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Forum Post: A response to Middleaged

Posted 1 year ago on Feb. 11, 2013, 7:44 p.m. EST by penguento (362)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

This responds to a post by middleaged, found here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupy-movement-is-dying/#comment-927852

No need to apologize. I wasn't offended at all, I really was in the middle of some hectic deadlines and a business trip, and I wanted to take the time to respond to you in detail, rather than just dashing something out.

I think that you and I agree on more than a few things. Clearly, the major political parties are venal and venial and corrupt and bloated; and need either serious rejuvenation or replacement. We both agree that this has robbed the major parties of credibility and that the people are well and truly fed up with this whole state of affairs. Likewise, I think we agree that there is an opportunity for some third-party or third force to enter into the matter and take advantage of popular disgust at the current situation, and force change. And I will even agree with you that Occupy Wall Street could be that third force.

The problem is that OWS isn't doing anything to make it self into that third force. And here's why I think that this is so:

First, OWS blew its great moment of opportunity. After the financial meltdown, there was a popular wellspring of support for the whole idea. But, what did OWS do with that wellspring? If you look at the OWS activities and imagery from that time, OWS made some very serious mistakes: First, the imagery and language were taken right out of pre-World War II Stalinist propaganda. The posters could have been drafted by Stalin's art department. That's still true. The language itself could have been written by the Socialist Workers Party back in the 70s. One can only conclude that whoever wrote that stuff was heavily influenced by Soviet-style politics, and that was an instant turnoff for your average American. The fact that anarchists took control of OWS protests and tried to turn them into riots reinforced the turnoff. So right there, OWS lost the average American. And that tone continues to this day. Look at this forum: lots of undisguised anarchist/socialist theory, unmitigated by much to the contrary, and lots of abuse for anyone who advocates anything different. Now, it may well be that OWS and its adherents think that anarchism is the way to go, but their problem is that they've got to convince some significant majority of the other 300 million people in this country to go along with them. And that’s not going to happen, not the way they ar