I want to lead things out by saying this isn’t a research piece, more of a op-ed.
I’ve been reading and listening to reports about the various “Occupy” protests around the country. Through all this I’ve formed some opinions on them.
Obviously, the occupy protests are riffing off the revolutions that occurred in Africa and the Middle East — the Arab Spring.
But there’s a key difference: demands.
The Arab Spring protests were looking for very concrete change. They wanted the dictatorial (some were called democracies… umm, yeah…) regimes to relinquish power. The goal of the protesters was very clear.
Contrast that with the OWC protests, where to me they come off like a bunch of whiny brats pissing and moaning about their situation in life.
At the beginning of the protests reporters were trying to ferret out what they were protesting. The answer I heard from the Boston crew was “we’re not sure yet, we are forming a committee to figure it out.”
I’ve heard various things from the 99%:
- The Wall Street bankers were rewarded for failing, why can’t we get that?
- I can’t find a job
- I have student loan debt that I think is too high
- We need more schools / School should be free
I’m sure that everyone there has their own list of demands. From a tiny bit of Googling I’ve found some absurd ones too:
- Outlaw credit reporting agencies
- Immediate debt forgiveness for everything
- Guaranteed living wage even if you’re not working
I’m sorry, but this borders on idiotic.
If you want to effect change in this representative democracy of ours you should vote for someone who shares your world-view. If you can’t find that person, go and run yourself. You have established that you have a critical mass of people that share your views, now organize and get elected.
If you don’t know what you’re protesting for, what are you doing? If you don’t have a job, look for one. If you do then go to the office and work and get your paycheck. If you took out loans that you can’t afford now, well, I guess you have to eat more ramen because you knew you would have to repay it when you signed the dotted line.
It just reminds me of a few lines from Shakespeare:
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I’m sorry if I sound jaded… but this just feels like a lot of sound and fury to me.
From everything I’ve seen thus far though, they just seem like a bunch of communists pissing and moaning that they’re not happy.
The world doesn’t guarantee you happiness. Nor should it.
We are based on the pursuit of happiness.
Go and pursue.
I’ll end it with a step back from the brink though: it may be a marketing problem. I’m sitting here, a liberal-ish libertarian and I’m calling them all out. Wouldn’t I be someone that would agree with these liberal (non-)demands? Stop shouting and come up with a cogent argument already.