What lessons can we draw from the social movements of 2011?

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jk1921
What lessons can we draw from the social movements of 2011?
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: What lessons can we draw from the social movements of 2011?. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
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jk1921
I generally suppport the

I generally suppport the presentation. However, one area that leaves me a little concerned is that it seemed to say that what we call these movements is irrelevant. "Social Movement," "Social Revolt," "Protest Movement," etc.--it doesn't really matter, because we are trying to understand the dynamic at work here.

That's fine, but I do think that in order to understand the dynamic, we need to clarify how these movements are similar to dissimilar to other social phenomenon, i.e. the "social movements" we are all familiar with from history class: the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Rights Movements, Gay Rights, Anti-War Movement, etc. What are the characteristics of this kind of movement? How are the movements we saw over 2011 similar/disimilar to these? I think to get to the bottom of this, we do need to engage in a little sociology. What's wrong with that?

It seems to me that the kinds of movements that have generally been regarded as "social movements" in the past have a very different character from those we saw over the course of 2011. These "social movements" were movements within bourgeois society for greater recognition, inclusion in the dominant system. They were based around more or less permanent "social movement organizations" even if the movements as a whole could not be reduced to these various organizations. Still, these movements were not entirely transient--they were able to maintain a weight within society, even if they were not direct emanations from the state (i.e. they weren't entirely bourgeois "maneovers").

I don't think this picture corresponds very well to what we saw over the course of 2011 (and the presentation does a very good job spelling out the fundamental characteristics of these movements, so I won't repeat them here). The movements of 2011 seem to me to have had much more of a class nature: temporally limited expressions of class anger, self-organized, suspicious of permanent organs, etc.--even if they were mostly expresions of a particular sector of the proletariat today: those most marked by unemployment, marginalization, precariousness, etc., and had very severe difficutlies linking up with the proletariat at the point of production.

But as the ICC's orginal statement said--it would be a mistake to say all the movements of 2011 were the same. Certainly, many of the events of the Arab Spring had a different nature. This has already been the subject of some intense debate on this board.