Black Bloc Provokes Occupy's Fork in the Road

  • Posted on: 25 May 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>Occupy's Spiritual Quest / Adbusters Tactical Briefing #34

Dear occupiers, jammers, dreamers,

Three years after the May 1968 uprising that swept the world, the great French philosopher Michel Foucault observed that a key strategy of power is to “appear inaccessible to events.” Power, Foucault argued with a nod towards 1968’s failed insurrection, acts to “dispel the shock of daily occurrences, to dissolve the event … to exclude the radical break introduced by events.”</td><td><img title="It is called owning the means of production (which total means the media). Look it up!" src=""></td></tr>...

Forty years later, in light of Occupy, Foucault’s observation still strikes home. Despite achieving the impossible at unprecedented speed – sparking a global awakening, triggering a thousand people’s assemblies worldwide, and giving birth to a visceral anti-corporate, pro-democracy spiritual insurrection – Occupy is now struggling through an existential moment. Our movement has been dealt a blow: our May 1 and follow-up events have been dissolved by power; the status quo has shown itself to be far more resilient than many of us expected.

Now a passionate debate is emerging within our movement. On one side are those who cheer the death of Occupy in the hopes that it will transform into something unexpected and new. And on the other are patient organizers who counsel that all great movements take years to unfold.



May 1 confirmed the end of the national Occupy Wall Street movement because it was the best opportunity the movement had to reestablish the occupations, and yet it couldn’t. Nowhere was this more clear than in Oakland as the sun set after a day of marches, pickets and clashes. Rumors had been circulating for weeks that tents would start going up and the camp would reemerge in the evening of that long day. The hundreds of riot police backed by armored personnel carriers and SWAT teams carrying assault rifles made no secret of their intention to sweep the plaza clear after all the “good protesters” scurried home, making any reoccupation physically impossible. It was the same on January 28 when plans for a large public building occupation were shattered in a shower of flash bang grenades and 400 arrests, just as it was on March 17 in Zuccotti Park when dreams of a new Wall Street camp were clubbed and pepper sprayed to death by the NYPD. Any hopes of a spring offensive leading to a new round of space reclamations and liberated zones has come and gone. And with that, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland are now dead.

The task ahead of us in Oakland and beyond is to search out and nurture new means of finding each other. We are quickly reaching the point where the dead weight of Occupy threatens to drag down the Commune into the dustbin of history. We need to breathe new life into our network of rebellious relationships that does not rely on the Occupy Oakland general assembly or the array of movement protagonists who have emerged to represent the struggle. This is by no means an argument against assemblies or for a retreat back into the small countercultural ghettos that keep us isolated and irrelevant. On the contrary, we need more public assemblies that take different forms and experiment with themes, styles of decision-making (or lack there of) and levels of affinity… Most of all, we need desperately to stay connected with comrades old and new and not let these relationships completely decompose.

— Read the rest of the this article, by anonymous West Coast anarchists, at Bay of Rage:


Occupy Wall Street was at the pinnacle of its power in October 2011, when thousands of people converged at Zuccotti Park and successfully foiled the plans of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sweep away the occupation on grounds of public health. From that vantage point, the Occupy movement appears to have tumbled off a cliff, having failed to organize anything like a general strike on May Day – despite months of rumblings of mass walkouts, blockades and shutdowns.

The mainstream media are eager to administer last rites. CNN declared that “May Day fizzled,” the New York Post sneered “Goodbye, Occupy,” and The New York Times consigned the day’s events to fewer than 400 words, mainly dealing with arrests in New York City.

Historians and organizers counter that the Occupy movement needs to be seen in relative terms. Eminent sociologist Frances Fox Piven, co-author of Poor People’s Movements, says:

“I don’t know of a movement that unfolds in less than a decade. People are impatient, and some of them are too quick to pass judgment. But it’s the beginning, I think, of a great movement. One of a series of movement that has episodically changed history, which is not the way we tell the story of American history.”

— Read the rest of Arun Gupta’s What Happened to the Occupy movement?


The fire in the soul of Occupy burns from Oakland to Quebec, Barcelona to Chicago, Wall Street to Moscow and Frankfurt... the question now is which fork in the road will our movement take?

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ



More space reclamation, by any means necessary. Barricades. Fires. Song & dance.

DANCE for the anarchy! DANCE for that anarchy! DANCE for that anarchy!....

NO to carnivalesque moments of hope and inspiration.

ffuckkkk yoouuuu, sir. I love carnivalesque moments of hope and inspiration.

"If I can't dance, then it's not my revolution." -Emma Goldman

No no. you got the quote wrong.
"If I can't revolt, then it's not my dance." -Emma Goldman

Also does anyone else hate this quote always being used to make anarchy seem like a joke?
It's strange that people (usually NOT anarchists) use this one quote from a violent revolutionary (who aided in an assassination attempt)to make the point that "real" anarchists are against violence.
revolution is not about dancing. sorry.

