Grassroots Commentary

What's the Point of Occupy Wall Street?

Thom Sudol · Oct. 17, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street rabble has been soiling lower Manhattan for a month now in their attempt to overthrow western capitalism as we know it. That is what they want to do, right? I’m not really sure – there’s no leader or a platform and there are no demands being issued as the slovenly-dressed trust fund babies whine about everything under the sun. No organization is just one of their primary problems.

I mean, how do you conduct a protest, hoping to accomplish something if no one knows what you are protesting? It’s as pointless and wasteful as a WTO protest, complete with clashes with police, bad sanitation and disrespect for anyone and everything around them. Scanning a variety of blogs, news sites and photos only adds to the confusion. If these folks are occupying Wall Street, ostensibly to protest big banks and corporate greed, that message is less than clear. Take a look at some reasons given and signs drawn as to why people are protesting in lower Manhattan and around the nation:

  • “Against the war” – OK, which one or ones?
  • “Future generation’s welfare” – What – you want to increase payments already?
  • “New government policies” – Be specific, people!
  • “Retirement rights” – Rights as in Medicare/Medicaid, SS? – If you don’t know, how do you expect the Wall Streeters or anyone to know?
  • “Government reform” – OK, I can definitely agree with smaller government. Oh, that’s not what you mean?
  • “End the Fed” – The first protest issue that even approaches specific
  • “Control of government by wealthy corporations” – Ahhhhh, the much ballyhooed government-industrial complex rears its ugly head here.
  • “Public awareness” – Of what, specifically?
  • “Fight homelessness” – Looks like OWS is increasing the homeless population in lower Manhattan
  • “Help vets” – A noble cause but somewhat out of place at this demonstration.
  • “Equality” – Careful now, this one is code for equality of outcomes and redistribution of wealth; they are not interested in equal opportunity.
  • “Tax the rich” – Shouldn’t this protest be happening in Washington where tax laws are created and passed? Nah, the goal here is to tick off the Wall Streeters by squatting in their back yard.
  • “Eat the Rich” – Cannibalism is apparently back in vogue with elements of this crowd. Was Hannibal Lechter holding that sign?

If any of it makes sense to you then you and San Fran Nan are probably in the same boat, thanking God for the protestors. As inchoate as this effort seems to be, there are Dems (and MSNBC) beginning to give a tip of the cap to the protestors. Why? Do they see the anti-capitalist, mantra-spouting protestors as their TEA Party? Do they think this might be a defining, liberal grass roots movement that will take back the momentum for progressive politics?

Frankly, I don’t see any more here than meets the eye, and minus goals, objectives and an organization, the future of this movement is murky at best. It’s nothing more than a gathering of fringe groups, each touting their own issues. And if they are not talking to anyone in particular about anything specific, then who is listening? There’s some resemblance, at least in terms of the lack of coherence, to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel.

This is the result of the decades-old demonization of the rich, an art form perfected by the left, and wielded by this administration as the primary weapon in their class warfare arsenal. Yes, Dems, and especially our “Uniter-in-Chief,” have taken class warfare to new lows in their efforts to raise taxes and redistribute wealth at any cost. It has become the thing to do to blame the rich for all our problems; these protestors have thus become the useful idiots of the ruling party.

A note of caution to you liberals: so many were fooled by the so-called “Arab Spring” that began with so much hope: people everywhere were uplifted by the possibility of democracy sweeping through lands where it has never been! Now we are seeing the harsh reality that the Arab Spring is more likely to initiate the new Caliphate before we see a burgeoning of democracy. The OWS protestors are intent on using the occupying tactics that toppled Mubarak in order to somehow force change (and what change is that?…). But moreover, they seek to destroy rather than build. That is the formula for a cold and harsh winter following this autumn in America; it is most certainly not a breath of spring.

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