“I am a Leninist. Lenin wasn’t afraid to dirty his hands. If you can get power, grab it…we need Marx more than ever.” Slavoj Zizek, New York University professor, Mentor to the Occupy Wall Street movement
“A specter is haunting the academy—the specter of ‘new communism.’ A worldview recently the source of immense suffering and misery, and responsible for more death than fascism and Nazism, is mounting a comeback; a new form of left-wing totalitarianism than enjoys intellectual celebrity but aspires to political power.
“The Slovenian cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek and the French philosopher and ex-Maoist Alain Badiou have become the leading proponents of this new school. Others associate with the project are the authors of the influential trilogy Empire, Multitude, Commonwealth, the American Michael Hardt of Duke University and the Italian Marxist Toni Negri; the Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo (who recently declared that he has positively ‘reevaluated’ The Protocols of the Elders of Zion); Bologna University professor and ex-Maoist Alessandro Russo; and the professor of poetry at the European Graduate School (and another ex-Maoist) Judith Balso.
“Other leading voices include Alberto Toscano, translator of Alain Badiou, a sociology lecturer at Goldsmiths in London, and a member of the editorial board of History Materialism; the literary critic and essayist Terry Eagleton; and Bruno Bosteels from Cornell University. Most spoke at ‘The Idea of Communism,’ a three-day conference held in London in 2009 that, to the astonishment of the organizers, attracted nearly a thousand people willing to pay more than one hundred pounds each.” Alan Johnson, World Affairs Journal, May/June 2012
“One might say that Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are opposites. The latter has a particular talent for being labeled as a hate group despite all evidence to the contrary, and the former a gift for adding criminal acts to an ever-growing police blotter without its reputation being tarnished one whit. On May Day, Occupy added a few more ‘isolated incidents’ to its sordid tally. In Seattle and San Francisco, members of the movement’s ‘Black Bloc’ smashed and paint-bombed the windows of stores, cars, and a police station; while in New York City, fellow criminals smashed and seized journalists’ cameras and sent white powder and threatening letters to three Manhattan-based Wells Fargo branches. But the Occupiers saved the best for Ohio, in which state five self-described members of Occupy Cleveland planned to blow up a bridge in Cuyahoga Valley National Part with C-4 that they had obtained from an FBI infiltrator. Ed Needham, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street, complained that the alleged plot ‘goes against the very fabric of the Occupy Movement.’ The Cleveland Five disagree, participating vigorously in their local chapter and arguing that their blow would be struck for the ’99 percent.’ One of the bombers, Anthony Hayne, signed the lease for a warehouse in which a group of Occupy Cleveland protestors lived; another, Brandon ‘Scabby’ Baxter, had been arrested protesting foreclosures and was the architect of the ‘Occupy the Heart Festival’ event; and a third, Josh Stafford, registered “Occupy’ as his profession on Facebook. Radicals used to decry ‘the violence inherent in the system.’ It certainly seems to be inherent in their movements.” National Review, May 28, 2012, p. 10, 12