The Revolution Will Be Streamed

#History

Fri, Nov 18th, 2011 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this article on The Morning News, an author that simply goes by the name of Sparrow recalls the difference between the demonstrations he attended (his first one in 1967) with the one at Liberty Square (what he calls Zuccotti Park).

A "live feed" is not television, I have decided. (Just as YouTube is not television.) Nonetheless, I don't usually watch live feeds, because I'm not that interested in what I'm being fed. But Liberty Square is essential to me. I was born in 1953, and attended my first peace demonstration in 1967 (radicalized by my anti-war rabbi). I began to read everything I could find about politics, and went to numerous rallies. (Martin Luther King spoke in Central Park, at one.) I watched, as a young teenager, the progress of the New Left -- its progress and decline. Those were revolutionary times, but there was no actual revolution. Many of us wanted one, but the uprising never came. All the movements were either too organized -- dogmatic Maoists, Marxist-Leninists, Stalinists -- or too disorganized -- hippies taking drugs, and taking more drugs. Another problem was sexism. All the groups were led by cocky, egoistic men. Women did much of the work: mimeographing, washing dishes, making phone calls. In return, they were ignored except while being fucked. Eventually, a number of them left and began their own movement, which was ultimately much more successful.

In Liberty Square is a revolution. The word that comes to mind is "disciplined." The group feels disciplined, but joyous. Forty years after the '60s, drugs have lost much of their charm. And so has Communism. There is no word for the new system being invented at this encampment -- and at all the other ones around the world. I am tempted to call it "cooperationism." People are learning the pleasures of cooperating. It's not a paradise; there are numerous difficulties. But what makes Liberty Square exist is the urge to help. Not exactly to share, but to help. Communism divides up all the goods of a society, and redistributes them (at least in theory). Cooperationism is voluntary, spontaneous.

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