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If you can't beat them ... what will the 99% do
Obviously, there has been and will continue to be plenty of commentary on the Occupy Wall Street/Fresno/Oakland/the world movement (especially in light of recent clashes with police in). These are written by people with much more exposure to the issue, so I'll just throw out a quick(ish) thought.
As a kick off point: Bill McEwen's column earlier this month, where he posited that the occupy movement can't sustain over the long-term without having a central leader and razor-honed message. In order to gain real political traction he says, the movement must heed the adage "if you can't beat them ... " you know the rest. And, if they're interested in winning senate seats, that's surely the way to go. As McEwen and others have pointed out, it certainly worked for the Tea Party. Or those who chose to glom on to (and maybe bastardize some of) its ideals.
But, can real change possible from inside the system at this point? Isn't that the point of the protests? Would anyone argue that we still have a rigid two party-system, even after Tea Party successes? Real revolutionary ideas have no place in public discourse as it currently stands. It's the reason Ralph Nader was marginalized (and blamed) for the 2000 election, the same reason Ron Paul is treated like a crazy, while Herman Cane shouts about 999 and electrified fences (he's joking of course) and Rick Perry can keep that whole birth-certificate thing alive.
So, it's refreshing to see a movement that is not about politicking in the traditional sense. It's good to see a movement that is authentic and "grass roots," but actually grass roots, as opposed to just calling itself such and hoping no one notices.
Who knows where it goes from here. Hopefully not into more clashes with police. But I for one will be sad the day this becomes a "sponsored" movement.
As a bonus, here are some thoughts from my main man Henry Rollins.