The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is morphing into a nationwide movement called "Occupy Together."
(Stupid name, but let's not quibble about nomenclature.) Why haven't I mentioned the protests in New York heretofore? Because I am unsure if any good can come of them. There is no leadership. There is no platform. There are no specific goals. No demands. No coherent weltanschauung.
Perhaps worst of all, this movement is primarily the work of young people
-- in other words, of idiots. They have no sense of history, no idea as to which past strategies have worked and which have failed. Never trust anyone under 30.
Naturally, these fetuses are reliant on Facebook and Twitter and cell phones with GPS -- which means that Uncle is keeping track of their every blink, breath and cough, as they keep feeding more and more info to the data-miners. This is a revolution? The first job of a revolutionary is to get away with it -- and you'll never get away with it if you don't know when to maintain radio silence. (Or computer and cell phone silence.)
As I said: These toddlers are idiots. Never forget that we're dealing with the same college kids who thought that Obama was the Prog Messiah.
If the current movement proves to be a genuine threat to the powers-that-be, here's what will happen:
1. The provocateurs will show up. Agents will commit acts of violence, thereby giving the entire movement a black eye.
2. A glib and charismatic YAFL (Yet Another Fucking Libertarian) will commandeer the movement, or at least a large section thereof.
3. An avowed Marxist (either a phony or a manipulated dupe) will become one of the faces of the movement. This will scare the folks in the heartland and play right into the Randroid propaganda line.
4. The entire shebang will be undone by internal bickering, combating egos, the unrelenting cries of me me me. Most of all, expect to see that unrelenting scourge of liberalism: Identity politics. (Black, gay, Hispanic, feminist, etc.) Once those egomaniacs take the spotlight -- it's over.
and you will see that other scourge of the left -- the hopeless fantasy called "consensus decision making," otherwise known as Egomania On Parade. Ah yes. Let's have a return to the wonderful early days of the SDS, when the fetuses of 1963 spent eight hours debating whether to take half the day off.
I predict that nothing good will come of such an amorphous movement. If you want to see what these youngsters are doing wrong, take a gander at this recent message on the OccupyWallStreet
You must organize massive strikes. Marching is not enough. In a Capitalist society only striking will bring genuine change.
1) Organize strikes throughout the entire city: businesses and trades of every kind. Have them each designate a specific color to represent themselves.
2) Congregate all striking organizations in one place.
And on and on. What's missing here? For one thing: A program
. Specific demands. A strike without demands makes about as much sense as a strike without representative negotiators.
The other thing missing here is, of course, any practical notion of how to get such an ambitious scheme off the ground. I'm reminded of the People's Front of Judea calling for the overthrow of the entire Roman empire within the next twelve months: "Yeah, twelve months. And let's face it: As empires go, this is the big one..."
From the same site, here's a "Message to the critics, the curious, the skeptics, and the purpose seekers."
"We Americans here-by assert our duty to alter our current form of government."
Alter it in what ways? The writer gives no specifics. How can we be sure that the writer would alter it for the better? (I'm already unhappy with the altered spelling of hereby
Look, fetuses: We oldsters can recall what happened to the anti-Vietnam movement. You can learn from us. Here's what went wrong in the 1970s: The motto "Don't trust the Pentagon" turned into "Don't trust the government" which turned into "Don't trust the very idea
of government," which turned into "Vote for Reagan." Something very similar will happen here. Watch and see.
If you don't want to see that inevitable ideological segue -- call it "Creeping Libertarian Rot" -- you must state out loud: "We believe in a strong government and a new New Deal. In the economic sphere, we are 100% opposed to Libertarianism." I don't see that declaration in any of the "Occupy" web sites.
Do you seek "to alter our current form of government" via a Constitutional convention, as some misguided lefties do? Guess what: The Libertarians have their shit together on that front
-- have had, for years -- and they are just dying
for a convention to happen. They have the money, they have the numbers, they have the passion, they have the organizational skills, and most of all, they have the willingness to submit to an organizing body
(which lefties are too egomaniacal to do). If there's a convention, they'll take over the place pronto. The result will be no Social Security, no Medicare, no EPA, no Pell Grants, no Middle Class, no impediments to Total Corporate Control. Welcome to Ayn RandLand.
How can the current "Occupy Wall Street" movement be transformed into something useful? Here's one modest proposal: No fetuses
. We must have sufficient humility to admit that our educational system has failed. Therefore, no-one under the age of 30 should be allowed to write anything or to make any decisions. Even those over 30 must not be allowed a voice unless (for example) they can, without hesitation and without consulting Google, tell people who Robert La Folette was.
Beyond that, and more seriously: There must be leadership, there must be willingness to take direction from that leadership, there must be a program, there must be a specific set of grievances, and there must be a specific vision for the future. We also need a plan to combat predictable problems such as paranoia, smears, the sowing of internal strife, and acts by agents provocateurs.
Arguably, there is room for a brand new "ism" here. That may sound like odd advice, coming from the guy who once said that "all isms are prisons." But sweeping generalizations exist to be pissed on, right?
Without a plan of action and a concrete vision, all you'll ever have are crybabies crying. On teevee this morning, I heard Matt Taibbi and Keith Olbermann argue that, although the occupation may be vague and hazy now, it will probably coalesce into a movement with specific goals. Don't bet on it. Do you really think that a headless body can spontaneously generate a brain?
Feel free to offer your own suggestions.