Occupation and the Return of Communism
During 2011, popular movements in Greece, Spain, and the United States included claims that the movements were “post-political.” Neither left nor right, some activists urged, the massing of thousands in public squares was a rejection of politics and a move to something else. This chapter will consider the oddness of a politics claiming not to be political, elaborating on the contexts in which the claims are raised, as well as the political conflicts the label of “post-political” obscures. I argue that in popular movements of occupation the claim to be post-political operates in multiple registers: a rejection of parliamentarianism, an attempt to constitute a new political space, and as a mechanism of inclusion and exclusion. Yet cutting through all these registers is a more profound division that the language of post-politics attempts to repress or displace – class conflict. Thus, I argue that the very attempt to displace class via an emphasis on post-politics is helping to usher in the contemporary return of communism.
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