Released on October 8, the second issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal included an editorial note entitled “No list of demands,” responding to the perceived absence of strong messaging offered by the movement. The note specified that:
The exhausted political machines and their PR slicks are already seeking leaders to elevate, messages to claim, talking points to move on. They, more than anyone, will attempt to seize and shape this moment. They are racing to reach the front of the line.
But how can they run out in front of something that is in front of them? They cannot.
For Wall Street and Washington, the demand is not on them to give us something that isn’t theirs to give. It’s ours. It’s on us. We aren’t going anywhere. We just got here.[footnote See →.]
It is a sophisticated defense of a movement deliberately weak in language and growing strong in numbers.[footnote “We are the 99 percent”: →.] While the movement has made declarations, the statement suggests that nothing will be demanded of those who have perpetuated and legitimized a system that has repeatedly worked to consolidate a society’s wealth in the hands of 1% of the population.[footnote For a start, see: →.] In place of heroic ideology, an ostensible silence evades recuperation and maintains an opening through which collective sentiment can take the time to formulate its own terms without having to acknowledge the current regime as a necessary precedent.
Here it becomes clear that, in place of making demands, the project of the demonstrations will be to gradually reconstitute society itself through its sheer numbers—a claim to both the right and the capacity to project a new world in broad, open-ended terms.
In this issue, Jan Verwoert finds in the work of Stano Filko a means of articulating totality by claiming the world as his medium and mode of address; Jalal Toufic posits the elusiveness of messianic time against the possibility for contemporary events; Antke Engel looks at the chronopolitics of Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz’s work No Future / No Past; Sotirios Bahtsetzis considers nihilism, repetition, and notions of taste in a depoliticized and fiscalized society; Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall reveal mobilization in architecture as both an economic imperative and a mannerist response to classical ideals, and Joshua Simon concludes his three-part “Neo-Materialism” series by recognizing how the commodity speaks the language of our world.