Douglas Enaa Greene
Douglas Enaa Greene is an independent historian living in the greater Boston area. He has been published in Socialism and Democracy, LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal, MRZine, Counterpunch, Socialist Viewpoint, Green Left Weekly, Open Media Boston, Jacobin, Cultural Logic and Red Wedge magazine. He was active in Occupy Boston. He is the author of a forthcoming book, Communist Insurgent: Blanqui's Politics of Revolution, on the French communist Louis-Auguste Blanqui from Haymarket Books.
What is the Occupy movement?
What is the Occupy movement?, Harvard University, December 15, 2011
Harvard University, Room K354, Knafel Building, CGIS North, Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
A round table discussion
- The Occupy protests are driven by discontent with the present state of affairs: glaring economic inequality, dead-end Democratic Party politics, and, for some, the suspicion that capitalism could never produce an equitable society. For many, the protests at Wall Street and elsewhere provide an avenue to raise questions the Left has long fallen silent on.
What would it mean to challenge capitalism on a global scale? How could we begin to overcome social conditions that adversely affect every part of life? And, how could a new international movement address these concerns in practice?
The Platypus Affiliated Society will be hosting a series of round-table discussions with organizers and participants of the Occupy movement in NYC, Chicago and Boston, and will be moving to other North American cities, and to London, Germany, and Greece in the months to come.
- Jason Giannetti
- Douglas Enaa Greene (Kasama Project)
- Nick Ford (ALL-oNE)
- Evan Sarmiento (Freedom Road Socialist Organization)
- Stephen Squibb (Occupy Harvard, n+1)
The Socialist Caucus
According to Douglas Enaa Greene, at Occupy Boston, the Socialist Caucus has come together to build an anti-capitalist network within the movement. For members of the Socialist Caucus, the key challenge when confronting our society is not corporate person-hood, the Federal Reserve, campaign financing, or political corruption. Their challenge is confronting capitalism, itself.
Caucus member Jay Jubilee explains that capitalism is “a system designed for the endless accumulation of profit, a system that renders all other human and planetary needs external to that one predatory, virus-drive.” As he put it, “This sick system must go.
A common criticism heard on the political left is, “why can’t the different socialist groups work together?” Last October, Boston-area socialists formed the Caucus in order to reverse this long-standing fragmentation and create a forum in which socialists holding different perspectives can hold discussions and coordinate activities with one another. The group’s mission statement was adopted in November, explains that “members of the Occupy Boston Socialist Caucus believe that capitalism is the problem, that revolutionary change is necessary, and that socialism is the solution.”
Members of the Socialist Caucus hold widely differing viewpoints and even strong disagreements on the construction of socialism, revolution, and methods of mass work and organizing. Some members hold positive views on socialist experiments in the Soviet Union while others are more negative. Yet the Caucus is primarily action-oriented. Evan Sarmiento declares, “we’re here to get some work done in Occupy Boston and build some unity.”
And that is just what they did on December 12 by organizing a solidarity march to protest Occupy Boston’s expulsion from Dewey Square (and in solidarity with a general strike on the Westcoast which shut down ports in Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon).
Members have also been involved in many working groups. Socialists in the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series have invited radical academics, such as Noam Chomsky, Fred Magdoff and Bruno Bosteels, to give talks at Occupy Boston. Socialists have also been active in Peace Action and the Ideas Working Group.