I have no patience for this. The idea that the Occupy movement is fueled primarily by adolescent angst and middle-class entitlement is unfair, even if there is some hint of truth in the charge. The assertion that occupiers should “just get a job” and “take responsibility” is absurd. Most of the original occupiers (myself included) have jobs. The Occupy movement was launched by many of the best and brightest of our generation – erudite and highly motivated individuals who under normal circumstances would be leaders in both for-profit and non-profit sectors.
The idea that the Occupy movement represents adolescent posturing and entitlement is ludicrous. Though there is plenty of adolescence and posturing on display in this, as in any grassroots movement, the foundation of Occupy is our heartfelt desire to see the restoration of American democracy. Rather than hand over all our power to multinational corporations and the wealthiest .01%, we long to see ordinary people empowered to make decisions for our local communities, cities and regions. Rather than see our political system reflect a cynical “Pepsi versus Coke” fundraising campaign, we desire a renewed political landscape where the common good trumps the perogative of the super-rich, where ordinary people have as much say as Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett or the Koch brothers.
In the early days of the Occupy movement, we clearly rejected the unholy matrimony of state and corporate power. We called out both Democrats and Republicans, exposing the ways in which both parties were corrupted by the unbridled influence of the big banks, big oil, multinationals and a small elite of super-rich individuals. The Occupy movement was fiercely non-partisan. Sure, we were against the Republican Party – but we had no love for Obama or the Democrats. We wanted fundamental change – truly grassroots democracy – not to be ruled by a slightly more benevolent wing of the wealthy elite.
All this leaves me wondering: Is it too late for Occupy? Is the movement, in fact, dead? Just as the Tea Party has long been a coopted pawn of the anarcho-capitalist Koch brothers, is the Occupy movement inevitably falling into the orbit of the corporate paternalism of the Democrat Party? Worse than simply being dead, is Occupy becoming a zombie, play-acting at life, but in reality only serving as a puppet for another set of elite interests?