Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reform vs. Revolution Within Occupy by Shamus Cooke

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/occupy-chicago-photos_n_1080083.html#s401822
Reform vs. Revolution Within Occupy
 

Such a campaign may not at first appear as radical as some Occupy actions, and will likely draw accusations of "reformism" (the Democrats cannot be lumped into the reformist category, because they are not advocating pro-worker reforms; they are basically for maintaining the corporate dominated status quo by rolling back previously won reforms). Some "reformist" demands might include: a massive public Jobs program, Save Social Security and Medicare, End the Wars, Tax the Rich and Corporations, Medicare for All, etc.

Yet these demands are more radical than the Democrats can stomach, but make some Occupiers yawn. The irony is that only a truly mass movement of working people has the potential to achieve the various demands of the Occupy movement. And only a militant campaign fighting for these immediate demands has the real mass, revolutionary potential of organizing working people into a cohesive unit. But an Occupy movement that ignores these popular demands and fails to unite the vast majority-- and instead fights for more radical demands that are now only embraced by a relative few -- has no real revolutionary potential, since it ignores the basic needs of the majority of working people. 

This is the reformist-revolutionary paradox. It may seem bizarre to many radicals that previous revolutionary movements were won on the basis of a few basic demands: the Spanish revolution in the 1930s mobilized the 99% over land and freedom. The Russian revolution of 1917 aroused virtually the entire population with the demands for bread, peace, land and rule by the majority.

Countless other revolutionary movements united around a few, seemingly modest demands.  This is because there are few things that directly effect the majority of working people enough that they will assemble in the streets to fight.  In times of economic crisis these types of demands have revolutionary potential, since they are not freely granted by the employers nor their government, but must be fought for. 

Occupy has yet to win over the majority of the population, or even one-third. There have been several nationwide polls that support this. And although polls are not a perfect way to measure public support, they cannot be ignored (as President Bush insisted on doing). The following conclusion was drawn from a recent USA Today/ Gallup poll: 

"Americans' views about the Occupy Wall Street movement have changed little since mid-October, with most Americans taking a neutral stance toward it."  

To read the entire article, please click on the link provided below:

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28196
 

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