I find the Occupy Wall street phenomena quite bizarre and somewhat juvenile. It’s not just Occupy Wall street; it’s occupy wherever and whatever you’re unhappy with, whatever you have a grudge against, whatever you would like to lash out at, or whatever grievance you would like to air out in public.
I’m now reading accounts of vandalism on a large scale in certain places. What does this have to do with Occupy Wall street? Nothing. It seems everywhere now little versions of Occupy are sprouting up and the rest of us watching are perplexed over the point of it all. So what is the point? People are unhappy and they think it’s because they have less than the rich. The point, it seems, is doing whatever extreme necessary to make a statement; vandalizing and demanding the rich’s wealth are part of it.
This year, the world witnessed the Arab Spring, a series of bloody revolutions in the Middle East. What is really coming of them, no one knows yet. But the Occupy crowds seem to think they have something in common with the oppressed people across the Atlantic. In the Middle East, disposing of despotism is fighting for your life and your freedom – your right just to live a peaceful life of your choice – and potentially losing your life for a cause. In the West, the tyrants to overthrow are the fraction of the population that make a lot more money than you.
What do they have in common? Nothing really. They actually have a lot more in common with the pointless and very destructive rioting in London earlier this year.
The Occupy movement looks like a tantrum on parade. It is grown men and women, who I guess have no jobs to go work at but at least they have smart phones to tweet and facebook the internet to death with their dissatisfaction, anger, resentment and greed. The Occupy movement couldn’t make it more clear that all they want is something they don’t have, lots of money, a high paying job and some status – all of which belong to other people. If they have jobs I can’t imagine that their vacations, sick/personal days will hold out much longer.
Under some staggeringly irrational notion, Occupiers are screaming and chanting that the rich and the wealthy don’t deserve the wealth they have – whether they inherited it or worked hard to get it. Never mind if they were smart, determined and productive their whole life.
The guy with dreads who works at Starbucks knows the truth – all men in suits are corrupt and greedy predators. But while that hippie spends his days lamenting the vices of society, life continues, he doesn’t work, he relies on soup kitchens and the generosity of others, and in the end has really contributed nothing to society and little to the issue.
The occupy movement should try this perspective on for size. Forget that they’re the 99%; they are actually probably the 1% of the world who live like they do. When they demand handouts – that’s what they want, free stuff and money – they aren’t thinking of the enormous percentage of the world less fortunate than themselves. They don’t understand that they live like kings compared to the impoverished and suffering in Africa and elsewhere.
The West may not technically be the 1%, but figuratively we are the elite and privileged of the world. The rest of the world is easily the 99%. But the Occupy folk don’t see that; I don’t even see that most of the time. But someone recently pointed that out to me and it really settles this issue for me.
What would a starving child in Africa think of these adults having fits because they have less disposable income, don’t dine at the fanciest restaurants regularly, and don’t have any notable status in society just like the rest of the 99% of us in the West. That’s a real shame, say the dying children in Africa with swollen, empty stomachs and flies for company.
Does corruption exist up top? Sure. Are some of the “fat cats” greedy and predatory? Undoubtedly. But there isn’t a person in those fanatical mobs who wouldn’t trade places with a rich person if they had the chance and gladly do whatever needed to maintain that luxurious lifestyle. That is, after all, what everyone wants, to be successful enough to live leisurely, work little or not at all and, most notably and most “socialistically”, never have less than others.
Would these people actually feel better about themselves if they received handouts? I bet they would promptly take a vacation in some warm exotic place in the world, enjoy the underpaid services of the indigenous population, and would return, handouts exhausted, to demand more. What these people are demanding is a winning lottery ticket and they wrongly believe, much like a toddler, that their unhappiness can be remedied by taking away from others.
Written by Daniel Caza|Culture Rev