Published on Thursday, January 19, 2012 by John Fuller
This year, we saw the world give birth to a festive new street tradition in which hundreds of people throughout the nation camped out in their downtown streets and parks. They may look like they’re having fun with their street dancers and Guy Fawkes masks, but these campers are serious business. After all, they’ve finally found something to do with their lives! They’re occupiers and this is their occupation.
Nobody knows who these hundreds of people are who have nothing but free time to hang out downtown, go camping during the middle of the week and tweet about our country’s problems. Much less, nobody knows what these people did before the occupation began on September 17.
Yet, we know who these people are now. These people are saving America! They’re saving America by bringing it back to the ‘Golden age, in which America was at the forefront of production and development! How are they doing this? Precisely by doing nothing at all.
Meanwhile, millions of the rest of “the 99%” will spend their days working and saving money for their retirement, feeding their children and taking care of their homes and families. Those people are silly though. Why work and contribute money to a retirement account that’s only going to be robbed by Wall Street investors? Instead, they should learn from the smart people. They should quit their jobs (like they even have one!) and camp out! It can be like a grand, American camp out! What’s more American than protesting and camping?
Perhaps actually doing something.
It’s amazing to see how well the people of our country can mobilize in support of a revolution, but why are these people mobilizing for the wrong revolution? Of course the inequality of wealth in our country is an issue. Of course Wall Street needs reform. Of course “the 99%” need better representation. The Occupy Wall Street movement has great intentions, but lousy execution.
Instead of actually doing anything, the movement simply looks to whine and throw a party (but these whiners don’t even have cool revolutionary war costumes and yellow flags). It’s clear that such a grassroots movement can be organized efficiently, quickly and effectively. These protesters in New York City have gained national attention and spread the movement to cities across the nation and across the world.
However, this power to mobilize ‘the 99%’ is futile if it’s not done correctly. The people have a right to demand reform, but after 3 months of demanding, the movement looks like nothing but whining. Instead, why aren’t these people mobilizing to form their own trade unions in which they cooperatively create new businesses? Why aren’t these people mobilizing to do good in the country, like feed the homeless and educate the illiterate? Why are they simply sitting in a park, whining about the corruption in the country, without ever actually doing anything of their own?
The revolution itself is grounded in solid, worthy ideals, but it’s clear that simply ‘occupying’ Wall Street isn’t going to carry through the necessary reform movements. Certainly, we don’t need an armed rebellion. Fundamentally, our system is sound. We just need to make some of the minor reforms to cut down on the corruption and run-away-wealth-inefficiency. We don’t need to bring down the entire system, but we do need to use the system itself to pursue stronger reforms.
Take action. Try something new. Use the publicity you’ve already generated to pursue something greater than an encampment of tents and street protests.
These people are clearly intelligent and clearly successful, it’s just time to put their efforts towards something more substantial than America’s largest camp out. There’s no doubt that our nation needs financial reform, and the issues they highlight are important, but these protesters would be much more effective if they had a leg to stand on and not a tent to run away to and hide.