It’s this language that found purchase nationally, despite (and no one should be confused, it is despite) finding its direct antecedents in fringe radical theory. No matter what the pseudo-official pronouncements out of the occupations say, the encampments haven’t been about prefiguring a better society. Few occupiers are so naïve as to really think a ramshackle group of tents in a corporate non-park in the middle of New York City’s financial district could or should function like a post-capitalist biodome. Occupation is one kind of action a group with no self-perceived leverage takes. It’s a tactic based on a tension at the very root of governmental power: Bodies take up space, and if those limbs are determined not to move, it takes force to move them.
The sort of hopeless debt sketched out earlier reduces its holders to bodies stripped of assets, including the agency that is supposed to come with being a free laborer. For a sizable portion, these bodies don’t even own their own bodies insofar as the products of their future work are already promised.