campus, on an
otherwise pleasant spring day in 1991. The corpse belonged to Ioan
Culianu, a Romanian emigre who had a stellar reputation in academic
circles as a brilliant historian of religions, and a quieter but no less
impressive reputation in certain other circles as a modern practitioner
of Renaissance magic. Culianu had been shot once in the back of the head
by an unknown assailant. It's been suggested that his murder had a good
deal to do with his involvement in Romanian politics, as one of the most
vocal opponents of the regime that succeeded the Communists in that
country, but the case remains unsolved to this day.

Occupy The World! To the Barricades Comrades?
William Bowles

Four years ago in a Ministry of Defence Review, the Whitehall Mandarins,
more astutely than any so-called Lefty, determined the following:

“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a
revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by
Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of
national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’
attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and
a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel
disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are
likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as
the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins
to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes
might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape
transnational processes in their own class interest.” — ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007

Yeah, I know, I'm always using this quote (I first used it four years
ago) but it illustrates the great intellectual divide between the
political class and the citizens they rule, including our Left, now made
so apparent by what the pundits are now calling the 'Occupy The World'
(OTW) movement. It seems that only our very own ruling class foresaw

Objectives of The Debtor's Party
Dmytri Kleiner

In a private conversation on that great modern Stoa, Facebook, my friend Tiziana Terranova, endorsed the Objectives of the Debtors' Party, saying "there's nothing about these objectives I could not share," but went on to ask a rather pointed question:

"It is the notion of starting a political party that leaves me baffled, coming as you know from an autonomist political background that has been arguing for constituent power, that is the invention of new institutions altogether. Why try to reinvent an old formula like a political party?"

Why a Political Party?

The Fight for "Real Democracy"
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri

Demonstrations under the banner of Occupy Wall Street resonate with so
many people not only because they give voice to a widespread sense of
economic injustice but also, and perhaps more important, because they
express political grievances and aspirations. As protests have spread
from Lower Manhattan to cities and towns across the country, they have
made clear that indignation against corporate greed and economic
inequality is real and deep. But at least equally important is the
protest against the lack -- or failure -- of political representation.
It is not so much a question of whether this or that politician, or this
or that party, is ineffective or corrupt (although that, too, is true)
but whether the representational political system more generally is
inadequate. This protest movement could, and perhaps must, transform
into a genuine, democratic constituent process.

Reflections for the US Occupy Movement
Peter Gelderloos

After the courageous revolts of the Arab Spring, the next phenomenon of popular resistance to capture the world media’s attention was the plaza occupation movement that spread across Spain starting on the 15th of May (15M). Subsequently, attention turned back to Greece, and now to the public occupations spreading across the US, inspired by the Wall Street protests.

The Crackdown in Spain
Peter Gelderloos

Back in June, the popular rage that has been growing in Barcelona, in tandem with other parts of the world, coalesced once again as 200,000 people blockaded the Catalan Parliament in an attempt to prevent the passage of the latest austerity laws. These laws cannot accurately be called cutbacks, for in addition to slashing healthcare and education, they augment the ranks and arsenal of the police and continue the urbanization projects that tailor the city to the needs of tourism and social control.

The Awakening in America
Ken Knabb

"A radical situation is a collective awakening. . . . In such situations] people become much more open to new perspectives, readier to question previous assumptions, quicker to see through the usual cons. . . . People learn more about society in a week than in years of academic 'social studies' or leftist 'consciousness raising.' . . . Everything seems possible -- and much more IS possible. People can hardly believe what they used to put up with in 'the old days.' . . . Passive consumption is replaced by active communication. Strangers strike up lively discussions on street corners. Debates continue round the clock, new arrivals constantly replacing those who depart for other activities or to try to catch a few hours of sleep, though they are usually too excited to sleep very long. While some people succumb to demagogues, others start making their own proposals and taking their own initiatives. Bystanders get drawn into the vortex, and go through astonishingly rapid changes. . . . Radical situations are the rare moments when qualitative change really becomes possible. Far from being
abnormal, they reveal how abnormally repressed we usually are; they make our 'normal' life seem like sleepwalking." --Ken Knabb, The Joy of Revolution

* * *

The "Occupy" movement that has swept across the country over the last four weeks is already the most significant radical breakthrough in America since the 1960s. And it is just beginning.

The Peak Oil Initiation
John Michael Greer

I sometimes wonder what historians of the far future will think as they
pore over what's left of the records of our own time. It's unlikely that
they'll have a great deal more to go on than, say, Renaissance scholars
had when they started to piece together the story of Rome's decline and
fall; our civilization produces a much greater volume of records than
Rome did, to be sure, but most of them are in much more transitory
forms; parchment lasts for many centuries if it's kept dry and not
handled much, while a few decades at most - and in the case of the
internet, a few seconds of power loss - is enough to silence most of our
current information media forever.