It was a flash movement


With the Tea Party and the Obama campaign of 2008 we can see an emergent reality more complex than that of OWS, which eleven months after September 2011 looks like the almost pure type of a flash movement. The Tea Party’s success and Obama’s victory entailed a dense interweaving of longstanding and newer organizational forms and strategies with dynamic flash elements that no one really predicted. These elements helped turn a right-wing sectarian current into a national political force and a long-shot candidate into a president. The Tea Party and of course Obama’s 2008 campaign overshadow OWS in political significance, but for the moment they stand together as three instances of a volatile and exciting politics that we are deep into without understanding very well. If Occupy was mainly a vivid and significant flash movement that had a real effect on public debate, that’s important now and later.

more from David Plotke at Dissent here.