-an anarchist that loves carnivalesque moments of insurrection

Wait, I thought the quote was: "If you find me revolting, don't ask me to dance".

being the person who quoted Emma Goldman to begin with, i also love carnivalesque moments of insurrection, but i love dancing, too. just to clarify. why cant we do both at once? ballet with molotov cocktails in hand, no?

I agree, we can do both. Just like in Clockwork Orange when he sang "Singing in the Rain".

you're obviously not spending all your time breaking stuff. try and dance a little.

also, emma goldman never said the original quote.

new york needs to get its shit fucked up

On The A.T.
about 2 days walk from the G.W.B.
Skillshare, connect
coming soon

I recently spearated from Occupy, but more from 'the brand', not that I still won't be involved in actual occupations or permanent conflictuality.


Don't be confused by spell-check. Although only the hyphen was omitted, /spear-rated/ is an acceptable AND appropriate utterance, juxtaposing a spear with a rating, as in either appraising or upraising. The separation by spear is also an archaic practice, still possible but difficult to conceal.


When Foucault talks about ‘power’ he is talking about ‘power over’ and its stonewalling of resistance.

to “appear inaccessible to events.” translates into;

‘keep the machine rolling’ no matter what people throw in front of it to try to stop or divert it. every protest is translated into a ‘work stoppage’ and the cost to the ‘country’ is calculated as a dollar loss. it is obvious that economic health in terms of dollars requires the elimination of disruptive events that interfere with production.

this machine view is the problem. to view ‘the occupy movement’ as ‘machinery’ is to fall into the same trap.

‘keeping the machine rolling’ raises the question of whether there is something wrong with the model of the economy. the term ‘healthy economy’ used to be subordinate to the notion of a ‘healthy community’. now, a healthy economy can coexist with a sick community. if those afflicted by a growing sickness in the community come out into the streets to complain, they are disturbing the machine and are accused of actions harmful to the health of the economy. what kind of logic is this?

Nietzsche points out that western civilization is hung up on ‘power over’ [it has been institutionalized into the colonizing culture and has been blinding the culture to the obvious in nature, that deficiency is the source of ‘the will to power’. when our eye sight becomes deficient, our hearing ‘rises to the occasion’ or vice versa. when a person’s car stalls, this deficiency orchestrates our participation; i.e. we rise to the [situationally orchestrated] occasion. when the fertile valley seduces the first settlers, the obvious gaps in local community services invite more to rise to the occasion and to settle there and help fill the gaps. more gaps of different shapes and sizes arise out of that action and more people rise to the [situationally orchestrated] occasion and this is the lamarckian and nietzschean [anti-darwinist] view of ‘evolution’ that fits the data of our experience. situational [spatial-relational] deficiency animates evolutionary organization.

the ‘will-to-power’ is the source of ‘rising to the occasion’. ‘power over’, on the other hand, associates with the politicians who come in after the natural evolution of community and exercise ‘power over’ the participants.
now that the ‘system is up and humming’, ... [they implicitly reason], ... why not re-render it in terms of ‘machinery’? if we frame it using an absolute space reference frame rather than in terms of a relational space, we can remove the whole succession of spatial-relational deficiencies that orchestrate its dynamic, putting them entirely ‘out of the picture’ and re-rendering the dynamics as if they are jumpstarting from the internal intention of each individual.

this is what analytical inquiry does. it re-renders the relational dynamics that have evolved and whose operations are animated by outside-inward influence, by deficiencies that induce ‘the will to power’, the ‘rising to the occasion’,... in terms of ‘things-in-themselves' and 'what things do’ as if the participants did what they did and are doing what they are doing, in a fully and solely inside-outward assertively driven manner that is fully and solely directed from their individual interiors by their own internal intentions.

oh yes, that sounds right, the ego says, ... i drive and direct my behaviour fully and solely out of the interior of my ‘self’. wait a minute, where did those situational deficiencies go that induced you and others to ‘rise to the occasion’?

how quickly the ego would have us forget the reality of outside-inward orchestrating influence, the ‘will to power’ of our uebermensch self, the ‘rising to the [situationally orchestrated] occasion’.

but here’s where the ego screws itself.

sure there is amazing ‘organization’ in the ‘up and humming’ community. and if we want to understand it in the backwards terms of the actions of local, independently existing individuals with locally originating, internal intention driven behaviour, as if it is driven by a collection of egotist selves,... [i.e. if we chose to ignore outside-inward orchestrating influence that arises from our inclusion in ‘situational’ or spatial-relational dynamics], ... then we must invent the notion of ‘common purpose’ as the source of the purely inside-outward driven and directed organization.

