SRCC, Delhi University
First published in December 2011,
[In the following video, an anthropological example of investor-friendly police brutality]
The above-posted video is an example of pro-capitalist ideology within the movement.Leaving aside this matter, which the scope of this article doesn't allow to discuss, it is important to point that the Occupy movement — whatever its huge political limits may be— is undoubtedly an amazing historical step ahead against Capitalism, at least in the United States.
On the other hand, the political refusal on the part of a large part of the Occupy movement to take systemic action against Capitalism as a whole is problematic. The refusal to overthrow the system of Capitalist reproduction and accumulation implies a tacit acceptation of the extremes of "Capital" and "Wage-Labour" with all its anti-human consequences: cyclical crises, unemployment, imperialism, low wages, workers' exploitation, pro-austerity institutions such as parliaments and police, pollution, parasitic finance etc. etc.
Marxist Post-Capitalism (leaving aside its "continuations" or "sequels") is of course more than topical in these terms; having explained Capitalist crisis cycles, accumulation, surplus value etc.etc.
The central idea of Marxist is that until there is "class antagonism", there will always be a ruling class trying to get rich at the detriment of the other.The entrepreneur must appropriate labour from a workers; as long as s/he doesn't want to vanish as a Capitalist due to competition with the other capitalists.
[In the following video, protesting students nicely pepper-sprayed by the US Police]
Without going deep into the question by discussing Marx's complex technical observations, I will cite, hereby, one of his general insightful remarks on credit:
[In the following video, an anthropological example of Capital apologist: Milton Friedman]
It is time to question whether capitalism is the best possible system.
It is time to question whether a production based on the figure of a Capitalist forever set out against the wage-labourer is an efficient and equitable system.
The Occupy Movement is intended as a non-political entity by many of its members and yet we already discussed how the "non-political" question is a mere illusion. It is pure smoke in the eyes.
One movement always has a determined set of ideas, which gives its members determined expectations, goals and actions; it always has an ideology, as long as we all agree on that rebelling people have a brain to acquire certain expectations, goals and opinions on determined actions!
Hence, there is actually no non-political movement in the world because, whether it likes it or not, a movement ends up questioning the morality of certain production relations (e.g. the present-day exploiting owner-labourer ones) or it doesn't.
A large section of Occupy Movement activists, alas, are people "with no idea to realise", but "with ideas to preserve and harmonise", within the discourse of owner-labourer relations, namely, Capitalism: a system with contradictions, where a owner-labourer harmony can never exist.
Only political economy and dialectical reasoning can shine a light on this matter, as we may notice.
The Capitalist exploiting owners — the very same queer economic agents that caused the crises — are surely more than pleased to see masses loyal to Capitalist ideology and confuse unemployed masses occupying their own public goods, such as parks and squares, for the sake of political impotence. This material political impotence simply ends up being a laughable discourse in capitalist rich living rooms.
Similarly, pro-capitalist institutions are surely pleased to see unemployed people occupying the only things they're left with, that is to say, inalienable public goods; while property property is left untouched.
My anticapitalist motto is:
"Don't Occupy just public squares and parks, how can you occupy something that belongs to you?
Occupy the private Means of Production!"
The question of material and immaterial production shouldn't even represent a serious matter of debate, within this scenario.
Material and immaterial labour may be involved in production activities (whatever produces goods and services which are needed by the people) as well as in nonproduction activities (system maintenance jobs such as police, fire and rescue service)
Whether material or not, a paralysed production endangers the very existence of a Capital system; paving the way for a dialectical development towards Post-Capitalism.
An action against private production — perhaps by continuing to run production in a social way during occupations — is the only way to make a real change in the USA.
Occupy action should focus on occupations of middle-scale and large-scale firms too, whilst attempting to involve wage-labourers from any production sector (IT, industry, agriculture, service sector in general) and convincing them to occupy their respective workplaces.
Students could also be involved more actively.
Without this membership organisation co-ordinated action is almost impossible to take; or at least is very difficult.
Building membership in all-sector wage-labour — namely the 99%, the suffering class — would strengthen the Occupy movement.
"Occupy Corruption" is a reformist tiny kiss to big Capital in political terms, which, by the way, also is benefited by a lesser degree of corruption. Whomever corrupts politicians or big institutions is usually not a slum dweller but a far richer person.
By no accident, corruption as western Capitalism knows it, it is a sheer Capitalist produce. It is, undoubtedly, a serious question and yet it ends up shifting people's attention from the "cause" to the effect of this systemic humbug.
Hence, a focus on corruption represents a minor necessity; though it could be communicatively productive, especially to get membership.
Only after the whole production is paralysed — and this would require the intervention of all wage-labour — a successful action against the pro-exploitation institutions can take place.
The only way to pave the way for post-Capitalism is by occupying the means of material/immaterial production, both in, say, the Information Technology & Service sector workplaces (immaterial production) and in Industry & Agriculture workplaces (material production).
C.de Dave Ankit Ferri