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Occupy: A Revolution Of Tired Ideas

“The police evicted us because they said we didn’t have a permit.  Our permit is the first amendment!” 

That quote, which was a tweet from a member of the Occupy protest, pretty much says it all. The rules don’t apply to Occupy; they make them up as they go along. If they don’t agree with a law, they ignore it and claim it is their constitutional right to do so. But when they don’t like something, like the police enforcing the laws of their city, then they turn around and claim the action is illegal. It’s schizophrenic.

A society without laws is anarchy and anarchy is just another word for chaos. That’s what Occupy is now. Chaos! It is so out of control of its message and purpose that it tweets contradictions daily.

I saw a great tweet this evening from a bright young thing who was just terribly excited to be sitting with her friend at the OWS general assembly. She and her friend were discussing whether or not to do a block because they didn’t like the process the meeting was following. Besides the tragic indecision, what made me laugh was the oxymoron. They were discussing whether or not to block democratic free speech in a meeting of a protest movement that is supposedly all about democratic free speech.

But I understand. As Occupy continues to learn but doesn’t want to admit publicly. This democracy thing is complex and often messy.

As their own legal advisors are now telling them, there is a difference between protesting on public property and trespassing on property that is privately owned. The first is legal, the second isn’t. Oops! They’re now being reminded of the difference between peaceful protest and provoking violent confrontation and warned to tone it down. Within their own ranks, there is growing discontent between factions and even a few who are now admitting publicly on Twitter that they don’t support some of the methods of their own movement.

There is an incredible amount of back-pedalling going on now. Much of the “we shall overcome” rhetoric is being toned down. Family Fun and Kids Days are planned in some cities and tweets are being posted about being non-violent. The revolutionary war with the enemy language is quietly being shelved for a bit and it appears that there is a realization in Occupy that despite the bravado, they haven’t got as much support as they claim. And that’s true. I don’t see very many tweets supporting the movement any more and an increasing number opposed to it.

Still, the quasi-leadership is trying to put a brave face on it all and you have to admire them for that if nothing else and there really is not much else for which to admire Occupy.

One of the most interesting tweets today was from a woman who tweeted about getting ownership of big corporations into public hands. I guess she’s never heard of the stock market and is blissfully unaware of the fact that almost all large corporations are publicly owned and traded.  It betrays a complete lack of understanding of what she and the rest of the brain trust in Occupy are protesting. The big corporations aren’t owned by a couple of rich guys down the street, they’re owned by investors and here is the most ironic part. Many of those investors are unions and pension funds representing some of the very people supporting the Occupy protests, along with countless thousands of every day folk in the 99%.

But then, that’s been the problem. Occupy hasn’t got it from the beginning. It looks for simplistic solutions to complex issues and in the process ends up attacking the very people it claims to represent. It begs for financial support from the broader public and then disrupts their cities and turns their parks and civic squares into squalid KOA camp grounds. It intimidates innocent employees of banks, disrupts traffic and shouts down those with whom they don’t agree.  It has demonstrated a remarkable lack of respect for public order, respect for private property rights of others and overall has become a nuisance rather than a movement.

Occupy Oakland is calling for a general strike to shut down the port. Now there is a worthy objective although I’m still trying to connect the dots on how shutting down the port for a day will change corruption and greedy practices in the financial securities sector. It’s small wonder that so many look at Occupy now as nothing but a tired joke.

There is no thinking in Occupy, just rhetoric. The words come out without benefit of having travelled through the brain first. They’re just words and said more to shore up weak arguments than to advance the debate.

There is no attempt to research facts and understand the real issues, just a constant parroting of the same tired slogans and half-truths among themselves. Saying something that is untrue repeatedly doesn’t eventually make it the truth.

There is no respect for others because there is no self-respect, just arrogance and mindless posturing like guys trying to prove who has the bigger male equipment.

There is no accomplishment because there is no purpose to the protest. It is self-indulgent twaddle by a group of people with no real purpose in their lives.

We’ve seen it all before. We’ve heard all the same rhetoric and slogans and are watching again the same tired approaches to addressing the injustices in the world but here’s the thing. People aren’t poor simply because others are wealthy. Wealth isn’t unevenly distributed because it was never distributed in the first place. There isn’t a wealth distribution committee sitting somewhere deciding who gets what, it’s all about opportunity and if you want to improve things, you have to stop whining about the 1% and start looking for ways to increase opportunity for more people. A good place to start would be in simply taking the time to get some of the facts right.

In the 60’s people like Jerry Rubin who was one of the Chicago 7 that protested during the Democratic Convention riot in Chicago went on to become an entrepreneur and one of the early investors in Apple. He started out as an extreme left-wing radical who later acknowledged that a real revolution was in helping others achieve the American dream and be successful.

It is the politics of division and its stupidity and meaningless purpose simply helps those Occupy thinks it is fighting…..win. Even redneck hunters know that when you go deer hunting but keep shooting at rabbits, the deer don’t feel too threatened, they just chuckle at you.

It’s small wonder that there is a counter-revolution. Somebody has to bring some sanity back to the debate because Occupy has demonstrated more than admirably that it isn’t capable of it. Occupy Occupy so we get on with making our societies more successful for all of us.

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© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

    I will grant you that it is a protest with many who have an unwarranted sense of entitlement. But the real problem with Occupy is it is that it is a melange of professional anarchists, union organizers,the tragically naive, the uninformed and those who want to do something but really don’t know what to do.

    The tragedy is that if even half of them took the time to research the issues and work with the broader community to look for solutions, we’d probably get a whole lot more done.

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion the problem with Occupy is that it is being ‘run’ by 20-somethings that want everything but they haven’t quite connected the dots to the point where they realize they have to WORK for it. Because they are children of the Baby-Boomers they EXPECT things to be given to them. No wonder they are confused…no one has told them what to do…yet. Just sayin’