Video of the great Jacobin debate on #OWS politics & strategy now up. Below the link, some of moderator Seth Ackerman’s comments:
Held on Friday Oct. 14, 2011 at Bluestockings bookshop on Allen St. in New York City.
From anarchism to demands, from the consensus process to “what next?” we covered the gamut of topics. When the discussion was over, Doug Henwood, who was on the panel, commented that it had been the most contentious left-wing gathering he’d ever participated in (and Doug’s participated in a lot). One audience member who spends a lot of time at Zuccotti Park made an insightful observation: he said that the mood of agitation was due to the fact that the issues discussed had lingered in the air so long without ever being fully aired.
From our point of view, that means this event was a success. And yet, in the process of airing disagreements that had previously been glossed over, we also felt the discussion revealed a disturbing lack of politicization and political sophistication within the movement. What that portends, and what should be done about it, are topics for future debate
Jodi Dean is a political and media theorist working in Geneva, NY. Her most recent books are “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies” and “Blog Theory.” She is currently finishing the book, “The Communist Horizon,” forthcoming from Verso.
Doug Henwood is the editor of Left Business Observer, host of Behind The News, contributing editor at The Nation, and author of “Wall Street” and “After The New Economy.”
Malcolm Harris is the managing editor of The New Inquiry, a contributing editor at Sharable.net, and blogs for Jacobin. He edited the collection “Share or Die: Youth in Recession,” forthcoming from New Society Publishers in the spring. He has been active in OWS since the first planning meetings.
Natasha Lennard was formerly on staff at Salon.com and Politico. She currently freelances for The New York Times. She has covered OWS since before Sept. 17.
Chris Maisano is a public librarian in Brooklyn, rank-and-file activist in DC37 Local 1482, and chair of the NYC local of Democratic Socialists of America. He is a contributing writer for Jacobin.
Moderator: Seth Ackerman is an editor at large with Jacobin and a doctoral candidate in History at Cornell. He has written for Harper’s, In These Times, and other outlets