The issue of Occupy tends to provoke sermonizing from many sources, especially the old Left (cf. Cockburn’s essay on this).
Ok, let’s grant the OWS style is limited: we need an organized movement with objectives and leadership. Fine, but all the current candidates for that aren’t going to work. So, the funny thing about the OWS is that it is idling while something new comes to the fore.
I think we need a ‘new communism’, a global movement to do that, and an enlightened leadership to match. But we don’t have any options there: the Old Left flows into every new opening with a dogmatic recursion of an ancient and failed legacy.
We need for that, then, in my perspective a new recreation on all points of the basics of the old left. That means, not socialism, but a new socialism, not communism, but a new communism, not marxism, but a new post-marxist brand, progresssivism, yes, but also, no: a new progresssivism, if it can decipher the sabotage of activism that destroyed liberalism and FDR-ism. There are a few other things: the left needs a new take on religion, on evolutionary ideologies and social darwinism, some serious insight on 9/11 and the covert agnecy control of politics, and much else, including a thorough debriefing done right on tactics, such as the issue of non-violence. We need, to do any of that, a de-Stalinization of leftist thought, and a rejection of all failed legacies on the left.
Evryone time I hear another awestruck reference to Marx, another invocation of Leninist tactics, another cliche about economics, etc, I know I am forced to defer any new beginnings. That is perhaps the value of OWS: it is an absence of these requirements, waiting on their rebirtth.
There is also the issue of community, of association, next to an old left of cultic snobs whose main attitude to outsiders is the deathly look of liquidation to come, to be rid of outsiders. The old left is a closed religion, dangerous in any future evven to its own friends. Old groups should dissolve and reform.
So the critiques of OWS, perhaps, but they miss the point: the stance of the OWS could be as radical as you please, but only if something new and intelligent is forthcoming.