Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A random opinion

I have to admit, folks, that I am entirely simpatico with the things that motivate the "Occupy" folks. I loathe the corporatization of America, the concentration of wealth at the very top of society, the notion that this concentration is a good thing that will one day lead to prosperity for everybody, the notion that increasing taxes on this crowd one penny in the hopes of making certain aspects of life easier for the rest of us somehow represents a deeply immoral encroachment upon some perverted definition of 'freedom', and all the Ayn Rand bullshit that has led to this.

What I simply don't understand is how spending week upon week camping in the middle of a city is going to somehow translate into any kind of societal change or shift in public policy. Can someone connect these dots for me, please?

(And lest anyone misread this, I'm questioning the Occupy movement's goals and strategies here, and not endorsing the rather terrifying police actions against them. I'm very much disturbed by the idea that municipal police forces are morphing into municipal armed forces.)


Michael May said...

I see it as a long-haul awareness-raising effort. Cal posted a cool cartoon the other day at the Cave of Cool where the Occupy Movement was Prince Charming waking up the sleeping Middle Class (and - most importantly - their votes) with a kiss while the Evil Stepmother 1% looked on in helpless rage. I think that's exactly how this is going to help, but it's not a quick process.

Call me Paul said...

I'm 100% in agreement with you. While the Occupy Movement has valid concerns and compaints about the way our society is artificially stratified, the Occupy demonstrations themselves - as with pretty much any large, public protest - are unfocused and fractured by lack of a common vision.

Bill said...

I drive by them every day, and think about why they are there. I can't help but think that there are people with children who do the same thing, and that their presence obliges the parents to explain what they are doing. The economic elite and the politically powerful see them every day. Drip, drip, drip-- at some point the dime will drop for the folks who don't get it.

Ben Varkentine said...

I tend to agree with Bill, except I think the waiting isn't for folks to get it, it's for folks (and by that, I do mean Obama) to get that they have to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I think everybody past the onslaught of puberty GETS it. What I don't think everybody knows is that more and more of us will no longer stand for it.

No one knows...YET.

Jason said...

I've had similar thoughts about every protest gathering I've seen since some of my college classmates built a shantytown in the middle of the University of Utah to protest Apartheid back in the late '80s. I thought that was a ridiculous, useless gesture then, and I'm afraid I still think that about protests now, even when I am in total agreement with the protesters' cause. Okay, so you grab some attention with the signs, the costumes, the general weirdness, whatever it is you're doing... but how do you go from grabbing attention to actually having any effect? A faux shantytown in Utah had no effect on the internal workings of South Africa, and I'm sorry to say that the Occupy movement doesn't seem to be accomplishing much either, aside from letting our increasingly fascist police forces try out their new toys.

The problem is, there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative for that segment of society (meaning, most of it) that doesn't have the money to hire high-power lobbyists.

Ben Varkentine said...

The fake shantytowns had no effect on South Africa? Um, no. Those shantytowns led to their Universities divesting from South Africa and companies with large South African interests, and *that* in turn led to the dismantling of Apartheid.

And I'd argue that showing more of society the increasingly fascist police techniques the powerful will use against the powerless *is* accomplishing something.

Just as Kent State affected public opinion about the campus protests of the early '70s.

Like everyone, I just hope it doesn't go that far this time.