Occupy Wall Street: What is it?
Is There an Objective to OWS? What's the Point?
We hear questions like this almost daily now, from people representing the right, or from the otherwise uninformed among us. Why don't these Occupy Wall Street protesters have an identifiable agenda, or leaders, or anything we can point to as an inadequacy? We should target their weaknesses, but they have no leaders, no agenda, and no cohesive identity. What's wrong with them, anyway?
What this question reveals is that not only do you personally not know, but the sources you know and trust don't know either. Your sources are probably questioning along the same lines and offering no answers.
What it means is that your news sources are deficient. And since OWS is a series of demonstrations obviously in protest of an established status quo, your opinions and your sources of information are very probably aligned with that same status quo. In short, you are probably watching a lot of Fox "News" and precious little else.
Now, it should be obvious that I am not an advocate for the political right in America. My political leanings are mostly in opposition to, or at least in disagreement with, what passes for conservatism in the U.S. today.
But that doesn't mean I don't understand them. That doesn't mean I don't try to figure out what it is they are thinking, or how they are attempting to cloud thought itself.
When I want to know what is (or isn't) going on in the mind of the right-wingers, I watch some right-wing news for my answers.
This is not a difficult concept to grasp. Even many Tea Partiers are probably capable of grasping it. The ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu developed the concept in The Art of War, possibly earlier than 500 B.C.: When you want to learn what makes your adversary tick, you try to see things the way he sees them. You watch what he watches. You listen to what he hears. The abbreviated mantra is simply, "know your enemy."
Anything of a public and national-interest nature, that has been going on for as long as the OWS demonstrations, has been covered in the news. If it has only been covered in "your" news as an aberration to be discounted and ignored as long as possible, then you are not watching the right news if you really want to know what it is all about. I know this may sound like some pretty intricate rocket science to some, but if you want to know something you go to the source, not to the same places where you have been unable to get information up till now.
If OWS is a protest being perpetrated by "the left" then go to sources that favor the left to find out what it's all about. Fox "News" is obviously not going to tell you what you want to know. Or, maybe they are. Maybe they are telling you just exactly what you really want to hear, and you really don't want to know anything about what the protests are "all about." Maybe you are just parroting what you have heard on Fox "News" and decided to do some of your parroting in another venue for a change. Maybe you just got lost and found yourself in an open forum that is somehow divergent from your usual hangouts. And now your questions are really being considered for a change, and someone is actually thinking about what the answers could be instead of deriding and criticizing in the absence of understanding. Maybe you have accidentally stumbled out of the cocoon of Fox "News" sheltered information pablum, and discovered that your questions are not just going to receive the nodding and smiles of appreciative in-crowd cohorts who really don’t think there is anything to learn about the goings on in the minds of the demonstrators.
Or, maybe you really did just wake up from your slumber of illusion and actually do want to know what it is all about. If that is the case, just check out some media outlets that have been carrying the news about what is going on. Try DailyKos, OpEdNews, or MotherJones and come away with a whole new perspective on what it means to listen to sources beyond those of the radical right wing of conservatism.
You certainly won't be convinced to believe any of the opinions expressed there. You have been indoctrinated far too thoroughly to hope for that. But the experience could just open your eyes to a whole other world of information out there for the asking. At the very least you will learn where to look for information that you know must be out there somewhere, but your preferred "news" source isn't touching it. You see, they're not touching it for a reason. And the reason is because it reflects opinions they don't want you recognizing as existing out there anywhere. It is not in their best interest to inform you. They prefer that you stay well secluded in the dark.
Yes, the protesters are leaderless. Yes, they have no singular agenda. But no, it is not just a meaningless assemblage of wandering and causeless individuals. It is actually an extension of something you are already familiar with. The OWS protesters, just like people in the beginning of the Tea Party movement, are frustrated, and intent on entering a new era of personal involvement for the average American.
Yes, the OWS movement has no clearly defined objectives, and no leaders. But no, this is not a weakness in the movement. It is actually a strength. But unlike the Tea Party movement, this is a real grass-roots phenomenon, activated from the bottom up rather than from the top down.
With no single identifiable purpose and no leadership to focus upon, the opposition to this movement is left with no target for their invective except a group of average Americans doing what this country has always said is the right thing to do when you have severe grievances with the powers that be.
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