I do understand that I’m probably not part of the 1%, but I feel like I don’t fit into the struggle of the “we are the 99”. I know that the movement is about solidarity, about saying that all of us have been fucked over, but I suppose on a guttural level I feel like I haven’t been to the level that other people have and so I shouldn’t be complaining, I should be giving and helping…
I think the fact that numbers are inherently part of the movement makes it hard to explain exactly why or how you feel involved or disconnected.
You know I’ve been talking with my housemate about this and pondering it for a bit. He and I are largely in agreement. I find the whole 99% rhetoric to be largely bullshit and wholly misleading, tying into one of the ultimate failings which often feels quite omnipresent in US radical leftism, though understandable considering how well entrenched capitalism is into this hegemonic notion of the American Dream.
This constant denial of class analysis, this separation from a distinction of material relations in favour of trying to not scare off people and getting a wishy washy “only the super, super rich are bad” is just a denial of the heart of the problem, an apologia for the less successful capitalists. Frankly, in so far as I’m concerned, I don’t care if someone is the super, super rich multinational business owner, just the quite rich factory owner, or someone who owns a shop. Their position in society, their class interests, are bourgeois. Petit-bourgeois maintain the same class relations as the bourgeois, I make no apology for considering them just as much the enemy for as long as they’re exploiting the labour of the workers.
Likewise I think the attitude a lot of people I’ve noticed to be taking, that “you’ve not been directly fucked by the system you don’t deserve to be part of the 99%” is similarly obfuscating from a decent class analysis. As I say, at the end of the day what I consider important to this line of thinking isn’t that someone happens to be employed with a nice car but their relationship to the means of production, their material position within society. If someone isn’t an owner, profiting from the exploitation of others, just because they’re doing well today doesn’t mean they can’t be fucked over tomorrow. Especially in a time when financial stability is hanging from a thread and the global economy is waiting to hit the fan. Again it’s a denial of building for a class solidarity that can create an effective weapon within a capitalist system, watering it down to appeal to liberal ideologues which is what got us in this shit in the first place.
So as I’ve said previously, more should be done to better consider and represent PoC within the OWS movement but even as it stands I don’t think it’s a particularly venomous political movement for what it intends to do. Occupy a workplace not a street corner. I mean, are they even stopping the traders from getting into work or just making their walk slightly longer?