Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Demands

From Occupy Wall Street’s demand? No demands:
“You can make demands, but I’ve seen coalition after coalition marching and marching and making demands, yelling mostly, and then going home,” said Janet Kobren, an experienced activist who left Occupy Wall Street’s San Francisco outlet to join the New York hub.
“Who are they talking to?” Kobren, 68, asked of protestors who habitually stand outside barricaded government offices asking for something specific. “I see them as kind of teenagers saying, ‘I want, I want,’ to their parents.”
Kobren reflected the purist Occupy Wall Street philosophy: that there’s no point demanding change from the government or the financial industry when those institutions are rotten. “We need to do it (bring change),” she said.
Nicely said.  (Obviously some of the older generations get it.)  Other than "drop dead" what else can one say?  The government and large corporations that back it have no legitimacy whatsoever.  The federal government does nothing for (but a lot to), and corporations, especially the financial sector, are nothing but parasites to the average citizen.  Demanding something from them is like asking a tapeworm to stop feeding.  It isn't going to happen--so why bother?  The best response is to turn away and make something that excludes their sort altogether by its definition.

I believe the success of OWS (so far) and the miserable failure of the Tea Party (by which I mean the original concerned citizens who comprised it before it was co-opted by the Republican Party) is due to this fundamental difference in premise. The Tea Party went on and on about the Constitution, but for many it is a document that has no real meaning--especially those to whom it was entrusted. Legitimacy dies when values are only paid lip service.  Who gives a crap about something over 200 years old that has no real relevance to modern issues?  Only naive "geezers" apparently (as evidenced by the lack of support from youth or even middle aged).  By definition, there is no future there.  They are "past it."  The Twentieth Century is over.  Get on with it.

OWS is what it is.  Perhaps its appeal represents a foundation for resilient communities?  (I will concede some of the original members of the Tea Party, and conservatives in general, may already by well on their way as well--as a reaction.  The way is forward.)

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