Diversity of Tactics Can Be a Bitch
When it comes to strategy and tactics, in spite of our firm principles, there is no one right way. A tactic that works excellently at one time can easily crash and burn at another time. Certain tactics have great appeal to one section of society and can easily alienate others. Tactical choices are based on an analysis of our desired outcomes and the particular circumstances surrounding us.
The Occupy Movement, to some, is about insurrection. It is about sustained mass action that will change the structure of society and it’s institutions. This approach has no particular respect for established laws or rules that are perceived to have been set up merely to protect the interests of the 1%.
To others the Occupy Movement is about “creating seeds of the future in the present”. It is about pre-figuring the world we wish to see by constructing new institutions and new social relations that will begin to change society now. These institutions could meet the immediate needs of people in the short term whilst also demonstrating desirable long term alternatives.
Others see the Occupy Movement as a way to influence elites by raising the social cost of current policies such as austerity. This can be revolutionary or reformist depending on where one sees the end goal.
Different though these approaches may be they are not entirely at odds. They all favor their own particular emphasis but each can still incorporate elements of the others. In the case of the Occupy Movement that aims to create better society from the bottom up, this is in fact preferable.
As the process of revolutionary change spans over the course of years and decades we don’t want to get caught up in rigid principles about tactics that limit our movements and restrict the number of people who can participate. Of course the tension that arises between insurrectionary, constructivist and reform based approaches will not go away. But a movement that favors diversity and participation must find ways to accommodate the widest range of approaches sought by the widest range of people in a way that keeps everyone respectfully and passionately involved right up to and through the winning of a new society.