The other night, I ventured out of Brooklyn to come eye to eye with the Occupy Wall Street protest. As someone who thrives on protests, I have always been a bit skeptical when it comes to protests which take place in the United States. My visit to Occupy Wall street strengthened these convictions.
|Preparing for the next day|
Let it be known however that the eventual and inevitable failure of the protests will not be that of the protestors; they have proven their steadfastness, dedication, and their will to drive change. The failure can only be attributed to the American public who has not heeded their call. However, this is to be expected in a country where such a large part of the population has been born and bred on a simplistic understanding of capitalism making any protest against big business and corporate America doomed to fail.
Essentially, the American people have become shareholders in the American factory of McDonalds, Nike. Apple, Microsoft, Hollywood (to name a few), and even the banks (one cannot simply punish banks for a culture which enabled the banks to create such economic havoc). The American dream has transformed from the ownership of commodities to the embodiment of them. Consumerism and citizenship have merged into one ideology, one entity, creating a capitalocracy: a merging and blurring of capitalism and democracy. Let me be clear, not a plutocracy but a capitalocracy (correct me if there is a better word), one where every citizen is part of the machine, a shareholder in the system.
Simply put, any dissent is a threat to the American psychosis and is treated with a suspicious eye. Therefore, it is clear that the protesters have only remained on Wall St. this long due to the grace of the New York Police Department; let us not fool ourselves, if the police wanted to they could permanently clear the protestors from Wall St. within hours. Such compliance and public trust in the police force might be the norm in the US, but it is not the case in most places in the world. So the question that remains is how long can this go on? I hope I am wrong, but I imagine not much longer. If I were the protestors, I would reorganize and work on a new strategy which would capture the minds of the American people, who are quickly getting bored. Abandon Wall St. and keep your struggle dynamic. You have already captured the minds and hearts of a minority; now rethink your strategy to capture the majority. Show us that you are here to stay! Keep us on our toes, and continue to take the US and world by surprise. And, do not let the institutions you are fighting simply bury your movement where you have started: in Manhattan, on Wall St.