Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who hates (Occupy) Wall Street?

With any movement for change, you can depend on there being a counter-movement. No agitation comes without detraction, no matter how benign the goal is.

We all see how Barack Obama still gets ragged on for being a secret Muslim Kenyan socialist, even though he's the goshdamn president of the United States. And the change he advocated was pretty much more of the same, but with a black man instead.

So expectedly, the Occupy initiatives - which actually do demand real societal restructuring - are attracting some fullblown opposition from the usual suspects: conservatives, moderates, liberals, and everyone in between.

One view posted on the Harvard Crimson's website asserts that the Occupy movement is "politically ambiguous," and that the activists should "collaborate with people you don’t like [like the Democratic Party's elected officials] against an even greater evil," in this case, the Repulicans.

Subsequent comments on the post accuse the Occupations as being anti-political, anarchist, and "like a Phish concert." These suspicions are all a bit misinformed.

Firstly, framing the movement in terms of "America vs. an alternative" is truly reactionary.  What the Occupy movement seeks is an examination of this "America" and what/whom it represents. It is not enough to say that Republicans have it wrong and Democrats have it right, or vice versa.  It is still deeply and inherently political to say that this system is not working for many, many people, and has in fact served to hurt many, many people in its construction and existence.  The struggle for economic justice and social equality is what the Occupy participants are engaging.

As far as the radicalism of the movement is concerned, it is true that some Occupy participants subscribe to anarchism as the appropriate ideology through which to design an ideal society. Others believe in socialist cooperativism, and still others hold out hope for American democracy.  But it is more useful to see the Occupations as not a rejection of America's successes, but rather an awareness-building of America's failures: specifically in the realms of poverty, militarism, and systemic violence against women, racial minorities (including native peoples), undocumented immigrants, and others.

And if you go by and see the Occupy kids dancing and drumming, know that they are rejoicing in a newfound community of like-minded concerned people joining hands - and not fists, it should be said - in hope for a better society.

1 comment:

  1. You know what I like to call the enemies of Occupy Wall Street?