Zombie Capitalism and the Post-Obama Left, by Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad

Public intellectual Vijay Prashad challenges the notion that people of color fighting to make their voices heard at OWS is about division and hopelessness. In these trying times for people of color around the continent trying to make sense of all of this, his optimism is emotionally lifting:

Early into the OWS, a few people challenged one of thesentences in a draft, namely that the people in protest were of “one race, the human race, formerly divided by race, class.” So, Hena Ashraf, Sonny Singh, Manissa McCleave Maharawal and others contested the assertion that the divides in our humanity are now superseded. It is such contentiousness that builds our movement; it does not divide it. Capitalism, built on the inequality of property and of social formations that it inherited, is one of the primary engines of social division. The force of goodwill cannot annul or supersede its divisions by fiat. They have to be struggled against, even inside our new movements. That there is now a “People of Color Working Group” in the OWS (http://pococcupywallstreet.tumblr.com/) and a website dedicated to a much deeper commitment to anti-racism in OWS (https://disoccupy.wordpress.com/) is a sign of hope, not despair.

Full post here!

1 Comment

Filed under DisOccupy

One response to “Zombie Capitalism and the Post-Obama Left, by Vijay Prashad

  1. CCCC

    It is interesting that vishay points towards the possibility that the general demands will be ‘robust liberalism’; does that mean that the overall reason for the protest, the general momentum keeping it going, is a demand that things just be fairer in general? If so that we really do need to do what he says here: “But the radical imagination requires more. It demands a few sharp victories, some that are simply symbolic, others that propose immediate reforms and yet others that are for the longer term.”.

    I think these sorts of possibilities will only emerge if the critique from smaller partisan factions does not back down. Basically a lot of issues are linked together into a web and so a variety of different visions of social equality will help to disentangle that web; for instance, I could see linking social problems with environmental problems in the US and doing a great service to the Environmental movement here. Bringing its purvey down to reality, the reality of life in severely degraded cities, and possibly stoking a renewed interest in environmental justice that is done for the sake of social justice.

    But that seems like the challenge too. Who can critique well enough that these issues link up? And how much time will that take?

    I gotta get to Wallstreet!

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