October 01, 2011

Even against Wall Street, ends do NOT justify means

That includes blatant Photoshopping of an alleged Occupy Wall Street photo, whether for commercialism, Adbusters-type self-aggrandizement or whatever.

It does not include calling the people you call out over noting your fakery "trolls," "vampires" and worse.

It does not include this:
My take is the world is on its deathbed and I would lie cheat, steal, murder and or give my life to save my daughter a place and a healthy future on this planet these banksters are destroying for imaginary profits and what are we going to do?
I know Adbusters is an "official sponsor" of Occupy Wall Street. So is Anonymous.

Well, half of Adbusters people aren't really left-liberal, not nearly as much as they are disgruntled graphic artists mad that top ad agencies haven't hired them. Anonymous? Protest for protest's sake as well as for an actual cause's sake.

The reality? Chris Hedges is right about what happened to speculators 300 and more years ago. But, he omits that there were no democracies then, and that monarchies of various degrees of authoritarianism executed speculators for offending against the state, not against the state's citizens.

And, Chris, your dystopian black-and-white call isn't entirely true, either. You, I and others can "fight back" in other ways. Buy less. Use less. Buy more wisely.

And, the idea that most citizens of the most infrastructure-intensive nation in history, even if they care that much, are willing to take that radical of action? Unlikely. Or to risk a collapse, if the current U.S. state is actually overthrown, of trying to put it back together.

NYT columnist Charles Blow is thinking somewhat similarly, noting the larger issues involved are not a zero-sum game. But, they are serious, and they need focus:
(T)he Tea Party has a specific political agenda. This protest does not. The Tea Party did a great job of channeling anger into electoral outcomes and shifting electoral sentiment....

What political outcome does this protest seek? It would be a waste for them to push back only against corporate enemies and put forward no political heroes. That may further dampen already flagging enthusiasm on the left.
Part of the problem is, as it is self-described, is that it is youth-driven. Youthful energy is good. But it doesn't always have the focus that Blow knows is needed.  And, sometimes, it's just wild "protest to protest" energy.

Nick Kristof agrees with his colleague Blow, and even goes to suggest some specific attainable political goals for the protest. He also, with a bit of on-the-ground anecdote, goes beyond Blow in showing how ridiculously inchoate some of the protest started out as being.

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