A Note on the Occupations

Justin E. H. Smith in his own blog:

ScreenHunter_11 Oct. 14 21.56There must be a word, and probably one beloved of Bolsheviks, for what is occurring right now: there is a sort of apodicticity, an undeniability to it all, one that makes someone like me a bit ashamed to have not seen it earlier. Just two or three years ago my mind still drifted off to more beautiful distractions every time someone started to get indignant about bailing out bankers, or drawing that tiresome, overwrought contrast between 'Wall Street' and 'Main Street'. I've always, to be honest, had a difficult relationship to political engagement. A vivid memory still lingers of a lie-in, circa 1988, somewhere in the suburbs of Sacramento, around the pumps at a Shell station. “Free South Africa, Boycott Shell!”, we were meant to chant, as the zit-faced teenaged pump attendant looked on confusedly, no doubt thinking to himself: What's South Africa? The historical moment was just wrong, or I didn't have the wherewithal to stick it out through the lean years of activism, through the early post-Cold War period of optimistic triumphalism and end-of-history, end-of-ideology ideology. I just didn't have the right temperament for it. It's my shortcoming, not history's. I admit it.

But the thing about this moment that I am trying to get at is that one doesn't need the right temperament in order to be carried along with the mass upheaval. To say, I'm sorry, this just isn't really my thing, is really nothing other than to say, I am an asshole, a wretch. And furthermore, fuck you. To say that this is just not one's thing would be morally the same as that puerile gesture of the Chicago stock traders who announced with a sign in the window of their skyscraper, We Are the 1%.

More here.