- Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: Zero Books (27 Sept. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782791264
- ISBN-13: 978-1782791263
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.8 x 21.7 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,348,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street Paperback – 27 Sep 2013
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Bray's meticulous, rich insider account of Occupy Wall Street demonstrates the central influence of anarchism on its core militants, but refuses to shy away from drawing hard lessons from its limitations. Anarchism, he convincingly argues, must position itself as an everyday movement of the 'ordinary' folks who alone can change the world - this requires a positive, practical programme and message, self-reflective and accountable politics, solid organisation, and clear tactics and strategy. -Lucien van der Walt (Rhodes University), co-author of "Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism".
In "Translating Anarchy" Mark Bray provides unique insight into the inner workings and politics of OWS and its interactions with the press and the public. Straightforward and non-academic but in fact scholarly and historically informed, it provides an often witty good read. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the OWS phenomenon or who may ever interpret social movements for the public and the media. -Jeremy Brecher, author of "Strike!"
About the Author
Mark Bray is a PhD Candidate in Modern European History at Rutgers University and longtime political activist. He was a core organizer of the Press Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. He lives in New Jersey, US.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Mr. Bray leveraged his status as a trusted OWS insider to conduct an ethnographic study of the movement. Mr. Bray's survey found that OWS consisted of a core group of organizers with mostly anarchist views who were surrounded by mostly liberal supporters. Mr. Bray interviewed nearly 200 of the organizers to gain unprecedented insight into the views of the most active participants and shares their opinions throughout the text. Disillusioned by the failures of capitalism and state socialism, many young activists are attracted to inclusive, empowering and participatory organizations. Through this exacting first-hand research, Mr. Bray makes a persuasive case that OWS signifies a decisive turn of Leftist tactics and strategy from Marxism to anarchism.
Mr. Bray reveals that the media's confusion about the movement's anti-capitalist intentions stemmed from the organizer's calculated use of strategic messaging. OWS' core members understood that aspirational messages about social and economic justice for the 99 percent would play best with a public that does not understand the anarchist movement too well. In any case, Mr. Bray explains that avoiding ideology was successful in attracting media attention and winning supporters on the streets.
Mr. Bray situates OWS within the tradition of radical politics and working class struggle. Mr. Bray is especially keen to share his deep knowledge about the anarchist tradition and its relevance to us today. Mr. Bray suggests how activists might better manage a number of critical issues including organizational structure, accountability, autonomy and state violence. As capitalism and the welfare state crumbles, Mr. Bray's powerful writing helps us understand how anarchism has inspired a new generation of activists who are intent on building a better future.
I highly recommend this important book to everyone.