Occupy the Future: A New Generation Reaches for the Emergency Brake

If someone has compiled an Occupy Wall Street reading list, investigative journalist Matt Taibbi's book Griftopia is surely on it. Taibbi argues:

"The financial leaders of America and their political servants have seemingly reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not worth saving and have taken on a new mission that involves not creating wealth for all, but simply absconding with whatever wealth remains in our hollowed-out economy."

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Stuff White People Smash: A review of Black Bloc, White Riot

On April 20, the first day of the demonstrations, we marched in our thousands towards the fence, behind which 34 heads of state had gathered to hammer out a hemispheric trade deal. Under a hail of catapult-launched teddy bears, activists dressed in black quickly removed the fence's supports with bolt cutters and pulled it down with grapples as onlookers cheered them on. For a brief moment, nothing stood between us and the convention centre. We scrambled atop the toppled fence, but for the most part we went no further, as if our intention all along had been simply to replace the state's chain-link and concrete barrier with a human one of our own making.

The next move was ours, and we just stood there, waiting for something to happen, like good conscientious objectors awaiting our punishment after our purely symbolic point had been made. We had no plan. The wall in our own minds, it seemed, would be much harder to overcome than the one that lay broken beneath our feet.

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Review of Multitude by Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri

After the unprecedented commercial and critical success of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s dense and manic Empire (2000), which the Marxist critic Frederic Jameson called “the first great new theoretical synthesis of the new millennium,” and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek praised as “nothing less than a rewriting of The Communist Manifesto for our time,” the publication of its sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), has generated a significant amount of interest.  Empire’s theorization of “a fundamentally new form of rule,” a new global sovereignty that transcends both national borders and modern imperialism, was eagerly seized upon by many in the anti-globalization movement and the academic Left seeking a theoretical framework for naming that-which-they-opposed, in place of the vague and inaccurate term “globalization.” Hardt and Negri’s new book Multitude picks up where Empire left off, theorizing the potential forms that popular resistance to Empire might take.

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