“Anything that is wasted effort represents wasted time” -T. W. Engstrum
And so the great general strike is to take place on November 2.
I think that as much as anything else, it is the complete lack of an original idea coming out of the Occupy protest that is the most boring of all.
The tweets are frantic. Day after day, hour after hour they’re sent out into the great cloud reminding people to strike on Wednesday and if you can’t strike, call in sick and if you can’t call in sick, well then, don’t buy anything. Talk about leaving yourself some wiggle room for when the thing falls flat on its face.
The strike of course is against the 1% or at least that’s the slogan.
How much more stupid can you get than in believing that everyone works for the 1% and therefore a general strike is the way to go? More than half the country works for small businesses owned by members of the 99%. So just who is most likely to strike?
The self-employed won’t strike, there’s no point in striking against yourself. Most stockbrokers, lawyers, doctors and law enforcement are all part of the 99% and are unlikely to strike in great numbers nor will fire fighters or paramedics. Some teachers and university academics might but not all and I suspect there won’t be too many in minimum wage jobs who will risk losing their jobs to support some ridiculous call to action which has no real purpose either.
It stretches the imagination to believe that radio and televisions stations will shut down or that those who work behind the scenes at communications companies and the Internet will be out there walking the line either Government employees will go to work for the most part although some will take advantage of the call for a general strike to take the day off and go shopping.
Retailers, banks, hospitals, restaurants will pretty much stay open. Good thing too because hungry strikers need a place to get a quick coffee and some donuts or a burrito while they’re busy rallying to improve the world. In the end, a general strike is just one more mindless waste of time that proves nothing and accomplishes even less.
So who benefits from a general strike? Well, unions and the radical left benefit because it allows them to do a little muscle flexing. Those in Occupy who have never felt empowerment before will benefit because it makes them feel like they are doing something without actually pressuring them to think for themselves. Those who need an excuse to bugger off for a day will benefit because a general strike kind of legitimizes being lazy and that is always a good thing for those who hate getting out of bed to go to work.
What will be achieved by a general strike? Occupy Oakland is convinced that if they successfully shut down the port, they will have scored a blow against the 1% although I’m not clear on how one arrives at that thought. /It seems to me that all that proves is that a mob can intimidate workers.
The simple fact is that nothing of value will be achieved. Even if the strike was 100% effective in that absolutely nobody in the country went to work, what happens on November 3rd? Does everyone just go back to work on November 4th like nothing happened? Fortunately, Occupy doesn’t pressure it’s organizers to think beyond the event so they don’t have to deal with November 4th until November 4th,
All that will be accomplished is that a bunch of footloose and pointless radicals will get to drown us in more empty rhetoric about how successful their one day of striking was. See the difference? The strike is the objective for Occupy, not a tool to be used to accomplish real and significant change. If the strike were to be successful, they have no clue what to do about it after the strike. It is the strike that matters, not the issues we are all trying to address.
What a waste of time and energy.
The really sad part of it is that for those within Occupy who are sincere in their desire to bring about change, the failure of a general strike will just be one more nail in the coffin of Occupy’s credibility. It is incredibly stupid to have risked what is left of the protest’s reputation on such a pointless venture.
But we didn’t really expect anything else did we? This is a protest movement that had the power of the Internet at its disposal. It squandered opportunity after opportunity to unite people and groups through effective use of the medium instead of falling back on the same tired and shopworn tactics of a thousand failed protests that went before it.
Calling for a general strike which will disrupt more in the 99% than it will harm anyone in the 1% makes about as much sense as the Occupy protester who defecated on a police car in New York City. In the end, it’s the same thing. It’s just a pointless protest masquerading as something important that leaves behind it nothing but dung .
In Buffalo NY, a ten year old girl went door to door in her neighbourhood and collected more than 1,000 lbs of donated food for the Western New York Food Bank. After she finished collecting and donating that half ton, she sat down and wrote and then hand delivered thank you notes to everyone who had donated. Contrast that effort with all the energy being used to call for a general strike and ask yourself which is the waste of time.
One little girl has achieved more on her own through a positive action than six weeks of posturing by thousands. It makes you wonder what could have been achieved if the self-indulgent protesters had redirected their efforts to something more productive. What this world needs is less Occupy’s and more ten year old little girls who don’t talk about making the world a better place, they just go ahead and do it.
© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
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