Requiem for an Occupation?

Early this morning police cleared the protesters from Zuccotti Park, the initial location of the Occupt Wall St. movement. While the Occupy Philadelphia camp is still in place, the events in New York perhaps signal an end to this phase of protest in other cities.

Here are some images and quotes that gesture toward the complexities within the movement itself and the wider concerns it draws attention to.

‘This is what democracy looks like’
Occupy Philadelphia: 10/20/11

[I]n our societies, critical Leftists have hitherto only succeeded in soiling those in power, whereas the real point is to castrate them…
But how can we do this? We should learn here form the failures of twentieth century Leftist politics. The task is not to conduct the castration in a direct climatic confrontation, but to undermine those in power with patient ideologico-critical work, so that although they are still in power, one all of a sudden notices that the powers-that-be are afflicted with unnaturally high-pitched voices. Slavoj Žižek, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, p. 7.

Occupy Philadelphia: 10/20/11

The widening gap between rhetoric (for the benefit of all) and realization (the benefit of a small ruling class) is now all too visible…The more neoliberalism is recognized as a failed utopian rhetoric masking a successful project for the restoration of a ruling-class power, the more the basis is laid for a resurgence of mass movements voicing egalitarian political demands and seeking economic justice, fair trade, and greater economic security. David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, pp.203-204

‘Bless are the oppressed’
Occupy Philadelphia: 10/20/11

It is not true at all that the earth belongs to the meek. What the Beatitudes say is against all reality. Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, p.170

Apple Store, Philadelphia: 10/20/11

Asceticism is not a flight from society and the world, but a communal attitude of mind and way of life that leads to the respectful use, and not the abuse, of material goods. Excessive consumption may be understood to issue from a worldview of estrangement from self, from land, from life, and from God. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

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