HARRIS EMERGED as a writer with anarchist politics over the past decade, particularly in the New York milieus of Occupy Wall Street and the New Inquiry, though one can find his writing in this magazine and early issues of Jacobin as well. The window of possibility, the feeling of historical openness, that was generated by the Occupy moment did not stay open. The halves of the anticapitalist left, embodied on the one hand by Harris’s anarchism and on the other by the emergent democratic socialism of Jacobin, became incompatible—a rupture to which Harris’s work feels like a partial response. You can actually watch this happen in real time in a video of a 2011 panel at Bluestockings bookstore on the Lower East Side. The same day that thousands had rallied to defend the occupation against a police raid, anarchists Harris and Natasha Lennard squared off against socialists Jodi Dean, Doug Henwood, and Chris Maisano in a contentious exchange off which one can read much of the substance of intra-left developments and conflicts of the past six years. Periodically, the camera pans around the packed bookstore, and a sharp eye can pick out a large number of prominent figures from New York’s left-wing world of letters.
fun bit of history