This is Hell interviews Micah White

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This is Hell interviews Micah White

Micah White, formerly of AdBusters and of Occupy Wall Street, is promoting his recent book, "The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution".

He was interviewed by Chuck Mertz of This is Hell.


Revolution is always illegal: Reclaiming the radical power of protest.

Activists themselves are actually afraid of revolution. They've started to believe that revolution isn't possible, and not desirable, quite frankly. The actions they're doing - they don't want to succeed. A lot of people protest, but they don't actually want to become the government, or topple the government and replace it with themselves. Because that is terrifying for them. But that's what a real revolution would be.

Occupy Wall Street co-founder Micah White explains how Occupy's failure exposed the flaws of modern activism - from an activist industry promoting and profiting from ineffective actions, to governments that allow and encourage everything except threats to themselves - and why social movements of the future (and present) must realize that the only true measure of success is the capture of political power.


Some more quotes or summaries ...

1. Revolution is always illegal. All effective forms of protest (aimed at fundamental change) are illegal. This doesn't mean protest has to be violent. One way to think about this is to say that we can rise above or beyond the law.  

2. The government wants us to protest in ineffective ways only. The authorities colonize our minds and monopolize what is considered legitimate forms of protest. Those forms are all ... ineffective. We live in a time of proliferation of ineffective protest.

3. We (therefore) need new and effective forms of protest. This is no easy task. It may relate to getting people to support a movement they believe can win. Not the biggest, just what CAN win. Unconventional means.

4. The ability of the people to be sovereign. (dual power?) How to grab power?   Becoming a major political force. Capturing political power. In many countries.

He concludes: We need to build social movements that can win elections.

humph. Doesn't that beg the question about elections not changing anything fundamental? Or does this formulation, based on the idea of social movement(s) creating electoral success,  actually help people to imagine success?