bye sam pepper !
and you sit there staring at it thinking
"How did that happen?"
Branding. That’s how the climate crisis is going to be solved. We are in an era [of] postmodern social movements. The image (not ideology) comes first and shapes the reality. The P.R. and marketing determines the tactics, the messaging, the organizing, and the strategy. Whether [ the People’s Climate March] can have a positive effect is a different question, and it’s why I encourage everyone to participate. The future is unknowable. But left to their own devices the organizers will lead the movement into the graveyard of the Democratic Party.
To better place this in context, Gupta is making the case that we ought to be highly skeptical of the corporatization of social movements, which in turn make them palatable for co-optation by opportunistic party politics. He is further stating the implicit contradiction of such, saying “encouraging bankers to march [is] like saying Blackwater mercenaries should join an antiwar protest.”
While the People’s Climate March potentially will be helpful in generating awareness about global warming, as usual, we need to be critical about what its end-goals could possibly be. Namely, does the People’s Climate March move us closer toward radical divergence from the capitalist paradigm that is murdering our planet, or does it send the message, with its deep funding, P.R. sloganism, and uncritical “inclusiveness”, that we can buy our way out of this calamity with symbolic actions and donations to NGO’S like 350.org?
Gupta’s critique continues, “So we have a corporate-designed protest march to support a corporate-dominated world body to implement a corporate policy to counter climate change caused by the corporations of the world, which are located just a few miles away but which will never feel the wrath of the People’s Climate March.”
It is not necessarily a zero-sum game, but for it not to go the way of “green capitalism,” or into the coffins of past social movements derailed by mainstream politics, radicals will need to show up and be heard. Further still, they (we) will need to generate support for more substantive tactics, i.e., direct action and other insurrectionary activities. If a few who attend the march on Sunday decide to show up to the Flood Wall Street campaign the following Monday, at least by some measure, that will have been a small but substantive success.