this notion of common purpose or common belief is a dangerous idea, because if that’s what we believe is the source of organization in community, then in order to keep our community humming, WE HAVE TO COMMIT TO A ‘COMMON PURPOSE’. that means articulating the ‘common purpose’ as a ‘program’ that will be infused into each participant’s head so that, consistent with our model of the individual as an independent machine, as a cog within a larger machine called 'sovereign state', it will serve to program the behaviours of the multiple participants in an ‘organized’ fashion.

out of this need for this notion of 'common purpose' to explain 'organization' within the notional 'doer-deed' dynamics of a bunch of notional 'things-in-themselves' is born the politician, whose job it is to formulate and articulate a ‘common purpose’ that will be BINDING on all the participants; i.e. a 'binding common purpose' that will have POWER OVER all of the participants.

‘power over’ is nothing like ‘the will to power’ that has us ‘rise to the occasion’, particularly when we have to come up with one version of it which is then imposed on all of us, a single version that can only be arrived at by the principle of lafontaine; “la raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure”.

this is not how natural community evolves. it evolves to heal deficiencies, ... the stalled pickup orchestrates a bevy of pushers, the fertile valley calls out to settlers to plough its furrow, like a hot woman calls out to a male partner to plough her furrow. men ‘rise to the occasion’, ‘deficiencies’ orchestrate organization. there are holes that need to be filled. ‘space is a participant in physical phenomena’ [einstein]. the storm-cell like emergence of community into an up-and-humming relational dynamic is not the product of 'power over’, ... its emergence is animated by ‘the will to power’, by the deficiencies that need to be healed, that induce people to ‘rise to the occasion’; i.e. ‘to rise to the situation’ [to the dynamics of the web of spatial relations one is uniquely, situationally included in].

as lao tsu says, it is the hole in the clay vessel that gives it its utility. it is 'what is not there' [deficiency] that is the natural orchestrator of our individual and collective behaviour. it is the axle hole in the central hub of the radial spokes of the wheel that gives the wheel its utility [that orchestrates movement], 'what is not there' is the source of animation; i.e. the axle hole will turn whatever we put into it. the miller’s wheel is not the first-cause source of power to run the mill, that big hole that wants to be filled known as 'the ocean basin', the animating source that orchestrates and organizes the flow of water, is where the power of the miller's wheel derives.

all rivers lead ultimately to the hungry ocean basins that call out 'fill me please'. how about ‘all roads lead to rome’. what is the true nature of organization that gives it its 'thingness'? what is the true nature of that ‘hub’ at the centre of the many-to-one road-spokes that is called ‘rome’? is the hub in the centre the source of ‘power over’, the make-it-all-happen control centre as the roman politicians will argue? is rome a ‘powerboating machine’ whose source of driven and direction is fully inboard? [the roman generals will say yes because their world is a world of power-over and 'in control of'. or is this persisting pattern of organization that lends 'thingness' to rome a more organically evolving than ‘mechanical’ entity?; i.e. in the manner that the storm-cell gathers in the atmosphere, the hub being a hungriness or deficiency that people and resources flow into to feed and to feed on? is rome more of a sailboating system that derives its power and direction from the dynamic habitat it is situationally included in? is rome animated by ‘power over’ as the politicians and the ‘common purpose’ they strive to infuse into everyone claim? or is rome an axle-hole-hub or furrow that orchestrates and is sustained by exciting a furrow-ploughing/deficiency-filling desire in the individual and collective? is the sustained organization we give the name 'rome' to 'powerboat' or 'sailboat'?

these different views into the same thing apply equally to ‘the occupy movement’. is it a thing that is meant to be animated by ‘common purpose’ and thus by ‘politicians’ and the formulating of an articulated common purpose that is binding on all participants? in other words, is the ‘occupy movement’ a ‘machine’, a ‘powerboat’? if it is, then it too will run on ‘power over’ and it too must follow Foucault’s observation about ‘power over’ in that it must continue to function and its continuing operation must not be deflected or stalled by ‘events’ that threaten to disturb it, like police actions.

the ‘occupy movement’ in this article, is being portrayed in the only way that western thinking sees dynamic forms, as a ‘machine’, a ‘powerboating system’ with its own inboard sourcing of drive and direction.

but, to mach and nietzsche and intuitively, to many of us, consistent with the nietzschean will-to-power view, the ‘occupy movement’ is a ‘sailboating system’ that derives its drive and direction from grassroots dynamic that these increasingly frequently emergent cells are situationally included in. the emergent cells are like storm-cells in the atmosphere, deriving their energy of emergence and their behaviour from the dynamic social milieu in which they are situationally included. there is, in this case, no answer to questions about ‘the occupy movement’ like ‘take me to your leader’ or ‘articulate your common purpose’ because these movements are not purely assertively animated, as machinery is, they are instead like hubs or axle holes where deficiency orchestrates them, calls to them to ‘rise to the occasion’ like people rise to the occasion to respond to someone whose car has stalled, without their having to be programmed by some ‘common purpose’ to do so, just be letting the situational dynamic they are included in orchestrate and organize their collective behaviour.

