On the cover of its special edition magazine commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712), Le Monde designates him as "the Subversive." True enough, Rousseau was a contestataire, a non-conformist, a rebel, a pre-revolutionary, whose remains were carried to the Pantheon in the aftermath of the French Revolution, to be buried a hero.
Rousseau shall forever be known for championing liberty. Famously, for Rousseau, individuals are born and remain free, and enjoy equal rights. Society corrupted the individual, but all was not lost. Through building a "culture," individuals could transform social life and live in accordance with nature.
That is the question. Or maybe -- how we ought to re-occupy. Though to this point it has been more a question of when, rather than if or how. Once Occupy Vancouver's camp was evicted, First Nations elders reminded us that winter was the time for recuperation, storytelling, planning, and readying for the spring. And indeed, the call for a spring re-occupation has been in circulation almost since the evictions became general, with perhaps the loudest and clearest call coming in the form of the Spanish Indignados and the DRY (Democracia Real Ya) movement's #12m12 call to make the 12th of May 2012 a day of global action: "Let's turn the streets into the biggest loudspeaker on earth."
Making the social democratic movement operate like a "normal" more centrist political party is the kind of advice the mainstream press has been offering to the NDP since shortly after it was founded in Calgary, as the CCF, in 1932.
NDP members want the party to build upon its newfound status as a national party, and ready itself to take on the role of government. However, to win office, few New Democrats want NDP policies to mirror recent Conservative and Liberal practices, or expect the party to move away from supporting workers, or tone down talk about empowering equality-seeking groups.
To me the most amazing aspect of the "Occupation" movement is its internationalism. For in an ever-shrinking world, it makes perfect sense for citizens around the world -- in fact in over 2,000 communities around the globe -- to join in common cause.
An international day of action has been called. Organizers have chosen Friday Nov. 11, 2011 (11.11.11) for an event called "Occupy the streets. Occupy the world."
So far the occupation movement is largely a success. Despite several unprovoked attacks by the authorities, it has been almost entirely peaceful. And it is the first permanent, real-time global movement, a direct result of the internet linking citizens to citizens.