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Re: [xmca] debt crisis, cultural memory, and narrativity

The very terms of the movement seem to preclude the possibility of a
leadership developing. What would happen if some group of "leaders" were to
step forward and say that they speak for the group. That would be like them
saying "we are the 1% of the 99%" and "but of course we speak for the 99%".
That doesn't seem to fly. The movement insists "we are the 99%." In order to
truly be the 99%, the movement has to be ultra-democratic (if it were
democratic in the traditional sense, then it would at best be, maybe the "we
are the 60%," or in the case of American democracy, more like "we are the
35%" - the percentage of eligible voters who voted for Obama in 2008 (53% of
the 63% of eligible voters)).

I'm willing to be as cynical as the rest of you in pointing to the failures
of ultra-democratic movements (this kind of cynicism certainly comes with
age - something that many of those in the vanguard of this movement don't
suffer from). But I remain open to the inexorable openness of the present in
bringing forth something new.

At the very least, it is generating a lot of discussion.

On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM, Bruce Robinson <bruce@brucerob.eu> wrote:

> To reply briefly from my phone .. I think the failure of OWS (which I
> support) to raise any specific demands is a weakness rather than a strength,
> which means the movement will ultimately dissipate. The history of the
> 1999-2002ish 'anti-globalisation movement showed that street protest can
> only go so far before a  movement declines.
> I've written something on this in relation to the recent UK student
> movement entitled 'The Party's not over' which I'll post when technology
> permits. One of the reasons I'm critical of network forms of organisation is
> precisely that it is not a good repository for cultural memory.
> Sent from my HTC
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Glassman <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu>
> Sent: Monday, October 17, 2011 19:42
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Subject: RE: [xmca] debt crisis, cultural memory, and narrativity
> Hi Larry,
> I was just talking about this with some colleagues.  I think it is
> interesting that most people don't consider a common thread to #OWS to be a
> single thing (one of the reasons that the movement is refusing to put forth
> a reified set of demands)  but is actually a process - the use of the
> Internet as a communicative device in order to build a movement.  There is a
> narrative, but I think you would have a hard time thinking of this narrative
> as being linear in any way.  Instead it is a pinging back and forth of
> ideas, actions, relationships, moving from level to level with extraordinary
> speed and facility in ways that we have never seen before.  The entire
> system of channels and gatekeepers of information that has been developed
> over the last century has more or less collapsed.  Videos go viral, human
> productive actions move from one arena to another, individuals come together
> and then disperse, and what holds it together I think is multi-lateral
> communications through the Internet using a series of slowly developing hubs
> (e.g. DailyKos).
> What is most amazing I think about what is happening, and suggests that it
> is something new, is that traditional gatekeepers simply don't know what to
> make of it or how to respond.  It has become impossible to ignore, but some
> ridicule, some become angry, some are confused, some try to co-opt.  What is
> also interesting is that way in which direct activity has taken on the form
> of the Internet.  One of the less remarked phenomena of #OWS (and there are
> many) is the organic development of General Assemblies.  These are
> completely open in which any person can make an argument or suggestion, or
> point.  The meetings are non-linear (although I continue to think we need
> another term), but they work in ways people would have not thought possible.
> Anyway need a dissertation topic?
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Larry Purss
> Sent: Mon 10/17/2011 2:19 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [xmca] debt crisis, cultural memory, and narrativity
> The occupy wall street movement and the Arab Spring. Do they have a common
> source?? Is that source our relation to DEBT as a moral stance embedded
> within capitalistic activities which get represented within narrative form?
> I'm attaching an article on narrativity in text construction and its
> relation to various notions of self construction.  I think it is an
> interesting summary of the question, Is narrativity a primary or a
> secondary
> phenomena? The article may be interesting for locating various notions or
> assumptions of "the self" and the sense of "situated agency or
> intentionality" assumed.
>  If the occupy wall street movement is a "space" to create an alternative
> narrative that challenges exchange value social relations, then how we view
> narrativity, speech acts, and activity are central concerns.   I found the
> discussion of "soft notions" of "self" or "identity" interesting.
> Larry
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
Department of Communication
University of California, San Diego
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