Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Faceless Masses

By now you've likely heard about the dead-of-night raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park in New York and the judge who sided with the city in not allowing them to camp there anymore. Remember how the flimsy excuse given by the millionaire mayor was because of "sanitation" and "crime"? Well, maybe there wouldn't be a crime problem there if the NYPD would stop sending violent drunk and drug addicted homeless people to the OWS camp.

But, that is not what I want to talk about right now.

So far we have seen these violent police actions in New York, Oakland, Portland, and Denver. Have you seen any evidence that these actions are achieving their intended goals? I haven't, all it seems to have done is galvanized the protestors. And even in that bastion of liberal thought and Starbucks known as Seattle, the police have been caught pepper-spraying an 84-year old woman and a pregnant lady.

It seems I wasn't far off the mark when I noted we're on the threshold of revolution, either. From an article on

The historian Crane Brinton in his book “Anatomy of a Revolution” laid out the common route to revolution. The preconditions for successful revolution, Brinton argued, are discontent that affects nearly all social classes, widespread feelings of entrapment and despair, unfulfilled expectations, a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite, a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class, an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens, a steady loss of will within the power elite itself and defections from the inner circle, a crippling isolation that leaves the power elite without any allies or outside support and, finally, a financial crisis. Our corporate elite, as far as Brinton was concerned, has amply fulfilled these preconditions. But it is Brinton’s next observation that is most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making impossible demands that if the government met would mean the end of the old configurations of power. The second stage, the one we have entered now, is the unsuccessful attempt by the power elite to quell the unrest and discontent through physical acts of repression.

Let's make no mistake about this; the actions of the cities and police have nothing to do with sanitation or crime, that's just a bunch of pretty little lies they're saying as a matter of course. I don't think they even pay attention to what they're saying anymore because they've just been preaching to the choir for too long. At the heart of it, I think they give these bullshit reasons for their actions because they know that if they were to tell the truth the protests would go from "peaceful" to "armed."

The MSM is making a big deal about the camp in New York being routed as though it were a blow to the heart of OWS. But OWS is so much more than Zuccotti. OWS has no structure, no figurehead, no home besides Earth. Occupy Wall Street is global, it has no uniforms, no weapons, and it's identity is anonymity. The face of OWS is the face of the poor, the middle class, the people who are working themselves to death and finding they have nothing to show for it.

The status quo can clear out four huge camps and a whole lot of smaller ones and it won't matter. The 99% have nothing to lose anymore. Clear them out? They'll move and come back. Arrest them? They don't care. Try to silence them? They'll scream louder. Try to use unethical tactics? They have cameras and you'll be caught in the act.

I once heard a quote from The Merchant of Venice. I'll paraphrase it:

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?...And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

By working to make sure nothing changes, by working in support of the richest among us, we are being wronged.

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