Lessons of Occupy: Towards a Consequential Socialist Politics for the 99 Percent
AbstractThis research uses the Occupy Movement as a springboard to discuss contemporary political struggles in Canada. Drawing on the recent experiences of Occupy activists, the author discusses the limitations of non-hierarchical, consensus and prefigurative strategies within social movements. In particular, I suggest that such practices, which are meant to challenge routine social inequalities, actually tend to reproduce them. I then ask how those who are exploited within capitalism can consciously and collectively push contemporary struggle in a socialist direction. Drawing on the works of Marx and Marxist theorists, the paper examines how an understanding of class, capital and hegemony are significant to the contemporary social justice agenda. Thus, insights from the empirical experiences of the Occupy movement are used to explore the broader question of how it is possible to bring about revolutionary transformation to a world capitalist system that is in crisis.
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