Who’s Occupying Whom?

Public protest or theater of the absurd?

I’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street movement with mixed emotions.

As an aging hippie, one-time anarchist and perpetual revolutionary, it looks like fun.

But, as a cynical professional political operative, I automatically look for who would benefit from this “spontaneous” public demonstration. Clearly, the promotion of class warfare and demonization of capitalism and the rich (the 1%) would point to the far left. It would greatly buoy President Obama at this time, as he is trying to raise taxes on the rich, that there be a popular uprising that sympathizes with him and, in effect, harnesses this street rage for his purposes. Did he, or his ally George Soros, create this “movement?” Soros denies any involvement in spite of preliminary connections to public relations contractors who are clearly fanning the coals. No proof yet, but it has a “Move On” M.O.

I’ve listened to various interviews from the participants themselves. There are lot’s of people talking, but no clear indication of any unified message other than vague anger at the status quo. And, God knows there’s plenty of that to harvest. In other words most of the “occupiers” don’t really know why they are there. Again, there is the nagging suspicion that there is massive manipulation going on and the culprits are yet to be revealed.

When it comes to national politics, hypocrisy is the norm. The Wall Street bankers who are currently being vilified are, in fact, now the policy wonks within the government. They have essentially been “punished” for their bad behavior by being put in charge. At a time when the Obama administration is being grilled for their scandalous use of tax dollars to pad their allies at Solyndra, can this spontaneous populist uprising simply be a cynical diversion? What better solution to be the beneficiary of a “workers revolution” to overthrow the tyranny of greed and corruption that you are also responsible for. There is an obscene brilliance and dare we say…audacity at play.

After all we have an election coming up, and the President needs a boost to his sagging numbers.

There is also dark symmetry. Attorney General William Holder announced the foiling of a major terrorist plot just in time to take the heat off his incompetent, and clearly dishonest performance concerning the “Fast and Furious” debacle. Are we just being overtly played?

Whenever I think of socialist’s in control, I recall Orwell’s Animal Farm and the upright-walking pigs, who looked to all the world like the detested humans (the 1%) who were overthrown. As you recall, aside from the snappy slogans, the rest of the animals still got screwed.

I guess my real question is…and, I don’t really want to know the answer to this…not really…is…are people that stupid?

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8 responses

  1. Nah, people aren’t stupid. They’re just pissed off. The demonstrators are socially and culturally different from the Tea Party but they’re cut of the same cloth. And with close to 20 percent of the working population out of work/under-employed, there are tens of millions of people with time on their hands and a generalized resentment that others are prospering at their expense– the rich, the government, unions.
    The media is looking for “issues” and leaders, something and someone they can dissect, have experts pose grave comments–but the essence is simpler than that. I’m a film buff, and the scene that comes to mind is Peter Finch as Howard Beale in “Network”:
    “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

  2. It will be interesting to see how our governor reacts to protests or a strike during APEC. As someone who made a name for himself railing against The Man, he’s proven pretty inept after becoming The Man, and he doesn’t seem to take kindly to criticism. Then again, the dozen spoiled art students playing patty cake in Hawaii with an unreconstructed old commie or two don’t seem intent on making too much noise.

  3. I picture Mr. Obama walking around town next month with an “Occupy Iran” sign.

    Nah, nah, nah…your points are well made, I think. I’ll be more definitive about that when I actually read them all but I got da kine “gist”.

    It’s a pretty scruffy lot. I was down Aala Park and saw a group of mebbe 100 fleas with tiny signs saying “Occupy the Crotch”. The whole gathering kind of gave me the uji ujis. I said to myself, “Richard (I always use my full first name) are *these* the worthy successors to the people currently running the economy? Shoots, judging by their sartorial choices most obviously live in houses without mirrors.”

    Then I started to chuckle because all these guys protesting the corporations were using Apple products assembled by abused communist Chinese children. Imagine, communism as the biggest exploiter of the worker. It was all too much so I went home and occupied my Layzboy. With an ice cold corporate-made beer.

  4. From the Sunday StarAd comes a real winner of a quote stemming from the conflation of OWS with the sovereignty movement:

    “Hawaiian activist Laulani Teale, 44, said she and other Native Hawaiians are OK with the concept of “occupying the occupation.”
    Occupy Honolulu is “trying to bring about de-occupation through the occupation of the occupying power structure itself,” Teale said.”

    I nominate Laulani for this week’s Clarity of Concept and Expression award.

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