Occupy Wall Street. And Then What?

At risk of becoming a huge political force in the blogosphere, I’m gonna go ahead and say it.

What are you doing?

I’ve watched from the sidelines for a bit with this whole Occupy [insert perceived evil] movement has drawn on for a month or so, and I’m confused.

The name of my blog is Assume the Best, and I am working hard on doing so, but I just don’t get what exactly it is you are trying to accomplish. After searching around on the always-correct internet, this is the best I can find regarding a mission statement for the OWS bunch.

Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

This #ows movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians to build a better society. (Taken from occupywallst.org)

…so what does that mean?

I’ll take it one line at a time:

You are a leaderless movement. That’s code word for a mob. Mobs rarely do anything productive. A leaderless movement is an oxymoron, a flock of gnats furiously storming about their four cubic feet of airspace. You are moving, but you aren’t going anywhere.

You are the 99% But you look precariously like the 11% unemployed. Here’s where I agree with you: the income inequality between CEOs and workers seems absurd, when you look at the numbers over time. Where I disagree is that you have any right to claim somebody else’s money. If you don’t like the disparity between a company’s workers and it’s CEO, don’t do business with that company. If all 99% of us stop doing business with a company, they’ll get the memo.

Furthermore, do you really think that all people with large incomes (or large net worths) got there by greed and corruption? You watch too much TV. Go read a book. In fact, read anything by Thomas J Stanley. You might be surprised to find that integrity ranks pretty high among the 1%. The wealthiest people in the country are the ones with whom you could do business over a handshake.

You are using the Arab Spring tactic to achieve your ends Aligning yourself with people who have been literally imprisoned by their governments and walled off from society for their views is a precarious position, having walked from your Manhattan apartment through 13 free (and unfiltered) wifi hotspots to get to your constitutionally protected protest area.

If you would let us know those ends, you might be surprised to find that we are eager to achieve some of them, too. You want more money and more employment? You want healthcare coverage for more people? So does the 1%! Launching a campaign against something as vague and universal as greed and corruption is like announcing a campaign against unhealthy living. Everybody agrees, but nobody does anything about it.

  1. What is your perceived end of the Occupy Wall Street Movement?
  2. Where would you have those with whom you disagree take a plausible next step?
  3. If everything went your way, what would the country and world look like?

Martin Luther King had a dream, a vision, a direction. Every single one of us knew how to gauge when we had achieved it. Because once that dream had been fulfilled, people would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. His movement had a direction and a destination.

All of us in this country want change on some level. Some of us are looking for it in the political realm, some in the business realm, and some in the spiritual realm. So you Occupying Wall Street for “change” without defining that change is only going to be effective at getting the gnats to more furiously circle the airspace.

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