One of my graduate students, Adam Breckenridge, posted a link to Douglas Ruchkoff’s CNN article “Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase?” to facebook this morning. The article deserves some quality attention. I was particularly inspired by this paragraph:
What upsets banking’s defenders and politicians alike is the refusal of this movement to state its terms or set its goals in the traditional language of campaigns.
That’s because, unlike a political campaign designed to get some person in office and then close up shop (as in the election of Obama), this is not a movement with a traditional narrative arc. As the product of the decentralized networked-era culture, it is less about victory than sustainability. It is not about one-pointedness, but inclusion and groping toward consensus. It is not like a book; it is like the Internet.
I’ve never read Douglas Rushkoff before, but now I will. Soon.
Sometime ago I wrote a post on the Tea Party that argued it was an emergent response to the rigidity of America’s
two party system, saturated in waves of cynicism, disaffection, and outrage. Of course, then the Tea Party was incorporated into the tradition media-political networks, and it lost its initial affective groping for something other than politics-as-usual. So here, again, I think we see the seeds of a desire for another politics.