Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Who by Fire, Who by Drum Circle?

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Who by Fire, Who by Drum Circle?

Article excerpt

It will not be surprising if today the occupation of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattanthe linchpin of a movement, Occupy Wall Street, that has claimed the allegiance of millions around the worldwill come to an end because of two or three (or even just one) obnoxious, selfish drummers. According to an urgent message from the movement organizers, they have been unable to coax a few drummers into complying with requests put forward by the local Community Board that would have limited drumming to two (or maybe four) hours per day, during daylight hours. The CB meets today and very likely has the power to force an eviction, which, while not necessarily fatal to the overall movement, certainly would prove a crushing blow.

What can be confusing to people about Occupy Wall Street is that the incredibly arcane, "consensus-based" philosophy that governs the Lower Manhattan occupation itself has nothing, really, to do with the motivations of the broader movement or its "99 percent" messageand yet, because that large movement draws its strength from this specific occupation, that philosophy and its consequences matter a great deal. And that philosophy's Achilles heel is its inability, born from its rejection of the concept of representation, to form an institution in which, say, a spokesperson can speak for the movement even if not every single member of the movement agrees, and in which no organized group within the movement enjoys the equivalent of the governmental monopoly on the use of legitimate force. …

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