Recently a broad First Worldist movement has cropped up in the US and elsewhere, describing itself as the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or ‘Occupy Together Movement’ (OWS). There has already been a lot of writing about it from the established First Worldist ‘left’, most of which glorifies the movement along with its potential to be transformed into something more radical and substantive. Others have written about its pitfalls of its ideological orientation, still implying it can be transformed into something more radical and significant.
OWS is marginally progressive in that it is a movement mainly of ‘middle class’ Amerikans that focuses anger on corporate and state elites, not primarily oppressed and Third World peoples. Otherwise, a just, equitable and regenerative future world necessitates that virtual all Amerikans have access to and consume far less, not more. The strong (and ultimately dangerous) tendency within OWS is to simply wish the return of the US and its own social fabric back to the context of 20 or 50 years ago.
We, the editors of Anti-imperialism.com, are frankly not that concerned with OWS. We welcome the efforts of those interested to intervene and interject pro-Third World, anti-oppression and revolutionary dialogue. Certainly, some good can come out of it. Yet, OWS is a movement firmly rooted in the classes and ideology of the First World. It can never become a revolutionary movement unto itself outside of the global Third World-centered revolutionary movement.
Our recent approach has been to apply critical revolutionary thought to and expose class truths behind culture, current events, history and political economy, not chase after recruits and donations or attempt to build a revolutionary-unto-itself movement of First Worlders ‘radicalized’ into being class-nation traitors. Is this the only approach? No. There is certainly room for other type of organizing and action within the realm of a correct understanding of global class struggle.
First Worldism is a dead end literally. It negates revolutionary class struggle, that which is capable of transforming the world into something fundamentally better, and will lead humanity to ruin if broadly embraced instead of revolutionary critique and practice. While it is good that some within the First World are breaking their allegiance with Capital and the imperialist state (something which Capital and the state can be credited with more than the whole of the First Worldist ‘radical’ and ‘revolutionary’ ‘left’ combined), it is far more important for the Third World masses to break their allegiances to the First World and First Worldism.
There will always be the small few in the First World who are inclined towards more scientific analysis regarding global class and the struggle against oppression and exploitation. While such people have individual and collective roles to play, revolution will be made by the masses of people suffering from everyday exploitation and repression, i.e. the proletarian masses of the Third World.
We welcome contributions from other revolutionary anti-imperialists or our critics, including thoughts on or experiences with OWS and its general significance within the larger struggle to end all oppression.