Scarcely twenty years have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and yet the frightened bourgeoisie is still continuing to search for an explanation behind the Arab Spring, as if the sudden collapse of a few puppet regimes is somehow unprecedented, and as if all this spontaneous revolutionary activity were not really the inevitable and necessary result of the same untenable social contradictions and economic pressures which are now, in a different guise, causing American students and workers to march in protest under the banner of freedom without any specific name.
But on what grounds is it reasonable to think that a reform of the stock exchange will be able to save ninety-nine percent of society from the deadly antagonisms of conflicting private and class interests, concentration of capital, and monopoly?
The scientific editors here at Selecting Stones do recognize that the current lack of vision among the demonstrators is a serious drawback of the Occupy Wall Street movement. At the same time, however, we would like to also make the more general observation, that, in the last hundred years or so, lack of talent and narrow-mindedness have become universal laws of the free press, which is an embarrassment to us all with its superficial and often mendacious reportage.
Selecting Stones therefore offers its full-fledged support for any protest against the bourgeois economy, under the practical assumption that the free and full development, both of the individual and of society, is no longer inconceivable. But first we will have to peel off the narrow bourgeois form.
For as those geniuses Marx and Engels once asked:
What is wealth if not the universality of the individual’s needs, capacities, enjoyments, productive forces, etc., produced in universal exchange; what is it if not the full development of human control over the forces of nature – over the forces of so-called Nature, as well as those of his own nature?
What is wealth if not the absolute unfolding of man’s creative abilities, without any preconditions other than the preceding historical development, which makes the totality of this development – i.e. the development of all human powers as such, not measured by any preciously given yardstick – an end-in-itself, through which he does not reproduce himself in any specific character, but produces his totality, and does not seek to remain something he has already become, but is in the absolute movement of becoming?
In the bourgeois economy – and in the epoch of production to which it corresponds – this complete unfolding of man’s inner potentiality turns into his total emptying-out. His universal objectification becomes his total alienation, and the demolition of all determined one-sided aims becomes the sacrifice of the human end-in-itself to a wholly external purpose.
That is why, on the one hand, the childish world of antiquity appears as something superior. On the other hand, it is superior, wherever fixed shape, form and established limits are being looked for. It is satisfaction from a narrow standpoint; while the modern world leaves us unsatisfied or, where it does appear to be satisfied with itself, is merely vulgar.
The Occupy Wall Street movement will be considered an enormous success if it can somehow manage at the very least to force a handful of CEOs to come out into the streets, and to then make them drop their trousers, in submission to the humiliating proletarian spanking which every CEO deserves.