Reflections on Fanon: Fossilization and #Occupy? (2011)

“What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.”–Frantz Fanon

What does this mean for us?  Bourgeois is not co-terminus with the middle class in our life times.  Indeed, the capitalist class is diffuse among the population except for even its most wealthy edge: stockholders are all bourgeois in part and partial, but most of them are wage-earners as well. Yet, the fossilization that Fanon describes can hit any class that has forgotten the need to mutual aid and mutual struggle.   One does not even need to view this as class specific such fossilization can happen on each individual.

This is a question that in reconciling we must look hard upon and not avert our eyes easily. Many in the #Occupy want their middle class lives back: they would sold a bill of goods by system that is incapable of delivering those goods and is unable to play monetary or debt tricks to hide that fact nor is it able to brush all the environmental damage done by it under the rug.  So occupiers: the question is do you just want your daily routines back? The quality of life?  Is the possibility of general strike just so you can have your 1990s era back that you remember from High School and middle school or your college days?

Or is it time to dream a bigger dream?  Are you looking for one more bribe for a few more years until the next bubble bursts or are you willing to think of something better for yourself.

Do you think lifestyle changes will be enough to break that routine? Any counter-culture can fossilize.  One only has to look at what happened to the babyboomer protesters for that.

“What man calls Absolute Being, his God, is his own being. The power of the object over him is therefore the power of his own being.”
– Ludwig Feuerbach

The Big Other has always been yourself: individually AND collectively.


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