Monday, October 3, 2011

- Occupy Wall Street II : Revenge Of The Rich Kids



That's the thing about street theater as a proxy for democratic participation... it doesn't really pay very well.

All of the people involved in this protest have a few things in common. They are rich (very rich by global standards) and their parents are paying for them to be at this silly protest. Are they angry? Sure. but anger doesn't equate to nobility. Do they have good intentions? I dunno. Ask Herman Goering and he'd tell you that he had good intentions too. So I think it's fair to try to apply 'intentions' to some sort of objective standard.

They are against 'injustice', but so is my 11 year old daughter. To her, the fact that she has to do her homework before she watches Futurama is horribly unjust. That her cell phone isn't an iPhone seems like the height of tyranny. These are childish demands, but being a child, she has the perfect justification for it. The protesters complaints are similarly childish, without the defense of actually being children.

The fact that their demands are so vague and nonsensical is really an indictment of their education. They believe that they are 'speaking truth to power' because their university professors have told them that this is how it's done. They believe that this is the only way that social change is brought about in a corrupt and repressive system.

The problem with this view is that they aren't actually in a repressive system, and many of the demands they're making will only increase the level of corruption. Again, blame their horrible teachers for that. But at this point none of that matters. Because all that will come from this silly protest is that they'll be ignored. And that's because the world view upon which this protest is based, does not match reality. Most Americans see that clearly, and also see them for what they are. So they will not be inclined to give in to their demands, no matter how shrill.

Actually, it's worse than that. Not only is the public sentiment not swayed toward their position by the protests, it's actually swayed away. The fact that these rich kids are living on their parents dime and demanding a change to the system that allows them to do so actually weakens the positions they support. They aren't just behaving childishly, they're behaving like spoiled children. And Americans see that pretty clearly.

I know this because the truth is, I had to make up those complaints about my daughter. In reality She knows full well that her homework has to get done first before anything else, and she's thrilled with the cell phone she has because I pay for it. She would never think of complaining about things that to her are simply a reflection of how the world works. In her mind she only gets out of the world what she's willing to put into it. And a free smart phone (and lots of other 11 year old appropriate liberties and perks) for simply doing well in school, seems like a good deal to her.

But these protesters believe that the world is structured in such a way that if you make enough noise you'll get what you want, whether you actually deserve it or not.
this is not an argument that will resonate with the American public, especially in this political climate. So the chances of them 'changing things' in any meaningful way is zero. And since that's so, they might as well go home.

4 comments:

frithguild said...

>>>But these protesters believe that the world is structured in such a way that if you make enough noise you'll get what you want, whether you actually deserve it or not.<<<

Even live ammo?

Tom said...

After their list of demand, we can only hope.

soulrebel said...

It's so good to see that you had the opportunity to run background invesitgations and have conversations with EVERY single person in that protesr.

Tom said...

Aren't there any liberals out there who don't sound like 13 year olds?