The Occupy movement discusses holding a “general strike” on May 1st, 2012 — that is, all Occupy-friendly workers, everywhere, stay home. General strikes have a sordid history, partially plumbed by Salon’s writer, and they’ve played a role in most major modern revolutions, so their ideological provenance is a bit murky. But tying a general strike to May Day ties it and the movement undeniably to Communism, which would be (will be?) a mistake. As the Occupy movement struggles to keep its message at the cusp of mainstream acceptance, the worst possible thing it could do is burden the message with the messenger. Americans don’t have to be Communists, or even socialists, to believe that income inequality is a problem worth addressing. Why needlessly alienate moderates?

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