Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Spread the Wealth
We can look at the Occupy Wall Street protests as a bunch of hipsters playing revolutionary and laugh it all off but something about it keeps nagging at me to take it more seriously. It's a movement that is leaderless, ideologically diverse, and fueled by social networks while suspiciously being ignored by mainstream media. It's anarchism. Or post-anarchism, if you will. The kind that could never succeed before the Age of Facebook. The American government and the media are both pretending it's not happening as we speak because the movement is targeting the rich and powerful (politicians and media moguls among them) where they may be hurt most if the protesters succeed: money. So what are they protesting and what do they want to happen, people are asking while scratching their heads. Simple:
Spread the wealth.
Naive? Perhaps. Yet revolutions are won by the naive. The hippies of the Sixties were drug-addled kids who talked about peace and love and sex and nothing concrete but their legacy can still be felt today in music, art, philosophy, pop culture, and many other aspects of human existence. Hell, the Internet we know today is the love child of the hippies, if you think about it. We're still swimming in the saliva and the semen and the vaginal juices of the Summer of '69.
Back to the hipster revolution. These Wall Street kids are educated enough and sophisticated enough and middle class enough to know that there was a time before Reaganism reared its head when rich Americans were taxed by about 90% and the wealth of the very few was enough to make the one-breadwinner family a comfortable one. So, yes, this beast bears watching. Because of social media, Guy Fawkes finally has a shot at destroying the towers of power that hold countries together.
Meanwhile, I'll sit here in my Third World corner and see how this pans out.