Jonah Goldberg Captures the True Essence of Occupy Wall Street
Jonah Goldberg, writing at the American Enterprise Institute, hits the jackpot with his post on Occupy Wall Street. I have yet to address the Occupy movement, mainly because the “brains” behind the movement are generally brainless, and because – in the grand scheme – the movement itself will be gone and forgotten in nothing more than a moment. It certainly did not surprise me when the protests devolved into rape, vandalism, and petty crime (although I also did not cheer for the police response).
What did surprise me, however, was the fact that it was so long-lived. I would not have expected it to last more than a week or two, but despite widespread reports of Potemkin Villages, as well as the general uselessness of the crowd involved, they have managed to hold on for quite a long time. It would be admirable if it were not so light on reality.
In any case, Goldberg’s piece is very well worth a full read if you want to know anything about the puppets (and puppeteers) involved in this ridiculous movement. Here is a fun excerpt:
Today’s Democratic Party has an ingrained cultural aversion to the Booker T. Washington school. Liberal elites see themselves as a multiracial talented tenth, planning the economy and guiding society. In power, they lavish support on fashionable but unproductive sectors of the economy, such as green energy boondoggles, and they buy off big constituencies invested in ever larger government such as public sector unions, the “helping professions” and even too-big-too-fail businesses.
Their arguments sound economic and empirical, but ultimately they’re cultural in nature. The upscale white professionals the Democrats are courting disproportionately share a cultural affinity for government and faith that statist interventions are for your own good. They also believe government needs to help people succeed — or escape — the rat race of the private sector. (Remember Michelle Obama’s advice to working-class women? “Don’t go into corporate America.… Become teachers. Work for the community.”) In his acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic convention, Obama mocked the Booker T. Washington concept of self-reliance: “In Washington, they call this the ownership society, but what it really means is, you’re on your own.”
Of course, I’d rather this not be a partisan blog, and I am by no means a Republican. But it is unbelievably sad to see the Occupy movement, taken so seriously by so much of the media, maintain its stance at the vanguard of a Progressive movement that completely and utterly failed at least by the 1930s, if not earlier.