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While We Were Sleeping: From Dystopia to Global Awakening

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AbstractActivists and academics have been sounding the alarms for years: climate change, globalization, capitalism, human rights abuses, and more. The alarms appeared to fall upon the deaf ears of the slumbering “multitude.” The Arab Spring, European movements, global and local attacks upon labor, and the Occupy Wall Street movement have awakened us from a slumber reliant upon vacuous media, consumption, alienation and isolationism. In shattering this spell, Occupy Wall Street has called us into the streets in record numbers, opening space for a new opportunity to imagine. Some scholars argue, “. . . we need Marxism to understand the structure of society and anarchism to prefigure or anticipate a new society” (Lynd and Grubacic 2008:xiii). We agree. In this article, we employ a local Occupy case study to briefly discuss 1) the historical contributions to Occupy Wall Street, 2) and to argue that it is precisely the opportunity to imagine, to anticipate, to challenge the “real” that holds the most promise for the development, and future, of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Affiliations: 1: The University of; 2: The University of; 3: Wright State


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