Monday, October 3, 2011

American concepts of "resistance" - Occupy Wall Street is pretend, a non-movement

I guess I don't really get the whole Occupy Wall Street thing. Nothing new has happened, nothing has changed. Still the same greedy pigs and their sycophants running it, still the same goals. America is still capitalist, just as it has been and will continue to be.

Anyway. I was reading about it today, and I saw this great statement someone gave about what Occupy Wall Street means as a "movement":
"The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%," the statement continues, referring to what it sees as a sharp divide between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of society.
Ha. American activists love talking about how they won't tolerate things any longer, or how this is the last time that something is going to happen, so on and so forth. Basically, that now that they have been awakened, suddenly whatever evil it is that they perceive will end because they will it so.

Now, of course, I have no problem, at least philosophically, with the idea of activism. I think a great deal of things are fucked and basically need to be burned to the ground, but that's another story. So yeah, I'm all for people trying to make positive changes and take back their lives and the land and whatnot, but it is so unrealistic to tell yourself or anyone else that there will be no more of anything. What these people really mean to say is that they wish for there to be no more of anything. But that doesn't change a damn thing except within you. People have to take real steps, collectively, to enact change, real, fundamental change. American activism, this kind of stuff, tends to be a lie. The lie is that you are doing something. Comparatively, yes, you are doing something if you hold it up to absolutely nothing, but on the grand spectrum, sitting on a sidewalk or holding a sign doesn't do shit. No one pays attention to you. They just walk around you. You choreograph everything with the police, nice and politely. And that's fine in and of itself, if that's what you like. The real problem is that you are telling yourself that you are in some kind of struggle, some "movement."

Look at other very recent examples - did the people of Egypt just say, "Hey Mubarak, time to go, we won't tolerate you any longer?" No, they went out in the streets and struggled. Fought and died. How about Syria, right now? People are dying in the streets every day because they are at the ends of their ropes. I would venture a guess that most of the people who participate in Occupy Wall Street and similar types of demonstrations cannot comprehend such a feeling. Not that I mean to valorize or romanticize the suffering of Syrians or Egyptians or anyone else, just that white middle class demonstrators in this country try to act like they know this brutal suffering. It's like the line in that Propagandhi song about "play acting anarchists." It is. It's a performance, and probably one that's pretty offensive to people who suffer on a fundamental level, people whose lives are profoundly based on struggle.

Just declaring something as over is delusional and terribly self-defeating. Cause you know what? You will stand by, you will compromise, you will tolerate these things. We all do every day. That's what this life is, at least here, now. Unless you go berserk and go shoot up the precinct or something like that, or say "fuck it" and take off for the woods like Thoreau or Ted Kaczynski (who also went the berserk route, but less intensely), you are tolerating these things. I mean, really, how are you not? You can oppose these things, but the economy, our political system and the very fibers of this social system are built on greed and corruption. They won't be going away anytime soon.

People are fucking greedy. History seems to bear that one out pretty well. Whether it's land, cows, power, money, etc, people are greedy. Sure, you can say only some people are greedy, or it's not innate, it's socialization, whatever. But then it's kind of the back side of the idea that no one is free as long as others are oppressed. How can people as a whole not be greedy when some of us are?