Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Occupy: Long Range Forecast
Occupy in my city is no exception. It has stored up some reservoir of energy from its brief time in the sun. It is somewhat somnolent, drowsing and diminished. But in warm dens, its respiration continues, the heart still beats.
Understand, please, that I come to this not through any distinct ideological sympathies. It has been my pointed attempt from the beginning to remain an observer, to look at Occupy as a phenomenon, not as something I agree or disagree with, and not something I have identified with an ideological label in order to oppose or support it.
I monitor their websites, and I have talked to local campers a number of times. They will freely dispute with the good ole Seattle SWP, whose history goes back to the IWW, and the infamous Everett Massacre of 1916. They steadfastly refuse to align with them or with unions, or with Democrats. They have no discernible organizers. They operate through a sort of group consciousness committed to a few basic ideas and principles. If this is some defined ideology, I fail to see what taxonomic identification can be attached to it. The "Battle in Seattle," which I observed from several city blocks away, was anarchy, a riot. It was a crowd of disparate identity that became a mob. Occupy is not a mob, at least not yet.
On top of all that, they are very smart and very versed in the organic network we know as Hypermedia. Drawing direct analogies between this movement and the Arab Spring, or indeed a global unrest we have recently seen both in Britain and in Russia, to name just a few, is simplistic. At least one commonality, however, is the power of our now ubiquitous brain tools, which have led to a different type of organizing, one that those of us locked in our elderly bubbles are not as practiced in utilizing.
The Long Range Forecast: In Rain City, we know how to hunker for five months. But we also know that spring lies ahead. And with spring, the local mammals begin to stir. They come outside, throng the streets, and buy more sunglasses than any other city in this country.
I'm fairly certain that this seasonal expansion will be even more intense in warmer climes. There are tremendous implications for this through next summer and into the autumn, which is, I believe, the season that contains an election. I have some speculations about the tactical morphing that may occur, but that will wait for another time.