Friday, October 21, 2011

Jacobin Debate on Occupy Wall Street, featuring Malcolm Harris, Jodi Dean, Doug Henwood, Natasha Lennard, and Chris Maisano

      I'm far from the first person to put this debate held by the Jacobin magazine on their blog, but it seems like an important discussion to spread around.  There are some limitations to the debate, leaving out the voices of activists of color, to point to the most significant lack in the debate.  One also has to accept that the format is a little scattered.  That aspect of the debate didn't bother me.  Maybe its my aesthetic education in punk, but I enjoyed the chaotic aspects of the debate.  It showed that there was some real energy in the room, and overall, I feel that this material is worth the two hours of time, even from the small screen of a computer.  I don't feel much need to lay out the terms of debate, because even if you don't know these people, the terms are established fairly quickly.


  1. It's really disheartening. I wish I could have identified with more in these people.

    And it's really sad that the audience is so much smarter and clearer than most of the panelists.

    These people are for the most part quite disconnected from that part of the silent majority who actually wants to hear them speak.

    Sorry to be a downer, it's just sad.

  2. I guess I disagree with this. I'm not in agreement with either side of the discussion, but I think they do a good job of thinking through some issues and controversies. Ultimately, this isn't a discussion directed towards some mythical 'silent majority' (why are we operating in the vocabulary of Nixon and Agnew,anyways?), but is in dialogue with a whole set of conversations going on between organizers, thinking through questions of tactics and strategies. The questions being posed are focused on asking how to get folks involved, how to keep the movement going, etc.
    To be honest, I'm not sure why you need to 'identify' with the panelists. I also find your comments about the crowd confusing. Some folks say some smart stuff, but some of it was conspiracy theory nonsense, and other unproductive material.