Monday, November 21, 2011

Shifting out of park and into gear

The "Occupy" movements are being thrown out of the parks.

This is a good thing. For them.

No major protest movement has ever accomplished anything by passively sitting around drumming and singing songs. Such movements, to be successful, need resistance from opposing forces to validate them, test their mettle, attract media attention, and rally broader support to their cause.

The peace movement of the 1960's wasn't peaceful. Heads were bashed. People were thrown in the slammer. When people saw that on the evening news, some minds were changed. More heads were bashed. The National Guard shot students at Kent State. More minds were changed. Eventually the tide of public opinion shifted and forced change at the highest level of government.

Same thing for the civil rights movement, the Arab spring, and every other successful uprising in the name of injustice since the Athenian Revolution established democracy in Athens in 508 BC.

If the Occupiers have the guts to rebound from these initial skirmishes with the authorities, and regroup to carry on the fight in new ways, they will have demonstrated to themselves, and to the world, that they have the right stuff and are committed to their cause.

They will show that they just might have enough grit to stay the course. Otherwise, they are doomed to be a minor footnote in the history of social change.

The 1% are never going to say, "We hear you, and you're right. We have way too much wealth and power, so we're going to give it all back. Thanks for pointing this out."

On the contrary, the rich and powerful will use all means at their disposal to stomp on any threat to the status quo.

If you're not ready for that, don't start a rebellion.


  1. Great blog, Doug. I don't think this is going away. Interesting support from Paul Martin this week, eh?

  2. Yes, Martin's support was interesting. Where I think most Occupiers would disagree with him is on the matter of globalization, which many still pointlessly protest. Better to focus on things that can be changed.