On my way in to work today I drove by the Occupy Hartford encampment. It’s on Farmington Ave near I84. I didn’t count the people, but there was a small crowd and tents pitched on the grass. All I could think of was the sixties.
When I was in college I was politically active. I marched on Washington in the Moratorium. I attended another Moratorium on the Common in Boston.
It was the right thing to do and I think our protests were heard. It’s tough to understand how politically divisive Vietnam was if you weren’t around.
I just don’t have any desire to join the “Occupy” movement. That’s not to say I won’t change my mind, but it’s not calling to me though I agree with many of the founding principles.
There’s a lot I don’t agree with too.
The political deck is stacked. The economic deck is stacked. Money buys power. Money corrupts. I’m on board with all of that.
I have written in the past about laws that encourage behavior bad for us in general. I have no doubt money bought those laws. This movement and I share anger at these laws.
The middle class in American society hasn’t existed that long. Now it’s on its way to extinction. Tragic.
How can you not support that part of the “occupiers'” philosophy?
On the other hand it’s tough to get behind some of the loaded questions Occupy Wall Street asks on its “A Modest Call to Action” page.
If you agree that a person is entitled to the sweat of their brows, that being talented at management should not entitle others to act like overseers and overlords, that all workers should have the right to engage in decisions, democratically, then you might be one of us.
I don’t agree with the second half of that.
Business needs structure and management. I’m not ready for a worker’s collective. It won’t work. The only thing most people agree on is what they dislike! I’m not an anarchist.
The answer to our nation’s problems isn’t pure capitalism or pure socialism or even pure democracy Dogma doesn’t solve problems. We need a more nuanced approach.
Yesterday Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy) wrote,
When a board of directors removes a CEO for poor performance, we don’t expect the board to have a specific plan for how the next CEO will run things. The board’s job is to remove the underperforming CEO and start a search for a new one.
That model reminds me of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Some pundits are criticizing the protesters for not having specific demands, but I don’t think that’s a fair observation. The protesters are simply trying to fire the old CEO, metaphorically speaking. It’s not their job to micromanage the next one.
It’s not important for the Occupy Wall Street, Hartford, Boston, etc people to lay out the future. All they need to do is show our collective disgust. And I think they are.