Ah, the Economist- so full of fail and yet also so full of fail.
In response to: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-3
To begin with, attributing these organizational ideas to one man (even though he is certainly someone who has worked very hard to champion them) is an absurdity typical of the limited perspective on leadership, governance and collective ideation that this global movement is even now in the process of discrediting. Would the Economist have us believe that Mr. Graeber was hiding in the crowds gathered in Tahrir Square? That he was whispering in the ears of the youth of Spain? That he has pitched a tent in Tel Aviv and has had a foot in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico for the past two decades? How absurd!
Second of all, the author’s presumption of ideological homogeneity in Liberty Park flies in the face of every report (both laudatory and critical) on this movement- as well as my own lived experience of it. If you can call a demos that ranges from Trotskyists and Anarchists to Ron Paul enthusiasts ideologically and tactically homogeneous, then what in the blazes is your definition of heterogeneity?
And what is the author’s counterpoint to this collectivity? Our own dear ‘liberal democracy.’ The one that deals with the sticky problems of diversity by strictly limiting the range of acceptable discourse through organs such as the Economist. The petty bickering of governmental elites with barely distinguishable positions presented to us as a sensible democratic compromise.
In the General Assemblies of Liberty Park, we are confronted with the striking tableau of a thousand people gathered from many different parts of the world- people who represent this country’s racial and ethnic diversity far better then our political elites ever have, people living what the author might imagine to be mutually irreconcilable lives. And they make decisions together. Not because they all come into the process already in agreement, but precisely despite the fact that they often do not.
Spend a few hours in the park with your eyes and ears open and the author’s implicit suggestion that the process in question is not conducive to a pluralist discourse falls flat on its face.