It was only a matter of time before the various “Occupy” movements would expend their purpose and credibility and devolve into social unrest and confusion, as well as predictable playgrounds for hedonism and anarchy.
And, like it or not, this has played into the hands of those who are the presumed targets of the protests, those who can afford to sit it out and wait until the necessary resources to even maintain oneself under these conditions have been exhausted and the stresses have led to the breakdown of the people, to unacceptable behavior and necessitated the closing down of the various encampments.
That’s not exactly the right strategy, except for the powers that be.
Not to be cynical – having come from the protest generation of the 1960s – but despite the legitimate shock and outrage at loss of jobs and homes, at banks and corporate greed, etc., etc., many people still don’t understand that while it’s easier to go and “protest”, creating a viable working alternative that is built on eternally valid values, such as cooperation, equality of opportunity and putting into practice the fundamental truth of “being of equal value” requires thoughtful preparation. It’s also a more effective way of actually taking back the power from those who have abused it, rather than merely complaining which, after all, acknowledges that they have control over you.
You don’t see them protesting what you do, right?
It may also be fair to say that many people affected – and yet to be affected – by the financial collapse weren’t taking notice of, or particularly bothered by, this system while they were benefiting by, and not suffering from, it. This is human nature of course and my purpose isn’t to blame the victims here, after all, many, many of us – worldwide – are, and/or will be, affected by the financial meltdown, etc.
However, at the core of any real, lasting, positive change there must be a recognition of what led to this mess and what the actual, defined, real objectives for a new and better system actually are. This of course also requires knowing and adhering to real, proven values. It’s also far harder to develop meaningful dialogues with like-minded people while sitting in a tent in the street, freezing your butt off, than it is to prepare the way by using all of the tools of communication now at hand. Purposeful, focused meetings, discussions, etc., can then take place in well-prepared environments that are more comfortable.
Of course many people may actually have to revert to pre-texting spelling, learn how to develop complete, coherent thoughts and engage in an otherwise non-sensational process that certainly won’t offer the temporary instant gratification and adrenaline rush, etc. that attracts a lot of people.
It’s always better in the long run to know precisely what one wants to support, to formulate a plan for it, and then to go about the hard work of creating the preferred reality, than it is to just protest against what you don’t want. Of course there’s a time and place for protest, such as the civil rights movement.
But this is an entirely different matter for many reasons.