Early morning checking of the news (via Twitter) brings word that the owners of the square being occupied in NY (how does someone/a business own a square in NYC?) have asked the city not to clear the demonstrators. And so an impending confrontation seems averted for the moment.
But a larger question: What is Occupy Wall Street really?
Is it just a bunch of middle and upper middle class folks out protesting?
And is it even clear what they are protesting?
And how long will it last?
Is it an attempt to counter the rise, attention, and influence of the Tea Party?
Or does it have a good deal in common with what gave rise to the Tea Party? (see Larry Lessig’s article below).
Is it possible for a leaderless movement to have an impact in this country?
How come the media first ignored it, then misrepresented it, and now is finally beginning to cover it?
Is it truly spreading beyond NY and beyond a few major US cities?
Is there any similarity between OWS and the demonstrations that have been taking place in the Middle East over the past year?
So many questions.
Let me be clear: I don’t have the answer to any of them.
But I have been following the events and bring you two articles to read and consider.
The first is a somewhat broad, think piece that for me seems to capture and begin to answer some of my questions.
The second is an attempt, I think, to draw similarities between OWS and the TP and perhaps to encourage OWS folks not to see the Tea Party as an opposition (as some of the media would like us to believe) but as an ally in some areas.
The articles are relatively short and will not take you long to read.
1.The Fight for ‘Real Democracy’ at the Heart of Occupy Wall Street, by Michael Summary & Antonio Negri, Foreign Affairs, Oct. 11, 2011. Click Here
2.OccupyWallSt v2: What Cross-Partisanship Must Mean by Larry Lessig, Huffington Post, Oct. 7, 2011. Click Here
Comments are always welcome.
A reader writes that I need to read this morning’s Charles Krauthammer’s op ed posting “The Scapegoat Strategy,” wherein he defines OWS as ‘Eat the Rich.’ I have read it, and the link to it for Millerstime readers is: http://wapo.st/pjpshm
Joe Chamberlin said:
I read the Lessing (sp?) article. My first observation was that in the corner of the page was notice of Steve Jobs’ death. He was, by all accounts, a creative genius. He is without doubt one of the most influential people of our times. He was an inventor who went into business. I understand that he was, at times, difficult to work with. But he had a vision of making technology accessible and even fun. I think we have to take a page or two from him to address our current situation.
I agree with the article. What I do not know is what to do, but to do nothing is to accept what is.
What did Pogo say, “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.”
A week or so on NPR I heard a review of a book written by a 93 year-old French Reisistance fighter,Peter Hessel. His book “Time for Outrage” belongs on Miller’s List. His advice at the end of his 30 pages is TO CREATE IS TO RESIST. TO RESIST IS TO CREATE.
In the 70’s I participated in a study group, Macroanalysis. Designed by people in Phla who were known as the Movement for a New Society it provided small groups (there were 6 or 7 in our group) materials which to provide the basis for our Praxis.
Praxis means action based on reflection. I think individually and together we have to quietly reflect (read and be still) and then act, alone with others, whatever in ways like Miller’s Time does and helps us to do.