#Occupy Wall Street: The Process is the Programme
New York City’s re-baptised “Liberty Plaza”, formerly known as Zuccotti Park, has been receiving visitors from the “indignados” of Spain offering counsel. It has received Arab representatives from Egypt’s Tahrir Square offering encouragement. These are people who are already passing through the historical crucible of our contemporary world revolution and becoming contemporaries and “presences” (and presents) to each other in the process.
From much of the mainstream corporate press, #Occupy Wall Street has received only derision, scorn, mockery, or expressions of bewilderment. It has been the response of fools. Much of the reporting on #OWS in the mainstream conservative press has been even more self-servingly foolish, or calculatingly conniving and deceitful… little more than a partisan power-seeking rhetorical trickery and exercise in public perception management.
Those who indulge in hypocrisy, deceit, and falsehood do so only because they fear, and know that they are in an untenable and precarious situation in relation to the truth.
This is now the moment when “culture war” definitively goes global and planetary-wide, ladies and gentlemen. This is the moment that has been in preparation from generation to generation since the conclusion of the World Wars established the “globe” and the sphere as the only true and authentic space for concerted political and social action. Sad that it had to come through the mass nihilism and destruction of war, but such suffering is a necessity arising from human ignorance and narcissism.
But OWS is what global “culture war” now looks like. It looks like world revolution, and not like the reactionary mind’s “clash of civilisations”. It is the founding of the planetary civilisation of the future based not on competitive “survival of the fittest” and winner takes all mentalities, but on mutualism, integralism, and global cooperation.
So lock and load and dig in. This is your time and space now. You now own it. Occupy it all. As William Blake put it, “More! More! is the cry of the mistaken soul; less than All cannot satisfy Man”. This is and was ever your human destiny. You cannot now avoid it or evade it. Either you become the cure (even panacea) for Nietzsche’s “two centuries of nihilism” and serve as the medicinal agents and ingredients of earth’s convalescence from its present debasement and degradation… or you fail. This is now the only historical context in which jihad, crusade, or “holy war” has any real truth and meaning — which is the necessity of establishing, once and for all, the true brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind and the solidarity (the conviviality) of all Life in the Earth Era, in the form of a truly human and humane global society and civilisation.
The word “integral” means healing or mending. I want to remind everyone of this: that in times such as these, anyone who succumbs to cynicism or complacency, or to mere narrow and petty-minded partisan points of view, will be written out of the Book of Life and will be as dead branches on the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.
I also want to continually remind all of us of the words of historian Jean Gebser, from the Preface to his book The Ever-Present Origin:
“…if we do not overcome the [present] crisis it will overcome us; and only someone who has overcome himself is truly able to overcome. Either we will be disintegrated and dispersed, or we must resolve and effect integrality. In other words, either time is fulfilled in us — and that would mean the end and death for our present earth and (its) mankind — or we succeed in fulfilling time; and this means integrality and the present; the realization and the reality of origin and presence. And it means, consequently, a transformed continuity where mankind and not man, the spiritual and not the spirit, origin and not the beginning, the present and not time, the whole and not the part become awareness and reality. It is the whole that is present in origin and originative in the present.”
Well… we have spent decades, now, in that quest of self-overcoming (it has gone by various names, and sometimes even perverse forms) even as the mainstream culture surrounding all of us has descended into narcissism, and has even attempted to persuade us all through an unceasing din of social propaganda that self-interest and being self-absorbed (nearly autistic) was “normal” and “natural”. It was a huge lie whose deficiencies had to be compensated for by even more grandiose lies and prevarications until “faking it” and the culture of bullshit became the entire milieu in which we now find ourselves.
I find, in the present “irruption” of a transformed and transforming (creative) consciousness — an evidently integrating creativity and holistic consciousness — the curative and corrective to this malaise, the ennui, and the chronic ills of our times. Yet it remains a life and death struggle, and the stakes are very high, as Jean Gebser expressed them.
I want to thank InfiniteWarrior for forwarding to me an article by Charles Eisenstein posted on Reality Sandwich. “Occupy Wall Street: No Demand is Big Enough” really touches on some critical things about the occupation that need to be drawn out further, which I will do shortly. As you read Mr. Eisenstein’s article, though, I would suggest you keep this in mind: what the occupiers are really attempting is to try and find a way back into “society” from the situation of “The Lonely Crowd” and from a mere partisan “point of view” consciousness (egoistic individualism) — exaggerated pursuit of self-interest and personal advantage — that has dissolved the bonds of fellowship, truthfulness, sincerity, authenticity and empathy between human beings in favour of a war of all against all.
That “the process is the programme” means only this: no “demands” or ends; just the rediscovery of genuine “society” — not as a political and rhetorical entity, or sociological abstraction — but as a genuine and living convivium amidst the ruin and wreckage of neo-liberal social atomisation and fragmentation. The attempt to discover society in the global era as a reconstituted “conviviality” (“shared life”, livelihood, or liveliness) is what used to be called, in an older Newtonian language of materialism, “solidarity”.
We might evem drop the word “society” and replace it with “convivium“. And we might drop the word “social” and replace it with “conviviality”. And if a name is really required for what the Wall Street Occupiers demand, it might be “convivialism” (and not “socialism”).
If you read Mr. Eisenstein’s article carefully, you will discover much that is truly exemplary of what Jean Gebser anticipated decades ago about the incipient restructuration of human consciousness and society. And the change in the language from “solidarity” to “conviviality” is very, very meaningful.
I’ll speak to that more specifically in the next post.