MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

October 5, 2011

Questions for Occupy Wall Street

By now most readers are away of the movement in the U.S. calling itself “Occupy Wall Street”. Along with its other spinoffs like Occupy Boston, Occupy Los Angles, etc. it’s basically a 1960’s still sit-in protest event designed to clog the streets until certain “demands” are met. Many of these “demands” are the usual liberal/socialist/progressive stuff about banks and CEO’s and corporations along with a good sprinkling of environmental “green” stuff, the usual “human rights” and “gay rights” protestors, lots of pro-union people etc etc etc.

For several days now MasterPo has been monitoring the situation from the point of view of the media at large (MSNBC, CNN, Fox), certain commentators like Beck and Rush, and from the protestor’s own mouths via Twitter. And to the latter, MasterPo has conversed with several protestors about their stand and outlook on things.

The topics expressed and the desired results of this protest are, to say the least, “interesting” if not outright comical insofar as pie-in-the-sky feel-good results. This is truly a 21st century Woodstock event!

While gathering information for this article about the protestors it occurred to MasterPo, based on what he has read and heard from protestors, there are a lot more questions than answers. And even more importantly, it does not seen as if anyone knows where to even begin answering the questions!

With that in mind, rather than write a complete article critiquing the Occupy Wall Street protests, MastePo will simply list many of the questions he’s been asking and not getting any solid answers for. They are listed in no particular order unless otherwise stated.

If anyone can answer those questions precisely please post as a comment.

Who is in charge around here?
Who is the leader or group of leaders of this protest?
Gandhi was the leader of his protest.
Martin Luther King, Jr was the leader of his movement.
The Founding Fathers, as listed on the Declaration of Independence, were the leaders of the colonies.
Moses was the leader of his people out of slavery in Egypt.

So who leads this group?

It’s a very important question. If you don’t know who is leading how do you know you’re putting your support to the right people? Slogans aren’t a movement. They don’t make results.

Who makes decisions around here?

Just as with a leader, who decides what (and who) is a fair point or target or not?

Similarly, if the object of your protest wants to meet and discuss things who do they meet with?
Who in the protest has the authority to speak and decide for the rest?
Whose word is so trusted to represent you?

You can’t say “democracy” because that’s mob rule. Even if an agreement for action is made between some protestors and some protestee who is going to ensure the rest of the protestors abide by it? You can’t make peace with every single individuals’ agenda.

Who decides your next victims?

Today you’re protesting against banks, and bank and corporate CEOs (among others).

Wo decides against whom you’ll be protesting tomorrow?
Where does it end?
How about the bank/corporate VP’s?
General Managers?
Project Managers?
Regional Managers?
Office Managers?
Office administrators?
How about the compute programmer that writes the software that charges you 25% interest when your credit card payment is 1 day late?
Or the Dunkin Donuts owner who sells cake and coffee to the executive meetings?

And now you’re targeting people with 7-figure incomes.

How about 6-figure incomes?
Or just high 5-figure incomes?
Or maybe someone who just makes more than you whatever that is?

How far does it go?

Even the law has a Statute of Limitations for liability. So what is yours??

How do you count yourselves?

Since this isn’t anything formally organized how can you really know how many are truly in your corner and who are just “tourists” with nothing better to do?

Who says “Stop!”?

Without a leader or leadership who decides when enough is enough?
Who decided when it’s time to go home?
Who decides the goals of the protest have been met? Or at least met enough for now?

And very importantly:

Who decides what actions of the protest are to be condoned and which are to be shunned?

This is an extremely important question since eventually someone is going to get frustrated or just plain go bonkers and start violence. So who is going to stand up and say “We are not about violence!” and say those committing violence are not representative of your movement?

Or are they?

What is the End-Game?

In reading what protestors are posting on Twitter and other sites, and in chatting with several on Twitter no one seems to know what the end will look like. Sure there are a lot of pretty feel-good descriptions about “rights” and “fairness” but where the rubber meets the road what does this mean in terms of actually implementing the changes you want?

What does America look like after you succeed?

Related to the above question, if your protest is successful as you dream it will be, when people wake up the next day what does daily life in America for Joe Average man/woman now look like?

You’re protesting major changes to everything from banking and insurance and energy to union contracts and government representation. So what does daily life really look like afterwards?

Please don’t answer about being more”fair” or “respected” or “better”.

Please be specific.

For example, after you succeed how will the supermarkets be well stocked (at anything like reasonable prices) as they are now?
How will garbage be collected and sanitarily disposed of?
How will law enforcement be preventing crime and punishing those who do commit crime?

Just a few but essential aspects of daily life that MasterPo doesn’t see operating nearly as well after your “revolution” is over. It never does after a revolution.

Who will oversee and enforce all these new changes?

So you get all the changes you’re demanding.

Who is going to watch over and ensure on a daily basis business and organizations adhere to the new rules?

You don’t like the way current government oversees things and you don’t like the way current business self-polices. So who do you trust to oversee this brave new world that won’t sooner or later become the same way?

Who is so wise and honorable that you’re going to empower to do this?

And who watches the overseers?

Related to the above, who makes sure the wise and honorable people you have picked remain that way?

Or is protest and “revolution” the new norm of life?

Do you really want to associate yourselves with Greece and Egypt?

Several protesters I chatted with said they are in league with protestors in Greece and Egypt. Seeing how violent and socially disruptive those protests have been are you sure you want to be named in the same sentence as them?

You are known by the company you keep.

If you’re against corporate “greed” then who do you think made money from the sale of the iphones, camcorders and Apple laptops you’re using now?

Someone made good money on it.

Design, development, testing, marketing, manufacturing, sales – a lot of people made a lot of money.

Think about that.

Do you realize there are more middle-class people working in corporations than CEO’s?

Far more middle-class people with incomes well under the 7-figure mark work for corps – as direct employees as well as consultants and 3rd party vendors/suppliers. They will be hurt, especially in the short run, much more than the CEO’s will be.

Do you expect them to support your cause when the Wall Street business relocates to Tennessee and the employee is laid off?

If a corporation doesn’t hire you, where do you expect to find employment?

Be it a “big” business or small one, most people are employees at least for part of their working life.

If you stop “big corporations” where will the jobs come from?

For that matter, who will want to start or grow a business after your revolution?

Who’s going to put their life on the line if people like you can protest them out of business or worse?

What is going happen in a matter of weeks or months when NOTHING happens?

So you’re protesting now with chants and signs and sit ins. Let’s say nothing comes of it. Or at least nothing you want.

Now what are you going to do?
Protest more?
Get violent?
What happens when your “revolution” gets violent?

It’s inevitable. Social revolutions always have at least some element of violence. There has never been a peaceful revolution that tears down a full system and starts all over.

Be careful. The fires you set may turn and consume you as well.

There are many many other questions about this “revolution” and more come up every day. But these are a good start.

Please post answers, if you can.

1 comment:

Matt Johnson said...

I'll tell you what America looks like after they succeed — flip to the end of Atlas Shrugged.