democracia presentista

The young protest is most welcome. The many national and increasingly transnational protest movements of 2011 meet with much sympathy, especially when they are ‘non-violent’. At last there is a collective uprising against the political, economic and social developments in financial market capitalism, the untenable precarious living and working conditions in neoliberalism, against the many governments that now only appear to serve capital and make decisions that are no longer in the sense of the majority of voters. Yet these protests, where primarily the ‘young generation’ is perceived in international media reception, are irritating at the same time. It is not clear enough what, exactly, they are protesting against in the streets and what they want instead. They are regarded as naive and uncoordinated, because they make no concrete demands, do not see themselves represented by political parties, and even dispense with speakers of their own. They do not fit in the hegemonic parameters of what is considered politics, struggles and political agency. The reduced perception that it is the young people who are rebelling, is a familiar pattern for infantalizing and depoliticizing protests, in a sense, which are not immediately to be classified, in order to avoid having to question one’s own naturalized categorizations of what can be effective, society-changing/revolutionary political agency.


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