the politicians in the ‘power over’ driven and directed machinery of western sovereigntist states and corporations DO NOT derive their power from the landscape they are included in because they have declared themselves ‘independent’ of the global grassroots landscape. they depend on the people that they have acquired ‘power over’ to comply with a centrally articulated ‘common purpose’ that they are the ‘elected stewards of’, a ‘common purpose’ that fails to acknowledge the situational particulars of individual participants, that change in a manner unanticipated and unaddressed, by centrally driven programs. the ‘occupy movement’ need not see itself in this same light, as a powerboating machine that depends on its ‘on-board’ components/participants being bound by a ‘common purpose’ as stewarded by a ‘central committee’. the occupy movement can instead see itself as a sailboating system that derives its power and steerage from the general global grassroots dynamic, in the outside-inward influenced manner of storm-cells that organize within the global flow-space of the atmosphere.

the survival/thriving of ‘occupy movement cells’ in this case depends on the continuing development of spontaneous coherency of organizing in the sailboater sense of ‘rising to the situational occasion’ [deriving power-drive and steerage from situational dynamics] wherever and whenever the occasion beckons it. this is where naturally evolved community begins/began. 'power-over' seeking politicians have hijacked its basic ‘vital force’, and inverted the natural order of its organization, from hub of deficiency-that-orchestrates /organizes to centrally-asserting drive and direction. as the dynamics of the global collective shift from the latter to the former, there is just one dynamic going on that has dual aspects; i.e. the shrinkage of the latter and the growth of the former are dual aspects of one dynamic called ‘transformation’.

transformation is what one sees when one assumes, as mach and nietzsche do, that ‘space is relational’; i.e. that the web of relations we share inclusion in is a less simple but more realistic view of dynamics than the mainstream science machine view in terms of ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘what things do’.

in the relational view of space, a state that sees itself as running on the basis of centrally-asserting drive and direction can transform almost 'over night' by re-seeing itself as a hub of deficiency-that-orchestrates /organizes, ... IF people were ready to redefine themselves as a breed of 'rising to the occasion' people, instead of a breed that 'complies with common purpose'. but you can be sure that all those that currently enjoy positions of 'power over' are not going to lead that transformation, and as mentioned, 'politics' and 'politicians' are born to service the need to formulate an articulation of 'common purpose' as is the core requirement of the machine model of community.

Who cares what these two white middle-/upper-middle class non-anarchist idiots have to say?

Fuck Nietzsche and Foucault. How about worrying about what anarchists have to say about power instead?

well, nietzsche and foucault were much more intelligent than most anarchists.

because intelligence is the only thing that matters.

in the case of reading good interesting thought-provoking theory, it definitely helps.

gets my mind-juices flowing more than 99% of the stuff on anews.

no offense intended.


precisely my point. thank you.

Anarchists could learn a thing or 2 from following charismatic and intelligent leaders, eh?

Especially dead ones.

the ideas are there for anyone to 'try on'. nietzsche is simply saying 'try letting your unique situational inclusion in the dynamics of habitat have first dibs on shaping your behaviour'. in other words, try giving your sailboater cap priority over your powerboater [rational program driven and directed] cap. your authoritarian culture has screwed up your brain and insulted your experience by telling you to give precedence to your powerboater cap. i.e. you are actually voting to bind yourself into compliance with a centrally-driven rational 'common purpose' that totally ignores YOUR [the individual's] situational inclusion in the habitat dynamic. rational plans are one-sidedly driven, they are blind to the pressures/influences on behaviour coming from your unique sitational inclusion in the habitat dynamic.

nietzsche is NOT saying 'trust me', 'trust my theories', like the charismatic politicians, he is saying; 'for fuck sake, trust your own fucking experience. are you an idiot?'

Way to turn anarchy into an identity category

A lot of the world actually.
"The job of the intellectual is to make a map of power" -Foulcault

If the job of the anarchist is to attack power then this seems helpful.

I can't believe the LOIC has a fucking wikipedia article... Times have changed.

Adbusters provokes anarchy's fork in the head.

"the status quo has shown itself to be far more resilient than many of us expected."

This makes my face meet my palm in solidarity.

Hey guys! How bout society sucking less? ... No? Oh .. guess I'll give up and go home.

1. Occupy
2. Get on TV
3. ???
4. Profit!

^ This is so true it actually hurts.

Stick a fork in it, occupy is done.

Doesn't George Soros own/fund adbusters' Occupy campaign or something?


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.