Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Childishness and OWS.

Abstruse philosophizing. I posted a comment on the post
When I heard the "human mic" the speaker had a real one, and the result was not a call and response but a catechism. I find the rarefied philosophizing around OWS deeply annoying. The anarchist vanguardism is counterproductive. The protests need to expand into something truly popular; If they stay within the core group of revolutionary idealists they'll collapse. The US is not Egypt and the understanding of world politics among American "tenured radicals" is woefully inadequate. [link to the Alastair Crooke piece on Syria] FYI: in Libya, thanks to NATO, polygamy is back. Politics is not conceptual art.
An Email from John Protevi: "I'm deleting this. Take your incoherent mutterings somewhere else. You're banned. Go somewhere else for your therapy. "

The first paragraph (about a third) of my response
The discussion of Egypt on your site revolved around the posts of an American philosophy teacher [Harman] in Cairo. He might as well have been an ophthalmologist talking politics to his friends back home but to you he was a philosopher so that made his comments important. I give him credit for staying but no credit to you for losing interest. I read Jadaliyya for serious intellectual engagement on Egypt and elsewhere. On Libya, you've said nothing of substance. Read the piece I linked by Alastair Crooke. It's important. Google him to understand why you should take him seriously.
NewAPPS posted an interview with Harman on Oct 5th. In a long exchange this is the only reference to Egyptian politics
I am overjoyed at the prospect that a new system of government might be able to unlock that talent and maybe bring home portions of the talented Egyptian diaspora– people who never saw enough opportunity at home in Egypt until now.
I quoted that in my final note to Protevi, adding a link posted this morning by AA.
Yet today’s generals are protecting an entirely different set of interests from those important to the Free Officers. They have presided over months of delay in the trials of Mubarak and his aides, and have stalled and bargained with the revolutionary forces over every aspect of constitutional and electoral reform. They have thrown over 8,000 people in military prisons, and have even turned their tanks and guns on peaceful demonstrators at Maspero. The generals’ statements in support of the January Revolution can no longer conceal their connections with the old regime and their return to the worst of its tactics.
Protevi's response: "Fuck you"

Maharawa vs Spitzer:
I’m firmly anti-capitalist, but I’ve been thinking about the Occupy Wall Street movement as not so much capitalist or anti-capitalist but about how can we think about ourselves outside of capitalism. That’s what we’ve been seeing down at Zuccotti Park. It’s creating modes of being and modes of social interaction that are somewhat outside of capitalism. So value isn’t only about creating wealth or having a job. It’s about creating a community based on shared skills, mutual aid, stuff like that.
earlier: Vallejo vs Graeber
It’s very similar to the globalization movement. You see the same criticisms in the press. It’s a bunch of kids who don’t know economics and only know what they’re against. But there’s a reason for that. it’s pre-figurative, so to speak. You’re creating a vision of the sort of society you want to have in miniature.
A note from a journalist who's covered the Middle East and Arab Spring, and now in NY
The only reason OWS won the first (small) battle of making it into the news was because of the police's heavyhandedness. The 99% people uploading their signs on tumblr aren't going to camp out with a bunch of kids/homeless people/drug addicts and raving sidewalk preachers who behave like they haven't had a conversation with anyone for 30 years.
related:
Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg on Naturalism. Rosenberg's latest book is subtitled "Enjoying Life without Illusions." My comment was not published.

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