Monday, October 10, 2011

Reflecting on the Occupiers

They are a new kind of movement. They call themselves the 99%. They started out by occupying Wall Street, and now, Occupy movements are springing up in every city and nearly every major college campus.

I applaud them for wanting to bring change to something that they see as being wrong. After all, we live in a country that was founded on that (and related) principle.

However, what is it that they want to change and what do they want to change it to? They seem to be against capitalism. Yet, most of them carry items routinely that you just don't see people carrying in countries that are not based on capitalism. Where else but the United States would you see the unemployed carrying the latest iPhone, a Kindle, an Eddie Bauer backpack? And, where else but the United States would you see an unemployed worker driving to a demonstration in a new BMW? Surely, this has come from capitalism, the very thing that the Occupy-ers want to see go away.

They also appear to be very communal, as compared to individual, in nature. In fact, in their occupation in Atlanta, they are not allowing outside speakers. Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) made an effort this morning to speak to them, and he is a supporter of theirs. They turned him down saying that would make him look more important than the movement. And, when people within the movement speak, no applause is allowed as this would interrupt the speaker. Instead, they hold their index fingers in the air and wiggle them.


While I don't think I agree with the Occupy movement, I think they could make a positive difference. But, they need a plan. They need to identify what needs to be changed and what it needs to be changed to. And, then they need to work within the system to change it. I'm sorry. We are a country with a Constitution and we have laws. You don't get to just take up space and effect change.

Perhaps we shall see. In the meantime, I remain mystified. I just can't see the point of camping out forever to protest something, and not even present a potential solution.

Maybe I've gotten old.

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