Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 22, 2011

Occupy Wells Fargo

Filed under: Occupy Wall Street — louisproyect @ 9:00 pm


  1. Revolutionary.

    Comment by Binh — November 22, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  2. Pretty cool action, but according to the metric being used these days to judge successful tactics, this one fails for it changes nothing.

    Comment by Koukoulofori — November 24, 2011 @ 1:40 am

  3. Maybe they should have broken some windows or something. That would have made the CEO of Wells Fargo quake in fear.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 24, 2011 @ 1:45 am

  4. Neither action has a qualitative inherently value over the other.
    You still haven’t demonstrated how this action was more effective than direct destruction of Capital. Please, humor me.
    Again, if your metric for success is making the target of an action “quake in fear”, this action fails.

    Comment by Koukoulofori — November 24, 2011 @ 3:25 am

  5. You still haven’t demonstrated how this action was more effective than direct destruction of Capital.

    I am afraid we have different definitions of capital. I suggest that you read Karl Marx.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 24, 2011 @ 3:35 am

  6. You think Marx was right, I think history has proven Bakunin right. We disagree on this clearly, so let’s not rehash this old debate.
    I’m simply asking what qualitative value does shouting at a building have over destruction of exploitative property?
    Using what metric do you come to the determination that the action in the above video was more effective than that which you deride?

    Comment by Koukoulofori — November 24, 2011 @ 3:48 am

  7. Certainly, none of these actions, whether they involve property destruction or not, are going to cause any material loss to capitalists that they can’t pay out of petty cash. The important question is what political message they send, including the effects on the consciousness of the participants. I’m not, at this moment, going to try to answer that question, but I want to put it out there. I’ll be mulling it over myself as I try, despite that mulling, to get a good night’s sleep, after which I’ll join the discussion — hopefully with clearer thoughts on the question than the ones I have now.

    Life would be so much simpler if I were just an ‘ultraleftist’, rather than someone who believes that the destruction of U.S. imperialism and global capitalism is essential for planetary survival.

    Comment by Old Red — November 24, 2011 @ 6:06 am

  8. This action is part of a movement of accumulated actions that can change things. As captured on film the effect of the action multiplies. The act is resistant, collective, inspiring and educative and its content, especially as broadcast, is highly educative. It contributes to the construction of a movement of many more people and is not intended, I would imagine, to change very much in itself and certainly not to actually foreclose on Wells Fargo. Smashing a window, if that is the propsed alternative, would not be as useful and would probably be very counter productive. Far more people would be open to influence by this peaceful yet conftontational protest than would be by the defenestration of a Wells Fargo branch. Breaking a window might be likely to be seen as little better than simple, and commonplace, vandalism. The aim is not the ‘destruction’ of this or that $1,000 worth of capital by an individual in his/her private war with capitalism, but the transformation of the system of capital, a long term social and political project of the 99%. Activities like the Wells Fargo ‘foreclosure’ are part of the early stages of such a movement.

    Comment by D_D — November 24, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  9. Very well said D_D

    Comment by Sheldon — November 24, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  10. I’m with Old Red. The inescapable fact is that the planet can no longer afford a system which exhausts human potential producing tons of excess product and run people around in endless circles in pursuit of a happyness which cannot be acquired through the simple act of making tons of crap with built in obsolesence that end up in landfills etc. And I can’t believe that simply smashing a few windows and destroying property which, as someone else notes here, can easily be replaced by the oppressor with petty cash is such a great demonstration of worker’s power. Finally, history has certainly not proven Bakunin correct, Koukoulofori, for if spontaneous action and Bakunin’s little underground cadre of conscious conspirators were all it takes to disrupt the merchant’s empire, we’d be living in utopia now. Class struggle is the vast, contradictory mess Marx identified it as, which is how we’ve arrived at this amazing moment in which a largely spontaneous movement finds itself suspended over the very real need to introduce comprehensive teach ins and actions against capital, largely in massive limbo until it finds its way to a dialectical materialism that superscedes both the vanguard party fetish and the “no leaders” fetish of the “anti-authoritarians”.

    Comment by Michael Hureaux Perez — November 25, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

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