From Alterglobalization to Occupy Wall Street

By Blair Taylor

Taylor examines how political transformations within left social movements have helped to construct a “new spirit of capitalism” that addresses widespread demand for an ethical lifeworld, simultaneously innovating and modernizing while neutralizing critique. Today ideas and practices pioneered by oppositional movements have become mainstream political discourse and consumer habitus; modern capitalism increasingly speaks the same language of its critics: sustainability, fairness, authenticity, freedom. Looking at the cases of the alterglobalization and Occupy Wall Street movements in the United States, Taylor analyzes latent affinities with neoliberalism to argue that recuperation – the process of incorporating contentious movements and discourse into power – constitutes an important but overlooked factor in movement decline, but also in establishing political legitimacy.


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