Occupy Wall Street and Transformational Strategy

Sociologist Erik Olin Wright on the next step for the Occupy movement:

The occupy movement, at this point, is a protest movement that mainly has what could be called an expressive rather than a transformative strategy. That is, the main logic of its activities is the diagnosis and critique of existing institutions rather than attempts to create alternatives. This is important since the critique of the world as it is always forms the point of departure for struggles to make a new world. But eventually, such expressive activities need to be connected to a more transformative strategy if real change is to be generated… Pushing for these kinds of interstitial and symbiotic projects of institution building does not mean abandoning protests against the more macro-level injustices of inequality and corporate power, nor dropping demands for system-level redress of these injustices. The broad vision for a democratic egalitarian alternative to capitalism which promotes human flourishing should continue to anchor interstitial and symbiotic strategies at the more local level. For the moment, however, the prospects for substantial progressive change at the national level seem very limited. And, perhaps, in the longer term, the success of more locally-directed projects of institution building will strengthen the prospects for broader transformation by showing, on the ground, that another world is possible.

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