[An open letter to Academics and arm-chair (onanistic) activism, riding a wave with…talk]
There are several dynamics in play here, which need not be conflated as one needful Left agenda.
As Chomsky notes, there is an abiding mutual dissociation present among the working class which inertia hinders, at the most essential level, even the possibility of a nascent Left activism. That is, OWS has inspirited a massive segment of the population to—voila!—get out of the house and become involved!
This fact needs to be valorized as the incipient moment of what may potentially be a coalescing of many seemingly disparate causes: anti-war, universal health care, EFCA and card check, doubling of the minimum wage, worker control of the means of production, etc.
To aver that OWS is remiss, i.e., “they really need to be doing more,” is to overlook the dynamics of Left activism. For example, to argue that “The absence of demands isn’t a strength,” is yet more effluent (institutionalized logorrhea) from anxious careerists who have been found out—i.e., who haven’t been at the barricades. To compensate for this egregious moral lack they cover their—’smell’ via learned disquisition…