Tuesday, 25 October 2011

OWS is Playing with Fire

The first question one needs to ask the supports of Occupy Wall Street is what gives you the authority to represent the "99%." There is no dodging this question, it's what they all chant and its what they all have plastered on their signs, it's unavoidable. The obvious (and correct) answer is nothing, but before we move on lets ponder what effects relentless reinforcement of that idea will be. Any movement which divides the world into two groups, one the source of all evil and the other their virtuous victims, will never offer any realistic solutions to contemporary problems. Ignorance and impracticality is bad enough, but when the idea is that the evil group represents only 1% of society, it facilitates the plunge into conspiracy theories and other fiction not fit for expression. With such a warped world view how can you tackle the very real problem of income inequality? Its easy to lampoon but hard to solve. The only answer I've heard is imposing arbitrary limits on income after which all or a staggeringly high percentage of income is confiscated as tax. Such a suggestion is outlandish. At that point you could no longer call the US a capitalist country.
I'm always wary of representing a group of people based on their extremists and I recognise it may not be representative of the protestors as a whole but when more than third of protestors believe the US is "no better than Al Qaeda" my eyebrows instinctively move towards the sky. The question I'd like to pose is should we expect more out of a protest sparked by the magazine Adbusters who at best peddle conspiracies of corporate control and at worst are just straight anti-American and most probably racist. See a past article Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?” — an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy.
Occupy Wall Street and all its denunciations of capitalism and outrage at society, while not providing any solutions brings to mind a pertinent George Orwell quote: "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." Communism has been stood down since Orwell's time but the far left is still coming up with as impractical and as untested solutions to complex problems as ever.

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