Against Privilege Theory and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex May 9, 2012Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Queer politics.
Once you walk through the wall with me, then as I see it you are one of us. We are responsible to you and you to us; you become an Anarresti, with the same options as all the others. But they are not safe options. Freedom is never very safe. – Shevek
Here’s a notable recent piece on the racial politics of the Occupy movement from a group in Oakland. I don’t know how things went down in there, but puck lo’s analysis makes me skeptical of this account the name conflict. At home in Albuquerque, many of the folks who use so-called privilege theory hold goals akin to these authors. They’re not interested in mere inclusion and diversity; they want to radically transform the system both materially and culturally. Similarly, the disoccupy people these authors criticize as “conservative” aren’t so different in their aims. I hope we can all collaborate against the system despite our differences, as unlikely as that dream may be.
As I just participated in the Queer (In)Security conference in a panel with Elliot Fukui as well as roundtable on the Occupy movement, the question of safety stands out to me. I concur with the linked pamphlet that it’s always an illusion and often a tool to channel dissent in ineffectual modes of resistance. On the other hand, we’ve got to do whatever we can to protest each other, including increasing our power in order to do so more credibly. (Transhumanism has potential applications in this arena.) Although safety is statistical rather than certain, we shouldn’t dismiss the concept. Cooperation with the bosses does carry rewards, at least in the short term. I don’t see a mass mobilization arising from the strategy of precipitating and then losing conflict after conflict with the cops. If the choice remains doing tricks for scraps or getting arrested, imprisoned, and/or beaten up in futile insurrectionary displays, rational actors will keep on opting for the former and the latter will continue to attract those who can afford it plus those too desperate to care.