Three Proposals to be Discussed, Rejected, or Immediately Put into Practice
1. A New Organic Unity 2. Spread the Occupation 3. General Strike
Against the bad blood and bad faith that currently divides the revolutionary movement in New York City, we propose that comrades put aside their differences to work towards goals above and beyond themselves. It’s no secret that long-held ideological and personal grudges have painfully resurfaced in the past few weeks, but more importantly, it’s also clear that these tiny, isolated, and warring factions within the movement have proved themselves incapable of intervening on any significant scale. That is to say, it’s become apparent that the micro-groupuscule form of organization, so predominant as a consequence of on-going factional sectarianism, has repeatedly demonstrated itself to be an ineffective dead-end. However, we are not so naive as to suggest that comrades go about mending torn and broken relationships, but rather that they look beyond the egotistical inward gaze that prevails in both the radical milieu and wider social spheres, to recognize opportunities presented by this historical moment, and to act with the dignity, respect, and solidarity befitting revolutionaries that are joined in struggle. For without these three guiding principles needed to forge a larger, unified organization with practical capacities, each initiative is doomed from the beginning and each small faction will go on enjoying the personal reassurance of being eternally right on the condition that they always fail.
Secondly, we propose a new occupation, with a character and scope different from the present one taking place in Lower Manhattan. The past weeks have shown that the successes in Oakland can be partially attributed to the Bay Area comrades’ ability to set the tone of the occupation from the very beginning, thus solidifying an explicit anti-Capitalist and anti-State sentiment in the initiatives that have subsequently emerged from Oscar Grant Park. Without a doubt, their example ought to be replicated immediately, and a new occupation in New York City (wherever that may be) would be essential for the movement to break through the limitations imposed upon it by the increasing bureaucratization of Zuccotti square. Rather than the usual, infantile “occupation for the sake of occupation” credo, which only achieves in securing personal pride and social capital for a select minority, we instead envision an occupation that is both extended in duration, and open and inclusive, with the purpose of fostering revolutionary forms of self-organization furnished with the power to forcefully oppose the dominant, middle-class pathology that presently reigns in the Financial District. The express purpose of this new occupation is to become a stepping stone to meet three specific demands currently dictated by the conditions of the struggle: 1) to become a platform for challenging the overwhelming pro-police and non-violent discourses and ideologies prevalent in the “Occupy Movement”; 2) to provide a springboard and point of reference for new modes of proletarian self-organization, strong enough to withstand recuperation by the left, organized labor, the church, and most importantly, the petite-bourgeoisie ethos of the Occupy Wall Street movement itself; and lastly 3) to establish a concrete basis to begin tirelessly agitating for a New York City-wide general strike.
It was less than two weeks ago that a general strike in the United States would have appeared to everyone as a patent impossibility. Now, after so many years of apathy, silence, and passivity, the historic opportunity stands right before our very eyes, giving us a smile, mixed with that deviously complicit grin exchanged between criminals intent on confidently defying law and order against all odds. To squander such a momentous chance on the burden of carrying through with our pathetic grudges will not only prove to ridiculously validate our own collective stupidity, but will also mindlessly aid and assist the State in preemptively dousing the social powder-keg before it’s ignited by the approaching flames of class conflict. In order not to needlessly swat away this possibility, a wager has to be taken, requiring each comrade to place a basic level of trust in the other, and hopefully, with a little success, social relations will expand beyond the confines of a small, marginal sub-culture, thus leaving any future instances of selfish opportunism or betrayal to be judged by and held accountable to a larger, real movement gaining within itself a memory of struggle. From our perspective, this seems to be the only means by which revolutionaries in New York City can begin seriously progressing towards the lofty goal of a general strike in likely the most daunting metropolitan center in both the United States and the world.
“The inherent principles of human existence are summed up in the single law of solidarity. This is the golden rule of humanity, and may be formulated thus: no person can recognize or realize his or her own humanity except by recognizing it in others and so cooperating for its realization by each and all. No man can emancipate himself save by emancipating with him all the men about him.”
– Mikhail Bakunin
“The International was founded in order to replace the socialism and semi-socialist sects with a genuine organization of the working class for its struggle… Socialist sectarianism and real working-class movement are in inverse ratio to each other. Sects have a right to exist only so long as the working class is not mature enough to have an independent organization of its own: as soon as that movement arrives sectarianism becomes reactionary.”
– Karl Marx
“In the popular ranks… There one fights for an idea. There only volunteers are found, and what drives them is enthusiasm, not fear. Superior to the adversary in devotion, they are much more still in intelligence. They have the upper hand over him morally and even physically, by conviction, strength, fertility of resources, promptness of body and spirit, they have both the head and the heart… So what do they lack in order to vanquish? They lack the unity and coherence which, by having them all contribute to the same goal, fosters all those qualities which isolation renders impotent. They lack organization. Without it, they haven’t got a chance. Organization is victory; dispersion is death.
– Auguste Blanqui
Towards a New York Commune in Solidarity with Oakland’s!
Towards an Unlimited General Strike throughout the Five Boroughs!