Kim Day's points somewhat miss the point, if I may explain.
I don't think Heather McDonald's article as such blames any so-called victim, but what we have seen in the OWS movement taking eagerly the 'victim' status, and mostly all on their own cognisance. If you regard yourself as a victim you will see many injustices piled against you, but among them are a good number of which have been caused by not 'unfettered capitalism' but by unfettered taxation, artificial regulation and invasive government.
I doubt if capitalism is the font of all good things, but on balance it has done more to lift people into a level of wealth and well-being they can enjoy far more than even thirty years ago. Yes, we would all agree the loss of wealth once you have grown accustomed to it is hard and there are genuine concerns that there are some enjoying more than others.
But I am completely unsure how we would have a better world if there were more 'occupations' in pleasant places. Indeed, it would be more logical for the protestors not to occupy a city park (with all conveniences close at hand, including media support) but to camp out on a mountain in a remote place and declare it belongs to 'the people' by claiming the rocks and trees as theirs.
Iian An Men Square was once occupied by a similar to the WSO group of disheartened youth, and were dealt with quickily. In China there can never be more occupations as such places like parks and city squares have armed guards... in Beijing everyone is welcome to visit Tian An Men Square and watch the changing of the guard...
Heather - I like your stern analysis and count myself as a conservative, probably more libertarian as I get older. Certainly, the OWS crowd are unable to articulate their demands and these likely cluster around: "Give us more free stuff."
But the fact remains that taxpayers bailed out the financial services industry, an industry that champions the free market and risk commensurate return. In fact, they figured out how to privatize their gains and socialize their losses. I have many acquaintances on Wall Street who have felt none of the pain that middle America has felt over the last 4 years.
Meanwhile, about 10 MM families will lose their homes in foreclosure. And, we have an increasingly large gap between the 1% and the 99 that none of my Wall Street friends wants to address. At some point, this gap will erode social cohesion, and things will get really ugly.
Your comparison of the OWS encampments with skid row, while poetic,is not entirely fair: I know a number of folks protesting in my town and they are regular, middle of the road people whose understanding of the word "Crack" is a defect in a sidewalk or plate, not a recreational pharmaceutical.
Well that was beautifully put!
What I don't understand is why no one has looked at the connections of the Administration or Democratic Party to the formation and continuation of the OWS movement in New York. Such as, the huge grant for 'wind farms' given by the Feds to the owner of Zucotti Park (which, being a private park could have ejected the protesters at any time) some time before the protests got under way, the report that the successor of ACORN has been paying the homeless to be involved in the protests, and raise money for OWS under the guise of raising money for educational purposes, the odd speech given by Biden shortly before the protests got underway warning of street insurrection, and other connections between the Democratic party, its various supporters and the protest "movement." What happened to the ACORN story, doesn't anyone want to look into this?
The protest has been wildly successful in taking the spotlight away from Obama's failure as a leader, and in supporting Democratic talking points on class warfare. It has also been successful in allowing Democratic media a reason to claim that the "people" now support redistribution. The violence, drug use and incoherence of OWS is all but ignored, all that matters is that the attention is taken from Obama, and his corrupt and incompetent Administration.
Not only the Democratic media but the conservative media has been taken in by this flim flam. This article points out the small numbers involved - you won't see any reference to numbers anywhere else, since the numbers are too small. Certainly when hundreds of thousands of Tea Partiers got together they received far less than this band of manipulated miscreants.
But, that's how the Democratic Party works today - hand in glove with its wholly owned media arm, using corrupt tactics for a corrupt purpose.
Some time after the election we will find out how the entire OWS was planned, executed and kept going by some Administration operative, probably using taxpayer money.
I've been around Latin America enough to know that all it takes to get anyone to embrace full revolutionary radical violence are hot Cuban bongos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj-tf14eZmQ&feature=related
It's an interesting twist on language that the chant of "our park" could be inferred as a property right statement rather than one of citizenship. It is, after all, a public space.
And while I appreciate the attempt to equate unfettered capitalism with all good in the world, you tend to spoil your own argument with references to homelessness, as well as losing points for the sin of omission regarding the growing level of poverty in this country.
Your tendency to use the conservative trope of blaming the victim is obvious throughout your piece, and I hope you'll consider its meaning at a time when corporations collect increasing capital while fellow citizens (corporations are people says Romney) remain unemployed and somehow unrewarded by the money god.
This is obviously a learning process for them which is of course valuable in and of itself. They might set some goals like trying to shut down the "system" by bankrupting it with law enforcement expenses; a lesson that has already been learned by guys like Anwar al-Awlaki before we killed him, a dangerous man ideed. Like Heather says- I feel so close to her with the intimacy of the internet - they already embrace time honored petty acts of small scale property destruction, violence and vandalism as a political tactic. Showing the charming creative youthful discovery of history. You would think they may eventully get around to the Che Guevara, Mexican revolution and Latin American tactical studies phase at some point. That remains to be fully explored in a Michael Moore documentary.
What the media would not report but could only allude to was that the park became a magnet for the "homeless community". The protestors, like all liberals, love the homeless in principle, but not in person.
... unmatched power to raise the standard of living almost universally and create the wealth that is the precondition for so many modern rights???
Are you serious? Capitalism produces retards and sociopaths universally!
retarded rant ... even by capitalisms lame literary standards!
I entered a comment a long time ago and you wiped it our
NYC was right to evict the freeloaders in Zuccotti Park. They have no right to occupy a city park, even though they feel entitled to do so so without paying for the facilities or the upkeep. The TAXPAYERS pay for city parks and PAY FOR MAINTAINING THEM. These campers are just FREELOADERS looking for a free ride.
Perhaps they should get a job and make a living and stop complaining.
Not to write off the whole lot, as there are plenty of legitimately-motivated protestors, but there are way too many pathetic opportunists in their ranks of naive idealists. And that's what you're going to get with a leaderless movement with 150 agendas and no plan.
I know two people who have become involved with the movement. One is a young trust-funder who hasn't worked during his five years in NYC. The other is a bored 40-something from a wealthy family who spends nearly $100K a year on private school for his kids.
So apparently when unearned wealth makes you feel bad about your aimless life, you take to the streets.
¡Viva la revolucion!
Who is really behind this "movement"?
The irony of both "parks" occupied by OWS, that they aren't even real "public" spaces. One is owned by a REIT (Brookfield Properties) and the other a church (Trinity). They were technically trespassing, even during the day. Protesting is likely against the rules of use at Zuccotti Park, since its privately owned and not a public park.
If anything, OWS will encourage property owners to never allow any public use of their real estate.